Wednesday, December 28, 2011

God's Grace

My two nieces were involved in a horrible car crash yesterday, that totaled their car. They walked away from the crash with whip-lash and facial discomfort due to the airbag chemicals. They are both believers, and sweet, sweet girls. I thank God for His protective provision in His children's lives. 

I awoke this morning at 5:30, and the first thought that came to my mind was, "This could have been a very different morning for our family, if it weren't for God's grace." An anagram explains grace this way: God's Riches At Christ's Expense. Because of Christ's death (in our place) on the cross & His resurrection, we can receive eternal life, and become part of God's family. God watches out for & protects His family, the way any good father would, and so much more so. The following scripture is written about those who have accepted Christ - that have believed that His finished work on the cross is their only way of salvation - and applies only to them:

Psalm 91:11 - "For He will give His angels charge (orders) concerning you, to guard you in all your ways."

It wasn't luck that kept the girls alive yesterday, it was God, and I thank Him, I worship Him, for it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Zesty Pumpkin Soup

Hubby and I were wanting a little taste of Thanksgiving last night, in anticipation of the coming holiday later this week, so I cooked up this wonderful soup in the time it took to bake a loaf of Pillsbury's Italian Bread, about half an hour. The soup is soul-satisfyingly delicious on a cold, late-autumn evening. It would also be a scrumptious start (in small, say 4-ounce  quantities) to a Thanksgiving meal. It is rich and satisfying...I hope you'll try it.

Zesty Pumpkin Soup
Makes 4 regular servings, 8-12 small appetizer servings

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Small pinch ground cayenne pepper
1 15-oz. can 100% pure pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup of milk
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1/8-1/4 cup brown sugar, to taste
1/2-1 t. kosher salt, to taste
1/2-1 t. white pepper, to taste
Garnish: roasted pumpkin seeds or croutons, optional

(Measure out spices into a small bowl before beginning, so you can add them all at once.)

In a 4-qt saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add onions and cook, stirring often, until almost softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saut̩ one minute more. Add spices and stir for another minute. Add pumpkin and chicken stock; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer for 10-15 minutes. Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor, (or use an immersion blender in the saucepan - my favorite Рless to clean up.) Cover blender or food processor tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Slowly add milk and evaporated milk while stirring to incorporate. Stir in salt and white pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more milk to cool it down. To serve, sprinkle the top of each bowl with roasted pumpkin seeds or croutons.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pastor Appreciation Gift Card Box

Although October is pastor appreciation month, due to busy schedules, we are having our pastors for dinner with our small group this week. Our youth pastor & his wife have just moved into town, and have a "new" house to settle into, so we are giving them gift cards to help with that process. I made a box that the stack of gift cards would fit into, but didn't want to just top it with a bow, so I used Lori's toolbox template to make the topper, and I had the Jolee's boutique dimensional tool stickers in my stash, just waiting for the perfect project. I designed the pizza box with inspiration from one on (link) (she also has an incredible 'leather' tool belt box template and tutorial here). Just when I had exhausted my search for a 3D toolbox, and was about to design one myself, I found this one (don't have a blog to point you to, unfortunately. Thank you, Fatima, wherever you are.) I reworked it for my needs, and my finished svg file is here. Send me a pic if you make it - I love to see your creativity. The finished toolbox measures 3"w x 2"d x 2 3/4"h (3 3/4"h including the handle), and is large enough to hold a gift card.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pinterest Interest

I've been methodically cleaning off my hard drive by uploading the MILLIONS of JPEG's I've downloaded over the years for designs I like/wanna make/crave. It's a great way to stir up interest in your blog by pinning designs from your posts. Above is a screenshot from my 'I'm soooo gonna do that!' board. I came across a Pinterest Challenge on a blog this morning: Let's get off our bums and make one of those ideas we keep pinning! Off to HD for paint. See-ya!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Magic Gardens in Philadelphia

I was just looking at some travel photos I'd posted on Facebook, and just had to share this one. If you are ever in Philadelphia, you must check out the Magic Gardens on South Street, a whole city block covered in mosaic art. It is the artwork of Isaiah Zagar, whom we met walking down the street while we were admiring his incredible work. The pictures don't do it justice. The website will tell you more about it:   Let me know if you've seen it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Most Depressing

Is anyone else feeling like this? Ever since the whole Provo Craft versus SCAL & MTC debacle, I have lost the desire to create any new cut files. I am so peeved with Provo. I know I should be converting my cut files to all the other formats that SCAL 3 made it possible to do, but I just don't have it in me. I just don't have the "itch" to create.  I'm hoping that this winter, when life slows down a bit, it will come back. Am I alone in feeling this way?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Columbus, Ohio 2011



In Progress

I was blessed to be a part of amazing adventure - tearing down a 900 sq. ft. house and building a 4000 sq ft. one in it's place in less than a week! They couldn't have chosen a more deserving family. It was wonderful to be involved with - I encourage anyone who gets the chance to do this, to take part!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wowzer! New way to view Blogger blogs!

