Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweet Strawberry

**Quick update on yesterday's Retiring Accessories List announcement - the Paper Snips and Craft Scissors (ribbon scissors!) are NOT being retired and are NOT on sale. Yes, our favorite scissors are NOT on the chopping block this year. Yay!
But, didn't it make you think that you'd better get them while you could??
Click HERE for a downloadable PDF file of the Retiring Accessories List.

Click HERE to visit my Stampin' Up! website and place your order today!
All online orders of $50 or more will receive a FREE Grab Bag of Stampin' Up! products from me!

Also, the pretty Summer Smooches Fabric Covered Brads that were available in April ONLY have now Sold Out! I hope you were able to get yours while you could.
Just goes to show that when SU! says "Limited Availability" they mean it!

Now, on to today's card.

I designed this card for my card classes last month. I cased the fold and embossed layer from a member of my downline - Diana. Her original card is in this post HERE.

I know you are probably going to want the measurements, but honestly, I made it so long ago, I need to take it off my display and measure it again! If you need them, just comment and I'll add them later on. LOL!

The card is made with Naturals White cardstock and I cut it at 4 1/4" x 11". The top flap was cut with the Adorning Accents Edgelits Die and I embossed the inside flap with the Square Lattice Embossing Folder.

The layers are Old Olive, Real Red and Naturals White. The Old Olive layer was punched on one side with the Scalloped Trim Border Punch.
I stamped the flowers from the Bordering on Romance stamp set with Old Olive ink and colored them in with my White Gel Pen, Daffodil Delight and Old Olive Stampin' Write Markers.

The "strawberry" was created with the Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslit Die in my Big Shot. The leafy cap was made with the Scallop Circle Punch and I just cut out 5 of the scallops, snipped up in between them and curled them up a bit. A Paper Daisy and Daffodil Delight brad from the Brights collection completed this fun accent!

Here's a peek at the inside:

I used the Perfectly Penned stamp set for my greeting and stamped it in Real Red ink.

It's a really fun card and you could even do it without the different fold. That cute strawberry would bring a smile to anyone's face!

I love strawberries - don't you? This time of year is great for me because you can buy them super fresh in the grocery store and we're coming up on pick your own season!
My parents ran a pick your own strawberry patch for a few years and they were some of the BEST strawberries I've ever tasted. So sweet, big and juicy. Yummy!

Have a great day today stampin' friends!
I'll be in the studio stampin' my day away. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Get 'em While You Can! Retiring Accessories!

Print or view this file: RETIRING ACCESSORIES LIST

It's HERE! Get 'em while they are hot!
The annual list of Retiring products - Ribbons, Papers, Inks, Brads, Buttons - all the BLING we've come to know and LOVE - has been released!

Everything on this list is available only WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!!

Many items on this list are DISCOUNTED up to 70% off!!
Many of our favorites are going away for good, so don't miss this chance to get them before they are gone forever.
Don't worry! SU! isn't retiring everything fun!
You might wonder about that when you see the list - but keep in mind that MANY items are being re-done and updated AND if some things don't retire, we can't have fun NEW things now can we??

So, open this file here: Retiring Accessories List and either view or print the list. 

Check off the items you MUST OWN and go to my website to place your order today! It's your best opportunity to get your favorites before they are gone

Robin's Online Stampin' Store - CLICK HERE!
Click the SHOP NOW button at the top right corner to enter the Store. 

I'll be back later today with some ideas for you of things not to miss - unless of course, they are gone! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cased Smooches

Tuesday morning and the sun is shining outside my window today! It's been raining and nasty the past few days and I am grateful to see the sun again. I'm doubly grateful that we didn't get the SNOW that some of my friends further north had yesterday. Aiyiyi! Snow in April! Brrrr...... I think God is reminding us who exactly is in charge around here! LOL!

Since it's been a lot yukky weather wise, I decided to share a bright, springy card with you today. You've probably already seen a version of it on some other websites and blogs - and I believe it was originally Jill Hilliard's design - but honestly, I'm not sure. BUT, it sure is a great card design and I loved it so much I re-created it for my April card classes and added my own touch to it.

