Sunday, December 23, 2007



Ruby Christmas Kit
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I am going to be taking some time away from the computer over the holidays - time to be with my husband and family. I want to thank you, all my blog-family, for your friendship and encouragement over this past year. I want to thank you for taking an interest in my life, and allowing God to use my blog to share with you. I never dreamed of where He would lead me today. I've grown so close to many of you! Thank you for the many gifts you've given ME - your many kind comments and just being there for me. Thank you most of all for keeping me accountable.

Thank you to Gail and Kevin for 'holding down the fort' for us during the next little while.

Speaking about gifts, I was reading a bit about the gifts which were brought to baby Jesus when he was born - Gold I readily understand, but was not quite sure on Frankincense and Myrrh. Turns out they are both resinous gums, which ooze out which ooze out from shrub-like trees in the Near East and the Mediterranean. Oils are then extracted from the gum - and the purest oils are extracted using steam distillation.

As a gift for Jesus, Frankincense was included because it symbolized his priesthood, his stature as a spiritual leader and teacher. Myrrh was given as a gift to Jesus as a symbol that he was born to die. Myrrh is so very antibacterial it was often used for embalming the dead as well as being burned at funerals to honor the dead.

I must get on with my gift wrapping etc, but I want to leave you with the following thoughts.

List of Priceless Gifts to Give:

To your enemy - forgiveness;
To your opponent - tolerence;
To your friends - your heart;
To your child - a good example;
To your father - deference;
To your mother - conduct that will make her proud;
To yourself - respect;
To all men - charity.


Be thankful -

for the friends who have forgiven you,
for the enemies who keep you cautious,
for the difficulties which make you struggle,
for the emergencies which make you think,
for the hardships which make you strong,
for the disappointments which make you try harder.





Bonus: Digitally Hand-Painted Festive Winter Lamp
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Have a safe and wonderful holiday and I will check back in sometime AFTER my family has the best of my time... but before New Years!







Star Shaped Ribbons - Click here for this week’s top video clips






Saturday, December 22, 2007


Gina's Little Snowman


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I made this sweet little digitally hand-painted (meaning I painted it freehand using artrage and a wacom tablet) for my dear friend Gina. He's so cute that I had to take him out of the freezer to share with you this year. I wish I had something NEW for my friend Gina, as she has been so dear to me over this past year - but I'm sure she won't mind sharing me sharing him with you again. Why not slip over and leave a comment on Gina's blog for me instead of leaving one here - and check out her new header! Thanks for being a good friend to me Gina - Merry Christmas to you and your family!



I'd also like to wish my friend Becky a Merry, Merry Christmas. We've not spent time together for the last little bit of time, and I SORELY miss you!



Who can put a value on a friendship? Who can measure in any kind of terms just what true friendship is worth? True friendship does not require daily contact to keep it alive. Long time friends, who've been apart for years, can meet and pick up just where they left off. A man may lose everything, but if he is rich if he still has loyal and devoted friends. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote the following words - "a friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature."



To be rich in admiration and free from envy; to rejoice greatly in the good of others; to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness - these are the gifts of fortune which money can buy nothing. He who has such a treasury of riches, being happy and valiant himself, in his own nature, will enjoy the universe as if it were his own estate; and help the man to whom he lends a hand to enjoy it with him. ~ Robert Lewis Stephenson



Thursday, December 20, 2007




Barb's Furry Santa Hat
(looks so real you'll try to print off and wear!)



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Today's entry is going to be short & sweet as I'm as busy as I'm sure you all are, and I'm sure you have limited time to be reading here. I'll just leave you with the two following thoughts. Thank you so much for all your kind comments and encouragement lately - much appreciated. The 'Bell' and 'Twenty Things' come courtesy of Shirley, who shared on her blog and gives permission to copy here!




THE BELL

I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord(1 Cor. 6:17 )
I am bought with a price(1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth ( Matt.5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ(1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant ( Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God(2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God( Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anoint ed, sealed by God (2 Cor.1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16 ). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor.. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship(Eph. 2:10 )

I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven(Col.1:14).I have been adopted as God's child(Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
who you are!?




TWENTY THINGS TO REMEMBER

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.

2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.

