Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sweet Offerings

The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten. Jeremiah 24:1-2

Dear friends,
God showed Jeremiah a vision of 2 baskets of figs that represented the exiles from Judah and King Zedekiah, his officials, and survivors from Jerusalem. The former were the good figs; the latter were the bad figs. So, what can we learn from this lesson? Do you want to be the good figs or the bad figs? I think all of us would say the good figs, of course! How can we be the good figs? By the fruit of our lives. Romans 12:1 tells us, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship." So, we are to be a living sacrifice. The things we do, the things we say should bear fruit that is pleasing to God. And in that, we are worshiping Him. All we do should be for His glory. Worshiping God isn't just for church, it's not just singing worship songs. We can worship Him by our very words and actions. How cool is that? Be sweet for Him!

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Fruits of the Spirit and Bitty Minnie Alpha. To get the lighter fruit images, I inked up the stamps and then stamped them on a piece of paper before stamping them on the Bible page without reinking. I didn't want the fruit images to over power the words. I used watercolor crayons for the color.

Be sweet my friends! And may you have a Happy New Year, and God's blessings. Andrea

Friday, December 28, 2018

Bind my Heart

Hello all! Did you know there is a HUGE sale going on right now in the shop? Many different sets are marked down and you can receive 18% off your entire order now through December 31st!

Today I am sharing my heart for 2019. You may have been noticing many people choosing a special word or phrase to help focus them in the new year #OLW (one little word). I have a word and a theme. This year my word is delight and my theme is closeness with my Father. I chose delight because I want to look up and take notice of my blessings and document all the little God winks throughout my days. My Bible page today is my heart for 2019.

I started this page by stamping the In Stitches alpha stamps on an adorable plaid scrapbook paper and fussy cutting them out. Next I cut out a heart from coordinating paper, pierced holes and hand stitched the heart to create lovely handspun texture. Next I pulled out my Sunshine girl alpha and stamped the word 'my' and for the word heart used a set of light pink thickers. I of course had to had a few little clusters of scrappy goodness using washi tape, die cuts, stickers, puffy hearts and string.

I love the hymn "Come Thou Fount" and often find myself humming the tune and singing the words. The lyrics are so timeless and true!

Come thou fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Let thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.

Amazing words, but what is a fetter right? A fetter is leg cuff or shackle that fasteners around ones ankle and prevents one from running away. Robert Robinson felt so strongly about his relationship and closeness with God that he wanted to be securely fastened to our Father at all times. Do I have that same passion? Do you? The new year is quickly approaching and what better time to draw close and bind your heart to Him.

"With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!" 
Psalm 119:10

Father, Here's my heart, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above. I offer my heart to you. I want to hold tight and keep such a hold that my heart never wanders away! amen!

Hugs and prayers,
Jenn @creativegurl85


Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Word of God

For the word of God is living and active, 
sharper than any two-edged sword,
 piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, 
of joints and of marrow, 
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12
There is so much I love about the Word of God.  It speaks to the deepest part of me and is always relevant.  It opens the door of my heart to see and know God, to be known by Him.  It is sweet; it is hard; it is powerful; it is tender; it is helpful, comforting, challenging, convicting.  It is all of these but of the list of descriptors that mean so much to me, it is the fact that it is living that amazes me most.  It distinguishes itself from any other book, even deeply moving theologically profound books.  No other book is living, is organic and consistently, constantly dynamic.  What gives it life and exactly what does that mean?

In John, chapter one we learn that, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  The term "word" is different in John and Hebrews.  The Word is "the Logos," is complex but refers to the person of Jesus.  The term "word" in Hebrews refers not to Christ, but to God's written, recorded and inspired word...the Bible.  The Bibles we hold in our hands are obviously not breathing, growing--not in the sense as defines life.  Yet it IS alive, and it IS active.  God's word is alive because it brings perpetuates spiritual life was giving life by the breath of the Holy Spirit.  It brings real, supernatural transformation in the living soul of the human who accepts it as truth.  "Faith comes from hearing [or reading] the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ," (Romans 10:17).  It brings life and vitality, light and salvation.  It is not powerless, but has the power to save.  

