Sunday, August 31, 2008


Flower For Joy - No. 2
8 inches tall - 300 dpi

credit: KimB's beadit metallics

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*Note: Password is barbs*
(I'm using my drop.io account as 4shared was not working for me today)


Some of the needs I'll be lifting up today:

The devastating earthquake in China - many killed and wounded.

The destruction caused by Hurricane Gustav.

Joy and her family on the recent loss of her mother.

My friend Lillian as she and her family as they prepare to move to England

The unknown young lady who's living in a hotel with her children, with no clear plans for the future right now.

I think what struck me as I penned this list - is that some instances are small, while others blanket huge amounts of people and places - even so, my prayer is the same for both. Can the prayer for the crowds compare to the prayer of just one need? According to God - it can:


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

Matthew 10:29

So don't be afraid;
you are worth more than many sparrows.


Matthew 10:31

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies ?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Luke 12:6

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:7





WIN ME - LAST DAY TO ENTER!


by Virelle Kidder

Today's the very last day to get your name in to be drawn for Virelle's book -and what a book. Written for today's fast paced life, Virelle gives some insight and good advice on what to do when the stress of it all is overwhelming. Sharing her own journey, she will help guide us to "meet Jesus at the Well" A great reminder that we are NOT alone - He will meet us, right exactly where and when we need.

Just click HERE to be taken to Virelle's BLOG where you can leave a comment and have your name drawn for her book. We will announce the winner on TUESDAY.

Also, be sure to visit Virelles website by clicking HERE to learn more about her and her ministry. I want to personally thank Virelle for 'being here' for my dear friend Joy - she stepped up to the plate IMMEDIATELY with comfort for my friend. Thank you for being obedient and compassionate. Virelle, you're 10 feet tall in my eyes.




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Saturday, August 30, 2008




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Friday, August 29, 2008


FLOWER FOR JOY
png format 300 dpi
personal use
12" high!

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My friend Joy lost her Mom yesterday morning at 3 a.m.

I've created this flower as a way to say "We are thinking of you"

Please, forgo a comment here if you're short of time, and leave one of encouragement and comfort on Joy's blog. Just click HERE.

Also - DON'T FORGET to enter my book draw for Virelle Kidder's "Meet Me at the Well" - and if you have a coffee break today, and have not had time to read my blog - take 10 minutes out of your busy day to read WHY this book is here for the (generous) giving, how it all ties in with Joy. I don't have time to re-write it all, but its all posted previous, WITH INSTRUCTIONS on how YOU can win Virelle's Book, and learn more about Virelle.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Joy sent me an email this morning - her Mom passed away at 3:30 a.m. Would you please take a moment out of your busy day to leave a little love on her blog? Just click HERE.

THANK YOU for all who have been praying for her and family - please continue to do so.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I JUST recieved this update from Joy - thought I would share so we can all continue to pray for and uplift Joy and her family.

"I am sorry I have not been able to blog... or update... things have been very hard and busy... mom is now in Hospice House... she wll probably be gone in the next day or so... I love you all and thank you for keeping us in prayer. - Joy"

You may leave comments for Joy at her blog, by clicking HERE.


Olivia and Victoria's Tsunami Blue 5 x 7 inch Brag Book

download Page No. 5

Day 3 - final of giving here this Brag Book on my blog - hope you enjoy this third page of the sweet brag book (using my Tsunami Blue Kit) assembled by my CT Victoria! You'll find the link for downloading Page No. 6 at Victoria's blog! Just click HERE.

Who knows what we'll be cooking up for you next?

*****

VIRELLE WANTS YOU TO WIN!!!


Author and Conference Speaker {and woman with a heart for God}
VIRELLE KIDDER


Virelle Kidder's "Meet Me at the Well"
could be YOURS! (read on!)

You can win Virelle's book today by visiting her blog (click HERE) and simply leaving her a comment. She will draw next Monday or Tuesday and you could be the lucky one to be adding this wonderful resource to your library!

Why would you want to have Virelle's book in your collection? WELL... - {pun intended} MEET ME AT THE WELL - Virelle's book is sure to touch your heart if you've EVER had to deal with stress. That puts all of us in for it right? I stumbled upon Virelle's book after listening to a radio interview with her on July 11, 2008 - {just click HERE and find that particular day, and then click on the audio symbol, to hear the whole show.}

Virelle was sharing her own experiences of becoming overwhelmed with all of the messy business of life, not truly recognizing the critical point she was at - when it all came grinding to a halt... and she aligns this all, this stopping place, with the analogy of the woman who met Jesus at the Well. She teaches us how 'the well' is not a random chance encounter - and how we might all find our way there. GOOD, solid, scriptural and sound reading.

To learn more about Virelle, and her other ministries and publications, you may visit her official website by clicking HERE.

Virelle has generously made her book available for this giveaway after learning of my friend Joy's struggle with having to care for, and find professional care for, her aging Mother - a Mom who's losing all her facilities and has become increasingly difficult, to the point that Joy can no longer do this on her own.

