Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shoulda Been Exercising....

A precious lady from church has the same birthday as I I made a card to give to her tomorrow. I didn't think I'd have time to craft today since there was a lot on the schedule but I made three cards! I should have been exercising, though...Matthew swam his 100 laps (without stopping) for the swim-a-thon today and persuaded me (without much work) that we should get pizza for dinner to celebrate. ... I'm going to be sooooo bloated for pictures tomorrow :-(

I hope to have time in the very near future (Monday?) to post some pictures of the wonderful handmade cards and gifts I received today.
Have a wonderful day,
Marie with a :-)

Quick and Easy cards...

Remember when I wrote about "Many Maries?" Once again, I'm longing for that cloning ability as I really need to be in three different places at noon today!
Here are two VERY quick and easy cards that I made late last night and a previously made version of one.

This first card is a non CTMH version of a card I believe I saw in a card magazine.
Here's a CTMH version using Emporium paper, You Are Beautiful, various Solos sentiments and Code it.

And finally a very quick birthday card using Emporium, bitty brads, sparkles, June Word Puzzle and Happy Birthday stamp set.

Have a beautiful day,
Marie with a :-)

Friday, February 27, 2009


I'm looking forward to a weekend of celebrating! A friend is taking me for a pedicure tonight, I'm having lunch with another friend tomorrow and a family dinner is planned for Sunday. Hopefully I'll still manage to keep up with my "Card a Day" plan :-)

This card is one that uses two of my favorite CTMH products: the Silhouette paper pack and Celebrate Life stamp set. I won't tell you how many stamp sets I have (it's ALOT...) but I reach for the Celebrate Life set more than any other.
May you celebrate life every day,
Marie with a :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sneaky Mom; Masculine Birthday Card

It was a little bit sneaky, but I didn't have much choice. I purposefully scheduled a family photo session for this Sunday. It was sneaky because I knew that my older two boys would be coming over to celebrate my birthday- and I knew they wouldn't refuse me on my birthday. It can be pretty tricky trying to get all eight of us together for a family picture and even tougher is getting it done without hearing any complaining. So sneaky, yes, but a mother's got to do what a mother's got to do...
My oldest son turns 22 tomorrow and I made this card for him. As I've said before, I find masculine cards a bit difficult - my guys don't like anything that would be considered "foo-foo."
Hopefully this one is simple enough!

Wishing you a beautiful day,
Marie with a :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Amore Heart card

My friend (and upline) Theda came over last night to help this techincally challenged girl figure out something from the Close To My Heart website. We didn't manage to figure it out, but I was delighted when she showed me how to use the Quickkutz dies with my cuttlebug. I made this blank heart card to express my grateful heart for friends like Theda.

As we chatted, Theda expressed amazement that I make at least one card a day. It really isn't that much of a challenge because most of my cards are pretty simple. I usually spend time with Scott before he goes to bed - which is generally a couple of hours before I do - and then "play" for an hour or two (sometimes more!) before I go to bed. However, I am in for a big change starting next week. Matthew will switch to two swim practices a day instead of one, and the first one will be at the unfriendly hour of 5:30 AM. I am so not a morning person! My plan at this point, however, is to take him at 5:30 and then head for the gym, which is only 5 minutes from where practices are held. I hope I survive :-).
I used the CTMH Amore paper pack and my Cuttlebug for this card. I also used the CTMH sparkles.
Wishing you a beautiful day,

Marie with a :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Playing Hooky

I didn't mean for it to happen. Really. Playing hooky was the farthest thing from my mind this morning. The girls and I simply planned a trip to the library to look for some books for research papers they have to write. On the way, Elizabeth wanted to stop at the Dollar Tree to look for a present for my birthday (the girl's got a limited budget...) The fact that the Colorado sun was flashing its tempting smile, the Tale of Despareaux was playing at Cinema Grill (which is next door to the Dollar Tree) and it was dollar day all conspired together with three giggly girls and their mom. So not a lot of academics were done today, but we did enjoy ourselves. Now I'm waiting for Scott to get home so we can go for a long walk to counter the effects of movie theater chili cheese fries...and I'm feeling thankful.

I did manage to get three birthday cards in the mail before we headed out. I'm posting one of them that uses the Key to My Heart paper pack and Stamp Set. The inside reads: YOU. Happy Birthday.

