The "sick" season, that is. Aidan had the sore throat over the weekend, settling into a sinus thing, and now I have it. Came down with the throat stuff yesterday, so decided to go to the doc and see if I could nip "whatever" in the bud. Good news -- it's not strep. But it is a "throat virus" that's going around, so I do feel generally crummy. SO, no setting foot in the craft loft today.
However, I do still have things to show you, fret not! I haven't shown you all the things I've gotten done (and there are a few more to photograph), so I'll go pick one out randomly now and show you the ...
Snowflake Extravaganza Christmas Card:
I have two sets of these, eight cards & envies in each set. This card ended up being a "God thing" because it just wasn't coming together at first. I was following a sketch (I'm too brain fogged right now to remember which one ... I'll look it up later), and I really, really wanted to use this GORGEOUS Heidi Grace paper I got at Archivers a couple of weeks ago. (You can't tell from the scan how this paper shimmers and sparkles.) So I had the basic sketch pattern laid out -- the Heidi Grace paper, the rectangle stamped with two different SU snowflake sets and about four or five different aqua-toned SU blue inks, the strip of "crystal" colored shimmer paper above the rectangle. There was a circle on the sketch, and so I decided to use the "Celebrate the Season" stamp from SU's "So Many Scallops" (retired, I think). Of course, using the whole stamp including the scallop edge would have overwhelmed the card (it's an A2/4-1/4" x 5-1/2"), so I punched out just the inner circle. But when I got through it just looked -- bland and boring. There seemed to be no real focal point. So I remembered that I had a snowflake punch that I had bought YEARS ago (we're talking, probably 8-10 years ago when I was just beginning), and I dug it out and decided to do the Baja Breeze colored cardstock. So that was kinda cute, but still bland. Then I decided to put some Stickles on the snowflake tips and a few snowflake centers, and, needing to let them dry, I called it a night.
The next day I took another trip to Archivers to get some stick-on crystals for the big snowflake centers (amazing how I seem to have to go there a lot for those little "necessary" things, huh?). (I may have bought a couple of other items there, too ...) Anyway, to make this long story not so long, when I got home and started to put it all together on the card base, I realized I'd cut the DP too small for my original plan! There was just too much white space around the edges. I decided to just mat the thing on some Soft Sky paper, but then God popped the idea into my head to edge the paper with a fru-fru edge punch. I thought this one from Martha Stewart looked a bit snowflaky ... and in the end decided to offset the two pieces instead of matting the DP on the edge-punched bit. And I really like the effect!! Unfortunately, the way my computer does colors, you can't really tell that the edge-punched bit is Soft Sky and the card base is white. I tried very hard with my photo software to make the Soft Sky not be so bright and washed out, but, alas, I'm not an expert, so this is the best I could do.
However, I am NOT pleased with the quality of that Martha Stewart punch. I haven't used it much since I bought it several months ago, and it's got a "wobbly" punch lever so that it doesn't always "hit" right when you push it. Basically, on my particular punch, you have to use one thumb to press the back of the lever down, and the other thumb to push down on the part of the lever close to the punch. Can you say "OUCH!"? Can you say it 16x3 times? (Took three punches per piece to complete the edging). Sometimes I used the palm of my hand, but that hurt, too.
Okay, so I'm whining. It was worth the pain and agony, though, for the neat effect. Don't think I'll be using that punch on mass-produced stuff anymore, though!
Well, I need to get to bed. On top of just plain sick-tiredness, there's still that Raising a Teenager thing. I d'know -- you Christian parents out there, do you think it's probably harder to raise a Christian kid than it is for non-Christians to raise their kids? I mean, because you have that whole added factor of trying to help them say on the right path without shoving it down their throats (I was accused of that yesterday, not in so many words, but I knew what the underlying sentiment was -- and I don't think I do that at all, not like my parents did to me! -- I "guide" ;-) ). Ugh. What a tightrope we walk -- don't want to drive them away, but do want their faith to be genuine, their own walk with Christ, not mine. I guess as Christian parents we've got enemies galore surrounding our families leaping on every possibly opportunity to distract and lure our kids away from Christ. Mercy, it's tough. I'm so thankful for the ability to pray about this, to take it to God and pour out my heart about my son, my fears, my feelings of total inadequacy, my "need" to control and how in the world do I let go of that, how do I let go of the kid, how do I trust him to get it right, what if he doesn't, etc.
And at the same time -- I'm so thankful that we ARE Christians! That means I have a Strong Tower to run to, a Mighty Defender who loves my kid even more than I do and will fight for him with his mighty right hand, as it says in the Psalms (and other places, too). I have an Advocate, an Anchor, a "Rock that is higher than I", a shelter in the storm (and, boy, can parenting a teenager seem like a Category 5 Hurricane sometimes -- and I've even got a "good kid"!). God knows my frame, He remembers that I am, indeed, MAJOR dust, he knows I'm weak, He knows I don't have all the wisdom I need on my own. But one cry to my Abba, Father, and He comes running to give me the courage, strength, wisdom I need to carry on another day. (If He didn't, or if He wasn't there to, I guarantee you I would not still be here.)
Okay, I really do have to get to bed now!
Hey, have you bought the new Phil Joel CD yet?? Hmmm, have you? If not, why not??? If so, what's your favorite song on it? I have too many, different categories. For plain ol' rocking out I love "DWYL". And the one before that (the "Best Thing" one). For praise, I LOVE "Every Knee". And when Phil lets God sing through him, reminding me that "You Belong to Me" ("Me" being God, not Phil), I totally feel God's love and that wonderful thing about being His child. But all the songs are so awesome! (Um, "Pink Elephant" is weird, but it has a great message for kids/teens about how stupid alcohol is. It's not going on my MP3 player, though. Sorry, Philip!)
Okay, I AM going to bed now! I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help me lick this virus so I can get back into the loft tomorrow and do some finishing up. The fair is just a week from Saturday!