Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Fun Things Friday

five fun things

cm custom cover

It's about time!!! (Just click on the image or any of the orange hotlinks to find all of the fun details.)


Very sweet and a little tangy. Cross between a honeycrisp and zestar apple. Delicious.

3. Love the of using old lace curtains as window screens.

So beautiful.

4. Eggo Pumpkin Spice Waffles. Easy to make and so very good.

5. The book "A Heart for Freedom" (which will be released next week), written by author Chai Ling (who was one of the main student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement and is a two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee).

Chai Ling founded All Girls Allowed in June 2010 to fight for an end to China's 30-year-old family planning policy. (AGA’s mission is to restore life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China, and to expose the injustice of the one-child policy.) More information, including how to get involved, can be found at the AGA website by clicking HERE.

Happy Friday!!!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monthly Faithbooking Crop :: October 2011

my pic of tony taking a pic

The October Faithbooking Crop is next weekend! Join us at Hosanna! on Saturday, October 8 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm for a fun and productive day of scrapbooking (or whatever sort of crafting floats your boat). As aways, the crops are FREE and include:

•snacks and beverages
•hourly prize drawings
•monthly journaling lesson
•hours to work on your projects

Just click HERE and follow the instructions to reserve your spot! The rest of the year has been mapped out as well, future dates follow:

November 12, 2011
December 10, 2011
January 14, 2012
February 11, 2012
March 10, 2012
April 14, 2012
May 12, 2012
June 9. 2012
July 14, 2012
August 11, 2012

If you have not been receiving my monthly email reminder and would like to, let me know and I'll add your name to the list! (Just a reminder... please RSVP by Wednesday, October 5th!)

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

14 years


A lot can change in 14 years...

car seat



no hair - hair


the rock



meely one

Day 207/365:  another WIN!!

um, yeah.


Wish our 14-year old a very Happy Birthday! Looking forward to celebrating this year with wings served alongside the following waiver:

I understand that Ghost Wings are extremely spicy hot. Good hot wings always burn twice. Girvan Grille is not responsible for next day discomfort. Girvan Grille is not responsible for all other wings tasting bland and lifeless after consuming our Ghost Wings.

Um, yeah. The boy is growing up.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

5 Fun Things Friday

five fun things


A great online resource for supplies (with free shipping on purchases of $50+ to boot!) - click HERE to check out my favorite line for the holidays.

2. I'll be using the adorable Christmas line above for this awesome craft project below:

3. LOVE this craft project!!!!

4. I sampled THESE BARS at a neighbor's graduation party this summer...

And they were incredible.

5. Remember how I was hooked on the whole cakes-in-jars thing? How about PIES in jars?!!


The Etsy shop is called "Let Them Eat Pie" and can be found by clicking HERE.

Happy Friday!!!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 2011 Faithbooking Lesson

With my limited blogging/computer knowledge, I've struggled with the best way to share the monthly faithbooking lessons. The old way... well, just seems so OLD! Once I have a few more under my belt, I'll bind them together somehow and make them available to anyone interested. For now, I'll just share them fully in a regular blog post with tips at the end for incorporating the ideas into your own album. If you have any questions or technical tips to offer, send them my way by email to acvega at frontiernet dot net.

* * * *

Feelings. Whoa Whoa Whoa. Feelings.
Faithbooking Devotion #40 ~ Stones of Remembrance
Creating Rock-Solid Reminders of God’s Presence
©2011 Tina Vega

When I first entered treatment for an eating disorder, I was numb - detached from all emotion. Without even realizing it, I had slipped into a major depression. [How could be depressed when I feel nothing?] Nine years of burying emotions had left me a broken mess. Surprisingly, the focus of treatment was not on food but thoughts; the root of the problem was my thinking – lies I had been feeding myself inside led to destructive behaviors outside.

