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Thursday, June 11, 2020

A long, hard journey, but slowly coming back!

Hello, sweet friends! It's been a long time since I have posted anything on my blog -- actually well over a year now. So much has happened in the last year, but through it all God has been faithful -- as He always is and will be.

Both my husband and I were in and out of the hospital and rehab last June and July. Walt had his second knee replacement surgery in mid-May and developed cellulitis and had antibiotic IV infusions. Then I ended up in the hospital in early-June and had Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer (I was able to have Whipple surgery because of the location and the size of the tumor). After fifteen days, I came home to be with my husband who a few days later developed a staph infection in the knee that required more surgery. Several friends took turns staying overnight with me for five days, but I ended up back in the hospital for another five days unable to eat or drink. Walt had to have another round of IV antibiotic infusions three times daily and went to rehab to finish the treatment. Because I was so weak, I followed him to rehab, and we were there (just down the hall from each other) for more than two weeks before finally coming home and where he continued the remaining IV infusions. 

I started chemotherapy in August but had to have another major surgery for a small bowel obstruction in late-October and was in the hospital for another two weeks. After healing for more than a month after surgery, I resumed chemo and finally finished the six months of chemotherapy on March 18 -- not without numerous side-effects, some of which still linger. A month after completing chemotherapy, we praised God for the good reports from my blood work and CAT scan. The oncologist will follow me for two years with blood work every three months and a CAT scan twice a year. We will see where we go from there and are praying for complete healing.

It has been quite the journey, and there were times I truly wanted to give up. But we know that God was and is with us through all our trials and uses them to make us more and more into the image of Christ and increase our trust in Him. I am slowly regaining strength and energy, and I look forward to feeling better and more motivated.

Through this entire journey, we were covered in prayer by family and friends around the world and are so blessed to have such wonderful prayer warriors that continue to pray for healing and good reports. Thank you does not begin to express our appreciation for the many prayers, cards, gifts, flowers, and encouragement. We have felt so loved!

One of my sisters shared her favorite Scripture verse with me, and it has been a great comfort to me. 
It is the LORD Who goes before you.
He will be with you;
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8
This verse should encourage us all as we encounter hard times. Each of us will certainly deal with hardship sometime during our lifetime. While the entire world has been dealing with the COVID-19 virus and unrest, God is always available to comfort and give us strength and hope. 

Another wonderful verse that encouraged me is a long-time favorite.

I can do [endure] all things
through Christ Who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

I especially appreciated that my friend said "endure" in his text because it fit what I experienced. After my second surgery, I did not think I could go another minute feeling the pain. A very dear and precious friend came to the hospital and prayed for me asking Jesus to give me His strength to endure. I have learned this year that we can endure trials of any kind only through God's strength. Some are more difficult than others, but I assure you that God is always with us and will strengthen and encourage us -- and give us peace. May you be assured of His love and care as I have been.   

Well over a year ago, I made this card that was never sent. However, it's been on my table as a reminder that God is always with me to give me strength and hope. My true hope is that I shall one day be with the Lord in Heaven, my real home. It's because Jesus has paid the price to make me acceptable to the Father when Jesus died on the cross for all my sins. I yearn for you all to know that kind of peace. This world is a mess and so flawed, but Heaven is a place where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, no more hatred -- and where we shall be with the Lord forever -- happier than we could ever imagine here on earth!


I found this digital image in my UFO box that I had printed from Rose and Chamomile and decided to finish coloring it and then fussy cut it to put it on a card with a sentiment. I remembered the beautiful decorative die from my dear friend Tracy, and I thought it would be perfect for this card. Doesn't it remind you of Battenberg lace? I cut the die in white and then traced the die on Rose Red and "loosely" fussy cut it. I traced the inside of the decorative die onto Rose Red and used it as a mat for the white layer. I used my Mini MISTI to add the sentiment from the Bridge Set, leaving room for the rose. I shaped the rose with my Empressor to give it dimension and popped it up with thin adhesive squares. I cut a card base that hides behind this card front. Using the clear set Everything's Even Rosier, I stamped the single rose in Rose Red inside at the bottom left, adhered it to the card front...and it was done. This card has encouraged me this past year and will be sent to someone who needs encouragement now herself.

