Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Capturing Everyday Miracles

Hi Everyone... It is Nicole... I am back from a week in Italy... it was a great vacation.
We went to Rome and an island called Ischia.  It was a great time to spend with my family and my best friend's family.  Rome was interesting but a bit hard for me.  It was really hot and I didnt jive so well with the culture... but it was unreal to be able to see the ancient ruins.... Ischia on the other hand was just super all around... it was beautiful and just so much fun.  Today I want to share some pictures from Rome.  When I first saw the Colosseum  I was in awe but immediately struck with sadness.  It is an amazing structure and you can only imagine how more amazing it was in the days of the Romans.  Here we were excited to see this wonder when all of the sudden it hit me that here we are Christians excited to see this building but how many Christians set foot in the same place with dread knowing they were going to face death for their beliefs.  Not just death but a horrible brutal death as entertainment for the masses.   I couldnt help but cry.... We need to be thankful that we can worship openly, call ourselves Christians, and love our Lord without fearing being fed to lions.  I thank God for those people and there faith.... In the Colosseum they have a memorial set up to honor those Christians that died at the hands of the Romans.  It is a beautiful reminder of our freedom...








If you were wondering like I was I thought they fought on a flat surface what is all that at the bottom that kinda looks like a maze... that maze like area was actually covered by the wooden floor... this area below the wooden floor was used to cage the animals, storage and of course to keep the gladiators and prisoners.

Now it is your turn to share some of your everyday miracles that you caught with your camera... just link them below with inlinkz....
Have a wonderful day!
Nicole



Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspiration Post

Hi there. Leigh here, popping in to post a little inspiration.

Last month, at our town library's book sale, I found some 2010 issues of Martha Stewart Living for $0.25 each. One of the covers really caught my eye and I thought it would be a perfect inspiration piece:



And here's the layout I made using it:



I love the way the paint colour samples above the couch graduated from green to yellow to orange to red. However, for my topic (forgiveness) I loved the idea of the colours graduating the other way (from red to green), because for me, it represents the anger and hurt (red) turning into peace (green).

Because the colours on the layout were taking centre stage, I decided to create a "card" with my photo on the front and the journaling on the inside. The little clip on the side with the ribbon keeps it closed.



But when you take off the clip, you can read the journaling.



Here's my journaling:

"In May 2011, our Sunday school curriculum’s virtue was forgiveness & I knew that God was going to be speaking to me through these lessons big time. The theme was buckets and how when we don’t forgive, it weighs us down like rock in a bucket.
I wasn’t looking forward to presenting this lesson. You see, I have this person in my life to whom I’m very close, but his person is very critical & negative towards me & often hurts my feelings every day. I’ve struggled with forgiving this person because when I’m pointed out my hurt feelings from his actions, nothing ever changes.
That Sunday morning, in church before R.O.X., we had communion. And while praying before taking the cup, I asked God to help me forgive this person free & clear. I didn’t want to be bitter & upset all the time anymore. I needed to forgive.
Well, the bucket analogy was so perfect because after praying, I felt so light, like a huge burden had been lifted off of me! I was able to share my experience downstairs in R.O.X. testifying how wonderful forgiving someone can make you feel.
It’s been several weeks since then & I’ve felt so much more joy & peace. My attitude towards this person has changed, too. I feel more love & concern for him now, as well as a desire to connect with him. And, as a bonus, I’ve also noticed a change in his attitude towards me lately. He’s been less critical & more loving and we’ve been getting along a lot better.
Isn’t it cool how God works?"

If you decided to use this magazine cover as inspiration for a card or layout, please post a link to your project in the comments section-- I'd love to see what you come up with!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More inspiration for you!

Hello everyone!  This is Jeannine and I’d like to start out by thanking those of you who have participated in our challenges so far.  I hope by doing these challenges that you're starting to see God's hand in your life in the little things more than you've ever noticed before.  It's not that He wasn't there before, but maybe you just weren't looking for Him so you missed seeing what He was doing!  That's our hope for all of you.... that you'll begin seeing Him in your everday lives, if you haven't noticed Him before.  Once you start seeing Him in your life, you'll never be the same again!  