Learning to take charge of my thoughts not only allowed me to break free from the grip of my addiction (see Faithbooking Devotion #19 for more on this topic) but from depression as well. I have maintained this emotional freedom for 22 years and long for others who are struggling to experience it as well. While your “jail” may look different than mine, some of the thoughts/feelings we are can be held prisoner to include: fear, shame, guilt, depression, bitterness, low self-esteem, jealousy, rage, hopelessness, and anxiety. All of us get stuck at one time or another, knowing what is “right” but letting our feelings drag us all over the place. Some may even try to escape by using food, the Internet, shopping, exercise, alcohol or other “tools” to avoid painful emotions – but feelings do not go away just because we ignore or drown them out. We need to be honest with ourselves and God about the state of our hearts, working through difficulties head-on.

♥ Take a moment to think about your emotional health. Do your feelings serve you or do you tend to cater to your feelings? Do you ever lean on feelings as fact? If someone treats you poorly do you tend to respond purely in an emotional way (feeling angry or rejected) or do you try to process the situation by asking questions or giving the person the benefit of the doubt?
♥ When feelings serve us, they are like electric fences – letting us know when emotional boundaries have been crossed. Are you sensitive to your body’s stress signals? Do you make changes in your life based on those signals (i.e. getting more sleep or exercise, reducing time commitments, etc.) or do you tend to ignore those signals and push through?
♥ What pulls at you emotionally? What drives you absolutely bonkers? Do you see emotional trends in your family?

Facing and processing emotions is a skill that anyone can learn. Some great resources follow:

Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.
– Psalm 42:5

* * * *

Ideas and tips:

1. Create a page spread that focuses on one particular emotion. You could use the name of the emotion you choose as a title for your scrapbooking page. For example, one woman explored three of her fears by creating a page about it HERE. I created a page about "Peace" HERE. You'll even find a whole blog devoted to the topic of scrapbooking grief HERE (named appropriately, "Good Grief").
2. You could take this idea a little further by creating an entire album devoted to working through the grief of losing a loved one or family pet or an album that chronicles the ups and downs during some other difficult season or transition in your life (i.e. cancer journey, unemployment, starting a new school or moving into a new home). I will be using this same idea to create an album for each of my boys to take with them as they head off to college. While I plan to duplicate many of the pages (words of wisdom, favorite family recipes, relational advice, cooking and cleaning tips) each album will be personalized with special memories and notes. Believe it or not, creating albums like these can help you process even the most difficult emotions, to truly work through them and move on.
3. Go even deeper by creating a scrapbook page regarding healthy and unhealthy emotional trends in your family line. So often we barely scratch the surface of our family story and future generations could greatly benefit from our wisdom and insight. Does alcoholism rage through the family line? How about fears or phobias? Depression? Perhaps you have experienced emotional freedom some area of your life - document that story for the benefit of someone else. A scrapbooking spread like this could include a lone self-portrait, an enlarged photograph of a giant tree (representing a family tree), a symbolic photo that represents addiction, etc. - while the focus will be your journaling, a striking image can add to the emotion of your writing. [Journaling of this nature works best for me on the computer.] Your journaling could even be printed up as a vellum overlay so traces of the image bleed through.

You will find an inspiring blog post on the topic of scrapbooking and healing HERE. And a great article on emotions in scrapbooking HERE. And a list of superb page titles HERE.


Once you get past the hump of "this feels weird", expressing yourself on paper can be quite rewarding. I promise.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Fun Things Friday

five fun things

1. Becky Higgins' Project Life scrapbooking system. BEST.THING.EVER. (Click HERE to learn more about it.) I'll be using this system to create scrapbooks for both my niece and nephew - I've been searching long and hard for a way to quickly organize all of their photos and memories. Quick and cute.

project life by becky higgins

You can even join the free online community to get all sorts of ideas and encouragement from fellow Project Life croppers (click HERE for details).

2. There's a new cupcake place in town: Sweet Bébé Cakes.

caramel apple

Of course, I had to book on over there to do a little "research" before sharing it with all of you.



Really, LOTS of research. [The Caramel Apple Spice is TO DIE FOR. Just sayin'.]


You will find their website HERE (the shop is in South St. Paul).

