Friday, December 24, 2010

Remembering The Days of 2010...

New Christmas Cut... Titled: "The Free Gift" (created December 12, 2010)

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b

Life is so full to the point that every December of every year, we are surprised that the end of another year has arrived so quickly.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

At the beginning of this year, I felt a word stand out to me, a word that would somehow sum up this year and things that God would be working or tuning in me. My word for this year was: STEWARDSHIP. I felt it was necessary to focus on this word in my marriage, my family, my home, my relationships, my responsibilities, and my waitings. Here are some of the things I learned or relearned:

*Make the most of every opportunity.

Speak words of blessing. Don’t underestimate the very simplest acts- a smile, a phone call to say you care, a note of gratitude… Even the smallest acts can grow big fruit in the hands of God. You never know how you can cause change to occur just by making the most of an everyday situation, being a cheerful giver, being patient, etc… While waiting for our house to make steps towards completion, I have stewed and stormed in impatience. I go through waves of peace to storms of restlessness. There was a certain point when I was impressed that the kids needed to have good memories of even this, so I had a small dedication moment with each of them. Each was given a pillar to paint. Their initial was creatively decorated, and I explained the reasons behind it. Such a simple, fun, and creative time was all to remind them to “Stay in the light of the Son.” He takes our monotonous, day-to-day moments, and brings light and inspiration to them. He takes our less than satisfactory efforts and blossoms them. The kids often recall that activity and remember the message behind it. A seed-planting moment that I pray God will flourish and grow into thoughts and feelings of love for His Word.

*Be a “finisher”.

Keep your promises as soon as possible. I have done it many times. One of my kids will come up to me asking me something, and I push them away with a “yeah, sure, later.” That “later” has stretched out for days, and sometimes never has come to pass. That leaves a lasting impression on my kids, and I do not want them to EVER think that God is that way because of my example. I must keep my promises and put them as a main priority. Even their little desires and needs are to be met with care, love, and consideration. (still working on this) And persevere until the end. Our lives are journeys, not just steps from one goal to the next. Sometimes, there are long waiting times, stumbling blocks, and steep mountains to climb, but I must keep going. Even if I have to trudge, crawl, hop, jump, climb, or tiptoe along the way.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6


I began to see how being overly busy was damaging communion in our home. The kids were crying out for attention, and so I made a point to eliminate some things that were “good” but not “best” for our family. I even made a point to keep the kids home from summer camp and just let them experience lazy days of playing, learning, and boredom. They learned so much because they were not overly stimulated. They had amazing creative play. And they will remember learning about the bees, butterflies, praying mantises, and other creatures that we examined and researched. We read together and laughed together. We had fun, and we made some amazing memories. There is a reason why God’s word says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Relax and enjoy the simple blessings; and by simplifying life, give yourself more time to truly spend with Jesus and spiritual seed planting and growing in family and relationships.

*Take responsibility for my own words and actions.

“Don’t blame the man.” It was a quote in the movie Second Chance, with Michael W. Smith in it. It was a quote that made a mark in my mind. How much time do I spend blaming someone else, complaining that it was someone else’s fault, etc? I have seen that I and my kids have been making a bad habit of blaming someone else for our failings, our mistakes, our lack of responsibility, and laziness. Excuses only leave room for negativity, back talk, and disobedience.

*Let go of my dreams so God can replace them with bigger and better ones.

I guess every girl spends a good part of her childhood dreaming: about marriage, having children, her possible career, and on and on… God asked me to surrender my dreams to Him. And, I responded like a raccoon, hoarding his treasure in his hand while the precious possession is stuck in a jar. Yup, I was like my stubborn, then, two year old who insisted it was “MINE”. Jesus had to coax my insecure and scared hands open and reveal that there is REST in trusting Him with my dreams, my failures, my heart, my future… I was reminded of Joseph. He had dreams, which were all dashed when his brothers sold him into slavery, when he was taken from all he had every known. He was taken to Egypt and could have easily just given into despair. God took his old dreams and replaced them with joy, peace, talent, favour, blessing, and new and marvellous dreams. He was abundantly blessed and used in a grand way because God had a plan for his life. Since He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” we can rest assured that He also has a plan for our lives. When we surrender and trust, He can work His perfect will. It hurt to let go of my old dreams, some I had since childhood, but… I am so blessed by the relief I have found in being able to let go and trust Him.

