A collection of my many interests: rubber stamping, health and nutrition, all things Market America, my spiritual journey, and the mishaps and quirks of my everyday life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

   I am writing this with a very, very heavy heart. There is a woman that we knew in the church that we attended for many years whose granddaughter was murdered yesterday morning. What a horrible, horrible thing. Everywhere we saw the grandmother, we saw the granddaughter as she was growing up. They were very close, and my heart just hurts for her so much. I have been doing a lot of thinking today, and I wanted to share my thoughts on this.
  God is our father, Jesus is our betrothed, and they love us so incredibly much! So the conclusion that I have come to is this: God IS love, and He loves us beyond our understanding, and if we are saved, we are connected to Him with a connection that CANNOT be broken. The Bible says that we are seated with Him in heavenly places. That is possible because He is part of us and we are part of Him; we are connected, and as surely as we are here He is here with us, and as surely as He is there we are there with Him. Bad things happen because He has given us free will; we have a choice. He doesn't force us to do anything. Free will is a very good thing, but bad things happen because mankind has free will, Satan is working through people's choices, and we are born sinners.I know that God doesn't make bad things happen, people and Satan make bad things happen. I know that He loves us, and we have the promise that He will work all things together for good. I don't understand how good can come out of this situation, and I don't know that we will ever see the good or recognize it, but I do KNOW that good will come out of it, because He has told us this. We have a choice: we can trust Him and love Him, or we can blame Him and turn away from Him. I choose Him!
   Thanks for reading this; I hope it has been of some help to someone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Decorations


After procrastinating since Thanksgiving because I had so much other stuff to do and I HATE decorating, I finally put the ornaments on the tree Saturday, and my wonderful daughter Beth came over and did most of the decorating. At least 2/3 of the ornaments on the tree are either antiques  that belonged to my mother and grandmother or handmade by me or friends.
   The next picture is of a sled that I bought at an antique shop at Hampstead, NC. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with it, but when Beth found a tree in one of the boxes of decorations, she knew just what to do. I think it looks great!

This is another picture of it including the rocker. The snowman is one that I bought years ago and then lost. I knew it was here, but I just could not find it. When I cleaned out a closet in the laundry room last month, there was the box with the snowman and my frog that croaks Jingle Bells. I am so thrilled to be able to enjoy them again..

When I told Beth that I wanted the nativity on the hutch with the snowmen mugs, she thought I was crazy. She doesn't think that particularly goes together, but I like it! My mother, brother, and I made the figures in the nativity with plaster of  paris when I was a child, at the church I grew up in, Immanuel Presbyterian.

Lastly, I love the placemats that Daphene gave me last Christmas.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my decorations. Now that they are up, I am happy, but  I sure didn't want to bother with it. I'd rather be stamping!

More Samples!

   Here are the rest of the samples that I photographed today:

I used an old SU image and embossed everything in gold. Had a GREAT time tying the little bows on the stars (not!). I used a bowmaker, but it wasn't easy.

I used a Sizzix large snowflake die from SU and a SU image. Click to see the glitter.

This is my favorite card this year. I just love the color and glitz and everything about it! The ribbon, images, ink and paper are all SU. If I am becoming a broken record about SU products, it's because I was a demonstrator for them for eight years. I still buy a lot of products from them.
 This next one is my "other" favorite. I couldn't decide which photo to use, so I am putting them both on here.

I used Nestibilities Labels 1 and an old SU set.

This one has the MS lace edge punch, which I dearly love. I saw this used in several samples in a magazine earlier this year, and couldn't find one anywhere. Apparently a LOT of people fell in love with it as I did. And I LOVE the MS leaf punch.

I have a bunch of these red tags, and I grabbed one one day and started trying stuff out on it. I tried stamping with the frost white paint that is in SU's mini-catalog. That didn't work too well because of my method of applying the paint to the stamp, but I have come up with a better way to do it since then: I use a foam dauber to apply the paint. After a few days of trying out ideas on the tag, I decided that I might actually be able to use it so I stuck the angel image and snowflake on it.  The other tag didn't show up as well in the picture, but it has a distress ink bg, SU images, and the small fleur de lis pendant diecut from Spellbinders.

