Today’s Free Crop Event and Tutorials, Free Gift Tag and Kits at Daisie

All day long today from 9 AM Pacific Time to 9 PM or so We will be having a crafting session at The Daisie Company (www.daisiecompany.com)  There will be free templates to make 2 greeting cards out of and a template for making gift tags.

In addition there are two freebie kits being offered that you will find HERE AND HERE They will be available only for a short period of time and then the links will be disabled and the items will return to normal pricing.

freebie gift tag, christmas gingerbread "Happy Birthday Jesus"If you click on the picture to the left, it will take you to a FREE downloadable mini kit.  It’s a special liitle goodie for those of you who are joining the crop at Daisie and stop by my blog.  This item is a 3D gift tag with "Happy Birthday Jesus" and  a darling gingerbread girl on it.  Since the tag is blank you can also put your own words in it.  This link will be available only through Christmas and then will be disabled so get it while you can!

For those of you visiting for the first time, you can click through the category headings for things that are of interest to you.  I write almost every day sharinh a lot of art and tryinh to share some wisdom about building better relationships in our lives.  I also have a daily scripture.  I will often have some short comments of explanation on the scriptures and for Christmas am going through the Christmas story in Luke.  Welcome, and I hope you’ll stop back by again!

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 1:38-45
Mary Visits Elizabeth

  39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, "You are blessed by God above all other women, and your child is blessed. 43 What an honor this is, that the mother of my Lord should visit me! 44 When you came in and greeted me, my baby jumped for joy the instant I heard your voice! 45 You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do what he said." NLT

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Carbonite, A Tremendous Answer For Backing Up Your Graphics, Automatically!!

I have over 1,000 GB of art on my computer.  Backing up that much art is an insane proposition.  Until now, off-site backup services for that amount of storage were just too expensive.  But I have recently discovered a service that is totally reasonable, totally secure and most importantly totally automatic so I can’t forget to do my backups!!!   

I’ve researched it carefully.  They have received high commedations from quite a few sources I trust including "Small Business Computing" and "IT world".   Here’s a great article from the Seattle Times http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003724588_btsoho28.html that describes its function very well.

I first heard about the service on Rush Limbaugh’s program, and whether or not you agree with his politics, he’s extremely careful in researching any company that will advertise on his show.  After my research I have signed up with the company and I recommend it to my readers if it fits your needs as well.  To make it easy for you, I have installed a link to Carbonite on the right hand side of my blog. 

First here’s just some of the questions I had about this service: 

1.  Is it secure?  They double encrypt your information and have intensive security in place so that no one from their company can have access to the servers without fingerprint verification.

2.  How hard will it be to do and will it slow down my computer while it’s backing up?  I’m in the middle of my first backup.  Quite frankly with as much as I have to store it could take a month to upload, most people will only take a few days.  It took me 10 minutes at the most to get started and I’m leaving my computer on 24/7 to make it go as quickly as possible.  However, if I have to turn it off it will simply pick up where it left off.  If you don’t have that much information, an external hard drive might just be enough, but I recommend you have more than one (they can fail).

3.  Is it affordable?  At $49.95 a year for any amount of information that’s less than $5 per month.  A 500 GB hard drive runs around $120 and can easily fail.  Also,having almost lost my home in the San Diego Wildfires of 2003, I realize the importance of an OFF-SITE-BACKUP!  If your house burns down with your backups in it you’re in trouble. Fire proof safes fail more than they work.   DVDs and CDs do not last forever.  The deteriorate over time, more quickly than first thought.  Hard drives crash.  Computers get fried due to power surges.  There are a lot of threats out there and your graphics kits are expensive.  If you lose them, you can lose a lot of money and face a lot of frustration trying to reacquire what you had.

4.  How easy is it to do a restore or transfer to a new computer?  From reading the tutorials it’s extremely easy especially compared to loading disk after disk after disk on a new computer.

