Friday, December 19, 2008

OK - playing with a pen and tablet I'm sure gives me a BIG advantage... and there are these angel things that flit out. So bet you can tell I never usually play computer games. This could be addictive. So c'mon, beat me already!
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5 mins after that last post. Now you have to play more, my score is higher.
Posted by Picasa

shhhh, I'm not really here. I don't see y'all or hear you (KIDDING) but I am just relaxing ... puttering around in a merry little tizzie. Aimlessly. Without a schedule. I just found this sweet little game - case you too, find yourself 'should be doing some task' but instead are wasting time. *wink* Can you beat my score?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Its snowing like the inside of a snow-globe here this morning - and it feels quite merry!

I’m not sure if this is my last blog post for the season... or not. It will entirely depend on if I get my list ‘knocked off’ Things are moving a TAD slower than anticipated here - how ‘bout you? Lets be real here today, there are always those last minute gifts you RECIEVE and then need to reciprocate – fast. All I can say on this end is “Thank goodness for Tim Hortons” (Famous Canadian Doughnut place)

I am going to take a good amount of time away from my computer, so don’t worry if you don’t see me for a bit – I plan to monopolize Mr. Miles’ vacation time. I’ve worked hard to finish up my projects and lessons and I want to see 2008 out being well rested – and start 2009 out that way too. We DO have a choice.

I’m sure I’ve missed responding to some of you – I’m sure there are things that won’t get done, and I apologise if I’ve left you hanging . Forgive me as I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment with life and all the season brings.

I’d like to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you who have visited me this past year – my blog would still get written even if nobody came by, but it would not be the same. I can’t tell you how many times your comments, feedback and encouragement have lifted my spirits. Many of you have become dear friends – the internet is amazing!

The biggest blessing of all has been to be able to have my Sister In Law Judy blog and learn to digiscrap - she's grown in her talent in every way - and to have been able to create a blog for my sister Nina and be able to see all her beautiful and tasteful card designs. I love that we share this bond! Their links are always in my sidebar - definately worth visiting (plus it makes me warm all over when you visit them too!)

We Celebrate Your Birth

Dear Lord, as we celebrate Your birth,
let us remember that You are the true reason for Christmas.
Let every sparkling light remind us how You illuminate our lives,
a shining beacon to guide us in our thoughts and actions each day,
and how You light us from within
in the knowledge of Your love and truth.

Let the Christmas trees, standing straight, tall, unbowed,
remind us of Your uprightness, Your goodness, Your perfection,
and Your refusal to bow to worldly temptations,
no matter how great the challenge or trouble.
Lord, as we feast on Christmas treats,
let us remember that You are the sole provider
of everything worth having, that all good things come from You.

And as we enjoy our gifts, let us never forget
that You are the greatest gift of all--our wonderful Savior,
Counselor, Giver of an eternal life whose wonders we cannot imagine.
So as we delight in Christmas, the happiest and brightest of holidays,
let us remember there would be no Christmas without You, Lord,
and let us our hearts be filled with joy, and love
and thankfulness, this Christmas and all the ones to come.

In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

By Joanna Fuchs

I was out the past few days snapping photos - I always love watching as the edge of the lake freezes up, there is always some sweet beauty to be captured! I'll share some of my latest photos with you.

I hope you have enjoyed a little peek at what its like here right now.

I have been busy creating a few layouts. The first is of our daughter Melanie - she sent me some photos so I decided to scrap them while they were hot. I'm going to be sure to capture some photos of our other daughter over the holidays too - so be expecting a layout of her too!

Melanie at a Christmas Party Layout
(click to see a bit larger)

Papers and Elements by Cuddlebee's Christmas Blessings Kit
Confetti Element (recolored) by KimB from her Time Anew Kit

Don't you just love this? I'd done the whole thing with Cuddlebee's kit, but then there was just SOMETHING missing, so I peeked in KimB's AMAZING Time Anew Kit - and discovered this beautiful confetti - the perfect touch to finish it off. You MUST have Kim's new kit for New Years. Just click HERE to find out more about that!