Here's one view of this card:

It's a pretty basic design - a great clean and simple look - and I love the use of the Diagonal Scoring Plate to create the subtle background. I used Whisper White and Concord Crush (which is retiring at the end of May!) for my cardstock and added Pear Pizzazz (which is ALSO retiring at the end of May!) and Daffodil Delight for accent colors.
The focal image was created with the Bright Blossoms Stamp Set and I simply colored on the stamps with my Stampin' Write markers. I stamped the center flower first and added the other two to achieve a more balanced look. 

I used the Bring on the Cake Stamp Set for the greeting and the fun ruffle is simply a piece of the Pear Pizzazz Pleated Satin Ribbon added to the focal point with some SNAIL adhesive. I folded in the cut ends to give it a finished look and then the whole piece was added to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

Really an easy-peasy card and I'm sure it would bring a smile to anyone's face to receive it!

Don't forget that the Occasions Mini Catalog ENDS on April 30th! That yummy ribbon is in that catalog! You can check out the whole thing on my Stampin' Up! website, so get on over there, ok? Here's the link: Robin's Online Stampin' Store
Once you are there, simply click the SHOP NOW button at the top right corner to get started shopping! 

Have a great day everyone! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Striped Silhouette Card

Good morning stampers!
I know it's been a while since you've seen pretty projects every day here. I just want to say thanks for hanging in there with me. We've had a run of time these past few weeks that I've been pulled in every different direction possible and I've worn all my "hats" - sometimes two at one time! LoL! I know, not the best look for me. hahaha!

There has been some stamping going on though and I've got a bunch of projects to share with you in the coming days.  I'm going to start with this card that I created for my March Team Meeting Swap. Yes - MARCH! I know!

It's actually perfect to share with you now since this stamp set - Notably Ornate - is on the chopping block this year. Yep, it's being retired to the stamp farm and I am sad. (see, I'm frowning. :(( )
Here, take a look at the card:

I used the Timeless Portrait Designer Series Paper as my starting point and inspiration for the card - love doing that - it's a great way to let your imagination be your guide.
The card base is Cherry Cobbler and I combined it with Basic Black, Very Vanilla and some Crumb Cake ink sponging.

I stamped the framed lines image on the vanilla piece first with Cherry Cobbler ink. Then I ran it through the Big Shot with the Stripes Embossing Folder. It was sponged lightly all over with the Crumb Cake.
Next, I used two 3/4" strips of DSP and layered them on two 1" strips of Basic Black cardstock. They were adhered to the card front with Tombow Multi Adhesive.

The focal image has four layers. The bottom is a piece of the DSP cut with the Ovals Die in my Big Shot. I crumpled it and sponged it with Crumb Cake. Next is the oval from the Designer Frames Embossing Folder set. I embossed it on Very Vanilla then tore it out and sponged it as well. The next layer is the oval frame stamp, inked in black and stamped on Very Vanilla cardstock. I punched it out with the Large Oval Punch, and yes, sponged it too! The next layer is the greeting. Simply stamped with Cherry Cobbler ink and punched out with the Modern Label Punch then sponged. All the layers but this last one are popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere them together and as a final touch, I added one of the Large Pearl accents from the Occasions Mini Catalog.

I love the vintage look! Have I told you that before?? Ha! I know I have!

Here's the inside look:
I just stamped a piece of the frame stamp in the corner to accent the Very Vanilla panel and added my greeting from the Blessings from Heaven stamp set (not retiring! Whew!). And yes, it's sponged with Crumb Cake too. :)

So there you go - a new, original creation and it highlights some great stamps that you might not own yet! But you better get on the stick - they're only around until May 31st!!
PLUS - the retiring Accessories list comes out on WEDNESDAY! I'm sure that Designer Paper will be on it - so snatch it up while you can. The Accessories list is first come, first served so when it's gone, it's gone and you'll cry.
Well, maybe not, but you might and I'd hate that!! LOL!
Here, let's avoid the tears of regret and head over to my website and place your order. 