*The true significance of forgiveness DOES also include Forgetting.

Forget the pain, bitterness, and resentment of the offensive act, as they will only eat away at my soul and add weight and burden to my heart. Fight to forget. But… remember to learn from the experience, and, so, grow better. Just be cautious, those old feelings WILL try to grow back again. Keep fighting them off, and be at peace knowing that God is my DEFENDER, my Shield, my Advocate.

*Stand in the gap.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

This was a particularly special lesson to me. I was blessed to experience this revelation while praying for some immediate family members, a brother in Liberia, and some other spiritual siblings in China. I believe this verse can also be 2 or 3 gathered for a common CAUSE not just for those in the same location. I am not able to be near my family in body, but, when we join together in prayer for a common need, Jesus is the common bond between us and He truly does BIND US together by His Spirit, even if there is half a world between us. I have seen it, and I have experienced the wonder of this. I have seen prayers answered this way.

*Praise hard, Pray harder.

Prayer IS the work! I have experienced Joy and peace that make no sense in hard times, and it is only because of Jesus. I have laughed in moments where I should cry for pain. I have cried with joy over moments where grief should be strong and silencing. I have also been learning that praying for my enemies, or those who have hurt me, really does make a difference. There is victory through prayer. Don’t stress! Take it to Jesus in prayer, and know that He cares.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16b

This can be further explained in a quote which has recently become my favourite. “There can be no healing without thanksgiving.” (Martin Rinkart) I know this FIRST HAND- especially in my burn/healing challenge. There is healing in the presence of Jesus. The Lord “lives in the praise of His people.” (Psalm 22:3) Where the Lord dwells is healing, restoration, refreshing, renewal, and all we need.

I took some time to really focus on the events of this year, the joys and challenges. Here are some of the challenges that took place since January: mid January to mid February was the chicken pox epidemic that arrived full force; April began my journey into driving in Italy (what stress!); May was the scarlet fever outbreak; July was Dario’s lime-in-the-eye accident; September was the diagnosis that I suffer from stress induced headaches (ugh!); and November was the 1 year anniversary of Nonna Nunziata’s death, the 10th anniversary of my Abuela Lydia’s death, and others too. Not to mention, early November’s battle with lice and the end of November’s burn accident (me)- see HERE for more on that.

Those are some of the major things that have weighed in our hearts. That does not include waiting for our home addition to be complete, challenges of the heart with certain family members, and innumerable other things.

But, now, let me publicly count my blessings: getting back into touch with old friends and family and getting to know newer ones on Facebook; getting a papercut published; getting my driver’s permit in May; the boys’ June guitar recitals in which they did beautifully (so proud of them); the great summer of learning and growing together; visits from Zios, Zias, surprise cousins, and Grandma and Grandpa; Passing my driver’s written test and getting our shutters installed in September; Passing my driver’s practical test and getting my license in October; our windows and doors being installed in November; and celebrating these days that God has made. He has filled them with rainbows, beautiful sunsets, laughter, all kinds of fascinating details, and so much love.

If nothing else you read in this newsletter touches your heart, I hope this will. Jesus is sufficient for ALL of your, and my, needs!!! His birth, His life, His death- all speak of His extreme, extravagant, and marvellous love for us. He is “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

He is waiting with open arms for YOU. “Draw near to God and
He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
We must not wait, for time is short. We must live each day as if it is our last,
before it really IS our last. Let’s live with purpose.

May God “bless you, keep you, make His face shine upon you, be gracious to you, and give you His peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Happy Holy-days!! And, Happy New Year to you all!

Sincerely and with much love-
The Perillo Family
(Anthony, Celita, Antonio, Giosaia, Luca, Miranda, And Dario :-) )

Hi... An Update On An Update... Please Go See...