3. As a child of God, prayer is kinda like calling home every day.

4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

6. Do the math. Count your blessings.

7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.

9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

10. Laugh every day -- it's like inner jogging.

11. The most important things in your home are the people.

12. Growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional.

13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.

14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

16. We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.

17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hearsay.

18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.

19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking! Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.

20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. Leave gentle fingerprints on the soul of others, for the angels to read.

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

Live life to the fullest... & thank God for every moment of your day !!

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.






Monday, December 17, 2007




EMMA AND SANTA!

Thanks to AmyW . for the use of her photo of sweet little Emma!

Well, I promised you Olivia's AMAZING freebie here today. Me and Amy keep telling that girl that she needs to get her own blog - but she asks us why, since we seem to be doing fine posting FOR her? Cheeky, hey? At any rate, she is sharing so we shan't complain now, will we? You will love her newest products - very original... so after downloading her freebie here, why not wander on over to the SHOPPE to be the first to buy her newest items!



OLIVIA DORAZIO'S FESTIVE GLITTERS FRAMES

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These are previews of Olivia's two latest products available - Festive Glitters and U-bake (can't you just smell the gingerbread baking?)










Sunday, December 16, 2007



Let it Snow

NEW DOWNLOAD LINK


I know that the link is experiencing difficulty - just found out, and am re-loading, this time to 4shared, but the link is slooooowww... so sorry... please check back in a short while, and I will have it reloaded as quickly as I can. I will also be posting Olivia's lovely LOVELY giveaway too! Thanks for your patience!


I hope you all don't mind me dusting off some of last years kits for giveaway! Seems like there is so little time this year, to be creating. I (and AmyW) have been mentoring my friend Olivia in Photoshop and the time just gets sucked up! Its totally worth it tho as she is coming along terrifically, in fact, the student shall surpass the teacher at this rate! She's just finished two amazing kits and she made me a giveaway for all of you tomorrow, to say thanks for all the hard work I've put into her! So be sure to check back tomorrow – it will be well worth it. I'm using Yousendit today because no matter which way I tried, 4shared would not let me publish my file - said it was a copyright issue or some such thing... anyone else experiencing difficulties?





Melanie Strings the Lights

Well the little Charlie Brown tree is all decorated, thanks to my dear friend Melanie. She's a whiz at stringing lights, plus her father is a fireman so she did it all with safety in mind. Me, I'd probably set us up to fry ourselves here...


I was extremely fortunate to find a bunch of wonderful vintage ornaments at the Thrift Store – Shiny Brites no less! They look wonderful. They go perfectly with the old Tulip Bubble lights passed to me by my Mother in Law. Warms my heart to know Miles would have enjoyed them growing up.



There's nothing like those vintage bulbs!

We keep getting snow, then it melts. Kinda nice for oh, bout a day, then it gets all slushy and then gone. Hopefully we will get some enough to stick. I've been trying to get outside to run a bit – I shouldn't, due to my knees but I love running – and I try to go on soft ground and slowly. I also think its important to get outside and get fresh air during these bleaker months too. Its easy to assume that because its winter conditions then you have to stay inside. Sure, folks who ski and snowboard etc get out but I'm talking locally. I was very interested to read an article at NPR about Jill Homer of Juneau, Alaska, who is training to ride 350 miles in the human-powered Iditarod. The race, which starts in February, follows the same route used by the famous dog sled teams – ON A BIKE.

Jill lists several pointers for riding a bike in the snow. Hmmm, gets me thinking! To read the article yourself (or hear it in audio) just click HERE

Another interesting thing that was featured, were NPR listener letters – where they are debating where the saying yada, yada, YADA comes from. Nope, I won't tell you here, you have to go listen yourself – just click HERE – its the second article on the audio file.



Anyone recognize this neat decoration?

I would like to thank blog reader Gayle, for pointing out to me that our vintage stocking (photo previous entry) says XMAS on it. Truly, I was not aware of this – amazing hey, you can walk by something every day and not catch something big like this? I personally never use the word XMAS and so it surprized me to see it. So, I had to do some research about this. I found out that The X in Xmas is actually the greek letter Chi, which was a common abbreviation of Kristos, Christ's name. It is interesting to note, however, that the American Heritage English Dictionary does have the following Usage Note: The abbreviation Xmas has been used for hundreds of years. In modern use it is considered informal and appropriate only in such commercial contexts as advertisements and signs.