5.  Oops!  I accidentally deleted an entire folder off of my computer, can I get it back?  Have you ever done this?  I have and it was horrid!!!  This back up service keeps your deleted files for 30 days so if you realize you shouldn’t have deleted your file you can retrieve and restore it.  WOW!

6.  Do I have to remember to do a backup?  Nope!  This program works non-stop in the background and once your first backup is done it backs you up continually.  If you’re naturally organized and computer savvy there are a lot of effective ways to do this without a service like Carbonite.  But if you’re not you need to consider the small cost up front versus the huge cost if there’s a failure.

If you are like me and have several hard drives attached to your computer that has too much data to back up to a single source, you know it’s hard to do a full computer backup without buying a very expensive piece of equipment.  Also, a single backup source for a professional in any capacity is dangerous, having your information stored in more than one place in more than one form can make a big difference in a disaster. This type of a service might be overkill for many of you, but can make a lot of sense for people like us.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!"

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 "Don’t be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! 31 You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"

34 Mary asked the angel, "But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin."

35 The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s already in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God."

38 Mary responded, "I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true." And then the angel left. NLT

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Elegant Christmas Card Kit With Matching Family Newsletter Digital Clip Art

pop out card template sampleI am releasing several sets tomorrow and may not get to preview all of them here, but they will be available at www.daisiecompany.com in the morning.

This Card set has been created with a template that I will be giving away free on Saturday at the crop event. 

family newsletter matches christmas card digital clip artI used my own art (as you will use the art you either have created or purchased) and dropped them behind the png templates to create this set.  I wanted to release it so that those who do not have the graphics skills to create their own will have something fun to purchase and create along side the rest.  This crop event is aimed at everyone from the very basic beginner crafter to the much more experienced Photoshop wiz! 

gift tag clip artThis particular Christmas Card set includes a matching Family Newsletter.  You can put your own short message on the card and have lots of space to follow up with an update letter that keeps your family in the loop.  I personally read (and save) every family letter that comes at Christmas and really love the tradition.   I hope to create several additional sets of matching cards and newsletters next week (fingers and toes crossed!)

THE CHRISTMAS STORY:  Luke 1:18-25

18 Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I know this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years."

19 Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 And now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you won’t be able to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly come true at the proper time."

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out, wondering why he was taking so long. 22 When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures that he must have seen a vision in the Temple sanctuary.

23 He stayed at the Temple until his term of service was over, and then he returned home. 24 Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25 "How kind the Lord is!" she exclaimed. "He has taken away my disgrace of having no children!" NLT

MORAL OF THE STORY:  When an angel tells you something, don’t say, "Shut up!  You’re kidding right?!"  LOL!  If you do, he just might shut you up for a while!  Just kidding, but God always does so much more than we can imagine and he wants us to believe that he loves us enough to do the very thing that we have asked him for.  Like any awesome parent he loves to do good things for us and delights when we have a childlike ability to believe and receive. 

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Free Greeting Card & Gift Tag Templates and Tutorials on Saturday, December 1, 2007

As I’m puChristmas Gift Tagstting the finishing touches on my mockups and samples, I thought I would give you a preview of some of what the templates you’ll receive for free can make.  I used my Gift tag template and "Holly Berry Christmas" and "Gingerbread Christmas Village" along with my AJ’s Copperplate Handwriting font. to make these tags.  I also used some actions from Atomic Cupcake to produce the sponged/inked edge look on some of the pieces.

There are as many as three layers on some of these tags (which are a little tough to see).  I’ve embellished them with glitter paint, minijewels and some large decorative jewels and irridescent ribbons.

You can receive this kit free of charge if you do one thing for me.  If you will send out an email to some of your friends inviting them to attend the Christmas Card Crop on Saturday (and copy me on your email so that it’s easy for me to send out the volume of kits I’ll need to send) I will send you this art kit for free!  Then hopefully you’ll also attend the all day affair on Saturday to do more.  My email address is audreyjeannesblog@daisiecompany.com

 

 

 

Here are some close ups for you to see a little of what can be created.

