Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.
Monday, January 31, 2011
*14 layouts completed: three were 2-page layouts and two were digital, most were 12x12 in size, however there was one 8 1/2 x 11 and one 8x8
*1 mini-album completed - December 2010
*11 cards completed
Here's the last layout for the month that I completed earlier today. It's a two-page layout and all the materials are from a 2007 Stampin' Up Just Delightful Simply Scrappin' kit that I picked up for a couple of dollars at a flea market back in December. The January 13 weekly challenge in the Library of Memories Community was to browse through our oldest storage binder and clean out photos. I'm working on my early 2008 storage binder; it's not the oldest datewise but it was the first storage binder I filled up when I began the LOM system last year. The inspiration for this layout came from this post at Get It Scrapped!
*I'll be continuing my Healthy Living Weekly Posts on Fridays and will publish a Sunday Musings post most weeks.
*I am excited to once again have a spot as a Guest Designer for an upcoming Sketches in Thyme Thursday Takes sketch challenge - watch for that post on February 10.
*I'll be participating in the BPC workshop Embrace Imperfection. (There's still time to sign up for this FREE two-week workshop taught by Karen Grunberg.)
*I hope to complete each week's LOM Community challenge.
Thanks for stopping by - hope to see you again in February!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I had a wonderful note that
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
2. Little extras in cute packaging.
4. A full room service menu.
5. Spotless mirrors.
6. Decorative towel displays.
7. Little baskets to hold amenities.
8. "Complimentary" bottled water.
9. An interesting view.
BONUS: Nearby restaurants with scrumptious desserts.
Monday, January 24, 2011
I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here specifically stating they want to join in the Pay It Forward fun. The original "rules" state that you must repost this status, offering something handmade by you to 5 other people and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011, however I am not requiring this. If you would like to repost this and offer something to your readers, that would be lovely, but feel free to enter even if you do not have the time/money/desire to pay it forward at this time.
When I know which of you will be receiving something, I'll contact you to check a few details, look at your blog to get an idea of your tastes and interests, and create something especially for you. I can't guarantee quite how quickly I'll get the items in the mail (luckily the rules say sometime in 2011), however my plan is to get something out by the end of February.
I was also recently honored by Sarah with this award:
As always, the hardest part is to pick who to pass this on to, there are so many bloggers I could give it to, so.......since many of you already know my favorite blogs as I'm often linking to them to give credit for the ideas I've scraplifted, I've simply chosen two new (or new to me) blogs. Please check them out when you have a moment:
Crazy Quilting Mom
BTW - don't you just love how the Internet allows us to "know" and receive awards from people all around the world.
Remember, the first five people who leave a comment here specifically stating they want to join in the Pay It Forward fun will receive something made by me especially for them. Ready, set, GO!!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
If all that sounds interesting to you, run (don't walk) to the nearest Bible and turn to the book of Esther. Yes, that's right, the book of Esther in The Holy Bible. It's a short book, only 10 chapters, in the Old Testament. Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention the name of God, yet His hand is at work throughout, guiding the plot to a miraculous ending. I've read this book in the New King James Version, the New International Version, and the New American Standard Bible, and it never fails to draw me into the storyline. (Of course, these are only a few of the versions available!)
I spent most of this past week re-studying the book of Esther in preparation for an upcoming Ladies' Meeting at our church where I will be the guest speaker. My topic is A Time for Fasting and Prayer or What to do During the White Spaces in Your Life. It's amazing that even though I've read Esther many times, completed a few Bible Studies on it, and even given presentations about it, I find new insights each time I commit to studying through the book again.
So, what are you waiting for? If you've never read the book of Esther or can't remember why it's such a wonderful story, grab your Bible and enjoy a great read!
(BTW - if you are local and interested in attending the Ladies' Meeting where I'll be speaking on Friday, January 28, please email me for details.)
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I've started working on my February cards this week. I need three birthday, two anniversary, and several Valentine's cards for the month, plus I plan to make and send a few more Valentine's cards to Card Cupids before the February 4 deadline. So far, I've completed two of the birthday cards I need for February.
For these cards I used this Card Patterns sketch from the Sketches in Thyme Tuesday Takes #9 sketch challenge.
Friday, January 21, 2011
I did like the fact that she repeatedly emphasized that our focus should be on the Lord, not on food, and that many of the emotional and spiritual needs we try to "medicate" with food can only be healed by Him. I believe Joyce Meyer has a wonderful ministry and gifting from God, and therefore that particular focus of the book was excellent. In spite of that fact, I did not find this book overly helpful or motivating in my quest for a healthier lifestyle.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
here). Assembling the album went fairly quickly once I had printed, cut and inked my journaling paragraphs. I adhered patterned paper to the back of each printed photo collage page, then added the date with number stickers, the journal box, and one embellishment item. Most of the embellishment items were the fronts of Christmas cards that I have saved over the past several years. Here are a couple of examples.
I am so excited to use these card fronts that have been in my stash for a while, just waiting for the right project. Here's one of my favorite card fronts.
There were a few pages where I used different embellishments to reflect something about the day, like these two examples. The first is the day we watched the Fantastic Four movie and the other was our anniversary.
My second project of the week also involved Christmas cards, this time it was the cards we received this year. I've seen quite a few ideas for using Christmas cards on scrapbook layouts. My favorite idea is to use a square punch to save parts of the cards and use them on a layout. I saw this idea last year and am pretty sure it was credited to Ali Edwards. She has several examples in her scrapbook layout portfolio. (I almost got distracted from my Christmas scrapping just scrolling through that gallery of inspiration!) Recently I have enjoyed Sue's layout and Cheri's layout, both of which use the square punch idea.