I am just posting some new news on our family blog, if you are interested in knowing what I have been up to, and why I have not been around. Go HERE...

Hope you are well. Will be back soon with some work I have done... Sorry taking so long. Blessings...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 9, 2010... A Perfect Match...

I have a friend, Silvia, who is elegant and lovely. She spends some months staying here in Italy and spends the rest of the months back in England. I made this for her as she was preparing to go back to her other home, and I wanted to make sure she knew that I am glad to have found a friend like her.

Silvia, I thank God for you. Be safe and be blessed. :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

November 26, 2010... Be... (Birthday Card...)

Titled: "Be..."

A friend of ours, Ruben, just celebrated his 30th birthday. This is the card that I made for him. I like it. Along with the words... well, I like it. Different.

" Be…
A light showing the way to LIFE…
A speaker of words of Blessing…
A tree planted by the Living Water…

Surrendered under the SON."

Ruben, May God richly bless you on this special day and as you enter this new year.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Our greatest desire for you is a life fully surrendered to Jesus. After all, He is the most important person, place, or thing in this whole word.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

We praise God for His care and provisions for you throughout these years. We know He has wonderful plans for you.

"Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added..." Matthew 6:33

Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.

We love you very much.

God bless…

Always, us… with a hug from the kids :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 20, 2010... Rescue Me... Based on Psalm 144:7...

Titled “Rescue Me based on Psalm 144:7” which says, “Stretch out Your hand from above; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters…”

Not too long ago, after a few days of intense trial and challenge, I was feeling just DONE. I lay on the sofa and willed myself into a dark and not supremely restful nap. But before I dozed off, I had a vision in my head of THIS. My trials were swirling me and threatening to overwhelm and overpower me, and my soul was crying out for His hand to rescue me. When I made this I had not found the verse yet. When I did, it fit JUST PERFECTLY. I hope it blesses you as it has me. He is there, always there, never leaving or forsaking. Trust Him to hear you, see you, know you. And, may you sense His presence even in the darkest moments. When you feel the most DONE may you see His hand work and move in the most remarkable ways. He is able, nothing is impossible with Him. He cares, lean on Him.

Broken and blessed,

Celita :-)

November 13, 2010... Monkey Business...

Titled: Monkey Business Is Having Fun...

My fourth son, and last of five children, just celebrated his third birthday. I was very excited while planning his party because I knew JUST what the theme would be. I chose "Curious George And Other Monkeys, Too", but it may as well read "Curious D--- And Other Monkeys, Too" because he is such a fan of George and is such a little monkey himself. :-)

This is the card I created just for him.

I love you, my sweet D----. You are such a big boy now, and mamma is trying to soak up every minute of this time with you. Happy Birthday! We love you so much!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review for: Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan...

Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan has been such a blessing to me. I spent many childhood years in a church that mainly sang hymns. At the time, I resented them, thinking them old and out-dated for the most part. As I have gotten older, moved overseas, and experienced various different challenges in my own life, I have been amazed as I have often recalled the words to one or another hymn in some of the hardest times of my life. I have come to truly appreciate and yearn for the old songs, especially now that I live in another culture where they are not even sung in my language and some of been drastically changed in translation.

When I saw that this book was available to review on Booksneeze, I was very excited. I love to learn about the backgrounds of songs, hymns or not. This book has "150 Christmas, Easter, and All-time favorite Hymn Stories". I was thoroughly excited to see the music for the hymns on each left hand side page and the explanation of each hymn on the right. What a brilliant and organized idea! It even has different ways to search a particular song: "By Hymn Title, First Line, and Songwriter". I like that it is easy to use. Having the music included has helped me to recall several of the hymns that I have not remembered so well. Each of the portions explaining the history of the poetic songs has been a blessing to my heart: a testimony of God's way of weaving history and lives to "bring beauty out of ashes", joy out of sorrow, or strength in weakness and hardship. I have felt a kinship with these brothers and sisters of generations past, and I have wept over their sufferings, joyed in their triumphs; and I have been encouraged by their creativity and perseverance. I have reminisced over some songs and their meaning to MY life, and I have been amazed that one song, or many, can have such significance. I hope to be able to leave a mark on this world as these others have. Some have come to be noticed posthumously, but their works have spoken, possibly, what their lives, at the time, could not. Their words have reached across generations, cultures, time and so many changes, and they STILL touch hearts. That is the awesome inspiration and work of a One, True God. He spans time and uses open hearts, even from the past, to touch hearts in the future. Big and marvelous stuff!