We all have trials, difficulties, and suffering, and we should trust in God alone to guide, comfort, and love us through all circumstances that pass through the Father's loving hands. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Sweet friends, I have missed you so much. You have continued to be in my prayers, and I praise God for His mercy and for bringing your names to mind as I have prayed this past year. Even in my darkest moments, God has brought so many of your prayer requests to mind, and I have found joy hearing about praise reports as well as updates. Thank you for your friendship, love, and especially your prayers for us. Prayer is powerful! May God continue to give peace, comfort, and strength to us all. May God Almighty be praised always! You are a great blessing to me and to those for whom you pray.

Blessings and love, sweet friends,


StampsRose and Chamomile and Everything's Even Rosier - retired (Power Poppy), Bridge Set by Dina Kowal (Impression Obsession)
Paper: X-Press It Blending Card, Solar White #110 (Neenah), Rose Red - retired (SU!)
Ink: Printer for digital image, Tuxedo Black (Memento), Onyx Black (Versafine), Rose Red - retired (SU!)
Tools/Accessories: Copic markers, Lacey Edge Rectangle die (Gina Marie Designs), Empressor tool, Mini MISTI, Thin 3D Foam Squares (Scrapbook Adhesives), Tombow Mono Glue, white tape, red tape
Techniques: Digital images with Microsoft Word, Copic coloring, fussy cutting
Card Size: A-2

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Bowl of Beauty

Hello, sweet friends! It's so good to post another card, and I enjoyed coloring it. I must say that I still feel a bit rusty. We continue to praise God for the healing in my hubby's knee and thank you all for your prayers. He is eager to get the other one done now.  

Today I am delighted to join my Power Poppy Instant Gardeners to introduce a new digital release that is truly beautiful! It's called Bowl of Beauty!


Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, Bowl of Beauty, Digital Image, March 2019

Here's what Marcella shares about this new digital image:
"The fourth installment of our café au lait bowl bouquets is filled with some of my favorite plants: hellebores, ferns, and a luscious tree peony with stems of Spanish bluebells. Of course, I had to call this Bowl of Beauty because I know that anyone coloring this one will bring forth beautiful results. A polka-dotted vintage bowl can be done in so many ways to compliment the flowers."
This new release comes with the bowl and without it, so I decided to use just this luscious bouquet, along with the digital sentiment from Rose and Chamomile. I started with the hellebores and then did the fern. The hardest part was deciding what colors to make each of the flowers and yet (hopefully) make the bouquet look cohesive. 

Once the coloring was done, I ended up finding a piece of card stock and used a Copic marker to coordinate with the Spanish bluebells. Here is clean and simple layout that allows this bouquet to take centerstage. 


Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, Bowl of Beauty, CherylQuilts, Designed by Cheryl Scrivens, March 2019

This card is for a dear mom whose young daughter is on an MDS journey. The whole family is, and they continue to be upheld in prayer and other support by our church family and others. I trust that you will join us and pray for this family. 

We all have trials and difficulties, and we trust in God alone to guide, strengthen, comfort, and love us through all circumstances that pass through the Father's loving hands. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.


Is anyone among you sick?
Let him call for the elders of the church,
and let them pray over them,
anointing him [her] with oil in the name of the LORD.
James 5:14

Hop on over to the Power Poppy blog and see what delights Marcy is sharing about this stunning new digital release. You will also want to see what my teammates have to share (and our special guest Allison Cope of the Bloom Brigade). What gorgeous cards to inspire you!

Sweet friends, you have continued to be in my prayers, and I praise God for His mercy and for bringing your names and requests to mind as I pray. It's a joy to hear praise reports as well as updates. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers for us. May God continue to give peace, comfort, and strength to us all. You are a great blessing to me and to those for whom you pray.

