Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunflower Shower Favor

I recently was asked to make 15 shower favors for a wedding shower.  This was the result!  I used the CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge to cut out the boxes.  I created it on my Gypsy so I could hide the score marks-I dislike the way they look when folded.  I then used an oldie to cut out the layers for the sunflower-Stretch Your Imagination.  Before folding the boxes, I used an assortment of stamps to decorate the background.  The sunflower outline is by Inspired Stamps and the dots are from the CTMH set Hooray Bouquet.  The Love banner is from Remarkable Wreath from CTMH.

After adhering all 3 layers of the sunflower, I used CTMH Bronze Glitter Gel to create the "seeds".  The box was finished off with sheer yellow ribbon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm Beloved

The Song
Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray and Jason Ingram

God's Word
John 3:16-18 The Message "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

My Thoughts
This world gives each of us names and labels. People who don’t even know us will judge us by what they see. Names strangers may give me are Disabled, Overweight, Lazy or even Useless. They just see a woman in a powered wheelchair and assume that the sum of my life is disability. Because I am overweight, they may wrongly assume that I only use the chair because of my laziness not realizing that I can’t take one step under my own power because of spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis. Some would consider me a useless individual because of my disability. Again, they would be wrong.

They do not know I have joy and strength from my Father and He allows me to serve Him through my artwork , my song and my writing. He has allowed me to reach and lead other women through paper crafts. He gives me the strength I need to be a wife and mother. He doesn’t see any of the negative things the world sees in me. If I were to listen to the world’s opinion of me, I could “lose my way” and become what they see. I could look “In the mirror (and) all I see, Is who I don’t wanna be”. But, my friend, I have a Heavenly Father who “reminds me who I am” and HE calls me Beloved!

He tells you “When (your) heart is like a stone, And (you’re) running far from home” that you are His Beloved. He calls you Competent when the world labels you Stupid. When a stranger sees Failure, your Father sees Success. He tells you in His light you will always be enough. He does not accuse you! “Lest you forget,” you are the One He Loves and you belong to Him!

Don’t let others label you. Don’t let the opinions of the world negate the knowledge of you that your Heavenly Father has. The scripture says He wants you to live a “whole and lasting life”. When you look in your mirror ask God to allow you to have His eyes, to see with His heart. Ask Him to “Tell (you) once again who (you are) to (Him). (To) Tell (you) lest (you) forget who (you are to Him).” You belong to Him, Beloved!

Your Response
Ask God to remind you who you are in His eyes. Thank Him that you do not have to conform to the world’s opinions.

I hope you will watch every second of this wonderful video. It really displays the truth of the words in an amazing way.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cheerful Birthday Card

It's a sunny, lazy Saturday in N.TX today.  I needed a card for a friend's birthday so went to my stash of card bases and discovered this one made with some leftover CTMH Magnifique paper went perfectly with the flowers I made the other day while playing with my CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge and coordinating  Hooray Bouquet stamp set.  Yes, I'm still in love with this cartridge!  It's just too easy to cut and then stamp with the coordinating stamps. 

I try to spend a few minutes ever so often using scraps of leftover paper creating card bases so I can throw together a quick card later.  I just keep them all together in a tin to easily locate them.  The ink colors I used are Sorbet and Lagoon. The twinkle brads are no longer available but you can put some strong clear glue (such as our Liquid Glass) on any brad and dip it in glitter to get the same effect!

Remember, you can purchase all these great products on my website:  We have a beautiful new Idea Book to look through.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Inspired Stamps-1 Verse/3 Techniques

This week the Design Team at Inspired Stamps is sharing 3 cards created with a single $3.99 Scripture Stamp.  I chose John 14:6 for my cards.  The first card I am sharing uses the emboss resist technique.  I stamped the verse in Versamark ink and then sprinkled white embossing powder on it.  I used my heat gun to melt the powder.  Once it was cool, I used a sponge to apply layers of color over and around the scripture.  Once I was pleased with the results, I used a tissue to wipe the ink off the embossed scripture.  I was very pleased at how crisp the stamping looked with embossing.  That's the beauty of Inspired Stamps clear polymer material!

