Monday, April 29, 2013

Sharing an Everyday Miracle

Good morning! My everyday miracle is simple. For me it is the weather and God's creation.

Lamentations 3:22-23

New International Version (NIV)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

It can be sunny or it can be raining and I am still amazed at how each day is different from one day to the next. There is beauty in every sunrise and sunset as well as all the in betweens! It is the fact that God is in every detail and aspect of our lives that keeps me in awe and wonder of our great and glorious Lord Almighty. Blessings to all!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So Cool I Have to Share..

Tracey G. here today. I am in the process of planning out an actual scraproom. It's just about the only upside to having my son grow up and move out. We plan to gut the room and design it however I want it. So that led me the land of Pintrest. You can lost for hours there but I found some cool, inexpensive storage ideas that I want to share!

I found this little beauty on ebay-I could so use this as my glue gun sits in a old tupperware container full of dried up glue of projects past.
Yes. I do need this.

How cool is this to store your magnetic dies,etc.

wafer thin die storage - magnetic sheets on closet doors

How many of us have one of these? 
Now that the VHS has gone the way of the 8 track-we can re-purpose
 this to hold our punches!
great idea - dvd storage shelf

For the handy person,here are directions to make an inexpensive, custom made desk:
                                            DO IT YOURSELF WHITE CRAFT DESK

I could go on and on so I will leave you with a collage of supercool ideas!

Have fun

Monday, April 22, 2013

Praise Post- Loaves and Fishes

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful, blessed weekend.  Today I am sharing how God spoke to me and calmed me when I was feeling stressed and nervous recently.

Two weekends ago (April 14th) we celebrated my youngest son's Baptism.  We started planning for the day about a month beforehand, and as we were planning, we decided to invite our friends as well as our family.  We have been blessed to be a part of a big group of friends.  There are 10 families (with a total of 22 children) and a few single people as well. We have celebrated weddings and births and have supported each other through miscarriages, serious illnesses and deaths of family members.  They are an important part of our lives and we wanted to celebrate this special day with them.

As the RSVPs started to roll in, I started to get nervous; most of them could come!  We knew that with just family, there would 21 people in our house.  Most years we would have had the possibility of being able to go outside, but this year it snowed for three days during the week leading up to the baptism.  The night we made it to 40 people coming to our house, I couldn't sleep.  I ended up writing in my journal about it and working through my worries on paper.  After writing/praying for about 15 minutes I had calmed down enough and realized that it would be okay.

Then two days before the Baptism, our total reached 50!  I panicked again and asked my husband for reassurance (he is MUCH more level headed than I am, God knew what he was doing when he brought us together!).  Then that evening as I was getting ready for bed, I thought to myself about what the Bible says about "parties" and "entertaining" large groups of people.  At that moment, I remembered that the gospel reading for that day was John 6:1-15, The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes!

1
1 2 After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (of Tiberias).
2
A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
3
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
4
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
5
3 When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
6
4 He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
7
Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages 5 worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit)."
8
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
9
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves 6 and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"
10
Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass 7 in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
11
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
12
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."
13
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets 8 with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
14
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, 9 the one who is to come into the world."
15
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone


To be honest, I wasn't too worried about having enough food, but I was worried about everyone being comfortable.  In this story, however, no one was complaining about having to sit on the ground, they were grateful for the food!  It was then that I decided to STOP WORRYING!

You know what?  It all worked out!  Nicholas's Baptism took place during the 9:00 Mass so we got to celebrate the actual sacrament with a few hundred people. As for the party at our house, because of some illnesses, we ended up "only" having 45 people at our house.  We had tons of food and everyone went away satisfied.  While it was pretty loud for a while with all of the kids, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it was wonderful to celebrate with ALL of those close to us!

