The Art of Living a Transparent Life by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

Are you afraid to be who you really are?  Does it feel dangerous to you to let any of your flaws show through to others?  If you fail or make a mistake do you want to run away and hide from the world?  Have you been wounded in the past when you’ve tried to "be real," so you’ve pulled your head in like a turtle in its shell?

Living transparently, means in part allowing others to know who you really are, warts and all.  It can be very scary to share your struggles and difficulties with those in your life.  But if you find someone who is trustworthy and caring it can lead to incredible joy and great friendship.   The bible tells us to: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:16 NIV  The word sin merely means to miss the mark as in archery.  We all "miss the mark" in our lives and when we feel comfortable enough with each other to "confess" that we’re missing it we have a great opportunity for healing and change.

Living transparently involves taking a great risk and is not without potential dangers.  Sharing your faults with someone who isn’t trustworthy is not a wise thing to do.  And because other people have flaws and areas of weakness, rejection and wounding are always a possibility, but the rewards are incalculable.

The other morning, Dixie posted this comment on my blog:  "AJ, honey, I don’t think I have ever loved you more.  I still have a million boxes that I have not unpacked since we moved in June.  I feel as though we are twins separated at birth!  Hugs, Dixie."  It was in response to my being vulnerable and willing for some people to think less of me by posting my out-of-control-studio pictures. 

I intentionally posted those photos and earlier this year my messy garden pictures, so that you guys will realize that I am just a normal person, with a normal (okay not-so-normal) hectic life and some days like today I don’t make it out of my pajamas until after noon… sometimes well after noon and sometimes I go back to bed in them!  Earlier in the comments on this same post someone mentioned that she had had me on a "pedestal," in a cute and joking way, but pedestals can be very scary and can hurt a lot to fall off of.  Being real keeps you firmly rooted on the earth and much less likely to fall.

When I struggle with a particular area of my life or perhaps I even make a mistake, the Lord has taught me to not dwell in shame over it.  He’s taught me to confess my weakness or sin to Him and then allow Him to change my areas of weakness and even use them to help others overcome as well. 

My dearest friend SallyLou came over often when my children were growing up.  One day she came over unexpectedly one afternoon for a relaxing cup of tea and when she walked into the kitchen she exclaimed, "I’m so glad you have dirty dishes in your sink but are still comfortable having me over here.  That makes me feel comfortable having you over if my rug needs vacuuming!"  Doesn’t that just about sum up the entire concept?!

When we lead transparent lives, we free up the tender-hearted people living around us to also be honest about their struggles.  If we feel that we need to set a "perfect" example as parents, friends or leaders, we leave others feeling that they need to measure up.  If we share how we struggle, overcome and grow they also feel empowered to do likewise.

You do need to be cautious and careful about being transparent around anyone in your life who is perfectionistic, critical or negative.  They quite often are people who are quite insecure and don’t know how to deal with raw "realness" in others because they aren’t comfortable being "real" themselves.  Sometimes your being honest will make them so uncomfortable that they can make wounding comments without even realizing that they have done so.  Give them grace and don’t expect to build and honest and transparent relationship with them quickly (if at all). 

Look for others that are struggling and share your struggles and you are likely to make a powerful impact in their lives and potentially a wonderful, deep, real friendship as well!!! 

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Proverbs 31:8-9  Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.  Niv



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Cascade Complex Incident Command Post Burn By Video

If you thought still photos were a touch unnerving, try this video of a portion of the burn by incident!  My husband brought this home with him and I found it already uploaded on youtube so I am linking to a shortened version that is there.  I believe that this clip is 3 minutes or so long.  The event happened on August 14th from 3-8 PM

Cascade Complex Fire YouTube Video Link


I don’t know how to get the youtube image to display here, so I’ve simply included the link above.  For the record, Steve said he never felt unsafe and the firefighting team there was awesome.  There were three helicopters that were covering them that you don’t see in this short clipt, the batte went on for several hours.  He did also say that he "Was too ignorant to be scared!" 



