Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mural that Utilizes my Art & Calligraphy

It's not a card today that I share with you....but an entire wall of my artwork!

The following pictures are of a mural I did for my best friend Pam's kitchen in New York.
She wanted a cafe style street scene of stores. We elected to create stores that included all of the family members and friends in some way. You will note each store has a name that is relative to her life, and each store matches the owner's likes. Pam's love of wine & cheese led to her owning the wine & cheese store. Her daughter's love of shoes & clothing gave each of them their shops. Her stepdaughter loves books and all of her family's names will be in the bookstore window. Her sister's name on the internet was Trayscafe, therefore it was very appropriate for her to get a cafe! Adam got a bakery (mostly because we needed a bakery!) I love flowers, so the flower shop is mine. My boys love pets, so they got the pet store, where Pam's dogs and my bird & my son's guinea pigs are all living in the window. It was fun coming up with ideas for the mural and it's actually still a work in progress! Each visit to New York brings the mural closer to it's completion. Pam's younger brother Adam, age 15, has helped me with it from the beginning. It's nice to have a younger fellow artist to create with.
With no further adieu I bring you....
Pam's Cafe Kitchen....Storefront by storefront!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Baby Birth Certificates! Aww....how sweet.

Today I thought I would share some baby birth certificates with you, that I did in calligraphy using various stickers by Jolee's Boutique, K & Company & others. These are 3 different certificates and you will notice they are all very different indeed! I have blocked out last names for privacy issues, hope you don't mind! ;o)

The first one is for a very dear friend, who lost her first son Peyton after he lived for 21 days last June. I ministered to Amy during the first dark days of her loss through Angel Babies and the Compassionate Friends. Angel Babies is a ministry I run to help women who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant loss. It is sponsored by my old church North Way Christian Community and I am grateful they still let me run this ministry through them.
Amy had her second son,Deaven last year and we were all so happy for her! She still does all sorts of wonderful things to honor Peyton, such as the March of Dimes walk-a-thon. I am so proud of her for honoring Peyton's life this way. IF you note close up the bear in the first certificate has Peyton's name on it, so Deaven will always remember he has an angel watching over him!

This one is for my darling great-nephew. This one was done in colored inks! It makes a big difference with the lighter inks showing. The embellishments make this one so fun...with the moon and the baby boy toys. I was pleased with the light blue ink and how well it went with the moon and the baby bundle. He's such a cutie too!

The last one is a special order from a client. She specifically told me the colors of the room and that the theme was butterflies and dragonflies. So I made certain that all of these luscious stickers from K & Company were used with the beautiful purple muted background paper. This one was so fun with all of those glittery bugs! The stickers in the lower part actually were used, because I made a mistake on the calligraphy! But after placing the sticker over the blunder, I actually decided I liked it better! Mistakes are the mother of invention! ;o)

Thanks for letting me share my birth certificates with you today!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Cards by Zane!

The first one is a get well card. The House Mouse image is "Mouse Drops". With one little sweet mouse caring for his sick friend. The Get Well lettering is from stickers from a page of block papers for scrapping. We sent this one off to my great Uncle Leroy in Florida. Uncle Leroy is in a nursing home and we sent Zane's card off with some pictures of the family that Uncle Leroy had been requesting. I am sure he loved getting this hand made card by Zane along with those photos!This one Zane just made by himself out of the blue, or should I say "yellow". Too cute! The House Mouse stamp is "Blowing Dandelions". He picked all the yellow out himself including the sunflower border and the yellow gingham background. The friends sticker was from a K & Company Sheet. It's hard to see but I talked him into adding stickles to all the dandelion seeds that are blowing for a little sparkle. We saved this one....it's pretty special.
The is one he wanted to create for Christmas, but we didn't have gingerbread men. I found some 3-D gingerbread men in an after Christmas sale at Pat Catans and bought them just for him. The sentiment is handwritten by me in white marker outlined in white Sakura souffle pen. He did all the rest by himself! He cut out all the paper for the house and put on the "icing" snow. The presents are from a scrap page.