Our Family

The row of car seats, there were 2 more in other parts of the house as well.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Technique/Tutorial

It's Tracey S. here to share a tutorial with you. Often I need an embellishment to go on my page and want something that will coordinate with the colors, photo, and other elements I have selected. One of my go to embellies is the butterfly. I have several ways of making them, and this one is quite easy to put together with items most of us have on hand. 

While Scripture doesn't really talk about butterflies, the principle of a transformed life is present throughout. When I think of a butterfly, I often reflect on the amazing transformation from homely caterpillar to gorgeous delicate butterfly. Our Savior has the power to transform us into something beautiful when we allow Him to guide and direct our lives. That is one of the reasons I enjoy using butterflies so much. 

Stickled Butterfly Tutorial

Supplies: 


Supply List:
~ Sizzix Big Shot or other die cut machine (Not pictured) or 
~ Scrap of paper 
~ Donna Salazar Wonderful Wings Spellbinder die. You could also use a different die, a punch or electronic cutting machine image.
~ Clear Rock Candy Stickles or other clear based glitter glue
~ 2 pieces of covered wire 
~ Self-adhesive pearls 
~ Selection of inks in the colors of your choice. For this butterfly, I used Ranger Distress Ink in Scattered Straw, Tea Dye, Rusty Hinge, and Vintage Photo. Not pictured - I also used black soot to color the green wire for the antennae
~ Adhesive - I used glossy accents (Not pictured)

Step 1. Cut butterfly from paper scrap. You could used a die, punch, or electronic cutting machine. 


Step 2. Color butterfly with inks. Start with the lightest color across the entire butterfly and then add the next darker color staying closer to the edge of the wings each time so you get a ombre effect from the body to the tip of the wings.

Scattered Straw

Plus Tea Dye

Plus Rusty Hinge

Plus Vintage Photo

Step 3. Squeeze Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles generously on the entire butterfly and spread out with your finger or a paintbrush. I like the glass glitter in the Distress Stickles; however, you could use any kind of clear based glitter glue.


Step 4. Allow to dry. I let mine sit overnight. You can use a heat tool with distress stickles since the glitter is glass; however, I find that the medium the glitter is suspended in tends to bubble when heated, and I prefer to air dry for this technique. Do NOT use a heat tool on regular Stickles or other glitter glues since most of them contain foil glitter that can catch on fire if heated. 


Step 5. Color the wire pieces with ink in the color of your choice. Curl the ends of the wire. I used round nosed pliers, but you could wrap the end of the wire around a toothpick. Glue the wires to the back of your butterfly. I use glossy accents as my adhesive. This wire was snipped off of some flowers I had used. I also have a couple spools of covered wire from the floral department that I keep around for antennae.


Step 6. Place self-adhesive pearls down the center of the body. They could vary in size as on this butterfly or be all the same size like my sample in the first photo.


Step 7. These butterflies are quite flexible and you can fold up the wings and gently curl them to add graceful dimension as seen in the close-up on my card.


You can change up these sweet sparkly butterflies to coordinate with your project by using different ink colors as well as altering the size or shape of your butterfly. The sky is the limit. 

Here is a photo of the butterfly on a birthday card I created for a friend. 

I hope you give these butterflies a try!! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

April Sketch Challenge-Something NEW!

Happy Monday---Cara here with April's Sketch Challenge! This month we're excited to be trying something new! We have TWO sketches...one LAYOUT SKETCH and one CARD SKETCH. Both sketches are from PageMapsYou may choose to do one or both sketches---you will get 1 entry in the PRIZE drawing for each sketch you complete!

The SCRAP TWIST that needs to be included on your project is to use a bit of  Washi Tape!


LAYOUT SKETCH

Here's my Layout:

CARD SKETCH

Here's my Card:

Here's our Guest Designer, Joan's take on the Layout Sketch:

And here are the rest of the Design Team's Projects!!
(don't forget to hover your mouse over the photo to see what each gal has to say about the project) 

Toni











There's also time to get another chance to win... by completing this month's MAIN CHALLENGE #27. 