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Making Your Own Gift Bags is Easy!!! Digital Gift Bag Crafting Kit by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

(UPDATE:  This kit is now available for $5.98 at Daisie.  Just click on the first picture to go to the store.)  gift bag set preview Peony Cottage Quilt DesignI have at least one new set of gift bags coming out next week at DAISIE COMPANY and perhaps a second one as well if I can finish it in time!  For those of you that have been commenting on the artwork I used to set up this blog, they are made out of that art.

Gift bags are so convenient and pretty to decorate a gift with little or no effort, but they can be quite costly to buy.  Priced at only $5.98 for the entire set, these digital craft kits cost just slightly more than a single store bought bag and you can make them year-after-year for all sorts of birthday, shower or other special occasions!

Peony Cottage Quilt Gift Bag & Tags Preview 2This Peony Cottage Quilt Gift Bag and Tag set contains several gift tags, a mini-gift card with matching envelope and a three dimensional quilted flower to decorate the bag or to use on a table, string together to make a garland to decorate for a shower or birthday party!

The only thing you need to be able to do is cut and crease to make up this kit.  Step-by-step photo instructions are included and once you’ve made one, they’re very fast to put together.  There are three sizes of gift bags included, one that you print out on a letter-sized sheet of paper (4 pages for each bag), a second that you can print out on legal-sized paper (most all normal sized pinters can print legal sized as well) and a third set that can be printed out on oversized printers if you own one.

Remember that there are two more days in the Blog contest!  I will give away a set of these bags to the person who is selected as the winner.  All you have to do is post a comment from the 16th of August through the end of the month and one commentor will be selected as the winner.  GOOD LUCK!!!

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Prov 29:8-10 Mockers stir up a city,
but wise men turn away anger. If a wise man goes to court with a fool,
the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace. Bloodthirsty men hate a man of integrity and seek to kill the upright.  NIV

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“My Name is Audrey Jeanne and I’m a Messy Artist…”

My messy studio photo #1I feel like I’m standing in front of a 12 step-recovery group and coming clean!  Any of you that have read my blog or know me, know I’ve never hid that fact that my studio is ALWAYS a mess!!!  But now, one of my yahoo groups for Licensed artists is having a "Messy Studio" contest.  I uploaded my photos to them this morning, so I decided to let you guys peek into my disaster area as well.

My studio is actually the formal dining room of our just under 2,000 sq. ft. ranch style house.  We bought it 3 1/2 years ago, sight unseen over the internet!  The real estate market was red hot at that time and we were living in our "ware-home" in San Diego.  We had sold our home and had decided to relocate here in the mountains.  We pretty much grabbed the best property, with the prettiest view we could find and figured we’d work on it in the next few years.  Ultimately we’ll build a new studio for me, probably configured as a new master suite so that it adds to the value of the property if we decide to move on.

I own 1,000 sq. ft. of mexican saltillo pavers that are stacked on a palette outside the garage waiting to be installed, but I’m so busy now that I can’t let my studio be torn up long enough to install the floor in the entry, living room, dining room and kitchen!!!

Messy Studio center photo

The transition was a little difficult for me as I went from an 800 sq. ft. guest house in San Diego where I used about 1/2 of that space to an 11′ x 17′ formal dining room and a corner of my third bedroom that I share with my daughter Jacqui when she’s home from college.

My biggest struggle to be organized, is that I create such a wide variety of projects that my work area/organizational system is always changing.  In reality I have had to accept that there is no actually way to effectively organize it in the space I have alotted for that purpose.  After many years of struggle, I think I am finally at peace with that concept. 

We have two 40′ cargo containers that we’re getting ready to move, organize and set up for overflow storage.  At that point, a lot of what I have to have inside the studio can go out to the container to be accessed only when I need it.  Until then, much of the items on the floor are overflow storage!!!

