Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hybrid Greeting Cards -- Perk Up Girls

Don't you just identify with coffeekiki (C.C Designs) here when it comes to your morning coffee? I'll be posting complete instructions on my website ( hopefully later today. Though this image comes in a traditional stamp, I opted to download it digitally to create a Z-file card for my Delcastle Craft show. Though Kiki was much admired, I think she may have hit a little too close to home. I used Copic markers to color her and found the perfect cardstock combinations in Close To My Heart's new cardstock selection (Smoothie and Sky Blue). The front piece came from my CTMH scraps. I'll be posting more hybrid cards later on this week. I'll be leaving home in about an hour to go to A.C. Moore's in Dover, DE where I'll be encouraging people to sign up for my next round of SDU scrapbooking classes (Nov 30, Dec 1, 7 and 8 from 6 PM - 8 PM) and to a Hybrid Christmas Card class (December 2 from 6 PM - 8 PM).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Draped Ornaments

I made this card as part of my 2010 Christmas Collection for the DelCastle Craft Fair. I made seven cards, some aligned better than others.

I purchased two packages of the Reflections Craft Cardstock during Michael’s Employee Appreciation Week for half price (1 pack of 8 ½” x 11” for 50 sheets is regularly $3.99 – so I got 100 sheets for that price). CTMH's Desert Sand will cardstock will also work with this project. 

I also purchased an Iris Card Storage Bin at half price. It has seven sections, so I have one bin dedicated to storage for the kraft cardstock. I will have seven kraft card designs for Delcastle. A roll of Kraft paper was $6.99 (I think I got it for half price too). I can also use the craft paper to cover my tables.

Tools: Piercing Tool, Paper Trimmer, Enveloper, Royal Lang Glue Brush, Clear Stamping Blocks

Stamps: CTMH Adornable D1446; CTMH Father Christmas D1449; CTMH Evergreen D1315 (envelope ornaments)
Inks: CTMH Holiday Red Z2127; Topiary Z2155; Cocoa Z2114; White Daisy Z2163
Papers: Reflections Kraft Paper Cardstock (8 ½“x11”) and a roll of craft paper for envelopes.
Techniques: Stamping, Aligning Clear Stamps, Pigment Inks,
Accessories: Inkssentials Opaque White Pen; Copic at you Spica Glitter Pen #11, Gold; CTMH Glitz Stardust Glitter Glue Z1313; Red ribbon

Visit my website ( for complete directions or ( to order products.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Go Granny Go Birthday Card

I designed this card on Friday, October 8, 2010 for Marge Cook, my mother-in-law, on the occasion of her 95th birthday. It’s a 5 ½” x 4 ½” card. I chalked the edges of the card and the ovals with Outdoor Denim Exclusive Inks.
• SparkleNSprinkle Go Granny Go [1516-308G] and Go Granny Go!!! (phrase) [3180-397A]
• Close To My Heart For Every Occasion stamp (D1187)
• Close To My Heart The Present (D1436)

• Black Diamond
• Silver

Copic Markers
• E33 Sand
• B05 Process Blue
• E00 Skin White
• RV29 Crimson
• R20 Blush
• C-1 Cool Gray
• Y08 Acid Yellow

• Close To My Heart Outdoor Denim (1275)
• Close To My Heart White Daisy (1385)

Other Products
• Close To My Heart Exclusive Inks Outdoor Denim (Z2140)
• White Satin Ribbon
• Spellbinders Nestabilities, Classic Scalloped Ovals Large
• Close To My Heart 3” x 3” Acrylic Block
• Close To My Heart 1” x 1 ½” Acrylic Block
• Close To My Heart 2: x 3 ½” Acrylic Block
• Close To My Heart Sponge Dauber (Z726)
• Inkssentials Opaque Pen White
• Close To My Heart Bone Folder Z1204
• Sizzix Big Shot
• 3M ATG Gun
• Mini Pop Dot

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

H2H Tag Challenge

I just got back from the CKC Convention in Valley Forge when I saw the new Heart2Heart Challenge and its requirement to involve tags. I viewed this as a perfect opportunity to play with acrylics I saw and use up some scraps at the same time!