So there you have 3 cards by Zane. As I am suffering with the flu, and haven't created anything for days...I decided to post Zane's items so we still have something to share. He has come down with the flu too. So ...we may not be posting for a day or so. I will see what we can come up with from our older items.
I am planning on going away this weekend for a stamping all weekend at Camp Lutherlyn. I can't wait to go away and just make cards all weekend. It will be great fun, plus I will get to know some of my girls from my Stampin' Up group better. Then I should have a bunch of fun things to post!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My King - A view of our Lord in Calligraphy/Watercolor

A client recently ordered this custom created piece of artwork for Christmas for his wife. This has been designed after a sermon by S. M. Lockridge about Jesus Christ. It is a glorious description stating the attributes of of Jesus. Click on this link: MY KING to take you to a youtube version of it, where you can hear him speaking the words. It is impressive and worthy of your time, so go ahead and click on that link!
These people are treasured clients of mine, who also previously ordered named artwork for each other. First the husband ordered a surprise gift with his wife's name as the focus, along with larger titles that also said, Wife, Mother & Friend. This was a Mother's Day gift for his loving wife last year. Each larger word was accompanied by scriptures that went along with those titles that he selected as attributes of his dear wife. (I will share parts of this piece at another time).
Not to be outdone, at Father's Day, she contacted me in return (another surprise!) to order a masculine version of the same thing for him. It was such a loving gesture and they have a marriage to be admired.
He contacted me once more at Christmas time to make another piece of art to go in the center of theirs. Apparently they had been talking about it for some time. This is the piece I have created after reading and listening to "MY KING". We had fun designing the piece together and selecting items that went along with the sermon. It was such a privilege to be there as he gave it to her on Christmas Eve, in front of their 6 children, in our local Panera. She spotted me coming in the door and knew what her gift was right away, but was delighted nonetheless.

The piece has artwork including many items, such as a door, a key to knowledge, pouring water that says blessings from the golden bowl in Revelations, freedom from debt and sin and the empty tomb. All are attributes of our loving God. Click on it to see a larger version. There is also a close up of the My King area showing jewels added.

I thank them for giving me the oppportunity to create such an honorable piece of artwork that glorifies God. It was an honor to be asked to create artwork to fill their home with scriptures. They are lovely people and I am lucky to have them as my clients.
I thank you for taking the time to view it.

Ryan's Funeral & Some Amazing Signs from Heaven

Ryan Maseth's funeral was yesterday and it was an honorable service befitting our hero. Many soldiers, along with his brothers and cousins read and spoke of Ryan and his many feats as a hero both in family life as well as military life. It broke my heart to see the tears of everyone in Ryan's family, but especially those of his mother, father and grandmother and aunts & cousins. At the end of the service we all journeyed into the parking lot amongst the many Patriot Guard Riders holding billowing flags. There were several reporters waiting to talk to some as they exited the church. There were so many cars, as the church was full. The procession of cars left the parking lot and was greeted at every intersection we came to by a police car and an officer keeping all traffic from disrupting our procession. Major highways were blocked and officers that were veterans even saluted as we passed them in the middle of the road. It was a very moving sight.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, my brother and son also are in heaven. As we traveled in the funeral procession, my Mom and StepDad in one car and my sister and her hubby and myself in another, my Mom got an amazing sign from my brother. She looked at the car in front of her to read a license plate that had my brother's birthday in it's perfect 4 digit entirety... 9270. We were astounded that she ended up right behind that particular car as there were at least a hundred cars in this procession. What a sign from Tommy!

We arrived at the cemetery and walked to the site where soldiers were waiting with the family to say their final goodbyes. With the bagpipes playing their sad farewell and soldiers aiming guns into the air, we said our final goodbyes to Ryan. Soldiers in perfect form, folded flags over the casket to give to Cheryl and Doug. As the family clutched red roses, and the wind whipped all around us, silent tears fell everywhere you looked. On the way to the cemetery I had been trying to reach a local DJ to ask if she would play a song in honor of Ryan, but we were never able to get through on the phone line. When we returned to our cars, a familiar song was playing on the radio. "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan gently played on the radio and I thought to myself what a perfect song. I couldn't have picked it better myself. My sister then excitedly pointed to the vehicle in front of us and to my astonishment there was one of those white sport stickers with my baby son's name - Tanner (my angel in heaven)! That is not a very common name, so it was incredible for us to get a sign from Tanner as well as Tommy! For me it was a sign that Tommy & Tanner had welcomed Ryan into heaven. Those were 2 incredible signs just minutes apart! As difficult as it was to say good-bye to Ryan, we know that he is now with our Lord. We also know that one day we will see him again. We take comfort in that fact and want to live a life that is honorable, believing in our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, that we will be resurrected with Him and Ryan and all of the believers.