 Right side of studio

 The right side of my studio is used the most with my graphics, scanning and hand-lettering areas.  I tend to work in a big circle around me and then I carefully tiptoe from there to the door !   When I start to clean this mess up (after I wrap up my current project of 48 designs with Cottage Garden Collections) I will drag a trash can in here and start "filing" my papers!!!!  It seems that paper in all its forms is my greatest enemy.

Now… why would I share my mess with you?  To help you understand that you’re not alone!  All of us creative types struggle with organizing our creative side.  Which, by the way, is about as doable as herding cats!!!  The first step is to realize you can keep yourself organized enough to remain sane, but that if your studio/crafting space is too neat it usually means that you’re not actually using it.  Creativity is pretty much always a messy process.  Neat, organized, perfectionistic people are rarely also able to be artistic or creative.  Be at peace with who you are and what you love to do and do your best to keep things just below the health department’s condemnation standards, and HAVE FUN!!!  That’s what crafting and art are all about.

The second thing I wanted you to see is that even professional artists don’t have perfect spaces to work in.  Over the years I started with the dining room table and a desk in my bedroom and one in the dining room.  Then I moved on to the two car suburban garage that had no insulation.  I grew my company too large for the garage so I leased a studio/warehouse and my art studio ended up being right smack in the middle of the facility.  I could go on and on… my favorite studio of all was the wonderful space at our last home in the guest house and the third bedroom inside the 125 year old adobe home.  The adobe area was my watercolor studio with perfect light and the adobe kept the watercolor from drying out too quickly, it had "magical" properties for painting in. 

The other thing I liked the most was that I could shut the door on things and "go home,." across the brick patio.  I loved being able to do that.  But I want you to know that I could go back to working at our kitchen table if I had to… it really isn’t the studio that makes the artist, it’s the passion for art that drives the artist to create no matter when, where or how.

So if you’re a crafter working on the kitchen table… find a way to organize yourself as best as you can, but don’t stop creating!  Enjoy what you do, dream of  better place to do it in, but don’t wait until you have that perfect space before you use the gifts and talents God gave you!

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Proverbs 27:7-9  When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert; when you’re starved you could eat a horse!  People who won’t settle own, wandering hither and yon, are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.  Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.   The Message Bible

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“Pretty in Pink,” Kit With Special Angel Policy for Breast Cancer Fundraising

Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon in Kit(UPDATE:  This kit is now available at Daisie for $5.98.  Just click on the first picture to go to the store)  My newest kit, "Pretty in Pink" will be coming out on Tuesday.  I have included a Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon in the kit and have also created with the partnership of THE DAISIE COMPANY, a modified Terms of Use for Breast Cancer Fundraising.  We will waive the normal 200 pieces per year maximum Angel Policy Terms of Use when 100% of the proceeds are being donated to Breast Cancer programs.

Pretty in Pink Preview 2I have lost too many people that have been near and dear to my heart to this terrible disease.  The most recent loss was a year ago June 10th when my "spirit sister" and dear friend Kathy Cornford lost her 10 year battle with the disease.  I hope that my art can be at least a tiny part helpful in meeting the needs of families, encouraging survivors and perhaps even raising funds for a cure.  So if you’re involved in any efforts in this area, you have my appreciation and great respect!

Preview 3 Pretty in PInk Digital Clip Art KitThis kit has lots of pink roses paired with pansies and yellow daisies.  There are teacups and saucers, with a matching creamer and sugar bowl to use for tea oriented invitations or other goodies.  There’s a piece that would make a great card front or first page of an invitation as well as some great borders, papers and individual pieces of art that you can combine to make your own borders, frames or elements of a scrapbook page or product layout.

My darling husband arrived home safe and sound and stinky  yesterday afternoon!  We had a delightful evening together with the family in catching up and enjoying his pictures and stories.  The laundry he brought in smells so strongly of smoke that I was certain it would set off our smoke-detector in the kitchen!!!  We have to get him prepared to go right back out, but fingers and toes crossed we’re hoping for at least a week of him home resting (and catching up with our "honey do lists!")

