Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Year, A New Decade

2017, 2018 and 2019 were years of loss worldwide. Many well-known persons lost their lives. In my personal life, I lost a cousin, nephew, mom, and two amazing girlfriends, and most recently, my cousin’s husband. Of all of these losses the ones that were the hardest to deal with were the unexpected ones. The year has just began and I’ve already received news of the sudden passing of a church member.

As this past year has ended and the new one has begun I realize that I shouldn’t be surprised by the suddenness of death. What I should be doing is focusing on living a Christ like life because I know that tomorrow is not promised to me or anyone for that matter. I wonder, as I reflect on the loss of loved ones, did they give their lives to Christ? Did they confess Him as their Lord and Savior? Were they in relationship with Him? I cannot answer any of these questions and neither can they, but what I do know is that I have the opportunity to reverse the course of my life and those I come in contact with by proclaiming God’s word and living life according to his word.

The Bible gives ample warnings about the suddenness of death, which should be taken to heart but many don’t. Matthew 25:13 clearly states, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Just as the past few years have shown with these unexpected deaths, we ought to take stock of how we’re living our lives and turn to God and seek forgiveness for our sinful ways.

In the book of Isaiah, chapter 66, God warns of the judgment to come but he also gives us hope. He shows us where our disobedience will take us if we don’t change our ways. He is not looking for those who go to church and claim to be Christians. He’s not impressed by our outward performance. What he seeks are the true worshippers, those whose hearts are humble and pure. Kayla Ferris, in her study of Isaiah 66, shares the following, “Warren W. Wiersbe said in his commentary Be Comforted: "It is the heart of the worshipper that determines the value of the offering." Jesus points this out in Luke 21:1-4 with the woman who gave all she had, which wasn’t much, but it came from her heart. These are the attributes that God is seeking from his followers. His word in this last book of Isaiah warns us that true worshippers of God will rejoice while the wicked will perish.
Let’s make 2020 and the new decade a time where we make a turn around and rob death of its sting. Yes, death comes like a thief in the night as witnessed by the unexpected deaths, but we should not tremble for fear of God’s judgment; instead we should fall at his feet with gratitude for his grace towards us. We ought to turn to his word and read his promises to us, his plans to prosper and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11), his patience towards us in not seeking for us to perish(2 Peter 3:9), and the hope we have for salvation when we declare that Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, is King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Card Techniques

It's been a while since I updated my blog with any of the cards I've made. I sometimes get so busy that I forget to take pictures, but if I do, I forget to post them.

Here are some of the cards I made over the past few months.

The two cards below were made using the napkin technique. I have wanted to try this technique for a while and the opportunity presented itself when I found this pack of napkins at the dollar store. I die cut the phrases from dies in my stash.

I love to create cards for women, especially African American women because we don't see a lot of stamps depicting the culture. Here are a few stamps I purchased from Rubbernecker Stamps.

I used Distress Oxide inks to create this background

I used a stencil from on this one, then used a blender brush to apply the ink to the background. I used Copic markers to color the image.

The technique for this background required me to use bleach. Yes, you read right. I used a stencil then dabbed bleach to change the look of the cardstock. I colored the image with Copic markers.

Here's another beautiful stamp from Rubbernecker. I used the My Monthly Hero February 2019 kit's stencil to create this background using Distress Oxide ink and colored the image with Copic Markers. 
I hope to begin updating my blog with the work I do, whether it is card making, cakes, or artwork.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, August 17, 2019

My Love for Baking

I began baking when I was a teenager. My dad was a Chef and when I was 9 and my sister was 8, he decided we needed to know how to cook. Yes, he did that. In fact, at an early age, he taught us how to clean, cook and care for ourselves and our younger siblings; there were five of us and I was the oldest of the five.

He didn't teach me how to bake, it just came naturally to me. My mother would bring home Duncan Hines cake mixes for me to try. She even bought me my first cookbook (Betty Crocker) which I still have, by the way.
My first cookbook
One of my favorite recipes to try was the Pineapple Upside Down cake. That still remains one of the most requested cakes by my family. At some point, I no longer used cake mixes and began playing around with cakes from scratch. I began experimenting with recipes common to the West Indian community I grew up in. Three of these were my favorite-- Coconut Bread, Fruit Cake, and Yucca Pone. Today, I decided to go back to my roots and make Coconut Bread (I'll blog about the last two at a later date).

Coconut Bread is a sweet bread (sort of like a Banana Nut or Zucchini Bread) made with real shredded coconut that you have to hull and grate. I went to Superior Market for the coconut. I knew they usually carry them there. In fact, they carry both the white and brown coconuts. I bought the brown one, which is what I'm used to. I used a hammer to crack the coconut (the shell is pretty hard) and a paring knife to remove the meat from the husk. I discovered that using my Bullet cuts down on the time it takes to shred by hand and speeds up the baking process. For this recipe, I don't use a stand-alone mixer, I do it all by hand.
Cracking open that coconut!
Below is the recipe.

Coconut Bread

1/2 lb butter (2 sticks) melted
4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins (Optional - I'm not a fan of raisins, so I use discretion when baking with them).
1 whole shredded coconut (not the packaged store bought kind)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gradually add the evaporated milk, the eggs, almond extract, and melted butter. Mix in the raisins until all ingredients are incorporated.

Shredded Coconut

Batter consistency

Transfer to two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Below are some photos that my daughter took as I was preparing the batter.
Final product

I hope you try it, It's delicious!