Sunday, July 25, 2010

Details on "Read" banner and some cool paper flowers

This post starts with a look at some re-purposed book pages and a disclaimer. The public library in my town has a little cart in an undisclosed location that has books on it with a little sign, "FREE to a good home". I discovered the cart one day when I had wandered down the hall by the library's used book store. On the cart that day I saw some old textbooks, a few Nat. Geo. mags, some outdated travel books, and the discovery of the day....really aged, out of print books with wonderfully yellowed pages that were crying out for a useful purpose. I took one of the books off the cart and flipped it open. As I ran my fingers across the pages, I about gasped. Suddenly lots of crafty ideas were creeping into my brain. I snapped the book shut and looked behind me. No one was around. I held the book in my lap and looked on the shelf for more. I only found one that day that was truly useful. Now, I have to say that I'm not really sure that I was taking the book home to a "good" home since I fully intended to cut the thing up once I got it home. However, in the spirit of all things "green" and re-purposed, I KNOW that I've done a "good thing". At least, I think Martha Stewart would agree with me.

So, on to the banner and cool paper flowers. Here is a look at the pages of the book that I started with. Just use your craft knife as close to the binding as you can go and begin cutting out the pages. If you need to have a moment of silence before you cut, go ahead and do so. Once I had cut my pages out, I placed them on the Sizzix Pennant die and ran it through my Big Shot machine. You can see in the picture below that the die cuts two sizes of pennants as well as scalloped circles. I used the smaller size pennant for the book page element on my "read" banner. For the larger pennant, I used a lunch bag. I crumpled up the lunch bag, smoothed it out, folded it in half and then ran it through the machine. After I did that I wanted to add more texture, so I ran the paper bag pennants through the machine again with the texture plates. It was difficult to get photo detail on that, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I have not tried heavy duty grocery bags yet. The lunch bags are smaller and of lighter weight paper and work nicely. If you try it with paper grocery bags, let me know how it works for you.
I used eight scallop circles of book pages to make the paper flower embellishments. Take the eight circles, line them up and then poke a hole through the middle of all of them. You can use a piercing mat and poke the hole through all eight at once if you like. Put a brad of some kind through the hole of all eight. I used a mini brad, but I think you could use any kind of brad you like; one with some bling would be really nice.
Now you will begin to make the flower. Take the top layer of book page and crumple it up as you can see in the picture. Proceed to do that with all the layers until you get to the last one.
Crumple the last layer too. Some people like to crumple the paper first and then punch the hole in the middle. I tried that and didn't like those results as much as I did when I punched first and then crumpled. I think it was just easier to manage the papers when they were already joined together. A side note about papers: these flowers are lovely to make with the old book pages because the paper is somewhat thin, and really flexible making it easy to crumple. If you want to make these flowers with card stock, you can use the same steps. However, (and this is important) before you crumple the paper you might want to mist it with some water first. If you have some misty stuff that has sparkle in it, use that. If you just have water, that works well too. The water will help the paper crumple more easily. Or, if you know how to do faux suede, do that first and then crumple. At any rate once you have crumpled all the layers, your flower should look like this:

Now comes the fun part. Begin to uncrumple the flower bit by bit until you come up with something like this:
On my final banner I took a glue pen and dabbed it around the edges of the flower and then smooshed it in some glitter....looked really pretty! Once you get the hang of the steps on these flowers you can let your creative juices flow and come up with really pretty things. You can ink the edges of the scallop circles before you crumple to give some depth to your flower. If you ink the same shade of ink in darker intensity on each layer you'll end up with a sort of ombre flower. All kinds of possibilities for these beauties! Just let your mind wander and see what you come up with. Remember my favorite crafty mantra: "There are no mistakes, only creative opportunities!"

A second variation on this flower is shown in the picture below. There you'll see a flower that I made with just the lunch bags, it's on the top right hand side of the picture. Next to it on the left is a really big flower. I made that one with the book pages as the center of the flower, and then I added some crumpled strips of paper bag on the outside of the flower. I've got the instructions for that bit just a bit further down in this post. The third flower is one that I made with a scallop circle base, and then a torn strip of book page. That one is made just like the paper bag strip flower that I'll show you next. The picture of it turned out a little bit flat. However, if you are going to make these flowers for a card that you want to send in the mail, you might want to go with that option or you'll be paying extra postage.