I love making cards from scraps! I found some wonderful sentiments on a mostly-used Emporium Level 1 Sticker set, backed them with scraps from Emporium B&T’s and mini-glue-dotted them onto a clear card base (Z1323).

I made my tag from a Twilight cardstock scrap, colored a White Daisy Clear Bloom (Z1300) with Buttercup ink (Z2110) and adhered an Emporium sticker in the center. I used the tail end of a Z1127 Chocolate Ribbon Round as my tag topper. I edged papers and stickers with Twilight Ink (Z2160)

Since this is a greeting card, I wanted to make sure that I could write a sentiment on the inside of the card, so I considered myself most fortunate to find a journaling blank among my leftover Emporium stickers. So I placed my sentiment on the lower portion of my Clear Card album and left the top open for my sticker. I positioned the journaling sticker to it could be seen above the sentiment. After adhering two layers of B&T’s on top of the cardstock tag, I cut the blank top off the “beautiful moments” sticker and adhered it to the tag. Next I adhered the flower with a glue dot, then the center of the flower with the Stickese sticker. Finally, I added my tag topper and adhered it with glue dots and now I have a most unusual card.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Two Challenges: Triple the Scraps & Heart2Heart Color Challenge

Matthew 6:26 is the inspiration for this scripture. Behold the birds of the air, for they neither snow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? Our little birds may not “work”, but what is more joyful in the morning than to hear to hear uplifting bird-song as we begin our day? In the same way, what father does not revel in his own child’s laughter, or seek to “fix things” that make his child sad? Just as my own sons’ parenting skills are clear reflections of their father, so must our hearts and our actions be reflections of our heavenly Father. How blessed are we to have His protection, his agape love, and to be cherished as His children?

I struggled with what projects to take with me to work on at the Friday Night Crop at the CKC Convention in Valley Forge, PA. It hit me Thursday morning (we left Thursday evening) that this would be a WONDERFUL opportunity to catch up on ALL of my missed challenges! I was five behind on my Triple the Scraps scripture challenge and I wanted to do this week’s Close to My Heart Color Challenge.

So, I frantically looked for scriptures and art for three out of the five challenges, added a few last minute projects, and was confident that I would have plenty to do while making huge strides to finish overdue projects during our four-hour cropping window. I failed to factor one element into my best-laid plans: EXHAUSTION! After a grueling, 10,000-step, six-class day, my world took on Alice-in-Wonderland angles and shapes. My inability to cut a straight line with a ruler/trimmer magnified itself to the power 10. Scallops were lost and edges skewered. But how like our heavenly Father is it to accept us as we are, odd angles and all? Rather than redo the project, I decided to let the imperfections remain because we are flawed creatures who can rest in our Father’s perfections.

“You should have seen her!” my roommate Melissa shared with our two other cropping partners – Tina and Erica. “By 10:00 she was nodding off at the table with pop dots in her hand.” The next day, after another five classes and almost 6,000 steps, I added the final touch to the project -- “stitching” – while sitting in my minivan waiting for my three traveling companions to finish their last class. I used three-general stamping on my little birds and created my scallops with an EK Success corner rounder.

I used the following products to complete this project.

 Vineyard Berry cardstock (1248)

 Vineyard Berry Exclusive Ink (Z2257)

 Blush Cardstock (Z2257)

 Crème Brulee cardstock (X5754)

 Black Exclusive Inks (Z2305)

 Classic Cap Alphabet stamp set (D1110)

 Love Birds stamp set (C1396)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Challenge 15 --Fear Not

An expected noise, swooshing branches scratching the side of a house, thunder-splitting lightening assaulting a nearby tree – who isn’t afraid of things that go bump in the night? But Scripture tells us we have nothing to fear for our Lord is with us always. He strengthens us in the middle of the storm. He keeps us safe in the unsafe places. He has plans for us. So when we’re afraid, we can draw courage from Isaiah 41:10 as we move through the danger and experience victory at His right hand.