The Miriam-Webster dictionary also defines the X as Christ too.

So.... I always choose to use Christmas on anything that I make or send – and should I see something with XMAS on it I'm going to assume its being used as a (poor) substitute. I won't get up in arms about it for I know that most people think the same way. I think this is a great opportunity to start talking about keeping the Christ in Christmas – for what if all the people who don't necessarily believe in our Christ chose not to use the word Christ in Christmas, and to only use XMAS ... there might be a lot less Christmas things around! I think, with love, we can win some XMAS'ers over – like me, they may not have thought about it too much before. What about you – do you find this terribly upsetting – or could you find it a way to open up talk?



I found out this this is a Noma Tulip bubble light!

I'd like to share a beautiful hymn by Joseph Addison:


The spacious firmanent on high,

With all the blue ethereal sky,

And spangled heavens, a shining frame,

Their great Original proclaim:

The unwearied sun, from day to day,

Does his Creator's power display,

And publishes to every land,

The work of the Almighty hand.



Soon as the evening shades prevail,

The moon takes up the wondrous tale,

And nightly to the listening earth,

Repeats the story of her birth:

Whilst all the stars that round her burn,

And all the planets, in their turn,

Confirm the tidings as they roll,

And spread the truth from pole to pole.



Speaking of Christmas Carols, I'd not thought of NEW ones... but there was an article on NPR about some new carols – there is actually a contest for them. They are really glorious! If you would like to listen, just click HERE.


I will leave you with this wonderful clip from I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.








Friday, December 14, 2007







'GET MY DRIFT' mini

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Its snowin' outside - so I decided to revive this popular mini from last year. Let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW!

*** I just uploaded to 4shared and they are experiencing technical difficulties. This kit will remain up there, and I will monitor the 4shared site. If the problem does not resolve by dinnertime I will load the kit at an alternative site! Thus, Amy's card may not be available online either at the moment. Please be patient!

And while we may be trapped inside due to icy roads etc, I HIGHLY recommend stopping over at Amy W's bloggie to pick up a FREE BINGO card - and mark one hour off for YOURSELF tomorrow and join us in some good, clean fun! It's real easy - the hour flies by - and there is an AWESOME goodie giveaway (neener-neener I've seen it!) I look forward to partying with you-all tomorrow!





Wednesday, December 12, 2007



DEEP BLUE FREEZE mini kit

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I hope you don't mind that I am dusting off a few old kits from last year. I thought it might be time to revive this frosty. You will love the detail of the snowflakes stuck on the green cord holding the bulb! You can't really appreciate them in this teensy preview! Please SHARE this goodie, but send your friends directly here to download it for themselves.


I'm so behind on my Christmas shopping this year. We requested 'no junk mail' in our mailbox, and I think that it has saved me from a lot of temptation – and a ton of recycling. Truly, I used to have a stack a foot high about every two weeks, and now I hardly ever have anything to send. So I am sure I am missing out on a ton of 'great deals' and new gadgets etc. I'm sure I have been sheltered and will suffer from over-whelm-ment the first time we go to the City shopping.




Our stockings are hung by the chimney, with care!


I also have not done any baking. My Mother in Law is THE Christmas baker – cooking up enough to feed an entire army, and then some! Truly, we have to starve ourselves for two weeks before Christmas to compensate for the grandeur and sheer volume of her absolute cornocopia of her groaning sideboards – are you getting the picture here? Lets just say that the festive season necessitates going to the gym daily. The ONLY thing I plan to bake this year is perhaps some cookies for the last school potluck lunch, and for a cookie exchange being hosted by a friend. What about you? Do you have a favorite cookie recipe you would like to share with me? If its a really good one – with a picture – I'd be glad to share it here on my blog so all readers can enjoy!

We have our Charlie Brown tree erected - its so cute! Our friend Melanie will be coming to spend the night and decorate this evening - should be fun.