Now the instructions for the simple paper bag strip flower. Begin with a circle of card stock in any size. The size that you begin with will determine the size of your final flower. A smaller circle will yield a smaller flower. The big flower above used a 2 inch circle to begin with. My example below is a 1 3/8 inch circle. Oh, and by the way, you can do this with other shapes too, squares, rectangles, whatever you want.
Once you have determined the size of your circle, all around the outer edge of the circle put adhesive. I used tape type adhesive, but you could use liquid glue, or whatever you have on hand.
To make the strip of lunch bag, I cut open a lunch bag, cut the bottom off and then crumpled and crumpled. It's a great way to relieve stress! :) After I did that I smoothed the bag out enough to use my paper cutter on it to cut strips because I really can't cut straight at all. I cut strips of about 1/2 inch.
Begin to stick the strip of paper to the adhesive on the circle, working it all around the edges.

When you reach the place where you began the strip of paper, just rip off the excess paper from the strip. You may want to flip the circle over to the other side to see what it looks like before you rip the strip off.

Now just flatten the circle out a bit and you've got the base of the flatter strip flower. You will add layers on to this with more lunch bag strips. You can either apply more glue to the center of the circle and add the strip there, or punch out another smaller circle and do the same thing over again and then attach that to the center of the first flat strip flower you made. It is kind of addicting to make these. They are lovely in tissue paper too!

Now we've got the embellishments for the banner, so back to the banner itself. As I mentioned, I cut the pennants out of book pages and lunch bags. Here they are:
I assembled them with the paper bag on the bottom, book page on the top, glitter on the edges of both. I stamped the letters "r","e","a" and "d" on scallop circles in a neutral color ink. Then I took a white gel pen and highlighted the letters a bit. I attached the letter scallop circles each onto a strip flower and then put those on the banner.
The rosettes in between each letter are the paper flowers that I showed you at the beginning of this now very long post. To attach them to the top of the banner I used mini clothes pins which I put a stripe of sticky strip, also known as "red line tape", on the clothespin and then pressed the flower onto the adhesive. These clips will be removable from the banner so that when I'm done with the banner I can use the clips as a pretty pin on a gift bag or even on the lapel of a blouse.
If you didn't see the post from yesterday go check it out because it has a nice picture of the banner en situ.
I have a feeling that I've only just begun to play with these flowers. I'd love to see what you come up with! Have a happy day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Here is the banner I made with paper bags, lunch bag variety, and old book pages. I'll give you all the details on how to make it tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Even more projects!!

This little book, "Our Family's Favorite Fortunes" was inspired by Lisa Spangler from Hero Arts. You can find the instructions for Japanese Book Binding at Just go there and type in Lisa Spangler in the search and you'll find how-to videos that she has done. Look for the one called "Lucky Fortunes and Japanese Book Binding" and you'll know how to do what I did. The fortune cookies were also inspired by Lisa. Just punch a big-ish circle, fold in half so that the back side of the "cookie" will be taller than the front side. Ink the edges with some color of brown so that the cookie looks baked. Crinkle fold the middle of the cookie to give it that fortune cookie look, ink the middle ridges of the cookie, glue on the book. If you right click on any of these pictures, you'll get an up-close image so you can inspect the cookies!
For my book, I used scraps of paper that I had left over from a project that I did long ago. Fortunately for me, I saved the scraps because I just loved the papers. I have no idea who the papers are from.
I used only one stamp, and even that I just used part of. The stamp was an invitation stamp. I just inked the bits I wanted, "place:" and "date:".
The measurements of the book are: 5inches X 4inches. I used the "ticket punch" from Su for the right handed corners of the pages, the corner rounder on the left handed sides.
I went ahead and made all the pages of the book so that I can put the fortunes in the book as we get them. I wonder how long it will take to fill up the book!? If you are wondering, I made the strips where I'll put the fortunes to measure at 1inch by 2.5inches.