As we come to the Word of God for the life it can give, we find it renders much to feed our spirit.  It is a sword; it is strength; it is a foundation for living our lives; it is absolute truth; it contains the only gospel of Christ; it points to Christ--our peace and our salvation.  I'm so very grateful that God prepared my heart as a twelve year old girl to receive the Word...and thereby trust its Author.  God's Word led me to Him...and He is my all in all.  

I'm grateful each and every day that I have the living and active Word of God at my disposal.  I cannot imagine not having a Bible.  That's why it's so important for those of us who do to read it and to hide it in our hearts, to share it with others.  I've known several people who have owned Bibles but never read them.  Others give cursory attention but depend mostly on someone else to preach or teach from it.  Some think they know scriptures from platitudes they hear literally on the street and take such triteness as truth.  The only way God's Word can bring your spirit alive is to take it in and let the Holy Spirit do His transforming work through it.  

God's Word is my sure foundation.  It is the one absolutely trustworthy thing on which I can stake my life...because it reveals my faithful, totally trustworthy Father. 

Design Details:
I just added a little more color to the page (100 Days of Bible Promises Devotion Book by Shanna Noel/Illustrated Faith with gelatos and a water-brush.  I drew a simple sketch of a Bible then added stamps to the central image and words over the pages.

 Doves of Peace

Mighty Fortress
Armor of God

Friday, December 21, 2018

Joy to the World

Hello all! Merry Christmas! Only 4 more sleeps till Christmas...anticipation is rising in my house! Christmas carols and laughter can be heard in my home, and with the 25th approaching my mind has been thinking about the shepherds startled in the night by angels with good news. My page today is an explosion of Joy, and I can't wait to share it with you!

I used the 'In Stitches' alpha and 'Sunshine Girl' alphas as well as a few alpha stickers to complete my title Joy to the World. I felt in needed a little something in the gap between world and the so I pulled out my 'Doves of Peace' and using my big brush marker in black I colored only the globe on the doves belly and stamped it down. I filled in the word 'joy' and the globe with my big brush markers...normally I would watercolor, but today I wanted to create a page a little quicker. Finally I added all the tabs, washi, stickers, and puffy hearts.

"And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: you will find baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a  manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:10-14

Reading the Christmas story every year brings such joy and excitement to my heart! I now have the joy and privilege of watching the same excitement rise in my children as we gather together and talk about what happened on that night so long ago. I hope this joy fills you heart and causes you to ponder, you and I have been given a Savior! Rejoice, the King has come, and with this baby, fullness of joy was born for all would believe. Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth on whom his favor rests!

So many Hugs and Prayers!
Jenn @creativegurl85

If you love that adorable stitched alpha you can pick it up for only $15.99...treat yo' self!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tailored Clothing...

Hi friends,

My sister has trained for many years to be a bespoke designer and creator of clothing, specialising in suits. She has learnt how to take exact measurements (lots of them!) and tailor suits for every size and shape so that every creation is unique to the person wearing it, and it fits them perfectly. Meanwhile, I can't even manage to thread my sewing machine!! (It's clear who got the sewing genes, if there is such a thing!)

I was thinking about this when creating this page on Colossians 3:12, where Paul writes to the church in Colosse and tells them to clothe themselves with certain qualities: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It struck me that these qualities are not generic 'one-size-fits-all' items that we can grab off the rack and throw on, but rather they are crafted in us and on us by God himself. You see, what patience looks like on you might be very different for what it looks like for me. For one person it may be having patience with a child who is pushing every button and boundary possible. For someone else it might mean waiting patiently for a dream to come to fulfillment in the future, while being faithful in where they are in the present. The same applies to all these qualities. There are different shapes and sizes of life that we lead, and these qualities need to be worn a little differently in our varied situations. So, what does it mean for you to put on these qualities in your life right now?

This page was fun to put together using the fabulous printables available in this month's devotional download: Sew Beautiful. I used the new In Stitches alphabet set as well as Sunshine Girl Alpha, Bitty Minnie Alpha and Go With to create the text, then stuck the images that I had printed on clear sticker paper around the stamping.

