Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is the Day The Lord has Made...

We went to visit family in San Diego when my son Jonathan was eighteen months old (he'll be 6 this summer). These are photos I took of his first time seeing the ocean. Doesn't he look so thoughtful and serious? Some of my favorite pictures of him are when he looks so young, but so old at the same time. I cropped the picture below in half (as much as I love seeing my innocent child in it, it didn't quite fit the sentiment I wanted to use) and printed (on an HP Photosmart) on photo quality paper. I stamped the cross and "He is Risen!" from Gina K's set in Burnt Umber Palette Ink directly on the paper. I contemplated putting the greeting directly on the sun, which would have been a cool effect, but chose instead to put at the bottom right, better composition and it kind of looks like it is written in the sand, reminding me of the "Footprints" poem, a favorite of mine. The base of the card is SU! Chocolate Chip and I tied some natural hemp (which always makes me think of "beach!") on the spine. This is about as simple a project as you'll find, but I love how it turned out. Try stamping on some of your own favorite moments you've been blessed to capture on film, they make wonderful cards.

This next one is on glossy cardstock which makes it difficult to photograph, at most angles you'll get a glare from the flash, so sorry this is a little muted. I used the retired SU! Late November spectrum pads, one of my favorites it makes the perfect sunsets. I used my rubber brayer to roll it onto the cardstock in one direction, and once I got the colors blended to my satisfaction I reinked the brayer, turned the glossy paper and rolled it with the color facing the other way so I had a mirror image of the spectrum (KWIM? see how the yellow-orange area is the largest and it goes back to olive at the bottom...) This gave me the colors I wanted and allowed me to fill the whole space on the vertical card with the color stripes going across rather than up and down(since the width of the pad is better suited to go across the a horizontal card) I sponged on some white craft and little of the eggplant to make it appear a little misty, looks very atmospheric in real life. Last I embossed the cross and greeting and attached with gold brads on brushed gold CS and finally on the eggplant. I really like using brads as an embellishment with this cross, to symbolize nails.
I really love the simplicity and meaning of this set, so glad to have it. I've bought a few others with just scriptures in the past, but the artwork in many religious themed sets has not really inspired me before. I haven't yet made one with the scripture from John included in the set on the front, but I plan to, and know I will be pulling this set out again and again for various occasions.

I pray you have a blessed Sunday, and that you are well and happy. And, if you are crafting, know that God delights in the beauty of your creations! This is the one of the most important things I felt I learned from a class at my church called "Art & Faith" a few years ago. I plan on sharing with you over time some more of my favorite parts of this amazing course. :) I also wanted to share a blog that Kelly Watts shared with me, I look forward to spending more time there. :)

Can I ask for you that might pray for me, too? I need help in managing my time and my new responsibilities along with my old (and most important) ones, my family and home. I need wisdom and discernment about when to put my needs and wishes aside for others, and when I need to make time for myself. If any of you can share your experiences and advice about how juggle your family, work, and art with grace, I would love to hear it! THANK YOU! :)



  1. Beautiful cards and beautiful thoughts from you to accompany them. Thank you.

    If I had any words of wisdom, I'd pass them along. All I know is that I did what I had to do for many years and just tried to keep focused on what was most important at any given time. As for my many arts, they were largely ignored when the kids were little- although I did get a lot of crocheting done while waiting for kids during piano lessons, ballet classes, etc. I started up again with "homebound" arts and crafts only after the kids were mostly raised.

    Good luck with your juggling.

  2. WOW, gorgeous, Melanie! those pictures are just precious too! thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm not very good at managing my time and responsibilities either but one thing I know. No matter what, start your day with a prayer. Ask God to be in your day, direct it the way He wants it to go, and Thank Him for all your blessings. Starting the day of with Him and for Him is the best adivice I can give. (and I need to listen to my own advice as well!!!)

  4. Yes, Melanie, I am praying for you! I have been wondering how on earth you're doing all this with two little boys! May the Lord grace you to know your measure.

  5. Melanie.....what truly beautiful and meaningful cards!! And I also just loved the innocent faces of my children as they discovered and were fascinated by the creation around them! That photo of your son brings back such similar memories for me!! Ahh.....words of wisdom in juggling family and me time?? I think it's always a work in progress for me. There have been times where I've had some free time and more me time......there have been times also with very little of that. I think as we are able to be flexible and listen to the needs of our families, and the needs of ourselves.......we can learn the balance! Sometimes the struggling just helps us to recognize what the most important need of the moment is!! Hugs to you!! You are not alone!!

  6. Your pictures are stunning!!! I never can seem to get wonderful pictures like that. I love that you used the photo as dp for your card. So fabulous. I don't have children yet, and I don't work or serve as a designer on any design teams, so I really don't have any advice for you, but I will pray for you. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. I wish that I had advice for you ~ life as a woman these days is incredibly challenging. We want it ALL! And usually something gets lost. I am learning to make sure that I am not lost. But it's a struggle. You are in my prayers. And I think I'll take this moment to pray for myself and for all women also. That we are able to realize how important WE are and to take as good care of ourselves as we do everyone else.

    You're are a beautiful woman - I can see your love of life and your family in your art and your blog. Thank you for the inspiration in your art and the reminders of what life is really all about!

  8. beautiful cards, thoughts and little boy.

  9. I love your use of the picture behind the stamped image, it looks so professional!

    As for juggling it all I'm afraid I can't help because I am still trying to figure that one out myself, and I want another kid and don't know how I'll handle that addeed to the mix!! LOL :-)
    You seem to be doing a great job so far!! ;-) Good luck!♥

  10. Melanie,

    We, too, have an old soul in our house. We have often said that he's an old man trapped in a little boy's body. But he is growing into the most thoughtful young man.

  11. Beautiful pictures!! I love how you stamped on the photo as well! You cards so nice, Melanie!!!

    Congrats on all of your hits here at your blog!! ;)

  12. well, my only wisdom is that there is power in prayer and I'm with you, girl! This pastime is amazing, but has become a bit of an obsession which I am spending more time than I should on lately. Like, I have a sinkful of dirty dishes and no clean socks for my dh--but I've got cards, by gosh! I've got cards coming out my ears! Who needs a bday wish, a congrats, a just stoppin by to say hi! I've got every kinda card you can think of, but no clean socks.
    A fine line I tell ya. ~hugs and a special prayer go out from me to you and yours~ ps-these cards are beauties too!


Your generous feedback helps make my work and this blog better! Thanks for inspiring and motivating me! :)