This is my version of Tim's first Christmas tag. I'm not real crazy about it, but shared it anyway. Hopefully if you click on it you will be able to see the rock candy stickles on the snowman.

This was made with the fleur de lis pendant die and MS lace punch.
Well, that is pretty much it. I have a few more, but have to get better pictures of them. I hope you have enjoyed looking at my samples, and that you will join me for a few pics of my Christmas decorations in the next post.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finally! Samples!

Well, I finally was able to take some halfway decent pictures and upload them. And fast, too! They aren't the quality that I would like, but this is the best I can do right now. Hope you enjoy them!

I made the star from instructions that I got from another blog. I will find the link and post it sometime in the next few days. It is made using the SU tag punches. If you click on the picture you can see the glitter better.

I wish you could see how beautiful this is; the gold paper is so pretty, and the gold stars. I used a SU image.

I used distress inks on this one, and some rock candy stickles (I have decided to forego using capitals ala Tim Holtz).

                                                       Another SU image, and their Top Note die.

                        I think this was made with a current SU set, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it is SU.

I bought the gingerbread boy stamp at a craft store. The holly punch is Martha Stewart. I am loving this punch! The greeting is from a clear stamp set that I also love, and the card was cut with a Sizzix die that I got from SU.
   I have to run, will put more on later today.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good Grief!

Well, it has taken me several hours, but I have finally downloaded a picture from my camera into a computer! I thought at one point that I had crashed my laptop, but my daughter got it going again. And I don't even particularly like the picture of my tag, but it will have to do. It looks better in person. Here it is:(Drumroll)

When I colored this tag with distress inks, I was going to use it to do Tim's first tag of christmas, but it was so pretty that I decided that I wanted to do something else with it, so I put it aside. I like this one way better than the one I came up with that was like Tim's. I just wish it showed up better; the snowflakes are really pretty. I layered a white flake over a blue one.Actually, I punched the blue ones out of paper that I had stamped with a clear stamp  with blue on white, but it didn't stamp well, so I decided to punch snowflakes out of it. It looks great; too bad you can't really see it. The buttons were in a bag of buttons that I found at a yard sale, It was a huge bag, and I will not need any buttons for a long while. I have found some really great buys at yard sales and flea markets lately. My daughter and I went out a few Saturdays ago, and I told God that I really, really needed a white desk for around $25.00. We went to a local flea market and one of the first booths had a white desk for $25.00! It is new, but has a few dings, which aren't very noticeable. I love it! I had been using a dresser that I got years ago at a yard sale for my desk, and when my daughter moved back in with us in September, I had to move my stuff out of the office and put it in my stamp room. I put my Big Kick on the desk and a basket of dies, and I had a nice die cutting station. Then when she moved out, I didn't want to give up the desk and move it back into the office, so I had to buy another one. Cheap! I am thrilled with my desk!
   I am going to try to take some more pictures tonight, so maybe tomorrow I will have more samples to show. I have done right much for Christmas, so at some point there will be a lot to look at.

Samples coming soon!

Stay tuned! I think I am really close to putting my Christmas samples on here. Maybe tonight!
   The house has been a disaster for so long, but I have slowly but surely reclaimed it, room by room, over the last few weeks, and today I am in the last room, the den. I have to decorate the Christmas tree, which has been sitting here with nothing but lights and a little garland since Thanksgiving, and put out a few other decorations, and then go through the boxes and eliminate everything that I can. THEN I have to clean the room and the house will be clean! What a relief that will be! I wish I could clean it and then leave so I won't mess it up before Christmas.
   Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quest for Health, Part III and Other Things