Products of my creative juices

I have to confess that I CASE'd this idea from Kristina Werner. She has a video that will show you how to make a similar card if you want to learn how. Her site is I'm only telling you her site because I know you love me and won't completely abandon me for her. I used the retired "Gratuitous Graffiti" background stamp, a white gel pen, scallop circle punch and white gel pen.
I created this card because I have a load of summer sun, only orange and pink passion that are now retired and need to be used up. Fox and Friends is the stamp set that I used, along with various circle punches. The pink passion circles are the faux suede technique. If you want instructions on how to do that let me know.
Ok, this one is sooo cute! Don't you think? I love owls, they are so hot now. I didn't really love them until they became hot. Although, I did have a favorite stuffed owl when I was a small child, named Xy, after Mister Roger's puppet character of the same name. This card doesn't have any stamping on it! And, it has a hint of my secret new found passion--using old books for interesting background papers. The cute owls are from the new punch Two Step Owl Extra Large. I just punched out a bunch of the little guys with different designer papers, and there ya many fun combos! The tree branch is hand cut from Soft Suede textured paper. The background is a book page that I ran through the Big Shot with the Top Note die. Stay tuned for more with old book pages....
This one is using the new stamp set, Artistic Etchings from SU, the words are from Sincere Salutations. Enjoy these and stay tuned for more even better stuff!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vine and Branches

In Napa we took our "old neighbors" to the vineyard of Robert Mondavi. If you are ever in Napa, go there for a good tour. We started out in the vineyards looking and learning a little bit about the grapes and then went in to the grape press, the fermentation room, and then the bottling area. It was fascinating.

I really enjoyed looking up close and out in the distance at the vines growing. If you look closely at the second picture, you can see tiny clusters of very small baby grapes. Look again at that first picture though. What do you see?

How cool is that green tendril wrapped tightly around the guide wire!? It is a good picture of how the vine is always seeking something to wrap on to. What ever is close, it grabs and hangs on. I was reminded of passages in John's gospel when Jesus talked about vines and branches and His relationship to all of that. Read what Jesus said about the vine and branches.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. . . . Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John's gospel, chapter 15:1-2, 4-5 New International Version

Looking at that tightly wound tendril I want to think of it like this: I am the little tendril, green and seeking out good support. Jesus is the guide wire. When I wrap myself around Him, He will steer me in the way to grow. As long as I'm hanging on to Him I will grow strong and productive. In order to "wrap myself around Him" I need to read His word everyday. To "grow strong and productive" I need to seek His guidance in all that I do, be obedient to His commands and trust Him for all things. All of that can only be done with the help of His word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

I pray that this week you will be strongly rooted in Christ!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trefethen Vineyard in Napa

Quite possibly this is my most favorite wildflower to date. I first met this flower when we lived in San Diego and would visit the Wild Animal Park in Escondido. The Wild Animal Park has a lot of botanical displays where I saw this flower for the first time. I couldn't remember the name of the flower, just called it the Giant Egg Yolk Poppy. So, today before posting my most recent pictures of this beauty, I had to see if I could find the name of the flower. I finally found the name! It is called the Matilija Poppy, apparently named after an Indian Chief from the Chumash Indians. Chumash Indians were a group of Southern California Indians. I'm so glad to finally know the name of this flower. I wonder if I could successfully grow a few in my yard? Wouldn't it be fun to try? This flower was living in the Trefethen Vineyard in Napa, California. We had a lovely day trip with our "old neighbors" from Missouri who came to visit us this last week.
More flowers and vineyard scenes will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Part Two of to be continued

Part of "blogging" for me is like therapy. Therapy is good, but it is usually done behind closed doors between two people who know and trust each other. At first my blog was kind of like that, just me and the computer. I didn't really think anyone read my blog, I wasn't in it for that; it just feels better somehow to get the words out. Therein lies the problem! Cyberspace is after all, very public. I knew that, but I think I might have been choosing to ignore that fact.

A couple friends have been bugging me for "part two" of my issue post. If you haven't read part one, you might want to go to my post called, "Texas Wildflowers" then come back and read this part. I'm just going to jump right in with part two......

