A Smile is the Best Christmas Decoration

Christmas Card Making Ideas by Becca Feeken using Quietfire Design A Smile is the Best Christmas Decoration and Spellbinders Fleur de Elegance
Hi there friends!  Glorious Sunday morning to you!!  I have a card for you today and a little bit of chit chat about what’s going on with me.  First the card, using another new design by my sweet friend Suzanne Cannon with Quietfire Design and her lovely penmanship turned to rubber.  The sentiment is A Smile is the Best Christmas Decoration and I layered it up with my favorite Spellbinders in a colorway I simply love (I have another card already made up using the same).

Christmas Card Making Ideas by Becca Feeken using Quietfire Design A Smile is the Best Christmas Decoration and Spellbinders Fleur de Elegance

Lots of Layers
I love to add bits and pieces for layers but they are only suggestions, certainly a more simple card can be created using less but I have them – why not use them, lol!  From the bottom up I used Spellbinders Gold Elements One, Spellbinders Twisted Metal Tags and Accents, Spellbinders Grand Ovals, Spellbinders Fleur de Elegance, the small piece from Spellbinders A2 Filigree Delight, Spellbinders Classic Ovals LG.  I simply stacked them up with two of the Gold Elements separated into two corners as a base to build on.

What’s Up with Me
I haven’t had much to say lately but want you to know that this is a very, very good sign. This has been my year.  I tell friends that it’s almost like I’ve been in a deep freeze or a coma for a long time and this year I woke up and realized how much work I have to do.  I’m coming up on the four year anniversary of John’s passing and the last five have been a blur I barely remember.  I consider myself a functioning crafter, meaning the past years have been so very hard to put one foot in front of the other but somehow the one thing I could manage to do was to sit at the craft table for hours on end and create.  I was so fortunate to find an outlet for my grief and hope to encourage others to do the same.

Joyful Distractions
Lately, periods of silence found me diligently working behind the scenes on my dreams, fixing up my house and even yesterday I savored a day of pajama lounging (although I was getting work done).   Last week I had a milestone birthday that has me smiling and rejoicing simply being alive.   In this awakening I find myself teased by all the things I like to do – am I going to the beach? picking up my crochet?  renovating the house?  reading that book?  sitting at the sewing machine?  going out with friends?  or making a card?  As you might guess, over the past months I’ve found time for all that and even caught up with old friends!  Oh, and yes, I’m still passionate about papercrafting.  With age I’m consumed with living each day to the fullest and consciously choosing joy.  The wonderful thing is that it’s still there. it’s been waiting for me all along :-)  Thanks so much for letting me jabber on about my life – many of you ask so I thought it was high time for an update….

Rubber Stamps  Quietfire Design – A Smile is the Best Christmas Decoration
Craft Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Natural White – 80 lb smooth, PTI – Pure Poppy, Kraft
Ink: Tsukineko MementoLuxe – Love Letter
AccessoriesSpellbinders Gold Elements OneSpellbinders Twisted Metal Tags and AccentsSpellbinders Grand OvalsSpellbinders Fleur de Elegance, Spellbinders A2 Filigree DelightSpellbinders Classic Ovals LG, Hobby Lobby Satin Ribbon, Paper Studio Button, Paper Studio Pearls

Thank you so much for stopping by!!  I’ve reached out to folks on Facebook and Instagram and continue to work on my blog in the background.  I’m looking forward to some changes that will make it easier to engage with you here.  I’ll get there, it might take me some time since I wear all the hats here, but I’ll get there!!  Stay tuned!!

