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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LOMCOM September Weekly Inspiration

September began a new year and a few changes in the BPC Library of Memories Community. While I am no longer actively monitoring the classroom, I am (of course) following along and enjoying the weekly inspiration from Stacy Julian. In this year's weekly emails, Stacy shares a page or project from her personal Library of Memories and pin points a specific idea for us to adapt as we use our own Library of Memories systems. Here's a look at the layouts I created based on September's emails.

First, we were encouraged to sift through our Cultural Memorabilia Box to find evidence of a favorite retail destination. I had several tags from one of my favorite clothing retailers, Coldwater Creek, in my box and decided to use those on a layout with photos of me wearing some of my favorite jackets - all of which came from Coldwater Creek!


The next inspiration email encouraged us to flip through our Storage Binders, pull out a set of photos, and create a quick layout. I used photos showcasing my birthday gifts from Robbie last year along with several pieces of memorabilia (including a piece of the wrapping paper, the label from my new Crocs, and a piece cut from the Kindle box) to complete this layout.


This next layout took a turn from Stacy's inspiration to use a black background to highlight some beautiful scenery photos. I started with a black cardstock background, but then used the front of a playbill and photos from our outing to see The Addams Family theatre production last year for this two-page layout.

However, I did include hidden journaling as Stacy suggested.


And, lastly, we were encouraged to look at our current routines and think about what we would miss if things changed. I started with a VERY old sheet of cardstock that's been in my stash probably 8 years (YIKES)! This red sheet had squares ready to punch out, so I punched them all out and adhered the sheet to white cardstock to use as a background.


I had some photos of our local library in my Storage Binders and decided it was time to scrap about the library and the book club I've attended there for the past six years. I pulled several bookmarks from the book club to use as well.


I included journaling on two Project Life cards, which I slipped into a clear pocket.


I'm enjoying the new inspiration emails in the LOM Community and using different aspects of my Library of Memories system to get our stories and photos scrapped! I especially enjoyed sifting through my Cultural Memorabilia Box and discovered inspiration for several other stories I want to tell soon. What's inspiring you lately?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Final 2008 Layouts

Today I'm sharing a quick look at the final four layouts for our completed 2008 scrapbooks. This was the year we had our motorcycle, so I was able to use some pieces of Harley Davidson memorabilia and motorcycle stickers on these layouts.

I had kept the little thank you notes Robbie wrote to go on this next layout about his birthday gifts that year.

I also surprise Robbie that year with a gun that he had been wanting for quite some time, so I had him write the journaling for this final layout.

So excited to have all these photos and stories scrapped! Do you have any 2008 scrapping to finish?

Monday, October 21, 2013

New York Travel Journal

My sweet teenage friend Ally is going to New York next month for her senior trip. I'm totally jealous  of course, but I'm even more excited that she'll be experiencing New York for the first time! I made her a fun 6x6 travel journal to take along. I used lots of travel and New York themed papers and stickers, along with a few pink papers and embellishments because pink is Ally's second favorite color (glitter is her first favorite!).

I tried to include lots of fun details with plenty of room for adding journaling and memorabilia. Here's a look at the inside pages.















And a look at the back cover.
I met up with Ally for some gelato recently so I could present her with this gift. I do think she likes it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Musings: My Heart - Christ's Home completed layout

This week will be the final meeting for the My Heart - Christ's Home Bible study that I've been leading for the past seven weeks. As I mentioned at the beginning of the study, the My Heart - Christ's Home Bible Study is based on a sermon given by Robert Boyd Munger in 1947. He shared that when we invite Christ into our lives, He comes to live in our heart and uses the analogy of the rooms in a home to show how we can prepare our heart as a home for Christ. The heart/house is divided into seven sections/rooms that we've discussed in our study.

As I've worked through the study, I have filled in the various "rooms" on my heart layout with items to remind me of the study and the lessons learned. Here's a look at my completed layout.


I truly enjoyed the rooms analogy and the lessons associated with each. In The Study, I have books and images that will fill my mind and keep them centered on Christ. The Dining Room represents our desires and I wrote a note on the apron to remember to crave to do the will of the Lord. The Living Room has a photo of my chair near the fireplace, the place I most often retreat to for quiet time alone with the Lord. The Recreation Room is filled with fun things and the scripture reminding us that Jesus came so that we can have life  more abundantly (John 10:10). The Bedroom includes stickers reminding me that God intended intimate relations to be within the confines of marriage, and The Workroom holds tools that can be used in service to the Lord. The small Hall Closet at the bottom is empty with a lamp shining in signifying God's forgiveness as He cleanses us from sin.

I'm excited to have this layout to add to my Faith Walk scrapbook. Have you participated in any Bible studies lately? Have you scrapped about them?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lots of 2008 Memorabilia

I love to save memorabilia and use it on my scrapbook layouts. As I was organizing the remaining photos and stories from 2008, I came across a flyer, menu, and gift card for the Any Any Restaurant. This restaurant was invented by Pun'kin Natashia during her summer visit and she spent most of the afternoon creating these pieces to give Uncle Robbie when he got home from work. I decided to use the 8 1/2 x 11 flyer as the base of my layout. I journaled along the top of the page, adhered some of the smaller pieces to it . . .

. . . and added a see through pocket to the page to slip in the menu.

I also found a brochure and newspaper clipping from an exhibit we enjoyed on our trip to Austin. I already have a layout with journaling about our trip, so I simply wanted to showcase these pieces of memorabilia.

For this next layout about our day at the Texas State Fair, I included the front of the day's schedule book and two tickets that I had saved.

