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, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
A War Memorial (with the flags at half mast to honor those who lost their lives in the explosion in West, Texas, the previous week)
A Playground (Have you ever noticed how many protective bars there are on playgrounds these days? I don't remember it looking like this when I was a kid.)
I'll be sharing more photos this week, so be sure and check back to see the water, the wildlife, my "job" during these outings, Ellyn's quilt, and the produce!
Friday, April 26, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Do you find yourself stopping in the middle of a project and picking it back up later or do you just have to complete an album before moving on to the next one?
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
On Deck layout in our cruise album.
Sian!!) Anyone else use card fronts as embellishments?
Monday, April 22, 2013
This month the book club I host read and discussed The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This is a quick yet very thought-provoking read. It starts with Eddie's death. Eddie is the maintenance man at an amusement park and he dies trying to save a little girl when one of the rides breaks down. He discovers that before entering heaven, he will meet five people who his path crossed in some way during his lifetime and he will learn five lessons. I was surprised by the people he met and found it a little disconcerting that in several cases he was connected to the person's death (not in a murder-type way or anything, just circumstances). I also found it difficult to determine the lesson in a few instances as they were not very well defined, but overall I enjoyed the book. While I would not consider it a Christian book because it does not follow Biblical teachings on heaven, I think it has a great lesson about how our actions affect others around us whether we realize it or not. Highly recommend.
Martha: A Novel is the third one of Diana Wallis Taylor's books that I have enjoyed. I especially like the way she creates a fictionalized account of the lives of women who are mentioned in the Bible. This book focuses on Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary. Martha is portrayed as a woman who placed caring for her family as a top priority. We see how circumstances may have prevented her from being married (yet) as her life was full of work. The story depicts how Martha felt and what she thought during the times Jesus was in their home, her confusion at his death, and her sense of awe when he rose again. I highly recommend this book also!
This last book is one that I purchased new in the late 1980s and have read numerous times over the past 30 years. I was feeling unmotivated one afternoon and pulled this small book off the shelf for a quick afternoon read. In How to Use Your Time Wisely, Phyllis C. Kaufman & Arnold Corrigan share their GOLD principle for using your time wisely. G=set goals O=organize your priorities L=make a list D=Do It Now! I am amazed at how relevant the tips in this books still are after all these years and thrilled to find out that I've been implementing most of them for decades. Of course, there are a few things that date the book - like the recommendation to keep a pad and pen by every phone so you can take a message or write a note during the phone call. (Obviously this was before cordless and cell phones were prevalent!)
Sunday, April 21, 2013
First up is a beautiful thank you note I received from Rinda, along with four additional cards made by Rinda using some of her beautiful photographs. In case you haven't heard, Rinda and her daughter signed up with Team-In-Training to run a half-marathon raising money for leukemia research. I have come to know Rinda through her blog over the past several years and was honored that she provided the opportunity to help their team through a donation. Of course, I didn't realize then that I would be receiving such a nice thank you package!
here to find out how. It's definitely a worthy case and one more way to share friendship through our blogs.
Speaking of blog friendships, here's a conversation Robbie and I had last month.
Robbie - Do you think there's any way you can get a copy of this week's Radio Times?
Me - I'm not sure. What is the Radio Times?
Robbie - It's the British version of our TV Guide.
Me - Why do you need a copy of that?
Robbie - This week the Radio Times has four Doctor Who postcards that would be a great addition to
Me - Now I see . . . and how do you think I can get a copy of that?
Robbie - Well, you do know a lot of people through your blog . . .
And so it was that I sent an email to Sian with a very strange request and only a couple of days left in the week to see if she might have a copy of the Radio Times. "No," she replied, "but I'll head out and see if I can find one" . . . and she did! This package arrived a little later, making Robbie one very happy collector.
Just a few days ago, I received another package from across the ocean, this time from Jo with the return of one of the books from Pass the Book: Year Two. The Artist Unique has traveled around the world this past year, from blogger to blogger, and finally returned home . . . with a lovely array of goodies from Jo inside!
Pass the Book: Year Two page if you're interested in one of them because Pass the Book: Year Two is coming to a close in just a few short months. [If you're interested in the Trading Card Treasures book, leave me a comment below. Margi is ready to pass it on but is in the midst of a blog hiatus.]
I like the fact that all these packages arrived in my mailbox because of the blog friendships I share with so many of you. Thanks so much for stopping by today - I hope you find a special package in your box soon!
Monday, April 15, 2013
The first layout started out with a piece of off white cardstock and a maroon colored leaf patterned paper and ended with a cluster of smaller paper pieces in the bottom right corner.
I found an older photo of my parents with my nieces and nephew that worked perfectly with this color scheme. A punched scalloped circle, some flowers & brads, and a stamped sentiment adhered to a gift card envelope completed the layout.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Since I am diligently working on our 10th Anniversary Cruise Album, I decided to pull a mixture of photos and create a two-page layout for this challenge. However, this layout will actually go in our 2011 album rather than the cruise theme album.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
This book continues the story of the Sanders and Dillon families and once again addresses the issue of race relations and prejudice in a small southern town. I enjoyed spending time with these characters again as they gathered for the Sanders family reunion and attended the monthly joint church service that was started by the two local pastors (one white and one black) in the previous book. However, under pressure from an older deacon in his congregation, one pastor decides to discontinue the joint services. Once again this Christian fiction book drew me into the character's lives. There's an engagement, a budding new relationship (between different races) that causes much controversy, a search for answers leading to a return to faith in Jesus Christ, the reconciliation of a long estranged family member . . . and then there's Samara.
Samara, a biracial high school girl, is a new character in this book who struggles with fitting in, poverty, and neglect. She is befriended by Stephanie London (a member of the Sanders family) and emerges from her isolation as she experiences friendship and acceptance. Samara's story is a sad one in so many ways and there are some unexpected twists to her story that lead to tragedy and reconciliation. (Sorry, no spoilers today - this is one you definitely want to read!) Samara's favorite color is red - the color of hope.
Friday, April 5, 2013
I had a pirate-themed sticker sheet that I received in a gift package with lots of others stickers this past Christmas. Honestly I had no idea what I might do with it until I remembered these photos of tour boats we saw on one of our cruise stops.
Have you used up any sticker sheets lately? Please tell me I'm not the only one with an abundance of stickers in my stash!?!