Sunday, January 4, 2015


 Free Digi from my set On the Move

As many of you know, this is a relatively new blog.  I created it to be my personal blog.  I was previously located at Diane's Daydream Designs, which I transitioned to a business blog.  Now that I've closed my business, I have no need for two blogs.  So I'm going back to my original blog as my personal blog.

I hope you'll visit me often there.  I will be giving away lots of my digital images FREE
now that my store is closed.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Word Art Wednesday: The Wisdom of God

I absolutely LOVE the way God works.  I'm amazed again and again at the perfection of His timing and how He weaves His will through every fabric of our lives when we are submitted to Him.  This week's scripture challenge from Word Art Wednesday is amazing to me because the events of my week give testimony to its truth.  This verse was planned for this weeks long ago, my card was made weeks ago yet this is all so relevant for the week I've been having.

God's pure and it brings peace.  He is gentle when He imparts His wisdom to His children.  We can boldly ask for His wisdom and He gives is liberally.  When His wisdom leads us to difficult places or decisions, He wraps His arms of mercy around us and bears our burdens tenderly like a mother cradles her baby.  He gives freely to all His children, never plays favorites or withholds any good thing from any of His children.  His promises are true, He cannot lie, He will not go back on His Word.  He is utterly and completely trustworthy.  These are the truths communicated in this passage from James.

I've been in the vortex of a whirlwind of decision making this past week or so.  Having discovered a tax law that affects companies that sell digital download products like my store, I was faced with complying and encountering a nightmare of paperwork and worry, or limiting my sales to US customers only which would chop my sales in half, or closing my store altogether.  The requirements of the tax law were impossible to address.  Losing sales wouldn't make any efforts worthwhile.  It appeared my only option was to close my dream store.  I've had disappointments and amazing successes in beginning and operating my store.  But I'd reached a comfortable stride with it and was expanding my customer based at an impressive rate.  God was blessing me through my beautiful Dream Team designers who had become sisters and good friends.  I was having so much fun reaching across the world, literally, and sharing my little images with people from so many different cultures.

This tax is not fair, it impedes free market growth and viability.  It's an insidious move to a global economy and eventually global government to enforce a unified market.  Talk about a monopoly!  This is the tip of a very huge iceberg.  And I'm totally opposed to it politically, economically and spiritually.  But it is also reality.  It's there looming in front of our faces.  And it's forcing me to close down my dream.  But in the whole scheme of things this is a much larger threat to our country and our way of life.  My little business is insignificant in the face of the implications of this tax (VAT-Value Added Tax imposed throughout the European Union countries).  You can read about it HERE if you are interested.  There's actually quite a bit out there about it.)

I knew that God's wisdom was the only reliable source for decision-making I had.  I could read article after article and be more confused about my accountability and risks.  I communicated with other store owners, who were all addressing it differently.  Some were ignoring it, some had never heard about it, some were limiting their customer base, others like me were affected enough that they are shutting down.  I couldn't find consistency in any wisdom I sought through any means.  The only place to go for real wisdom was to my loving Father who knows my future, holds this world in his hand, and holds onto me.  

God's wisdom is real, it's tangible.  We can hold onto it and we can trust it.  In my confusion, only God could sort it out and lead me to the right conclusion.  By the time you read this, my store will be closed.  And as I write and share this story, I have incredible, amazing peace.  That's what we receive when we submit to God's wisdom.  I came back several times to ask Him again..."God are you sure this is the answer?" Each time it was the same.  

With the death of this dream, God has given another.  He planted the seeds for it long before I knew I'd be closing my store.  Several weeks ago, He started putting it into my heart to create an online, interactive Bible study on Facebook.  I put out some feelers to see how many people might be interested.  Long story short...51 participants will begin an incredible journey into the Word of God on January 5.  We are digging into 1 and 2 Thessalonians.  I've titled the study Living by Faith in a Faithless Culture and we will see just how relevant God's Word is as we seek to live in this crazy, mixed up world.  I'm so excited by what God is doing.  And this dream is so big and so exciting, it is overshadowing the little dream I had with my store.  

I know Karen L. will having an amazing devotion for you on the Word Art Wednesday challenge blog and we would LOVE to see your creations this week.  Please come over and see our amazing sponsors and link your project to our page.  We'd be thrilled to have you.   And remember not to hold any dream too closely because God in His amazing wisdom might just hand you an even bigger dream.  

