March 28, 2017

Give Thanks for Healthy Teeth

I had two molars removed Friday.

I will be the first to admit it, I'm a wuss when it comes to going to the dentist -- I honestly don't like needles, but neither do I like teeth pain, so when it became necessary recently, I made an appointment with the dentist. However, I'm thankful I'm not allergic to all pain-medications or anesthetics, unlike my Uncle, who, when I was a little girl, went in for surgery and died on the operating table within ten minutes of being put under, because, unbeknownst to the anesthesiologist, he was highly allergic to it.

I'm also thankful for all the people who were praying for me and for the hand of Jesus I was hanging onto, to get past my fear. If you have healthy teeth, give thanks for them!!!

March 22, 2017

Taking Stock

I don't know what to blame it on. Was it lack of inspiration, playing dodge-ball, or was it procrastination? Maybe some of each, so I'm way behind in getting my Documented Faith-book for 2016 finished and taking stock on what worked and didn't and here it is at nearly the end of March.

As for my monthly dividers, I've got about five doodled coloring book type pictures so far with a faith-book theme as "Daughter of the King." My doodling/drawing skills aren't good enough yet to include details like faces and heads, so I looked through Pinterest to find images that wouldn't include those details and found Sunbonnet Sue and Sam. Remember those applique quilt patterns? (Note: I was going to scan and upload my first month's doodled divider here, but my scanner is on the blinky at the moment).
When I figured out what I wanted to continue with, I decided to use 5 worksheets altogether. I thought I was going to throw out the calendar, but like my friend, Karen said, it's nice to visualize the week and a list just doesn't cut it. Two months of going without convinced me.

I also knew I wanted to add some sort of pocket to my Faith-book for cards I received from my Documented Faith group, church friends, Christmas cards, and odds and ends, so began watching videos and scouting through Pinterest during my down time with my broken hand during December until my computer's battery pack went dead. I found an idea I liked and will make some pockets similar to this.

One of the things I've had trouble with the last two years is knowing how to arrange the pages in my faith-book, since I use my own 3-ring binder notebook. Thank God for creative people with great ideas;  I watched a Dyan Reavelry video. She's  a designer for Ranger Ink, and she was showing a new diary (artist journal) that is coming out in the stores this year. One page is a diary page and the other side of the two page spread is a art journal background that can be used as a starting point for an art journal page. Ah-ha, I could do that also, but I switched the order around, since I wanted to use the back of the divider as a quote/poem collection like last year, so I went through my faith-book, changing the order of my worksheets, so that a background was on the left side of the spread and a worksheet was on the right.

I also want to resurrect the paraphernalia idea after seeing a smash book spread on Pinterest. On one of the art journal pages, I would like to make a collection of things that pertains to my relationship with Jesus/Christian lifestyle each month, so after watching many, many videos on glue books for ideas,  I am gonna ask my Documented Faith buddies to do some scavenger hunting for me. I hope they will be able to find images or words that pertain to some of the  themes or categories below to send to me in happy mail that I can collage and glue down to some of the art pages each month. Many of the people who made the glue books, said they collected photos from travel brochures and the free catalogs that they picked up a tourist offices, restaurants, and museums' front doors and thrifted for other items like tickets, store receipts, crayon papers, postage stamps  and so forth. I was thinking Sunday School papers might yield some more. I'm going to collect all the bits and pieces, then glue down, but so I don't lose any of the bits, I'm going to save them in the proper document sleeves in my faith-book until I get enough to fill the page. (NOTE TO SELF: Label category in upper left-hand corner so I don't forget!)

By the way, many of the glue-book creators said it was very relaxing to sit and cut and glue, so this may be a meditative activity to do while reflecting on the goodness of God or listening to the audio Bible or instrumental hymns during quiet time! Good re-charging time!

After I got a few ideas from all the online sources, then went to my Eerdman's Handbook to the Bible where I got more.