The second card is a Thank You card using the Amore paper pack and Damask Tiles (C1342) stamp set. I made it last night before watching Traitor with Alyssa and Jay. I seem to be watching a lot more movies than I ever used to!

Wishing you sunshine regardless of the weather,
Marie with a :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Butterflies

Here's a quick card that I made during the kids' lunch break today. I just realized that several people that I know have
birthdays in the next few days so I need to get busy on birthday cards! This card includes only a couple of CTMH products: words from the February Word Puzzle (D1269), Make it Count (D1257) and Dream Wishes (D1331). The heart is from the February Word Puzzle and the butterflies are from Celebrate Life (C1287). The ink is tulip.

Marie with a :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Butterfly Happy Brithday

What a beautiful Sunday it was. After lunch, Scott took the kids to the Natural History Museum while I enjoyed a long walk in the Colorado sunshine. (I did feel pulled in two directions - wanting to go with them but knowing I needed the exercise. I am glad that I walked.) They brought me home an Orange Dream Machine from Jamba Juice - I'm so predictable they didn't even have to call and ask me what kind I wanted :-)
After church tonight, I went to Jen's house for some girl time. I enjoyed the time - we had silly discussions and deep discussions and lotsa food discussions!
I had very little time for crafting today but did manage a very quick Happy Birthday card:

I have a stash of tall hollyhock colored envelopes that I want to use up so I'll probably be using a lot of this More to Adore paper. I also used the CTMH Celebrate Life stamp set (c1287)

This is what the inside looks like. I used non CTMH stamps for the scroll and sentiment.
Marie with a :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Precious Friend, Precious To Me, Life is Good cards

With Scott working every Saturday, I find myself sticking close to home. Today I rearranged furniture, took a long walk, enjoyed a cordon bleu dinner, and finally made a few quick cards. All three of these use the CTMH Key to My Heart paper pack.

The card above uses the CTMH Life is So Good stamp set(B1204) and Friendship Blessings stamp set (D1191)

This one use the Priceless Love Word Puzzle (D1348). I put juniper and tulip cardstock strips though the Cuttlebug with embossing folders for the embossed look. The flowers have CTMH bigger brads in the center.

And finally, this one uses the May Word Puzzle stamp set (D1287), Friendship Word Puzzle (D1258), and the Girly Girl stamp set (D1003)
Wishing you a wonderful Son-day,
Marie with a :-)

Snake Bite

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness in the bones. Proverbs 14:30 Amplified

"And to be honest I haven't updated my blog because I am so depressed lately and feel so inferior everytime I visit yours. I hate that about me so much - that I wish I had your life! "The words slithered across the Facebook chat box and I could feel Samantha's pain. I could feel it because I have been there. Envy is a universal snake that creeps across geographic borders, age borders, ethnicity borders and even economic borders. It is a poisonous creature whose venom few can escape. The good news is there is an antidote.

Samantha is my sister. She is a smart, pretty mother of five, who in addition to holding down a daycare in her home is also pursuing a degree and acing exams. Yet, like many of us, she compares herself to others and finds herself lacking. I think of many friends and acquaintances that I could compare myself to: Jennifer and Linda are rays of sunshine to everyone they encounter, Lucianna and Nikki are gorgeous, Marlies is the best cook, Margaret and Donna are talented in so many areas it seems unfair, LeeAnn has my dream home, Dina is a born leader (not to mention tall), Fabi and Theda are brilliant,Teresa has a successful business and is a great photographer,, Karen is a wonderful mom and so much fun to be with, Samantha is earning her degree...I could go on and on. It is so easy to be pierced by the fangs of envy. Left untreated, however, envy is fatal. It is deadly to friendships, marriages and other relationships and it murders joy. Praise God there is a readily available antidote. It is called truth, and Scripture tells us that it is truth that sets us free. Following are some truths to administer when that subtle viper manages to sink his teeth in:

1. God created us and He sets our borders. The same God who tells the ocean just how far it can go and causes the sun to rise and set each day has created each one of us. He chose where we were to be born and what family we would be born into and what physical traits we would receive. He doesn't make mistakes. He says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Read Psalm 139 and accept it as truth.

2. God gives us our talents and abilities. While we can hone and sharpen our gifts and talents, we cannot change the innate traits that God has created in us. Read Matthew 25:15-29. We are not called to be like anyone else, but to use what God has given to us to benefit His kingdom. Ask God to show you your particular gifts and abilities and how to use them.

