Crafting

index card a day #icad

I love Instagram. 

 

There, glad I got that out in the open. 

 

I follow a community of artists that challenge and inspire me. 

Last week I came across a fun new project. {Artists like projects}.

Take an index card every day and decorate it. It is called ICAD {index card a day}.

 

 

Simple, right? 

Sure! {As long as you have use of your arms}

 

The trouble with this 30 day challenge is that it starts June 1. June 1 is known lovingly around here as BOOB Day. It is the day of my double mastectomy after which I will have very little function in my arms for about a week. I have heard it described as "the worst muscle pull/strain you have every had x1000." Sounds fun, huh? 

 

So I immediately dismissed he ICAD challenge and filed it away in the maybe next year file. 

 

I laughed at myself thinking of what it would look like for me to decorate an index card on Day 1 post-op. 

 

Then the thought came to me that this would be fun way to visualize my progress! Even if I just streak a big black line across the card on days 1-10, but then maybe add a little color on day 14, and some design elements on day 19, I think it will be a great way to focus on where I have come from and where I am headed. 

I have also heard that it is helpful during the recovery following this surgery to be hopeful and look to the next milestone. I think the cards with reflect the milestones. And now I have something to look forward to post-surgery come Monday!! 

And that is really good because the recovery is the hardest part and there is nothing really fun about it at all, especially the first few weeks, except the index cards. 

The index cards are fun. 

And I hope that looking back I will appreciate the mercies that each morning brings, whether in the form of challenges and pain or healing an strength, His mercies are new every morning. 

 

Check out some #icad feeds on Instagram come June 1st. I will tag mine #icad and #gracefullhomeicad and #brcaicad

 

 Official ICAD guidelines and FAQ 

Photos above are from the following IG feeds, give them a follow! 

Top left: @artsyville Top right: @hemlockandheather Bottom left: @laracasey Bottom right: @forgivenfruit

Big ICAD pic: @artsyville

Thanks for following along on this journey friends!

 

 

progress

I love art of all kinds. I paint, sketch, enhance art digitally, and dabble in chalk art. Ideas are constantly flooding my mind with new projects, too many to actually accomplish. 

In my shop, I have a custom order listing where I can design a print to your specifications. This is my most popular listing and keeps me pretty busy, so I only list a limited amount at a time. 

Recently, I had a pretty special request. My friend's husband knocked on my door with a giving key in hand and asked me to create a piece of art that would feature this key and include a treasure chest and a verse about leadership. His hope is to display the art on his desk {so it can't be too big} and give the entire piece to someone he mentors in the wisdom and truth of the gospel.

Did I mention I also love a challenge?

Immediately my wheels began spinning. I don't really work in mixed media much, so the key threw me a bit. But when I came across my super talented and creative friend, Amy's, etsy shop I got inspired.

I decided to take on a form of art that I have never tried before, intricate paper cutting. My plan was to cut the treasure chest design out of paper and have the key slide into the lock. The paper cut design will sit slightly forward in a shadow box frame and the verse will be hand-lettered on some fancy paper in the background. {I'm thinking wood grain.} Sorry if you can't picture that. This is a work-in-progress, but as soon as I am finished I will update this post with the final result. Assuming of course that it doesn't all just go up in flames.


Paper cutting is a meticulous form of art. Very time consuming and detailed. What you see in this picture is only about 1/3 finished and has taken several hours. As I was sitting in the quiet this morning, the only audible sound the soft cutting sound of my knife, a metaphor came to mind.

There are several tiny pieces of the paper that I want to cut away and discard and I work very carefully to do so. The same is true of me, I am daily being cut apart, gently, patiently by a loving artist who is creating a good work in me. 

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
— Philippians 1:6

I must work slowly to get good results. Sometimes I wonder why God doesn't just get on with the work he has to do in me. Do you ever wonder why sanctification has to exist at all? Why can't we just move straight from justification to glorification? Maybe it is because His work is gentle, and kind. He doesn't want to rip us to shreds, he wants to create something beautiful. And that takes time. 

