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.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Here's my assessment of what happened:
*I did not exercise regularly - I only rode the exercise bike 9 times this past month. Most days I simply did not make the time to do it.
*I did not eat healthy meals and we ate out or ordered in quite a few times. Again this is a matter of making the time to prepare a healthy meal here at home.
*I ate way more than I should & drank way too many Coca-Colas. Some of this is the fault of those cute little Girl Scouts selling those delicious cookies (seriously, have you tried a Samoa lately?)!
*We also had a few stressors this month, not the least of which was Robbie's surgery. What is it about stress that makes me want to eat chocolate?
*And in all honesty, I did not feel well many days this month. I think I had a little virus at the beginning of the month and then quite a few days of excessive fatigue for no apparent reason. (I saw my doctor this week and it appears some of these issues are related to the fact that each year my body gets a little older! She's given me something to help alleviate some of the exhaustion and believes healthier eating & regular exercise will also help tremendously.)
On another note, I did read a good book this month on stretching.
Reading the book Stretching by Suzanne Martin was a good reminder that I need to be more diligent about stretching. I also realized that the exercise tapes I have include good stretching segments and the strength training routine I used last year does too. I am hoping to work both of these back into my schedule in March along with some rides on the stationary bike. The book also had a section reminding me that stretching is important for good posture and helps keep our muscles balanced and aligned properly.
I am determined to be back at the end of March with a much better report and maybe even a little weight loss celebration! The weather is turning warmer and we'll be turning our clocks forward soon to preserve some daylight time in the evenings. How did y'all do on your healthy living goals for February?
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Cheri who said...
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
I had to totally agree – much of my enthusiasm and enjoyment of this hobby come from sharing ideas and completed layouts with others. Don't get me wrong, I've always scrapbooked and probably always will. The main reasons I scrap are for my own personal enjoyment and to preserve our memories. However, interaction with others who are participating in the same hobby definitely adds to my level of enjoyment.
So, today I want to say THANK YOU to each of you who read and comment on my blog. You are part of the reason I find so much enjoyment in blogging and scrapbooking!
First is the tremendous amount of inspiration and the variety of ideas I gain from reading other blogs and seeing what y'all are creating.
And then there's the added bonus of occasionally finding an unexpected surprise package in my mailbox! This cute package arrived last week, just in time to keep me motivated in my healthy living goals this month. Thanks Alison!!
And finally, there's the friendships that develop as we get to know one another, share our ideas, and meet regularly in the blogosphere!
What do you think - would you find as much enjoyment in your hobby if you had no interaction with others who enjoy the same hobby?
[BTW - There's still a little time to be in the draw for this month's Pass the Book - click here for all the details.]
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
One of the pre-class assignments in this workshop was to take photos of the numbers one through twelve. I spent a day in December walking through the house snapping photos of numbers and came up with a very colorful collage. The title page of this album uses those photos. Rather than calling my album Photos I Love, I decided on A Glimpse Of 2012 (reminiscent of the i.scrap 8x8 album I created as an introspective look at 2010).
1 - the spine of the first Harry Potter book
2 - on the front of a box of old paper dolls
3 - the side of a boxed set of exercise VHS tapes
4 - the side of the Connect Four game
5 - the Speedracer Mach 5
6 - bottom number on a clock
7 - a barbell in my exercise room
8 - magic 8-ball game
9 - playing card
10 - side of a timer
11 - front cover of an old Superman comic book
12 - inside page of a Bible
Each month we are punching squares of the various papers we use in our layouts. I am using these squares to create a border around the 8x8 page, then matting my favorite photo from the month on black cardstock, adding a short sentence of journaling and a Jennie Bowlin Bingo card to complete the page. The yellow bling I've added to the Bingo card is the same item I used to track my January layouts on my Twelve checklist.
Monday, February 20, 2012
I must admit that some parts of The Artist Unique: Discovering Your Creative Signature Through Inspiration and Techniques by Carmen Torbus were a little intimidating for me. Along with the stories of 16 different artists, the book includes step-by-step instructions for 17 mixed-media techniques. Many of these techniques were new to me and utilized supplies I don't have in my current stash - items like polymer clay, molding paste, watercolors, crackle paste, gesso, and beeswax.
However, there were a few "simpler" techniques (using supplies I had on hand) that I did try out in my art journaling. (Fine Print - I cannot draw and do not consider myself an artist. I'm pretty sure there are 1st graders who could do a better job! But I did have lots of fun and that, to me, is most important.) The first technique was to simply "draw with your eyes closed" and involved drawing a simple shape on a piece of paper with your eyes closed, then looking to see if you could create a picture with that line. Here's what I drew:
I thought the space in the middle looked like a little pond, so I set to work coloring in my drawing. I love having lots of markers and crayons and pencil colors handy to work on projects like this.
After coloring in the blue water, I decided to try out some of my stamps for the "land" area.