3. God tells us we are foolish when we compare ourselves to others. 2 Corinthians 10:12b says but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves , are not wise. The moment we begin to compare ourselves with someone else we are entering that frightening place where Indiana Jones once found himself - snakes everywhere! We must avoid comparing ourselves with others - either we'll be puffed up with pride and explode or we'll be poisoned by the asp of envy.

There's so much more I could say. I have been there. I have felt the self-deprecation that accompanies envy. But no more! I have my antitode readily available. And when I read that someone else's blog gets 5,000 hits in the same time period that I get 240, be it!

Love you, my uniquely created friends,
Marie with a :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gift; Hello card

Today was the day. Once every three months or so, Archivers offers free gifts to their preferred customers (preferred being the ones that spend too much money in their store...) I really wasn't sure that I wanted to be out and about on such a blustery day, but I climbed into the colicky van and headed for my favorite craft store. I was delighted with the "gift" - a cute little stamp set. After escaping the store with my stamps AND no additional monies spent, I was a happy camper. On the drive home, I belted out "Amazing Grace" with Chris Tomlin and I started thinking about the most important gift I had ever received...grace. God's grace.
Here's a picture of the cute stamp set, and a Hello card that I made with it. I used CTMH Emporium creative basic (paper plus ribbon) , CTMH window charms/circle, and CTMH ink - twilight, vineyard berry and cocoa.

May you know His grace,
Marie with a :-)

Silence: another Haiku

Silence whispers truth.
I mute the din of this world;
wait expectantly.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pride Comes Before a...Lost Memory Card. :-), masculine love u card

I was feeling pretty smug when I threw the warm comforter off this morning and started my day. I had spent the previous evening ensuring that I had everything together and ready for class at Alatheia today. No rushing around at the last minute waiting for the printer to warm up so I could make copies, no wolfing down a powerbar while looking for my keys. Nope, I had it all together and I even arrived a few minutes early. Why, at this rate, I thought, I'll be downright organized in no time at all. Class went as smoothly as a writing class for giggly, talkative middle schoolers can go. Adopting my new organized persona, I actually spent my free hour correcting papers instead of just sitting around chatting. The smug feeling continued all the way home and through my lunch hour. It didn't disappear until the phone rang later this afternoon. "Hi Hon," I easily recognized Linda's familiar voice. Linda is the secretary at the church where Alatheia is held. After exchanging pleasantries, she explained her reason for calling. "When I was going out to get the mail, I found a memory card for a camera. I guessed someone from Alatheia must have dropped it, I viewed the first pictures on it and I could tell it was you and Kyle."
It figures. Just when I think I have it all together, I drop it! **********************************************************************************
I am currently reading a book that was recommended to me, called "For Women Only." I have been pretty happy with the marriage that Scott and I have , and good communication has been a key element. Reading this book, however, has really opened my eyes to the fact that some of the things I say are probably heard quite differently by Scott. We often joke that he needs a "Marie Interpreter" but I'm realizing now that I need to learn to speak his language. When I decided to make my daily card tonight, I opted to follow the Card Sketch A Day challenge. (see the blogs I follow) The sketch wasn't very challenging, but I wanted to make a card for Scott and I find masculine cards to be a bit difficult. This is what I came up with. I used the Silhouette paper (creative basics) and a hint of tulip cardstock. The sentiment is from the February Word Puzzle stamp set.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You are beautiful, Trifold thank you

I'm waiting for Alyssa to get back from Jay's soccer game (I think 10:30 is pretty late for a game to start!) and while waiting I was thinking about a conversation the two of us had just a couple of nights ago. I mentioned in a previous post that I am having a hard time with her "growing up" but after our conversation, I realized she's having struggles too; she has feelings of inadequacy and loneliness because she doesn't have many friends; she wishes she got better grades, etc. It made me sad to realize that she was having such struggles. I told her then that I think she's an amazing young lady with many gifts and talents; I truly believe she is beautiful inside as well as outside. So this card was made with her in mind. (Green and purple are her two favorite colors :-) )
CTMH supplies used: You are beautiful stamp set (c1352), garden green ribbon, creme brulee cardstock and ink, garden green ink

The second card is a trifold thank you card I made the other night using the CTMH Amore paper pack again.

Happy Thursday to you,
Marie with a :-)

Another gate card...

