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Monday, November 28, 2011

Inspired by... gratitude


Gratitude has been my inspiration before and I think it's an important theme to return to, again and again. I've heard it said, "What would  you do if God took away from you today, everything you failed to give thanks for yesterday?"

Thankfully, because of His great mercy, He forgives my thoughtlessness. It has also been said, "God accepts you as you are, but He doesn't let you stay that way."  And, thankfully, God is working in my life in big and small ways to make me more mindful and more thankful of the abundance of blessings He provides daily.

When Kim announced the Texture Tuesday theme for this week: Gratitude, in honor of our American holiday, I was happy for the opportunity to share some scenes from our Thanksgiving holiday with you.


Mouse Over for original. I used Kim's newest texture, Poetic, hue blend 100%


I love sunflowers and was thrilled when mom arrived with a bouquet filled with them! (thanks, mom!) I made a table runner for my counter-top this year. I used a leftover piece of burlap and hand-stitched some leaves, cut out from scraps of material used for another project, to it, then frayed the edges.



I love how it turned out!  On a few of the leaves I backstitched the veins in...




It was the perfect base for the grateful tree I made this year. I had seen several of them around blog land and loved the concept! (Similar to the Grateful Dry Erase board I shared with you, waaay back in September!) All too often I fly through the holiday without really stopping to engage my mind, heart and soul to what it's all about.




Making this tree was so easy! I brought a branch in from outside that had blown off in a recent wind storm and nestled it in a glass vase, using birdseed to hold it in place!



I made the leaves out of scraps of cardboard that were lying around. On some of the leaves, I wrote the names of those who came for dinner and they doubled as place cards. Guests were encouraged to write on the leaf what they were thankful for and then when we were finished eating, we hung the leaves on the tree!




Unfortunately, with the onslaught of Christmas, my grateful tree will not likely be around very long. So I'm already thinking of ways to incorporate a thoughtful reminder of our blessings into the next holidays decor!


What do you do to maintain an attitude of gratitude?





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kimklassencafe homework

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inspired by... a child


Who is the Christ of Christmas?




This child, this man, this Messiah. Given to us by God the Father, to save us from our sin.

To begin with, He is the Person of the prophecies.

His coming was foretold by God hundreds of years before He was born. There are over 400 prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming of the Christ, the Messiah.


Jesus fulfilled every one.

With 100% accuracy.


I was astounded (and encouraged) when studying the book of Isaiah last year. Many of the prophecies about Christ are found in this book. When we look at the statistical odds of one man fulfilling over 400 prophecies with 100% accuracy, the number is so great it loses its meaning.

So let's consider the possibility of Him fulfilling just eight. That would be about the same odds as you being struck by lightning every day of your life and living to be 400 million years old.


God doesn't ask us to check our logic at the door.


The prophecies are given to confirm God's word, to get our attention and to give us full assurance of our faith.


"All this confirms for us the message of the prophets, to which you will do well

to attend; it will go on shining like a lamp in a murky place, until day breaks

and the morning star rises to illuminate your minds.

But first note this: no prophetic writing is a matter for private interpretation.

It was not on any human initiative that prophecy came; rather, it was under

the compulsion of the Holy Spirit that people spoke as messengers of God."

(2Peter 1:19-20)


If there were no Christmas we would still be slaves to sin, living in spiritual darkness. Living a life without meaning... without hope...

"I have come into the world as light, so that no one who has faith in me

should remain in darkness." (John 12:46)


So who is this man the prophets spoke about? Who is this baby, born of a virgin?

This man who comes as light to save us from our darkness?

Who is the Christ of Christmas?

Come back next Monday to learn more...


While you're waiting... consider this...

What do you celebrate on December 25th?

(I'll be sharing a little about the origin and history of Christmas later this week)







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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Inspired by... acorns


Happy Thanksgiving!


I've got a quick, fun recipe for you today. I thought Thanksgiving Day would be the perfect time to share these adorable little "bites" with you!