Parking Lot Questions:

  • caroleOctober 12, 2014 - 7:29 am

    Like many of us who are coming out of a loss, you are discovering that your faith has held you up and that you still have much to be thankful for. You are kind and as you reach out to others in your crafting, you heal yourself. God has truely blessed you. Thank you for sharing with all of us.ReplyCancel

  • Becky GreenOctober 12, 2014 - 7:37 am

    Becca! This card is MAGNIFICENT! Just GORGEOUS! I like the corner dies, ALOT! And well, JUST EVERYTHING ELSE TOO! LOL SUCH INSPIRATION!!!! :D

    I am glad things are turning around for you. Time is such a healer! And “Amen” to what Carole said too! :D GOD IS SO GOOD!!! BLESSINGS DEAR LADY!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)ReplyCancel

  • RobbieOctober 12, 2014 - 7:38 am

    Thank you for your sweet update, though it is no one’s business if you do not care to share. I’ve thought of you a LOT since John’s death and was truly hoping you were doing well. Your cardmaking has definitely NOT suffered as you continue to be a great inspiration to me. Praying for an even better birthday year for you!! “He” holds your hand, even in the dark.ReplyCancel

  • SheriOctober 12, 2014 - 7:51 am

    I am so happy for you! And also encouraged that there may be more out there for me. I just lost my sweet husband in April of this year and it has been a horrible summer. Like you I sit at my craft table and try to craft and cry at the same time. You make me think that this raw pain may end some day. Thanks for your encouragementReplyCancel

  • ANN ROBBINSOctober 12, 2014 - 8:06 am

    Oh, Becca this is just a wonderful and beautiful card and the stamp from Quietfire is awesome.
    We all care so much for you and glad this can be an outlet for you to vent. Glad to hear you are doing better and crafting sure has a way of being an outlet for all of our problems. We all love your work so much and helps us to get ideas and inspirations.

  • MyraOctober 12, 2014 - 8:19 am

    Hi Becca,
    What a lovely card! It is truly lovely. The sentiment is beautiful and I love the bow. The whole card looks like a beautul gift.
    It is also good to know that you have come through a dark tunnel feeling stronger again . As has been said before God is good. He does answer prayer. Thank you for sharing not only your beautiful cards but your strong faith.
    God bless,

  • SueOctober 12, 2014 - 8:22 am

    First of all let me tell you how glad I am that things are starting to get easier for you – I discovered your blog only about a year ago so really wasn’t aware of your loss at the time. I have gleaned little bits as you have chosen to share – faith and the support of good friends is very powerful.

    This card is so pretty – I love the colour combo also and although as often happens with your cards I don’t have all the dies I have enough that I can use this as the inspiration for one of my own. Thank you so much for sharing the talent that God saw fit to give you!ReplyCancel

  • Beth W.October 12, 2014 - 8:35 am

    Sweetie . . .ReplyCancel

  • jodieOctober 12, 2014 - 8:57 am

    First I want you to know how much I love your cards. You have a very kind and blessed spirit and it comes out in your paper crafting.I’m so sorry for your loss,and know the hole that is in your heart. Just hold on to the promise that he is with God and is waiting for the day you will be together again.Again thank you for your inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • NancyOctober 12, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Continued blessings to you.ReplyCancel

  • MaryannOctober 12, 2014 - 9:11 am

    So glad to read this post here today, as I really feel now, that you´re healing really well now finally, and that is so wonderful to witness, as I´ve been following you through the entire journey to here. I´ve always loved everything you´ve ever created, and also todays card is absolutely gorgeous work as always, but I´ve also really loved to feel, I was just a tiny part of your life and hopefully able to encourage you back just a tiny bit some times too, as you´ve always inspired me through life too, and I hope, I can be part of your journey the next many years to come too, and follow you all the way.
    Thanks so much for being the person you are and all the encouragement, you´re always bringeing to everyone else here every single day. May joy and laughter soon be a big part of every day in your life sweet friend.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen KOctober 12, 2014 - 9:19 am

    Hello Becca,
    I am so moved after reading your update. I always include you in my prayers to our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary. God is good, even in the bleakness of sorrow he does, in time, make things a little easier and I think your grace is wonderful.
    Much love xxReplyCancel

  • Jacquie JacobsOctober 12, 2014 - 9:23 am

    Stunning card Becca, I was wondering yesterday about you as it seemed you had not been on for a while, so glad you are okay? I am sorry about your loss, I know the pain is still real but it does get easier to handle over time. He would have been so proud of you and all you have achieved since then. May I wish you very belated Happy Birthday, I am not going to guess your age after all we are always 21 again!