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
— Philippians 2:13

If I don't miss a piece that is meant to be cut out, then the picture won't look right in the end. God will cut out all of the dross and throw it into the fire in order for me to be conformed to the image of his son, his completed work in me.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
— Romans 8:29

If the paper could talk, surely it would express pain in the process, after all my knife is sharp. Oftentimes I rail against the process of my sin bits, little and big, being cut away. It doesn't feel good. There is pain in the process. But the end result is so worth it. 

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
— Psalm 51:15-17

A sharp knife and a steady hand yields better results that a dull knife and a lack of intention. God's sharpest tool is his word.  He uses it to cut the dead off cleanly, without injury. I, unlike the paper, can resist this and in the end be torn up a bit. But if I let the skilled artist use his sharpest tool, I will come out with a clean wound that is able to heal and grow.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
— John 15:1-5

Who knew there was so much encouragement in cutting paper? I certainly hope my friend, her husband, and the eventual owner of this piece will be as blessed as I was in creating it. It is truly a blessing to me to be able to create art that point to the true Artist. Thanks for letting me invest in you in this way!


Grace and Peace,

Elizabeth Ann

Fabric Wrapped Candy Canes

 I got this idea from an Instagram feed I follow @amandarydell You can also follow me @gracefullhome I have an ever growing list of people in my life I wish I could give a gift to. Like all of the support staff at my kids' school, the librarians that faithfully and patiently read to my children each week, the mail carrier, the paper boy, the grocer at the store where my kids spill a slushy weekly.... but these people just don't fit into our gift giving budget and I wouldn't really know what to buy for them because I don't know them personally. I just want to let them know that what they do does not go unnoticed and I appreciate them. So this year we are passing out candy canes wrapped in festive fabric and extra little trimmings.

These cost me next to nothing to make because I quite a bit of craft supplies at home already. If you had to start from scratch (like, you don't own a glue gun), it would cost a bit more. But still not much.

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For all you mommy readers out there, I have a gift for you! This book is compiled from a series of blog posts from desiringgod.org from the past several years. All of the contributing writers are moms with a passion for sharing how the gospel impacts their parenting. Two of them have impacted me as a mom personally. I haven't been able to put it down since I started reading it. There is so much encouragement in these pages it makes my heart swell.

You can download the book for free at http://www.desiringgod.org/books/mom-enough

Merry Christmas!!

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In case you were wondering....

....why I have been so quiet here the last few weeks. As usual when the blog gets pushed to the back burner, I have had several projects going on. Such as.... My church partners with a school called Immanuel Mission in Sweetwater, AZ. The school is on a Navajo reservation and we have personal friends who serve there full time as teachers. Last year we launched a program called Immerse Immanuel where a family from our church partners with a student at the mission and they write letters back and forth for a year. We just launched the second annual Immerse Immanuel program and I took on the lobby display. We begin the program by choosing a child off of a Christmas tree and sponsoring them for Christmas {like an angel tree}. You can read more about it on our church's mission blog if you like.

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I found this idea for a Navajo inspired "Christmas tree" on pinterest, went a dug around in my friend's burn pile for branches and wrestled with fishing line for a couple hours to hang it. It may sound like a chore, but this is the kind of thing I love to do!

 

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My next big project was hosting a brunch for some friends. When I first moved to town, the girls at my church were meeting together regularly for brunch on Friday mornings. Slowly that custom was set aside, mostly I think because of the sheer amount of children involved. We all just kept on having babies! I felt so welcomed by all of them into their daily lives and it made such a huge impression that to this day {6 years later} it motivates me to be hospitable, especially to those who are new in town or new to our church. So I decided to have a Mary & Martha brunch and provide childcare so all of the mommas could bring their kids and enjoy a little mom time. Mary & Martha is a company all about balancing the extra duties that come with being hospitable {think Martha}  with taking time to sit and build relationships {think Mary}.

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I made Pioneer Woman maple cinnamon rolls and my very first quiche. We had coffee and chai tea and wonderful conversation. Despite everything extra that went into having 12 of my friends and their kids over at my house at the end of a busy week, I felt refreshed! It's amazing what good food and great company can do for my soul!

 

So, I've been busy at church and at home, but the thing that has been grabbing most of my attention the past few weeks is something I have been dreaming about for a long time, and it is finally happening! I can't wait to share with you all this exciting news, but I want to give a little back story first. So come back tomorrow and you can read all about it! Cruel, I know.

 

 

God bless!

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