I started with a Christmas themed paper that's been in my stash for at least five years. I knew I wouldn't use this pre-printed layout, however I really liked the border so I decided to cover the middle with cardstock and use that as my base for the Christmas cards.
Here's my layout with cards and photos from 2010.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
There are so many wonderful stories in these books, and I have many favorites. In By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura shares about watching the preparation of the land for a new railroad out west. At that time, the only way to travel out west was by horse or wagon. It was truly an amazing amout of work that went into the building of the railroad. It made me think of our interstate system and many of the modes of transportation that we take for granted today, even "travel" through cyberspace. Much work went into these conveniences.
Another favorite is in These Happy Golden Years when Laura discovers that not all families are like hers. She realizes that she has a wonderful family and aches to be at home where there is love and happiness. She comes to truly appreciate the family life that Ma and Pa provided.
These are just a couple of things that stood out to me as I read through the series this time. If you have never taken time to read this series, I strongly encourage you to add it to your reading list this year. At any age, these books will remind you of the importance of family, hard work, perseverance and the struggles of those individuals who helped to build our great country.
Monday, January 17, 2011
We had three boxes of photo slides; we estimated about 5,000 slides. Of all those slides, one set of 36 slides was marked with the place and content of the photos. Only 36 slides out of 5000!!! Luckily, when the slides were printed, they were date stamped with the month and year. The slides we processed were from 1959 through the early 1980s. Our goal was to choose the slides we would eventually like to digitize in order to enjoy the photos in slideshows, photo albums and/or scrapbooks.
After sorting all the slides, we had this huge pile of slides that we either could not identify or were not planning to digitize. I boxed these all up and passed them on to another member of Robbie's family.
Friday, January 14, 2011
*We've had some cold gray days here which always seem to blah me out, where is the sunshine?
*I needed some time with no schedule or responsibilities after the busy holiday season.
*I'll get back on track tomorrow.
*On January 3 I tried a new strength training routine that left me very sore and somewhat discouraged, although in retrospect I should have felt elated that I was able to complete the routine.
I know, I know, these excuses even sound lame to me! Luckily this week's focus in the Wellness Journey workshop at BPC is all about tools and techniques to overcome obstacles as well as simple ways to reduce stress. I love what Lisa had to say in this week's handout:
Whatever you do when faced with an obstacle to your wellness lifestyle, don’t panic. You haven’t failed. Remember this isn’t a diet that lasts for four weeks or eight weeks. This is a plan for you to transform your lifestyle forever. So if you don’t make the best choices today, vow to make better choices tomorrow. So, I'm resolving today to do better in the coming week. In fact, I made myself complete a 30 minute ride on the stationary bike before I allowed time to work on this post!
This week in the Wellness Journey workshop, we were also encouraged to create a list of rewards as we work toward our healthy lifestyle goals. At the end of 2009, I had my first ever full-body luxury massage and it was WONDERFUL. I told myself then that when I lost down to 160 pounds, I would have a massage as a reward and then set a new goal for myself. As some of you know, I didn't really get serious about changing my lifestyle until September of 2010. In spite of my late start, I did reach my goal in late November. However I didn't reward myself with a massage because I didn't feel the need for it and I wanted to spend the money on Christmas instead. Over the holidays, my weight fluctuated right around the 160 mark, a little up or down each week. I am totally excited that I've maintained what I've accomplished and have decided it is time for that massage as a reminder of what I've accomplished so far and an encouragement to continue toward my goal of a healthier me.
I've been a little reluctant until now to put my actual weight out there; I'm not really sure why but it seems the number on the scale is a one of those big secrets we keep. However, I've been encouraged reading Cathy Zielske's Move More Eat Less posts and Cheri's Fitness Friday posts where they reveal their weight in an effort to motivate themselves and others.
While I'm enjoying my massage this week, I'll be planning my next goal and reward which I'll share in next week's post.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
It's all my sister's fault - this year she decided to start her own blog, Crazy Quilting Mom. I won't comment on the Crazy part (LOL), however Brenda is a very talented quilter and the mom of all those precious nieces and nephews you see featured in my layouts. She's participating in a Rainbow Scrap Challenge each month with other quilters who are putting their fabric scraps to good use, and (you guessed it) January's color is blue. I thought I could partner with her on the blue challenge by organizing and using some of my blue scrapbooking supplies.
As I was flipping through my storage binders for inspiration, I realized I had several photos of Andrew enjoying his bath time over the past three years. I pulled those photos, my blue scrap file, and two packages of dimensional embellishments that I had bought (a year and a half ago!) to create a layout.
Journaling reads: Andrew always enjoys his bath when he's visiting and only fusses when it's time to get out. And here's a close-up of that cute blue robe embellishment. I picked it up right after the visit in 2009 when I snapped the photo of Andrew wrapped in his blue towel.
From my 2007 storage binder, I pulled photos from our outing to see the Star Wars exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History. Earlier this year, I had purchased some special Star Wars papers (which I remembered were blue). I had originally planned to just do a two-page layout, however I ended up with three pages. The first page tells why/how we ended up going to the exhibit and will go in our All About Us LOM album.
The two-page spread highlights photos from the exhibit as well as the awesome Star Wars scrapbooking papers. This layout will go in our Places We've Been LOM album.
I'm enjoying the blue layouts and am planning on pulling out my blue bin today to see what inspiration might be hiding inside! Anyone else want to join me and create a few January Blues layouts?
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The first was a box containing my 12x12 prints from Persnickety Prints. I just uploaded these last Friday and they've arrived already. This is my third order from Persnikety Prints and I have been very happy with the quality of the prints, the prices ($1.99 for a 12x12 print), and the quick service. The December overview page will go into my chronological album, and the other prints will be cut into 6x12 sheets for my December 2010 mini-album.
And there was a cute card from Nic - this card front just might make it onto a layout also.