I'd like to share with you a few more projects where we’ve used products from our wonderful sponsor  RING-O Crafts I'm telling you, these products are too cute not to use!  So many things you can do with them.  
Elizabeth made these two beautiful cards.  I love all the detail she puts into her cards.


Leigh made these two super cute cards.  Who wouldn't be excited to receive these?!


I'm a bunny lover so it was only logical for me to use this adorable ribbon bunny to make this card...


Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Praise Post

Hello, it's Lisa here for our Friday praise post. First, some background. My youngest son Jon is almost 5 and has Sensory Processing Disorder as well as Osteogenesis Imperfecta and has delays in speech and gross and fine motor control. He needs lots of help and constant supervision and gets pretty frustrated about things which he takes out on us (me getting the brunt of it). We've been going through a particularly tough time the last few months (at least it sure feels that way) and he hasn't really been cooperating with me in the therapy/fun activities we do to help him. Well the praise part is that on Wednesday we had one of the best days we've had in months. He was in a pretty good mood all day, I was minimally pinched and scratched and he sat with me out on the sidewalk and drew with chalk. We played a listening game and he was finally getting the hang of getting into a standing position without pulling up on something. He even took a good nap too, lol. Seeing it written here it doesn't look like much, but I'll take what I can get. I'm thankful for his baby steps in gaining skills and an easier day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My "not-so-everyday" Miracles!

Good morning, Ladies . . . Roulien here with today's Capturing Everday Miracles!

First I would like to share a few picture/layouts that our readers shared with us about the little blessings in their lives this week!

Leila shared this beautiful layout with us! Seeing this sight and being there gives her a moment of peace and a chance to reflect on life.

















What a beautiful picture!! It really does portrait a feeling of peace and calm that reaches one's soul!!


Carla also shared a stunning layout about a favorite place she likes to visit! Here is Carla's wonderful layout and what she has to say about it!





















"This is Aclimação Park! It's a sweet place, full of birds and a pleasant environment! It's a good place to go to calm down, and see the power of God, the creator of everything!"

Thank you Ladies for sharing your special places with us!!!


Now for the little miracles I've captured throught my camera lens this week . . . and I'm sooooo excited to share them with you! My hubby and I was very fortunate to go on a "run-away" vacation last week. By "run-away" I mean, just the 2 of us, no children . . . and it was pure bliss!! We went to one of the little Islands that make up the Maldives. The Maldives consist of about 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. And it's GORGEOUS!!!

The first look of the Maldives we had was from the airplane window.

















Isn't it a stunning view?? Seeing these coral islands for miles and miles across the ocean has really made me feel small and humble!


On the island you'll find the most beautiful flowers in gorgeous colours against the green backdrop of all the plants. It reminded me that God not only provided us with a planet were we could live on, but He made it beautiful for us to enjoy!









Whether we were on land or in the water there were little, and not so little, creatures everywhere! We've seen beautiful birds, and the cutest little hermit crabs, the stingrays took my breath away and the black tip reef sharks filled me with wonder!! Especially seeing the black tip reef shark surrounded by fishes reminded me that God is taking care of all His creation . . . even us humans. We do not need to worry, we just need to put Him in control of our lives!!








One evening the 2 of us walked to the end of the island to see the sunset . . . I really have no words to describe the beauty of it!! As I was looking over the water to were the sun was going down, I thought of how God is there for us everyday. His love for us doesn't change, it's there everyday of our lives . . . we just need to embrace it!!

















It really just showed me that God's little blessings can be found everywhere I go. Whether it's in the dusty desert where I live or on a tropical island. . . We are surrounded by His grace!