I must confess that I really, really appreciate my husband and try to make sure that he knows how much I treasure everything he does around here to contribute to running our household… but now that he’s been gone for a month I realize I really, really, really, REALLY enjoy having him around!

He’s out right now having lunch with out Pastor and one of his best friends, Jim Kennemur, so I’m trying to catch up on some tasks around here so that I can give him my undivided attention the next couple of days!  I’ll still try to be a good girl and write a little here each day as well…

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY: Proverbs 23:4-5  Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.  Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. (Boy some things never change do they?!)  NIV

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Cascade Complex Fire Camp Burn Over pictures

Kasey wrote to me because she stumbled upon my blog the day I posted photos of the fire.  Her husband works for the forestry service and is still stationed at the Cascade Complex Fire Camp, though my husband has left and is headed home.  She sent me this link this morning to a photo report of what happened at their camp.  Camp Burnover Photos  

Steve is in the bottom right hand corner of page #9’s photo.  He has the red bandana around his neck and some way, way, waaaaay too long hair as he needed a haircut when he left a month prior to this photo!  His commercial laundry rig is shown on page #18 with the fire burning above and beyond it.  Steve was guarding the water bladders (the big balloon-like blobs on the ground) because if they were burned through by embers they would be out of business instantly. 

My sweetie is heading home today, but could still be diverted at a moment’s notice… I have my fingers and toes crossed!  Our daughter and son-in-law may come up this weekend after all so it would be a double blessing!  Throw up a quick one for us, but as always, what God has planned will be fine with us.

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Proverbs 21:3,5  To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice… The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

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Low Cost Graphics Program For Beginners at The Daisie Company by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

The people who visit my blog are in two categories, somewhat exerienced digital scrapbookers or crafters and those who have absolutely no idea how to work with graphics but would love to!!!  For those of you in the later category, there’s a very inexpensive and very easy to learn program available at the Daisie Company.  It costs only $24.95 and can be found at this link:

This program will also help you organize all of your photos if you have a digital camera. You can view, sort and even import your photos into a scrapbooking layouts that you can create within the program.

If you want to create your own gifts to give for special occasions such as recipe cards, bag toppers for cookie mixes or other food-oriented gifts, this little program will do it all!  You’ll be amazed at how professional your crafts can look with the beautiful art that is available at THE DAISIE COMPANY.  Also, if you’re just not very artistic… THE DAISIE COMPANY has precreated printables that all you have to do is print and assemble!!!  There are soup can labels, Christmas kits for "Snowman Soup," all sorts of party kits and notecards, recipe cards… just an amazing arrayof goodies that you can create for yourself or to give as gifts.

There is a forum at the Daisie Company message board ( a place to ask any questions that you might have and the (mostly) ladies there are very helpful.  If you have always wanted to be able to use your computer and printer in artistic and crafty ways but haven’t known how to do so, this is a great way to start. 

By the way, the graphics you see in the image are a free kit that is included in the purchase cost.  I hope that if you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge to learn digital scrapping or digital crafting that this will help!

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY: Prov 20:4-5  A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing. The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.


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Cascade Complex Fire Pictures

My husband called this afternoon and we had a leisurely 40 minute conversation, the first in a very, very long time.  He mentioned that there was a website I could go to with incident photos and reports (why didn’t I know about this 3 weeks ago is my next question to him!!!)  The website has about 50 photos from the fire that he’s been on for most of this month. 

When things heated up earlier this week (and their fire camp burned over) he told me about 3 historic log cabins that were near him and were so cute.  He was really upset that they didn’t make it.  Here’s a picture of the firefighters doing their best to try to shield them.  They’re actually wrapping the structure with a metallic reflective shield.  My guess is that just the heat of the fire would have been enough to ignite the super dried out structure.

This next picture is of towering clouds that the flames produce.  They soar 35-40,000 feet in to the sky and then ice forms at the top of the clouds and the weight becomes too much for the cloud to sustain and the wind comes rushing back down as the cloud collapses.  When this happens a wind is produced that spreads the fire in a wild, chaotic fashion.  So they are spectacularly beautiful and very dangerous.