The winner will be chosen by Random.com and is eligible for our great monthly prize from Finding Nana...$40 worth of FLAIR BUTTONS!!


Plus Leena is offering SEM Readers a discount code all month long...  You can save 20% off the total purchase of any products in her shop, valid from now until April 30th. The code is SEM20You just need to enter this during check out. This discount does not apply to the shipping fee. She ships from Singapore to all over the world. 


All Sketch entries must be linked HERE by April 30th, 11:59pm PST.

**You may submit the project you create for Scrapping Everyday Miracles  to other challenge blogs but your project must be mainly created for the Scrapping Everyday Miracles challenge in order to win the sponsor prize and/or be one of the Top 3**

*Important: Make sure your link is to the blog post with your project & not just your blog in general...and be sure to remember the SCRAP TWIST!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hope In Almighty God


For about 11 weeks now, I've been joining a group called HelloMornings and I've been learning about the Abounding Hope we have in our Almighty God, through faith in Christ Jesus.

I thought I knew about the hope I had in Christ as I came to trust in Him 11 years ago. But I found out that there's more God that has in store for all those who love Him.

Joseph is one of the examples of the people who was close to God's heart and put his trust only in God with all his heart, mind and strength. Most of us know the verse Romans 8:28 (see below) and may even have memorized it. As I studied it during these last few weeks, I now can see what it really means through the story of Joseph. God always has ways to teach us when we come to seek Him, open our hearts for His teaching, and listen to His voice. He promises us that Holy Spirit will teach us the truth and give us wisdom when we ask for it with all our heart, and do not doubt. 

That's my prayer for all of us today as we learn from God's word (from Genesis 37, 39 through 50). I know that's a long reading but I'd like us all to see the whole picture of God's ultimate plan for the whole nation (Genesis 50:20) and why what is said in Romans 8:28 is true for all of us today. 
In their jealousy and anger, Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit, at first meaning to let him die there, but then pulled him up and sold him to an Egyptian slave trader. They meant to get rid of him and wished that he would die so that what he said about his dream would not happen. They meant to cause him harm. But what they didn't know is that God had planned it all along and used them to make His plan successful at the end. It was also a test for Joseph's faithfulness to God and his brothers' hearts before Him at the end.

After about 20 years, they reunited again but things had changed. They didn't recognize him as they thought he had died long ago. The reunion led Joseph's brothers to repentance, and they experienced God's grace and mercy through Joseph. After all the harm they had planned for him, he forgave them, and didn't even have any "pay-back" plan, which they feared especially after their father's death (Genesis 50:15-17).

What we can learn from Joseph:
Joseph knew the God he worshiped and trusted.
Joseph had hope in God Almighty.
Joseph never lost faith in the midst of tribulation/hard situations/tests/persecution.
Joseph lived in obedience to God and His plan only.

What we can learn from Joseph's brothers:
They were also part of God's big plan to rescue His people.
They lived in fear and condemnation of what they did for as long as they didn't confess their sins.
They confessed their sins.
They sought forgiveness from Joseph.
They received mercy and grace from God.
They were forgiven, lived free of condemnation at the end, and were blessed.

What we can learn about God:
He has a bigger, better plan than we ever know for each of us.
He is merciful and gracious to all people.
He means all things for good, while men can mean it for harm.
He is faithful and never fails us.
He provides what we need spiritually and physically.
He keeps us alive as we are today.
He saves us in order to save many people.

For 21 years I thought that my life was the worst of all, that my life was so hard and difficult, that my family would not be the one I wanted it to be. Then Jesus showed me His unconditional love and mercy, and I came to know that my life was changed forever in Christ. From the first day Jesus found me, he gave me a new heart and new hope in Him alone. Since then I have learned to lean on Him, to have hope in Him and to trust only in Him. What had happened in my past God actually turned into good and used it all to bring glory to His name alone. Before I had no idea what it was all about, but when the time came, He revealed to me what it is all about. God has worked things out in my life and made them all for good purposes. He has planned my life perfectly, more that I can imagine. It's a choice for me to follow His plan or my plan...but I choose to follow His.