I encourage you to really meditate on this verse of Scripture and ask God what it means for you to put on these qualities in your life right now. God wants to dress us in his finest clothes, tailored specifically for us!

x Amy x

K is for Kindness

A few of us here on the Sweet 'n Sassy team are working through the Christmas season in our A, B, C's of Christmas devotional by Hillary Krippaehne of Creative Faith Co. This book has 26 daily devotions for a closer intimacy with God. Hilary really poured so much love and handwork into this book and it shows! It has really been so much fun to work in this month and I wanted to share one of my favorite pages with you today!

In general, most people seem to become a little more kind during the Christmas season. 
People also seem to be more generous and giving this time of year. 

1 John 4:19
"We love because he first loved us."

In this verse we learn that God loved us, and He wants us to show his love and kindness to others in return! Yes, there are times with some people where that is easier said than done. But he calls us to love everyone, even our enemies and strangers. During the Christmas season, it is definitely more common for people to be kind to strangers and perform random acts of kindness.  Have you ever been in the drive thru at Starbucks and someone ahead of you pays for your order?! Isn't that such an awesome surprise that just puts a smile on your face and brightens your day?? I know it does mine!

Or how about when someone leaves a very generous tip for a restaurant server that did a great job and they just wanted to bless them during the Christmas season?! I was never a server but when I worked as a hostess in high school, an older couple left a huge tip for a server that brought her to tears! How special and a way to become such a blessing to someone!

This page even contains a bit of kindness! This beautiful Christmas tag with the coffee cup and Christmas tree was a gift from a sweet person in a crafty swap! Even tiny little things like a small unexpected gift can be so special to someone! If everyone could just hold onto that giving and generous spirit all year long, just think of how much better the world would be!! We can't change the actions of others, but we can start with what WE do and how WE choose to treat and bless others! 

So remember, as Christians, we are called to show God's love and kindness to others! 
Be a light in a dark world!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your friends and family! It has been a blessing sharing with you all this year on the Creative Worship Team!!

Stephanie Gammon

In Stitches Alpha

Mini Grunge Type Alpha 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel. God with us.

God with us. You and me. This world. Your neighbor. Our children. Us. 

God loves the world. (John 3:16) There isn’t anyone too far away from the love of God. When Immanuel is defined as God being with us, it means He’s available for all of us.

God with us. Alongside us. Always near. Never out of reach. With. 

When Jesus tells His disciples that He is leaving, He reassures them not to worry because He was sending a Helper to be with us. From then until He returns, we have Holy Spirit alongside us. (John 14:16-17)

God with us. God...the God of the universe. God the creator. God the Father. God the son. God the Holy Spirit. God.

It amazes, humbles, delights, thrills, and a million other emotions, that God is with us. He is not an unknown far off God. He wants to be with us. He tells us over and over again in His Word that we can know Him. My favorite passage is Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Do you know Him today? Have you asked Immanuel to be with you? Seek Him. He’s waiting for you.

Art behind the story:

The Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps O Holy Night set was the perfect silhouette for this page. I used the Rebecca Script Alpha to create the word “Immanuel”, with the exception of the letter “I”, which I hand lettered.

Like I do often, I used Distress Oxides for the color on the page. The color was applied with a makeup brush. While the background may look random, it has several elements in it that mean a lot to me. 

There is a dove (Doves of Peace) stamped several times to represent the Peace that comes from knowing God. I used the Wood Backgrounds set and stamped partial images to look like a fingerprint. God’s fingerprints are all over creation. 

There are some music notes (Texture Tiles 1) mingled throughout because knowing Jesus makes my heart sing. Also, there is some text (Typewriter Text) stamped to remind me that He has the words of life. Lastly, I used the hearts from Grunge Elements 2 to show His love.

This is my last blog before Christmas. I wish each of you the sweetest time with family and friends as you celebrate the birth of Jesus!