 #122352  Timeless Portrait Designer Series Paper  $10.95  (12 sheets)
#120561  Notably Ornate Stamp Set (clear -mount)  $17.95

Have a great day everyone! Go stamp something fun!

Place your order for Stampin' Up! supplies at this link here: Robin's Online Stampin' Store
Simply click the SHOP NOW button at the top right corner to get started!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One Year

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34: 17-18

It's hard to believe it's been a year since we said goodbye to my Dad.
One year ago today he went home to be with the Lord.
I wasn't sure I was going to write about him today, but I'm compelled to.
If you've suffered a loss like this then you understand that it's a blessing and a joy to speak of those we've loved and and bid farewell to.

It's been a year of ups and downs, but not only have we known the presence of God with us at all times, I know my Dad too will always be with us, if only in our hearts and memory. And as difficult as this year has been without his earthly presence in my life, not being able to share the joys and new beginnings I've experienced, I can look forward to the day when I will see him face to face once again.
There's gonna be a lot to tell him, that's for sure!

I'm not sure if you know how much you all have meant to me over the past year. As I looked back this morning over the file of messages, e-mails and cards from so many of you, I was blessed beyond measure once again at how much love you poured out on me and my family. God used all of you to help bind up my wounds and to heal my heart and no amount of thanks will ever be enough for that. Please know that each of you holds a special place in my heart and always will.

So, as I contemplated what exactly to share with you here today, I wanted to make sure to tell you that no matter what trial, or difficulty or loss you may be experiencing today, God is bigger than all of that.

The Bible says this: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." - 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 and in verses 17 - 18 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

The message is so clear - He does not leave us alone in our troubles. When we focus on the temporary things that are in front of us, we take our eyes off the God who loves us more than we can ever comprehend and who wants to carry us through every difficult step we take. And that doesn't get us anywhere good.

Do I miss my Dad? Yes. Every day.
Are there still times that my heart just hurts? Yes. More than I can recount. I wrestle over the fact that he is missing so much, and we are missing him here.
But would I wish him back? No, never. He is healed and in Heaven with our Lord and I know he'll be there to greet me someday. That knowledge alone allows me to focus once again on the God who heals and binds up the wounds of the brokenhearted.

I don't know what you are facing friends, but it would be my joy to pray for you as you have prayed for me and given me comfort. God hears our prayers and holds us close to Him. I hope you feel His presence today.

There are two things that I'm leaving you with today. One is a new song by one of my favorite groups, Mercy Me. It speaks perfectly to where I am today on this grief journey. I hope it blesses you and encourages you as it has me.
Secondly, I'm sharing the tribute video of my Dad with you. He left a legacy of love for us and he had a zest for life that few could match. I think these photos show him perfectly.

God bless you my friends, today and always,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stenciled Smooches

Hey stampers!

Just popping by today with a quick card for you all.
I designed this last week for my stamp classes this month and it's been a big hit so far!
It uses the sweet stencil from the Summer Smooches promotion that's going on this month. The stencil is one of two items that is only available this month, so be sure to add it on when you are ordering your retired stamp sets!

Let's take a look at the card:

I used Crumb Cake cardstock cut at 4 1/4" x 11" and folded in half for my card base. Using the outside piece of the stencil, I took a Sponge Dauber and sponged Crumb Cake ink on the card front through the stencil opening to create this sweet shadowed background.

The side border piece is made with Daffodil Delight cardstock layered with a piece of the Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper. I wrapped a short piece of Daffodil Delight Seam Binding around the layers before adhering them to the card front.

Next, I used a new piece of seam binding and created a bow which was attached to the wrap with Mini Glue Dots. The greeting is from the Friendly Phrases stamp set and is stamped with Lucky Limeade on Very Vanilla cardstock. I punched it out with the Large Oval Punch and layered it on a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock that was punched with the Scalloped Oval Punch. The little Daffodil Delight button from the Brights collection was added with a Mini Glue Dot and the whole thing was popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals.

I used a small portion of the stencil on the inside as well to add some interest there.