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  • margaret driscoll UKOctober 12, 2014 - 9:24 am

    Hello Dear Becca
    Loved reading your blog today
    I hope you are feeling peaceful and loved by so many people!
    Your craft work is so beautiful and from the heart!
    Thank you and take care
    Love and kind thoughts always

  • Jerri KayOctober 12, 2014 - 9:34 am

    God Bless you my dear friend, you’re in my heart and prayers. I’ve pretty much felt the same these past few years. I take time to be with my family, and to a little creative work every now and then and post. Life is short, I want to enjoy it, feel the breeze on my cheeks and embrace all that God has given me to be thankful for.ReplyCancel

  • Judy HallOctober 12, 2014 - 9:52 am

    I too, am walking that same path. My dear husband has been gone nearly 3 years now after a 8 year journey that he took with grace and dignity. The hospice offered 13 months of counselling but it took that long to be ready to reach out for it. I wished it could begin any time but I guess they have to have their rules. Crafting has also been such a help for me. Besides the creating, it provided me with a tool for reconnecting with others, especially my young granddaughters. At 4, 6 and 8 they can design beautifully.

    I also have had my church and my faith. Heavenly Father never left me nor gave up on me, but He did let me grieve as I needed, giving me bits of comfort as I could accept them. A few months after my husband’s death, a leader said in a talk, “Do the hard things.” So I began again, doing what had to be done, not necessarily in a timely manner but eventually getting them done.

    The next message I heard was,”Live each day with purpose.” And finally the most recent message was “Live each day with Joy.” That has maybe been the most difficult because that means I have to accept that I can have joy alone.

    Service to others is the best solace. It takes me outside my grief and allows me to live those life lessons. You have been providing a great service to those of us who follow your blog. I smile every time I see one of your cards on another site just because your work is so distinctive that it can always be recognized where ever it is. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn HardyOctober 12, 2014 - 10:23 am

    Such a lovely sentiment and card! Glad that you are enjoying life too! We had a wake-up call when my husband had a stroke in August and it really does make you appreciate what you have even more.ReplyCancel

  • LageneOctober 12, 2014 - 10:25 am

    Gorgeous card! Becca, it is so good to hear you are able to savor life. We lost my brother this summer and my sweet sis-in-law is really struggling with the loss.ReplyCancel

  • Clare WOctober 12, 2014 - 10:44 am

    Another great card – wow! Happy belated Birthday Becca – keep smiling – you are an inspiration to so many and you are so appreciated by all I am sure.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia HowarthOctober 12, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Hi Becca, Another fabulous card, yours are always created with love and elegance, and are always stunning !!
    Life is short indeed, and we are always so busy with our everyday lives, we all need to stop and ‘take a time’ to enjoy every minute. My faith wavered in 1987 when I lost my eldest Son at 21, and then again in 1994 when I lost my youngest Son at 23, and in that same year I lost my Mum. There is never a day goes by when I don’t think of them, I just try and rejoice in the years and memories that I was able to spend with them. My heart goes out to you, sweetie, your ‘soul-mate’ will be guiding you from ‘above’.
    Lots of love from Patricia xxReplyCancel

  • ElaineOctober 12, 2014 - 11:09 am

    Wow Becca , just gorgeous i love it .
    God Bless.
    Elaine H XReplyCancel

  • Mary H.October 12, 2014 - 11:21 am

    A beautiful gorgeous card in your usual signature & I love the colors & that sentiment is wonderful. So happy to hear that life is beginning to return to ‘happy’ again, and that time is easing some pain a bit. I’m thankful that you are living each day to the max, and ditto that you are beginning to enjoy realizing some of your dreams – that probably had to be put ‘on hold’ for a time. The Lord holds you in His Arms, and all things happen in His time. Thanks for sharing the personal with us, along with the lovely card. Blessings & HugsReplyCancel