I used a large scale deckle edge pair of scissors to cut out these tags and then there are two deep layers on the tags, but it just does’t show well here.  I used mini-jewels to highlight the tree branches and larger jewels where they worked.

I hope that some of you will post the pictures of the tags you make on Daisie so we can all see them too.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY:  Luke 1:8-17
8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense in the Lord’s presence. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

11 Zechariah was in the sanctuary when an angel of the Lord appeared, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was overwhelmed with fear. 13 But the angel said, "Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! For God has heard your prayer, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son! And you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice with you at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or hard liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.   16 And he will persuade many Israelites to turn to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah, the prophet of old. He will precede the coming of the Lord, preparing the people for his arrival. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will change disobedient minds to accept godly wisdom."   NLT

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Penguins at Play Giftbags, Tags & Toppers Preview

Penguin Giftbags, Gift tags and Toppers PreviewThis day has just flown by!  I started writing this post at 8 PM and managed to delete it when it was almost done so here I am for try number 2!  I wanted to get these previews up for you before the day ended and managed to do it (just barely!!!!) 

This kit will be available in the Daisie store on Friday and will sell for $4.98.  It contains two gift bag options with two tags and the bag toppers can also be used separately on any 5" penguin Christmas gift bagsbag clear or paper bag.  There will also be a greeting card and envelope set coming on Friday to coordinate with it.  I’ll try to get those previews done tomorrow in addition to about 25 other tasks I’m working on all at once.  If only I could wiggle my nose and make all the rest of the world freeze like Samantha did on Bewitched!

If you don’t know about it, THE DAISIE COMPANY is sponsoring a Christmas Card and Gift Tag Crop event all day Saturday.  It will start at 9 AM Pacific/12 Noon Eastern/ 5PM GMT and will have events, prizes and tutorials scattered throughout the day ending around 8-9 PM Pacific/11 PM Eastern/4 PM in Australia.  With so many time slots we’re hoping everyone will be able to catch at least one.

I will be giving away free greeting card and envelope templates in two different shapes and sizes as well as a template sheet of gift tags.  We’ll also be doing some tutorials on using wire and beads to create unique and fun embellishments.  I hope you’ll not only join us but invite some friends who’ve maybe haven’t tried computer crafting yet!

THE CHRISTMAS STORY:  Luke 1:5-10
It all begins with a Jewish priest, Zechariah, who lived when Herod was king of Judea. Zechariah was a member of the priestly order of Abijah. His wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and now they were both very old.

8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense in the Lord’s presence. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.
NLT

 

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Gingerbread Christmas Baking Set, Additional Previews

(UPDATE:  This kit is now available for $5.98 at the Daisie Company store.  Just click on the first picture to go there.)  Here’s the additional preview for the Gingerbread Christmas Baking Set.  I don’t know if it will be released tomorrow or Friday, but it should be out recipe card clip artthis week!  I’m working on the templates for Saturday’s crop event and several urgent projects for my licensors (and my unexpected new puppy)

For those that didn’t read the MB at Daisie today, my daughter was rescuing a friend when her car died and when she opened her door this little puppy jumped up into her lap and wouldn’t let go of her!  We’re going to try to find his owner if he has one, but if we can’t I think he found his way into our home and our hearts!

our new puppy We’ve named him, "Sequoia" for the giant sequoia trees that we love so much that grow in "our backyard!"  He’s a beautiful redwood color and with his paws, he’s not going to be a little dog!