Blessings, sweet friends,


StampsBowl of BeautyRose and Chamomile (Power Poppy) 
Paper: X-Press It Blending Card, Almost Amethyst (SU!) colored with Copic marker B63, Textured White (Bazzill)
Ink: Printer
Tools/Accessories: Copic markers, 6x6 Matting Basics B dies (Spellbinder), Mini Perfect Layers tool, red tape
Techniques: Digital images with Microsoft Word, Copic coloring
Card Size: 5 1/4"
Copic Markers Used: Hellebores - RV66, RV32, R30, YR20, YR000, YG03 (stamen); Ferns - G28, G24, G40; Leaves - G24, G24, G40, YG91, E31; Peony - R30, R32, YR20, YR21/RV32 (center); French bluebells - B63, BV17, RV00 (tips); Cast shadow - BV20 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Clover and Pansies

Hello, dear friends! Another month has passed, and my precious husband is feeling so much better. He is having the last of his physical therapy and feels almost normal. We praise God and thank you all for your prayers! 

Today I am delighted to join my Power Poppy Instant Gardeners to introduce a new digital release that is a reminder spring is on its way! It's called Clover and Pansies!


Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, Clover and Pansies, Digital Image, February 2019

Here's what Marcella shares about this new digital image:
"The third installment of our café au lait bowl bouquets overflows with spring favorites. Four-leaf clovers and their pom-pom-like flowers, pansies in a variety of sizes and patterns, and sprigs of forget-me-nots make a rich look. Color your clovers in shades of green for St. Patrick's Day, or go for the more unique dark purples and pinks with contrasting stripes. The symbolism of the botanicals in this bouquet convey good luck, love, and remembrance."
This delightful bowl is filled with so many beautiful elements, and it took me a while to decide what colors to use. Each of Marcella's images are filled with so much of God's beauty. I printed the image on X-Press It Blending Card, and I used a lot of Copic markers! I did not know exactly what form this card would take, so I concentrated on coloring...the best part.

Once the coloring was done, I ended up finding a piece of card stock that compliments the completed image. Don't you agree? I would love to have this bouquet on my coffee table.  

Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, Clover and Pansies, CherylQuilts, Designed by Cheryl Scrivens, February 2019

Marcella commented about the botanicals in this bouquet as symbols of remembrance. As St. Patrick's Day approaches, I always remember my precious dad whose birthday is the day before St. Patrick's Day. I remember my dad for his wonderful faith, which he expressed in his beautiful singing and in his relationships with people. It was said that he had never met a stranger, and he was the most warm, tender, and loving man I know other than my precious husband. I truly miss him and am blessed to have had him as my daddy.


As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

Hop on over to the Power Poppy blog and see what delights Marcy is sharing about this stunning new digital release, including some wonderful specimens of these botanicals. You will also want to see what my teammates have to share. You will not be disappointed!

Sweet friends, you have continued to be in my prayers, and I praise God for His mercy and for bringing your names to mind as I pray. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers for us. I know He is always working and will continue to bless and encourage each one of us. May God continue to give peace, comfort, and strength to us all. You are a great blessing to me.

Blessings, sweet friends,


StampsClover and Pansies (Power Poppy) 
Paper: X-Press It Blending Card, Almost Amethyst (SU!), Textured White (Bazzill)
Ink: Printer
Tools/Accessories: Copic markers, Grand Rectangles dies (Spellbinder), Mini Perfect Layers tool, white tape, red tape
Techniques: Digital images with Microsoft Word, Copic coloring
Card Size: 5 1/4"

Sunday, January 20, 2019

New Power Poppy Digital Release - My Favorite Pair

Hello, sweet friends! I've been missing you, but I have been so busy caring for my dear husband who had knee replacement surgery on December 12. Yes, it was an early Christmas present! Hehe! He is doing much better, but he has a long way to go with lots more physical therapy. We are blessed to have him walking again and thank God for His faithfulness to us in every way. So on to my post today. It's been more than six weeks since I last picked up my Copic markers, and it felt good to carve out a little time to color and make a card (wow, was I out of practice).

Today I am happy to join my Power Poppy Instant Gardeners to introduce a new digital release that is absolutely gorgeous! It's called My Favorite Pair! Are you ready?


Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, My Favorite Pair, Digital Image, January 2019

Here's what Marcella shares about this new digital image:
"A perfectly piled jumble of ripe pears, African violets, and meandering ribbon comprise the second in my series of vintage café au lait bowl bouquets. Think of the fun you can have with this one! As we burrow into our winter wonderlands, the freshness of houseplants in window sills is sometimes the only green to be seen! Bursting forth with blossoms in purples, blues, reds, and whites — the coloring options are endless. This illustration comes with an alternate version with a hand-lettered sentiment and a no-line version of each complete drawing. Pick up Snowdrops and Tea Roses to complete the set, and look for another café au lait bouquet coming in February."
It's hard not to use the complete illustration — with all the exquisite details and elements sweet Marcella puts into her artwork (each one a masterpiece). The possibilities with this one are endless, and just wait till you see what my teammates have done! As always, I find it hard to decide what colors to use. So I tried using my color wheel, and it helped some. I think this might be a complementary/split complementary color combination, but I need more practice in using the color wheel. I printed the image on X-Press It Blending Card, and I used a lot of Copic markers! I masked off a portion of one of the sentiments from Potted Primroses using my Mini MISTI.

Once the coloring was done, I struggled with many options for a layout. In the end, I kept it very simple and decided to sponge the edges to bring out some of the color from the pears to balance it out. I used one of the new Life Changing Blending Brushes and was very happy with the blending. I mounted it on some Rich Razzleberry card stock and adhered it to a white card base, and that was it. 

Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, My Favorite Pair, Potted Primroses, CherylQuilts, Designed by Cheryl Scrivens, January 2019

This card is for a very dear friend who was by my side all day during my husband's surgery and till he finally arrived in his room late that night. She encouraged me, took care of me, prayed with me, and loved me. And she told me it was her privilege to help me. I am blessed by friendships like hers. She is a cherished friend, and I cannot thank her enough for being there for me (and us). Proverbs talks about friendships. It's my prayer that you develop friendships like hers. 


A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Proverbs 27:9

For my stamping friends, you will find this new digital image at Power Poppy. Hop on over to the Power Poppy blog and see what Marcy shares about this stunning new digital release and see what my teammates have to share. You will be completely inspired! 

Oh, my precious friends, you have continued to be in my prayers even in the midst of all the stress and work of helping my husband recover. God has given me some quiet moments to pray as He brings your names to mind, and I thank you for your friendship and your prayers. I know He is always working and will continue to bless and encourage each one of us. And it's in the hard times that we grow (James 1:2-4). I know that for a fact. May God give peace and comfort to us all. You are a blessing to me, and may God be praised and glorified in all things.

Blessings, dear friends,


StampsMy Favorite Pair and Potted Primroses (Power Poppy) 
Paper: X-Press It Blending Card, Rich Razzleberry (SU!), 110# Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: Printer, Onyx Black (Versafine), Scattered Straw Distress Ink
Tools/Accessories: Copic markers, Mini MISTI, Life Changing Blending Brushes (Picket Fence Studios), white tape
Techniques: Digital images with Microsoft Word, Copic coloring, masking
Card Size: A-2

Monday, November 26, 2018

Power Poppy Cyber Monday

Hello, sweet friends! It's me again with some great news for Cyber Monday. Hope Thanksgiving was a wonderful day as we all remember something for which we can be thankful. 

Power Poppy is back again with some great sales and news for Cyber Monday.

Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley - Storewide Sale Cyber Monday 2018

20% OFF your entire order with code 20CYBER

Offer starts Monday, November 26, at 12:01 a.m. CST, 
and ends Tuesday, November 27, at midnight CST.
Includes all in-stock stamps, dies, and digis
-- including brand new digis.

Cyber Monday SPECIAL: "Holiday Digital Blitz" 
Offering holiday images that had previously
been available in clear format only! 
Look for your favorites such as O Holy Night, 
Bough Wow Wow, Simple Joys, 
and Glistening Paperwhites

Have a fun shopping time...in your PJ's if you want...hehe!