I believe that all people are created in God's image, men and women. I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to all those who have chosen to have Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I believe that the first gift, the Holy Spirit Himself, is given the moment somebody chooses to truly associate with Jesus and make Him ruler of his or her life. I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are given by the Holy Spirit to believers for the purpose of building the body of Christ. I believe that those gifts are given in the same amount to both men and women.

Here is my line of reasoning for my beliefs:

1. Ephesians 4:4-7 "There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when your were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; and one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."
I see no distinction here between men and women getting different treatment. It says that we all have the same hope, the same God; even the same grace given to each of us who were called by Him to be His.

2. Ephesians 4 goes on to say, "It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure the fullness of Christ." (verses 11-13)

Again, I don't see a distinction here between men and women. The point is the gifts of the Spirit are to be used to build the body of Christ to unity in Him.

3. Galatians 3:26-28 "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Ephesians and Galatians are both letters written by Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to churches to whom he was a missionary after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The letters were written to encourage, teach, and even correct these early believers. They are the words of Paul inspired by God.

I believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. That means that I don't believe there are any mistakes in the Bible and that everything in it is there because God Himself wanted it to be there. I believe that in order to understand any of the Bible, one must be blessed with the indwelling Holy Spirit. I don't believe there are any contradictions in the Bible, the Bible interprets the Bible. The New Testament only makes sense in light of the Old Testament, you can't have one without the other.

Now we come to the sticky point of something that Paul said. This is where I have met with disagreement with some dear friends. Listen to what Paul says in 1Timothy2:11-15 "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."

My dear friends believe that because of this verse women should not teach Bible studies or even give their opinion of scripture to men. They believe that church offices should not be held by women. And yet, to believe this--in my opinion--is to misunderstand the apostle Paul. There are many times in his letters where he encourages men and women to be equal. Did he not say that in Christ there is neither male nor female? The thing about Paul is this, when he was writing his letters to the early church, women were only considered property. They were not thought of as much more than clean laundry and food on the table. They certainly were not thought of as thinking beings.

Yet Christ taught true freedom. Christ gave Himself to any who would accept Him. Christ routinely associated with women; even women of ill repute whom the rabbis of the day would have spit upon. Rabbis prayed frequently, "Praise God that you did not make me a woman." Christ showed love. Christ did not say, because you are a woman you must only serve me. No! He dearly loved both Mary and Martha. In fact when Martha asked Jesus to chastise Mary because she was more interested in learning from Jesus than serving Him, Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42) Christ never said that the Holy Spirit would only be given to men.

Paul was writing in a time when women were nothing. He was helping to usher in world changing Christianity. He was well aware that the Christian views on equality among all people were earth shattering. He was writing to warn the early church that they were being watched and should be very careful with their new freedoms. The time period during which the early church was birthed was not ready for women to be given the same freedoms as men.

My very favorite Bible scholar and commentator, William Barclay, says this about 2Timothy:2:8-15 "..this passage deals with the place of women in the Church. This is a passage which cannot be read out of its historical context. It springs entirely from the situation in which it was written. It is written against a double background. 1. It is written against a Jewish background....It was absolutely forbidden for a woman to teach in a school; she might not even teach the youngest children....2. It is written against a Greek background. The place of women in Greek religion was low." Barclay goes on to say, "In Christ the differences of place and honour and prestige and function within the Church were all wiped out."

Perhaps the real issue for me is this: I feel that God has gifted me with the gift of teaching. I do not believe that He gave me this gift only to be used among women. I don't think God has given me a gift but then put conditions upon that gift. As long as my gift of teaching is being used to build the body of Christ, I'm using it correctly.

When someone tells me that they believe differently than I do on this issue I feel as though I have been told that my gift is counterfeit. How is it possible for my well meaning friends to understand what is between me and God? It is as though my friends have looked at my God given gift and told me that the gift I received is really junk.