Triple the Scrap’s Fear Not” challenge begged for monsters which were not part of my inventory until my CTMH convention bundle arrived last week. So I put together another sneak preview using products schedule for release on September 1. I used the Hooligans Level I Paper Pack X7129A which included the cardstock and stickers for the 6” x 6” page, squares, and “Boo!!” I used my EK Success powder brush to de-stick the stickers. I used the felt monsters for added depth from CTMH’s Hooligans Level 2 Assortment ( Z1332). I edged with Black Exclusive Inks (Z2105) and one of our new fall colors, Lagoon (Z2195).

I took a short cut and used some mini-shimmer alpha stickers from Making Memories for the “Fear Not” title rather than break open a new pack of our Color Ready Bold Alphabets (X5750). I can blame it on my two larger dogs (Bo @ 65 pounds and Tally @ 55 pounds) who are deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Just I finished, thunder, lightening, and a more than wet thunderstorm swept by our house. Lucy (a 28-pound fireball) was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, but Bo and Tally were completely undone. They could not “fear not.”

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Somebody spilt the milk! Was it the cow in Close to My Heart’s Howdy Acrylix Stamp Set (D1435)? Or was it the farmer’s son who tried to take shortcuts when he was sent out to milk the cow who was never returned to the barn the night before? Should the unseen farmer’s son be forgiven? Proverbs 17:9 tells that when we forgive, we extend love to others. How real is that? . . . and maybe even Bossie will forgive him for leaving her outside all night long.

Besides the Howdy stamp, I used the following products:

 Splendor Level 2 paper pack (scraps)

 Back Country Level 2 paper pack (scraps)

 Olive Exclusive inks (Z2137)

 Barn Red Exclusive inks (Z2104)

 Chocolate Exclusive inks (Z2111)

 Cricut Old West cartridge for the letters

Heart2Heart What's Cookin' Challenge

My favorite tea house is the Victorian Lady ( in Milford, Delaware. Kay Young (the owner) has a five-course tea luncheon that is a must for every special occasion. She starts with soup, then scones, fruit, sandwiches and dessert. Of course, you have your choice of teas. When I saw the Heart2Heart recipe challenge, I immediately thought of Kay. So I called her and got a recipe for each course and placed them in my mini recipe box which I made from a coffee holder that I got at the Gaylord in Washington D.C. during our CTMH Convention. I used our soon to be released stamps titled “A Sip” (A1109) and Royal Birth (D1441). Of course, no crown is complete without bling, so I bejeweled it with Bitty Sparkles (Z1263). I have five recipes in the mini-box (one for each course) and attached tea bag labels with Cranberry Waxy Flax (Z1086). I stamped and edged with Cranberry Exclusive Inks (Z2116) and used That’s Amore Level 2 Paper Pack (X7107B) scraps to cover the coffee holder inside and out.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Onward and Upward

Our first Angola By the Bay Women's Club Craft Fair is over and now I'll be moving ever forward in the scheme of things -- all things. While my sales were mediocre, I met some WONDERFUL people and may have some future Scrapbook in a Year participants in the future.

This one-of-a-kind Hoppy Birthday card found a home in Angola. Melissa and I plan to continue participating in craft shows as we fine-tune our resale product line.

My focus during the next six weeks will be on building various scrapbooking pages. I'm also gearing up to teach SDU classes at A.C. Moore in Dover and possibly in Michaels in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Between our new CTMH projects and gearing up for teaching the EK Success product line, I'm totally  psyched.

I'll be posting more in the days ahead. Meanwhile, have a hoppy day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teapot Card

This is a teapot "thank you" card that I made for the Angola craft show. I picked the stamp up at the Stamp, Scrap and Art Tour back in March. I deliebertly selected papers that I'm grying to use up, so I thought it all worked out rather well, all things considered. I love the coffee pot. Stop by Angola on Saturday (weather permiting) and say "hellos." We'd love to meet you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Heads Up! Craft Show Saturday (or Sunday)

Melissa Fulgham and I will be vendors at the Angola By The Bay Women’s Club  35th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair this Saturday, July 17th. The fair is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Angola By The Bay community. The rain date is Sunday, July 18. We are one of more than 70 talented crafters from four states who will be exhibiting. Angola By The Bay is on Angola Road one half mile east of Route 24 between Lewes and Millsboro. For more information, call 945-2700. We hope to see you there.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Convention, CTMH Style