We ALL have a 'Well' in our lives, a place of quiet where we can be close to our Creator -

It is in solitude and silence that I find the gentleness
with which I can truly love my brother and my sister.
- Thomas Merton

We doctors, in the treatment of nervous diseases,
are now constantly compelled to prescribe periods of rest.
Some periods are, I think, only Sundays in arrears.
- Sir James Crichton-Browne

The green oasis,
the grassy meadow in the wilderness;
where, after the weekday's journey,
the pilgrim halts for refreshment and repose.
- Charles Reade


Joy sent me an email update yesterday, I'll share:

"Just a quick note... yesterday was so very rough... but GOD is so very good... we are at HOSPICE HOUSE.... we are doing much better today... I was very nervous about the room they were going to give us... when we turned the corner to her room... I was praising GOD... she has a wonderful room right out the doors is a beautiful pond with Koi... and a stream... it sounds wonderful... Even tho she has not been awake to understand it I have told her it is out there... and the wonderful thing is that she is very claustrophobic.... and we can open the french doors and they are wide open and air and water sounds are flowing in. PRAISE GOD.... thank you so much for keeping us up in prayer... I will email later when I can..."

So, THANK YOU for all of you who continue to lift Joy up in prayer at this difficult time. If you would like to personally leave a few words of encouragement for her, you can find her blog by clicking HERE.

*****

My friend BUNNY has suffered a LOSS, recently.

It took me like 10 minutes to actually 'GET IT'... you will know what I mean but you'll have to visit to figure it out, just like I did. Its worth the time. You'll surely chuckle. Not meaning to laugh at your LOSS Bunns, but Gee. Just click HERE.





MY LAYOUT HANGS IN A FAMOUS MUSEUM!

rotfl!

Yeah, as IF!

But its fun to pretend, right?



I LOVE YOU TO BITS AND PIECES MILES!

And YOU can love your own photos to bits and pieces too, hang in a famous museum, or do all sorts of cool effects by simply visiting the website I stumbled upon the other day. Its called Dumpr - and you can play with several FREE effects and save them too, as well as some paid pro ones too. Just click HERE.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Olivia and Victoria's Tsunami Blue 5 x 7 inch Brag Book

download Page No. 3

Its day 2 of giving here on my blog - hope you enjoy this third page of the sweet brag book (using my Tsunami Blue Kit) assembled by my CT Victoria! You'll find the link for downloading Page No. 4 at Victoria's blog! Just click HERE.


Author and Conference Speaker {and woman with a heart for God}
VIRELLE KIDDER


Virelle Kidder's "Meet Me at the Well"
could be YOURS! (read on!)

Ever have stress in your life?

Ok, pretty dumb question. We all have stress, but sometimes when our stress levels reach toxic levels, we're the last to recognize and accept it. Stress has an insidious way of building that we often 'erupt' or 'crash' before we are able to see and do anything about it.

Virelle Kidder has 'been there' - and she's shared her journey with us in her book "Meet Me at the Well" If you did not have an opportunity to read yesterday's blog entry here, you may wish to check back on it, as there's an interview with Virelle which will give you insight into her life and how it changed her, and how it might help you, too. Also, you may desire to check out the audio interview Virelle did with Midday Connection on July 11, 2008 - just click HERE and find that particular day, and then click on the audio symbol, to hear the whole show.

NOW, to win her book, just visit Virelle's BLOG site, {click HERE} and leave a comment. Virelle will pick a name next Monday or Tuesday - I hope you win. After commenting, why not check out Virelle's official website to learn more about her and her other publications! Just click HERE.


credit: KimB's Frame It Vintage

Last night found us at our dear friend Rose's house {hardly EVER get to see my Rose anymore, toooo busy :( } We were not there to catch up on our lives, we were invited to a get-together to say good bye and best wishes to a young family, Matt and Lilly and their two sweet kids - as they are moving to England in September.

I hope you will pray for them as they make this big move. Matt is originally from England - he and Lilly actually met online, how cool is THAT? At any rate, Matt's taking his bride HOME. Would you pray for Lillian, this is a huge thing for her. Lillian grew up in a VERY CLOSE family - she's surrounded by her family almost all the time. This is going to be a big change for her and she may have a difficult time adjusting/being homesick. She's truly going to miss her sisters who spend much time together.



credit: KimB's Frame It Vintage

The farewell party also had a Christmas in August theme - Lillian loves Christmas, and since the family will not be together to exchange gifts and celebrate, her sister Leila and her husband Nathan made sure there were all the trimmings, from a minature tree at the food table, to EGG NOG (frozen all these months in waiting) and presents for all.

Loads of great food - and homemade banana splits for dessert ( d'ya think that was Rose's idea as she works at Dairy Queen? ) Anyhow, Mike was SO CUTE as he meticulously assembled his own dessert.

Matt and Lillian, we will miss you and your children. May your journey be safe, and may England embrace you.

Things change, seasons pass by, families grow, age, pass on, but God is with us always. May God smile down on you, Matt and Lillian. We'll be under the same smile - not far away at all!


Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1


******

Last, but not least, continue to pray for Joy, who's looking after her Mom - at a VERY difficult time. If you've not read Joy's story, read yesterday's blog entry. It would be a HUGE encouragement to Joy if you were to leave her a comment on her blog as well, just click HERE. I'll keep you posted if I get an update on Joy's situation, and THANK YOU for lifting her needs up.


Monday, August 25, 2008


Olivia and Victoria's Tsunami Blue 5 x 7 inch Brag Book

download Brag Book page No. 1


I promised some excitement here today, and I won’t disappoint. My one and only, faithful and hard working CT, Victoria has created you a sweet Brag Book using my Tsunami Blue kit. We are working in tandem over the following three days to bring you all six pages, 1 from my blog, 1 from her blog on each day, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. By then you will have all six pages. We hope you will begin your day with us each day. Thank you Victoria for assembling this beautiful book . Visit Victoria's blog to download PAGE 2, Just click HERE.