On the 2nd card, I simply stamped the scripture in black over a tag I had used my brayer and various shades of pink on.  If you click on the photo you can see the detail better.  I used Glitter Gel to highlight three words in the scripture.  This was definitely the easiest technique and  card to make but I think it really has a great impact.
 I believe the 3rd card is my favorite of the 3.  I used a lovely green vellum to stamp the scripture on.  Vellum does not take dye ink well so I used archival ink and a heat gun to set it.  Again, Inspired Stamps stamp beautifully in any medium!  Be sure to check all the other team members' blogs.  You will be amazed at how versatile one 3.99 stamp can be!

Other supplies used: CTMH-all paper, CTMH color-ready seam binding, CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut cart. From stash: flower, brads, pom-pom ribbon, embroidery floss, tag.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

inspired stamps Nature Favorites

Today the Inspired Stamps Design Team is sharing February Favorites Nature stamps.  Remember to visit the Inspired Stamps Blog and the DT Members' blogs to get in on the giveaways.

I chose to create a scenic card using the Whimsical Trees and the 1" Flowers Set.  I had a blast using my Copics to color these adorable trees and sweet flowers!

I also added a scripture from my well used Inspired Stamper's Favorites #2 set

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is what my lucky husband, sons, coworkers and therapists enjoyed for Valentine's from me.  I might of sneaked a couple myself!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life Gets in the Way

Our sweet 15 year old has broken his arm for the 3rd time in 53 weeks!  He had just slid into 3rd base at his 1st scrimmage game of the year when a ball rocketed from home plate and struck him in the arm.  He immediately knew it was broken and headed for the dugout while his coach yelled at him to get back on base and the 3rd baseman tried to tag him out! 

Everyone soon realized why he was heading in and in total disbelief that this was happening again, we headed to the hospital.  We were thankful there was an off duty paramedic at the game to help stabilize his arm for the ride.  Once again, he had to have surgery on the same arm and bones that had healed only months before.

Needless to say, I come to you today without a devotional.  I will do my best to gather my wits and get back in the groove this week.  He returns to school tomorrow.  We covet your prayers for his healing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

inspired stamps February Favorite Sailor

 This month we are celebrating our Inspired Stamps Favorite Stamp Sets with giveaways, stamp showcases, and lots more fun!  Be sure you check out the inspired stamps blog for all the details!  My choice this week is the His Little Ones Sailor.  I believe he appeals to me because when I was young, I had an older cousin who married a strong and handsome  Navy man (I was the flower girl in their wedding at age 4).  His stories of life on a ship sparked all sorts of images in my young mind and I thought he was just the most amazing man ever!  They celebrated their 40th anniversary a few years back and I was privileged to attend the party and I must say he is still a pretty great guy-he's now a college professor in his "civilian" life.

Anyway, isn't this the cutest little sailor?! He's also super easy to color in:)  Add a bit of color to his tie, shoes and eyes and then add a little shading to his hat and suit and you're done.  I chose to surround him with Stickled stars and a great scripture for anyone serving in harm's way.  This scripture is from another of my fave sets: Strength, it is full of encouraging  scriptures to use for imparting strength to those in need.

Be sure you check out the rest of the teams' blogs and say hello to our new team members Gaby and Anita!

I just found a photo with Sam in it!  I am the cute little girl in the middle:)  The other 2 girls are my sisters and we are at the zoo.  Fun times!

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Creative Space

I have been blessed to have my very own room to create and teach in for the last few years. We have a remodeled/repurposed garage that is the family room and my creative space is the former formal living room.  It was rarely used and I got tired of being shoved in a little corner for my crafting while this spacious room sat empty of life.  It also has its own entry door so it's perfect for workshops or when my friends choose to join me.