For the rest of us life goes on...and I shall return to posting about my artistic creations and cards and such. But I will not forget that this family's pain will still endure long into the coming months and years ahead. I also make this promise, that we will be here when you need us. We are a family who knows the pain of your loss and we intend to walk this journey of grief with all of you. Our shoulders are ready to help you carry this burden as you embark on the path of grief. We will not forget you, nor will we ever forget SSgt. Ryan Maseth. A Hero - Forever in Our Hearts.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Farewell to Ryan Maseth - His Obituary, Service Details and Green Beret Photo

Farewell sweet soldier....our fallen Hero
Ryan Douglas Maseth

  • Farewell to Ryan

  • (poem written by Tammy Tobac for the family of Ryan)

  • We cannot begin to understand
  • the Master's Heavenly plan.
  • We only know that on this earth
  • Death has stolen a glorious man.
  • A man who adored his family.
  • One many called a loyal friend.
  • How can we say good bye to him?
  • It's so difficult to comprehend.
  • From friends of Shaler High School
  • to army buddies far and wide.
  • There isn't a man who can speak of him
  • without sharing his spirit and pride.
  • A devoted soldier, a true ARMY man
  • Blood, sweat, toil and loyalty
  • Devoted to his platoon and men,
  • Ever fighting unwaveringly.
  • No end in sight to lofty goals
  • this man chose to achieve.
  • If he set his mind to reach the stars,
  • In him you could believe.
  • He jumped right out of airplanes.
  • He earned his parachute wings,
  • Medals, badges and ribbons.
  • There's no end to the honor he brings.
  • He wouldn't fail, he never could.
  • No car wreck could tear him apart.
  • If the test was his to succeed and to pass,
  • He gave of it all of his heart.
  • Precious Ryan, our hometown HERO
  • Grown from a child to a Green Beret.
  • You leave a hole in our broken hearts.
  • That nothing will ever take away.
  • But we have a hope that is in our Lord,
  • When last breath drawn and death is our fate...
  • Standing tall and proud in a Green Beret,
  • Ryan will greet us at the heavenly gate.

written by Tammy Tobac for the family of Ryan Maseth
copyright 2008 - may reprint with permission\

After spending much of yesterday with Ryan's family and helping to create picture boards for the funeral home, I have come to know better this hero we have been speaking of for days. Ryan was a special man to EVERYONE he touched. I saw the sweet innocent pictures of his youth, growing up with his twin Brandon. The touching pictures of 3 brothers in arms whenever baby Adam was added to the family. Family birthdays, vacations, every picture a smile and a twinkle in his eye. They are obviously very close as every photo is a testament to the love of his entire family. He was handsome and kind. He was the caretaker of his family. They told me had it been anyone but him, he would be the one to comfort everyone in the place.

The photos of Ryan's commitment to the U.S. Army are so pridefully displayed. What an honor it was for me to be able to do these picture boards as a testimony to the short but glorious life he led. It is a privilege to have been able to glimpse these personal pieces of Ryan's life. I wish I had known him better than I did. I know Ryan's Aunts, Mother and Grandmother far better and they are the most lovely women of faith. We pray that your faith will sustain you during this trial. It is truly the worst trial that a person can endure... to have your child die before you. Our hearts are so saddened with yours at the loss of this beautiful, heroic young man, taken far before his time.