Too little time, too much to do . . . but we finally made it to the Close to My Heart Convention at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Washington DC. I've taken hundreds of pictures since I arrived yesterday afternoon, but I was particularly taken with this special treatment of some steps at the Gaylord . . . how cool is this? I'm now a "supervisor" with CTMH because I have sponsored my good friend, Melissa Fulgham, into the company. Our team is the "Scrappigators" and we plan to be around for a long, long time. I'd love to share the opportunity with you . . . so just drop me an email so we can talk. Meanwhile, dare to dream.
   Tomorrow we'll be doing some "create and takes" so I'll be posting those soon. We've had a long and productive day and now it's time to sleep. Don't forget to wear the crown of your achievements, to soar like a butterfly, to build a framework for success, to join a community built on heart, and to fly on the wings of creativity -- that's Close To My Heart.

Friday, June 18, 2010

You're a Hoot!

     My friend, Melissa Fulgham, and I will have a booth at the Angola Craft Show on Saturday, July 17th, so I’ve been working on some new cards.    Helen Onulak (, another Close To My Heart consultant, had this really sweet card that incorporated a scalloped edge in one of its layers, so I just had to play with scallops. I almost bought a scalloped Nestibles set when I realized, duh! You have a Making Memories Slice die cutter! I’ll bet you have scallops there! One thing lead to another when I found my scallops on the Making Memories Slice Basics 1 Card and decided to play with a window card treatment. This is a result! 1 4 ½” square card with a matching envelop (20-lb bond copy paper) which I made using my Crafters Companion Enveloper.

I’ll be posting complete instructions on my in a couple of days. In the meantime, here's a sneek peak at the products I used to create this simple little card:

Products Used:
      White Daisy CTMH Cardstock
      My Acrylix Stamp C1362 You’re a Hoot
      Key Lime Exclusive Inks Marker Z2331
      Parchment Exclusive Inks Marker Z2342
      Black Exclusive Inks Marker Z2305
      Sunflower Exclusive Inks Marker Z2350
      Cocoa and Topiary Exclusive Inks
      Liquid Glass

Tools Used:
      Making Memories Slice Basics Card 1
      My Acrylix Blocks 1” x 1 ½” (Y1001)
      My Acrylix Blocks 2” x 2” (Y1003)
      Sponge Dauber (Z726)
      Crafter’s Companion Enveloper (Email me at dcookwrites@cookworkshop on how to order)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Triple the Scraps: Hymn

Spring is so here. Even as I upload my latest Triple the Scraps project, I can't seem to turn my thoughts from Spring. So, I ramped up my "challenge" a bit and focused on using bits of papers left from other Close To My Heart projects to build this page. My scripture is from Ephesians 5:19 which encourages us to communicate through hymns and spiritual songs. And if the rocks will praise Him should mankind remain silent (Luke 28:40), then why not the flowers too? The only stamp on the page comes from Close To My Heart's You Rock Workshop on the Go (B1341). I used a White Daisy cardstock base and B&Ts from Daydream, Bella, Aspen and Celebrate Everyday to create the backgrounds. I used a 1.25" round punch to create the flower centers and petals. The green cardstock was left over from our May Workshop On The Go pack -- Cheery-O. By the way, if you listen carefully, you just might hear the flowers praising Him too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Heart2Heart Challenge 2 -- Sketch Challenge

I've enjoyed this challenge. I actually put this layout together Tuesday morning to use as a sample for a Tuesday night workshop. This is from the Bella collection and I uses all CTMH products. Besides Buttercup cardstock (1271), I used our Shades of Chocolate (Z1037) brads, cardstock (X5643)  and Exclusives Ink and placed them on an ivory card base. My Just for Blooms flowers (Z1033) were initially white and pink. I inked the white with Buttercup  (Z110) and Chocolate (Z2111)Exclusive Inks and the pink with (Smokey Plum Z2147). My "Thinking of You" stamp is from the Dainty Thoughts (C1350) My Acrylix Stamp Set. Of course, all these products are available at my website (

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heart2Heart Challenge 2 -- 1-2-3