Christmas Greetings Layout 2008 of Mr and Mrs Miles
(click to see a bit larger)

Elements - KimB's Chrismtas Around the World Kit
Elements - KimB's Timeanew Kit
Paper and Elements - Barb Derksen's Crazy Ol Christmas Kit
Elements - Barb Derksen - Glitter Berries

Seeing as how Mr. Miles actually provided a photo of myself... LOL - I decided to make a page from us too!

Last note - my friend JanMary is on day 16 of her 25 days of blogging to Christmas - a great place to visit! Just click HERE.

And with no further ado, I'm relaunching my Crazy Ol Christmas kit - for YOU! I've added in a few extra sprigs of pine as they were missing from the original one.

Personal Use Only

And since its a crazy ol time, and you might be wishing for a giggle - here's a neat YouTube video Mr. Miles showed me about Hambone - a form of body-slapping music.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our new church sign

YAY! Our church has a new sign - something that is funky, fresh and ... totally does NOT go with the look of our building at the current time LOL! To be honest, the facade of our building is aged and worn, with some of the lettering falling off... but there is a NEW spirit within and God has been blessing us - and we are beginning to dig ourselves out and bring about some welcome changes. It has been a year of great growth and renewal and it will be exciting to see what 2009 brings about. We desire to be a church that does not seek only to who comes in... but more importantly, who will 'go out' from our body as missionaries.

My multi-talented husband designed the sign - he'll be blushing I said so, but I can't help but show him off.

Speaking of churches etc...

I will link you here to an article I heard on NPR radio - did you know that (and this is a sign of our times) some churches and synagogues are planting GPS chips in their nativity displays - to help locate them when they get stolen? Truly - you can read all about it (or listen, just click on the little red speaker symbol at the top) by clicking HERE. Who'd have ever thought there would be Geo Caching for Jesus?

Layout by Judy (my SIL)
credits: Barb Derksen (me) Heart Music Kit

Love this layout of my niece Melissa and her guitar instructor strumming out a tune on the guitar Melissa recently recieved for her birthday. I am impressed how you cut her out, Judy - looks great!

Tag by Nina (my Sister!)
credits: Music note image design by Barb Derksen (me)
Burgundy cardstock from Nature Preserve Recycled cardstock,
DCWV- Clear Glitter paper,
Figgy Pudding Kringle Designer paper.
Unknown elastic cord.

It is so exciting to see my items used in a hybrid project. Really - it sort of makes it 'come to life' I always get a new appreciation for my items - seeing them used this way. Thank you Nina, for sharing! I suspect we may see more items coming from Nina's blog in the future. In fact... speaking of which, she'd asked me to make a 'gift kitty' for a project, so I whipped one up. Only... when I showed her, she said she wanted a birthday kitty, not a Christmas one, so I'm going to share this one with you.

I've put a watermark over kitty in this preview, but the download will not have it on. I do this to prevent pirating in the form of just downloading a jpg - so my terms of use are included in the download. I hope you enjoy this purr-fectly delightful little kitty.

personal use only

And while we are on the subjects of kitty's ... here's a quirky, funny, typical kitty video which you will get a giggle out of, I'm sure.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Its so easy to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle this time of the year. Emotions run high and we're all in a rush to get it all done, yet for all our frenzy, it will somehow come together in the end. We're so busy running to and fro that we think we lose connection with God, for we've not managed to set time aside to seek Him. What we sometimes forget is that He is ALWAYS with us. He's not just there when we make some quiet time - He's here ALWAYS.

If you don't have time to get away from all the distractions, yet you need to know that He is with you, lift your prayers wherever you are. His love is ALWAYS with you. Every moment, every second of the day. He's waiting to share your every joy and sorrow. He can meet you the second you invite him to.

Be happy today - have cheer, knowing that God is with you.

