Category Archives: Sunspiration

What have you learned this year?

 

 

This is the last day of the year, so I’d like to say good-bye 2017 and hello, kittens & dawgs!  Thank you for joining me today.  Some time ago, I started the weekend series Sunspiration. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t remember it because I didn’t make too many contributions to it. You that little thing called life? Well…it happened. I felt overwhelmed forcing me to abandon this series. However, I’d like to bring it back beginning now. I’m not committing to a weekly spot but whenever the mood hits me and I hope that you enjoy it.

What have you learned this year?  As for me, I learned how precious eye sight is, not that I didn’t know how valuable our eye sight is but when someone you love faces the danger of losing it then it’s like stepping in a cold shower…really getting my attention fast!

For those who are new here or maybe you just missed it but DH underwent a serious eye procedure in March. Never in our wildest imagination did we think his visit with his Optomitrist would result in immediate eye sugery to repair a detached retina. I won’t lie to you, it was scary.

On top of his surgery, we faced other sensitive family matters. You know the old saying, when it rains, it pours? That’s precisely how it felt at our house for days after fading into weeks and months. The good news is DH’s eye is healing and we feel in the new year things will contine down a promising road of a full recovery. Only time will tell this tale but we feel God’s assurance that everything is going to be okay.

Another thing I learned this year is, actually it’s been a process of many years learned, none of us are purrfect. One person’s wrong is no different from the wrong moves I make in God’s eyes but I’m coming to grips with this new thought process more and more which makes me a little less quick to judge.

In our 38 years of marriage, we’ve gone through many fiery lessons. Some things were of our doing and others just being caught in the crossfire of life.  Regardless of how we got burned, we learned how to prepare for troubled times or how to avoid repeating the same mistakes altogether. That’s just part of the growing ups or growing wise process, which brings me to the other family matter. It is still up in the air but we continue to trust God. Every thing is in His hands, so who am I to worry? I will lean on His understanding and I know through it all, God no doubt will shower us with His goodness.

What’s next, hit the dance floor with the Monday’s Music Moves Me crew with New Year’s Themed Songs! Until then, have a peaceful and blessed New Year! X💋X💋, Cathy

Sunspiration: Soldiers’ Deck of Cards

A fellow sister in Christ, Suzanne from P.S. Annie! shared the below video on her blog this week. It was the first time for me to see it. I love card tricks, but this one comes with an interesting twist that’s not only awesome, it is Sunspirational!

 

 

We are entering the end of the first quarter of this new year. Promises of lovely, warm weather with the return of life to God’s glorious world is on the horizon. This is what I am looking forward to!

…behold the beauty of the Lord…
Psalm 27:4

My mother-in-law’s beautiful flowers

In 20 short days, spring will usher in with God’s handiwork doting roadways, fields, and yards. Do you feel inspired to start some flowers from seeds indoor to soon transplant outdoors? I have not entertained the idea, but am feeling encourage to try my hand at it. It’s been years, since I have done this. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? What’s inspiring you?
Have a Sunspirational time!

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Sunspiration: Photography & photo editing fun


On Monday, DH & I ran around town enjoying a few light errands. Temperature-wise it was very mild, not all like late winter should be. Rain clouds were pushing into our area with the promise of thunderstorms developing during the night and they did.

I took this picture at Fort Loudon Lake in Farragut, Tennessee just outside of Knoxville. This outstretched tree hasn’t changed positions since we moved to the area and not until now did I see it with a photographic eye.

Envisioning this photo’s potential in B&W, I preserved the original aspects of my image and elected to photo edit at my imagination’s discretion.

Below are two new creations using the same photo changing them through the online photo-editor, Fotor.

The first one I applied the grayscale setting “Grey Popper”.

In this one, I used the Fotor preset “Sepia”.

 

By removing the color, the stark monochrome images allow the onlooker to sense winter’s chill and the foreboding, approaching storm. Standing at the lake, while gazing at the contorted tree, I wondered how long it has been there and of all the stories it could share, if only it could talk.

Trees can’t talk, but God speaks through trees and through all things around us, as this tree lies in its winter dormant state, I’m reminded of these words from the Bible.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. ~Psalm 1:3 KJV

 

Do you stand relentlessly steadfast for something or someone or both? What fruits do you bring forth for others to see?Save

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Sunspiration: DIY rubber-stamp art greeting card {flowers in a basket}

This isn’t a very good picture. I knew the moment I took it that it wouldn’t be a great one, but I wanted to snap a quick shot regardless the outcome. Outside my kitchen window on Friday this is what I saw…

iPhone5s capture

Can you see the cardinal? I grabbed my iPhone out of my pocket and maxed my camera’s digital zoom, then through the lower half of the window, which has a screen, I snapped this picture. Like I said, it’s not the best photo. However, I didn’t let the opportunity slip by me. As luck would have it by the time I got my big girl camera the cardinal was gone. This reminded me that it is always good to look for life’s inspirations, even when they appear on the surface as anything other than inspirational.

