воскресенье, 28 декабря 2014 г.

Slowing down

Hello, dear friends!

I grew to appreciate Pinterest more recently, as I find lots of useful information there. At first I thought it was mostly inspiring pictures... But recently I discovered Spiritual lessons for kids, encouragement for mothers. A few months ago I found a great exercise routine which changed my life a lot. I enjoy working out for 40 minutes and my body gets rid of stress.

After the 25th of December life is slowing down. As I have mentioned before, we started homeschooling our oldest children since last August. My oldest son, Yegor (6th grade), has passed his 2 last exams, this totals 5 yearly exams: Biology, Geography, English, Social Studies and Math. He mostly studied on his own with a bit of my help and encouragement, except for the math, he needed his father's help to prepare thoroughly. Timothy (2d grade) has passed 3 yearly exams: Science, Math and PE. He did very well for his age and temperament.

During Christmas season I want to give lots of cards, but my time is very limited, so this year I made lost of small cards with the Bible verses from Isaiah I quoted in my previous blogpost. I love these promises of the birth of Jesus, the names He would be called. During Christmas it is good to revisit them and I reminded myself I should not assume everyone knows them. So I printed them out and made these cute little cards. I gave them all away today after the church service.

This is all our family skiing at the near-by pine forest. I am so thankful for the beautiful weather, fresh air and sparkling snow. December feels much better compared to November.

Thank you for visiting!


четверг, 25 декабря 2014 г.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear friends! С Рождеством, дорогие друзья!

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).

"Итак Сам Господь даст вам знамение: се, Дева во чреве приимет и родит Сына, и нарекут имя Ему: Еммануил" Исайя 7:14.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

"Ибо младенец родился нам - Сын дан нам; владычество на раменах Его, и нарекут имя Ему: Чудный, Советник, Бог крепкий, Отец вечности, Князь мира" Исайя 9:6.


понедельник, 22 декабря 2014 г.

Secret Santa swap

Hello, friends! In November I took part in a Secret Santa Swap organized by the Hero Arts Flickr Group. For the swap each person sent a hand-made Christmas card, a Christmas ATC and a gift to the person we were playing Secret Santa to.

This is my SS package for Heather. It was a double challenge. First, I have never made an ATC (Artist's Trading Card) before. Second, I needed to make a card for an outstanding cardmaker and not fall on my face. If you visit her blog Stamping and Stitching you will see what I mean.

Looking for a smaller sentiment to fit the tiny size of the ATC, I discovered I already have two sentiments "Joy" in one stamp set but in different scale (Holiday Sayings by Hero Arts). This fit the bill perfectly! I stamped Tiny Star Background with water on the sentiment flag.

Secret Santa surprise for Heather

Here's a peek into the process. I took a large piece of watercolor paper and tested various colors, color combos, inks, embossing on top of watercolor backgrounds (Winter Trees by Hero Arts). I used perfect pearls mixed with water and distress inks to color the dear family (Winter diary by Scrapberry's). For the background I also tried first and second generations of stamping. So I had lots of options for my card and the pieces which did not turn out I could use later on for grid cards.

Thank you for visiting! Maria

пятница, 28 ноября 2014 г.


Hello, friends!

Thank you for all the congratulations on my win in the Hero Arts Holiday Challenge. I am looking forward to receiving my prize package in December.

November can be a very depressive month in St. Petersburg, as the sunset is as early as 4 pm, so we have short windows of day light in winter. This is something I need to adjust to.

I have learned how to make an Artist's Trading Card (ATC). I will reveal my Secret Santa card and an ATC, I made for the Hero Arts Flicker Group exchange, in 2 weeks.

My friend Zhenya Goncharova from Moscow bakes cakes for a living and when you visit Moscow you can order her cakes and pastries on-line. She liked my cards and came up with an idea to sell them together with her baked goods. So I made lost of birthday greeting cards and cards for all occasions and we'll see how it goes... It was another project to use up left over pieces from other projects. You can see that I love the Big Post Card stamp from Hero Arts. It makes a cute and quick background for my cards.

Thank you for visiting!

пятница, 7 ноября 2014 г.

A birthday scrapbook

Hello, friends!

Scrapbooking turns out to be a useful skill when you need a quick birthday gift. I had my hands full I needed to do while my husband was away on a business trip. So my oldest son Yegor came to rescue. We needed some good pictures of the birthday girl and we had none. So we came up with an idea to use the pictures that were publicly available on the Instagram. Yegor is studying programming so he knew how to download the pictures. He also whent to the nearest printshop and had them printed and trimmed to square shape. What a helper! I had a pink & yellow baby scrapbook kit I did not quite like and was going to give away. But as it was a quality product I decided I should simply alter the pink cover.

So I sat down and worked from 8 pm and was done by 1 am. It turned out beautifully and made a great gift to special friends. The following day we had so much fun at the birthday party with lots of guests and a hand-made pinata fish.

The 6X6 paper pads work great for this kind of albums as I even did not have to trim the backgrounds. They fitted exactly the size of the album pages. The letters on the cover were cut out of a pp from Travel Girl pad by October afternoon, I also used papers from Oxford Lane and Cambridge Court by My Mind's eye. This is the back of the album.

And a scrappy birthday card.

My 5 y.o. son loves to make cards. So he is welcome to use the leftover scraps.

Thank you for visiting! Maria

среда, 22 октября 2014 г.

Christmas blessings

Hello, dear friends!

I want to share a very special card with you. I had an idea to pair The Tiny Star Background and the Greates Gift somewhere on the back of my head for very long, but finally I had an opportunity to implement it. It feels good to start preparing this early for Christmas. As the holidays approach it will be harder to find time for hand-made gifts.

Christmas blessings

I started with applying distress inks on the white eggshell watercolor paper rectangle. Then I stamped the Greatest Gift central image and colored the hill and the stamped image with a black pen. After I masked the nativity I stamped the Tiny star background in embossing ink and heat embossed in gold. It is best to do the embossing part last. I rubbed on more distress inks and heat embossed the sentiment in gold.

I would like to enter these two tag cards into the Hero Arts Holiday challenge, the category Mad About Metallics. One of the conditions for the challenge is that the card has to have a tag.

UPD: I have used 3 distress inks: Mustard Seed, Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain.

UPD2: My card was a winner! Please check Hero Arts blog.

Thank you for visiting! Maria

Life holds many special blessings...

Hello, friends, The weather cools down and we have first snow already. We take advantage of the last days of good weather before it starts to rain and go for walks. I have finally learned to ride a bicycle! There is a nice pine forest nearby. It is our favorite for walks. To keep it interesting for the kids, I take hot tea a thermos and we buy some cookies on the way.

On the week-end I had a chance to have some craft time. I was amazed how quickly this card was created. I started with white embossing the Night Flower on the purple card base using masking technique and added the sentiment (Many Blessings by Hero Arts) and masked its upper part. I had the colored flower on hand. The beautiful sentiment game me an idea that one flower should stand out. It is hard to see on the picture but I colored all the flowers with Memento markers. To add some texture to the background I stamped it with the Envelope Pattern.

Life holds many blessings...

Thank you for visiting! Maria
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