Ain't I a Woman

Ain't I a Woman
Pearl of Great Price


My Black is Beautiful Challenge #2 (part 3)

This time I made a 2 page spread.  I told you the story was long and that I had a lot to say about the process. (LOL)  Sometimes when I pull into my driveway, I just sit there for a while.  I am overcome with gratitude about this wonderful blessing.  Then a neighborhood kid will come and knock on the car window...and I am reminded that God gave me stewardship of this home to share it with my community, in particular the children.

Journaling page #1: My a sacred space; is a safe haven for kids; is a blessing from God; is cozy & comfortable; is where I create; makes me want to share it; brings me so much JOY.
Journaling page #2: whooo hooo!; my humble home; hanging out on the front steps of my home.  When I first moved in I didn't have a ramp.  I never knew three little steps could be such an obstacle.  A local organization helped finance the handicap ramp.  About two months after purchasing the house I suffered a physical relapse and lost my job.  The co. was also in financial hard times.  No one wants to be sick, but the timing seemed perfect.  The blessing...I am still here.  God is truly Jehovah Jireh: a great provider.

CTMH cs, pp
star die cuts
gel pens
micron pens
CTMH markers
inkssentails while pen
self adhesive alphas
journaling block stamp

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My Black is Beautiful Challenge #2 (part 2)

Here is another lo for 'home'.  I think I better make that album soon because I may just do one more lo (LOL)

These photos were supposed to print in color.  Oops! The color ink cartridge in my printer was low.  The pictures are not really black and white, but I didn't want to throw them here is the result.  These were taken at my closing where I received pro bono attorney services.  And get this, the attorney's office was right next to the apartment complex where I resided.

There was an issue with the roof which I suspected that the original homeowner was unable to address at night and in inclement weather (The issue was still existing during the final walk through the day before the closing).  Early the next morning I was able to find a roofer to go to the house in the next county to check things out and give me a repair estimate.  Miraculously, he was able to do all this before I was leaving out the door for a 10:00 am closing appointment.  The cost for the minor repair was held in escrow.  The whole situation was almost a deal breaker on the part of the seller.  Thank God my lender (Rural Development) insisted on a dwelling with no repair needs.  Funny, looking back on that experience...I never once felt any anxiety while sitting at that table...even when the seller was ready to walk away...I had the PEACE that surpasses all understanding.  God was truly leading this process.  I am so in awe of His loving kindness towards me.

ribbon from stash
chipboard letters
mosaic tiles
glitter alphas
journaling spots
bic mark it pens
TH black soot distress ink

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My Black is Beautiful Challenge #2

This challenge was to make a lo of our home.  I have so much to say about my home purchase.  As a former tenant organizer, I was deep in housing world when I attempted to merge two programs together to purchase my home.  It took 4 years to convince the powers that be in DE to do something think outside of the box.  I had a model because surrounding states (especially MD) had been doing the merger for years. The story is long, colorful and saturated with God's many blessings; and I just couldn't seem to capture it all in a lo.  I did have intentions on making a scrapbook about my house...yeah, uhhh that project is still in my head (LOL).  But if time permits, I may do another lo for this challenge.

The journaling says: There were so many blessings and people that played a part in my home purchase...I was so happy to finally have my very own tree.  God was all in this journey, it was long, hard and definitely a faith walk.  I thank God for loving me so much.  My black is being a beautiful homeowner.  Each popped up leaf has the name of a person, organization or event/action that was significant to helping me become a homeowner. (i.e. pro bono closing, monetary gift from the board of the co I worked for, free attorneys etc.)  There could be many, many more leaves.  I am grateful for so much.  Thank you GOD. 
wood grain stamp
colorbok chalk ink
MS leaf stamp
CTMH marker
black gel pen
water color crayons
TH Distress ink
TH embossing powder

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I cannot recall...