Our Heart2Heart Challenge this time was to use ONE stamp, TWO print papers and THREE embellishments. Since it's time for our ministry to send some handmade cards to Operation Welcome Home Maryland, I thought this might be a good project fit. I used CLOSE TO MY HEART's Olive Cardstock and two B&T papers from IT'S A GUY THING. I finished it off with three Colonial White (I think) medium-sized brads and voila! My Hero card . . . actually, it's one of six Hero cards.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Scrapbook in a Year, February 2009

My second Scrapbook in a Year project featured a February event -- our first opportunity to babysit our grandbaby. This was four-month-old Brayden's first time away from Mommy or Daddy, who were spending a week in the Bahamas. He was a most impressive baby I must say without prejudice. He made it clear when he was ready for a nap, and he napped well and often. Offhand, I can't remember which CTMH paper pack I used, but Twilight and Desert Sand dominate the layout's landscape. I believe I used cocoa for the title and cut them with my Slice. I love it when a plan comes together.

Scrapbook in a Year - Cover and Janaury

One of my "great" ideas this year was to start a Scrapbook in a Year workshop. I have a small following but hope that others might grab onto the idea next year. Just imagine, if we can do two pages a month chronicling the events and milestones we've just passed through, we would have a 24-page scrapbook by the end of the year! How cool is that?

This was my 2009 cover (that I'm using for examples) and features some developmental pictures of our grandbaby who was born in October 2008.

Of course, this scrapbook features Close to My Heart products. My pages will be using some Twilight, Desert Sand and/or chocolate, so I'm picking papers that reflect some element of those colors.
     My first project after the cover was our first snow in January 2009. One of my December pages must, for the sake of symmetry, reflect our last of 2009 which was a humdinger and a harbinger of our January/Februrary blizzards in 2010.
     I've been virtually obsessed with snowflakes for the last couple of years and have been punching small and large flakes from photo paper scraps. A bit of crystal for sparkle and glitter for bling brought much-needed color to our first snow of the year.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Heart 2 Heart Color Challenge 01

I'm excited about our new Close to My Heart challenge. And the great part is that it's for everyone! You are, however, required to use Close To My Heart products. That said, here's my first effort. I just started playing around with some punches and suddenly, this layout presented itself to me. Well, it did take a little fiddling here and a little fiddling there, but it seems to have worked out. I find myself wanting to add more bling, but I have it on some authority that it's fine the way it is. So, I suppose I'll stop now and go fix dinner.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Triple the Scraps: Perfect

Our perfection is not within ourselves; instead, it comes from Christ alone. His sacrificial love makes us acceptable. When we accept His truth, His way, His light, then the love we nurture and feel for Him moves us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit those in prison.

Ephesians here speaks of Christ’s relationship with His Bride, In the natural, mankind views the church differently. Humanity looks at the church and sees all the spots and wrinkles. So blinded is humanity that it often overlooks the acts of kindness occurring daily around the world. Humanity may not notice, but our Lord does.

This layout is another Close To My Heart product. I can’t say that I’m totally happy with it; I most likely will, over time, probably continue to rework it. I believe the concept is valid, but the execution is open for upgrade. I used a 3” scalloped hole punch for the circles in the upper right hand corner. My primary color were CTMH’s Buttercup and Brown Bag. I used Colonial White cardstock for the background, Buttercup cardstock for the letter “p”, a 1-inch hole punch to fasion the bridal veil. I used a background paper from the Grace Level 2 paperback along with Brown Bag cardstock for the cross and some Bitty Sparkles to accent the embellishment, dress and veil. I also used two CTMH stamps: C1356 Family Ties and B1240 Solos P. The photo doesn’t do the cross justice.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Triple the Scraps, Neighbor

I look forward to our scripture challenges and usually work on them Sunday evenings. It's way too fun.