I am so glad I chose this book to review. I look forward to having it our library to read myself, but also to share with my kids. Testimonies of others who have followed God and made a mark on their world, and ours. A testament to what we ourselves can do when we let God have control of our lives and allow Him to take our open hearts and use them for His glory.

The book that I recieved is a "special edition". In an effort to give it an older feel, they left the edges rough. While it is great for effect and character, it makes it harder to turn the pages. That is my only bit of constructive criticism.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I wasn't required to write a positive review. These opinions are my own.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 19, 2010... Psalm 31:14... (a birthday cut)...

Psalm 31:14 "But, as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;... You are my God. My times are in Your hands."

This papercut was made for my cousin and friend, Rosemary.

Dear Rosemary,

Here is just a little something for you...a gift of thanksgiving and praise to God for this life He has given you.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

I created this papercut especially for you and this occasion (her birthday). I came across this verse recently and was really blessed by it (Psalm 31:14). I knew that I had to attempt a papercut expressing God's blessings and provisions in all of our "times".

The hand in this papercut represent God's carrying/covering/cradling hand. The sphere is supposed to have a clock "feel" to it, and it especially represents some "times" that I have witnessed God's hand move, work, grow, bless, and encourage me. He truly has "never left or forsaken me". :-) These "times" have been some of the hardest and traumatic times in my life, but God has grown good things in me as I have surrendered, clung to, relied on, and believed in Him. His mercy has endured through each "STORMY", "DARK", "DESERT", and "BLESSED AND BEAUTIFUL" time. No matter what, He has been faithful, good, and never unjust.

May your heart be overwhelmed with joy as you remember His help and the works of His hand in your life over these years. In these, it is a blessing to remember. It's a great way "to encourage yourself daily".

I love you dearly, Rosemary. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I am personally grateful for these years, for over these last 11 years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know you, to laugh with you, to share. It has meant so much.

I love you, my cousin, my friend...

Always, Celita

October 18, 2010... Initial Cut: D is for Delia...

D is for Delia...

The verse is the Italian version of Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

A little girl from our church just celebrated her 4th birthday, and this was her gift from my daughter, Miranda.

Buon compleanno, Delia!

The Last ATCs for Sille Six...

I am officially completed all papercuts for my trade with Sille Six... I am so glad to have done this trade. Thank you, Sille Six!

The Swirly Tree...

Sunset In India...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review for: JESUS CALLING 365 devotions for kids...

JESUS CALLING 365 Devotions for Kids is written by Sarah Young.

First, I was extremely excited that it is a hardcover version. Thank you! I opened to the "dedication" page and was touched by the legacy left by a loving mother, who had the wisdom to encourage and the sensitivity to the Lord to be blessed by the lessons her daughter was learning.

I was ministered to as I read the introduction. This phrase especially spoke to my heart, "Let go of your worries and relax in the quiet stillness of My Presence." Various different devotional lessons not only reach out to the heart of the children, but to my heart as the reading mother. That is because it is all based on God's word and the loving messages spoken to an open heart.

I love how the author makes the point of encouraging the readers and listeners to develop a lifestyle of LISTENING to God. When we listen, He will speak. These devotions for every day are very simple, but very direct. Meant to be understandable to children, they are also simple enough for the adult whose mind is just too overwelmed with the trials and challenges of this life. That is where I am at. I NEEDED something simple. I got it, and I am so grateful to the Lord for providing the opportunity to read these excerpts and for helping me to have a heart that wants to hear.