  • Blue RoseOctober 12, 2014 - 11:21 am

    Dear Becca,
    Glad to see you post, wondered if you were okay. Your card is amazing, love the sentiment, and the colors. I am glad to hear about your awakening, it makes me feel like there might be hope for me…you see, I am in a very dark place right now. Like you, crafting was my escape, my distraction, but because of my condition, at times that too is difficult, and I cannot tell you how that makes me feel. Maybe with time, things may get better. Thank you for sharing your gift with us, and giving some of us something to look forward to.ReplyCancel

  • Claire HOctober 12, 2014 - 11:54 am

    I am so glad you are seeing rays of sunshine come through. In sharing your wonderful talent you help our spirit deal with struggles we all encounter at one time or another. Finding joy in creating something takes our mind to another place until time works to help lessen our sorrow. I for one await eagerly to see your next creation that showcases your talent and you help all of us escape to a bright spot in our day.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy HoyOctober 12, 2014 - 11:57 am

    Your card is stunning. The love that you put into every thing that you do shines out when you share your talent and your journey with the world. I am truly happy that your heart is healing, we never forget, but with time the memories become sweeter and not quite so painful. Enjoy this time.
    Many, many blessings to you, Becca.


  • ChelseaOctober 12, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    What a lovely Christmas card! With a beautiful sentiment as well. Through all of the ups and downs of life, the work you share here on your blog has consistently reflected a strong and beautiful character. You are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Rebekka KOctober 12, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    This card is just stunning Becca. You are a master with spellbinders, they should make you the spokes person for them :).
    Beautiful post too. May you continue to be blessed.ReplyCancel

  • Anita BraddockOctober 12, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    Beautiful I love all the cards you make the Ideas and the Quality are always in your work. thanks for sharing with us all.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy PotentierOctober 12, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    hello Becca, so lovely to see another one of your amazing creations, I absolutely love all the layers, and I don’t use craft as I don’t care for it but you seem to make it look stunning somehow. Or its not craft at all, lol…ours from M’s doesnt look the same colour as yours so maybe not.
    I can’t beleive it’s been four yrs since John has passed….already, wow how time flies. So happy that you’ve been able to come to where you are today through your crafting and faith, it’s awesome to see…you are truly blessed, a pure child of god….I am grateful to have found your blog so I can see the gorgeous creations that come from a gifted mind. Have a great week and blessed holiday season….it is Thanksgiving here in Canada this wkend, then we’ll have Halloween and before we know it Christmas and the New Yr are upon us….so it feels like the time to start decorating and enjoying the new seasons, even though I’m not a fall person and I despise winter…it is another beautiful time of year…so very colourful and then competely pure and white all over….god’s creations are all around us…so beautiful….so beautiful :) hugs tcReplyCancel

  • Jeanette in New ZealandOctober 12, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    Hi Becca. So very glad that you have finally come through the mist. It does take time. My husband has been gone 16 years now and although I have moved on and found a wonderful partner I still miss my husband and think of him often and this is no disrespect to my new partner either.
    I too had a BIG milestone birthday in September which I did not want to celebrate.

    Happy belated birthday for your day.

    Your card is beautiful. I love the colours. The red and white is very striking.
    Take care of yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Sonia StephensonOctober 12, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    Hi Becca. Such a beautiful card and lovely sentiment. So glad you are keeping well and managing to do the things you enjoy. Your talent is extraordinary and you are such an inspiration to so many in all that you achieve :-) Hugs xxxReplyCancel

  • Maxine DOctober 12, 2014 - 1:45 pm

    Becca I am so happy to hear that the grief is loosening it’s grip and that you have ‘thawed’ somewhat this year. I don’t comment often but I am a regular reader of your blog, and this is great news.