Merry Christmas,

Patio Ponderings

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Am At Rest

Distress Oxides (walnut stain, ground espresso, and tea dye) were used to achieve the gradient)

Hello world! 
I'm so glad you're joining us on the blog.  It's been such a fun month of using my God-given creative juices to play with the December release!
I've LOVED LOVED LOVED the "Wood Backgrounds" and I cannot say enough about the "In Stitches Alpha."  I hope you've found inspiration and helps using these! 

You guys, I HAVE to talk about the Esther series AGAIN.  My home pastor preached through this glorious book for the last few weeks.  Oh. WOW.  I'm so excited about the glory of God found here.

Let me just say, that I'm certainly relieved, excited and grateful that my Savior Jesus the Christ took my place.  What do I mean?
I am a sinner.
I was born into sin.
I cherished sin and adored sin.

By God's grace, I repented.

Jesus died for my sin.
Jesus became my sin.
Jesus washed me of sin.
Jesus prepared a place I my heart wherein He could dwell.

That's sort of the skeletal structure of my salvation - of YOUR salvation, if in fact you know Jesus as the Savior of your soul as well.
You guys, in Esther there's so much talk about a "tree."  This is the horrific site of an impending execution for our pal, Mordecai (Esther's cousin).  Because of Mordecai's defiance toward Haman, Haman then constructs a tall, wicked, brutal pole that would be used to (most likely) impale said offender.  Instead of this however, we learn that Haman's plan back fires and he finds himself as the victim of his own evil scheme.  It's a timeless classic of "bad guys gets it!" 
Now, I want to be clear, Haman IS the bad guy in this story. He's the villain behind the sanctioning of an edict to kill the ENTIRE Jewish nation.  He's the deception talent behind the royal seal.  And boy, does he ever get his just "reward!"  After HIS execution on the tree HE built for Mordecai, Esther and Mordecai work quickly to restore peace to the Jewish nation, and for another lot of time, they are at rest.

We like to see the bad guy get it, don't we?  We like seeing the good guy get away and we LOVE seeing our hero ride off into the sunset with full strength having fought bravely and boldly.

My pastor later went into explaining another terrible edict; an unjust sanctioning of the death of the innocent.  I'll give you a hint:  this "sign-off" involved a tree, too.  It involved a villain and a Hero. 
Some stark contrasts.…we're the villains. 
The Hero actually dies by the villains, for the villains.
Wait, what?

Yes, because of our sinful nature, the love of God sent a Beloved to the cross where He would pay.  HE would pay, for MY offenses.  HE would die MY death.  HE took MY place.  HE would put MY soul at rest - FOREVER!

Oh, this beautiful Savior!  This wonderful Counselor!  This mighty King! 
I'm going to leave the link to the sermon series here, and I pray that you will visit this website yourself!  It's one of the most impactful set of messages I have ever heard!  

From the study in Esther, linked above.

Praise You, Jesus!  You took my place, and now I am at REST!

Much love,

Friday, December 14, 2018


But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 20-21
Dear friends,
These verses speak to building our faith. How do we do that? I don't know about you, but sometimes I read Biblical passages and then think, "how exactly do I apply that?" So, when these verses tell us to build up our faith, what does that mean? What do we do to grow our faith? Here's a few things we can do:

  • Ask God for more faith. James 1:5 tells us to ask God for wisdom. God wants us to come to Him. 
  • Study the Bible. Read Hebrews 11 and think about the lessons you can learn from those listed in that chapter.
  • Live by faith. Trust God. Focus on Him in all things. Apply what you read in the Bible. If you're not sure how to apply it, again, pray. God will lead you.
  • Endure trials gracefully, leaning on and trusting in God. Those trials can help us build up our faith!
Faith is important to God. We read over and over in the Old Testament how the Israelites strayed and weren't faithful. We can fall into the same issues. Let's be diligent in growing our faith.
For the page, I used distress oxides for the background. I then embossed the images. I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Wood Backgrounds, In Stitches Alpha, and Teeny Alpha. In Stitches is part of the December release and Wood Backgrounds is the December Stamp of the Month- FREE with a $75 purchase!
I hope you all have a blessed Christmas. Have peace in our Savior. Andrea