Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Book Review

Hi All...

I will be honest, it's been a LONG while since I posted on this blog. But I finally have a GREAT reason to do so!

Baker Book House graciously gave me a copy of one of there brand new titles and asked for my opinion on it!

I got to choose from 4 different books and I chose: 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning  From Heroines of the Faith by Michelle DeRusha. At 377 pages it took me a LONG time to read this as I was only able to do a chapter or two at a time once the kids were in bed. The stories are not devotionals, more like vignettes or mini biographies of each woman. Some of them I had read about, like Gladys Aylward (one my favorite historical Christians) and others were completely new to me such as Simone Weil. There was a wide variety of individuals from female preachers, to nuns, to missionaries, to writers and more. I appreciated the diversity. The chapters went chronologically through history starting in the 15th century. The history major in me appreciated this.

I really have only one complaint about the book and really for some, maybe it wouldn't be a problem. But I was raised conservatively and my definition of "Christian" is someone who believes that Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, was crucified to take the sins of the world, and rose again to reign forever in Heaven. A FOLLOWER of the Christ. Some of the women in the book never actually professed to believe this and their spiritual eternity could be questioned. But, the title does not specify that each woman is a Christian, just that every Christian should know of perhaps the author's intent was not to feature ALL Christian women.

And lastly, I would have liked to hear more recent stories too. The last one was Flannery O'Conner-who died more than 20 years before I was born in 1985. It would have been nice to read about a few more contemporary women. Maybe another volume will accompany this one at some point!

I would definitely recommend the book-the writing is very concise, not repetitive and the breakdown makes it easy to lay it aside for a bit and pick right back up later on. The stories tell of women who broke gender barriers, racial barriers, denominational barriers and more. As a woman, I was encouraged by the perseverance of these women-no matter their background or true spiritual state.

*Note: This volume was provided to me free of charge to review but in no way does that affect my opinion or judgement of this book. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Presenting for Your Crafting Enjoyment: CraftArtist by Serif!!

My apologies for my long hiatus! I'm sure you thought I'd fallen off the face of the planet. Fear not! The Craft Dabbler Queen herself is back and ready to share some more dabblerness with you!

Calling all Paper Crafting Dabblers!! 

Now, anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to crafts, scrapbooking, card-making, and the like are definitely not my strong point. I've got the materials and such to make all kinds of cards and scrapbooks but alas, I only have one 8x8 inch finished scrapbook to my name and less than a dozen homemade cards. :( Failure. But, a little less than a year ago I got the chance to try out Serif Inc.'s Digital Scrapbook Artist:
and I found it to be a lot of fun. The program is easy to use and the textures and embellishments look like they're about ready to jump off the page. Even I was able to create some very nice scrapbook pages. 
Now, Serif Inc. just debuted their newest foray into the Digital Paper Crafting Market: CraftArtist. 

This program combines digital scrapbooking with digital card-making and so much more! It uses the same platform as DSA 2 but combines it with so many features including a really detailed photo editor! Many of the Digikits that were only available online with DSA 2 come pre-loaded on Craft Artist Platinum along with templates for invitations, place cards; and other paper crafts. Here's the description for CraftArtist Platinum from the Serif Inc. website

The Ultimate Creative Software

  • Get stunning results with this easy-to-use software
  • Use life-like digital tools including scissors, stencils and brushes
  • All content is super high definition and incredibly detailed
  • Built-in photo editor for picture-perfect images
  • 5 discs packed with tools and content
  • Create beautiful print projects – anything from greeting cards and invitations to scrapbooks and photobooks.
What kind of dabbler would I be if I didn't actually TRY out this new product? 

I made two projects my first time out. 

This is a scrapbook page made with the Furry Friends Digikit (of course I had to include Porscha and Cleo in my little dabbling adventure). I chose the template and then customized it by removing a few embellishments and adding in a few of my own. I LOVE how real the paper looks. Like I tore it right out of a paper pad. And this whole layout took me maybe 10 minutes to create! 

The other project was an Anniversary Card for my husband...
This is only the cover of it but the template lets you customize all sides of the card.
Check out the stitching details on that little heart embellishment. <3 

Here are the computer specs required for using CraftArtist:

System Specs

  • Windows-based PC with DVD drive and mouse
  • Microsoft Windows® XP (32 bit), Windows® Vista, or Windows® 7 operating system
  • 512MB RAM
  • 266MB free hard disk space (program only)*
  • 1024 x 768 monitor resolution
* Additional 4.3 GB is needed for all 4 content disks to be installed, but these can be on any available drive.

NOTE: I use a Mac but I have a split hard drive with Windows 7 on 1/2 and Snow Leopard on the other

 1/2. I installed CraftArtist on the Windows side with absolutely no issues. 


So fellow dabblers, if you're looking for a new hobby that's easy (if I can do it anyone can) and affordable (only $59.99 for the Platinum Edition 6 Discs)-Give CraftArtist a try. It'll definitely be MY go-to product for all card-making in the future! 

So I'm off to work on my next Dabbler Project: QUILTING!!! 

More to come! :)


Friday, March 4, 2011

First Post!

Hello Blog World and Hello Fellow Crafters!

I love crafting new things! In fact, sometimes I think I love it a little too much. I'm always trying something new and I can't seem to stick with any one's like a really bad habit. I've tried jewelry-making, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, card-making, and there are more areas that I still want to try! I am a self-described Craft Dabbler. A little bit here and a little bit there and it all adds up to crafting fun! So, I'm hoping there are other people out there like me who are interested in new products and trends in the crafting industry and can benefit from my dabbling in all kinds of fun stuff.

So, welcome to this crazy, mixed world that is my craft dabbling life. I hope you'll be inspired to have as much fun trying new crafts as I do.

Oh and a preview of my next post: I was privileged enough to receive a copy of Serif Inc.'s CraftArtist Program (see photo above). It basically combines digital scrapbooking, card-making, and other papercrafts into one easy-to-use program. It's fabulous!

So stop back and see what it's all about!