Often this week, they’ve had an inversion layer which acts like a blanket and "smothers" the fire with pressure which also holds in the smoke like a fog.  Steve said they’ll wake up and can barely see the other side of their tent because of the fire "fog" that settles over the camp.

This is their camp as the flames were approaching.  These helicopters are truly amazing and their crew are real heroes.  They battled for hours to keep the camp safe.  The camp Steve is in is the Incident Control Center (or it’s called something very similar in name) 

This is some amazingly beautiful country.  I love the mountains and tall trees so it would be easy for me to consider living in a place like this.  I’m not much for shopping or city-life (though I do enjoy a good play or other artistic presentation!)  I guess I’m just a mountain-girl at heart.

These are the flames as they were coming across the highway.  Steve’s fire is part of the Cascade Complex Fires, his is the North Fork Fire that has threatened the community of Warm Lake and closed Warm Lake Highway.

He’ll be leaving there (fingers crossed) tomorrow.  They’ll rest for a day or two and then may go on to another site. 

One of my friend’s (Trice Workman) brother’s home was spared last night, but I haven’t heard any further today.   He lives near/in Missoula, Montana.  Pray for him, his neighbors (who lost their homes) and his family.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Prov 17:12-14
Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than a fool in his folly.  If a man pays back evil for good,
evil will never leave his house.  Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.   NIV



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The Contest Winner is….

I told you yesterday that there were some posts that had very few comments because of the summer season and that it would be a good idea to find those posts and add to them.  Well, that’s exactly what our winner did and there were only2 comments on the day that was picked!  Our winner this contest period is a very special person who gives away a lot of prizes herself, but finally got to win one… drumroll please

It’s Miss Lambie!!!!  Congratulations Lambie!  Now all you have to do is let me know which of the school quick pages kits you would prefer and I’ll send them off to you post haste.

Today begins another contest so remember, if you see a post that doesn’t have very many comments on it you have much higher odds of winning! 

I’ll be back to write more later today once I hear from my husband, so stay tuned!

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When You are Afraid, What do you Do? by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

Tomorrow I draw for the blog contest and because it’s summer, and lots of people have gone on vacation or are playing outside instead of on their computers, you’ve got a better than normal chance at winning!  All you have to do is post a comment on any or all posts from the 1st through today and that comment becomes an entry in the drawing.

For those of you that aren’t aware, my husband Steve works seasonally for a company that supplies support equipment to the fire services on large fires.  He left on August 25th, worked a smaller fire that wrapped up and then was assigned to the Cascade Complex fire north of Boisie, Idaho.  That fire camp was pretty close to the fire when he arrived and it continued to move in their direction, day after day.  Being so far away from him, it was hard to hear that it was coming closer to them and they had decided not to move the camp, but to defend their position right there. 

Two days ago it actually burned over their camp.  It was a huge battle with three helicopters standing guard over them and keeping the flames from hitting them directly.  They were able to drive the fire around the camp, but it was a long, scary and exhausting battle.

Fortunately, no one was injured.  There were some tents and property lost in fighting the fire.  When he called that night he had that awful rasp in the throat that someone who has breathed way too much smoke will have.  The fire has gone past them but continues to grow rapidly and is now just under 100,000 acres.  Please be praying for him and the men there as there is still no estimated date of containment for the fire.

It is fearful to have your husband or any one that you love in harm’s way.  How do you cope with fear or do you cope with it?  Does fear overwhelm you in the middle of the night?  Do you wander around your house with your heart pounding and your mind racing, turning over and over and over again trying to solve your problems or worring about what might happen to you?  Do you wrestle with fear frequently or only occasionally?  What do you think God has to say about fear?  Have you ever thought to look and find out?  He knows us, he knows our frailty and because he knows how hard fear is for us to overcome, he’s written about it hundreds of times in the scriptures. 