It was a busy night last night because Josh, Kyle and 4 other young people joined us for dinner. I didn't make anything new, but here's another gate card I made the other night.
Wishing you a beautiful day,
Marie with a :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Notebook, Gate card

As far back as I can remember, I have had a love for notebooks, pens and pencils. I think it began when I discovered that the words which I stumble or stammer over when speaking out loud flow ever so gracefully on a clean sheet of paper. I have to be cautious of this love, though, because sometimes it isn't as innocent as it appears. In fact, sometimes it is an illicit love affair. Take Sunday at church for instance. "Got a pen?" Scott whispered. I reached into my purse and pulled out a beautiful burgandy colored pen. ACE HARDWARE it read in bold white letters. "Hey, that's MY pen!" my handsome husband exclaimed. "What's it doing in your purse?" I shrugged. It's a mutual attraction, and somehow these beautiful writing instruments find their way into my hands, pockets and purse like a safety pin is drawn to a magnet.
I sigh the sigh of a contented lover, and think about smooth, white pen in my purse. "Um, that pen is mine!" the bank cashier had stammered, obviously uneasy with the notion that her pen had chosen my purse for it's home.
Don't worry," I wanted to reassure her. "Mine is a fickle affection. At the first sign of a splotch, I will be over the edge and will gladly send him back to you."


Here's a notebook I made last night to go along with my growing collection of pens. (Just kidding!!! Your pens are safe around me...)

And I've included another "Gate" card. The Gate card is made with the new CTMH Amore paper pack, tulip brads and the new designer brads.

Have a wonderful day!
Marie with a :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gate card (masculine BD), layout

Last night I spent a little bit of time playing with some "gate cards" so I was somewhat prepared when Alyssa told me I had about 45 minutes to make a card for Jay's 18th birthday. (I did know it was his birthday today but procastination reigns when you are a FBTSOYP [fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants] kind of person. Jay's card only took about 20 minutes to make; I used the new stardust paper pack from CTMH which I absolutely love, and various stamps. I also used my cricut for the stars.

I have included part of a scrapbook layout, using some of the newest CTMH colors: sorbet and juniper. The other part isn't quite finished because it's titled "She's Growing Up" and I'm having a tough time sorting through the emotions of having our oldest daughter grow up, so the journaling isn't finished. 

Rejoicing in my Redeemer,
Marie with a :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Amazing Grace, Butterfly card

Red, precious color
Turning darkness into light
His amazing grace.

A young writer friend of mine has inspired me to return to the haiku world. This haiku came to me while at church this morning and I made a card to go along with it. It's a quick 10 minute card using my cuttlebug, CTMH Perfect Day paper and a wooden (gasp!) stamp by Stampabilities.

May you recognize His amazing grace,
Marie with a :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I didn't create anything new yesterday since I was busy getting Valentines ready for my family and then I watched The Express with Scott last night. He told me it was a football movie so I probably wouldn't cry...he was wrong! It's much more than a football movie and I did indeed cry. In fact, I cried a couple of times :-) .
I decided that the Valentine card I originally made for Scott was too feminine so I gave him this one that I made instead - I've shown the inside as well as the outside of the card.
A confession...I am frequently still in bed when Scott leaves for work in the morning. At best, I'm up but not yet funtioning. I often leave him notes and I made these Love Notes post it holders for that purpose. All of the products for the card and the holders are CTMH :-)

Marie with a :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray for a fun filled day!

Marlies is a friend of mine who has been attending my CTMH workshops for over a year. For some reason, however, she has been a bit reticent about making any crafts by herself. This month she broke out of that reticence and brought hand made valentines for the folks at Alatheia. She did a beautiful job and I'm so proud of her! The Hip Hip Hooray card was made with her in mind.
It was a busy, but fun day. My students in the creative writing class for our homeschool co op gave their oral book reports this morning and they did a great job. After school was finished, a couple of the young ladies came over for some papercraft time. We plan on meeting once a month. They worked a lot quicker than I had anticipated and made two cards and a post it note holder in record time. I'll have to come up with something a little more challenging for next month! To top the day off, Scott's dad and stepmom came over for dinner and we had a nice meal and visit. I'm posting pictures of the girls crafting, Marlies' Valentines and the Hip Hip Hooray card. Then I'm off to sleep land :-)
The stamps used for the Hip Hip Hooray card were from the Heartfelt set (B1297) and Good Times (B1332). The papers were from Key to My Heart and Perfect Day.
Have a fabulous Friday,
Marie with a :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dare to be different! card, celebrate card