I have some good testimony to share with you all here. My journey begins with me reaching out to help a friend in need. She has given me permission to share her story.

My friend Joy and I have never met in person, though I know without a doubt we shall. She lives in Oregon, I in BC, Canada. We found each other through a chat at a digital Scrapbooking site a few years ago and one of us invited the other to join a chat program, and we both have blogs and we would ‘visit’ back and forth.

Over the years we have come to know and enjoy each other. We have celebrated our blessings together, and comforted and encouraged each other through other times. Always its been through chat or email. Unfortunately, the chat program we used suddenly ceased to exist and we just have not connected that way since. We have, however, stayed in touch through our blogs and email.

I’ve known for a while that Joy was struggling with an issue many of us may have to face in our lives. She’s having to be the main care-giver to her elderly Mother. This means having to live away from her home and her husband, relocating temporarily to the town where her Mother lives. From what I gather, Joy does have some support from her family (for sure help in the way of encouragement etc) but for the physical BEING there and doing stuff, she’s the only one that has the means to be able to stay and DO things.

Mother is spiralling downwards, health wise. She’s become very ‘difficult’ - eg: being emotionally and physically abusive. I know none of us likes to think this happens, and as Joy says, she KNOWS her Mother is merely using her as a target for her anger – because Joy is THERE. Joy knows her Mother is not angry with her, she’s angry at her loss of mobility, her confusion, her pain and anxiety. This said, its got to be hard to keep positive when the Mother who once nurtured and cared for you acts out at you, hitting, spitting and saying things she really does not mean.

I’m in admiration that Joy has made it this far. To hang in there all through this. Its easy to love when things are going right, but REAL love is birthed of standing in through the difficult times.

I’ve left encouragement when I could, on her blog, but not having had to walk in her shoes, I’ve felt a bit inadequate knowing just how to help. OF COURSE I’ve lifted her up in prayer.

Things have escalated in the past week. I’ve checked in on Joy’s blog, and sent emails, but it was pretty quiet. Then, then on Saturday, I sent Joy an email. I had SUCH a burden for her. I did not know WHY. So, I made a decision and did something I have only done perhaps once before. I sent Joy an email and just told her that I felt so strongly there was a need in her life, and that I was going to, in faith, pray it be met. I also GAVE HER MY PHONE NUMBER, and encouraged her to call me. ANYTIME.

At dinner that night, the phone rang, and Miles answered. He, not knowing who it was, or that I’d even called Joy, said we were eating dinner and could we call back, and then asked who it was. Well, I took the phone right away.

I can’t tell you what it meant to me to hear Joy’s voice. To hear her struggles. To SHARE her pain, her journey. She told me, that my email had met her (she checked the time it was sent) at the EXACT time she needed to be making some decisions. Joy is at the point where she may have to release her Mother into professional care – and its tearing her apart. She KNOWS she’s been a good care giver – she’s been assured of this by the nurses she’s worked with. Even they are telling her its OK to want to be ‘JUST A DAUGHTER’ again. Even so, its got to be heart wrenching.

How wonderful for Joy to reach out for help, for a shoulder, an ear, for prayer. Her request allowed me to lift her and her family in prayer at Church yesterday morning, to know that the prayer warriors in our congregation will be interceding for her this coming week. I hope she feels surrounded by the love and peace we wish for her.


Friendship doubles our joy

and divides our sorrow.



"A true friend is always loyal,

and a brother is born to help in time of need."

Proverbs 17:17 TLB


Won’t YOU lift Joy and her family in prayer this week? You can visit Joy’s blog by clicking HERE. She’s not had much time to update (understandably!) but I know your comments would mean so much to her.

*update*

I spoke to Valinda last night - it was another night of struggle with Mother. When we visited (via chat) she was continuously pulled away as her Mother, though medicated kept trying to get out of bed. She seemed to be settling a bit by the end of our conversation. Thankfully, at the time we spent together, Joy was expecting some relief help in an hour or so.

I feel blessed just to BE HERE for Joy, and felt good I could do SOMETHING for her.

But I didn’t stop there.


Virelle Kidder


You see, I’ve not had to walk this journey Joy is walking. I can pray for her and imagine what it might be like, but I can’t KNOW, can’t give her practical advice. But our conversation brought to mind a radio program I’d heard in July at Midday Connection, where an author was being interviewed – about the VERY situation that Joy is facing. The interview was with Virelle Kidder – author of “Meet Me at the Well” – a book about her own struggle with tremendous personal stresses INCLUDING her mother’s failing health and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s - with Virelle being the main caregiver. And it is about how Virelle came to her own decision making time – and how this all led her to “meet Jesus at the well” If she’d not made changes she may well have lost everything. There was just so much here I knew could be of value to Joy.

I decided to track back to find the audio show from Midday Connection and to send Joy a link – for I know this show will give her a comfort that I can’t myself. She will know she’s not alone, others have struggled along the same journey.

{In case you would like to listen to that audio interview yourselves, you can do so by clicking HERE and choose the July 11, 2008 show called Meet Me at the Well. Just click the little audio button and it should open in your windows media player.}

Then, I went a step further.