My favorite verse about fear is:Ps 56:3-4  When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?  NIV  This single verse had a tremendous impact on me years ago when I was in a life-threatening situation.  My minivan with my 2 and 8 year daughters and I in it, was stranded in the third lane of five lanes on the 805 freeway in San Diego, California, with cars and semi-trucks going 70 mph all around us.  That little verse had been made up into child’s song that was on a tape my girls listened to frequently.  I sang that song to them and to myself  for the 15–20 minutes we sat in that dangerous position.  God delivered us in a miraculous way (the story is too long to tell here) but on that Good Friday, he allowed us to live to give him praise!  What a glorious Easter we had that year!

Note that the verse says WHEN I am afraid, I will trust.  It is not a lack of trust that you feel fear, it is a lack of trust only if you don’t bring that fear to God for him to handle.  When I am afraid for my husband’s safety, I pray for him and remind myself that God is big enoiugh to handle the situation even though Steve is a thousand miles away.  

I have walked with God through many seasons of fear in my life… when my first husband was diagnosed with cancer and at each stage in the process right up until he died, fear was my constant companion.  At one point I was driving home on the freeway and had what I believe was a mild panic attack.  At that point I literally shouted out in my car, "Lord, even if the worst happens, you will be more than enough for me."  And I can tell you that as the worst did happen, He was.

Most often the things we fear don’t happen.  We spend hours and hours worrying and being anxious over nothing, but sometimes, unfortunately they do happen.  Being a Christian doesn’t keep you from the exact same events in life that befall others, God just keeps you IN THEM, and has a plan for you that takes you through them.

If you’re afraid, tell God, let Him know exactly what you fear and why, then think about who God is and His power, strength, mercy, and care for you and choose instead to trust in Him.  It is a challenging process and one that is not easy to master, but it will make all the difference in your life.

You have feelings, but your feelings do not need to have you.  You can choose to take your thoughts captive and control where you let your mind and emotions go.  The bible calls it "renewing your mind."   But in its simplest form it’s just "telling yourself the truth."  What does God say?  What do you feel?  Which do you think is the truth?  I find it really valuable for me to speak these kinds of things out loud.  When I’m afraid for finances, for example, I go find the scriptures that speak to me of God’s care and provision and read them out loud and then I put them into my own words and pray them.  I remind myself of God’s attributes and character and I also remind myself of every other time He has miraculously met my needs.  Over the many years I have walked with Him, the Lord has a perfect track record in my life.  That history makes it easier to trust Him with my next struggle than when I first began to walk with Him.  He will do likewise with you.

Fear not… these words are in hundreds of verses are a reminder to us.  Look them up and read how many times and how many ways God tells you, "I’m big, I’m strong, I’m powerful and most of all I love you and you are my child… trust me!"

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY: Prov 3:21-26  My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;  they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.  Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.  NIV

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Autumn Glory1 Paper Pack Preview by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

Preview Autumn Glory Papers(UPDATE:  This kit is now available at Daisie for $3.98.  Just click on the first picture to go to the store).  The Autumn Glory 1 Digital Clip Art Kit for Fall, Thanksgiving, Autumn design uses will be in the store tomorrow morning and this paper pack will be releasing on Friday to coordinate with it.

These are very textural papers in deep rich colors that will coordinate with the Autumn Glory kit, but also work well for many other applications.

Fern papersOne of the papers is from an hand painted loose wash painting of ferns in gold and a soft pumpkin color.

All of my kits are made from hand painted watercolors that have been converted to a digital format and often richly layered to produce the finished, textural, dimensional products. 

preview Autumn Glory Paper PackAs you can see in the previews, I’ve taken care to create and put together papers that will work well with each other for your crafting projects or for a series of scrapbook pages. 

Many of the papers feature autumn leaves on both a large and smaller scale.  The some of the leaves used to prepare the papers are also included separated out in the art kit, so you can place additional leaves as needed in your projects.