The following song by Michael W. Smith is not your traditional Christmas song, but I hope it will speak to you the way it has me. I feel so joyous and hopeful through the words. 'specially the part about being in the crowd... for I feel 'crowded' this time of the year and long to know that God has time just for ME (and you) anytime we need it. I also am comforted to think of God's amazing love this way - that I can't 'escape' it - I might lose track, wander at times, neglect it or try running the other way to rebel ... but He's here.

Michael W. Smith - Stand album

It's like starin at the sky above
When I look in your eyes
Now where in the world did you come from?
You're so beautiful
And I know

I can't escape your love
Escape your love
Escape your love
I can't escape your love
Escape your love
Escape your love

Everytime I turn around you're there
I get a feelin' that won't go away
Nothing else in this whole world compares
You're surrounding me
And I know

That I can't escape your love
Escape your love
Escape your love
I can't escape your love
Escape your love
Escape your love

And in the righteous crowd
Your face is all I see
I hope you know by now
That I just can't escape
I can't escape your love
Escape your love
Escape your love
I can't escape your love
Escape your love
Escape your love
Oh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
to all who call upon Him in truth.

Psalm 145:18 NAS

My sister Nina needed to make a tag for a gift for a music teacher and so I whipped up this graphic for you, too, in case you have someone musical you'd like to bless! I'm going to make this one so you need only to click on it to download in PNG format. Please credit me if you use it by linking back to my blog. I'd love to see how you use this - why not send me a jpg of your project and I'll publish it here on my blog?

You can check out Nina's blog (lets pester her till we see how she uses the tag, right? by clicking HERE. She's been doing almost a card a day - whew!

You may also enjoy a visit to JanMary's blog - from Ireland. JanMary is into day 13 of blogging the 25 days of Christmas. Just click HERE to be transported.

click on graphic - then right click and 'save as' and choose PNG
PERSONAL use only

Friday, December 12, 2008

Soccer/Coach Card created by Me and My Sister, Nina
credits: Image and card design by Mrs. Miles,
Digital paper background by Louise (LouCee Creations)
You can find LouCee's kit at her blog by clicking HERE.
Burgundy and sage from Nature Preserve Recycled cardstock,
DCWV- Clear Glitter paper.

Isn't this just the NEATEST?

My sister asked me to help her design a card for my nephew's soccer coach who has a dog like this who amuses everyone with his ball playing antics. I love how she 'kicked it up a notch' by cutting out the soccer ball elements and then pasting them ABOVE the layout to give it a 3d look. Why not visit Nina today and check out her latest AMAZING creation. Just click HERE!

Umm... did someone say CHOCOLATE?

Well if that caught your attention you must head over to my dear friend Gina's blog, for she's got a link to a contest that could net you some HAND MADE ALMOND (or any nut) ROCA... plus, you'll want to check out some of Gina's handmade ETSY creations - there's still time to order for Christmas I'm betting! Just click HERE to be transported.

As I sit here blogging, we are getting a BIG snowfall. As I've been writing the world outside is quietly turning white with giant fluffy flakes. How appropriate for today.

Thanks for stopping by to see my show and tell items today. If you're visiting for the first time today and would like to find out more about the show and tell, or even sign up to join in the fun, just click HERE to be taken to Kelli's blog where you can find out all the details or add your name to the links list.

I'm showing off a special book I found two years ago at the local thrift store. Its so beautifully written and illustrated. I believe if you click on each image you can see them a BIT bigger than what you see here.

It has been such a busy week - its all a happy blur. I have been putting a bit of time aside each morning to pray and ask for my days to be ordered the way they are supposed to go, and though I've not marked all that I have on my own list, I've accomplished not only some of the bigger items, I've also been blessed to be able to do extra for others. I've found that when I 'make time' for a need that crops up unexpectedly, then somehow I wind up doing MORE than what I thought I had time for.