I then decided to create a little trading card using another of the "simpler" techniques in the book - stamping with bubble wrap. I used the next page in my art journal as a pad while I was inking these blank cards.
So, there you have it, a few of my latest "artistic" creations. There are a couple more techniques I'm inspired to try - artsy envelopes & hand lettering - so I just may be back later this week with more inspiration from this book.
In all honestly I found this book fascinating and enjoyed seeing the pieces that the artists created. This book would be an inspiring read for anyone interested in mixed-media art and art journaling. I really like this quote from Bridgett Guerzon Mills:
I used to think that being an artist meant that one would have these creative visions just appear before her, waiting to be put on canvas. But I have learned that creating a painting is something a bit more organic. It comes through practice. It arrives by coming to the easel or table every day and just working.
If you'd like to be the first recipient of The Artist Unique, please leave a comment telling me about the last new technique you tried in your art (whether it was art journaling or a canvas or a scrapbook layout or whatever medium you're working with). I'll pick a winner this coming weekend, so be sure to check back then to see if this book is heading to you! [If you are new to Pass the Book, check out all the details for Pass the Book:Year Two here.]
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
This past week I embarked on a re-organization of my LOM albums. Originally I had decided on six main categories for my LOM systems, however I found that I needed to tweak these a bit in order to more fully customize them to fit our lives and the way I scrapbook. I now have five main categories, some of which have expanded into multiple volumes due to the number of layouts I've created in the past few years (and the addition of some created before my system was set up!). Here's a look at the albums on our memory shelf.
My first category is Robbie & Melissa (this is the category Stacy Julian - creator of the LOM system - calls All About Us) and is represented by the black and white albums. I currently have three albums in this category. The first album houses layouts about me and Robbie since our marriage ten years ago. This album is divided into three sections - Together Forever, Robbie, Melissa. Rather than create section pages, I have opted to put divider tabs in the album to aid in navigation of my albums.
The three pink albums are my Family & Friends category. I originally had many layouts about our family (& especially my nieces & nephews) integrated into our other category albums, however I decided I wanted those albums to more fully reflect our story and have these family layouts grouped together. I ended up with three albums - one for Family & Friends and two for Nieces & Nephews. The first album has tabs with sections for Family layouts and Friends layouts.
my original title & dedication pages - I pulled the sketch I created at the time, making it quick & easy to put these together.)
Our green album houses layouts for the Places We've Been category. Currently these layouts are also arranged in somewhat chronological order, however I'm pretty sure I will eventually go through and categorize these layouts into sections based on the type of place - Historical Site, Texas city, Places Around Town, etc. The album is not quite full, so I'm going to live with it a little longer before deciding on sections.
I do, however, have our Travels Abroad separated out into its own album (the dark maroon on the right of the 2nd shelf). We have traveled abroad three times together, and I have scrapped each trip with a different background paper to designate the sections in this album.
My final category is Things That Matter and incorporates many aspects of our everyday lives - home, vehicles, food/eating/ cooking, hobbies, etc. This album contains the most section tabs, and I'm looking forward to adding additional layouts throughout the course of the year as I have a huge list of ideas that I've created based on inspiration in the current Twelve workshop.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I used Kim Kesti's Signature Card "recipe" to create these first three cards. I have a box of blank cards, so I started with those and used a variety of paper scraps, heart brads, a CTMH sentiment stamp, and some very old stickers to finish them.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
1. Your Front Door - I'm sure most people would visualize the outside of their front door for this prompt, however since I am most often looking at it from the inside I decided to shoot it from there.
2. Time - This clock hangs over our mantle.
Holiday Decor - This was difficult since we don't really decorate for Valentine's Day and all the Christmas decorations have been safely stowed back in the attic. However, this carousel (which plays a Christmas tune when turned on) is displayed year round on the game shelf.
Dirty - Yikes, dirty dishes in the sick. I must have been scrapping all day and not gotten to these yet.
Someone's Occupation - A computer and ten-key always remind me of Robbie working hard in his position as CFO.
Paper - Two new paper pads I picked up at Big Lots yesterday.
A Pet - In my family we always had cats & dogs in the house when I was growing up. One year when Mama asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said, "A cat that doesn't shed!" Here's the pet I found under the tree that year, the only one in our home today.
8. A Favorite Blanket - If you've been reading my blog for very long, you'll know there are several quilters in my family. Therefore, I have substituted a photo of one of my favorite quilts as I don't have a blanket in sight.
9. A Favorite Book - I am currently re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. I am starting a book club that will meet in my home each month to discuss a Christian book and this is our first selection.
10. Something You Won't Have In 5 Years - My Expedition will be 10 years old this summer and currently has 162,000+ miles. I'm hoping to replace it by the end of the year.
Waking Up - Even though this is a staged photo, I like it because it reminds me that when I was growing up Daddy always turned the light on in our room when it was time to get up for the day.
Money - A peek inside my coin cup.