Autumn Glory Paper Pack PreviewThe background stripe is from a very textural watercolor wash that has been worked into a very interesting striped pattern in both solid colors and colors that change from corner to corner.  This color variation can be used in very interesting ways on your two page scrapbook layouts for instance by flipping the paper dark corner top left to dark corner bottom right and placing your featured photos in the highlighted section that your eye will naturally be drawn to.

The final series of mini-print falling leaves are in deep rich complimentary tones.  If you never thought of using a deep eggplant in your fall layouts, notice how it adds a pop and sparkle of unexpected color that makes all the colors around it just a little more interesting.

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Prov 13:9-10 The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out. Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice. NIV


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More Hummingbird Photographs

Hummingbird photograph 1I’m getting the hang of how to get some pretty good photographs so I’ll continue to share them with you if you’re not bored with them yet!

I tried taking them near dawn and found that the flash washed out all the color when the light was too low, it seems that the best combination of light is the evening near dusk where there’s still plenty of natural light but it’s low enough that the flash comes on as well.  Then you pretty much point at the area and simply click the shot every time the flash recharges because if you try to "pose" a shot they’re so fast they’re gone.

hummingbird photo 2In this first shot two of the rufous hummingbirds are fighting for position.

In this second shot again they are jockeying for position.  When I am taking these photos I’m about 2 feet away and one of the hummers tends to come right up to the camera and tries to stare me down. 

hummingbirds photo 3I have hundreds of shots now, so I’m only trying to pick ones that hae something in them that is different or unusual.  In this last photo, in the high res version (I’m not sure how well it will show up at 75 dpi) the red throat of the ruby-throated hummingbird at the left just glows as does the green back on the hummingbird in the center front.  I hop you’re not bored with my "babies!"

Tomorrow I’ll be gone all day as I am going to church in the morning and then we drive up to Hume Lake to take Michael-Brett to camp for the week.  We’ll spend the afternoon at the lake just hanging around with family and friends — pretty much a perfect afternoon if my beloved husband were with us 🙁  Oh Well!

Please pray for Steve as he’ll be preaching at 11:30 AM PDT.  Hope you’re having a relaxing, enjoyable weekend.

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY:  Proverbs11:8-10 The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead. With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape. When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.  NIV



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Autumn Glory 1 Digital Clip Art for Fall, by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

(UPDATE:  This ki is now available for $5.98 at Daisie.  Just click on the first picture to go to the store)  digital clip art preview for Autumn or FallI wanted to give you the sneak peek for the Autumn Glory 1 Digital Art Kit that will be debuting on Tuesday in The DAISIE company store.  It will be $5.98 and includes 34 pieces of art.

Included in the kit are: 6 incredibly textured rusted embellishments, 3 borders, 5 tags, 12 art pieces, 1 text piece, 4 frames, and 3 complimentary papers

All of my kits are created from original hand watercolored paintings and then some of the pieces are digitally enhanced from there.  The rusted metal and glass techniques are special thanks to atomic cupcake. 

second preview Autumn or Fall digital clip artThe colors of this kit are deep and rich and there will be an additional paper pack that will release on Friday that coordinates with it. 

Do you have an oversized printer?  If so, you can create some great placemats.  I made some years ago with Thankgiving (or fall for non-Americans!) on one side and Christmas on the other.  I laminated them and they have held up really well with heavy use.

Preview 3 Digital clip art for autumn or fall If you don’t have an oversized printer, try using a sheet of paper, butcher paper or a coordinating wrapping paper with a stripe or good neutral pattern.  You can also print two sheets of normal sized paper and double stick tape or glue them together.  Cut out your elements and glue them to the mat, add lettering and laminate if you can.  This is a great project for kids too.  You can cut out the paper for them to decorate and simply print out the elements, letting them cut them out and place as they wish.