Here’s the beginning of my daily reading of the Christmas story for anyone who would like to ponder the reason for this season a little bit each day.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY:  Luke 1:1-4  Most honorable Theophilus: Many people have written accounts about the events that took place among us. 2 They used as their source material the reports circulating among us from the early disciples and other eyewitnesses of what God has done in fulfillment of his promises. 3 Having carefully investigated all of these accounts from the beginning, I have decided to write a careful summary for you, 4 to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught. NLT

COMMENT:  I will be going through the book of Luke starting at the beginning.  This is the introduction from Luke.  He was not a direct diaciple of Christ before his death, but was a contemporary of the other disciples  He gathered his information from interviewing many of those that had been friends and followers of Jesus.  He was a physician and later travelled with the Apostle Paul.  Tradition since early in the church seems to indicate that Luke was a martyr, yet there are a few accounts that mention he died of a natural death.

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Gingerbread Christmas Baking Set, for Making Recipe Cards and Other Christmas Food Gifts.

Oh Boy!  I have a list a mile long to attend to today and I’m so behind I’ll never catch up! 

Gingerbread Christmas Baking Set Recipe Card

(UPDATE: This kit is now available in the Daisie Company store for $5.98.  Click on the first picture to go there.)  Here’s the preview for this week’s art kit: It was designed specifically for making food-related Christmas gifts.  It will be available either tomorrow or Friday, depending on the store’s volume and Lynnie’s balancing needs.  It will sell for $5.98 and has 30 pieces of art.  There are 5 circular frames that would work great for making paint can sets out of and there are 7 frames to use either for scrapbooking, making greeting cards or recipe cards with.

The centerpiece of this collection is a poem I wrote "Recipe for a Merry Christmas."   It is an 8" square that would be ideal for making a tile trivet out of.

Gingerbread Christmas baking set, clip artThere’s also a 8" square "There’s no place like home for the holidays" design that would make a great Christmas card or tile out of as well.

I used the Gingerbread Cottage Christmas sets to create the baking pieces out of so they will perfectly coordinate with any of those sets.  They will also coordinate with Gina Jane’s Sweet Gingerbread sets as well so you can mix an match them to create your own special look.

previews Gingerbread Christmas Baking Set, cllip artCreating all of these Gingerbread Christmas sets has reminded me of the wonderful days we spent making graham cracker gingerbread houses with my mother and sister.  We didn’t bake all of our own gingerbread parts, but they were still our unique creations! 

If only I could include the smell of fresh baking gingerbread it would be soooo perfect! 

I’ll show some more previews this afternoon, right now i have to get moving on some other commitments.  My dear friend, Angela has discovered my blog.  She’s my "boss lady!"  So she’ll know if I’m not getting her work done 🙂

 When I post again this afternoon, I’m going to start posting the Christmas story scriptures so that if you stop in each day from now until Christmas, you’ll get to read the entire story.  So if keeping the real reason for the season central in your crazy day is a priority for you (as I am working at doing this year too) then grab a gingerbread cookie, some cocoa and come to my blog each day for a little quietness and "centering" time!

 

 

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A Quick Happy Thanksgiving to All of You!

We’re hitting the road momentarily.  Be safe.  Enjoy your loved ones.  Go to your family events taking a little time to think about what usually happens at them.  Is there someone who’s usually rude and obnoxious?  Think about what they do to push your buttons and don’t let them!  It’s the "surprise, I forgot she was like that" factor that catches us off guard!  Is there someone who is unkind?  Think about how miserable they must be to be like that and how much they’re missing — then love on them a little extra.  It will either soften them up or REALLY stir them up, either way you’ll feel better about it.

Is the event at your home?  Take time to think about what you want to say to each that is coming as you clean.  Have a special, personal "Thank you for being you" message to share with each as you hug them hello.  Is there a family member that won’t be able to come that usually does?  Give them a special cell phone call to say you were thinking about them.

Do you have to travel far or by airport or freeway?  Take a little extra time for the trip and don’t get too wound up, you’ll arrive in a much better frame of mind.   If you’re traveling with your children in a car try doing what we did last weekend, reading a book out loud together.  Our girls absolutely LOVE it and we have such wonderful memories of reading CS Lewis’ "Chronicles of Narnia" and some other wonderful books like that.