How awesome it is to be used when one is obedient when a need is laid on your heart. My God knows no boundaries – He can use us RIGHT WHERE WE ARE. I think of it as being a SERVANT of God – a servant does not sit by and WATCH, a true servant DOES. Does whatever one can. Do whatever YOU can, take action, and God will do the rest. He desires us to be obedient - He can and will use whatever big or small thing you are able do.


God has given you incredible potential.

Don't be afraid to take risks.


"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity,

but a spirit of power,

and love of self-discipline."

2 Timothy 1:7 NIV


I tracked the link to Virelle’s website. I located her email, and I simply gave her a brief overview of Joy’s situation and asked for her prayer. I knew Virelle must be a very busy lady – as she’s a full time writer and conference speaker. But do you know, Virelle took the intiative to leave a message back at Joy’s to comfort and encourage her, personally. Not only that, Virelle is going to be giving a book away to one lucky person.



Virelle Kidder's "Meet Me at the Well"
could be YOURS! (read on!)

I’m going to publish an interview with her here . You need only to visit her blog and leave a comment. Just click HERE to be taken to her blog. Please encourage all your friends or those who may benefit from Virelle/s ministry, to visit and leave a comment. At the end of one week, Virelle will choose a winner!

By the way, you also want to visit Virelle’s WEBSITE, where you can read her ‘sneak peak’ of her book, and find out more about her other books, ministry and ... herself! Thank you, Virelle, for your ministry, and for sharing with us!


An interview with Virelle

  1. Tell us about your life “before the well.” About eight or ten years ago my life was as happy and full as it’s ever been with a speaking ministry, daily radio show, and writing. Steve and I were loving our empty nest and had just signed a book contract to co-author Getting the Best Out of Public Schools when everything changed. Our younger daughter arrived home in a serious mental health crisis from an abusive marriage, needing our full time comfort and care for a long, long time. Soon afterward my elderly mother who lived nearby also began a steady descent into Alzheimer’s. Although it took years to diagnose, her needs escalated daily. Suddenly, I was a full time caregiver, caught between the extreme needs of two women I loved, my mother and my daughter.

  1. How did you know you were becoming depressed? I didn’t. I began having mild chest pains and problems with my jaw, but didn’t take it seriously until one day at lunch with some friends I broke out in hives. I thought it was a food allergy, but my husband insisted I see the doctor. As I left the house he said, “Tell Dr. Mastroianni I think you’re depressed.” I laughed it off, but later the doctor said he knew it the minute I walked in the door.

  1. Why is this problem so common among women? Caregiving is natural to women. The problem comes when we find we are not equipped to handle it all. It’s just too much, and their needs are too great. Eventually, we are broken and weary in body, mind, and spirit. Christian women struggle more with this, because we feel God requires it. We trust He will give the grace and strength we need day by day. And He does, for a long time, until we realize we just can’t keep going. False guilt needles our faith and pretty soon we feel like a lousy Christian, too.

  1. Did Jesus feel the same physical and emotional fatigue we do? He certainly felt the same pressures we do, and barely had a quiet moment without making sure it happened by rising early to meet with His Father, getting away to quiet places to rest with His disciples. If Jesus needed to rest regularly, what makes us think we don’t?

  1. How is that possible if you’re “all prayed up” and in the Word of God each day? Somehow, I thought that would be enough. My walk with God was steady and strong, but my body and emotions were completely worn out. When one part suffers, the whole person suffers.

  1. You talk about the “Woman at the Well” in John chapter four as a rock star, naming her Moriah. Why is she so special to you? She’s an honest woman. I love that! Moriah has no problem admitting she’s a sinner. Her conversation with Jesus is direct, even confrontational, until He reveals how deeply He knows her, and who He really is. Her guard drops and she runs to tell the whole village. In that moment she is transformed into a real woman of faith.

  1. You mention feeling angry with God over the things He allows, such as your daughter’s mental illness and the death of Birgitta, your older daughter’s best friend. That’s something most people don’t want to admit. What did you do about your anger? I asked an older woman and followed her advice. “Tell God how you feel,” she said. “He’s big enough to take it.” When I finally did, I felt His deep comfort and understanding and real relief. I still don’t know why terrible things happen, and often feel grief over them, but I know God hurts with me and loves them even more than I do.

  1. What advice do you have for other women who find themselves smack in the middle of the “sandwich generation,” caring for adult children and parents? Ask for help way earlier than I did. Don’t feel that you can carry on alone. Only God can “fix” those we love. We cannot do that. Love, prayer, and service as He directs are the best. Trust those God’s put in your life to counsel you.

  1. How did things turn around for you? What changed? I was walking through a supermarket in January on a bitter cold night. I’d just brought my mother her dinner and was getting groceries for us, when tears began rolling down my face. I prayed simply, “Lord, I can’t keep going. Will you take this from me?” Moments after I arrived home, my mother phoned. She couldn’t move and was frightened. We called 911 and met the ambulance a few minutes later at her house. Mother was eventually placed in a nursing home where she met the love of her life, after more than fifty years as a widow. How good is God?

  1. What have you learned about God since then that you didn’t know before? What has renewal meant for you? We’ve been through many difficulties over the years, but this was one of the hardest for me. There’s no shame in admitting weakness. I run to God more quickly with every need than I did before. I expect I’ll keep learning that until the day God calls me home!

You can write to Virelle via her website at www.virellekidder.com.

Meet Me at the Well by Virelle Kidder. Published by Moody Publishers, January 2008. Paperback, 228 pages. $13.99. ISBN: 978-0-8024-4861-3.