What has inspired you this week?

This week, my BIL’s wife had to undergo surgery. It was very similar to what I had last spring. The good news is everything went well and she shouldn’t have to worry with future health issues that forced her to have this procedure to begin with and that’s a super blessing in itself.

I decided it was time to undertake one of my rubber-stamp art DIY projects in making S special greetings to wish her well for a speedy recovery. Being short on time, I recalled an image that I stamped, but didn’t finish that would be perfect for the occasion.

Visit stampin.com to order this rubber-stamp K-30, here.

This is an easy card, I stamped the image on white card stock and tore the image out. To color the image, I used my Prismacolor pencils. FYI: Amazon has the Prismacolor 132-piece set that I have for an excellent price. These are awesome color pencils, and if you are in need of some then I highly recommend them. I glued a piece of blue vellum to my pre-cut & scored shimmery blue card, then glued the flower basket to the vellum. You will notice in the below image, you don’t see the butterfly that’s on the rubber-stamp. I felt it needed a little boost, so I applied directly overtop that butterfly a beautiful glittery butterfly sticker.

Card size: 5 ½” x 4 ¼ “

The wonderful thing about making one’s own cards is the inside is blank, which is very much like a canvas for the writer to unleash one’s poetic expressions or simple still one’s thoughtfulness. Poetic I am not, so I wrote our well wishes to S for a speedy recovery and hopes that she’s back to her old self soon.

This image is perfect for birthday, anniversary, thank-you, and get-well cards. Feel free to allow your imagination run wild as you make your own one-of-a-kind creation using this rubber-stamp design on Sunspiration!

 

I’m linking with Create With Joy on Monday!

**No compensation was received from the websites or manufacturers mentioned herein this post. My rewards have been given to me many times over the years, as these are items or business that I have bought or frequently visit personally and wanted to share with you, my readers.**

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Sunspiration – DIY rubber-stamp art greeting card {a pair of chickadees}

My favorite online site The Stampin Place had a end-of-year blow out sale last month, which I totally could not pass up. I love to buy the EZ-Cling mounted stamps. They are less expensive than the wood-block mounts and are easier to store.
One of the stamps I got, included this…
K-108 Chickadees
The first hand-stamped greeting card I had planned to make this New Year was for DD#2 and SIL’s 2nd anniversary. The pair of chickadees seemed perfect for such an occasion. In a matter of seconds inspiration popped on like a light bulb in my mind.
Here is the result of the my design creativity….

 

 

What will you need for this DIY project? I tend to look for inspiration with materials on hand and came up with these things.

Supplies I used:
baby blue linen card stock for card (folded card size: 4 ¼” x 5 ½”)
1-piece dark blue card stock (size: 3 ½” x 4 ¼”)
1-piece white card stock (size: 3 ” x 3 ”)
soft coral parchment paper for inside card (folded slightly smaller than baby blue linen card stock)
Brilliance graphite black pigment ink pad
Color Box cyan pigment stamp pad
Color Box royal blue pigment stamp pad
Tsukineko stipple brushes size 0 and 4
Prismacolor pencils
Sakura Gelly Roll copper star ink pen
glue stick
Stamps on front side from The Stampin’ Place:
K-108 Chickadees and F-348 Happy Anniversary

Stamp on backside:

C1120 One of a Kind Art by Stampabilities

Buy at Hobby Lobby
Steps:
  1. Cut card stock to size per instruction.
  2. Ink K-108 Chickadees stamp with Brilliance Graphite Black pigment ink and stamp image in the center of pre-cut white card stock.
  3. Use stippled brushes to dab Color Box cyan & royal blue pigment inks on pre-cut white card stick to create sky background for the chickadees.
  4. Color image using Prismacolor pencils.
  5. Glue white card stock with image to center of dark blue card stock.
  6. Ink F-348 Happy Anniversary stamp with Color Box Royal Blue pigment ink and stamp image in the center bottom of the baby blue linen card stock, allow ink to dry, and then go over lettering with copper star pen.*
  7. Glue the two-piece card stock to the center of the baby blue linen card stock just above the Happy Anniversary phrase.
  8. Cut parchment paper to fit inside card, and then glue down only one side of card to inside. Preferably the right side, as it seems to work the best.
  9. Next, write your personal heart-felt sentiments on the parchment-lined card.
  10. Finally, add your own “hand stamp by” image to the backside of the card to mark the one of kind greetings.