I have learned that God's salvation plan is not only for one person, but is a global salvation. We are saved so that He can use us to bring His salvation to the people of the whole world. He can do it by Himself, but He wants us to be part of His big salvation plan so that the world will know him through us. That is the main reason why we do what we do and why we say, "Yes Lord, here we are... now send us to go to those people so they may come to know you and worship your Holy Name."

God has a plan for you, even in the midst of your current situations. God's plan in your life is bigger that you ever thought. He will work things out in your life for good purposes. He will work through your lives so that the world will come to know who He is.

I pray that you will find Him when you seek Him, that He will reveal to you His plan and give you wisdom to understand. I pray that God, who is working in your life, will give you the desire and power to do what pleases His heart (Philippians 2:13).

May you all have abounding hope in the Almighty God today!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Guest Designer Inspiration Post- Joan Young


Hello from Australia!
I am deeply honoured to be a Guest DT member for this wonderful blog and I shall go so far as to say Ministry.
How wonderful it is that we can come together with craft/art as our common purpose and celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ all at the same time! It shows that He never lets anything go to wast and uses all to His good purpose.

For this month's challenge, I chose to make a layout of my kitty Monet and his sister Dora. She was named so because this little one had to explore everything and everywhere. Dora is no longer with us, but we still have the company of Monet who is now 8. He is my Fluffy Baby and indeed a very dear friend. He knows just what to do to comfort or cheer me up when I am sad. He seems to know when I am rather ill too and he stands guard and becomes my shadow. All rather sweet really. Sure is a shame I am allergic to him!!! lol


My layout here shows Dora in the top corner and Monet in the bottom right. I remember that day, watching the two kittens playing in the long grass. It was upon finding a whole 4 photos of these two family members that I realised the importance of recording and keeping photos or snaps of our daily lives. I usually pass on an opportunity to capture a moment because I know the picture will look like a 5 second snap shot. But you know, I will change my ways. How many fond memories have I missed out on by passing up the opportunity? Not only that, how many opportunities have been lost now to share that special something that God did that day or in those circumstances?

As you can tell by the way I speak of him, my Monet is my darling and my friend. Now he is immortalised! lol 
I found a quote by Fyodor Dostoyevsky that made me smile and think of Monet. 

Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. 

This quote made me think of how untroubled animals seem to be, especially my Monet. He finds joy in the littlest of things and contains great wisdom in that he frets about nothing. And so I aimed to capture this notion of untroubled thought and joy in my layout. When was the last time we just let go of our inhibitions and rolled around in the grass and took time to look at Creation around us and take pleasure in what surrounds us daily but we rarely truly see? Wouldn't it be wonderful to be like a kitten and live a life full of excitement, exploration and joy? We can you know. Thing is, we let this problem called 'worry' get in the way and our focus is then turned from what God would have us be most concerned about.

How often do we fret about where our next meal will come from; what will happen if the income earner looses their job; where the money will come from for the big bills and will it get here in time? The Lord says that we are not to worry about such things, for the flowers of the fields are dressed more finely than Solomon ever was and even the sparrows of the air have an abundance of food without toiling. Instead we are to fret for nothing and cast all of our cares upon Him.

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 
Matthew 6:31-34

This abundance of worry is something I personally struggle with; sometimes more in certain situations than others. The 'what if' and the 'I know, but' can plague me something fierce. What I do know without a doubt is that our Heavenly Fathers loves me, us, more than we can possibly imagine and there has never been a moment where He has let us down. Nor does He intend to. The thing is, God is always providing for us, giving us those little treats, caring for us in the best possible way. It is usually not, however, until we are in (perceived) dire straights that we see His handy work in our lives and we thus proclaim His faithfulness. Indeed isn't each breath we take a miracle and gift from God in itself?

