Monday, March 30, 2020

Woodland 'Shrooms

A number of extremely beautiful cards on Pinterest feature paper with lots of texture...which inspired me to look through my box of unusual papers. There, I rediscovered this lovely "wood" paper (pretty sure I bought it at Michael's years ago). It seemed like the perfect backdrop for some cute little mushrooms.

The card base is from PTI. All the little flecks on the cream cardstock add interest and softness.  The spots on the 'shrooms are Hero Arts pumpkin pie, and the little rhinestone was colored with a Sharpie to match.

Isn't the texture of that wood paper beautiful! The paper is actually very fragile--brittle, even. I used a die to cut it and a very light bead of glue to adhere it.

Here's hoping this post finds you well and holding up in the quarantine.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and safety,

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Giveaway--Edited


The past two-and-a-half weeks have been...interesting. I hope this post finds you well and coping. We are.

Well, no one has melted down or thrown things. So there's that.

On Tuesday, March 10, Sinclair Community College announced suspension of classes until March 23 so professors could move face-to-face classes online. I've basically been sitting at my computer ever since trying to convert my classes and learn how to teach via Zoom. The first week of online teaching has gone better than I thought it would. So yay. But I'm exhausted.

Today, I just had to take a break and spent about four hours at my craft desk. After making a bunch of pretty trash, I made this.

I'd like to send this bookmark to someone as a little pick-me-up during this tumultuous and stressful time. Just leave a comment telling us how you're coping with the crisis. I'll select a winner at random Monday  Tuesday night after 6:00 p.m. eastern. I will mail it anywhere...because the whole world is in this mess together. (Edited because I didn't post this to Facebook like I usually do!)

As for my coping, the fact we're all healthy so far helps a lot. Work keeps me too busy to watch the news (a very good thing!), and rare downtime is spent reading fluffy fiction for pure escape, watching movies in the evening with my family, calling friends to check in, and walking outside every chance I get. Ohio is operating under a stay-at-home order, and we argue over who gets to go do the shopping. I've also continued my Calm app meditation streak, which is at 142 days. Ohmmmmm.

So what about you? How are you coping?

Mercy, grace, peace, and lots of love,

Friday, March 27, 2020

Our Viral Grief

Often, people think of grief only in terms of loss through death, but we grieve—often very deeply—other types of loss. In the face of pandemic, we have much to grieve from stay-at-home orders and social distancing. We grieve missed hugs, financial losses, and the loss of physical community for worship, work, and school. We grieve lost vacations, sporting events, graduations, weddings, and funerals. 

We want to do the right thing—flatten the curve for everyone—but the losses hurt. How can we process all this hurt and deal with this new, viral grief?

Recognize your feelings. Grief can stir up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings that need to be acknowledged. Feelings are neither good nor bad…they just are. We can’t control what we feel, but we can control how we respond. The first step in responding well to our feelings is to recognize them. 

Accept your feelings. For instance, Christians sometimes think it’s a sin to be angry at God and therefore have a hard time accepting that feeling. The good news is that God’s not afraid of our anger. God’s love in infinite. God can handle our anger and every other feeling our grief might conjure up.  

Express your feelings. Cry. Punch a pillow. Keep a journal. Pray.

Trust that feelings are unique to each of us. People might have the same source of grief but very different feelings about it. Trust that everyone’s doing their best with their feelings…even you! Treat others’ feelings the way you want them to treat yours, even if you might not understand them.

Share your feelings with someone you trust. Often, the most healing part of working through grief is putting the words out there; feelings often lose power in the open air. Talk with someone who listens without judgment, without trying to “fix” the feelings, and without telling you what you “should” do. (And remember to be a good listener when others share their feelings with you!)

C.S. Lewis said, “No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.” Indeed, we now see in our response to this pandemic just how closely related fear and grief are. God is with us as we wash our hands and struggle with this new—and temporary—normal. God is with us through this uncertainty, fear, and grief. God gave us feelings; let us work through them together. 

This is a slightly edited article I wrote for our church newsletter, and it comes out of my experience as a Stephen Minister and Leader. If you want more information, please email me through the blog. Blessings and peace to everyone. ~Susan

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Inspired Butterflies

Today's butterflies were inspired by THIS PIN. I wanted the natural colors and grassy softness of the inspiration with the adorbs little butterfly from Hero Arts From the Vault Bugs. The grass here comes from an old PTI set. Lovely!

I used a couple of Copic markers to color the body of the butterfly and add some shading to the wings. The effect is soft and pretty!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Little Purple Butterflies

More fun with Hero Arts From the Vault Bugs. The purple and green color scheme makes me endlessly happy!

This card was inspired by the numerous inchie cards I've seen on Pinterest lately. Most are shabby chic, collage, or artsy looking, which we can all agree I don't do well. But my 3/4" square punch certainly enjoyed a workout, and this simple card was worth all the failed squares!

That script birthday sentiment is from one of the PTI Keep It Simple Birthday sets. I adore it!

What are your favorite sentiment stamps? Or at least ones that you get excited to use?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Spring Break Fun with Bees

Spring break at my college started today, and I spent most of the afternoon stamping. Yay! I still have a lot of grading and planning to get done this week, but that can all wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, I've been playing with Hero Arts From the Vault Bugs and coordinating dies. It's a great set!

Today's card uses the bee stamps in the Hero Arts set on an unusually sized card (4 1/8" x 6 1/4"). It fits in a standard A6 envelope, which is a little large for the way I cut the card. I wanted more white space around my circles than the standard card measurement allowed for.

The card was inspired by THIS LOVELY PIN. Obviously, there were plenty of changes, but I do really like how the design worked out with very different stamps and dies.

Those soft yellow pearls have been in my stash for quite a while, and it felt great to use them. The flower stamps are from Gina K, and the sentiment is from StampinUp.


Many thanks to those of you who read my post on human sexuality and the UMC on my other blog and DIDN'T unsubscribe from this blog! I know the issue is incredibly divisive, with strong feelings on both sides. My feelings certainly are strong. It's my hope and prayer that the church splits amicably over this, allowing each side to exercise its conscience on the issue. There's been quite enough harm done already.

If you or people you love are part of the LGBTQ community, know that there are churches in the UMC that both welcome you and affirm your full participation. We are all beloved children of God...just as we are. God doesn't make mistakes.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,