My therapy session is over now. Thanks for your time! There has been so much written on this subject, I'm sure I have not covered everything. This is just my quick response to my well-meaning friends.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blue Star Moms

I love that top one, "My Sons, My Heroes"! Did you notice how many were in the picture? Three! Thank you to all of the service men and women who work so hard every day to protect our country. My daughter and I pray every night for your safety, protection, and the well being of your family. You have our thanks as well as our prayers. God bless you!

Danville Fourth Of July Parade Pictures

Click on "older posts" at the bottom of this post to turn the page for more pictures.

Fourth of July Festivities

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Texas Wildflowers

These are the last of my Texas Wildflower pictures. Today I'm hoping for some good pictures from the Danville Fourth of July Parade.

I left my last post with some pondering. I have pondered and prayed as I have read God's word in the Bible. Now I feel I can share what I've learned. These things I have learned are not things I've learned over night, or even over a few days. Since living in Virginia, which was about 10 years ago now, I have been living each day in faith, carefully listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance as I have read and applied God's word to my life. I do not think the issue I have struggled with is only my struggle. I do know that the answer I have learned is the answer that God has given me.

If you disagree with me, we can agree to disagree. I am comfortable doing that with issues that are matters of tradition in the Church. I have struggled with this issue because for me, it is a scritpural issue. Some have called this issue, "non-essential to salvation". While I agree that what I feel about this issue will not make one bit of difference to my salvation; bottom line is that in scripture this issue is a visible issue, God and Jesus both had a lot to say about it. If Jesus cared about this issue, it is essential.

The issue is the position of women in God's kingdom and Church.
I believe with all my heart that God gifted women specifically for His body. The gifts that God has given to all people are to be used to build His body, the church, until His return.

My line of reasoning looks like this:

1. Genesis 1:27 God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male AND female he created them.

Just as Adam was created in the image of God, bearing His qualities, His character, so God also created Eve. There is no subordination here.

2. Genesis 2:20b-22 But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with the flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Even as Adam was created first, completely with God's image; woman was created for Adam from that which was already established as God's image. She was created for Adam because he found no completion of himself, no suitable helper, in all of the animal kingdom. In Genesis 2:18-25 God said that it was not ideal for man to be alone, so he wanted to make a helper for him. Before doing so, God brings all the created things to Adam for his inspection and naming of them. As Adam was looking over all the animals, studying them, naming them, I'm positive he noticed that none were like him. God knew this too, so he created woman.

Of course points 1 and 2 occur before the fall, or before Adam and Eve disobey God so completely that they are banished from His kingdom forever. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve the perfect union between God and the first couple was ruined. Because Adam and Eve both chose disobedience rather than an intimate relationship with God, they were given exactly what they wanted. Some have said that because Eve caused the sin, women are discredited in God's eyes. I believe that is only looking at half of the issue. Genesis 2:16-17 God gives the command, which is ultimately broken, to Adam before Eve even exists. If Adam, as a man, was so superior to Eve, why did he let her get away with even a conversation with the serpent? If Adam, as the head of woman, was her leader and guide, why did he not instruct her in the error of her ways when she first desired the fruit of the forbidden tree? If Eve were truly the "bigger sinner" why were all three parties involved in the fall punished? The serpent was cursed, the woman was given increased pain in childbirth, and the man was commanded to a lifetime of sweat and toil.
According to Genesis 3:15 because sin entered the world through both Adam and Eve, we have all been living in an upside down world where the Creator of all things, the giver of life, and the serpent will be continually at battle.

This is the world we live in, male and female. We have chosen to make ourselves gods instead of following the one true God.
In the Old Testament we read again and again of the struggle of man who chooses his own way rather than God's way and the consequences of that choice. Even as the children of Israel were rescued from the land of Egypt by God because He loved them and heard their cries; they would ultimately turn away from Him again to their own false gods.

Today we are still struggling with fallen nature. We do not desire the things of God. We live with false government, false relationships, false sense of "good". All this is because we have chosen our own way.

Praise God that in His great love for His children, He has had a plan all along! Because of God's son, Jesus, humanity can again be restored to its correct place. But, this restoration can only be given through the shed blood of Jesus.

Tomorrow I'll share the rest of my reasoning.

Enjoy the 4th of July!