Again thank you for allowing this opportunity to share with you.
Blessings
Joan

The materials I used for this layout include Distress Inks (Peeled Paint, Spiced Marmalade & Vintage Photo). The bird and butterfly rub-on, patterned acetate, blossoms, stencil and bling are from KaiserCraft. A lot of these are old pieces from my stash, somethings close to 7 years old - like the Basic Grey rub-ons! The large leaves are by Prima with the smaller ones being die cut from a Tim Holtz die.
A little tip for you! The chipboard Mushroom was coloured with Copic Markers and then sealed with Dimensional Magic! An experiment that went right! Whatdoyaknow! l
ol




Sunday, April 7, 2013

Guest Designer April

Hello everyone!
I am really excited to announce our Guest Designer for April... Joan Young
Here she is and a little bit about here...

My name is Joan Young and I am a Christian/Australian wife and mother. I have been married to my White Knight, John, 14 years this year. We have two adorable sons, Elijah and Caleb.

My crafting is a release for me - a way to express myself, my deepest feelings and thoughts. I find art/craft to be extremely therapeutic and I often require Christian music to be playing whilst I create. I 'talk' to God quite often as I create a project. I will sit and ask (sometimes out loud! lol) "Ok Lord, what colour should I use here?" or "Lord I am a bit stuck here, what do You recommend I do?" And you know, before I have finished asking there is often a clear idea in my head; usually something way of left field!

I love to have a play and experiment. I say to people who ask, that I don't really have a clue as to what I am doing. My hands just seem to do all of the work. Many don't believe my but it is true. I just play and have fun. The second that it is not enjoyable or an idea isn't coming together I stop, whether it be for 5 minutes or a day. More often than not I was going in the wrong direction, or I am simply tired. 

Distress Inks are my favourite product and dies are my favourite tools, along with my hand held distress tool. I have recently given in and finally tried Texture Paste. Oh my goodness! I think everything I make will not only be covered in ink from now out, but quite possibly texture paste too!

I also don't usually have photographs in my layout or creations. I love to illustrate scripture on canvases or pages and hang them on the wall. I find a deep intimacy of expression when I create a layout around a Psalm for example. It feels like I am sharing something deep of my heart.

Check out Joan's blog  ebonygracedesigns.blogspot.com.au


Make sure you stop by again tomorrow to see Joan's Guesti Designer Inspiration post....

Saturday, April 6, 2013

March Challenge and Blog Hop Winners!!!!


We have so many winners to announce today it's like a winner-palooza! We feel so blessed every month by your entries. We love to admire your creations and hear your stories and are so grateful that you share them with us. We would love for you to join us at our SEM Facebook ChitChat Group where we visit, play games and share in fellowship. 

While we loved your entries on March's theme of giving,we did not receive enough this month to take a vote. So here are the beautiful entries:





easelcard_anniversary_prev2


Beautiful entries,ladies!

This month's sponsor is ScrapChicKits and here is what the owner Sue has to say about it: 
I got started into scrapbooking from Bernadine Segui who is an American fluent in French who has a website in French and does amazing design work. Here is her link  for any of you who speak French. I wanted to bring some of her products together into kits for the English speaking and that's how Scrapchickits got started.   I love family history and scrapbooking can make our history so bright and creative. My store features quality products from Websters, Crate Paper, Pink Paisley and more  at a very reasonable price.  My shop is on Etsy so it is really easy to find and to order. ScrapChicKits. Happy Scrapbooking!"

And now for the prize that Sue has so generously donated:

Dolls, Butterflies and Flower Scrapbooking kit 8


This kit is especially designed for your little girl who loves dolls, dress up and flowers. It is luscious pink and turquoise. Look what you get inside: 3 Crate Paper Cottage Collection papers, 1 Crate Paper Paper Doll Collection paper, 4 Crate Paper Pink Plum Collection papers, Crate Paper Chipboard Paper Doll Accents, Crate Paper Paper Doll Glazed Brads, 18 inches turquoise ribbon, My Minds Eye Alphabet.