 I've never posted photos on here before because it is rarely completely cleaned and I always seem to be trying a new organizational plan!  I'm sure none of you can relate:)  Anyhoo, after years of perusing the web for the latest and greatest way to organize my scrap space, I am finally feeling I have arrived at a place with some staying power!  We can only hope and pray-sigh....

This is my 8' folding table where I usually hold my Close To My Heart workshops.  The "riser" is a bargain I snagged from a Steinmart when they were changing out their display tables.  You'll see the rest of that find in a bit.  I use the riser to display current completed projects or completed seasonal projects.  The drawers are my newest attempt to organize my scads of embellishments.  Thanks to Antoinette at Inspired Stamps for the fabulous idea of sorting embellies by color only!  I have tried to sort by item (buttons, brads, die cuts, etc) and other methods but they took up so much space and took tons of time to sort through for a project.  So far, I love this method and have started using lots of items that have been hanging around for years.  I still have my flowers in the larger drawers by themselves but they are organized by color as they have always been.  Lest you are afraid I am going to ruin my pretty tablecloth-I'll let you in on a secret-it's made by Con-Tac and sold at Wal-mart!  Totally VINYL.  It comes in a large sheet and can be cut to size.

The following is my work table.  You will notice another of the "risers" that you saw in the previous photo.  This sits on a matching display table that  Steinmart was getting rid of for new displays.  I had been scouring garage sales and other venues for several years looking for nice looking tables I could use in here.  I saw 3 of these tables with risers for sale at $75 per set.  I thought I would be able to use all 3 but I didn't have over $200.  I offered them $150 for all 3 sets and they took it!  After getting them home, I decided the 3rd table would not be big enough to share with my workshop attendees and sold just the table in a garage sale for $50 and kept the riser.  So, I actually got 2 heavy oak tables and 3 risers for $100:)   That's the way I roll-buy for a bargain or don't buy!

The pink boxes (Wal-mart) perfectly hold my Close To My Heart and Inspired Stamps as well as my stamp  blocks. I cut chalkboard vinyl for the front of them to write on with what type of stamps they hold. The pink foam is attached to the edge of the table so my wheelchair arm doesn't scratch it up.

This rolling cart is another of my fave bargains.  I snagged it at Michael's from the "as is" bin.  It was a display piece that was very dusty and missing 2 cases.  It had been around $60 and I got it for $7!!!  I washed it down and added 2 pink cases and it was better than new:)  The cases hold various projects I am working on with the products I want to use to make them.  They make it easy to grab and go to a crop or I roll the whole thing in my van for a retreat.

Next to the rolling cart and by my work table is this stand with a set of 3 wooden and basket drawers from Hobby Lobby.  1 drawer has my Copics sorted by color families in mason jars, another holds my punches and the 3rd has bulky tools-large crop-a-dile, wire cutters, etc. My often used smaller tools, scissors, pens, pencils, markers, etc are  in the spinning tool holder on top.

The organization continues next to my comfy recliner and cozy quilt (made by my sis-in-love Joni).  Just beside it is a wire rolling paper rack I've had for years.  It holds all my solid cardstock- sorted by color. Behind the recliner is an old wooden display shelf I got from my brother's booth in an antique mall.  I think I still owe him $25 for it! It holds several photo boxes and card organizers.  The photo boxes hold various craft supplies that are used occasionally such as small plastic bags, embroidery floss, glue sticks, etc.  The card organizers

Well, that's it for today!  I will add more of the room in a few days.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Still Standing

This was originally posted May 2011.  I wanted to re-post it as next week will mark TEN years since I began life in a wheelchair. 

Belinda Kersey 2/25/08

God’s Word

Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

The Song

“Still Standing” by Israel Houghton and Cindy Cruse Ratcliff

As we were learning this song in choir rehearsal, I was taken back to that same date six years before.   I had been lying in a bed at Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital on that Wednesday night in 2002.  My church was earnestly praying for me because they had received word that my kidneys had shut down and that I would not be walking again.  The reality was that my bladder was not functioning, I couldn’t walk, my hands were extremely numb and not working well, my eyesight was blurred. Basically, I was completely helpless.