*You may want to use a gold stamp pad with gold embossing powder (heat to melt with an embossing iron) to make the “Happy Anniversary” phrase pop out. This is one correction I will make for future anniversary cards using this design.

The thing I like about the chickadees is that you can use it for a variety of greetings such as for feminine birthday, get well, or sympathy cards. Feel free to improvise with what you have. I am sure your card will turn out beautifully. I hope this tutorial gives you Sunspiration!

Linking with Create With Joy tomorrow for…

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Sunspiration – Gratitude jar

Over the past two weeks I have come across two or three bloggers excited over a little DIY project in which they put together a little thing called a gratitude jar.

What’s a gratitude jar? It’s simply a container that I will gradually fill with my blessings scribbled down on pieces of paper. There is no set time or day when I can add my thanksgivings to the gratitude jar. I can just do it when ever I feel especially happy about something in my life.

What do I need for a gratitude jar? All you need is a few basics, like a container, paper, and pen. I kept my DIY project simple using stuff I already had on hand, like an old 64 ounce jar my mother-in-law gave me . I decorated mine with a piece of purple polka dot ribbon. I am writing my happy moments on a small pad of colored stickies with whatever pen is handy. Some people get really creative with decorating their gratitude jar and doing more than just including written reminders such as adding small objects inside their gratitude jar. That’s cool. Just have fun with it!

What is the purpose of a gratitude jar? It is easy to loose sight of how good I have it. On December 31st, I will open my gratitude jar and begin to read all the grateful/happy moments that I wrote down throughout the year. Hopefully, my activity will bring a smile to my face, warm my heart, and fill me with a greater sense of gratitude whenam reminded of all the good things 2014 held for me.  As the New Year rings in, I’ll throw out the old blessings to make room for the new ones.

Putting a twist on the gratitude jar.  Is there someone in your life that’s difficult to buy for? I know I do. I thought why not use the gratitude jar principle and instead of writing down blessings from my life, but jot down reasons why I am thankful to have a certain person in my life periodically and then at a given time say like Christmas gift the gratitude jar to that person.

Visit www.thegratitudejar.com to bless others or be uplifted!

 

What are you grateful for today?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father… ~James 1:17
For Bible verses on gratitude, click here

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Sunspiration: A New Year to a new you

The New Year is about new beginning. We all migrate toward things we hope to change or accomplish each year. Right now, the general population is getting bombarded with all the usual resolutions – portion downsizing, stay in motion, reduce stress, cut sodium, turn loose of hostile feelings, etc. I agree with all of these points and as a whole society then we should want these things for ourselves, to be the best that we can.

I am a perpetual dieter and exerciser. However, I sorta fell out sync in October and haven’t found my way back. No sweat, but… I will be sweating soon as I get my mojo in swing to revamp myself physically.

My number one New Year’s resolution for 2014 is not only to exercise aerobically, but to turn up the burn with more weight-bearing exercises. Last spring/summer’s illness took a major toll on my body, as you know and while I have a renewed sense of engergy my muscles need to be overhauled.

The cool thing about strength training is, you don’t need fancy machines or equipment to see results in as little as 10-minutes a day. Exercises that incorporate the major muscle groups in your lower and upper body produce compound movements (working multiple muscles at once) with these simple moves can yield positive change in your body.

 

 

  • Squats   works the glutes, hips, thighs and calves
  • Pushups works the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, & abs
  • Lunges   works the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves
  • The Plank works the abs, back, arms and legs. The plank also targets your internal abdominal muscles

No fancy equipment needed. However, as you progress you may wish to include dumbbells or an aerobic ball or other inexpensive fitness paraphernalia to provide more of challenging burn.  For variations of these moves using basic equipment, click here for some suggestions.

Doing nothing is easy, but making a change takes commitment and determination. It’s a new year to a new you! Wanna get started with me?

A lovely idea I stumbled upon this week is a DIY project for a gratitude jar.  Be it is, we all have much to be grateful for. Often times, we forget the many blessings in our lives due the storms we face. This is an excellent idea to remind us of the best moments of our lives over a year’s span. I want to invite you to visit Heather Bestel and allow her to explain how you can create your own gratitude jar.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
~Philippians 4:13 NKJV

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