The winner of this awesome prize package is:



Next up are the individual winners from our Blog Hops:

Toni's winner is Joan Young
Nicole's  winner is Mandi
Jessica's winner is Carla
Tracey Gregory's winner is Roberta
Cara's winner is Karen Letchworth
Tracey Sabella's winner is Buffy Esser
Kelly's winner is Patricia
Christy's winner is sooofullofcraft
Lisa's winner is Cheri

Our DT will also announce their winners on their blog. Thanks so much for hopping with us on that busy Easter Weekend! We hope you had fun!

Our Blog Hop prize is sponsored by...

Genuinely Jane Studios (GJS) manufactures small and medium sized mini-albums for scrapbooking, mixed media and altered arts in a variety of shapes and sizes. 100% American-made, our facility is located in rural, north-central Missouri and uses only the highest quality materials.  

Owned by a military veteran, and accomplished woodworker,  Mark Carosiello and a lifelong crafter, industry manufacturer’s rep, design team member,  passionate scrapbooker and altered artist, Susan Wojtkowski, we understand the craft and the crafter.

Twitter: @GJaneStudios

Our Facebook Challenge Winner is :

Buffy Esser

And last but certainly not least
 our Blog Hop Grand Prize winner is:

Roberta

Congrats !!
to claim your prizes.



Thanks again to all who entered!



We invite you to link up to our April challenge
and our Sketch challenge to be posted the third Monday of this month!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hey there...It's Christy and it's time for some mixed media fun

Hey all!
My name is Christy and I am one of the new additions to the SEM team.
My specialty is mixed media. 
Every month I'll be sharing a new creations, lots of tips and techniques, and hopefully tons of inspiration for you.

As well as this monthly mixed media post, my creations for the monthly challenges will also incorporate mixed media techniques.
Now before you walk away, shaking your head saying "Mixed media...not for me. You need special stuff and I'm not buying anything new" let me tell you that almost all of the techniques I use require nothing more than scrapbook supplies. 
I believe in using what I have and making it work for what I need.

and if you EVER have questions about anything I do, supplies I use, possible substitutions etc; ...PLEASE ASK!
I am always more than willing to share what I know

Now, on to today's piece.
For my very first mixed media post I decided to go with an art journal page.
My art journals tend to be a way of showing my favorite quotes and verses. 
I use them as places to try new techniques and play with my favorites.

I am using the supplies below (note again ALL scrapbook supplies) for today's piece.

Distress ink, Mists( Tattered Angels & Lindy's Stamp Gang), Black ink(Prima & Tsukineko),  Kaisercraft stamps, book text & Butterfly stickers (not pictured Gesso & Stencil Girl stencil)
   You may have all these items already in your stash.
  One thing I love using in my art is book text. I buy lots of used books from the library and tear pages out as I need them.

  Here I tore several pages into pieces, inked the edges with black ink and covered a page in my art journal with them, using a glue stick. Once it was dry I trimmed the edges even with my page, and then rubbed the whole page with distress ink to blend it all together.

I misted the page with my 3 colors of mists, drying between each color so as not to get mud. I also scraped Gesso (or white paint) through a stencil in random spots to give texture to my background.

Finally I stamped along the edges using Black ink, added some butterfly stickers and my quote using tiny alphabet stickers.
I outlined the quote with a charcoal pencil and smudged it with my finger to blend it in.

Here are a few closeups of the page.

Note-when I scraped the Gesso through the stencil it reactivated the mists pulling some of the color into it as it dried, making it blend subtly into the page.



  There you have it...a mixed media art journal page;  using scrapbook supplies.

  I hope that you find some inspiration here, and like I said any questions....PLEASE ASK.
I am here to help you.

  Have a wonderful day.