Reeds with Ice

I thought I might share a sentiment with you, which was passed along to someone who has become a good freind to me over the time we've connected over the internet. I'm talking about KimB, who is a generous, thoughtful and funny, funny, FUNNY person! Kim keeps me ROLF every time I visit her blog – always able to poke fun at herself and see the humour in life. I don't know what exactly powers her, but she's always on hi-speed! The sentiment I'll share though is of another nature. It's a thought provoking piece, and oh so true.

I know some may read this and think – this is coming from a Christian? (me) Being a Christian does not mean you have to LIKE everyone – we ARE human, after all, but we are called to LOVE one another – do you get that? What appeals to me about the following, is it serves to set boundaries for protecting yourself. I would like to think that people would consider me to be a positive and encouraging influence in their lives – and that I would be Christ-like to them too. If I've not been, please, let me know!


It's better to be alone, than in the wrong company. Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are. If you run with the wolves, you will learn to howl, but if you associate with eagles you will learn to soar to great heights. A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses. The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those whom you closely associate for the good and the bad. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb, will want you to crawl. Your friends have the power to stretch your vision – or choke your dreams. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider this – Never recieve counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves, are always the first to tell you how to. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening; with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right freindships.

Thanks for sharing this Kim, wise words of discernment.




More Ice on Reeds

Thank goodness God allows us to choose our friends – and gives us discernment in choosing wisely! The following are some pieces I found which should be considered.


If you love, you will be loved;

If you respect people, you will be respected;

If you serve them, you will be served;

If you give a good account of yourself toward others,

others will act likewise to you.

Blessed is the man who loves and does not desire to be loved for it;

Blessed is he who respects others, and does not look for respect in return;

Who serves and does not expect service for it;

who acquits himself well of others and does not desire that they return the grace.

Because such things are big, foolish people do not rise to them.

~ Brother Giles



How ridiculous it would be to see the sheep endeavoring to walk like the dog, or the ox striving to trot like the horse; just as ridiculous it is to see one man striving to imitate another. Man varies from man more than animal from animal of different species. ~ William Blake



Tigers and deer do not stroll together. So too is a man known by his friends.


“Show me the path where I should go,

O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk.”

Psalm 25:4


Ok, time to lighten up here -

I received a 'good/funny' from blog reader Bridget, who cleverly changed the names around in this little joke to say Barry and Billy (in regard to the ice fishing kit) Thanks Bridget, you gave me a good giggle!

Bill and Barry went out ice fishing one day. They set up all their gear and Barry started to drill a hole in the ice, when suddenly they heard a loud voice say “There are no fish beneath the ice.” So they moved over a bit further from where they were and started to drill another hole when suddenly they heard a loud voice say “There are no fish beneath the ice!” So they move over still a bit further away, just as they started to drill one more hole they heard yet again a loud voice “T here are no fish beneath the ice.” Barry looked up and said “God, Is that you?” The voice said “No, this is the rink announcer!”




Del and Penny

We were blessed with a visit from our friends Del and Penny last week – I meant to get them into an earlier blog post, but it just did not happen. Penny has a beautiful voice – a link to her website/music is listed in my sidebar – and while she was here she sang, and Miles recorded. Unfortunately he has not had time to process the song yet, but when we do I will post a sample of her new song for you. You can also read a 'rave review' of a concert Penny hosted back in Saskatchewan recently by clicking HERE. It was SO GOOD to visit with you P & D! Enjoy your time down south! We know you will be a blessing to those good folk down there.

Here's a fun link for you, recycled from last year's posts, but still functioning. Its a foldable Santa's Sleigh and reindeer – all from paper! Just click HERE to visit. There are also other projects here at the Yamaha site – even a bikey for MIKEY... (you could fold one up on coffee break at work ;)

I will leave you with a rather strange video. As I've mentioned before, Miles is working with the Gifte Kids in the district, teaching some lessons on robotics. Yesterday he was assembling a powerpoint presentation and he came across this video of a robot that resembles a dog. It gave me the shivers! What do you think of this?










Sunday, December 09, 2007


BIRTHDAY IN DECEMBER CUPCAKE ELEMENT
(Merry Christmas Cupcake added too!)