Our sixth scripture challenge focused on the concept of neighbor. I am continuing to use Close To My Heart products to create my 6”x 6” pages which, by the way, I display from a Seven Gypsies free-standing photo holder. It looks quite stunning. I chose the Parable of the Good Samaritan as my backdrop and focused on Luke 10:36-37 to define the moment.. In light of our own lingering winter and wet spring, I thought that a nautical theme would be appropriate so I used a page from our Majestic Blue Level 2 Paper Pack (X7081C) for our flood or raging waters and a sheet from our Everyday Celebration card making kit for the sky. I used Crème Brulee cardstock to stamp the birds and mounted the project on a 6” x 6” piece of Colonial White cardstock. I used our Springtime (D1415) stamp set for my birds and my umbrella boat. Our added a few details to our needy neighbor to create a sense of distress. As you can see, four of the little birds were piled in one umbrella boat hoping to get to safety while one little brave Samaritan was returning to help his neighbor. I quickly discovered that Crème Brulee was not the best color choice, so I used two Copic markers to adjust my hue: Y38 Honey and Y08 Acid Yellow. I used the CTMH Around the Block (D1377) to form my journaling clouds. I used Outdoor Denim (Z2140) to stamp my clouds and for chalking the edges. I also used pop dots to bring additional dimension to the umbrellas and glue dots for a slightly lesser 3-D effect.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Operation Welcome Home

These 4 ½” x 5” cards are for: Operation Welcome Home Maryland. This organization includes handcrafted cards in their "welcome home" packages for servicemen and women returning from overseas assignments. Operating of BWI, they greeted 42,088 returning servicemembers in 2009. My personal goal is to make a minimum of 25 cards per month. 
      While not all cardmakers like to include an inside sentiment, I do. I also like to stamp the matching envelopes. Operation Welcome Home Maryland doesn't require envelopes. The first card reflects both the card cover and the inside message. I normal stamp the inside before building the card.
      I made 24 of these cars using CTMH products. I used Cocoa cardstock (X5642) on a white card base and Desert Sand (1273) for the helmut base. Much to my disappointment, I ran out of my cocoa cardstock . . . and I didn’t even have any chocolate on hand to substitute! I also CTMH Exclusive Inks Cocoa (Z2114), Vanilla Cream (Z2169) and New England Ivy (Z2135).
     I used the following CTMH Stamps:
  • Welcome Home (D1370) 
  • Around the Block (D1377)
  • For Every Occasion (D1187)
  • Hero’s Pride (C1315)
  • Just Like You (C1300)
  • Dainty Thoughts (C1350)

     I used my stippling tool from our Texture Tools set (Z1298) for my background on the second card.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Great American Scrapbooking Convention

I just made my hotel reservations for the Great American Scrapbooking (GASC) Convention in Chantilly, Virginia.  A wonderful passerby took this picture of me with my friend, Skinny Cow, last year.

(GASC) is slated for June 25 and 26, so my excitement level is through the roof. Online registration is supposed to start this month, which means I will be even MORE excited before all is said and done. I attended the convention last year and learned some incredible techniques. I am so totally ready for new classes, new techniques and a great vendor fair.

I have four overnight scrapbooking conventions on my calendar for this year: Stamp,Scrap, Art Tour in Oaks, PA on March26-27, GASC on June 25-26, Close to My Heart in Washington DC July 7-10 (for consultants only), and CKC at Valley Forge. Their registration opens April 21 at 1:00 PM EST.

But I'm not selfish, honest! When I return, I simply can't wait to share what I've learned with my friends. How exciting is that?

By the way! Speaking of sharing with friends, I finally purchased a web cam for my laptop computer. I made sure I got one with good picture quality so I can do online workshops. If you're game, let me know.

But now I must get serious about preparing for these conventions. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes a day on the eliptical will help me come up to speed for all the walking I'll be doing between workshops and at the vendor fairs . . . (Sigh, the sacrifices we must make. . .) In the meantime, have a blessed day. Maybe I'll get to see you there!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cardmakers can support our troops

When my husband and I arrived at BWI at 11:30 this morning to pick up our daughter who was returning from Kyrgyzstan, I never expected to stumble across a way for cardmakers and scrapbookers to support our troops. Since our daughter's flight was delayed another two hours or so, we were invited to help put together goodie bags for the returning troops (see the bag in my daughter's left hand). It was filled with a water bottle, a home-made thank you card, two pieces of candy, a protein bar and peanut butter crackers. Leslie's "card" was made by a little girl named Alicia who thanked her for her part in keeping the war from coming to us. When I asked volunteer Larry W. Shipley  if they could use any more cards, he said, "yes, we're running low." Today, they were meeting 430 returning military servicemen and women. Another volunteer told me that last year they greeted 42,088 returning heroes and sheroes.