Here's a few of the pieces I used for this project:
#125583 Daffodil Delight Seam Binding $6.95

#125409 Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper $10.95

#125626 Summer Smooches Stencil $7.95 (April ONLY!)

Have a fantastic day stampers! I hope you get to stamp something fun!!

Visit my Online Stampin' Store to purchase all your Stampin' Up! Supplies!
Click the SHOP NOW button at the top right to get started!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Going, Going...Gone! Retiring Stamp Set List

Today's the day!
The list of Retiring stamps is here!

Time to curl up with your favorite beverage, your catalog and this list and find your favorites before they are GONE.

Print the list here:

Visit my website at this link to view the list in pictures:

Remember, you only have until May 31st to add these wonderful stamps to your tool box!
Have fun shopping!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One More from Sale-A-Bration

Howdy Stampers!

I know, Sale-A-Bration ended on the 31st. But many of you have some fantastic supplies that you earned for FREE and I KNOW you'd love another idea to put them to use, right??

Here's a card I designed for my Aloha to Sale-A-Bration event. The guests who attended got to make this card, and now you can too!

I got the idea for this design fold from fellow demonstrator Donna Schafer in the RemARKable Stampers group. Thanks for the great idea Donna!

For my card, I started with a card base of Peach Parfait (which is retiring at the end of May!) cut at 4 1/4" x 11". I used my Simply Scored to create the fold lines. It's scored at 2 3/4" inches from both ends. This makes a "gatefold" card that opens in the middle. Two pieces of the Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper, cut at 2 1/2" x 4" were added to the front flaps of the card.

Next, I used my Oval Frame Die and my Big Shot and cut out a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock, creating the outside frame and the inside oval piece. I took the frame and ran it through the Big Shot again inside the Finial Press Embossing Folder, giving it texture. I sponged it with Crumb Cake ink to bring out the design and add more vintage feeling. To attach the frame to the card front, I put SNAIL Adhesive on just the LEFT half of the frame and centered it over the closed card. It adheres to the LEFT flap only.

Here's a close up of the card front:

As you can see, I used the Fresh Vintage stamp set for the design on the center oval piece. I stamped with Peach Parfait and Pool Party (2nd generation to mute it) ink. It too was sponged with Crumb Cake ink. Then I added SNAIL Adhesive to just the RIGHT side of the oval and adhered it to the closed card front, placing it inside the already adhered oval frame. It adheres to the RIGHT side of the card and finishes the interlocking front panel.

For the focal image, I first ran a piece of Pool Party cardstock through the Big Shot with my Oval Embossing Folder from the Designer Frames set. Next, I tore all the way around it and then sponged the whole layer with Crumb Cake to age it.
To create the greeting, I stamped Happy Birthday in Peach Parfait on a scrap of Very Vanilla, punching it out with the Large Oval Punch. It too was sponged with Crumb Cake and then I added one of the Everyday Enchantment Brads and some Peach Parfait Ribbon as an accent. I popped it up on Stampin' Dimensionals right in the center.

Here's a look at the inside:

A little sponging on the Very Vanilla panel, a bit of a floral spray in the lower corner and the greeting from Petite Pairs finishes it off.

I really love this card and the cool fold - I'm sure you'll see it again! LOL!

Have a great day today. I hope you get to stamp something fun!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Christmas on the Clearance Rack!!

Hey there stampers!!

RUN! Do NOT Walk to my Stampin' Up! Website!!
Some fantastic items from the Holiday Mini Catalog have been added today!

Things like:

Holly Berry Buttons - ONLY $3.59 for 48 buttons! That's less than .01 each!

Remember my Christmas Scrapbook in a Day class last year??
(Click HERE for the first of three posts I shared of all the pages.)

Well look! The Simply Scrappin' Kit AND the Album are BOTH on the Clearance Rack today!

Christmas Lane Simply Scrappin' Kit - Only $8.79! That's a STEAL!
6" x 6" Cherry Trim Scrapbook Album w/10 page protectors! Just $4.39!!

Frostwood Lodge Designer Series Paper - Amazing price at just $4.39 for a 12 sheet pack!