Are you going to see a family member that you just might not see this side of heaven again?  Hold them close and love them with all your heart and don’t forget to tell them how much you are thankful for them.  I’m thinking about my Grandma Flint at this moment… for ten years every time I left her I knew it could be the last time.  We said our good byes over a decade and I didn’t really know that the last time I saw her really was going to be the last time, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t leave anything unsaid.  She knew how much I adored her!

And finally, Thanksgiving is really about our priceless relationships… with God who gives us such abundance in our lives and those we’re blessed to share it with.  The food is fun (and unfortunately is ALMOST ETERNAL so be careful how much you pack on… ooops I meant pack in :-)!) 

Blessings to all of you!  Audrey Jeanne

 

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Upcoming Crop Event December 1st at THE DAISIE COMPANY

On December 1st, the anniversary date of my joining Daisie Company last year, I will be holding an all day crop event to create Christmas Cards and gift tags.  There will be two free Christmas Card Templates offered, one in the morning and one in the afternoon that you will be able to use any art or graphics with to create your own Christmas card designs from.  You will need to have your own graphics to work with, which can be things that you already own or purchased from the Daisie store.

Our goal is to get our Christmas cards done and in the mail EARLY this year and have them be beautiful and creative as well!  I will teach some sessions on making 3 dimensional gift tags out of your graphic sets with a little tutorial here and there with some simple ideas for you to incorporate.

There is a suggested products list here: http://www.daisiecompany.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22786

If you have any ideas, suggestions or requests of what you would like to see incorporated in the day, please post to the comments and I’ll gladly see if I can accommodate them!  We scheduled the events in a manner that will make them as accessible as possible to the entire world time spectrum since we have Daisies in Australia, England and the continent in between!  Hopefully you’ll be able to make at least one of the events.

Here’s my rough plan:
1. Begin the first project/crop event at 9 AM Pacific/ 12 noon Eastern time which corresponds to 5 PM GMT.
2. Run a mid-afternoon event at 1 PM Pacific, 4 PM Eastern and 9 PM GMT
3. Run an evening event at 7 PM Pacific, 10 PM Eastern (UK will be asleep at 3 AM), but in Auckland Australia it will be 3 PM on Sunday afternoon.

Further details can be found at: http://www.daisiecompany.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22462

I hope to "see" you all there!!!  I am going to be making an unexpected 3 or 4 day trip starting early tomorrow so I will not be around much, but will try to pick up my email if and when I can so be patient if I don’t get back to you 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving all! 

THE SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  1 Thess 5:12-18  Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  NIV

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The DAISIE Company Friday Freebie is my “Penguins at Play” Stationery Set.

Penguins greeting card, free digital clip art kitI wanted to bring this to the attention of those of you that read my blog frequently, but don’t necessarily frequent the DAISIE COMPANY’s Store.  This is the Daisie Company’s "Friday FreeBee" kit for today and it will be available for free for the next two weeks and then it will retail for $2.98.  It contains a full sized greeting card and matching envelope, a stationery note sheet that fits the same envelope and two gift tags. 

Just click on the picture and it will take you to the store.  This set also matches my "Penguins at Play" art kit which became available this morning.

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A Thanksgiving Freebie Gift From My Heart to Yours

Thanksgiving Napkin Ring Freebie PreviewI am getting ready to go to San Diego for the weekend so I wanted to get this up early for all of you to have time to make for Thanksgiving.  It is designed to coordinate with my Thanksgiving Decor and art kits:  http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r300/Audreyjeanne/blog%20photos/AJROB_preview_napkin_ring.jpg  http://www.daisiecompany.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1700  http://www.daisiecompany.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1699

I made the loop intentionally large enough to make a napkin ring or a small candle ring out of it.  Simply cut to size if you want to make the napkin ring, add the layers using 3D foam tape or dots and you’re done.  I printed mine on brochure paper and glued it to cardstock.

pumplin, indian corn, leaves, thanksgiving clip art napkin ringsTo download your freebie, simply click on the top picture and it will take you to the site.  Look in the lower right hand corner for a small line that says "download original size."