I have been practicing listening to God's voice for years now, but even this "seasoned" believer needed the basic reminders shared in this book. They speak of God's character and His immense, personal, and unconditional love for us. What mother would NOT want that influence for her child? I highly recommend this book for children even 5 and up. Though that young will require some explanation, I still think it's a valuable conversation starter for young ones, too. And depending on your child, even that age can grasp the concepts if backed up. I love the cover art: bright, colorful, and simply sweet. This is easy reading, which helped me to WANT to read it. And, I actually wrote in my journal that I think the title should read: JESUS CALLING 365 devotions for kids (and for adults needing simple childlike reminders for the heart). I also really like that there are "Read On Your Own" sections- extra verses to back up the day's devotion- and the special verse pages between months. Great and encouraging tidbits to remind the soul to "encourage yourself daily".

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I wasn't required to write a positive review. These opinions are my own.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Personal ATC's...

Life...Love...Joy... (Motherhood has been my place of learning, my place of growing, my place for each of these words- along with marriage. It is not often easy, but the rewards are immense. I am especially missing the infant stages now. This is my gentle reminder to myself of days gone by. Oh, how I am missing them, but I am also looking forward to days to come. My kids are growing so quickly. I so want to relax and enjoy them. God is helping me to do that. Ask Him, He can help you, too.)

Romans 8:1, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (This cut began very differently. I intended that her face was directed heavenward. I had a title chosen already. I decided just to adjust her chin downward to see how it would turn out, and I had a brainstorm of having her kneeling at Jesus' feet with the crosses in the background. I cannot explain to you how I got the idea of having Jesus reaching down to pull her chin up with His gentle fingers, but I can tell you that this is ME. I had a down time and was condemning myself on some things; and this piece of art overwhelmed me to tears. Like a message just for me, which WOULD imply that God used my own hands to create a message for my heart. Yes. Thanks, Lord, it was a special moment. Thank you for reminding me of Your immense and unconditional love. Thank You for touching my heart."

Two More ATC's For A Trade...

These are some more of the ATC's I made for my trade with Sille Six. Two more, and we are done. Been fun, though it has just taken ME a while to complete them. Sorry!!

Matthew 9:37, "Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few."

“Mary’s Song” Based on Luke 1: 46-49 And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth, all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.”

Book Review for: The Boy Who Changed The World by Andy Andrews...

The Boy Who Changed The World by Andy Andrews, reads like a story form of Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” It's one story stretched out into individual accounts of four different people whose lives were woven into each other’s. Each speaks of a piece of God’s perfect plan and is interconnected. It's a beautiful and simple expression of how we are born for a reason. I LOVE the story, the creative layout, and the illustrations, done by Philip Hurst. Perfectly done. The art is gently colourful, detailed, and sweet. Each painting brings out the story into a wonderful tapestry, a visual expression of God’s goodness, blessing, and character.

I highly recommend this story to ALL age groups. Simple as it is, it spoke to my heart. As one of the characters , Mrs. McLoyd, said, “…little things can make a big difference. Everything we do matters. Every action you take, even small things, can change the world.” Sometimes we feel lost in the world; like our lives are nothing in the whole scheme of things, but if we look back we can see how simple people were used in amazing ways because God was orchestrating. He sees the bigger plan. Joseph in the Bible is a perfect example of this. He said, “What you have meant for evil, God intended for good.” We must trust and surrender and listen to the voice of Jesus. We must cling to Him in hope, believe that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” We must be good stewards of each moment given to us, each life that passes our way, and each opportunity we have to speak hope, joy, and encouragement into another. We cannot possibly know what can come of it, but God knows.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I wasn't required to write a positive review. These opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Third Son's First Papercut!...

Spike The Hedgehog...

Yesterday was a fun day. My third son, oddly enough, has bronchitis right now. In an effort to distract him from his sadness at not being able to go outside and play, I helped him do his first papercut. So, here it is! I love it!!

