Thursday, March 29, 2012

Name Change

I've decided to change name of my blog.  I do love the name "Peace, Love, Art" because it fits my ideals...but I wanted something a little more unusual, something more specific.  I came up with Square Peg because many times I feel like a square peg in a world of round holes.  I feel love for this world, wonder at it's natural beauty and processes.  I love different we all can be, how varied and yet, how alike we can be as well.  But I sometimes feel like I don't fit in, like I don't belong here.  I have deeply held, rather conservative religious beliefs, but politically I'm fairly liberal.  I don't usually like trends. Sometimes I look at the way life is here now, what is tattoos and piercings....focus on dark things in movies and media.... how much people love coffee....and I just feel so disconnected because I don't enjoy those things or even understand some of them.  I try not to judge people on outward appearance alone----I'm always interested in what makes people tick, why they behave as they do, what their motivations are.  I want to understand, and I believe most everyone is good at heart.  So if you are a tattooed, pierced, coffee drinking "True Blood" fan I can still be your friend, even if I would do none of those things myself.  But it does make me feel very separate sometimes.  I feel puzzled by the violence in our world, the discord, the discontent.  My feelings of being on the outside don't make me hate anyone and it is hard for me to understand sometimes why people seem to really react to "difference" and "otherness" with such negativity.  I guess feeling like a square peg sometimes makes people feel angry, because instead of examining themselves, it is easier to put down someone else.  Everyone loves to find affinity with others, to be in groups of people like themselves.  It feels good to be affirmed in your beliefs and preferences.

I am a square peg.  I am different. I'm working to feel content with my sense of being odd in some respects, realizing that I may never be totally in alignment, trying to accept others as they are, and to not only be "ok" with them but to be happy with them, at peace.  I ask God's help in this.  I have come to see being a square in a world dominated by circles is a gift in itself, even though it doesn't always feel comfortable.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bloom where you are planted----Card

I did this for a challenge at Bo Bunny that required you to feature handmade flowers.  I was feeling a little blah and trying to get myself motivated to make something.  I found that challenge and kind of dragged myself to my desk.  At first I sighed and almost just got up....then I realized I had a big flower already made.  After I got that, believe it or not, everything else on this card was just at my fingertips---scraps from other projects!  So it came together fast and easy and was very enjoyable to make...and it turned out so shabby chic---a look I really love.  So I'm pretty pleased with my scraps card!  Stamp is from the Stephanie Bernard "mums2stamp" set.

If you want to participate in this challenge, make some flowers and go here:

Technique Tuesday for Cookin' Up Creations---Saturday Morning Diva

So by now, you are all aquainted with my sweet Papillion friend Chai.  Well, up until about two months ago, Chai slept on a (very nice) dog bed in our master bathroom, as she had since she'd been a puppy.  She never liked this.  She aquiesced, but she would always raise at least a little fuss, whining and scratching the door.  When we went up to bed she'd jump on my bed and snuggle in deeply, hoping either that I wouldn't notice she was there or perhaps that the cuteness factor would make me leave her there.  Well, I started leaving her there for a while, putting her in her bed after we'd watched some tv.  Then one night I fell asleep and she stayed all night inadvertently.  Of course, we've never gone back to dog bed, which now sits, unused.   She just wants to snuggle!  And...she is in no rush to get out of bed when the sun comes up! 

I made the background paper for this LO using the "Mums4you" stamp set from Stephanie Bernard, as well as her inks, licorice and guava.  I used a "Stamping off" technique, with the pink flowers, because I wanted a lighter pink.  Stamping off refers to inking up a stamp, stamping it one time on scratch paper then stamping where you want it.  It gives a lighter color.  I made the butterflies with my Silhouette and a small butterfly punch, using vellum to make the smaller one and coating both in stickles glitter. The buttons are from Doodlebug designs, and twine is by The Twinery.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Paper Playtime--Say it with sentiments "Guy Thing" challenge.

I made this card for a very special guy.  My brother in law, Robert, who just found out he is cancer free!!!  He's beaten kidney cancer, and we are all so thrilled that he is healthy.  He's been in my life forever, much more of a brother to me than a brother in law, a wonderful man.  So I made him this card to celebrate, and had a transportation/travel theme because he and my sister will soon be going on a cruise. 

I'm submitting this card for the Paper Playtime Say it with sentiments "Guy Thing" challenge.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Something we should always remember....

Yesterday in church the Gospel reading was John 3:16 - 21

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

I often wonder about people who reject is difficult for me to understand on the surface.  But this passage makes it clearer for me.  No one likes being told what to do. People love to think they have control over everything, themselves, their destinies, other people....and they don't want to give up control.  I know I like to try to do everything have control, even if it is just cleaning the house.  My kids and husband, no matter how well intentioned, don't do it like I do it.  LOL!  But when I let go and let them help, things are better for me, and for them too.  I share the burden and they learn to help and not take me for granted.