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happy, HAPPY birthday (December 9th) to our nieces MELISSA who lives in the interior of BC, and RACHEL who lives at the coast. Instead of buying or making a birthday card, this is for you girls instead. I hope you don't mind that your gift gets shared with everyone out here in blog-land! You all can leave greetings for Melissa at her Gramma's blog (Judy) by clicking HERE, but unfortunately Rachel does not have a blog. I'm sure Judy will have some good pics etc of Melissa posted too, today! Me and Miles hope you girls have a wonderful day, and the best birthday ever!


I received a comment from you, Faith - we lost touch oh so long ago, and then here you are on my blog comments. Please email me! lalalime(at)hotmail.com It would be so nice to connect before the holidays. It was a delight to find you in my comments!





SWEDISH WEAVING

Our friend Melanie came and spent the night recently – I think I posted that last blog entry. We exchanged gifts with each other, though we did not open hers until just before we took her home. She'll be spending the holiday away with family, so we decided to open them early. We were FLOORED by Melanie's gift. Its a small tablecloth done in what is called 'swedish weaving' It is SO beautiful – hand made by her Mom. We will treasure this for years and years! Thank you Melanie (and Mom!) I had never heard of this before so I've done some research for you:


Swedish Weaving is a form of embroidery that dates back several centuries. Today it's called by several other names, the most common ones being Swedish Huck Weaving, or Huck embroidery. This type of embroidery is known as"surface" embroidery because the floss or yarn is woven under the top threads of fabric "floats." Because it's woven on the top threads, the yarn barely shows through on the other side, making it much neater than cross-stitching.

I was sent the following email from a friend – and I am grateful she did. I've verified that it was genuine and I would like to share it with you. I found it thought provoking and interesting.



The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.



BEN STEIN

My confession:


I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to. In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.


Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"


In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK. Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW." Funny how simple it is for people to trash Christianity, then , wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public di scussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. My Best Regards.


Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein


I would love your feedback on this? Why not leave me a comment and share your take on it?


Almighty God, in your love you fill us with joy as we prepare to celebrate the birth of your Son. Remove those things which hinder us from loving you, that when He comes, He may find us waiting in awe and wonder for Him, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

- Book of Common Prayer



Now, I'll give one last 'rant' before leaving you with a little humor. My friend Amy W. - we ALL know Amy – she's the givingest-blogging/scrapper we know. She not only expends a lot of her personal time and effort to provide us with beautiful freebies, she also devotes time to rounding up other designer freebies, and promoting all of us. In the past couple of days she has discovered that she (and other designers) are having their 'freebies' STOLEN. Yes, stolen. And they are free. How gross is that! In case you are not a scrapper or designer you will be asking... if its FREE, how can it be stolen? Well, its like this, when a designer gives something away they host it on their own site and the idea is the people come and download it themselves – and then send their friends back to the site to get it themselves. But these theives download the freebie then RE-host it on their own download sharing site, therefore the original designer is robbed twice, once of the item, then again from a visit! Please, get honest. If you get given a free item DO send your friends to get it, but DON'T copy and share. Thats just bad. And, if you know of this happening, please, at least let us know! We love to make and share, but if this happens continously it sure makes you think hard...





WHAT CAN I SAY?

Ok, the fun stuff!


Miles brought me a sweet little Charlie Brown tree today – its up, but will remain naked for a day or two yet.


I was planning on telling you-all to Elf Yourself, and whaddya know but I recieve my brother and sister-in-law in my mailbox, all elfed up! Its SO cute – so make sure you get over and elf YOURSELF. Just click HERE to make this happen.

And, there is also a Scrooge – in fact I made up a Miles-Scrooge for you to see, if you just click HERE. After you watch him doing his thing (he does this little dance in real life every day ... snicker, now I'm in trouble!) then you can Scrooge yourself – it will give you that option. If you want to save Miles some embarassment you can just click HERE to get right to it.

Also, check out this cool machine video Miles shared with me!








Thursday, December 06, 2007




BARRY AND BILL'S ICE FISHIN' KIT
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Our twin brothers are turning ?? (haha, won't gossip about your possible age here - I'll let everyone 'speculate all on their own) I thought about making a card - but then I thought for the effort it would take I could make a little something that everyone can share in.



If you would like to say thanks to the Brothers for inspiring this kit I would suggest you visiting Barry's wife's Judy (our sister in law's) blog and leave a comment there. Unfortunately Bill does not have a blog, but I'm sure Barry would pass your greetings on to Bill. Just click HERE to be taken to Judy's blog!