Holly Berry Bouquet Designer Fabric - three Extra Large Fat Quarters - Unbelievable at just $3.99 a pack!

Don't wait another minute - go visit my Stampin' Up! Website and grab these bargains while you can!

Click the SHOP NOW button at the top right corner and then click CLEARANCE RACK on the left sidebar.
WooHoo! Love the Clearance Rack!
Gotta go so I can shop before they're all gone!


Scrapbooking Recipe Cards

One of the things I do on a monthly basis with my Stampin' Fools party group is to create a 6" x 6" double page scrapbook spread with recipes from their kitchens.
It's a fun way for us to share part of our lives and tastes outside of our stamping time.
Here's a link to the first post I did with recipes:

I need to go back and take photos of the pages from December and January, but here for you today are the ones from February and March.

In February, I designed the pages with the Twitterpated DSP, and Buttons and the Bordering On Romance stamp set.

The Scalloped Trim Border Punch was used along the bottom of the Pink Pirouette DSP and the stamped flowers were simply colored in with Stampin' Write Markers.

Here's the March pages:

Since it was our last chance to use Sale-A-Bration Designer Paper and Fresh Vintage stamp set, that's what i designed with for these pages.
I used the Scalloped Circle Punch for the large spots of DSP and a stamped medallion was added to a large Paper Daisy with a Sale-A-Bration Brad for an accent on the right hand page.

One of the fun things I like about doing these pages with my "fools" is that we usually get to sample one of the recipes each month! It makes for a very yummy stampin' time! :)

We are currently putting the pages in the Espresso Classic 6" x 6" album from the catalog. Once the album is filled, we'll decorate the cover and we'll all have a great keepsake.

Well, I'm off to enjoy the last day of Spring Break. Have a wonderful day stampin' friends!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

Yes, He is Risen Indeed!
On Friday we reflected on the great love and sacrifice of our Jesus - that He would be emptied of everything, become sin for us and suffer death, hell and the grave. Just so we might live.

Today, how can we fail to praise Him?
It's EASTER Sunday!
Resurrection Day!
He won the victory you know.
No way did He stay in that tomb!
And the best part -
He did it all for us.

He defeated death. Defeated evil.
And He turned the ugly cross - a symbol of cruelty, torture and shame - into a symbol of HOPE for all of us.
That's quite a transformation - kind of like what He does in each of us when we acknowledge Him. When we choose His purposes over our plans. When we decide to let His love fill the empty places and spaces in our hearts.

Do you know His story? It's our History. Our inheritance. Yes, for each one of us.
If you don't know the story of Jesus and His great love for us, I encourage you to read chapters 19 and 20 of the book of John in the Bible. It's the Apostle John's first hand account of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
And don't miss this verse at the end: "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." -John 20:31

Some of you may wonder why I'm sharing this with you. I know it's not related to stamping at all. But, I share most every other part of my life with you here and frankly, this is way more important than our family trips or Emma's skating.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably figured out that my faith and steadfast belief in Jesus Christ is central to my life. In fact, I know for sure that without Him, and the way He completely changed my life, I wouldn't be here today to even write this.

Each of us has a story you know. Each of us has gotten to where we are today along very different roads, some scenic, some rocky, some super highways. Some are like a country backroad, dirt packed and kind of winding. That's my story, my road. And I'm here because of His grace and mercy alone.
Someday I'll share more, but for now just know that Jesus loves you very much and no matter where you've been or what you think you've done that's just "too bad" to ever be forgiven - it's not. In fact, He promises that He loves you so much that when you lay it all at His feet, and turn your back on that junk that He'll wipe it all out and will never remember it.
Too good to be true? Sounds that way. But since it says so in His word, I believe it. And because I know it to be true in my life, I certainly believe it.

Anyway, if you're curious, about any of what I've written here today, e-mail me. I don't promise to have all the answers, but I surely know the One who does.
In the meantime, enjoy this song and video. It is such a beautiful telling of why EASTER is the most important Holiday on the calendar.
Yep, even better than Christmas!