Oh, there is a story behind it. My mother-in-law could not sleep the other night, and our dogs were making an awful ruckus outside. She went to see what they were up to and discovered that they had gotten out and were running around everywhere. When she was preparing to return inside, her foot hit something spherical. Wondering she prodded at it with her foot and was confused about this "ball" at her feet. Then she realized... it was a rolled up hedgehog!!! So she grabbed a bucket and prodded it inside. Yesterday morning she told us about it. We had a live animal study, though a short one. He sure was cute. We observed his quills, his cute face, his defensive reactions (curling up in a ball and his unraveling), etc... and then I let him out into our garden. He sure did have a rather interesting smell- not necessarily a good one. :-) Did you know he will eat "insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. As a hedgehog picks its way through the hedges it emits piglike grunts—thus, the hedgehog." Woohoo! My mother-in-law was perfectly willing to have him as a garden helper. ;-)

When I returned after letting him go, Luca, my third wanted to know more about him. When it was time to choose a topic, "Spike" won out over all other possible topics from which to create art. We named him "Spike", and we are hoping we can see him again sometime.

Four More Trades For Sille Six...

Once Upon A Very Good Day...

The Lighthouse...

The Poppy And The Bluebells...

The Sunset Watcher...

I mentioned in some recent posts that I agreed to do a very large trade with another ATC creator/artist. Here are four more of the ones I am trading with her. I have a few more to go.

Sille Six, Hope you aren't sick of me yet? :-)

Have a blessed day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Review for: Anne Bradstreet by D.B. Kellogg...

Book Review for Anne Bradstreet by D.B. Kellogg

In an age where a woman was expected to be only a “good Christian, wife, and mother”, I was inspired by how Anne Bradstreet nurtured her family, blessed her husband, and cultivated her interest in sharing her faith, struggles, and life through poetry. She was a remarkable woman of great faith who relied on God in all of the challenges and circumstances of her life. Her poetry encouraged, blessed, and brought joy to others. This book expresses the events within Anne’s and other’s lives, and the parallel of those who do or don’t walk where God leads. It is clear how circumstances caused tremendous spiritual growth in Anne’s life as she surrendered to God’s will.

I related to many of her thoughts, desires, and doubts. Her imagery and thought processes were refreshing and enlightening. I was prodded to desire more spiritual growth, and I enjoyed the informative educational views of medicine, travel, and various other aspects of life at that time.

The detailed historical events frame Anne’s life in very poignant ways. They clarify life in the 1600’s. Each page is full of information, history, and details of Puritan life and known figures of the day. It’s amazing how things were then versus how life is now in 2010.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the roles of amazing women in history.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 2010... ATC Of My Dog Toby...

Traded to Mariann Johansen Ellis...

This cut was based on a silly observance. My dog is a timid creature, cautious and selective in his companionship. We got him after he had been mistreated by someone else, and even though he was a small puppy when we got him, he never fully behaved as a puppy does. My brother-in-law found him and brought him to us. I tended to him the best he would let me, and he has improved so much. He is in his "teens" now, but recently had a puppy moment. He noticed a grasshopper trying vainly to escape notice just near his feet. He put his face near it, and when it got startled and hopped a bit out of the way, he got excited. It was like a call to "come out and play". He placed his front paws under his chin while leaving his hind legs in normal standing position, and mini hopped around it, as if answering the call to hop with joy, thought that was not the intention of the grasshopper. He nosed it, and when it jumped again, he excitedly hopped around, until the grasshopper got the best of him and escaped. It made such an impression on my mind. This traumatized dog has made tremendous headway. He has learned to enjoy simple things as a simple dog should, without fearing the little things like he used to. Big deal!

August 6, 2010... Guarding The Heart...

Nei Raggi Di Sole... In The Sun's Rays... (A card...)

May God Guard Your Growing Love... (this gift measures 8 1/2 high by 11 inches wide)

We have a wedding to go to this weekend for one of my husband's cousins. I have been brainstorming a wedding cut for a little while now, and this is what I came up with. I have never done one quite like this before: my own design of a profiled elegant couple. I am pleased with it, though still getting used to its finished look. I also did the card above it for my mother-in-law to give from herself.