Bill and Barry are (MUCH OLDER THAN ME) two wonderful, talented guys who are gifted in many ways. Barry is very skilled with his hands - building professional quality furniture, cabinets, cupboards and many other projects out of a variety of wood. He does not look at a tree as a tree, I'm sure his brain is always on overdrive making some wood item out of it! I bet every single one of us in the family has a bit of Barry's talent gracing our homes. In our home, we have a beautiful wooden fishing tackle box - far to nice and delicate to ever take out on the lake! Bill can 'turn a mean duck' - no, you quail eaters, I don't mean cooking it on an open fire, but I mean carving one out of wood. He can make loons appear out of a plain piece of wood. And of course, they like ICE FISHIN'



Because they must be MUCH OLDER THAN ME (haha) they have the wisdom to work out these amazing projects.



Barry, Bill, we wish you the best birthday ever. We hope you have a terrific day, and we know you will be spoiled by your lovely families! Our best wishes to you! We LOVE you!





SUMAC DECORATED BY NATURE!



I was out taking pictures when we got our first skiff of snow recently. Every little bit of grass or dried twig supported a tiny cap of snow, so I set out to capture the moment. I even inspired Judy to try her hand at catching the last remnants of summer's color in a withering orange daisy - I think her take on it was beautiful - which you'll see if you visit her blog.



We've sure had the entire spectrum of weather lately. Snow, rain, sun - and today has dawned with a soft blanket of fog lingering. I have been thinking of all you folk on the Washington/Oregon coast who have been hit so hard - how devastating for many of you!



Speaking of weather, it brings to mind an article I saw yesterday on climate - in particular one about Global Warming. I liked the viewpoint this was taken from. This scientist writes a "100 Year Letter" - basically a letter to his grandchildren, speaking about how the world was before we messed it up. He also invites concerned readers to compose their own 100 Year Letter. What would YOU write?



Simon Donner, a climate scientist at the University of British Columbia, contributed one of the “100-Year Letters” gaging ways to tell the climate story, which sprawls across time and geography and relates to every life decision, from turning off the lights to pulling a lever in a voting booth to choosing a vocation.

To find out more, just click HERE







SUMMER'S LAST COLOR
TOPPED WITH WINTER'S ICING SUGAR



Now that I've also opened up the conversation about phototgraphy - I must share a wonderful new feature I found for photos. If you are a Flickr user, (and if you're not, you should check out this FREE service) They have just added the ability for you to do some basic fixes to your photos. I would say they compare to the fixes you have with Picasa - but hay, a photographer can't have too many great (free) tools, right? I find Flickr a wonderful asset to my blogging, that along with the FLOCK browser - its a snap! Drag - drop, drag, drop, really, how hard can that be?



So how do you find the new photo editing feature for Flickr? Once you have uploaded a photo there, just look for the new little button above your photo that says Edit Photo - simple as that. In case you would like to read an article on it, just click HERE.





ICE CRYSTALS TOP MISS BROWN DAISY



I also came across another handy site - which I thought might come in handy, being that many churches etc may be giving powerpoint presentations. I found a site which offers a large array of FREE powerpoint presentation backgrounds - and they are NICE! Without further ado, here's the link for you - just click HERE.



Well, I must vanish again for a day or two - I'm helping my friend Olivia try to get some more Christmas kits ready for her store. My dear friend Melanie and I are going to spend the morning in our Jammies playing with ArtRage on the computers - she spent the night and we tore down the Lego Robots the gifted kids built in Miles last session with them. It took us several hours to seperate all the little pieces out, so we feel we deserve to play ... we may even get to share with you!



Have a wonderful day!






Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just thought I would share these beautiful Christmas elements with you - my friend Olivia is really coming along with her designing. The Festive Bling Overlays are something I've never seen before - delightful elements which 'graduate' from larger to small on an overlay. They come in many shapes and can be used singly, or stacked. They can be rotated 90 degree angles to best suit your layouts and add that bit of 'glitter' to your layouts! Just erase out the parts you don't want! You will also want to buy Olivia's frame set - an amazing dozen rich frames for so little! Just click HERE to visit the SHOPPE at Sophia Sarducci!