Here's my list for some themed pages. I need at least twelve, one per month (I also included some for children as my brain leans towards teaching ideas, you know -- wink!):

Address Labels (Church Friends, Pastors, Ministries)
Animals of the Bible
Animal Symbols of Jesus (5)
Bible-man (cartoon)
Bugs of the Bible
Business cards (church friends, pastor, ministry)
Candy Canes
Church Art/Bells
Church Buildings
Church Signs
Christian Acronyms
Christian Soldier/Armor of God (Eph. 6)
Circles (infinity)
Crafts of the Bible
Coat of Many Colors (stripes)
Davey & Goliath (cartoon)
Dead Sea Scrolls
Everything Egyptian
Family (physical/spiritual)
Feeding of the 5,000
Feet/Sandals (Good News!)
Festivals of the Bible
Fingerprint people
Food of the Bible
Flags of the Middle East
Flowers of the Bible
Fishermen/Fishers of Men/Fish of the Bible
Friendship Tea (envelopes, tags)
Fruit of the Spirit
Garden of Eden
Hebrew/Greek Fonts
Helping Hands
Heroes of the Faith
Honey Bees
Houses in the Holy Land
Inspirational poetry/quotes (handwritten/photocopied)
Kosher Food Labels
Labels/Logos/Price Stickers/Tags from Inspirational Products
Last Supper
Love Notes
Mary Engelbreit's Queen of Hearts (cartoon)
Menu's (Judeo-Christian owned restaurants)
Money of the Bible
Musical Instruments of the Bible
My Name - Dolores or Nickname - Grace
Names of God/Jesus
Noah's Ark
Passion Play (inspirational dramas)
Patch the Pirate (cartoon)
Portraits of Jesus
Positive words
Postal Stamps from the Middle East/Postmarks
Praying Hands
Precious Moments (cartoon)
Psalty (cartoon)
Receipts from Christian Bookstores/Mail-order Companies
Recipes (hand-lettered, Stephanie's cookies, Scripture Cake, Church Friends, Jewish)
Rubbings of Things in a Church (1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square pieces of paper)
Saints of the Bible
Scarlet Threads
Scripture Garden
Stained Glass Windows
Symbols (ie. Jesse Tree)
The Robe (the film)
The Tomb (Christ's, gravestones, crypts of the Holy Land)
Things You Are Grateful For
Transportation of the Bible
Triangles (the 3-in-one; Trinity)
Tree of Life (Christmas trees/crosses/dogwood tree blossoms/Jesse tree)
Veggie-Tales (cartoon)
Water (Dead Sea, Jordan River, Ocean, Nile River, Sea of Galilee, wells)
Wise Men
(Wo)men of the Bible

Well that's enough to get me started anyway. Now the hard part -- CHOOSING at least  twelve and finding the parts. Smile!

Update: A couple people have asked what I meant by glue book pages, so here's two videos that show what I'm talking about:
1.  "Easter En Masse Collection Journal Page" by Karin de Graaff
2. "Hello, My Name Is" by Becky Gladhill
3. "Seed Packets" By The Meri Atelier. 

Update: Niece has a bruised collarbone from the seatbelt in an accident. Thank goodness she's okay otherwise!

5/1/2017 Update: My first glue-book page! The center piece "I Am Loved" was inspired by Stephanie Ackerman's artwork. Click on the images to enlarge if you want to see details.

A shout-out to my Documented Faith friend, Karen L. She sent over some friendship tea bags/tags today, so I was able to finish up this Thanksgiving Tea glue-book page tonight. I really appreciate Karen, as she is almost always willing to help me in any art project I have going. I really like that about her. smile!
10th Glue-book page -- the letters and words have been cut from mostly food packaging. Across the top I spelled out "Daughter of the King," of Great Value. I'm the apple of his eye and his favorite art. I'm first born, God crafted, natural love gift and a God made treasure. My nickname is "Grace" for my grace-less state. lol! My real name is below on the tuna can label. The rest of the words are reminders to me of what the life journey is all about as a daughter of the king while I travel on the road toward the gates of heaven and perfect holiness. If I find more words, I can certainly add them into the space that remains, but for now, I call this page complete.

March 11, 2017

CHOOSE Peace and PRACTICE Gratitude!