I had entered the hospital on Monday after suffering through a weekend of pain following a fall on Friday.  I had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just a short 3 months before.  The apparent progression of my disease was overwhelmingly fast and very rare.  Tell-tale lesions had been discovered on my brain in November 2001 but were not on my spine.  Now, 3 months later they were appearing on my spine as well, thus explaining the rapid deterioration of my mobility.

Hubby Jeff, had been asked by my neurologist if our legal affairs were in order.   Those words were more devastating to him than any of the facts from my MRI.  Needless to say, things looked pretty bleak for me.  Death was not suggested or expected but a life of extreme disability seemed to lie ahead of me.  Oh, as if all of this was not enough, there was a shake-up going on at Jeff’s job and he wasn’t sure if he’d be employed at the end of the week.  In fact, it was suggested that he better limit the time he took off work to be with me at the hospital.

You see, apparently Satan was intent on knocking us down and keeping us there.  He wanted us to believe that God's plans for us were to harm us!  That’s why this song brought back all of that to me.  It declares “I’m still standing, but by the grace of God.”  Now, my story would be amazingly awesome if that prayer service my church had that Wednesday had resulted in my walking out of the hospital completely healed.  

As you know, it didn’t happen that way.  However through it all God “gave courage to believe that all (His ) goodness I would see.”  My friend, Wendy, came to see me the day after that prayer service.  She told me she had been so mad at what was happening to me that she “gave God a good talking to”.  She then went on to relate that God listened and then told her to settle down because her friend was going to be just fine.  You know what, she heard right!  Even though I wasn’t healed then and haven’t seen my complete healing yet, I’m just fine.  We’ve had much more to go through over the last several years but we know that “if not for (His) goodness, if not for (His) grace, (we) don’t know where (we) would be today...if not for (His) mercy, if not for (His) love, (we) most likely would have given up.  If not for (His) favor (we) could never say,  I’m still standing.”

As Steve Bryant, our music minister, said-we are like a Bozo the Clown toy that gets punched and then pops back up again.  The enemy has taken many shots at us over the last several years but here we are- still standing!  Despite the circumstances, Jeff was one of TWO people out of fifteen who were “still standing” with their jobs at the end of the shake-up.  Despite the loss of my ability to walk, I am stronger now, I can see clearly (except for being old and needing reading specs!), the lesions on my spine have been gone since 2004 and I can take care of all of my own physical needs.  And, in February 2008 I returned to work part-time!  So, “to (Him) I lift my offering, and set my heart on higher things.  For if it had not been for (Him) standing on my side, where would I be?”

Thank God that He is not going to leave you where you are at this very moment.  Make a bold statement that by the grace of God, no matter what the circumstances, you are still here and you are still standing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inspired Stamps Favorite

This week the inspired stamps design team chose their favorite stamp set to create with.  I can tell you, it was not easy to narrow down all the choices to my favorite but I finally settled on Winter RuthNow, part of why I love her so much is I feel I had a tiny part in her creation-I had told Antoinette I would love a character stamp who could hold various objects in her hands.  Antoinette took that idea and created more than I could imagine!  Ruth is a larger character than the His Little Ones so she is so easy to color in.  She comes with 6 different items to place in her hands which makes her one of the most versatile stamps for several occasions.  For today's project I used the cross w/heart.  The set also includes 6 phrases to choose from.

For this project, I used up stuff  in my stash.  This was so easy to do since I had just reorganized all my embellies by color as Antoinette shared with us on her blog.  The pink canvas was left over from my craft show days last year and gave me the color to start with.  The tag on the bottom was stamped with 3 words from another of my fave inspired stamps' set-Perfect Christmas Sentiments.  As you can see, this is not a Christmas project at all but there are several words on this set that are great for all year.

I chose once again to cut away the tree and snow bank from Ruth and then added "wings" with 2 silver leaves I've had forever!  I really was pleased that I was able to use up "stuff" and create a cute project with my favorite Inspired Stamp in the process!