MERRY CHRISTMAS 'STITCHED' WORDART
click to see larger - great detail!

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Christmas IS a merry time for many of us, but a blog post on another blogger's blog (that sounds like a tongue twister!) reminded me of an important fact - its NOT merry for some folk. In fact, it can be a very painful time for others. So, while we may not change how we celebrate, we should devote some time to think of those who may find this a most difficult time!



Its so easy to get caught up in the festive spirit of this time - so much so that we could easily overlook these people. Now, I'm not necessarily talking about anything in a physical way. Though its always nice to provide food and items to the 'needy' - there are many, many kind-hearted people and corporations who join in, and thats a good thing. But more important is perhaps to reach out with your time and thoughts. If you know of someone who may find Christmas painful, why not get elbow to elbow with them and just 'be' with them in this tough time. You might not change how they feel, but I think this is really the spirit of Christmas. The reason is the birth of our Savior - born to deliver us from evil - so why not deliver someone you know from loneliness, depression or be a listening ear to hear their hurts?



At any rate, blogger Cariboo Ponderer posted of her difficulty during the Christmas Season - and thank you, Vic, I hear you. She also posted (and has given me permission to post) an article on something called a Jesse Tree. I had not heard of this before and found it very interesting. I've done a little research on it in the time since and it comes from a Catholic standpoint, so some of the scripture references may not apply to your denomination (not all do to mine) - but the idea of it certainly does! What a marvellous way to REALLY count down the days until Christmas Day, Scripturally. I'd love to know what you think. PS - as an artist this really excites me too! Thank you Vic, for sharing this and allowing me to copy it to my blog.



I'd be happy if you refrained from commenting on my own blog today and instead leave a comment for Vic, if you have an encouragement for her regarding how Christmas is a most difficult time for her?







JESSE TREE stained glass window
Cathedral of Chartres




THE STORY OF THE JESSE TREE
(possibly the forerunner of the modern Christmas Tree)



Jesse was the father of the great King David of the Old Testament. He is often looked upon as the first person in the genealogy of Jesus.



In Church art a design developed showing the relationship of Jesus with Jesse and other biblical personages. This design showed a branched tree growing from a reclining figure of Jesse. The various branches had pictures of other Old and New Testament figures who were ancestors of Jesus. At the top of the tree were figures of Mary and Jesus.




This design was used mostly in stained glass windows in some of the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. The Cathedral of Chartres (which was dedicated in 1260) has a particularly beautiful Jesse Tree window.


Another development in religious art during the Middle Ages was that of Mystery Plays--drama that depicted various Bible stories or lives of Saints and Martyrs. These plays were performed in churches as part of the liturgical celebrations. One such play was based on the Bible account of the fall of Adam and Eve. The "Tree of Life" used during the play was decorated with apples. (Quite possibly this is also the forerunner of our own Christmas tree.)




JESSE TREE ORNAMENTS If you decide to use one symbol each day during December, there are 24 symbolic ornaments to make for your Jesse Tree, or modern Christmas tree.




JESSE TREE scriptures and symbols for each day of December:




1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 sun, moon, stars, animals, earth
2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 tree, man, woman
3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 tree, serpent, apple with bite
4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 ark, animals, dove,
5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 torch, sword, mountain
6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush
7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 kettle, ladder
8 Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15 bucket, well, silver coins, tunic
9 Moses: Ex. 2:1-10 baby in basket, river and rushes
10 Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 lamp, temple
11 Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13 crimson robe, shepherd's staff
12 David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51 slingshot, 6-pointed star
13 Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14,16-28 scales of justice,temple,2 babies & sword
14 Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25 hammer, saw, chisel, angle
15 Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 lily, crown of stars, pierced heart
16 John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8 shell with water, river
17 Jesus is Wisdom: oil lamp, open book
18 Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 burning bush, stone tablets
19 Jesus is Flower of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-3 flower, plant with flower
20 Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22 key, broken chains
21 Jesus is the Radiant Dawn: Psalm 19:6-7 sun rising or high in sky
22 Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 crown, scepter
23 Jesus is Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14; 33:22 tablets of stone, chalice & host
24 Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14 candle, flame, sun







TREE TOP VIEW OF THE STORM!