I would love for you to share you pictures with us! Show us in what unexpected place did you find a blessing! Please use the Inlinkz button to submit your photo before 11:59 pm Pacific Time on Tuesday June 28. I can't wait to see whats happening in your life right now!!!!






Monday, June 20, 2011

Challenge #2-Blessings


Hello everyone, Elizabeth here!

Welcome!!!!

Its our second challenge and we're going to be looking into the everyday blessings in our lives.
What are they? Who are they? Share with us what blessings are happening in your life in the right here and now. Look at your life and find the everyday blessings. This way we can see and your loved one's can remember where you were at the time you were and see those blessings too! 

Scrapping twist: 
For this challenge I'd like you to use this quote:
How blessings brighten as they take their flight! - Young
and I would also like to see a banner of some sort used on your project. 
Here is what the DT created:

Elizabeth
created a layout about the lilac bush that her mother bought her in 2006.

 You can see the thoughts/blessings behind Elizabeth's layout here.

Kline
Created an album showing the blessing of her family



Leigh
created a layout showcasing the numerous things in her life that are blessings.


Roulien
Having a place to call home where we as a family can live, love, laugh and grow together are truly a blessing!


Nicole
Nicole's daughter is her very best blessing ever....
 

 Jeannine
Jeannine's pages share how the SEM Design Team has impacted her life in the brief time she's known them.


Lisa
Lisa is blessed by having a close-knit and local family. 


And our guest design team member Amanda.
Amanda is also blessed by her adorable little girl...

 


This month as well our sponsor is





 For every project you complete for challenge 2 you will be entered to win a $20.00 GC to Ringo Crafts. Please link your challenge #2 layout to this post by June 30th. Remember to stop by and check out all of their fun products! 

We will pick a winner from all the entries.  
The winners will be posted by the 5th of the following month.
Feel free to create as many projects for any challenge. Your projects can be anything such as layouts, altered items, cards, albums, etc. Let your creativity soar! If you do create cards as projects please keep in mind we'd like you to create 2 cards per entry. 

As well as winning sponsor prize, you could possibly be our Guest Designer for August. All you need to complete challenge #1 & #2 and have linked it up on the blog by the end of the month.  The DT will pick their top 3 layouts and then vote for a final winner. That winner will be our August Guest Designer!

Can't wait to see what God is doing in your lives!
Elizabeth












Friday, June 17, 2011

Just wanna say....

Hi everyone!  It is Nicole and I am just dropping by to say thank you and share a couple more projects where we have used products from our wonderful sponsor Crafty Paper Girl...

First of all I have to say thank you to those that have already completed Challenge #1... your layouts are wonderful... you have until the end of the month to link up an entry.

Also it is wonderful that we have had some of you link up pictures of your everyday miracles.... Just as a reminder Every Wednesday the DT will be sharing pictures of  their everyday miracles... you can link up pictures of your own and share along with us...

Finally we have had some wonderful Praise Posts... these are my favorite and so wonderful to hear what God is doing in our lives~!

I want to share with you again the wonderful sponsor we have for Challenge #1.... Crafty Paper Girl....  Amanda has generously donated a $15 gift certificate for the winner!!!!  Please check out her store... I promise you wont be disappointed...

Here are a couple of projects we created with products from the store....

Leigh made a really wonderful card...

I used the owl to decorate a shirt for my daughter... I had a ton of fun making the yoyo flowers.... I really love it and so did Karianne

Friday Praise Post

Hi there. Leigh here, popping in to post something praiseworthy.

When I saw June 17th as my scheduled praise post, the first thing I thought of was "summer!" You see, I work as a substitute teacher at our local high school and our school year is wrapping up soon. And I LOVE summer! It is by far my favourite season and I love having it off to enjoy with my kids!

However, as obvious as "summer" seemed to me, my next thoughts were to reflect on the past year. It's my second year back at work after staying at home with my kids for years when they were babies/preschoolers and it was a good year-- something for which I'm very thankful.