I'll be back tomorrow with something pretty and stamped!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Everything Easter Treats

Like any self respecting parent of a kid who's looking forward to their Easter basket, you're probably wondering right about now if you've gotten enough goodies to fill said basket.
Fortunately for me, Emma at 14 still looks forward to her Easter basket and I get to have fun putting it together and finding little things that make her smile.

You may also be expecting guests for the Easter meal and maybe you're one that likes to put a little treat at each placesetting.
Well, here's a couple of ideas for you that will make you the Mom and Hostess extraordinaire AND won't cost a lot of $$ or take much time.
Got your attention now, don't I?

Here, take a look:

And before you ask, yes, those are Reese's Chocolate Eggs all wrapped up there and Easter wrapped Rolo's in the little basket. Yes, it was a struggle to not eat them all, but I only had a few of the Rolo's so I count it a victory!
Believe it or not, the little basket and the belly band wraps and medallions were created with My Digital Studio. There is a download called "Everything Easter Ensemble" and it's $14.95 when you download it from my Stampin' Up! website. Let me show you how I used it here and I'll give you some details of all it contains at the bottom, ok?
These cute little baskets were so easy to put together. I simply printed them out on a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock in my ink jet printer. I used Whisper White.
Then, I used my Paper Snips to cut them out and adhered them together with Tombow Multi Adhesive. The handle was attached with Mini Brads and then all I had to do was fill them up! These would be super cute little place cards at your Easter table or even little gifts for your Sunday School class - kids or adult!

Here's a closer look at the wrapped eggs:

I simply printed out the sheets of belly bands and medallions - again on an 8 1/2" x 11 piece of cardstock - and cut them out. I used my Scallop Circle punch for the medallions.
To embellish the belly bands, I cut a strip of White Waffle Paper 2 1/2" wide and then used SNAIL adhesive to attach it to the back of the belly band before wrapping it around the egg. SO easy and very quick!! And look how pretty!

Wouldn't these be such sweet treats to embellish your Easter baskets or just to give to your friends?
Here, take a closer look at what's in the download ensemble kit:
Download includes:
* 5" x 3-1/2" double-sided postcard designer template
* 7-page 11" x 8-1/2" décor designer template
* 9-page 8-1/2" x 11" décor designer template
* 18-piece stamp brush set
* 9 Designer Series Paper patterns
* 30 embellishments
* 1 punch

* Digital-exclusive
* Décor templates include basket boxes for favors; belly bands perfect for wrapping eggs, silverware, or napkin rings; table tents; oversized 3-D egg centerpiece (simply score in half vertically and attach multiple together)
* Includes Easter invitation photo postcard
* Elements included individually for use on other coordinating projects
*Imagery coordinates with traditional Everybunny Stamp Set

Coordinating colors:
Basic Black, Blushing Bride, Certainly Celery, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo, Lavender Lace, Pool Party, Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla, Whisper White

Look at the cute little place cards and that fun Easter Egg center piece! And all you have to do is just print them from your computer! It really doesn't get any easier.
When you visit my website to download this ensemble, the Item # is 129363 and the price is just $14.95 for the whole kit!
And the best part is that you can use it over and over and over again. I like that a lot!
If you don't have My Digital Studio, you can download a 30 Day FREE Trial of it from my website that allows you to use it and learn it totally FREE for yes - 30 Days! Once you have it loaded, you can then purchase any downloads like Everything Easter and use them to your hearts content. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, I'm off now to finish up getting ready for our Easter celebration, let me know what you make with this download, or your other handmade Easter projects - I love your creativity!

Place your order for Stampin' Up! supplies at my Online Store - Robin's Online Stampin' Store
Simply click the SHOP NOW button at the top right to get started!

Friday, April 6, 2012

His Wounds, Our Healing

What will you be doing at 3 pm today?
Will you be contemplating the end of your workday and your commute home?
Will you be cleaning your house for your weekend guests?
How about packing up the car and heading down I95 like all the other Easter weekend travelers?
Maybe doing some last minute shopping for the finishing touches on your child's Easter basket?