I am thankful for each and every one of you.  You are such a blessing to me, so I hope you’ll let me be a little bit of your Thanksgiving celebration!!!

THE SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  2 Cor 9:8-11   And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."   Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  NIV

 

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Additional Preview of “Penguins at Play” Clip Art Set

(UPDATE:  This kit is now available for $5.98 at the Daisie Store.  Just click on the picture to go there)  I want to say a GIANT thank you to those who left me such great ideas to work on.  All I need now is a clone to sit down and paint them all!!!!  Alas, like you, I never have enough hours in my days to do all that is on my heart or in my mind.

Penguin clip art previewThis is the final preview for "Penguins at Play."  There is a circular border that can be used to create altered paint cans or a fun cake plate liner.  One of these years I’ll have to attempt a paint can set!  It’s been on my list for a while but I never quite get to it !

My husband breaks camp today and heads home after three weeks in the Big Bear Lake area at the Slide and Grass Valley fires.  He met a couple of really special people that are likely to become lifelong friends, one of which lost their own home in the fire (his second home burned to the ground in 7 years!!!!)   We visited him at the camp this weekend and it is quite amazing the "instant city" that is built over night when these events occur. 

I guess I’ll want to clean my house to welcome him home LOL!!!  No more 12 hour days creating kits for Daisie for a while!!!

THE SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  2 Peter 1:5-9  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.  NIV

COMMENT:  This is one of those verses that reminds me that it is a process to grow in my faith.  It isnt magic or instant, but requires effort and practice.  It also encourages me to think I can add these characteristics little by little, day by day and I will become productive and effective!

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A New Winter Fun Art Kit “Penguins at Play” Clip Art by Audrey Jeanne Roberts

Penguin clip art preview(UPDATE:This kit is now available in the Daisie Store for $5.98.  Click on the first picture to go to the store)  I spent last week painting these whimsical, fun, playful penguins for next week’s art kit release.  They were such fun to do and I’m really looking forward to making a wide variety of three dimensional gift tags with them.  Have you seen the wonderful sets you can find at Costco or Sam’s Club?  They’re beautiful,  but are always a little smooshed and squished when they finally get all the way from the orient to my house.

I love using those kits to festive up my packages, but it also seems like they’re never quite the right color or subject to go with my paper.  Well, this year I’m going to be making my own and because I needed to make some for my family, the rest of you can have a little fun as well 🙂

I’m thinking about buying some simple paper in the colors I want and then actually cutting out and gluing on some of my penguins and snowmen with some jewels and glitter so the entire package becomes a beautiful and coordinated presentation.

penguin clip artEver since I saw the movie "The March of the Penguins" I have fallen in love with these wonderful creatures.  They are so dedicated to their young and endure so much to give them a healthy start in life!  Also, growing up in San Diego, Sea World has a fabulous exhibit called "The Penguin Encounter" so we got to watch them frolic and play by the hour when we went to the park each year.

If you have any suggestions of what other activites you’d like to see penguins in, leave me a comment you guys always have such fun and great ideas.  I’ll have another preview tomorrow of the last part of this kit and maybe a preview of a freebie kit that I’ll make out of it for a Friday Freebie at Daisie Company.

THE SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  Titus 3:3-8   At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.   NIV

 

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Thoughtful orThoughtless?

I bet if I ask you, "Do you know someone who is thoughtless in your life?"  Instantly a face or two will pop to the front of your mind.  Likewise if I asked you "Is there someone who comes to mind that is thoughtful?"  There wil be one or two people that will come to mind who have touched your life and your heart by this very special trait.   I’ve been thinking about the difference between the two and how I can become more and more thoughtful as the years go by.