Sunday, August 24, 2008



Pastor Jim spoke today on "Shining Your Light". If you read yesterday's blog entry, you'll see this is just what my scripture was about. He embellished on that theme in some thought provoking ways. Don't you love when this happens? There seems to be a 'flow'!

I've got some very 'good stuff' coming up in the next few days. You'll want to stay tuned here.

I put together a slide show of something which happened to me on my walk the other day.

Note: if you click the little four-arrowed symbol, bottom right of the slideshow you can view the show full screen. To advance each slide just CLICK on the screen. To exit the full screen show, just hit your ESCAPE key. Enjoy!




Thursday, August 21, 2008


Celebrate with Me!
Olivia Dorazio's (Me) dd Designer Pack

FINE FOR PERSONAL, COMMERCIAL & SCRAP FOR HIRE!

download

What Mom does not want to celebrate her daughter's birthday with the rest of the world? I was just starting to get some good designing ideas happening, feeling creative and being very relieved to be making some new items for the Sophia Sarducci Shop, when the thought occured to me that of all days, this (August 22, I'm posting this the previous evening so its up bright and early tomorrow a.m.) this day, I want to share some of my joy! I'm also blessed that its my niece Samantha's birthday too - how cool is THAT? So, I'm doubly blessed!

Ah, and I'm sure I'll find some more neat 'stuff'' to make for the shop - so I'm giving this in faith!

These elements are designed in a vector program, so super quality, some measuring as tall as 12 inches, all 300 dpi in png format.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELANIE!
{click to view larger}
credits:
Fancy Alpha Black (numbers) by Adriana Lunette (my dear DEAR friend Amy)
Glitter Swirls by Carrie Stevens
All other items by ... Olivia Dorazio from my Junkyard Garden No. 2 Kit

How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?

--Dr. Seuss

This little poem is how I feel about our daughter turning 25 - whoosh! Where DID the time go? Honestly, I was just buying diapers for her the other day, I swear! And now, it occurs to me, that in September I will be exactly DOUBLE her age. How did this happen?

At any rate, we are SO PROUD of you Melanie, and we wish you a special day. We wish we could be there to celebrate with you, but we will set aside a date to pamper you proper. We know you're so popular you'll be too busy to even think of it. We'll mark off a future date to shower you hugs and indulge you for a day.

Wishing our daugther a Happy Birthday got me pondering on BEING a daughter. My parents are no longer here - gosh I miss them so. There is not one day goes by I don't long for them. I am very blessed though, to have loving In-Laws and I don't take any time with them for granted.

While pondering I was reminded what it is to be a daughter and it called to mind that I will always be a daugther - for my FATHER is always with me. I never have to be alone. I will always be HIS little girl, precious and special, no matter what. HE'S always here to protect and keep me.

Keep your face to the sunshine of HIS love
and the shadows will fall behind you.

"Keep me as the apple of the eye;
hide me in the shadow of thy wings"
Psalm 17:8 RSV



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMANTHA!

credits:
Adriana Lunette's {Amy's} Fancy Kit

Samantha, you too have 'matured' way to fast ... will you ladies STOP THAT? LOL - no, truly we wish you the most wonderful birthday ever. We know your Mom and family will spoil within an inch of your life - as you so deserve.

Now, for those of you who have not checked out Adriana's Fancy Kit - you are truly missing out BIG TIME. This kit has to be seen and used to really appreciate how amazing it is. I was knocked off my feet when I opened it up - it was a delight to scrap with this one! I am in awe of the fine details and care that Amy puts into her 'stuff'. This kit was created with her sweet daughter Emma in mind. You can purchase Amy's kit at the shop by clicking HERE.




Layouts By Bog Reader LouCee
credits:
Olivia Dorazio's Tsunami Blue Kit

Louise sent me these lovely layouts she created using my Tsunami Blue Kit. What a great job she's done with these - I love how any watery subjects segue perfectly with this kit. Thank you, Louise for sharing these terrific layouts with us.

If you would like to share your layouts, using any of my products here, I'll try to make you famous... (right *wink*) Just send me a 600 x 600 px snap to lalalime{at}hotmail{dot}com
Be sure to list all credits!




Speaking of which... you can still get your own Tsunami Blue by shopping HERE.



As promised...

Barb’s Lemony Ginger Apple Pie

6 – 7 LARGE apples, peeled, cored, sliced

4 tbsp honey

2 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp salt

Juice of av2 inch length of fresh ginger root, freshly squeezed

3 tbsp Watkins Cinnamon

A good grinding of fresh ground black pepper

1 tbsp of Meyer Lemon Grapeseed Oil

Or

1 tbsp canola oil plus 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon peel and a squirt of fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp flour

½ cup Skor Bits

Grated butter (grate cold from fridge with cheese grater)

Pastry for shell (top and bottom)

Toss all ingredients together except the pie shells, skor bits and butter. Line a pie plate with bottom shell. Pour mixed ingredients into into the shell. Sprinkle with Skor Bits, grate butter overtop (I’ll leave HOW MUCH to your own discretion) Top with last shell.

Cover edges with foil to avoid browning. You may also choose to cover entire shell with foil at some point during the baking if you find its browning too fast.

Bake at 375 for 40 – 50 mins or until golden.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Valinda and Barb's Fuschia QP
8 x 8 inches 300 dpi png file

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Valinda designed this amazing QP for you as well, created from my Junkyard Garden No.2 kit. Be ready this next week for a cool Junkyard Friendly alpha coming to the shop! You should also visit Valinda, as she ALWAYS has something good for you to download, always FREE! Just click HERE.