At 3 pm for me, I'll be sitting at the ice rink watching Emma skate for the third day this week. Hmmm.....third day. There's significance in that - but that's Sunday and I get ahead of myself with anticipation.

Want to know what Jesus was doing at 3 pm on Good Friday?

He was sacrificing his life on an ugly, cruel and bloody cross for me.
For you.
For all of us.

Let me share this commentary that I read earlier today with you; "It seems interesting that we refer to the day Christ died as 'Good Friday'. Considering the events of the day, tragic or awful seems more appropriate. However, we ultimately know what God was up to that day. Though the events seemed very 'BAD', God was using everything that happened for 'GOOD'"

And praise Him for His amazing, ultimate sacrifice that day.
The rejoicing that we call the Resurrection comes on Sunday, but today is the day for contemplating how great His love for us was. Is. Always will be.

How much do we give Him in return? What of this life He's so lovingly given us do we return to Him with gratitude?
You see, this life isn't ours. We may think it is, and live like it is; but that's not reality. Jesus' life, death, burial and resurrection didn't happen so we could live like we please, but happened that we could live to please Him. And live out the purpose He's created for us. And He does have a purpose for each and every one of us. When you come to the realization that the dreams and plans He has for each one of us are so much better, richer, deeper than anything we can plan or dream for ourselves - then embrace them AND Him - that's when His sacrifice makes sense. We are His hands and feet. We are the love He wants so much for all to experience. We become the expression of His grace and mercy and peace.

So here's the question again - How much do we give Him in return? How about this one - How are we being Jesus to others today? It's pretty simple - Love Jesus and Love others.

Yes, today really is GOOD Friday. What men meant for evil, God used for good.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

May you be blessed today.

Another New York Adventure! Part 1

We had such a fun three days of adventure in New York this week! I wanted to share some of our photos with you. I tried to post this yesterday from the rink while Emma was skating, but their internet was wonky so I'm just now finishing up. This is just the first day and a half - I'll post the rest tomorrow, ok?

Lunch at Vanessa's Dumpling House - standing room only, per usual. They really are the BEST dumplings and pork buns in the city. All four of us at lunch for $12 total, that included our bottled water. Delicious and a great value. It's on Eldredge St. just around the corner from the Tenement Museum.

Next stop was the Antiques Garage - part of the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. Parking garage by week, antiques mecca by weekend. On 25th St. between 6th and 7th Ave. It's where I found my awesome table last year. We drove a smaller car this year so I couldn't bring home another table. True story! But I did manage to find something cool for the studio.

Emma always has fun with the vintage clothes and accessories. She says that she wants a vintage wedding dress when she gets married. Guess that means she can wear mine! hahahaha!!

Here are the cool print blocks I found for the studio. These were in fantastic condition and a bargain!

After all that antique shopping, we had to have a snack to fortify us, so we walked south on 6th Ave a couple of blocks to the Crumbs Bakery. (there's also one in DC now). Emma looks like she could eat them all!

Sea Salt Chocolate Caramel for me.

Since Granny and Emma were pooped out, Mark and I got an unexpected dinner a deux. We decided to head to Little Italy and chose Sofia's on Mulberry St. There really is no 'bad' food in Little Italy, and this was just outstanding! We'd definitely eat there again.

Here's looking out from our table. Mark had Pappardelle with Bolognese sauce and I had Pasta a la Vodka. Both SO delicious!

One of the things I love most about New York is the window displays. Some are just so beautiful like this dress shop in the Lower East Side.

Dramatic, like the Kate Spade window.

And downright weird like the Adidas store. Who, I ask, would really wear this?? And why are there stuffed monkeys on the shoes??

Would you buy these shoes for your kid?? Yep, kids shoes. Crazy.

We spent a bit of time in Washington Square Park, a place I'd never lingered before. The arch is really beautiful.

Time out for some family photos.
Love this one!

Isn't that pretty??

One more of the arch from the other side.
That blue sky was amazing!

Love this photo of the tulip beds.

And looking up towards the Empire State Building.

Me and my girl.

I'll be back tomorrow with part two! Hope you enjoyed seeing it again with me!