   I am reading a really wonderful book, The Misunderstood God, by Darin Hufford. The lies that I have believed about God are amazing! I am so thankful that He is showing me the truth, and I am shedding tons of garbage that I have been taught. God is so sweet, and kind, and loving, and He loves us unconditionally, as we are.   
   I said that in this post I would talk about how I kind of messed up this year with my diet and put on a few extra pounds. When I first started my health regimen, I was here by myself because Andy spent 4 months working in Alabama, and I stayed here so I could concentrate on food and exercise. When we got back together, I started eating more food, and eating in restaurants more. I wasn't eating as much vegetables and fruit, and so I was getting more calories per meal. I have put on about 5 pounds, and I am hoping that at least half of that is water because I am getting way too much salt. I never stopped exercising, but you have to eat well because exercise alone won't keep you thin. My goal is to be back to where I was a year ago by the end of January. I didn't start this just to lose weight, and it is not all about that. I have to lose weight in order to control the diabetes.
   Something that I didn't mention about all this is the supplements that I take. I couldn't have done anything that I am doing if I didn't take the vitamins and antioxidants that I get from my business, Living Free. I am a Market America independent distributor, and I am so very thankful for the wonderful supplements that we have. I have taken a lot of vitamins for years, but I got to the point where I could hardly swallow all those pills and capsules. Most of what I take now is in our Isotonix line, which are supplements that you mix with water and drink. What a blessing! When you mix the right amount of powder with the right amount of water, it forms an isotonic solution which you drink on an empty stomach. The solution is the same ph as your body fluids, so the stomach opens the valve to the small intestine immediately, and the mixture gets into your bloodstream quickly so that you get maximum benefit from the vitamins because they don't have to be digested. Our number one product is OPC-3, which is a blend of powerful antioxidants. This product does a lot of different things for a lot of people; I have heard many amazing testimonies, like the girl who had MS and was in a wheelchair until she started taking OPC-3. When we met her a couple of years after that, you could not tell that she had any problems. I will be sharing testimonies from time to time about this and other products, because I just have to share what these products can do for you. I know firsthand what they can do, and I want health for everyone; always have. I don't make a huge profit on these products; I just want you to be healthy, have energy, feel good, etc.. I will be putting a link to my website on here when I figure out how to do that. In the meantime, I will sign each post with the address.
   I don't have any more pictures of my samples to put on here; I will try to do that tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Quest for Health, Part II

   The secret to eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is to buy organic. Non-organic produce tastes really bad, and everyone buys it, comes home and eats it once, and then lets it go bad in that drawer in the refrigerator called "the rotter". Then we go out and buy more, eat it once, etc., etc.. Most of the fruit and all of the vegetables that I have bought organic have been delicious. I remembered eating oranges as a kid and how good they tasted, and I despaired of ever being able to eat any again because they were so sour, but the organic ones are so delicious that sometimes I wonder if someone injected sugar into them. The last time I bought a regular cucumber and green pepper, I threw them away because they were disgusting. Ugh! Organic is the way to go.
   The shocking thing that I am doing is exercising! Yes, me! I have always been a reader, and it was hard to get off the couch to do anything because I was so tired all the time. When I had to change my ways or go on insulin, I knew that I had to exercise, and I knew that I couldn't do that on my own because of my back, so I got a personal trainer. That is without a doubt one of the best things I ever did. And my trainer is absolutely great! I love her to death! I highly recommend her: Kerri Davis
   Did all this effort and good eating work? Oh yes! In three months my A1C went from 7.6 to 6.8, and the next time I went it was 6.6. I lost weight, went from a size 16  to size 10, and felt fantastic. Unfortunately, there is more to the story. I haven't completely blown it yet, but a little bit. That story next time.

   This is an ornament that I made recently. I am loving the fleur de lis pendant die from Spellbinders; everything you do with it is beautiful. I wish I could have gotten a better view of it, but when I took a picture, it didn't show up when I put the memory card in the computer. Maybe it had something to do with the battery dying in the camera, ya think? So I tried to scan it, but my Mac wouldn't save it to a file, so I hooked up my laptop, scanned it, and here it is.