I can't tell you how much seeing this picture of my daughter in body armor and carrying an M-16 gave me pause to stop and think. She's an equestrian, working on her master's degree in finance, and enjoyed doing little girl things when she was a child. I tried to rationalize, thinking that maybe she was holding someone else's weapon for the sake of the photo. So I asked her if the M-16 she had in the photo was hers:

"Of course, Mom," she said. "I was in a hot spot. We had to wear the body armor and carry the weapons. We all had to qualify on them too. It was a pain in the neck carrying them around when you're trying to do your job. I was glad when I could get rid of it."

Yeah, these are our children, doing their best to keep the war on terror away from our shores. And these wonderful volunteers at Operation Welcome Home Maryland pause a moment and give our returning military members a sincere "thank you."

If you're interested in sending thank you cards (I didn't see envelopes with the ones we placed into the goodie bags) to our returning service members, you can mail them to:

Operation Welcome Home Maryland
Attn: Larry Shipley
46 Carroll Street
Westminster, MD 21157

Thanks for your support.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scripture Challenge 5: FOLLOW

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. (John 10:4, NIV)

I knew which scripture and what images I wanted to use for this challenge. The only thing I didn’t know was where to find the sheep. I do have some cute Cornish Heritage Farm sheep stamps, but I wanted to keep using the Close to My Heart products just to see If I could. Then I remembered some wonderful punches I had, so here they are! My CTMH products include STAMPS – D1377 Around the Block and D1418 Felicity. I used papers from Level 2 paper packs – X7082B Expedition and X7096B Blue Ribbon.

The punches were primarily EK Success. The tag punch (for the legs) also accommodated the ears and the eyes. I used a 1/2-inch circle punch for the tail. A light chalking of the sheep's bodies with CTMH Desert Sand added depth and a white Inksentials pen added the rest of the features. I stamped the clouds with Moonstruck (Z2124) Essential Inks. This project came together quickly, which made it all the more fun to do.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Triple the Scraps: Home

Home can be many things to many people. In the stages of our the David Cook family, it’s been a honeymoon hideaway, a nursery, a zoo, a boy-scouts headquarters, a newspaper office, a departure point, a ministry headquarters and personal business office, and now it’s also our church. But years ago, we made the commitment that “for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” We meant it then and we mean it now. The top scripture from 1 Timothy reminds us of the importance of family ministry. Our children know they can come home if they need to; home will always be open. How can we expect our heavenly home to be opened when we turn our backs on family?

This is our fourth Triple the Scraps challenge. Again, I used all Close to My Heart products: I built the project on White Daisy cardstock using the November 2009 Stamp of the Month – D1377 “Around the Block. I added a touch of desert sand paper to the door and then framed the windows with a Desert Sand marker (Z2318). I also used Vineyard Berry and Heavenly Blue ink pads and markers. I used our Z282 Hemp to hang the first scripture and a Stubble Tool which is part of our Z1298 Texture Tool set to stipple the signage. I chalked the edges of the house with Vineyard Berry using the foam tool which is also part of the texture set and chalked the signs with Z2105 Black ink.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Triple the Scraps, Abide

Abide was a much more difficult theme for me to present, but, after two attempts, this simple scene conveyed my first thoughts. My scripture is John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” The delight our silhouetted young girl conveys as she receives flowers from her friend reminds me of our relationship with Christ. This is a tender moment, an idyllic setting that takes us to a place of peace and contentment. How much more so is the gift we receive as our faith stands firm in difficult times? Abiding, patiently waiting for the Holy Spirit’s direction and instruction and then walking ahead with full possession of His gift gives rise to that special peace that passes all understanding. How great is our God indeed.