Blessings,

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Power Poppy Black Friday Sale

Hello, sweet friends! I hope all my dear friends here in the States have a blessed Thanksgiving. It's still hard to believe the year is coming to an end, but Christmas is around the corner. What a joy to celebrate the birth of Christ.

For everyone who is looking for the Black Friday deals, here's one from Power Poppy


Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley - Storewide Sale Black Friday 2018


30% OFF your entire order with code STOCKUP30

Offer starts Friday, November 23, at 12:01 a.m. CST, 
and ends Sunday, November 25, at midnight CST.

Includes all in-stock stamps, dies, and digis -- while supplies last.

Have a fun and safe shopping time!

Blessings,

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Snowdrops & Tea Roses

Hello, sweet friends! 

Today I am happy to join my Power Poppy Instant Gardeners to introduce a new digital release that is simply gorgeous! It's called Snowdrops & Tea Roses! Are you ready for some fun?


Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, Instant Garden Digital Image, November 2018

Here's what Marcella shared:
"The first in a series of bouquets nestled inside vintage French café au lait bowls. Festive enough for Christmas cards; cozy enough for a winter's afternoon coloring session. This scene features a trio of hybrid tea roses arranged with crisp white snowdrops and variegated holly. Be open and adventurous with your coloring, i.e., berries can be white/pink/light green if you are using red roses. Holly doesn't always have to be red. Remember, we are making the picture; nature is just one of our inspirations.
Digital download includes a no-line version and two merry sentiments.
A few tea rose varieties to use as inspirations to make this bouquet especially festive: 'Bewitched' (pale pink), 'Neil Diamond' (red-and-white streaked), 'Cinnamon Dolce' (dark red with pink streaks), 'Gemini' (creamy center with coral pink edges), 'Word War II Memorial Rose' (light pink with tinges of red)."
I almost decided to use a portion of this new digital image, but I just could not. There is just so much beauty in this bouquet, and I love that it's in a sweet bowl. (I would love to have this on my dining room table.) Anyway, using Microsoft Word, I sized this image, added one of the sentiments from Merriest Berries, and printed two on a page (landscape - just in case I mess up the first one). I used my favorite coloring medium, Copic markers. The hardest part was deciding what color to use for my roses. After that, I got into my coloring zone (something that really relaxes me). 

Once I finish coloring, the real work for me is making a card. I had some idea before I started coloring, but it usually changes. Ha! I ended up using a scalloped rectangle die with gilded edges. This is definitely a "one-off" card, compared to many of which I color duplicates. I hope to be more adventurous with the next one, but this will be for someone special. I hope you like it, and I know you will love seeing the cards by the rest of my wonderful teammates who have amazing coloring skills.

Power Poppy, Marcella Hawley, Snowdrops & Tea Roses, CherylQuilts, Designed by Cheryl Scrivens, November 2018

As I was making this card, I thought about the meaning of roses. Red roses have traditionally been symbols of love. Christmas is when God sent His Son Jesus in the greatest act of love ever. May we remember the great love of God during this season of thanksgiving and as we approach Christmas.


For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

For my stamping friends, you will find this new digital image at Power Poppy. Hop on over to the Power Poppy blog and see what Marcy shares about this wonderful new digital release and see what my teammates have to share. You will be inspired!

Oh, precious friends, you are always loved and remembered in my prayers. I so appreciate your visits and comments. I continue to remember the many special prayer requests. Thanks for sharing those with me. I know that God will encourage and strengthen you. May God give peace and comfort to those suffering loss and encouragement to us all. You are a blessing to me, and may God be glorified in all things.

Blessings, dear friends,


StampsSnowdrops & Tea Roses and Merriest Berries (Power Poppy) 
Paper: X-Press It Blending Card, 110# Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: N/A (printer)
Tools/Accessories: Copic markers, Grand Scalloped Rectangles dies (Spellbinders), Krylon gold pen, white tape
Techniques: Digital images with Microsoft Word, Copic coloring
Card Size: A-2