The illusory sense of "control" is seductive. It draws us away from the light and makes the darkness seem attractive.  It is a lie, a lie that we tell ourselves...."I have control over my life. I can do whatever I want. There is no God sitting in judgement over me, no God to answer to, I am god of myself."  And the more we adopt this attitude, the deeper we go into the darkness.  If we keep going into the darkness there will come a moment when we will no longer see light at all.  No direction will lead us out, we lose track of where we came from, where we are going, and we become "lost."    CS Lewis, in "Mere Christianity," talks about this.  He says that every little step away from God makes the next step away from God easier.  So we are tempted to step away and every step gets easier to take until we are, like Hansel and Gretel....lost.

I know people in my life who have rejected God.  There is no God, they say, God is just a construct used to opress people...the "Opium of the Masses."  But when one rejects God, there is always something to take the place of Him.  Love of self, love of pleasure....ideas and other constructs fill the gap.  I know someone who fills that void with conspiracy theories and belief about aliens.  It is impossible for them to believe there is a loving God that ordered and created the universe, but easy for them to believe that cures for cancer are being suppressed, that the government is trying to poison us with our water, that aliens are out there and have made contact but the government is not telling us.  If the "government" could keep a secret then there would be many fewer scandals.  There is a theme of mistrust and paranoia with this line of thinking.

I choose to believe in God, His love, His justice, and His mercy.  I just know it in my heart, and have always known it.  There have been times when I started to step away and I have been pulled back.  I always fervently pray to God that He keeps me close and never lets anything come between He and I.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stamps of Life/Virginia's view challenge

The challenge was to create a card using this image as inspiration.

This is what I came up with.

It was a fun challenge.  I used Stephanie Bernard stamps "Mums4you" and "Pray4peace".  I also used Stephanie's brand of inks.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Creative Chaos Blog Hop!

Happy Birthday, Creative Chaos!!!  I LOVE YOU.  :)

Welcome to my blog my dear friends.  I can't begin to tell you how much you all mean to me.  *muwah*

Answer these questions about my blog and you could win some scrappy goodies.  Answers can be found throughout my posts here on the blog.

1. I made invitations for Paul's birthday.  What animal did I use on the invitation?

2. What year did I have my bariatric surgery?

3. What was my first blog post about?

4. I've made quite a few Valentines.  How many are posted on my blog?  

So leave your answers in the comments section of this post if you'd like to play!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Late Bloomer"

This layout was done for the Cooking Up Creations scrapbook site as part of being the "Next Crop Chef" winner.  I had to design a layout for "Inspirational Sunday" and decided the theme would be about a "game changing" or life altering event.  In my example, I used my weight loss surgery experience from three years ago. 

The flowers were fun to  make.  I used Co-ordinations cardstock and ran it through the Wizard with a Cuttlebug swiss dots embossing folder, distressing it with sandpaper.  Then I cut a spiral out of the paper and wound it around, securing it to the base with a dab of hot glue.

If anyone would like to ask me questions about bariatric surgery or my experience, I would be happy to talk about it.  There is a lot to know before that kind of surgery is undertaken, but it certainly has changed my life in a fantastic way.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Professor Plum for Cookin Up Creations/ Compassion for Scrapping Everyday Miracles

I did this layout for two different challenges.  One was for CUC, in their Clue themed challenge game this month, they gave a sketch and asked for a "Professor Plum" layout using purples.  SEM asked for a "one word that describes you" layout for their challenge.   Somewhat immodestly I picked compassion.  I do have a big heart.  I root for the underdog.  I try to understand why people behave as they do and have empathy for them in whatever situation they are in.  I think God gave me this gift so I can be a peacemaker.  There are many, many times I fall short of this goal but I do try.

Journalling says: For His own purpose, God gave me a compassionate heart.  It makes me want to understand people's motivations for their behavior and also allows me empathy with those who are different from me.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cookin' Up Creations Crop Chef winner announced

....and guess what?  It's ME!  I know, I know, I can't believe it myself!  I had so much fun with the challenges.  Because I won the competition, I get to be Crop Chef of the Month for March, and I get a gift certificate.  Sweet, huh?

I would like to thank Cookin' Up Creations for hosting such a fun competition.  It really gets me thinking creatively to have a challenge like the ones they posted.

Currently they are running a "Clue" game for the month of March.  Come play might find out who killed Mr. Boddy!

I've been working on a secret project which I'll post later this week.