If you hear it enough, you come to believe it. It's a familiar adage that few would argue with. Children who are consistently belittled believe that they are worthless. Those who are regularly told they will never amount to anything usually don't. And school children who are told that mankind evolved from apes and come from a world that was created by a big bang ("explosion") generally swallow that- hook, line and sinker.
This morning, the girls and I took part in a BC (Biblically correct) tour of the science and history museum. I thought it rather interesting that as these mostly homeschooled kids watched a video explaining the creation of the earth and all life ("there was an "explosion" and eventually a living thing was created out of the slime and residue, which over billions of years evolved into humans as we know them today." :-) ) they were astonished that people actually believe that. When it isn't something presented as fact on a regular basis, it does sound pretty asinine. It takes a whole lot of faith to believe in evolution. Frankly, I'm a lot more confident putting my faith in my Creator. There's plenty of evidence to persuade me. Still, it's not much fun to be treated poorly because of those beliefs, which is what we encountered during the tour. We recently watched the documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" and that combined with the contempt we heard at the museum, makes me wonder why evolutionists seem so afraid to allow the argument for Intelligent Design to be heard. Are they afraid that kids will recognize that life cannot be "created" in a test tube? That explosions result in chaos not order? I liked the tour guide's suggestion to question everything - don't just take what you hear as fact, he challenged the kids. It is a concept we have tried to instill in our children...we certainly don't want them to believe in the Creator just because their parents do - we want them to examine the evidence and make their own decisions. Too bad so many public school children aren't given that chance. "Dare to be different!" I told my children. "Don't just believe something because someone else believes it, or states it as fact."
We have a couple of young ladies coming over after school tomorrow for some craft time and I needed simple cards for them to make. The dare to be different thought was running through my mind so I used the Heartfelt stamp set (B1297) with Perfect Day paper to make this quick and easy card. The Celebrate card also uses Perfect Day paper, along with the February Close to My Heart special stamp set Good Times.

Daring you to be different,
Marie with a :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Missing You Emporium card

Tonight I worked on valentine goody bags for the middle schoolers that I teach writing to once a week. I purchased mini brown sacks from Target and used Floral Tapestry paper for the girls and the new Stardust for the boys. I also used the following stamp sets: Memory Labels (c1290), February Word Puzzle (D1269) and Sweet Talk (D1063)

I also made a "missing you" card last night (after I said I was going to bed... :-) ) I got the basic idea from the CTMH Originals book. The paper is from the Emorium pack and uses vineyard berry, sweet leaf and crystal blue. The center flower is from the Life Is stamp set (B1215). The dragonfly and butterfly are contraband :-) I think that the CTMH sparkles are the best on the market!
Well, we have a trip to the science and history museum tomorrow morning, with our homeschool co op group so I'm off to get some sleep.
Have a wonderful Wednesday,
Marie with a :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thank You card

The coffee that Scott left for me was cold this morning - REALLY cold - by the time I stumbled out of bed, so I am going to force myself to call it a night a little earlier tonight and spare you any Marie ramblings.

Here's a card made from scraps that I had left over after making Alyssa's book. They aren't CTMH papers; I've been trying to use up my pre-CTMH stash and figure by the year 2032 I will possibly have accomplished that :-) Anyway, while I was working on it, I was thinking what "happy" colors these seem to be.

Have a happy day,

Marie with a :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the Tell-Tale Chair

The Tell-Tale chair is what I secretly call it. My husband bought it for me several years ago. It's a wonderfully relaxing massage chair that takes up a small corner of our bedroom. But it is really more than a chair; it's a speedometer that tells me at what pace my life is going. Currently it reads: slow down before you see those flashing red lights behind you! When daily activities are at a normal pace, my chair is empty and just waiting for me to take a few moments to enjoy it's soothing effects. All too often, however, it is yelling at me to slow down and get my priorities straight. Right now, in fact, it is covered with discarded clothes, hangers, clean laundry that didn't manage to get put away, a book or two and who knows what else. It's a visable reminder to me, that I need to let go of a few unnecessary activites, put the laundry away and enjoy some relaxation time!
I have another "project" in the works so not much else to post. I did make another card with scraps from the Life Delights paper pack. May it remind you that it doesn't matter at what speed your life is going... the wonderful peace of the Lord is available to you .

In the words of the psalmist, "The Lord bless you and keep you,"
Marie with a :-)