Some of the traits that thoughtful people have are these:  Thoughtful people have full lives, but there’s still always room in their life for you.  They are busy, but not too busy to make a call to see how you’re doing or if they can help when you’re in need.  Thoughtful people do little things that show they care… they put themselves in your shoes and think what would be helpful, encouraging or in some small way make your life brighter or easier. 

Thoughtless people aren’t usually "bad" people, they just don’t think.  They don’t put themselves in anyone else’s shoes and think how their behavior affects anyone else in their lives.  Thoughtless people are often consumed by their own lives.  They are busy.  They are overwhelmed, and often are in chaos.  Most often they just aren’t even aware that other people around them have needs.  If they think about doing something, they rarely actually take a tangible step to follow through.

In all honesty it doesn’t take that much time to be thoughtful.  Small consistent gestures make a big impact in friendships and relationships.  Email has given us an almost instant and very quick way to let friends and family know that we’re thinking of them.  A quick note, one or two minutes even spent writing a paragraph or two can make someone’s day! 

Thoughtful people have developed the ability to "have the thought"… they notice others, they aren’t wrapped up in their own world. They’ve discovered the incredible joy of being a blessing to others and most thoughtful people couldn’t imagine living any other way.  The thoughtless person is handicapped in that the "thought" doesn’t occur to them so it’s impossible to be "thoughful."  

Thoughtfulness is a learned behavior that can be taught.  If you have children or grandchildren, this is an area that takes time and persistence to develop, but makes so much difference in a family.  Asking children questions such as "How do you think Mrs. Smith feels since her husband died and what do you think she would like us to do for her to make her feel a little better?"  "Susie broke her arm and can’t go play in the snow with all the neighbor kids, do you have any ideas of how we can make a special play day with her?"  I’ve learned that when I asked my children and made them think through what a good answer would be, they remembered the lesson better than when I just told them what to do.  Also, I found that when I emphasized a character trait over and over they began to understand and apply it in their lives.  As a mom, I tried to spend more time teaching them good behaviors than just getting on them for bad behaviors over and over.

The holidays are a great time to exercise the "thoughtfulness" muscle (in ourselves and in our children!)  Take a moment and think about someone in your life that a thoughtful gesture might really encourage.  Is there someone who has lost a loved one this year?  Is there someone that is experiencing depression or struggling financially?  What about a family member who might be struggling with a too-busy schedule?

One great thing about thoughfulness is that it often takes no money at all to be thoughtful!  If there’s a young mother, maybe even a young single mother in your community perhaps you can call and offer to watch her children for her one day this Thanksgiving or Christmas season to let her have a day to shop all alone.  Perhaps an older person that you know might not have the energy to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, but would love to be included in your family’s celebration.  Is there a military wife that could use some help around the house with maintenance?

The most thoughtful gestures of all are totally unexpected and not even tied to a particular date or occasion, they’re "Just because I thought of you…"  Those of you that create your own greeting cards have an incredible resource at your fingertips!  Play with your graphics and make cards and envelopes in advance, so that they are as easy as an email to send off.  Buy a book of stamps and when you think of someone over the next few weeks take that thought one step further to THOUGHTFULNESS and take five minutes to write a personal note. 

If you wrestle with depression, developing your thoughtfulness muscles can become a powerful weapon to destroy the stronghold that depression can have in your life.  Depressed people have a hard time thinking about others at times, but people who think of and connect with other are rarely depressed in a debilitating way.  Even if you don’t "feel" cheerful, you can write a cheerful message to someone you know is struggling more than you are.  You would be amazed how an act of kindness can make your own heart soar!   How strong is your "thoughtfulness" muscle?  Mine needs some more regular workouts 🙂

THE SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  Col 3:12-14  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  NIV

COMMENT:  I love the imagery "clothe yourself."  It’s an action and a choice.  Put on patience like you put on a warm scarf when it’s going to be cold.  Decide to be gentle like you put on rubber boots when you go out into the rain!  God gives us the "clothes" but we need to choose to put them on!

 

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