...where the inspiration image was from.  I just know that I saw an image of a mistletoe girl on a card in an online gallery.  The girl was super skinny.  As usual, bigger women are rarely depicted in the media and on stamps.  Well, I started doodling and drew this curvy mistletoe girl.  She needs some more work, but looks more like me.  That was last year, and still no husband to give this suggestive card to.  Good thing dust on a card is just another embellishment (LOL)

So, after this experience I started drawing images.  For some reason I keep drawing chickens...perhaps it is because the Purdue plant is a few towns away.  Plus I live in a somewhat rural area...I am surrounded by chickens hahahaha.

cuddle bug embossing folder
prisma colored pencils  & OMS
paper crimper

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Practice makes...better

Several years ago my prayer partner taught me how to make Akee and Salt Fish, Callaloo and Jamaican Dumplings.  Each time I make the dishes they get tastier and tastier.  I called my friend the other day and told her I was making 'dumplin' man' (in my best Jamaican accent-lol)  Thanks Ena for teaching me such a wonderful dish.  The weight watchers points is 6...I love it!

Akee & Salt Fish

Onions, peppers,garlic, jalapeno, salt fish and spinach- a pseudo, Americanized Callaloo ---------> 

I made breakfast for the whole week.

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My Black is Beautiful Challenge #1

I have been lurking...well actually cyber stalking this challenge at the SOC .ning site (LOL).  Finally, I decided to officially join the challenge, but I am going to work at my own pace and do the pages just because.  No pressure about deadlines.  No feeling like a failure when I miss them.  There was homework over the holiday to get the participants ready.  We had to select an album and take photos of specific things(there was a list).  Every two weeks the facilitator will issue another challenge.  At the end of the year I will have an album all about me, celebrating "My black is beautiful..."

As I continue to work on purging the "I do not need another thing on my plate" syndrome; I begin to just chillax, prioritize and enjoy celebrating me. (Thanks Tory)  From the time we are old enough to talk we are told to esteem others higher than ourselves, that focus on self is prideful, that it is honorable to pour into others...this is all true-straight biblical principles, but we are often not taught to create a balance.  Even at this age I am still striving to achieve balance on the tight rope.  What I do know, is that you can not keep pouring from an empty cup, you must take time to refill, replenish, and renew.  There needs to be something in the cup in order to pour it out.  Now if I can only put consistent actions with this knowledge.

Enough about is the lo I created naming my skin color.


the journaling says:
honey coated chocolate, daughter of the dust, kissed by the sun, dark brown sugar...

My skin is midnight black, my spirit is bright.
My skin shines like a star in the night.

Too bad not everyone can see,
That dark skin is oh so lovely.

But, I know that it is a gift to have dark skin.
It was never a curse; that is a myth among men.

That is why I give praise to God for this skin of mine.
For He knew and loved me before the start of time.

I am blessed with the package I am in.
My beautiful, beautiful dark skin.
Tina Riley © 2012
k&k stamps (live, love, life)
core d' nations paper
star chipboard frame
chipboard letters
glitter alphas
image from greeting card


What a find!

I found these beautiful Christmas Cacti on clearance.  I couldn't believe the sticker, so I asked the clerk to check the price.  He came back and confirmed that the plants were marked down to $1.00.  Whooo Hoooo!  I used them as party favors.

Of course I brought one for me to. (LOL) A lady from my church gave me a piece of her Christmas Cactus many years ago.  It is still in a small clay pot.  It grows so slow.  The plant is very I have knocked it out of the window sill several times and it keeps on kicking.  It blooms lovely pink flowers every December.  I hope these large ones do as well.

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Pocketbook card

My online scrap buddy, Melita, sent me a wonderful pocketbook card.  I had commented on one that she posted in the Scraps Of Color gallery.  She sent me the directions on how to make the purse card.  I made these as party favors for a small get together I am having. 

The inside is a origami like folded piece of copy paper.  I found folding the corners rather challenging.  I'll get to practice, as I plan to make this project again.

Copy paper
glossy accents
rat tail chord
sequin trim
button, mini belt buckle

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Life is nice lo

This was another kit from GCD studios.  I love butterflies.  The big one is flocked. 

The paper collection is Artsy Urban.