Now...since I'm not selling my images anymore, I'll share them from time to time as FREEBIES on my blogs. Free can't be taxed!!!  Here are the images I used for this card.  Help yourself!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Word Art Wednesday: The Work of Jesus

Welcome again to Word Art Wednesday's "anything-goes" challenge!  We love sharing God's Word, beautifully crafted by our word designer, Karen Murray of Papercraft Memories.  Her lovely rendition of this week's scripture is particularly inviting for card creations or your next paper craft project.  It's all yours...and we'd love to see it on one of the projects you link to our challenge this week. For more details on the challenge go HERE.
I absolutely love this verse, because it so clearly sets the record straight about the source and purpose of our works.  God is the author of our salvation AND our good works.  He begins each and every good work we produce.  And He continues working in us until we die and are perfected in Christ.  Philippians 2:13 says, 
For it is God which worketh in you 
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
for it is God who works in you 
to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose

God initiates the desire (will) to do good and the strength to carry good out (act).  And the indwelling Holy Spirit  conditions the believer's heart (sanctification) to desire what God desires, to long to please Him, to offer our lives as a living sacrifice of doing divine good, or good that advances the Kingdom of God.  This kind of good is far more than humanitarian service, or good deeds that make others happy, or eases their suffering or clothes, feeds, or shelters them.  These are all good things to be sure.  But to will and do to intentionally fulfill HIS good purpose and pleasure is greater far than all these good works.   Doing them them all in Jesus' name, under His banner and for His glory makes all the difference in the world.  In fact, it may mean the difference between filling a starving man with food for a day while sending him off to an eternity in hell OR leading Him to the Bread of Life, while offering him a bag of food.  The first is a good work, but apart from Christ it accomplishes only what is temporal.  It would be insensitive at best to share the Gospel and not connect the person to the body of Christ who can disciple and nurture them spiritually. Once they are saved we have an obligation to continue to minister to them.  

Believe it or not, there is a connect to my card design and the scripture verse!   I've shared before how my mother made all my clothes for me while growing up and even later into my adult years.  The whole process fascinated me.  We'd often go shopping together for the material and the pattern together.  I had myopic vision.  I could only see the dress in the color and material depicted in the pattern picture.  She had imagination!  She would take one long flowing piece of fabulous fabric, lay it on our dining room table and start whacking it to pieces.  Somehow between that pattern and all those shapes of fabric, there would be a finished dress that would fit me perfectly.  

She would measure me with a tape measure, make a tuck here or there in the pattern and begin cutting.  I would gather up all the scraps, while she would neatly fold and stack the cut pieces on the sewing machine ready for the next step in the process. 

God has a pattern for our lives.  There is no one-size-fits-all pattern.  He tailor made the pattern me and it is different from the one He made for you.  Yet in the end, His purpose and His pleasure will be served if we live by that pattern.  Some scraps have to be cut away from our hearts and He throws away what is not pleasing, or what doesn't serve to bring Him glory.  Sometimes I wish He would cut away pain, and illness and loss...but He knows when those will serve His Kingdom best.  He sees what we cannot envision.  
If we are ever arrogant enough to assume that our good works come from us, or benefit us other than to refine what God is already doing in us, we are really arrogant.  Our good works simply express our faith and become beacons of light whereby others find the Savior.  

I am the vine; you are the branches. 
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; 
apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

In the same way, let your light shine before others, 
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Sets Used: 

5 colored images, 2 outline images, 4 sentiments, 4 digi papers
(I used the outline image and paper pieced it with the papers in the set below.)

3 color images, 3 outline images, 5 sentiments, 5 digi papers

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Word Art Wednesday:

Are you feeling like December is disappearing before your eyes like I am?  I cannot keep up!  My Christmas cards still need to be addressed and mailed and only half of my shopping is finished.  And my days ahead look full with so many other things.  It takes effort to keep focused on the purpose of our Christmas celebrations.  There is one message that should emanate from all our Christmas preparations...
There are indeed good tidings of great joy in the gospel message of our Savior.  All other things should pale in comparison to our celebration of Christ's birth, ministry, death and resurrection.  Everything that we do in our celebrating should be glory to God...I have some work to do in that regard!

Our Word Art Wednesday challenge for this week showcases this beautiful scripture by Karen Murray of Papercraft Memories.  She has an Etsy store you should visit too.  

Framed art made from digi images make great gifts any time of year.  I buy frames when they are on sale and save them.  When a need arises for a quick gift, it takes about 30 minutes to print what I need and decorate a little frame.  This one took about 10 minutes, beginning to end.  I just copied/pasted the scripture on top of a 6x6 digi paper sheet from the Little Bits of Christmas digi paper set available in my store, Daydream Designs. 

Please visit the Word Art Wednesday challenge blog to link up your creation.  We have some fabulous sponsors willing to hand out prizes to our winners. 

And I'd love for you to browse around the store at Daydream Designs to find you quick solutions to last minute, but hand created Christmas gifts. 

10 sheets / 12 x 12 / 300 dpi / resizable

Anything But Christmas! (FREE SEWING MACHINE DIGI)

Daydream Designs is sponsoring another challenge and this one is soooo easy.  Anyone who wants a chance at a little shopping spree at the store should come on over to Penny's Paper Crafty Challenge and join in the fun.
Theme for the Challenge:  Anything But Christmas!

I'm certainly not tired of Christmas preparations and early celebrations.  I'm still really into my shopping and still doing a little decorating.  So I'm excited about the season we are in.  I love Christmas.  However, it was really fun after making 100+ Christmas cards to step completely outside that box and do the Anything-But-Christmas challenge for this.  