We had a good little and brief snowstorm here on Sunday. It came, it snowed, it went. It turned from fall to winter over the morning, snowed all day, and before midnight hit, was melting away again. Wow. Today dawned balmy and now the sun is peeking out. There were three deer (one a baby, limping ) on the lawn outside my window as I posted.

Now its come to my attention that some of you will go "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!" and say thats SO cute, while the odd one will let me know that dinner just walked by...



Thats what happened with the little quail photo I posted the other day - the pic arrived back in my mailbox with a recipe... ACK - I just could not do that! It would be like me sending you a recipe to cook your cat or dog. No kidding, these things are my pets. Yes, you are a baddy, you naughty sender, though I know you are a really really nice person really. You leave my lil quailses alone or you will have your hands tied together when you come stay with me!



I gave you a link the other day for a great little free painting program for kids and I ran across another wonderful and useful link. This one is for videos for Preschool children. They are videos which can teach them to do activities and songs. I even noticed a few simple Christmas Songs they can learn. They are simple and easy - great resource! Just click HERE to visit Cullens ABC's preschool videos.



Also, I was at over at Crosscards and they have some beautiful Christmas desktops and new ecards to send, so you may want to check them out too!

Saturday, December 01, 2007







I decided to make a preview of my part of the One Night Kit
download links below!





ONE NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM Collaboration Kit



download (my part - visit links for the rest!)


Finally - this wonderful kit is available to download. A group of us designers have put our heads together to bring together the spirit of the season in a lush, meaningful kit and to do what defines this very special season - a giving spirit. So, with our blessings, we hope you will spread your love around to the generous ant talented designers who have given their time to share with you! The kit is themed on the real reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and Savior! Enjoy, and spread the word. We'll be leaving this kit up for this week only! LEAVE SOME LOVE FOR THESE DESIGNERS, PLEASE - it makes them do a dork dance, trust me!




Quail peeking from a safe place!

We still have just a sprinkling of snow on the ground. The sky is soft gray and the temperature hovers just around the freezing mark. A few brave flakes dance down from overhead, intermittently. The lake is not frozen yet. The snow line keeps moving down the mountainsides. It makes me think of the following poem I'll share with you.

The cows are in the mountains,

The snowflakes fall,

They are leaving the pools and pebbled fountains;

Troubled, they bawl.

They are winding down the mountain's shoulders

Through the open pines,

Through wild rose thickets and the granite boulders

In broken lines.

Each calf trots close beside its mother

And so they go,

Bawling and calling to one another

About the snow.


Charles E. S. Wood





Who goes here?

We were in Penticton shopping yesterday with a friend. Pentiction is a small city, whereas our community is small. We don't get to the city often, and only go when we have to. Four hours there was enough for me - came away with sensory overload, a lighter wallet and no real inroad to any Christmas shopping. It just boggles me the commercialism. Do you know, yesterday I had a good laugh at an advert for Canadian Tire... there is a contraption called a digital boot dryer? You stick a hose kinda thing into the boot, turn it on, it dries the inside and shuts off when done. Oh my! There are machines for everything these days. And we wonder about energy consumption...



Sweet blackbird is silenced with chaffinch and thrush,

Only waistcoated robin still chirps in the bush:

Soft sun-loving swallows have mustered in force,

And winged to the spice-teeming southlands their course.


Plump housekeeper dormouse has tucked himself neat,

Just a brown ball in moss with a morsel to eat:

Armed hedgehog has huddled him into the hedge,

While frogs scarce miss freezing deep down in the sedge.


Sof swallows have left us alone in the lurch,

But robin sits whistling to us from his perch:

If I were red robin, I'd pipe you a tune

Woud make you despise all the beauties of June.


But since that cannot be, let us draw round the fire,

Munch chestnuts, tell stories, and stir the blaze higher.


Christina Rossetti


I will leave you with one last neat thing... if you have computer-savvy kids, and would like to expose them to a 'designing' program (well for sure if you are a scrapper, you've probably had your kids drooling to use your photoshop) - did you know theres a very cool FREE open source program out there just for them? I think its way cool, and so much fun - even has sounds! Its just been upgraded too. Its appropriate for kids ages 3 - 12. Its called Tux Paint and you can check it and download it HERE.



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