  • Carol H.October 12, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    What a beautiful card! Thank you for sharing what’s going on with you. Your message of hope is so very uplifting! Many blessings to you!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa from AlbertaOctober 12, 2014 - 2:58 pm

    Dear Becca,
    It’s thanksgiving here in Alberta and I’m thankful that you are coming out of your fog of grief and loss and coming to terms with your singleness.
    I wish you all of God’s blessings in the coming up year.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn JacksonOctober 12, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    Beautiful card the red is so vibrant and cheerful and such a perfect sentmentReplyCancel

  • annOctober 12, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    I followed you when you were on the ODB design team because your designs were unique; I didn’t know the story of your loss at the time. Since I subscribed to your blog I’ve have learned more about the loss based on previous posts,

    To say you’re an inspiration to others is putting it mildly. Your strong faith and belief in God is so very evident until one can’t miss it. Even though you’ve said it’s been difficult to put one foot in front of the other, one would never know it! And that perseverance only comes through your faith!

    I’m so glad I found your blog not only because of your beautiful cards but your beautiful spirit too! Sometimes, I try my hand at making cards similar to yours but they’re never as pretty! (smile) Going to try this one too because it’s gorgeous and the sentiment is wonderful.

    I’m happy you’re doing better and in a happy place! Take care and continue to be an inspiration for the world!ReplyCancel

  • JOYCE ANDERSONOctober 12, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    Ohhhh I L O V E this card and the wonderful sentiment in that beautiful stamping Ink – love letter! Everything about this card that YOU chose to use is “married” to the sentiment as Lyrics and music in a wonderful song like Andre Crouchs’ : to God Be the Glory – just perfect! I too found my
    husband of 54 yrs on Christmas Morning Dec. ’09. I Praised God for Him
    taking him “home” because of pain and Frustration due to Surgery crew
    leaving a sponge in his chest. I too have been in much of a Greiving Daze
    eversince – but YOU have been a guiding star teaching me and willingly shareing all your creativity with us.
    Joyce Anderson – – God Bless You!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie McKelveyOctober 12, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    First let me say I received the storage cases, thank you! Congrats on your milestone birthday. I celebrated my birthday yesterday and looking forward to many more I hope. The card is beautiful as always. I love red and white together. I am pleased to hear you are doing better and enjoying life more.ReplyCancel

  • Terri WOctober 12, 2014 - 5:15 pm

    I too am glad the sun is shining for you finally Becca and congrats on the milestone birthday :)
    Your card is beautiful inspiration as usual thank you for sharing with us.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie MillerOctober 12, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    I know it must have been a long four years and I can only imagine the pain of your loss. My husband is so dear to me I don’t know that I would be as gracious and elegant as you were I to lose him. I’m glad to know you’re emerging from the darkness of those years and choosing joy. Your husband would be so happy for you. A beautiful card, Becca. I’m always a little bit stunned.ReplyCancel

  • Bridget Larsen AustraliaOctober 13, 2014 - 12:53 am

    My heart goes out to you my dear Becca, I feel your loss, but so glad to hear that you are healing even if its only slowly and yes crafting is a great healer and distractor. Sending you hugs of healing and love from Downunder

  • Norah McPheeOctober 13, 2014 - 6:47 am

    Good afternoon Becca oh how true is your sentiment on your beautiful card and although i am not really a Kraft card person, on your beautiful card it looks just right.
    I am so pleased that you have found the joy of life again flower as you have a lot more damage to do and amazing things to design before you leave this earth. You are a talented beautiful woman who be anyone they want and scale anything that gets in your way. I am glad that you are realising this also,
    Sending crafty hugs and love your way dear lady,
    Norah (glenochil, Scotland)ReplyCancel

  • Colleen HowellOctober 13, 2014 - 7:33 am

    Beautiful card, of course. I love the design and the colors are wonderful. So glad to hear that you are continuing to get stronger after the death of your husband. It is hard to find that joy after the death of a spouse, my mom never found that joy after dad’s passing, she continued to go through the motions for us girls but was never the same. We lost her almost 2 years ago, her health failed quickly after losing dad and she finally just gave out and had no more energy to carry on. We lost her the day after Thanksgiving but she will be in heaven waiting for us with dad so that is what keeps us girls going strong. I hope your recovery continues down a great road with your children. All my love your sister in Christ!ReplyCancel

