Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grateful, Part Two

Do you remember making collages when you were a kid? I distinctly remember going through old magazines and cutting out everything that looked appealing, and then pasting them all in a random, overlapping fashion onto a giant piece of paper. I actually kept one that I did and it's fun to see what was meaningful to me at that time in my life.
What if you did one now? Instead of picking random pictures out of magazine, take snapshots of your real life. Photograph whatever is important to you...people, pets, prized possessions...and assemble them into a visual reminder of what you are thankful for. Then hang it somewhere you'll be able to see it every day, perhaps in a spot that only few will see, like in your closet, or on the back of your bedroom door. Every time you see it, say "Thank you," outloud. Focusing on what you are thankful for automatically brightens your mood because it forces you to emphasize the positive things about your life. 
Here's the collage I made using Picasa's collage feature
Here's another exercise: throughout the day, when you notice you are complaining, whining, or saying something negative about another person or situation...catch yourself and stop. Then in your head, come up with 5 good things about that person or situation instead; things you could even say you were thankful for. 

How do you bring about a more gracious attitude? Do you have any strategies that work for you? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

Now onto today's greeting card project: 
Grateful, Part Two:
You'll need a stamp set that has 3 different leaf patterns, acorns and the word grateful or thankful. I used a Stampin' Up! set called Autumn Splendor.

1) Make a card measuring 4.25 X 5.5 that opens at the bottom using a dark orange cardstock such as Really Rust or Cajun Craze. 

2) Cut a rectangle out of patterned paper that measures 3.75 X 5. The paper I used had a woodgrain texture that looked weathered with rust and teal accents. Glue it onto the card centered.

3) Stamp three different leaves and acorns using four different colors onto Very Vanilla cardstock. I used Chocolate Chip ink for the oak leaf, More Mustard ink for the maple leaf and Taken With Teal ink for the last leaf, plus Really Rust ink for the acorns.
4) Use a 1 1/4 inch circle punch to make a circle out of patterned paper that coordinates with your background paper. Mine is predominantly Taken With Teal in color. Cut out all the leaves and the acorns, leaving a barely visible edge around them. Glue the acorns to the middle of the circle. 

5) Arrange the leaves in a cluster, using the circle with the acorns as the middle of the cluster, as shown. When it looks balanced, glue it all down. Use linen thread or thin twine to tie a bow around the top flap of the card, (it will be visible on the inside of the card).

6) Stamp the word Grateful or Thankful onto Very Vanilla cardstock with Taken With Teal ink. Cut it out, leaving a 1/4 inch border all around it. Glue it onto dark brown cardstock such as Chocolate Chip. Cut that out, also leaving a 1/4 inch border. Glue it to the bottom right corner, and you're done!

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