This is the coolest!  I learned it from Paulo (http:// .  Fab new ways to view any Blogger blog - the ones with 'blogspot' in their address):

To see all the pix of all posts on a site on one scroll-able page, just add 


to the end of the url address, as in the following example:

et voila!  Extra cool. My new favorite way to view all Blogger blogs. Notice the blue menu to the left of the search area at the top right of the page pictured above. It says "Snapshot" now, but you can choose a bevy of other ways to view a site through this drop-down menu, including flipcard (fun - almost a game), mosaic (cool), sidebar ((meh), & timeslide (haven't figured this one out yet), but the snapshot is definitely my fave. Have fun with this!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daisy 3x3 Gift Card Set

Hi all,
I've been away so long, I've probably lost you all! Computer was out of commission, and my drive where I save all my files died. Eeek! I had backed them up just a week before, thank goodness, and am awaiting the arrival of a new drive & more memory. Anyway, I've been working on several designs I haven't cut, yet, and hope to get to them soon. A couple of them are design-intensive classic cars - a Corvette and a '57 Chevy. 
In the meantime, I made this little card set for a friend as a thank you for some great food & flowers while I was sick last week. I found the inspiration on Splitcoast Stampers. The stamp on the top says, "Thank You", with daisies around it, and there's a little fabric daisy on the center of the bow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Free Kaleidoscope Plug-in for Photoshop!

The photo at the top is of a concrete mosaic garden sculpture I made a few summers ago, and the one below it  is a kaleidoscope of a closeup of that photo. I was over at Extreme Cards and Papercrafting - one of my very favorite blogs (my love for/addiction to pop-ups goes waaaaay back to childhood), and she had posted about this wonderful free plug-in for Photoshop (in its many guises) for creating kaleidoscopes of your photos.

I had just seen an episode of Scrapbook Memories on Saturday where they incorporated kaleidoscope printouts into a fabulous valentine card, and was interested in making one, but can't afford the software. Voila! You can download software like it for free at:

They have all kinds of free plug-ins for PS, including photo collages. Wowwy - what a fun way to spend some time! Thank you Carol, and the wonderful people at!

Valentine Heart-edged Envelope & Cottage Digi-paper

Grrrr -  If I could figure out how to put three photos beside each other...

This is the A2 lined envelope I made to go along with the Valentine Rose Cottage card, below. The digi-paper is my own design, and is available for $1.00. The envelope svg, also my design, is free here. I plan on using a couple of Penny Duncan's gorgeous shaplies on the center front of the envelope for the name of the recipient. Here is a link to Penny's blog:

Upon notification from Paypal of funds received, I will email you the appropriate files, including all necessary svg's, scut2 files, as well as a sheet of assembly instructions where needed which includes a photo of the finished project for reference. Please use the "Donate" button to order, and leave a note under "Purpose" on the Paypal page, telling me which file it is that you want. Thanks for your interest! I appreciate your business so much! Laura

Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rose-Covered Cottage Valentine

I am obsessed with little "Glitter Houses", also known as "Putz houses". I have been working on several 3D svgs for them, so when I decided to make a Valentine card, I just naturally gravitated to a little Victorian, complete with gingerbread and white lace curtains. Brings back memories of our grand old house in Clintonville - sigh.
I recently discovered - a wonderful blog with little houses on cards. Gorgeous stuff. Check her out!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shitsu Valentine Card

Loretta, a very dear friend of mine, has a little Shitsu dog who is 12 years old, and not in the best of health. Lori asked me if I would make her a card to give to her husband, from their little dog, for Valentine's Day. I was reading an article on making Valentine cards in the latest MS Living magazine, when I saw that they had a card you could download called, Pawprints in the Snow. It was a line drawing of a little fox, circling a tree in a heart-shaped pattern, leaving his little paw prints. I thought it would be the perfect base for Lori's card. I took out the fox, increased the trail a little, and designed a Shitsu with Lori's dog's coloring, which I put at the end of the trail of paw prints. She's wearing a little pink bow in her hair like she does when she comes home from the groomers. 

I also lined the envelope with a free digi paper I found at squigglefly. Hope Lori likes it.

The link to Martha's Pawprints in the Snow card:
The link to the paw print digi paper:

If you are interested in the Shitsu svg, the file is $2.50 USD. Please use the "Donate" button to order, and  under "Purpose" (on the Paypal page that comes up after you enter the dollar amount and your email address), tell me which file(s) it is that you wish to purchase. Upon notification from Paypal of funds received, I will email you the appropriate files, including all necessary svg's and scut2 files, as well as a sheet of assembly instructions where needed which includes a photo of the finished project for reference. Thanks for your interest. I appreciate your business so much! Laura

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Still Having Christmas Here...

Since I had the flu on Christmas Day, our family will be celebrating the holiday tomorrow, January 2nd. As such, of course I am still "wrapping things up" (huh-huh- pun intended). Two of our kids prefer cash to just about anything else you can give them. I, on the other hand, am so disappointed for them when they have only one little, tiny present to open, so I am forever trying to find new and exciting ways to make a cash gift a little more special. I have folded money in just about every configuration you can think of, which is fun, but...well, it's been done. So, I decided to see what I could do with my Cricut and a $50 bill. I came up with a "Santa Mask" for President Ulysses S. Grant. It's hard to see, but there are several layers to make it 3D. I'm pleased as son will hate it......bonus!

I am selling this one, as it took quite a while to design. It is $2 USD if you're interested. Upon notification from Paypal of funds received, I will email you the appropriate files, including all necessary svg's, scut2 files, as well as a sheet of assembly instructions where needed which includes a photo of the finished project for reference. Please use the "Donate" button to order, and leave a note under "Purpose" on the Paypal page, telling me which file it is that you want. Thanks for your interest! I appreciate your business so much! Laura


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