My Health Saga, Part I

   In May, 2008, my doctor informed me that he wanted to put me on insulin because I had uncontrolled diabetes. He had been telling me for a while that I must get my A1C down, which is the average blood sugar over a three month period. It should be 6.9 or less, but mine had been 7.9, and I had only gotten it down to 7.6. What I was doing obviously wasn't working! When he said "insulin", I thought to myself, "Oh, no, we won't be going there!" I have read enough about diabetes to know that insulin does as much damage as sugar in the blood, if not more, and since the problem with Type 2 Diabetes is that the cells won't open to let the sugar in (the insulin unlocks the cells), then there would be excess sugar AND insulin in my blood. No way! So I told the doctor to give me three more months, and I went home and cried and prayed and wrestled with this for a week. Then I girded up my loins, set my jaw, and did what I knew I should do all along. I stopped having desserts when I ate out or went somewhere where they were serving them, and I started eating meat, vegetables, fruit, beans and peas, and nuts. My treats each day were sugar free fudgsicles, sugar free ice cream, and sugar free candy (you can't eat more than one piece a day or you will be in big trouble!). I quit eating breakfast at McDonald's and drinking Diet Coke except on Sunday. The main thing I did was begin to eat a LOT of salad, soup, and fruit. There is a secret to this, and I thank God that I found it. Stay tuned for the secret and what I did next that made a BIG difference. People who have known me for a long time will be pretty shocked that I actually did this! 
   I will hopefully have some samples on here in a few days. I have made some Christmas cards and tags that I want to show, especially my Tim Holtz style tags. I think I will upload my Fall wall hanging now, even though the pictures aren't the best; the picture of the last L turned out yellow for some unknown reason. You can get the idea though. It's still on the wall, by the way; hopefully I will get this place decorated for Christmas next week. I just can't figure out how to store the wall hanging.



Sunday, December 6, 2009


     After following a lot of blogs over the last few months, I have finally taken the plunge and started one of my own. My main focus on this blog will be rubber stamping, but as you can see from the header, I am all over the place, hence my title: The Eclectic Blogger. I know nothing about what I am doing here, so the look of this will change over the next few months. Hopefully I will figure out how to make it more attactive, and I will be adding things to the sidebar. I have quite a lot that I want to say, but I will be putting a little on each day because you don't want to read a novel in my first post. I am going to start with a few samples of my stamp art, if I can figure out how to get them on here. I have been following a lot of stamp artist's blogs over the last few months, and I have see a lot of wonderful, beautiful samples of their work. I am not where I want to be, but as a result of studying their work, my stamping has improved, and I am enjoying it tremendously. (It didn't hurt that I bought a small fortune worth of supplies, either.) My photography skills are minimal, so that should be improving also as time goes on. Please cut me some slack at first; I am very new at all this and don't know what in the world I am doing, but I'm having fun! I hope you will come back and see what is going on here often, and that you will enjoy what you see.
   Now, about the samples that you see at the top of the page where I DO NOT WANT THEM! I have done everything I know to do, and they are STILL THERE!!!ARGHHHHHHHH!!! Ok, I am calm now. Taking deep breaths... I told you you would have to overlook things and cut some slack. The first card is one that I did several years ago, and is a flat card. I am now doing a lot of layers, and the second card is one I did last week. The background paper was stamped using a clear stamp and an acrylic block with grid lines, and the lacy piece behind the oval was done with a Fleur de Lis pendant die from Spellbinders. I stamped the words and snowflakes on the oval with Stampin' Up! shimmer paint in frost white, which comes out looking pretty silvery. The words aren't exactly silver, and there is a story behind that. I used a sponge dauber to ink the stamp with the shimmer paint, but I didn't have a new one so I used one that had a little pink chalk on it. That gave it a pinkish cast, which was a good thing because it wouldn't have shown up at all if I had used a clean dauber. Sometimes the stupid things I do work out really well! Of course, in the picture it doesn't show up well so you don't know what I am talking about, but trust me, the writing shows up well in person.
   Okay, I am going to stop now. Please check back in a few days and I will try to have some better pictures of my samples on here. I did a Fall wall hanging that I really loved; I hope to show it to you next time. And I will talk a little about my experience with diabetes. The last year and a half of trying to keep my body healthy and avoid going on insulin has been quite an adventure.
   Thanks for visiting!
Janis Morris