Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Having a bad decade? You are not alone....



8 years ago today we returned home from our wonderful first NT trip, a trip that had left a life changing impression on my heart, and a very clear message of what God might be wanting from me, from us, as a family. 

Then suddenly it seemed like we walked into what has become a really horrible decade. Yes I said decade. 2 more crappy years to go.....and then I think, what if it's not a bad decade....what if it started BEFORE 2008??? When will it end??

I cannot remember the last time I looked forward to a new year starting as lately all the problems of the previous year always seem to be rolling over with me.

But I remember the first time I truly dreaded the new year.

I cried silently on one end of the telephone, not wanting to tarnish or diminish the joy my friend felt at leaving the old year, and her cancer, behind her & starting a new year fresh & healthy. 

It was NYE 2008.  The end of the first horrible year & and as I cried all I saw stretched out before me in my new year was death.....

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In my worst moments this is what I feel.

I forget the promises of God for mine & my childrens life. I forget that He carries me during my lowest points. And I forget the He is with me whenever I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He lays a table before me so that I may eat in comfort in the presence of mine enemies & those who wish me ill; not a worry in the world, for God is my protector & Jesus my intercessor.



Worst of all I forget that the good times out weigh the bad times. We have gone through some pretty extreme lows but have also been rewarded with some really incredible highs.




We've been witness to multiple miracles achieved through the power of prayer & Faith in the Holy Spirit! Nothing is more amazing than that; and some people might claim they've never seen one miracle. Not one...





I don't have all the answers. But I know that God is with me, and you.  That He hears the cries of my wounded heart, and yours. That He has a plan.

As they say....It's in the Valleys we grow.

And my Faith growth has become exponential.....







Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Teachers Gifts

                   

                         
                                 

When I have the time available & the right idea forming as a plan in my mind I like to hand make my childrens teacher gifts for the end of the year.







In the past I've made bookmarks that had a scrappy, layered feel & scripture on them. I have found bookmarks to be a great option when you are making a gift for a male teacher. You can really personalise what you make for them; colour, scripture & overall design.



In 2015 all of my girls teachers & TA's were women.  That made it very easy for me & also gave me a broad range of ideas that would be suitable. However I was time poor due to a chronically sick Miss 3.




Thanks to an unfinished previous project from almost 2 years ago, which is very unusual for me, I had some 'girls' already stamped & cut. Their outfits were stamped too so it was just a matter of cutting them out & putting the right ones together. 





Miss 6 & Miss 10 helped me pick which girls hair & clothing best matched the woman in question & they also helped me water colour their hair colour to the correct shade.  Their was 3 layers to the backing of these tags; the original tag shape purchased in a large pad, silver shimmer paper & blue card stock.  Miss 6 & Miss 10 punched out the star shapes from the blue card stock so that the silver shimmer paper would show through. 







After that there was a little bit of machine stitching, paper tearing, blinging up the girls and the stars with Kindy Glitz, Kaiser pearls and diamonds, & glossing. Miss 6 & Miss 10 wrote the bible quote themselves on shimmer card and then I drew a box around each word & cut it out.






The final steps were sealing the girls, attaching them to the 'tags' with 3D tape & affixing the word boxes that made the quote. Lastly some pretty ribbons & wool to complete the tag/bookmark look.






Normally I would spray with a gloss finish varnish but on the night we completed them I discovered I had run out & we needed to hand the gifts in the very next day.  So I sealed the whole item with satin finish decoupage sealer, the next best thing, just not as glossy as I'd like.  


The satin finish decoupage sealer seems to take the shininess out of the items that have received the glossy accents/dimensional magic treatment & finishing the whole item off with a coat of glossy varnish seems to bring that back again, which is why I prefer it. But sometimes you just have to work with what's at your fingertips. :-)




Miss 6 & Miss 10 wrote a unique thank to each woman on the back & I date stamped them as I do all my art projects.


The gifts were all very well received. :-)





"Daughter of the Star Breather" Psalm 33:6


Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Very Special Pregnancy Album



I cannot really tell you my SIL's story of her journey to motherhood as it is not mine to tell; but I can testify that she had a very long and often disheartening road until, miraculously, she was blessed with a healthy son just in time for Christmas.


My SIL has always had a very special relationship with her nieces, my girls, so it was really important to my SIL to include them in her pregnancy shoot, as well as my MIL.





There can be a wonderful bond formed between mother and daughter when a baby is on the way.  




I believe their collective joy is obvious in the pictures I took.




I've also been told in the past that being presented with an empty scrapbook can seem more like a chore than a gift, so I have started handing my photos over, only to the very special people in my life, in completed scrapbooks. 



I include jounalling spaces, but leave them blank.




Like I said;  It's not my story to tell.




I would however like to share some of the scrapbook pages I created in my SIL's album.


               

                                                             


Not as special a Christmas gift as her new little son, but hopefully a close second. :-)