I have a few more layouts to share soon, but I have now completed our 2008 chronological scrapbooks and am currently working my way through the weekly inspiration emails from the Library of Memories Community and some older Glitter Girl videos. What have you been working on this week?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Learn Something New Every Day 2013

Back in late August I shared my learning goals for this fall, one of which was to complete my LSNED divided page protectors with photos and journaling by October 15.

***GOAL ACCOMPLISHED***

I used 12x12 divided page protectors for my LSNED lessons this year, with two 4x6 sections for each day. I shared my title page here and my completed pages for the 1st through the 18th here, here, here, here and here. I got off track a little after that but I was still journaling my activities and lessons for the day, so I took time one morning to go through and print photos for the 19th - 30th and got all my journal cards completed a few days ago.

On the 19th as I was getting ready to head to the crop in Corsicana, it occurred to me that I am never going to be mistaken for a light packer. At the crop I remembered that cropping with friends means someone always has the tool or embellishment I forgot. And after three full days of scrapping (and a little less sleep than I'm used to), I had to admit that sometimes I may have to miss out on a little fun (and head home early) in order to take care of myself.


After a good night's rest, the next day I had to laugh because Robbie tends to make more food than we need for just the two of us . . . which, of course, makes for wonderful leftovers. I also contemplated how a productive Monday at home is the best way for me to begin a new week. And then at a friend's Pampered Chef party, I decided sometimes it's fun (& perfectly OK) to splurge on something new even if the old items don't necessarily NEED to be replaced.


At the Bible study I'm leading, our lesson for the 25th was that our greatest desire should be to do the will of the Lord. The next day we decided that we like the new Marvel TV series - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And another day of scrapping with my friend Michelle confirmed that scrapping and chocolate are the perfect pair!


And finally to round out the month, I was reminded that it makes me so happy to see photos of our nephews and what they're up to so far away. I also realized that weekend cooking is one the ways Robbie relaxes and unwinds after a long week at work. (Lucky me!) And I learned that my new video and article about encouraging women to speak at events will be published on the womensministry.net website on October 9th. (You can check out my video & article here!)


I had the back of the final page protector left, so I created a page similar to my title page.


I added a little journal box as a conclusion to this fun project!


Did you participate in LSNED this year? What lessons did you learn?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Around the Web

A quick post today to share a rather eclectic mix of things I've found interesting around the web lately:

How Schools Kill Creativity
An older TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson challenging us to rethink the way we educate children. I especially like the story of the dancer/choreographer that he shares as an example.

What are your essentials?
A thoughtful post by Rachel Olsen about what is truly essential on your list of tasks and a reminder to focus on the essentials first.

WCS Sketches
A Pinterest board with sketches from Write.Click.Scrapbook.

How To Become More Consistent In Your Daily Journaling
A neat idea from Michael Hyatt if you're struggling with being consistent with journaling as a daily habit.

Organizing: An Event or a Lifestyle?
Aby Garvey compares an organizing lifestyle to a running lifestyle and shares how something can be a completed event (marathon or organizing project) or a habit that becomes a lifestyle.

What have you found interesting around the web lately?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Divided Page Protectors in a Variety of Sizes and Configurations

I have a variety of divided page protectors in my stash in various sizes and configurations and recently used two of them to complete layouts.

This first page has four 4x6 slots and three 4x4 slots. I created a simple layout with photos from our 2008 London trip to add to our 2008 chronological album (I've already scrapped the photos & stories from this trip in our Travels Abroad album). For the top left slot I used a 4x6 template to include more photos.

For the back of that page protector, I again used photos in all except one slot, which has the title and journaling.
I used both sides of a 10x12 divided page protector to showcase the photos and checklists from the Photo Scavenger Hunt we took the twins on when they were here visiting last August. This page protector has three 4x6 landscape slots and two 4x6 portrait slots.

Earlier this year, I had already used a couple of the photos from that day to create a 12x12 layout, so the divided page protector was the perfect way to include more photos and the memorabilia.
I really like the combination of a 12x12 layout with the addition of the divided page protector and plan on using this combination again and again. It allows me to use lots of photos and also gives me room to enjoy layering papers and clustering embellishments.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Games We Play

We love to play games! A couple of years ago I had the idea to create a mini-album with photos of us playing games over the past ten years or so. I began collecting photos, patterned papers, stickers, and miscellaneous embellishments in a Project File. I even cut up an old Scrabble board and made the cover using Scrabble tiles and letter stickers.

I had a chipboard mini-album - the kind where each page is a little longer than the next - that I planned to use. However, I simply put all these items in the Project File and let it sit, collecting more photos and papers and stickers along the way, waiting for just the right inspiration to work on it.

That time came during the crop in Corsicana last month! I had everything ready and started working on this album about 3 o'clock on Thursday afternoon . . . and by midnight it was all done!


I am so excited to have this project completed and absolutely thrilled with how it turned out. Here's a look at some of the pages.



I had kept some old score sheets and used one on this page of me and Robbie playing Canasta.


This next one is one of my favorites. I added a pocket with additional photos and Skip-Bo cards (with photos on the back). It's a fun interactive element! 
 

I had some more score sheets in my Project File and used those on the back cover of the album.

I had quite a few leftover photos and bits and pieces once I completed the album, so I threw together a 2-page layout that will go in our Things That Matter scrapbook.


This was such a fun mini-album to put together. I'm not sure why I waited so long, but I definitely think it's time to pull out the Project File with the puzzle pictures and get to work! What projects have you been putting off for a while now?