Well hello everyone...

What a week it has been and it's only just begun.  Yesterday I thought it had been forever since I blogged and I actually had on Sunday.  Sheesh.  This past weekend, I was at church all weekend singing on the worship team.  I love that ministry so much. I've always had a love for music and singing and playing the piano.  While I wish I had kept up better with the piano, I'm not incredibly disappointed and thankful for the opportunities I have to sing.  When I got home Sunday afternoon, I found out that the younger sister of a dear friend had passed away from H1N1.  We had been praying fervently the past weeks for a miracle.  While it wasn't the outcome we had specifically hoped, we know that she is 100% healed now and will never be sick again.  Still so sad.  The reality hasn't set in yet.  It will when I'm out and about and don't see her in the places I had come to expect her to be.

Sorry to begin on such a sad note.  While death and sickness is our reality, the emotions that come from these moments in life are never pleasing.  And I do believe it is good to sit in these moments of grief and allow the tears to come.  And then I celebrate for the fact that we know where Whitney is now and will get to see her again someday soon. :)

I do have a couple of projects to share with you today after all that rambling!  The first is my card that is on the Sketch Support blog today.  It's card week! (My favorite...) The sketch is a fun and very versatile one.  But aren't they all?  Here is my card:

Supplies - Patterned Paper, Butterfly Sticker: Little Yellow Bicycle; Cardstock: Core'dinations; Alphabet: Basic Grey; Artisan Border: Pink Paislee; Mist: Smooch Spritz (Clearsnap); Corner Punch: EK Success
To see the sketch and the other Creative Team's work this week, head on over to the Sketch Support blog!

I also have one more layout from last month's SFTIO Inspiration kit.  I'll share the layout with you first and the more about the subject matter:

Supplies: Paper, Brads: Crate Paper, Cardstock: American Crafts, Journal Spot, Diecuts: Jillibean Soup, Pom ribbon, bling, pearls: Prima Marketing, Flowers: Creative Impressions, Paint: Jenni Bowlin 

Here are a couple of fun close-ups:

I used Helmar adhesives for most of this. I'm all out of the 450 Quick Dry so used Zip Dry (*gasp* I know.. blasphemy!) for the paper and then the Professional Acid Free glue for the organza flowers, Gemstone Glue to reinforce the bling and pearls, Liquid Scrap Dots to pop up the journal tag.

The journaling pretty much sums it up!  But more on the topic - this was my first time ever teaching a real art or music class all by myself. In the past I've taught clubs which just isn't the same thing.  I love both for different reasons but there just something special about having an actual classroom with stuff for me to use and only be used by my students. And the best thing about where I taught, in Gautemala at a missionary kids school, was that the kids were so enthusiastic and excited. Never in my life have I felt that much love and admiration from children.  GENUINE love and admiration.  I loved connecting with my middle school and high school students and seriously miss working with elementary aged kiddos. Several of my high school students were ridiculously talented and one of them is attending a Fashion Institute in New York City.  When I went back to visit Guatemala several years ago during Christmas, she was also there and was so excited to share with me her portfolio.  I was extremely honored that she would want my opinion and feedback.  Of course, she always and continues to blow me away so all I could say was "you are awesome!"  I hope she makes it far in the fashion world!

Needless to say, all those kids were an inspiration not only for my career in teaching but also my faith. Third Culture Kids are definitely their own population and are some of the most intriguing and inspiring people to be around. Because people are in and out of their lives so often, when you build a relationship with them, it's for life! Typically, I wouldn't include my personal life with students but they are the exception. I love, even after all these years, still getting little "Miss Elsner" notes from them on Facebook and watching them grow up to be outstanding citizens on this planet.

Well, I managed to snag some scrappy supplies a friend was weeding out so now I have to find homes for it all.  What in the world am I doing snagging more stash??? I need to get rid of stuff! Ha!  But isn't that how it usually is?

- Melissa