At the funeral home today, the Patriot Guard Riders (click on the link to go to their site to learn more about them) stood guard outside the funeral home. They are a group (often veterans) of motorcycle riders who ride with fallen soldiers from their arrival point home to their final resting place. They stand out front holding flags honoring the serviceman. Their motto is: Standing For Those Who Stood For Us. It was an honor to see these men and walk past them today. They came into the funeral home at one point and quietly presented Cheryl and Doug with plaques honoring Ryan. They are an honorable group of men and we are all grateful for all they have done for Ryan.

Inside the funeral home, the many honorable gestures continued. Soldiers in green berets stood inside, ready to stand guard at Ryan's casket, one at his head and one at his feet. Every so many minutes there is a changing of the guard. It is so moving to see these soldiers stand beside their fallen comrade. They come, one after another, saluting and marching into place to guard Ryan.

This is a funeral like no other, for it honors someone who gave the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his very life in service to our country. Mere words could never be enough to fill any void this glorious life has left in our hearts.

  • We will never forget you Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth.
  • You are a hero to so many
  • and your name will always be honored
  • all the days of our lives.

We will continue to pray for all of the family in the months ahead as they continue to mourn this wonderful life of Ryan.

With that conclusion, I give you the obituary and church service information:

Ryan D. Maseth
of Shaler Township

Staff Sgt. Ryan Douglas Maseth, 24, of Shaler Township, died Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, in Baghdad, Iraq. Son of Douglas J. Maseth and Cheryl A. Harris and her husband, Scott; brother of Brandon D. and Adam J. Maseth; grandson of Elizabeth and the late Louis Maseth, Paul Pribik and Mary Ann Pribik.

Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the NEELY FUNERAL HOME, 2208 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. A service will be held 10 a.m. Friday at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Road, Allison Park.

Everyone please meet at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made payable to Douglas J. Maseth or Cheryl A. Harris, c/o PNC Bank, 880 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA 15223 until the Ryan D. Maseth Memorial Fund is established.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Cards for the Gina K. Saturday Night Challenge & New Stamp Debut

We decided to post some cards today that Zane & I created last night. I am not forgetting about Ryan ...I have no further news at this time. I will be posting more about Ryan Maseth in the next couple of days as I will be creating picture boards for the family for the funeral home. I will have those details as well in my next posting. You can look for those pictures for Ryan, on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Now onto todays's card posting...
Gina K. designs Stamps for a Cause. She also has many other fun stamps! You can check out her link by clicking on her name and see that she has designed stamp sets that donate portions of the sale to the following wonderful causes: Autism, Make A Wish and the newest one is entitled "How Sweet It Is" is for Diabetics. She had her debut of several new stamps on Saturday evening on Splitcoast Stampers. It was great fun and I even won a prize! Thanks Miss Gina!! I look forward to my new stamp set too. It's a humorous one and I can't wait to play with it!
The cards we are posting today are from the 2 sketch challenges. This first one is by Carolyn King. (If you want to see more of Carolyn's work click on her name.)
Zane is loving playing along and he made a great fun card with the House Mouse stamp Giddy Up. Stamped on White CS and adhered to Orange & Green CS. He colored the mouse and frog with colored pencils and even some watercolor pencils. He followed the layout well and did a great job!
The next card is mine for the same challenge and I used Bubblebella. They are a fun line of stick women from Stamping Bella. Just click on the link if you want to see more of them.
She was done on the leftover green from Zane's card and I stole his orange scraps too! LOL Little aqua glitter circles surrounded by red CS. She was done in the gamsol technique. My first attempt at it. I loved it so much, I ran to ebay to purchase more prismacolor pencils. I think I will be doing most of my coloring that way! I just loved how it looks when it's done. Deep, bold colors come out using this technique. Bella is raised up on dimensionals. Her polka dotted towel and the dots on flowers and side orange panel are done in Sakura souffle pens. The bubble wet letters are from Target and were outlined in glitter puffy paint. I think she turned out so fun and bold and bright!

The last two cards are more House Mouse cards. This was for the second sketch challenge for Gina K. by Erika Martin. These are totally different than the bold colors of the Bella. Soft beige and pinky peach roses are the backdrop for these sweet mice. The first is called House Mouse Sweet Kiss as she kisses her little birdie friend on the head. The second is called House Mouse Amanda Writes. She is writing the word Love, that I did by hand in calligraphy *(even found a calligraphy marker that was the right shade in my set!). Thanks for letting us share our cards with you!