I want to thank each of you who come to visit me and leave comments. Especially now at this oh so busy time I know how it can be - and it touches me that you would choose to hover at my blog for a few minutes. You all make my blog something more than just a journal.

I created and sent a snowflake element set to some of my digi/blogger/friends and family this morning. Its not a set you will ever see here or for sale, its for each of the friends that I have who design. I have so many more who I could have made for, who do not design, but I just did not have time to do everyone. I'll find some way to thank anyone who's not a designer sometime in the new year.

The following is MADE from the snowflakes I sent to my friends, its an overlay and a few coordinating papers as well. I hope you enjoy! (so I guess I DID find a way to bless you all too *wink*)

Like snowflakes
floating gently,
to earth,
small kindnesses
touch our lives.
First one, and then another
and another,
until at last the world is
bright and shining
with goodwill.
And once again...
its Christmas

~ author unknown

Barb's Flake Flake Friends Add-on
personal use only


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Happy Birthday - Melissa!

KimB CATW Kit - papers, elements
Barb Derksen - festive sequins

Isn't Kim's kit perfect for this layout of my niece Melissa's birthday layout? I know, I'm sort of stuck on the 'cut people out and stick them in a frame theme' right now, but they do say practice makes perfect.

Melissa, we hope you have a LOVELY birthday - I'm sure your family has a lineup of fun great activities coming up, and ohhhh your gift, I'm sure its amazing. Melissa belongs to my SIL Judy, so you may want to pop on over HERE to leave Melissa a birthday wish and see Judy's layout too in honor of this special day!

I'd love it if you have a moment out of your busy day to check out the gorgeous card my sister has created - I love the writing technique, its giving me ideas. Just click HERE to see what I mean.

It is also my niece Rachel's birthday tomorrow, but I don't have a recent photo ... but I'm making a little free giveaway to say Happy Birthday to these two lovely young ladies!

And speaking of birthdays has reminded me that our countdown to Christmas is really a countdown to the day we honour the birth of Christ - the REAL reason we should be focussed on. So, I'm leaving you with this poem I found.

Somewhere amidst confusion in
the frantic Christmas race--
the deadline shopping, start and stopping
at a frenzied pace.

The name of Christ has been removed,
left off the Christmas scene.
Without the name of Christ, what then
does Christmas really mean?

No longer do the schools release
for Christmas holiday;
it's incorrect politically,
but Winter Break's O.K.

Now scenes of the Nativity
are banned from public streets.
Too much religiosity's
considered indiscreet.

Does Christmas portend Santa Claus,
whose sleigh and reindeers fly,
as Rudolph with a shiny nose
guides them through starlit sky?

For presents stacked high by the tree
the children eagerly reach.
What message does this scene present?
What lesson does it teach?

Is Christmas spirit portrayed here?
What it is meant to be?
Is it to wonder of those gifts
How many are for me?

There's nothing wrong with Santa Claus,
let's keep him on the scene,
but let's replace Santa Claus, with the name of Christ
to teach what Christmas means.

Another lovely place to visit to get into the Christmas spirit is over at my friend JanMary's place. JanMary lives in Ireland, and she's been blogging DAILY since Dec. 1st - all the traditions etc. Very interesting reading and wonderful photography... and its her daughter's birthday too! Just click HERE to be transported.

And here's my giveaway for you today - its fine for all uses, though you must credit me in your TOU upon use. Please do not share this file with your friends, I'd ask you send them here to download it for themselves.

I'd love to see how you use my products. Just send me a jpg and description and I'll post it here too!

fine for Personal, Commercial and S4H
(must credit me in TOU)


Saturday, December 06, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - to my brother Barry!

layout credits:
Letters: LLW Holiday Spirit
Paper: LLW Holiday Spirit
Elements: LLW Holiday Spirit
Sequins and Snowflake: Me!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - to my brother Bill!

layout credits:
Letters: LLW Holiday Spirit
Paper: LLW Holiday Spirit
Elements: LLW Holiday Spirit
Sequins and Snowflake: Me!