This is a picture of my mom, who is now deceased.  Just like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon she will be transformed into an even more beautiful state; and when she sees Jesus she will be able to say "Life Is Nice".

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Using more kits

Here is a two page spread.  I used a kit that I got at a CKC class.  I think I have had the kit for over a year.  I find it difficult to complete the kits in class because I do not have photos.  Also, as you can see from the materials list most of the stuff on the lo is not from the kit, but my stash. So, sitting in class I always think to myself...I will finish that at home because I can use embellishments to match the pictures I choose, and I can change the picture sizes to fit what I have.  Plus I can create a page that is not the same as all my other classmates.  From the kit I took the pp, the green cs, and the blue cs.   Good thing I am some what of a paper addict and I had a cs color similar to the one in the kit to use as a background (LOL).

GCD Studio Sunny Days collection
blue cs
from stash: cs, ribbon, chipboard letters, flowers, tags

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Dress Form Calendar

I was on the SOC .ning network and the question was brought up as to whether we used kits.  All of the ladies chatting at that time had gotten kits from scrapbook conventions, ordered online or made up themselves.  Everyone said that they had good intentions to make them, but several of the kits we had were not used.  We began wondering what we could do to prompt the use of the kits.  We ended up all agreeing to do a kit over the weekend.  Thanks for the challenge Princess!

This was sort of a kit.  Last year I received the dress form chipboard cuts, lace, book ring, and the paper dress form cuts as a RAK.  I finished off the kit with some simple embellishments and a calendar.


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Round Two...Pass-it-on Party.

So, the next day I hosted a gift giving pass-it-on party for the kids ages 9-12.  There was space for 8, but 4 didn't RSVP on time, 1 RSVP'd but didn't show and one was extremely late.  It is always my desire to have a full house and I had crafted monogrammed goodie bags for all the participants, but alas I had to stick to the simple guidelines I had set.  I still had the party with only 4 kids.  My Goddaughter also volunteered to be an assistant.  (Yeah right, she wanted to make the gift too lol)  We made gooey lemon butter cakes and the gift boxes to contain them. 



The Snickerdoodles from the day
 before cookies in a jar craft

Lemon Gooey
Butter Cake

These kids did a great job!  And they were old enough to clean up their mess Whooo Hoooo!  When is the next school break...I need time to recuperate (lol).

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Gift Giving Pass-it-on Party

With all the festivities around the Christmas holiday; I figured that kids might want to be a part of the gift giving also.  It's not like they have jobs or cars (LOL).   I decided to host a Pass-it-on Party so the kids could come and make a gift for their families.  

A Pass-it-on Party is education in a party setting.  It stems from the ideology that there is always someone in the neighborhood that has a skill and wants to 'pass it on' to a younger person.  Growing up, my community was full of these types of individuals.  People who felt it was their responsibility to teach the younger generation.  I learned to cook, sew, draw, paint, crotchet, and craft.  Today, I sort of do the same thing; I simply teach what I know.  The pass-it-on parties that I have hosted so far include writing, acting, cooking, crafting, painting, sewing, scrap booking, crocheting, jewelry making etc.  Whatever I learn, I 'pass it on'

I try to host one per quarter and alternate the age groups.  The parties are usually held when the kids have a break from school or a long weekend.  Lately I have been so very fatigued and the parties have been sporadic and impromptu.  Reality check:  as much as I think I am the energizer bunny...I do have chronic physical limitations.(LOL)  It's like a real party.  The kids all receive invitations and there is a RSVP.  There is always a waiting list; as my house, finances and supplies can only accommodate so many.

There were two parties;  six spaces for kids ages 5-8 and 8 spaces for kids ages 9-12.  For the little tykes we made cookies in a jar for the cooking part and made the labels and cinnamon/sugar pouches for the crafting part.


Amongst many things they experienced; the children had a chance to read a recipe; identify, measure and mix ingredients, use a funnel; cooperate; share; work together; and do some simple crafting.  I hope they have a great time making the cookies with their families.  Of course there was a demonstration I HAD to cook the cookies the next morning...not for me, but so that the kids that were coming the next day could have a snack(LOL)...

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