With the exception of Smooch Spritz, Gold Glow, all my products are from CTMH. I used Vanilla Cream pigment ink to stamp the images on our Cocoa Cardstock. The cross comes from our B1326 He Is Risen clear stamps, while the scene is from D1373 Childhood Portrait and the lettering comes from D1195 The Works Acrylix Clear Stamp set. I typed the scripture in a 2-inch column and then sprayed it with Smooch Spritz Gold Glow spray which gave the typed page and air-brushed, glittery effect. I also stamped the cross using CTMH Cocoa ink pad onto White Daisy Cardstock that I sprayed with the Smooch Spritz.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Triple the Scraps, Temptation

This is the second of 26 Scripture Challenges for the year. My scripture selection is from Matthew 26:41 (Amplified). All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I used Close to My Heart's (CTMH) Cocoa and Twilight inks and cardstock along with Bamboo as a cardstock base. I used the D1349 Be Yourself for my joggers and D1418 Felicity and D1222 Tiny Typewriter Alphabet for lettering. I also used a B&T scrap from CTMH’s Grace Level 2 pack for accent. I stippled the scripture reference with Twilight ink. I scalled the title strip with my EK Success corner rounder (with the corner guard removed) and my hand punch for the arrows. I popped them out a bit with foam dots.

Triple the Scraps, Hope

Our first scripture challenge is Hope. Hope is truly a gift from God. It keeps us going in hard times. My scripture is from Roman 15:13 (Amplified) -- May the God of your hope so fill you, with all joy and peace in believing [through experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.
I used CTMH’S Bamboo and Cocoa cardstocks to build this page. I added a heart border with my Fiskar’s Punch and used graphic elements from B1326 He Is Risen and D1373 Childhood Portraits. I stippled Cocoa Exclusive Inks on the scripture to add texture. For the title I used D1100 Classic Caps.

Scripture Challenge Cover Page

I'm excited about this year's Triple the Scrap’s scripture challenge which we're doing on 6"x6" scrapbook pages. This is the cover page for 2010 Scripture challenge. The Bible graphic and Scripture citation are from CTMH's Come Unto Me My Acrylix Stamp Set (D1199). I used CTMH’s You Rock background paper along with Bamboo, Desert Sand, Cocoa and black cardstock. I used Cocoa Exclusive Inks for all stamping and Stazon’s Timber Brown to bronze the pewter decorative button and chocolate brown brads on the scripture reference. I also added a tad of bling with a gold glitter pen on the Bible. I used Provo Craft’s Pixie Serif Black Roll Alphabitties for the title, but this product seems to be discontinued. I used large, clear pop dots to enhance the Bible’s three-dimensional effect and a thin brown ribbon from my stash to bring a finishing detail. I cut the "2010" title from the "Animal Crackers" disk on my Making Memories Slice.

Friday, January 22, 2010

You Rock Cards

You Rock is featured in the Close to My Heart Spring catalog.

It's a Beautiful Day is a 6.5” x 5”card using CTMH You Rock Workshop on the Go kit. I made several versions of this kit you different backgrounds papers which were left over after I finished two 2-page scrapbook layouts. I also used our D1415 Springtime stamp set. I routinely stamp matching envelopes which, in this case includes on boot on the front and two on the back flap. I stippled the white daisy cardstock with Outdoor Denim Exclusive Inks.

Just Be You is a 4.25” x 5.25”card using CTMH You Rock Workshop on the Go kit. I used the stamp that comes with the kit and added a little Clear Sparkle bling.

Check out my ctmh website ( for more details about Close to My Heart.

Lots of New Stuff for the New Year

I am amazed that January is almost over. Change has been the catchword for this month, but that's okay. Of course, sometimes change can make everything topsy turvy in the process, and that's where we are. In our case, change means our youngest son has moved in with his two dogs and two cats -- so we are now a household of three adults, four dogs and three cats. This afternoon all four dogs were serenading me with barks and howls. It was quite amusing, actually.

I'm excited about my Scrapbook in a Year program which I am teaching at A.C. Moore in Dover as well a Close to My Heart version. This is specifically designed for people who believe they're too busy to make a scrapbook. If you give me two hours a month, you will have a 25-page scrapbook at the end of the year.

In our first session, we will do a three-page layout which includes the cover as well as the first (January) two-page layout. While I recommend commemorating something from January 2010, you can organize your sccrapbook in any manner you see fit. This is NOT about imitating my project; rather, it IS about selecting your own color/paper scheme and building color/theme-coded memory books and applying them to the layout I've selected for that particular month. Tomorrow I'll be listing the CTMH version of this project.