Have a great day!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I proudly present Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth

The news has been released and more is now known about Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth. I am sharing Ryan's many awards to show you what a hero he truly is. Ryan was a Green Beret and very decorated for his service in our military. We thank him for his dedicated service to our country and we honor his life as he gave the ultimate sacrifice - his life.
There is no greater gift than a man lay down his life for another.
God bless you Forever
until we meet in heaven
I am copying this from the army's page on Ryan.

As of 4 January 08
Died on Jan. 2, 2008
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Maseth, 24,
died as a result of a nonbattle death accident
on Jan. 2, in Baghdad, Iraq,
while serving with Company D, 1 st Battalion,
5 th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007 as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operation Task Force Arabian Peninsula. This was his second deployment to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terror.
Maseth, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, volunteered for military service and enlisted into the Army in June 2001 as an infantryman. In 2007 he earned the coveted “Green Beret.”
Maseth’s military education include; the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course; Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course; Warrior Leaders Course, Combat Life Savers Course, Unit Armor Training Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, Ranger Course, Air Assault Course, and the Basic Airborne Course.
His awards and decorations include the two Army Accommodation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, Army Superior Unit Award, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.
Maseth is survived by his mother Cheryl A. Harris, of Cranberry Township;
father, Douglas, and brothers,’ Brandon and Adam, all of Allison Park, Pa.

Our family has known Ryan's family for years. Our hearts break with theirs at the death of Ryan. We know all too well the pain of such a loss. My younger brother Tommy Dolby died in 1990.
This is our memorial tribute to him by our dear friend Maria Faller:
Our angel Tommy: http://www.geocities.com/ourangelboy14/tommy.html
I also lost a son, so I know what Cheryl is feeling right now, though I barely got to know my son, as he was stillborn, fullterm. Here is my page for my baby boy, Tanner Jason Tobac
Tanner the Elephant Angel: http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/TannersMom/index.html
We will be here for them for the long journey of grief that is only now beginning for the family.
Please continue to lift them up in your prayers.

Sympathy Card for Ryan

As I leave today to visit with the family of the soldier who passed, it is with a heavy heart that I post my sympathy card. I did the card for the SCS challenge of Ways to Use It, using flowers. I made the card the soft turquoise and beige to match the flowers from Marcella K. The papers are from DCWV Stack XI. The ribbon matched perfectly and is from one of those $1 bags from Jo-Ann fabrics of mixed ribbon. They are a great bargain, should you ever come across them. There are nice satin and mixed ribbons in them, of all colors and sizes. The with sympathy sticker is also from the Jo-Ann collection.
I am leaving soon to be with the family. I thank you for your prayers for them.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Please pray for our friend's family.

It is with great sadness that I ask you all to pray for my friend's entire family. The officers came to her door last night to inform her that her son, Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth was killed in Iraq. I know nothing more of the details. I just ask that you pray for their family. Ryan's twin brother Brandon is still in Iraq and they have a younger brother named Adam, who is also in the Army but stationed stateside. I pray that these young men will return home and not have to go to Iraq again. I pray God's comfort over their entire family. In Jesus name, be with them all through the days and months ahead as they mourn the loss of their hero, Ryan.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wedding Creations...

These are some wedding items I make for my calligraphy business.
The first is a marriage certificate that I created as a sample to show brides, by using my own information. Some of you may recognize those stickers! Those are Jolee's wedding stickers for the cake as well as the Tuxedo & Bridal dress. I have been using these for year. This certificate is different from the one I showed a few days ago. It is normally the way I do them...a tad fancier. I altered Chad and Joyce's to fit better with their theme and tastes.
The second item is a seating chart. It is what some brides are now using rather than place cards to show their guests where they are seated. I watercolored the flowers at the top of the header to match the wedding flowers. All calligraphy is done by hand. The guests names are written below with their table number across. This would sit in the entryway on an easel for guests to view and then find their way to their table.