They are super easy to make! All you need is Hershey's Kisses, Mini Nilla wafers, icing and pretzel sticks! I'm sure you can guess how to make them, but here's a quick run down:

Unwrap all the Hershey's Kisses, put a dab of icing on the bottom of the Nilla wafer and attach it to the bottom of the kiss. Break the pretzel sticks into  1/4-1/2" pieces. Dab some icing on the top of the Nilla wafer and attach the stick! Let the icing set before serving. If you want to refrigerate them, that's fine, but take them out early enough so that your kisses won't be rock hard!

The adults kids at my church went wild over these last week!

I was inspired by Aimee at From Chapel Hill to Chickenville, who spotted these fun treats in the Family Fun magazine!

I had fun taking pictures of these outside under our oak trees! and of course, thought it was a wonderful opportunity to play with Bonnie's "Gratitude" texture...



As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy



For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson



"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor..." President George Washington, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, October 1789



Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It's a way to live.  ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inspired by... Noel {Inspiration #5}




Greetings, everyone! Today I have another fun and easy jewelry craft to share with you! And the best part is you probably have most of the supplies at home and the rest you can pick up on Friday while you're out shopping 'till you drop! Umm, unless you're like me and you try to avoid leaving your house on Black Friday. In that case, run out this afternoon so you can make these on Friday while you're avoiding the rest of the world!




Ha! These are seriously cool! I love everything about them! My inspiration came from Saved by Love Creations. The post there credits and links to the original creator, Tiffany Windsor, at the Cool2Craft Network blog. Both have excellent tutorials on how to make these.

To make mine, I used an old set of dominos, egg shells, alcohol ink and dimensional magic. The Saved by Love tutorial puts the eggs shells on the blank side of the domino, but I did not like the dots showing on the backside of my pendants, so I strategically placed the egg shells over the dots instead. It worked great and the alcohol inks make a nice finish on the smooth sides and back of the domino.




Another thing I'd do differently, and recommend, is using regular glue to glue down the egg shells to the domino (or whatever substrate you use). I used dimensional magic on mine (per Saved by Love tutorial) which created a raised surface around the shells, so when I was ready to put the finish on over the ink (again using dimensional magic) it wasn't as smooth and flowing as it could have been. This will make sense when you get to this step, I promise!




You can glue the pendant bail to the back of the domino, or drill a hole into the domino like I did.






For my next round I'm going to get a little creative with my egg shells. I think it would be fun to try to form them into specific shapes or letters. What do you think?




So, what are you waiting for? Go whip up your favorite omelet and get those eggs shells a soakin'!






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Photobucket Momma Hens Coop A Crafty Soiree The Shabby Nest Stuff and Nonsense

image Positively Splendid

Inspired by... Pili


Pili? What's a Pili? Actually, it isn't a What, it's a Who!

Pili (pronounced PEEL-ee) Aloha, to be exact. Our fourteen-year-old Blue and Gold Macaw. His name means "close friend" in Hawaiian. I've shared about him before HERE and HERE, if you're interested.

Aslan has been getting so much of the spotlight lately, I thought I'd play with some of Pili's pictures for a change.

He's gorgeous in the sunlight.

Kim Klassen's scriptededges texture; screen blend mode 100% applied twice


Klassen's golden texture, hard light blend 88%, background only


I decided to play a bit more with some of Photoshop's filters. Guess what they call this one, applied to the picture above:



I just love it! and it's giving me some super exciting creative ideas for some other projects! If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have an idea where I'm headed with this...


And finally, here's Pili's "head" shot:

One layer of Kim's paperstainedmusic, luminosity blend 69% and then a layer of

her shadesofNovember texture, multiply blend at 72%. Some light masking done on Pili on both

layers, mostly his face.


I think it has almost a "painted" look. What do you think? I was tempted to apply some Photo Shop filters to make it look ever more like a painting, but decided that Kim's textures did a pretty decent job all on their own!


I hope you've enjoyed today's photo art selections!

I encourage you to click on the links below to see what everyone else has been up to...






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kimklassencafe and then, she {snapped}