Your digital art can be great "art kits" for your kids to make cards with.  All you have to do is print out the pieces as above and let their imaginations go wild.  It’s also a great way to use up extra or left over scrapbooking supplies and encourage your kids creativity at the same time.  I’ll have some more ideas to share about what to do with your kids once the winter sets in and they can’t run, jump and play outdoors… for now just rejoice that they can!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts


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Making People Feel Welcome by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

Two Rufous Hummingbirds fightingBefore I start on my topic for the day, here’s the best photo of hummingbirds that I got from yesterday’s efforts.  About 50 photos to get 2 or 3 of interest is the average… thank God for digital "film" it’s a lot more affordable than the old ways!

All groups of people share some things in common, basically because people share things in common.  One of those things most of us share is the fear of new things and meeting new people.  Do you remember being the "new kid in school?"  Or perhaps coming into an organization where the ladies knew each other so well and were such good friends that you felt you’d never have a chance to break into their circle?

I’m sure each of you can think of a group, church or organization that you were a first time visitor to.  Did you feel welcomed or ignored?  What happened to produce either feeling?  Did someone greet you and notice that you were new?  Or did it seem like you were invisible?  Have you in turn learned from and then acted on what you learned from that experience?  In other words, if you were ignored when you first came, have you made an effort to notice new people and welcome them?

No group or person is perfect… often times a group is very, very friendly, but just missed the fact that you were there the first day.  Most ofen groups that are accused of being cliquish are really just good friends that forgot to keep looking outwards to welcome others.  In other words they don’t plan to exclude… they just forget to include.  Sometimes groups can get involved in their own internal dynamics that they completely lose the fact that there are new people in their midst.  This is the point where new people can be made to feel unwelcome or rejected.  That’s why it’s so important to develop the habit and take time every meeting to look for and welcome in new people.  

In reality, there aren’t really any welcoming organizations… there are welcoming people that make up welcoming organizations.  When you go to church each week are you excited to see and catch up with your friends?   That’s a really good thing… but remember to take a few minutes and look for a face you don’t recognize and make the first move to talk to them.  Maybe introduce yourself, ask some questions about him or her and then introduce them to someone else.  It takes so little to make someone feel comfortable and welcomed!

Now here’s the really, really important part… look for that person the next week or two.  If you see them, make sure you go talk to them again!  That’s about all the effort it takes to make someone feel comfortable and noticed!  I have to cheat… as my memory is notoriously bad for names and faces!  So I carry a journal with me and write down the information the minute I can sneak away to do it.  Knowing I’m going to write it down makes me think about their name more so I have a better chance at remembering it!  Then, once I’ve written it down,  I can flip back to it the next week or even a month later and refresh my memory! 

I’ve also at times taken names, addresses and phone #s and put it in there.  Once, we had a new couple come to church, Bonnie and Scot are their names.  When I finished talking with her I remembered where she said she had bought her home (she told me the street name and we’re a small community)  so I looked it up on our local real estate page and sent her a card.  It wasn’t really a big deal, but it was the start of our friendship, which continues to grow.

A great use for all the graphics many of you have collected on your computers is to make little "welcome" cards and maybe a great bag to put cookies in.  If you have a new neighbor or a new worker in your office or a new family in your church, send them a little welcome note (with or without the chocolate chip cookies!)  It’s amazing how welcome you can make someone feel with very little effort.  It’s a good habit to form!   If someone is new in the neighborhood and they have children, offer to sit for them as they run errands to get settled in.  Invite them over for a barbeque to get to know them… chances are your life will be made richer because you did!

We have some new neighbors about 4 properties over (about a 1/4 mile in our neighborhood!)  We also have tons of over-ripe bananas in our freezer that I’m going to convinve my daughter Jennifer to make up into her awesome banana bread and we’ll take it to them with a card.  Practice what you preach is my motto!!!

To any of you that are new readers in the last month or so… WELCOME!  I’m so delighted to have you and hope you’ll take a minute to write a comment introducing yourself.  If you do you’ll also be entering yourself in our Blog Contest to win some free graphics!  I draw on the 16th and the last day of the month.

THE PROVERB OF THE DAY: Prov 9:7-9  Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.  Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.  Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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