Here's my sample:

As soon as Christmas is over, I plan to buckle down and get some serious quilting finished.  I have three quilting projects in various stages and I really need to bring them to a close.  I had so much fun designing this sewing-themed ensemble this past summer.  I still love my fabric stash so I had to design some of those.  These sets are really fun for the sewing/quilting enthusiast.  

This machine brings to mind my mother's old Bernina that she used to make all my clothes on when I was a little girl.  I can clearly remember hearing the hum of that machine long into the night as my mother sacrificed her sleep many times to have the peace and quiet to finish her projects.  Every special occasion in my life was made more special because my mother made my clothes for each one...recitals, Christmas programs, Valentine's Day parties, Easter outfits, proms and even my wedding dress!  She continued to make clothes for me when I taught school and made a whole new wardrobe of maternity clothes for me.  If I would spend the time I could probably describe almost every one of them.  One of my favorites was a "poodle-type" skirt only it was a circus theme.  She copied the pattern from my baby sister's wallpaper.  She made a very full tulle petticoat so my circular skirt whirled and twirled just perfectly.  

At some point she shifted from making clothes to quilting, and she's made some amazing quilts.  Everyone in our extended family has received their own personal quilt designed and hand quilted by her loving hands.  I just think all of that is an extraordinary accomplishment for her.  Right now, at 87 years old, she is at my sisters and is knitting like crazy to finished sweaters for her 2 great grandsons.  Isn't that amazing?!

With every little image I did for this entire ensemble I thought of my mother, how very precious those memories of her sewing days are to me, and the beautiful way she expresses love to her family.  We are blessed by her so much.

Here are all the sets in the Life is Sew Sweet Ensemble:

2 outline images / 5 color images / 4 sentiments / 4 digi papers

2 outline images, 3 color images, 6 sentiments, 5 digi papers

5 outline images, 19 color images 6 color button cards

Quilted from the Heart Set (all three sets shown above included)
4 color seasonal wall hanging images, 4 color fabric stashes, 3 accessory images,
2 outline images, 4 sentiments
JPEG and PNG / 300 dpi / resizable

Sew Sweet Paper Pack
14 sheets / 12 x 12 / 3600 pixels / 300 dip / resizable

Thanks for stopping in, leaving a comment, and helping yourself to this little free digi gift from Daydream Designs!  (Available for a limited time).

THANKS for your visit today!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Word Art Wednesday: Heaven and Nature Sing! (Free Digi Stamps)

Christmas is approaching at breakneck speed!  I thought I was so far ahead, and I'm already struggling to catch up.  Every year I promise myself to start earlier....and I do.  But it takes me longer to get ready each year!  I just hope I can get all my handmade Christmas card completed this week and out by the following week.  I usually made about 150-200.  Getting there! 

We have a beautiful challenge scripture for you this week for Word Art Wednesday.  Our own lovely Karen Murray of Papercraft Memories, has designed another fabulous scripture graphic for us to use.  I do hope you'll take it, and create a project to share with us using it.  We always get so excited when someone actually plans their project around our verse.  But, as always, our challenge is "anything goes" so you have the option to keep the verse and use it another time.

For my sample I actually used a full "sheet" of designer digi paper from Deck the Halls paper pack.  The beauty of digi paper is that it can be sized for a 12 x 12 scrapbook page, or as I've done here, sized for a 5-1/4" square card.  I used the digi sheet as the first layer and sized it to 5 square inches. The "default" digi sheets measures 6 inches.

I positioned the scripture art in between the star and manger from Little Bits of Christmas.  I did copy the star, cut one out and layered for dimension.  Otherwise I wanted to keep the card pretty simple.

One of my favorite Christmas carols is Joy to the World. The lyrics certainly point to the doctrinal truth regarding the significance of Christ's birth.  But the power of the first stanza may be easily overlooked.  Heaven and nature declare the glory of the newborn son of God through SONG.  Can you imagine what that night might have been like if all of heaven and earth actually broke out in song? 
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Several scriptures refer to nature or elements of both heaven and earth existing to declare the glory and majesty of God.  

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; 
where morning dawns, where evening fades, 
you call forth songs of joy.
Psalm 65:8

Let heaven and earth praise him, 
the seas and all that move in them
Psalm 69:34

Let all creation rejoice before the Lord
for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. 
He will judge the world in righteousness 
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Psalm 96:13

Let the rivers clap their hands, 
let the mountains sing together for joy;
Psalm 98:8

All heaven and nature does sing the song of Jesus!  Even if all believers were banned from ever speaking of our Savior, creation itself would attest to the power and presence of God. The vast expanse of the heavens draw us to the Creator, and His Spirit convicts us of who we are in light of His great salvation...sinners drawn to the Sovereign of the universe. 

As we enter the Advent season, may we all anticipate a Christmas that is filled with the glory of God, the miracle of Christ's birth and the eagerness for His return!

For a limited time, please accept these FREE digi stamps from our Little Bits of Christmas set.