  • KristenOctober 13, 2014 - 11:25 am

    Praising God for how He holds us all through every time in our lives and thanking you for sharing with us your journey, as it inspires us all in our own faith walk and every day “enjoy” ment of life. As usual, a beautifully rendered piece of art…I share your blog with many “crafters” and they are thrilled! Blessings and thanks!ReplyCancel

  • CraftysusanOctober 13, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    Beautiful card Becca. I love red for Christmas cards.ReplyCancel

  • Anne (UK)October 13, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    What a beautiful card and a lovely sentiment!
    I have been really touched by your musings today and by the outpourings from others as they reach out to you or detail a similar path.
    What a group of amazing women gather here, Becca! Thank you for being such a warm, generous and thoughtful host.
    I am so glad that you are at a point where you can choose joy and that you have family and friends to help you along your pathway. May this next year be full of happy memories, wonderful experiences and exciting opportunites for you. John must be so proud of you.
    And please know that we truly appreciate this space and will be remembering you in prayer as that next anniversary draws ever closer.
    God bless.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • Patricia TumpkinOctober 13, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    Love you Becca, thanks for sharingReplyCancel

  • PaulaOctober 14, 2014 - 3:38 am

    You have some wonderful beautiful cards!!! I had seen your ribbon organizational log book. I was wondering if there is a link to print out the pages to help start logging the ribbon, like the squares along with the sheet that that has the small lines one to write in the each item. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • linda boyceOctober 14, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Hi Becca l so love all your cards ,and it was good to hear you are still coping so well , Hope you will keep all you blog fans busy trying to make cards half as good as yours hugs lindaReplyCancel

  • Mrs BOctober 14, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Hi Becca. What a gorgeous card, so beautiful :)
    Thank you for sharing with us the greatt news that you are able to find joy in each day again. Your words will help others that are struggling at the moment.
    Take care.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie GregoryOctober 15, 2014 - 8:15 am

    Hi, Becca!!

    This is the first time I have ever posted to you. You are a wonderful lady!!!!
    As I skimmed over the other posts, I was struck by all the lives you have touched. WOW!
    But I do have a question. In the picture of the card, it looks like there’s another die cut behind the Fleur de Elegance-red with small piercing dots. I have looked up the Fleur de Elegance, and it doesn’t seem there’s a die cut like that. Your cards are so over-the-top elegant that copying them makes my cards somewhat elegant. Thanks for what you do. DebbieReplyCancel

  • Christine Ann JonesOctober 16, 2014 - 4:14 am

    Reading your words on how the past years have been like in a dream since your beloveds passing made me realize that I am normal in my grief for the loss of my David ,it’s been two years now and although I do’nt go into that black hole quite so often it is getting easier to get out of it. You have helped to accept that I must take each day one at a time and it will get better. Love in the Lord. ChristineReplyCancel

  • Jennifer BackOctober 16, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    Oh bless you Becca for sharing that, you bring the Lords hope to us all.

  • ConniecrafterOctober 17, 2014 - 7:25 am

    Wow, Gorgeous layering of the dies and design of the card, love your pearl accenting too!ReplyCancel

  • GeorgiaOctober 21, 2014 - 8:44 pm

    Card is beautiful, I just love Christmas, my favorite season. Becca, just wondering if your peg bow maker is available to purchase, if so where, thanks. Keep up the beautiful workReplyCancel

  • Jo AnnaOctober 22, 2014 - 7:33 pm

    Becca, such a beautiful card. Thanks for the update on how you’re doing. You’ve been prayed for many times over the past years as you have dealt with the difficult journey of John’s illness and passing. We serve an amazing God who is always by our side to help us through life’s issues. Blessings to youReplyCancel