It is a worthy thing to pray that God guards and protects a growing love as there are many things that we know can destroy this sacred union. I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs, chapter 4, verse 23 which says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Whatever challenges one may come across our ways in life, may they only draw us closer together and strengthen our resolve to fight for our mates and the love God intended between a husband and wife!

Roberto e Nicoletta, possa Dio vi benedica questo giorno speciale!!

Roberto and Nicoletta, may God bless your special day!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

July 2010... More Combo Papercuts (Collage and Papercutwork)...

Day Of The Lotus Flower...

Longing... (My favorite one so far... I took an image I found of an advertisement of a poster for Madame Butterfly, cut out the lady and part of the surrounding house framework. I then built a papercut around her form. Originally she was looking out on a wooded spot to where a bird was in a nest. I cut that out and formed the image you see. I am really happy with it.)

Two more trades to Sille Six for our very large trade...

July 2010... "Tiaras And Tophats" Birthday Party, Crafts, and Initial Cuts...

E is for Elise...

I is for Isabella...

See my post on our family blog for complete details on the party...

Here are some crafts that I did for the party.

The theme was the combination of two children's books: Fancy Nancy and Gigi: God's Little Princess. All I can say is that this party was great fun! The joy was in the details. Like what? Sprinkles over bananas and apples to make them look fancy and bright. Butterfly wings created from sparkly material rubber banded or pinned on clothing with pipe cleaner handles created to attach them to little hands (So forming the wings). Tiara and shield crafts. Tissue paper corsages, and netted flowers to wrap in the hair. There were even heart shaped balloons and rainbow colored yarn to string to them. And, of course there was lots of play time in the park where the party was held.

These things are still being used even these days after the party. They are enjoying them so. Simple, but effective for stimulating the imagination and making pretty little girls feel like they are going to a ball. Yay!

Thank you for inviting us! What a sweet memory!! My kids had a blast!

Creative Crafty Time: Collaging with cloth and anything else and other stuff, too.

This is the design down the front of the skirt dress. I took green pipe cleaners and formed a vine. I filled in with leaves from an old bouquet of blue roses that someone gave me when Luca was born. I took some old paper roses and water colored them in pink and purple. I then took a butterfly from an old shirt and watercolored it yellow. I then glued on the wings of a discarded and broken butterfly that normally is in flower arrangements. I love it!

I hung ribbons off the shoulder, and to decorate the front I took an already formed ribbon bow for presents and glued on a large button I have saved for a while.

Apron made from discarded purple umbrella, an old sash I have held onto for years, and lots of ribbon. The wide pink ribbons were from when Miranda was born. Seemed fitting to use them for this special purpose. I love to wear this apron myself. I used it to brighten up the dark of the dress itself. The dark dress was an old skirt someone had passed onto me. It had a bleach mark and was put into my craft box. I knew it would come to good use! The apron covered the bleach spot so nicely, too. :-)

Center purple flower and the two green leaves are made from rolled pipe cleaners. The gold edges are cardboard covered with gold present ribbon. All were hot glued in place.

Copper tiara, worked and wound around itself into the form of a tiara.

Tophat created by using cardboard circle with center cut out, glued to black posterboard on both sides. Center cut out again. Rolled long length of black posterboard to create tall part and stapled. Bottom edge was wripped about every inch and a half and stapled and glued down to hold to rim. Feathers added for detail. The top is open.

Sword made from a piece of wood from an old shutter. Wrapped in aluminum foil, then taped down with clear tape. Handle was also taped to prevent any possibility of splinters. Name of child was written on paper then placed on handle before taping.

Luca in his tophat...

Miranda in her homemade princess dress... Good thing she is the only girl. I could not see doing that for four girls. hahahah.... Took me a day and a half to complete all of the crafty things for the party. I loved it, but it was a long process. Thank you to my family for their support of my crazy creative splurges. :-)

July 2010... My Husband's Birthday...