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. . . there is a future for the man of peace." ~ Psalm 37:7a, 37b

My father-in-law says their tongues are hinged in the middle and flaps on both ends. We all know someone like that. You can leave the conversation on the phone for ten minutes and return and they never knew you had left. 
It takes a real effort these days to find a quiet spot, somewhere where it is so quiet you can hear a pin drop to the floor. There is traffic outside your door,  radios or television blaring somewhere, telephones beeping or ringing, babies crying, children playing, aircraft flying overhead, trains rumbling down tracks, etc..
Dr. Ketterman told us that we should schedule a twenty-minute quiet time into our day, everyday, when our son was growing up, to get him into the habit of it. He could read, he could study, he could draw, he could take a nap. The only noise allowed was "white" noise -- the hum of a fan or reflective mood-setting, stringed instrumental music such as a harp, violin or zither or the bubbling of running fountain water.   

"He must seek peace and pursue it." ~ 1 Peter 3:11b

In Genesis, chapter 24, verse 63, one quiet place that is mentioned is a field where Isaac went to meditate. David, as a shepherd, was led to quiet waters (Psalm 23:2,3) where God restored his soul.
It's not always possible to get out "in nature" to have a quiet time, so we had to create the next best place at home. Dr. Ketterman told us to pare down the toys in our son's bedroom and add furniture to store his other possessions out-of-sight. Bedrooms were originally intended for a bed to sleep in, not for other activities, but since we could not afford to add more rooms to our house, our bedrooms are multi-purpose rooms. However, over the years, I've learned there are ways to make a bedroom a quieter place. Add the  solid color blue or green somewhere. Add something plant-based. Put in sound absorbers such as fabric or sound barriers like "white" noise machines or ear plugs. 
Our son has always been a fidgeter. It was very hard for him to keep still. His body was in constant motion. My leg has a will of it's own -- it wiggles. We both learn best visually and hands on.

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." ~ Isaiah 32: 17-18.

Kathy Racoosin, of the Daily Marker, says it's been proven that coloring for ten minutes a day will lower your blood pressure. Looking for something to keep my hands busy during quiet time, I've been looking at doodles at Pinterest and my niece sent me a chart to use during prayer time. Stephanie doodles flowers around her daily scriptures and her word in Documented Faith this month is CHOOSE.  To seek and pursue a quiet time, you must CHOOSE to do so.
The worksheet that my niece found online consisted of circles -- a large circle in the center of a page with arrows pointing to individual circles around the page to list prayer concerns or in this case, gratitude's. I saw a huge doodled sun at Pinterest with the rays as lines where gratitude's could be listed. I also saw a ring of decorated index cards, but since I like atc's (artist trading cards) or pocket letters, I could make one card each day to list a gratitude of the day. I also saw a photo album idea in which one side was dedicated to a journaled gratitude for the day and on the opposite side of the spread, a photo  of the person or thing I am grateful for. And then there are many sayings that correspond to being thankful as well. I have a whole Pinterest board of them.

"I will build you with stones of turquoise; your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace." ~ Isaiah 54:17b-13.

Two of my girlfriends and I got together last week to craft. Karen was laminating a few of her dividers for her faith-book and she showed me the back of one which held a small calendar. She said it was helpful to have a calendar to view, so she could visualize the week. I had decided not to have a calendar in my faith-book this year because after 30 + years of training my husband to use the calendar on the kitchen wall to post his appointments and things he wanted to do, he was getting fussy about having to come look in my faith-book for mine, so I went back to using the one in the kitchen to keep the peace. I had replaced it though with a numbered Bible Reading Plan gleaned from Back to the Bible. I could go online and read everyday when I am in town, but I wanted a hard copy to put in my faith-book, to check off as I read my portion for the day, so I typed up a list on Microsoft Word, for each day of the month, and printed it out, however, I missed having the visual calendar in front of me, so decided to go back to it and add in my Bible chapters each day. I discovered, though, it is really hard for me to read and craft during the same period of time, so I thought I could set the timer for twenty minutes and listen to an audio version of the Bible and doodle create instead. I found an audio version of the Bible online here.

"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. . . Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her." ~ Luke 10:39, 42b.