Junkyard Garden No.2 kit, available HERE.

Layout by LouCee (Louise)

credits:

Junkyard Garden No. 2 Kit by Olivia Dorazio (me)
Tattered and Torn edge by Bannerwoman

This soothing morning layout was created by blog reader Louise (LouCee) Gee - we all have these alter identities LOL. Thank you for sharing your creation Louise, you made my kit look amazing. Louise also has a couple of pretty FREE downloads for you too, just visit her by clicking HERE.

If you have a layout or project you've created using my items, and would like to share them here, just send a 600 x 600 px snap to my email along with credits. lalalime{at}hotmail{dot}com

Sorry if you visited and found my blog home empty and forlorn, for we were away to the coast. It is our parent’s birthdays both in this month and we managed to round up the entire family at one time – no small feat in these busy days.




The Random Yardsale Gals

We drove down on Thursday, it was HOT and got hotter as we neared our destination as its much more humid there. Our days went quickly, lots of catching up to do. Of course I got my yard saling ‘fix’ in – I’ll blog on that next entry. These are three random gals at one of the yard sale.



The start of a Beautiful Friendship

I promised to give my pie recipe if it turned out alright – and it did, but the recipe will have to wait for another entry too as I have to design my bumm off today or I shall fall seriously behind (pun intended) We enjoyed the pie with our new friends before we left, a lovely and special visit it was! Our guests left behind this beautiful pottery piece which shall become a centerpiece of our home and our friendship is sure to prove to be a long and lasting one!



Will she get...
"Too big for my Cart" Bumm?

And we wonder why our groceries cost more? LOL – this girl’s Mum should have told her where NOT to park her bumm. Spied in the parking lot at our local Buy Low, me waiting with camera in purse while Miles did all the shopping. Actually, Miles does 90% of our grocery shopping, it works out much cheaper and faster this way – what about YOU, do you do most of yours, or your husband?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Olivia & Valinda's Junkyard Garden No. 2 Quick Page
8 x 8 inches (300 dpi) PNG

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You'll have to thank my dear friend VALINDA for this lovely Quick Page - she's actually assembled TWO for you - the next one to be available tomorrow, then I think I'm going to take the weekend off and just put my feet up, ok? Valinda, I hope you will do the same. To visit Valinda, just click HERE. (Valinda always has a gorgeous giveaway too!)



Company's Coming!

My blog entry will be brief today - company's coming! Some NEW friends will be coming by to enjoy an hour or so with us today so it was a good excuse for me to bake up a pie. (Actually Mr. Miles has been giving me 'sad puppy eyes' and asking for one for a while now...)

The orchard next door to us have harvested their first apples - yes, some sort of early variety, and I'm not entirely sure how they will bake up. Unfortunately for the orchardists, there are more 'windfalls' and 'culls' than crop this year, what with all the freak weather. Wind, hail and sudden fierce rains have taken their toll on the fruit. The result is apples that are unacceptable for sale, but can still be used if used up in creative ways. Most fruits have hailspots (look like little dark circles) and some have bruises, just means more waste when slicing them.

I decided to be artistic with this pie - and gosh I sure hope our guests like ginger, because thats going to be a definite overtone in the flavor of this pie. I'll take more photos when we slice it up - and share my recipe with you, if it turns out to be tasty and worthy of you to spend an hour in the kitchen.



My Latest NEWSHAWK photo

Yes, thats me with a camera permanently attached to my hand - LOL! We came home Sunday afternoon to find yet another fire burning across the lake from our home. It had been started by a lightening strike in the area - there have been so many lightening strikes this year. I was struck by how fast they mopped this one up, using several planes and helicopters! I guess they want to stay ontop of things.

If you would like to see the full news article, containing my photos, just click HERE.



Oh-lala: a KISSING layout by KIMB
(ha,ha - missing your husband MUCH, Gurl?)

credits:

Junkyard Garden No.2 Kit by Olivia Dorazio (ME)
template by Schokomama

Kim said in the email she sent with her layout (can't we all just SEE here skippidy hopping to the airport?) JanMary, Ireland is your home, have you been kissed here too?

"Hee hee- I'm passing the time till I have to go to airport! YIPPPPEEEE-
This is my sister and her husband- this was when they got married in Scotland- at Gretna Green. This is the kissing post-lol"



Get your OWN Junkyard Garden No. 2 kit!
Just click HERE for instant gratification...

Mo' tomorrah everybody. Be sure to come back to download Valinda's second beautiful Quick Page created from this kit!

And for to leave you with something interesting, I found this amazing Photoshop Painting tutorial you MUST see. This artist really is amazing. You'll also find a TON of helpful tutorials and instructions - in FIVE MINUTE videos. NOTE the extra features in each video, look for the little buttons at the bottom of the screen! Who knows, perhaps YOU will upload a tutorial of your own. If you do, let me know and I'll link for you. Just click HERE to be transported to the 5 min video site - the painting of Albert Einstein) or you can watch it right here on my bloggie!