So, I created this layout, using a photo I staged one day at lunch hour at school (I was too chicken to take the photo when the students were in the room! Ha!)


And here is my journaling:

"It’s been a good year.

This was my second year back substitute teaching for the school division after being home with the kids for many years. The difference this year, however, was that I chose to sub exclusively at the high school.

But it was good.

I had quite a few days and lots of them were pretty pleasant. I had few problems/bad days and only had to break up one fight.

It was good to get to know the students & staff better and I hope that I was an encouragement to them.

Of course, even though it was a good year (& I plan on going back in September) that doesn’t mean that I’m not totally looking forward to having the summer off with my kids.

Just another perk of the job."
(June 2011)

So today, I'm thankful for two things.... for my good school year at work and that summer is just around the corner!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here on Earth

Hi! Kline here once again and today I have some photos to share.

First up is this photo from Jana:

Here's what Jana has to say about her dogs: "...right now, my everyday miracle is that two dogs provide me unconditional love and continue to ignore my moodiness." I remember we used to have a dog when I was younger and she always cuddled up to me on the couch. I miss her...

So on to my everyday miracle...I live in a tropical country in Asia. We only have dry and wet weather round here all year and I've always envied other people who lived in countries where the leaves would turn from reds to browns and where their Decembers are a "White Christmas". Recently, tourism has been big in the country and foreigners say its all 'coz of the warm weather.  So when you hear something like that from non-locals you start to think outside the box and see it through another person's eyes. And let's just say I liked what I saw:
Magnificent

Paradise

A Different World

Bella
God is this generous, He gives us a glimpse of heaven itself here on Earth :D These are photos from my vacations last year. I look at these a year after and they still take my breath away. No wonder tourism is booming! I've been too focused on the things I didn't have that I lost sight of the beauty God has laid down for me. Yes, we only have 2 seasons and all my wishing will never make my "White Christmas" come true but I have these -- peaceful sunsets, amazing beaches, crystal clear waters and a family to enjoy it with. I just feel so blessed!

Now it's your turn to look around you and see things in a new light. Don't forget to link up your photo or project by the 21st 11:59PM Pacific time. Leave us a comment too after linking up.  Have a great Wednesday!



Monday, June 13, 2011

Tutorial Time!!! Lace Flowers

Hi! Kline here and today I will be sharing with you a tutorial on making your own lace flowers. I love making lace flowers for 3 reasons:

  • They are so delicate and pretty.
  • I have tons of lace in my stash. LOL
  • Finally, they are soooo easy to make!

Materials:
  1. Lace. The wider your lace is, the fuller your flower will be. I usually use about 1/2" lace for my flowers so they won't be too bulky. Also, gathered ones work really well :) If you don't have them, you can gather your lace using your sewing machine or using a basic running stitch.
  2. Buttons. Vintage ones are perfect for centers. But you can use other types of buttons as well.
  3. Scrap cardstock or packaging. These will be used to back your flower.
  4. 1" circle punch (optional)
  5. Scissors
  6. Fabric glue, hot glue or glue gun

Ready? Let's begin:

Step#1:
Cut about 12" to 18" of lace.

Step#2:
Punch or cut a circle from your cardstock or packaging.

Step#3:
Glue on your lace around your circle working your way from the outside to the inside. If you're using hot glue or a glue gun, it's best to glue it as you go so you avoid getting burned {trust me on this one ;)} Be sure to leave some room for your flower center.

Step#4:
Cut up the excess lace and glue on your vintage button or any flower center. You can use cameos, pearls, beads, whatever and you're DONE! Easy right?

Here is a layout using these delicate flowers:
Walled City: Intramuros
Aside from lace, I think you can also try using ribbons or fabric. The possibilities are endless! I hope this has inspired you to create your own lace flowers. Try it! I bet you'll be amazed with what your God-given hands come up with. If you've created something with this tutorial, leave us a link via a comment so we can see what you were up to.