A Pal, a confidante, a friend,
There to shield, or to defend.
Braving life's ever changing weather
by standing steadfastly together.

With a brother you share a common history
of all that is , and what can be.
As childhood tears and innocent fears
melt into memory over the years.

Much to the human heart's delight,
Love does indeed make all things right.
Through every joy, and any strife,
A Brother is a friend for life!

You guessed it, Bill and Barry are TWINS, my brothers and this is their special day.
Until last year I could feel a little smug because they were over 50 so seeming MUCH older than me, but now thats changed... we're all over the half-century mark. Where DID the time go, I ask?

One thing thats sad to me, is seems the more the years march by, the less we see of one another. I hope 2009 fixes that!

We love you both so very much, and know you'll be spoiled by your lovely families. You can stop on by my Sister-In-Law Judy's blog by clicking HERE to say Happy Bday to Barry, but Maggie and Bill don't have one ... yet. Who knows perhaps next year will see us all online!

To celebrate my brother's (es?) birthdays, I made a gift for YOU - which you can find at the bottom of this post. I made it FREE, for ALL uses (just credit me in your TOU's) because I was overwhelmed with a warm fuzzy today! I'd LOVE to see how you use these elements - please email me a jpg of your finished product so I can blog you!


Yes, and besides making these goodies and cards...

I was making pretty in my house, for we invited 5 guests to dine in last night. I did not put up a tree, and I did not spend ANY money in the process. None. I browsed through magazines and library books gleaning ideas and threw together what I had to create all THIS:

This is our table. We got it from our friend June, who moved away a few years ago. It is wood and has a glass center and a drawer inside. In the summer and spring I put leaves and little collections of things inside, this year it was a perfect place to display our Christmas Cards as they arrive. At least this way they don't fall down all the time.

The candle was a present - I think from my SIL Judy, the ring around it was a $2 thrift item. I could not decide to use that as a door deco or this. I'm glad I chose this.

I had the first opportunity to fully use the set of Christmas China my Mother In Law gave me in the fall. And her silver, too. I was so proud to put it all out. Um... not the scissors though, I did not notice them till after I'd processed the pics.

I gathered pine and plants from all around the neighborhood and made up this quick centerpiece. I know its not professional, but it did the trick. A bit of ribbon, greenery, (reddery, haha), and something shiney in a nice container (thrift store $1) and you can't go wrong.

The tablecloth was a gift from our friend Melanie, who made the candles I blogged yesterday. I treasure it - it was made by her mother and its called huck-weaving. She was supposed to give it to her boss last year, but she wanted to give it to us, instead. I was so moved. Too bad bossie-wossie. She does not have the same boss now ;P

A bit blurry, but you can pick out some of the different plants I used. You might notice Ponderosa, cedar and spruce boughs. Sumac and CatoneaAster (sp?) for the reds, and Oregon Grape leaves for a finishing touch.

Candlesticks from Mother in Law, decorated with some fancy (yard sale) ribbon and (thrift store) bits of holly. Elegant square, dripless candles from a summer yard sale day in town.

Place settings made with plain ol' brown parcel paper, torn, and embellished with crayon and bits of old Christmas cards and tags. Nothing fancy!

The mantle, hosts a set of six wintery figures I bought for $1 each at a yard sale two summer ago - you'll see closer of these on next Friday's Show and Tell if you come back. The ornament in the center is amazing. I'm not big on Santa, but this ornament is incredible - a gift from my Mother in Law.

And in between, fresh cedar boughs and pine cones and red berries.

Mr. Snowman gets a place of honor atop the fireplace cover - a gift from my one and only sister Nina (you can visit her blog HERE)

Inside the fireplace, no fire, just a trio of rich red candles. Looks so pretty at night. I get warm INSIDE from looking at it.

This is what I see from my couch. It is very cosy and festive.


The dinner was nice. A quiet evening, good company. Good food.