(Valinda, Christy's doll making would be PERFECT here)


Learn how to use photoshop actions



Monday, August 11, 2008


Olivia Dorazio's Junkyard Garden No.2 Quickpage
full 12 x 12 inches!
Assembled by Bunny Cates

download

I hope you'll all stop by Bunny's to say a big thanks for creating this awesome QP from my Junkyard Garden No. 2 Kit - which is available for purchase today at the Sophia Sarducci shop. Todays THE DAY to purchase because we all go a little Mad on Mondays and offer our NEW products at a 20% discount! Crazy - innit? Join our madness, for Mondays can be mundane, morbid, melancoly... but we can fight back, right? Just click HERE to be transported to the shop.



Layout by Bunny Cates
Credits: Junkyard Garden No.2 QP
assembled by none other than Bunny herself!

I've always admired Bunny's eclectic and wonderful sense of style - she's got a quirky way of putting things together that make a nice and interesting GOOD mess! She's a close friend to KIMB - (who is one of the most talented designers I know) and I've always dreamed one day Bunny MIGHT even want to work with one of my designs. KIMB - thanks for letting me 'borrow' your Bunny!

Poor KimB - don't worry, ur handsome will be home in only TWO MORE sleeps gurl, you can make it!

I feel SO BLESSED to have even more wonderful layouts designed for me - my one and only 'official' CT Victoria, who's created two LOVELY layouts and has posted around the web for me. Victoria has saved my bacon once again by spotting a sizing error in one of the vines files in time for me to fix and re-upload to the shop. THANKS SWEETIE! Full credits on all layouts are available on Victoria's Blog!

For those of you who recieved my kit ahead of time you can resize the file yourself, if you know how... o - if you need instructions for this, let me know.

I've also got a beautiful layout by Valinda - thoughtful, faithful, encouraging Valinda. Do you know, she's also created two QP's I'm going to give away over the next few days. LUCKY YOU! Thanks V! You can visit Valinda by clicking HERE.

And, then there's also a sweet layout in the following slideshow which was created by my wonderful Sister in Law, Judy, of her granddaugther Melissa and the bike she's hoping to earn. I hope you get it too, Melissa - work hard - or twist Papa around your finger so he works for you! haha! Judy's got a fun slideshow of everyone visiting a funpark in Vancouver on her blog - to visit Judy's blog click HERE.

Here's a small slideshow of my latest kit and the layouts!




Olivia Dorazio’s Junkyard Garden 2!



And, I'd like to give kudos to my friend Amy, for her stunning new Fancy-Fancy kit which is also launching today at the Sophia Sarducci shop. Wow - what a treat! I've seen this kit close up, and its a knock out! You'll want to stop by the Sophia Sarducci BLOG as well for Adriana aka Amy has posted a NICE, FANCY giveaway there! And of course Amy always has a good freebie links list on her blog.


Adriana Lunette's Fancy Fancy kit
visit AMY'S BLOG to read the story behind the kit!

Recently I've been reading blogs of friends who are looking after aging parents and its really moved my heart to desire to share about this issue. Its not all that long ago (just a few years, but it feels like yesterday) that my own dear Grandma passed on - and the time just before she left us was very strange. I so clearly remember us taking us taking her out for coffee and over a period of time watching as her health, and mind at times, failed. I clearly recall that she often resented the care of my aunt, who I know had a burden to look after her full time. In reading my friends blog, I realize how hard this must have been on my aunt at times - for the aged ones we look after often resent our very caring efforts - and almost always misinterpret the caring as 'controlling' Its so hard for the aging to let go of their independence, and the one who looks after them often becomes the target of their anger. How hard it must be for both parties.

What has touched me, is the CARING of these people who are are doing the PARENTING to their parents, in their last years. I totally admire you. I've been so inspired and touched by your pushing past all the frustration to continue to stand in there. I want you to know that I'm going to be praying for each of you this week.

One friend (who I won't reveal here pending permission) said this which had me laughing and crying all at the same time:

She is getting angry with me a lot... but I know she doesn't me it at me... the Hospice nurse says it is because I am the one that is doing everything for her. She thinks I am trying to keep her so she cant walk. so the nurse said just let her try and get up and do it herself... and she will fall but she is not going to hurt herself... hmmmm... 4am this Saturday morning she fell... we have no idea how she ended up in the hallway.. and then she fell this morning and smacked her nose and got a cut on her toe and her hand.. It took everything inside me not to get upset... of course I could not pick her up .. .so I looked at her and laughed and said mom I bet you are feeling like a turtle on your back right now aren't you? she started laughing... so I wanted to cry but we laughed instead... sooooo I decided to strip her bed and remake it... then I stripped her and washed her up and put new PJ's on her and then walked to the next door neighbors house... (a very sweet man) and said hey (name withheld) what are you doing LOL... he said nothing why? I said could you please come and pick my mom up off the floor... he is so sweet he came over and picked her up and put her in the wheel chair... that was the start of our day. I just pray that I make it through each day being calm and not getting upset.

So, you can see why this email moved me. I'm asking each of you to lift this friend (and others who are in the same situation) in prayer - for strength, stamina and for her to keep this amazing sense of humour in a situation that any one of us would find taxing.

The bible calls us to honor our parents - and this includes when they are failing and do not know what they are saying and doing. This friend is living her faith, and to me, thats when it counts most, when the sailing is rough. Its the test of the strength an depth of our faith.

I'm so proud that my friend is turning to God to help her in her time of need, and it sounds like she's receiving the rewards in this.

A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming,
understand the unconventional,
tolerate the unpleasant and
outlast the unbearable.

"A joyful heart is good medicine."

