Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

Twenty-nineteen has been a wild one...full of grief and blessings.

Looking back, my greatest joy came from teaching; working with students, helping them learn to write, knowing how much a difference that skill will make in their college careers and lives...there is so much satisfaction that comes from teaching!

One of my regrets, however, was how little time I had to stamp and blog. The new year starts with news that my teaching load will be lighter due to low enrollment, and while I'm sorry to have fewer classes, I'm thrilled that I'll be able to spend a bit more time in my craft room!

While my stamping time has been limited, I've spent some time surfing Pinterest for inspiration. My Inspiring Cards board is filling up with lots of cards from European stampers who have this clean-and-simple thing nailed. You'll see the influence of those stampers in the cards I will post over the next few weeks.

For today, here's a card made with a stamp given to me by a lady at church. It's not my usual style, but I was inspired by Mia's blog post to use some softly colored vellum with it. I'm giving this to friends who are hosting our annual New Year's Eve celebration tonight.

Thanks for sticking with me through this lean year of posting. This will be my 29th post of the year. Last year, I posted 162 times, and in 2017, 242 times. May 2020 move the count back up to triple digits!

I wish you all blessings this coming year...peace, health, joy, and inky goodness.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Knotty Christmas

Longtime readers of Simplicity know that every year, my Stephen Ministry group makes ornaments to hand out, reminding people that not everyone is jolly during the holidays. This year's ornaments  feature a gorgeous Celtic cross stamp. 

Below are a picture of the ornament and the presentation read aloud in services last night and today. I hope you find it useful and inspiring. And if you are one of those whose knots have gotten so tangled you feel sad and far from hope, please email me. I can put you in touch with a Stephen Ministry group in your area. Stephen Ministries is all over the place!

A Knotty Christmas

It’s easy in the holiday season for us to tie ourselves in knots. The to-do lists get so long! Sometimes, we get so knotted up in the doing we forget about the meaning.

The meaning is this: God loves us so much that he sent us Jesus, God with us, a baby in a manger, peace on earth, good will toward all.

As you go about the hustle and bustle of the holidays, please remember that some people in our church and community are struggling and need some extra love. Their knots aren’t caused by being too busy but by not enough money, or too much grief, or some sort of illness, or broken relationships. When the knots get too bad, people can easily forget God’s promise in Isaiah:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

You can be that promised strength and help from God by paying attention, reaching out, and listening to someone who’s hurting this Christmas season. You might also tell them about Stephen Ministry. We are here for those knotty situations. Talk to any of us with blue name tags.

This year’s Stephen Ministry ornaments remind us of God’s promise and that we are called to serve others in love and in His name. 

The ornaments were made in memory of our dear friend and fellow Stephen Minister Keith Wylie. His legacy of faith lives on in our Celtic themed ornaments, with knotty crosses on them.
Keith loved Celtic knotwork, with its intricate and beautiful designs, and these crosses show that no matter how knotty our lives may become, all things are made beautiful in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus.

God with us.
A baby in a manger.
Peace on earth.
Good will toward all.
Merry Christmas and thank you.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Veering from Inspiration

Today's card was inspired by THIS PIN shared by fraubluetenstempel on Instagram. My card deviates rather dramatically from the inspiration card, but I couldn't have made it without the lovely example to riff off of.

First of all, I don't use designer paper, but I loved the text behind the printed leafy branches and the white die cut branches. The whole effect is simply beautiful. So I improvised.

My text stamps are all small print, which completely changed the balance of the design, so I went vertical rather than horizontal. I stamped Text Style from Papertrey after masking off a vertical strip. Then I stamped the wildflower from Life (also Papertrey) in Memento Pear Tart, and die cut some wildflowers (Tim Holtz, I think) in white. Following the inspiration piece, I stamped some spots around to soften everything.

The bold black sentiment of the inspiration piece works equally well with my rather different design, though!

So my card may not bear too much resemblance to the inspiration piece, but it's very satisfying anyway. At least to me! And I hope to you.

Hope, love, joy, and peace,

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Birthday Inspiration

This incredibly gorgeous PIN by Karin Hogger inspired today's card. The color scheme, bling, and layers are extremely similar. But because my background of words turned out so much busier than Karin's version, I felt the branch die cuts would be visual noise.

On the whole, I'm happy with the card, and it will go to my nature-loving son for his birthday next year.

But it's a bit busy for me. And I like Karin's version better.

Oh, and it was Karin's card that inspired me to buy Gina K's layered eucalyptus set. Can't wait to play with that and perhaps try a more literal interpretation of Karin's gorgeous card!

Hope, love, joy, and peace,