Titled, "A Blessing Unto You, My Love"

My dear, Anthony-

My heart is full of words... I am so proud of you. My prayer for you, and us, is:

"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

May the Lord bless your birth-day, and may He take this year and overwhelm you in His love. May He fill you with joy and hope to overlowring and speak clearly to you of His will. May He bless you in amazing ways. Happy Birthday, My Love!

"For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord, "plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Always, C

July 2010... My Sons' First Papercuts...

Antonio's First Papercut...

Giosaia's First Papercut...

My two oldest boys have had an interest in learning how to do papercuts, and so I undertook coaching them in making a birthday card for Nonna, their grandmother here in Italy.

Both approached the project very differently, but I think that they did wonderfully for their first trys. They would both like to do more. It was an interesting experience: educational, bonding, and fun. Nice!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17, 2010... My Mother-In-Law's Birthday Card...

The Purple Wildflower...

Dear Mom,

Happy birthday!!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

We are grateful for God's faithfulness to you. May this day, and every day of this next year, be full of pleasant memories, growth in Jesus, and answers to our many prayers. Thank you for all that you do for us.

Have a wonderful day. God bless your heart...

Love, Us

July 16 and 17 ATCs For Trade with Sille Six...

A Gentleman's Day...

The Shy Maiden And The Happy Bluebird... (papercut and collage)

Fair Maiden In The Shade Of Her Parasol... (papercut and collage)

I requested and committed to doing a trade with a Flickr friend whose screen name is Sille Six. I am looking forward to receiving her cards very much. Here are just a few of the cards I have made for her so far. I have many more to do. It has ended up being a big trade. I am loving it!! It is challenging me to do some different things, too!! For example, I have completed two of these more Asian ones as a mixture of both papercutting AND collage. Neat, huh? I like them very much.

Sille Six, sorry for the delay, but I really want them to be different and just right... Soon!! :-)

July 10, 2010... The Red Flower For Zia...

Il Fiore Rosso Per Zia...

There is a Zia who lives just down the street that needs a bit of encouragement. She is failing in health, and needs a touch from Jesus. So... I decided at least to share some visual love with her. I asked her on a previous visit what her favorite color is: red. And, she loves flowers, so I knew just what to create for her. Here is her card.

Mind you, the colors are brighter and more lovely in person.

"Zia L e Zio G, vi voglio bene!"

"Zia L and Zio G, I love you!"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 2010...Two Special Cuts...

We had a double (okay triple) themed birthday party. We held it on July 4th, so of course come colors were from that. You know, Red, white, and blue, stars and stripes... The first two original themes were as follows: King Josiah in the Bible became king at 8 years old, and He was a king who loved God. And... to go along with my year-long animal themes, I decided to use an animal that was known for being king, but was not a lion. Any guesses who the animal part of the theme was based on? If you guessed BABAR then you are correct. I loved the choices, and so did my son. Different is one of the things I like. Originality mixed with the usual. By the way, there are no birthday parties that I could find online based on this character. Odd, I think. Anyhow, it was a simple, but fun, party. Lots of food, laughter, and fellowship. (Titled "Babar And The Red Balloon")

Giosaia, we love you so much. We are so proud of you, and we cannot believe that you are 8 already. Stay in the light of the SON!!!

Created for a friend, Romina from Rome... Have you ever met someone who made you laugh hysterically while telling a story in another language, even though you did not understand every word of the recounting? She does that for me. She is a great girl who, like all of us, needs a bit of encouragement. This was what I made for her.

(Titled Psalm 139:14 which says, " I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.")

Colors may have been dulled drastically by scanning. Sorry.

July 7, 2010 Posting Some More ATCs For Trades That I Have Committed To (and am enjoying so much) :-) ...

Paisley Moon... For trade with SilleSix

D is for Deacon (In Remembrance...)... For trade with Lisa

M is for Margreet... Trade with Margreet

Evening Has Come... For trade with Karin of Cassandra204

Elegance and Lace... For trade with Karin of Cassandra204

Boldly Standing... For trade with Shadfan66

J is for John on A Lazy Day... For trade with Shadfan6632