Proverbs 17:22 (NASB)


In closing, I must point your way to the following website I (by accident or?) stumbled upon just the other day. I KNOW that my friends, and all of you who are caregivers to the elderly, will appreciate - you will TOTALLY be delighted and identify. AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHY!

You are NOT alone - I'll be praying for you! I'd love to hear if you have a story about your aging parent, friend, etc and how you coped.

DAYS OF LIFE WITH MY FATHER
by Phillip Toledano - click HERE to be transported.

(I found if you right click your mouse you can zoom the view with the +)
(click at the BOTTOM of each page to see next photo)







Saturday, August 09, 2008

Agh! We were down at the dock the other day – our ONE BIG THING we treat ourselves with if the weather permits – and there was a nice breeze coming off the lake. We did our little routine, laying our air mattresses out , covering them with a towel and anchoring them down with whatever’s handy and seems heavy, before taking a lil dip to cool off. This day I chose my library book for an anchor as the towel was a heavy one already. Yah, you know where I’m going here.

Miles was the first out, got his handsome self all arranged on his air mattress, his highly kissble face to the sun. I took a few extra moments to enjoy the water. I pulled myself up onto the railing – to find my ‘spot’ on the dock – BARE!

Ah-hah, the air mattress, being the lightest was floating the furthest away, the towel blanketing the bottom of the lake, while the book was floating nicely about 12 feet out.

I wasn’t even particularly fond of the book I ruined. Why, oh why could it not have happened to the one I liked, about a week ago. So, $41 dollars later. Sheesh.

I know you ALL have at least one ‘LIBRARY BOOK TALE’ to tell – c’mon, spill – we can weep together. I wish I could say I’d be wise and read only magazines or paperbacks there from now on, but I like to live dangerously. I think I’ll should put up a windsock or something though?

With this said, I'm showing you the previews to my newest kit, which will be available on Monday at the Sophia Sarducci Shop. This kit is so big that I've broken it down into bits, so you can purchase 1, 2 or all of the pieces! Each item is very reasonably priced, and if you shop on Monday you'll also recieve an additional 20% off as its Monday Madness too!







These overlays were created using photographs I took when my sister was visiting. There were some vines creeping up the side of a building, and grapes ON the vine, which were irresistible to my camera lens. I've overlaid them with a grungy canvas texture - they turned out beautifully! So these overlays are a little piece of my sister's visit I can share with you!



And for YOU!
A little something - a small taste of my trashy treasures!

download

I would LOVE to see your layouts you make using my items - to share here on the blog - just send me a 600 x 600 px jpg at lalalime [at] hotmail [dot] com
Be sure to supply all credits!

*****

I'll give you a giggle here by sharing some thoughts sent to me by my friend Janice recently - I'm sure we can all identify at some time. I'm not sure where these originated, so can't give credit:

A friend of mine confused her Valium with her birth control pills... she has 14 kids but doesn't really care.

One of life's mysteries is how a 2-pound box of chocolates can make a woman gain 5 lbs.

My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely.

The best way to forget your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends.

Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.

Sometimes I think I understand everything, and then I regain consciousness.

A friend of mine confused her Valium with her birth control pills... she has 14 kids but doesn't really care.

I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting fire to my knicker's.

Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks 2 sizes!

Skinny people irritate me! Especially when they say things like...'You know sometimes I forget to eat!' .....Now I've forgotten my address, my mother's maiden name and my keys, but I have never forgotten to eat. You have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat!

I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are eating too much, impulse buying,and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day!

*****
Here's a challenge my friend Angela sent me - I too, think I will try it - I think its a good idea!
It's all about going 'Gossip Free' You can find out more by clicking HERE.

*****

I've been reading magazines again, so will share some hilites with you. Always something new that catches my eye. Technology Rocks!

If you're like me, meaning you're hard on your electronics, this camera I was reading about might interest you - its the Olympus SW camera and it is:

waterproof to 33 feet
shockproof from 6.6 feet
crushproof to 220 lb
freezeproof to 14 degrees F.
capture stunning pics and movies, with sound ... UNDERWATER

sounds like even I could not kill this one. To find out more just click HERE.

Then, there's these cool crayola chalk sticks that are 3D! You draw funky patterns, don the glasses included and *WOW* - the yellow, orange and pink colors rise, while the cool colors - blue, green and purple recede! To find out more, click HERE.

Lastly, a lil yummy recipe for you I found in the same Parents Mag - its by Colleen Weeden - a terrific way to enjoy this season's fresh blueberry harvest!

BERRY YOGURT POPS

1 8.25 oz. can pear halves in heavy syrup
1 cup blueberries
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt

Drain the pears, reserving 2 tbs. syrup. Place the pears, blueberries, and reserved syrup in a blender or food processor. Cover and mix until its smooth.

*****

Lastly, I'm going to share the amazing interview of the Steven Curtis Chapman family with you. I've never had tragedy touch my life, like it has theirs - and I stand in awe of how their faith is evident in what must be every family's nightmare situation. I know it's only our hope in Jesus that can take something like this and work it to His Glory, to unite a family even closer than ever before. I hope it might inspire you too.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman - he's a talented Christian recording artist who's sung his faith for many years now. His faith is not shaken, even though tragedy hit their family when their small daughter, who was adopted from China, was killed when her 17 year old brother did not see her in the driveway and ran over her.



Love is pulling together against all the odds.

"And beyond all these things put on love,
which is the perfect bond of unity."

Colossians 3:14

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