3. Good Grief blog. I came across this site when gathering page idea resources for the September Faithbooking Lesson (note: you will be hearing about it again tomorrow when I post the lesson). It is an incredible resource with a ton of ideas for scrapbooking those difficult pages.

I highly recommend checking it out.

4. Big Picture online classes, these in particular: The Art of Composition (Tracey Clark) and Picture Inspiration (Tracey Clark) and Family Gratitude Photo Spinner (Ali Edwards).

big picture

5. Three Red Apples. LOVE.THIS.SHOP. The artist (Annabelle) has a blog HERE as well.


Makes me wish I were gifted with thread.

Happy Friday!!!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

30 Day Photography Challenge

Photo challenges like this one are the perfect solution if you find yourself in a creative rut. By taking a picture every day, not only will you become more familiar with your camera you will strengthen your artistic eye muscle as well.

Day 1: Self-portrait
Day 2: What you wore today
Day 3: Clouds
Day 4: Something green
Day 5: From a high angle
Day 6: From a low angle
Day 7: Fruit
Day 8: A bad habit
Day 9: Someone you love
Day 10: Childhood memory
Day 11: Something blue
Day 12: Sunset
Day 13: Yourself with 13 things
Day 14: Eyes
Day 15: Silhouette
Day 16: Long exposure
Day 17: Technology
Day 18: Your shoes
Day 19: Something orange
Day 20: Bokeh
Day 21: Faceless self-portrait
Day 22: Hands
Day 23: Sunflare
Day 24: Animal
Day 25: Something pink
Day 26: Close-up
Day 27: From a distance
Day 28: Flowers
Day 29: Black and white
Day 30: Self-portrait

If you're looking for something a little more intensive, you might want to try taking a year of daily photos - longtime readers might remember the monthly themes a group of us attempted to follow sometime back (click HERE for details). [Just as an FYI, the related Flickr group is no longer active.] You will also find a great article on the topic HERE.

If you miss a day, don't sweat it - just pick up where you left off. Perfectionism will squeeze the creativity and joy out of even the best artist or idea, so have fun with the challenge without letting it run your life!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

to journal or not to journal

stack o' journals

Let me say this right up front...

from alice

I love to journal.

spiral notebooks

Not only do I love to journal, I love to turn others on to it as well.

little bit fancy

A self-professed journal-pusher, that's what I am.

more journals

It began in my teen years with a simple spiral notebook. I had a lot of "issues" back then and journaling gave me a place to express myself in an authentic way. It also helped me put perspective on many things that seemed overwhelming at the time.

Fast forward 27 years. I still have a lot of "issues" and journaling gives me a place to express myself authentically while helping me put perspective on the things that seem overwhelming. My journaling over the years has evolved; at one time or another (sometime all at once), it has been the following:
  • a sounding board
  • a place to vent
  • a place to pray
  • a friend
  • a place to explore
  • a mirror
  • a place to dream
  • an organizer
  • a place to make lists
  • a place to be real
  • a place to create
  • a place to remember
    Journaling helps me to SLOOOOW DOWN, something not easily accomplished these days. It helps me to live a little more intentionally instead of getting swept up in daily routines. It helps me to appreciate where I am at RIGHT NOW instead of looking back at this time five years from now, wishing I could turn back the clock to really live it.

    Journaling gives me insight into my Life Story and helps me recognize God's presence in it. It gives me a place to talk with God, a place to track significant seasons in life, to help me to remember things I never want to forget and to help process the things I wish I could.

    Journaling is DA BOMB. But don't just take my word for it. Click HERE for a list of health benefits related to journaling and HERE for "100 Benefits of Journaling" (an INCREDIBLE list of pros) and HERE for ideas on getting started. (You will also find a few journaling ideas on my blog as well by clicking HERE.) If you're anything like me, nothing is more inspiring than a cool journal. Click HERE and HERE and HERE for upcycled cereal box journals (yep, you heard me right). Click HERE for something a little fancier and HERE for something more subdued.

    Now just grab yourself a pen and cup of coffee...

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