I served:

Baked Ham
Braised Red Cabbage and Carrots
Peas with Savory Herbs
Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes
Brown Rice with Seasonings
Artisan Bread Flax Buns

Fresh, hot Pink Lady Apple Pie, with Ice Cream
Cherry Coconut Custard Pie (my own recipe)

When the guests left, I sent Elaine home with this door decoration I had created. Why don't you make one too? Just gather what greenery you can find about your own neighborhood and tie it with a gingham and red ribbon bow? I used dental floss to hang it, for its strong and sturdy and secured it to a paperclip which I then taped to the TOP of the door.


And with no further ado, here is your prezzie for me, in honour of my brothers Bill and Barry's special day!

fine for personal, commercial and scrap for hire
(credit me in your TOU's)


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thanks for stopping by to see my show and tell items today. If you're visiting for the first time today and would like to find out more about the show and tell, or even sign up to join in the fun, just click HERE to be taken to Kelli's blog where you can find out all the details or add your name to the links list. At least I'm HOPING there's a Show and Tell today, for there's not much happening at Kelli's at the moment, but do check, it might go ahead.

Today I'd like to share a gift I just received from my dear friend Melanie. Melanie is very talented with crafts and over the past few years she's been experimenting with beeswax candles. She noticed I had a set of beeswax candles hanging on my tree last year, alas I had to throw them out because they were getting old and gummy and did not smell nor look so nice either.

Mr & Mrs Beeswax Santa Claus!

These are her version of the Santa Claus's in wax. Well, I think they are SO cute! I love all the small details she's tended to. They measure about 10 inches high and she was thoughtful to include the little dishes for them to melt down into - that is as if I'd ever actually BURN them...

Hmm... Santa's getting on in years, must wear glasses so he does not overshoot a roof anywhere? Or perhaps its for reading the small print on the googlemaps on his ipod...

And Mrs. C, well, she's got such nice pupils, must be straining in the dark to wait and make sure Mr. C comes home safe in the sleigh, right?

I love her hands. C'mon, we all know she's trained all those elves to do crafts, so its understandable the hands would be a bit swollen and arthritic, right?

I'm going to treasure these for years to come. Thank you Melanie, you'll be able to come and enjoy these sometime very soon, ok?

* * *

Its proving to be an extremely busy week. I was blessed to join over 100 women at an inter-church celebration on Wednesday - a warm time of fellowship with women from all through our valley and it was a nice way to begin the festive season.

And I'm expecting five guests for dinner on Friday night - so have put some time and effort into decorating and planning a tasty menu. And then ya, I try to do Christmas cards at the same time. I got real pretty fast though. I had to put everything on hold for an hour, take a deep breath and then p.r.i.o.r.i.t.i.z.e. Sometimes we get going 100 mph without knowing where we are headed!

And I ALWAYS take a few moments out to be blessed to visit with my one and only sister Nina (click HERE) to see what wonderful carding adventures she's been up to on her blog (she's a newbie, be gentle on her) only... she posts EVERY day... kind of like my friend JanMary (click HERE) who is blogging DAILY from now till Christmas, her Christmas decorating and traditions. I'm having a hard time keeping up, ladies? Not Complaining. I also love check in with my SIL Judy (click HERE) too, for she keeps me up to date on her side of the family along with some sweet layouts. Love my nieces to pieces, even if I rarely get to see them (hugs)

At any rate, I took a few moments out to finish up these little elements for YOU! I hope you enjoy them. I'd love to see what you make, so send me a small jpg of your layouts, along with credits and I'll publish you!

Thank you all so much for your faithful visits and especially for those comments... sometimes thats the very fuel that keeps me coming back.

And in case you live on Mars or somewhere just as far removed from earth and have not been told that KimB's and Linda's blogs are Christmas Central (meaning they ALWAYS have a fun post and a little 'sumfing special') then... if you just didn't know... then just click HERE (Kim) and HERE (Linda) to check them out!

personal use only

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