Monday, July 11, 2011

H2H challenge: Something that Inspires You

Last week's challenge over at Heart2Heart Challenges was to take inspiration from a given photo, and create something from that inpiration.  It was so fun to see how different the projects were, even though everyone started with the exact same photo!  This week is a similar challenge, but with a little twist....use your own picture or object that inspires you, and create a project from that.  Here is my inspiration picture:

And a picture of what I created:

This is a long post, so if want to, you can skip down to the bottom, where I talk about how I made the journal.  But if you want to know how these two pictures relate to each other, read on.  :-0)

Now, I know, you're thinking...."Ummm, Michelle, that second picture in no way resembles the first!!".  :-)  LOL!  You're right.  But the challenge was to take a picture of something that inspires you, and use that as the beginning point of our artwork.  The first picture is a photo of my mom and me.  It's somewhat of a miracle, in and of itself.  We are both notorious for shutting our eyes in pictures, or having them half-way shut and looking like we're drugged up.  Seriously, it's a huge problem!!  My eyes were shut in my prom picture my Junior year.  Not a good look.  So the fact that we have both of our eyes open at the same time is a major feat!  But I digress.

My mom is probably one of the most Godly, faithful women I know.  It's a very quiet, but steadfast faith, and through the years I have watched her exemplify her Christian beliefs time after time, in her own special way.  She is a three-time cancer survivor, something I know would shake the faith of almost anyone.  But she simply keeps plugging on, believing that God has a plan for her.  Even in the darkest moments, I've never heard her say "why me?", even though I'm sure she must have been thinking it.  This attitude is something that I struggle with from time to time, and I have a hard time letting God be in control.  It's hard for us type-A peronalities to let go of control!!  :-)  But it's something that I see my mother doing over and over, and she most certainly inspires me to be more like her.

One of the things that is near and dear to my mom's heart is the Prayer Chain through her church.   I'm sure many churches have this, and it's not something unique, but I think it's a very powerful thing.  I remember many nights when I was growing up, listening to mom get a phone call, asking that someone be put on the prayer chain for a specific request.  The phone tree would be initiated, and phone calls would pass from household to household, asking that a special prayer be said for whoever needed it.  I got to see firsthand the power of prayer, through this prayer chain.

For a long time, I've wanted to start my own prayer journal.  Like my mom's prayer chain, I often come across friends on Facebook, or in blogland, or in my everyday life who are asking for a little extra prayer.  I usually say a quick prayer right then and there, but by the time I go to bed, I've forgotten the prayer request.  So I made this book to write down the prayer requests.  Now I can go back, and actually remember the prayer requests.

I used CTMH's My Creations Journal as my base.  The journal comes with a 7" x 5" clear pocket on the front, so you can decorate it any way you'd like, and switch it out later.  I decided I wanted to decorate the entire front page, so I tore off the pocket.  I then opened up the binding coils, and took the front page off the journal.  Now, the way the binding is on the journals, you need to also take the back cover off, before you can take off the front cover.  Be sure and pay attention to which way they go, so you can put them back on in the same order.  :-)
 <--------opening the binding

 <-------putting the pages back together.  notice that the front page goes on first, and the back page goes on top of that.  Once the binding is closed back up, the front cover will swing around to the front of the journal.

The middle image of my journal was created using of my favorite "fancy" techniques....cracked glass.  I first stamped the butterfly image on Colonial White cardsock.  I then took my Versamark pad, and swiped it over the cardstock several times, covering it completely. 

This left a sticky layer of clear ink over the entire piece of paper.  I poured clear embossing powder over the whole thing, making sure there was embossing powder from edge to edge.  Return the excess powder back to the jar.

Using a heat gun, I melted the embossing powder, making the cardstock glossy-looking.  I repeated these steps (cover with Versamark, pour embossing powder, melt embossing powder) 5 or 6 times, until there was a fairly thick layer of embossing powder melted on top of the image.

Once I did all the layers of embossing powder, I put the cardstock piece in the freezer.  Yes, you read that right, the freezer!!  This hardens the melted embossing powder.  I typically leave it in there for 5-10 minutes.  When you take it out, immediately bend the cardstock in several directions.  This will "break" the melted embossing powder, leaving small cracks that look like broken glass.

If there are any pieces that tear off of the cardstock, you can use your heat gun to give it a quick burst of heat and melt it back together.  Take a dauber and rub some brown ink (I used Chocolate here) over the entire piece.  The ink will sink in to the cracks, giving a vintage look.  It's so pretty!!

Whew!  That was a long post!  Thanks for sticking with me, and thanks for looking!!  I can't wait to see what everyone else makes for this week's H2H challenge!!

Materials (all items CTMH, unless noted otherwise):
-paper:  Miracle level 2, Colonial White cs, Crystal Blue cs
-stamps:  January 2011 stamp of the month
-inks:  Bamboo, Crystal Blue, Chocolate
-embellishments:  blue buttons from Blue Assortment, Hemp, ribbon (unknown... from my scrap pile), Basic Grey cardstock sticker letters (inked with Crystal Blue)
-other:  My Creations Journal, Nestabilities Scalloped Square, Clear embossing powder


  1. Michelle, your journal is beautiful, but the story behind it is even more so! Thank you for sharing your Mom and her inspiration with the rest of us. You are very blessed! Inky hugs!

  2. Michelle, your story about your mother is beautiful and quite an inspiration....thanks for sharing. The journal is pretty stinkin' cool too. Love the cracked glass technique.

  3. Lovely story about how your mom inspires you and how she inspired the creation of a prayer journal. Lovely journal, I may CASE it for a book that I am making for my grandma.

  4. Your prayer journal is amazing and your story is more amazing. I'm sure as you go through the years writing down your prayer requests and you see how God answers your prayers you will have more amazing inspiration to share with us.

  5. I love this! Such a great story and piece of art!