Saturday, May 31, 2008

One down, one to go!

Mission trip send-offs, that is!

My husband left for C uba this morning; Abigail leaves Monday for Bosnia.

Packing is an adventure: the amount of luggage we bring in for one week always raises eyebrows. Are we hoping to sell things? Once we show letters from the hospital that we have brought supplies to before, we're usually okay, but they still go through the luggage. On my last trip down, our family of six, minus our oldest daughter, was brought into a room where we had to have every suitcase opened up and inspected. It took over two hours!

Anyway, we make sure we have medicines in each suticase, & bag up smaller items so that if customs does empty everything out, we're not forever in gathering it back up, etc. We condense everything, eliminating any packaging we possibly can. We get a suitcase packed, weigh it, re-arrange or eliminate, or substitute items. With a larger group, we'll sometimes scour the house to find more items to put in, but with just two going, we had tons of stuff!! not all fit, so packing was extra time consuming. How do you choose what is least important when they need everything?

We had a catastrophe on Wednesday: Bruce's passport was missing! We searched from 11:00am until after midnight, with just a couple of breaks in between. Our file cabinet and the drawer in which my husband keeps all his church-related stuff (among other things, he is church treasurer and teaches Sunday school) are in my craft room (formerly study until my stamping took over!). We went through them both multiple times - quite an adventure considering that with making cards and organizing stamps supplies for the trip, the room was a complete wreck! It was possible that after his last trip over a year ago, it had not been put right away, so we expanded the search to the whole house. (My husband is very organized, so it wasn't likely, but still ...)

Half way through the day, I remembered that Bruce had called me from work for some data from it when applying for clerical visas - so that at least reduced the search to the craft room. And of course, meant that I was responsible. Sigh.

The trip was crucial; our beloved pastor friend has been deathly ill for over a year now, and it would have been devastating to not to go. I finally told Bruce he needed to find out if he could get a new passport. He could, but it would mean a 13 hour round trip to Connecticut! While we were relieved we could get it replaced, you can imagine how terrible I felt that Bruce would have to do this! But he was absolutely wonderful throughout all of this. I would have been seated right next to the places the passport was kept, absolutely no logical reason not to have immediately returned the passport. He had to use another vacation day, get up at 5:00 am to make his appt (he worked 'till midnight then we had to take passport pictures, so only three hours of sleep), and do all the driving. (My son accompanied him, but it was a borrowed vehicle, so he couldn't drive). (I had to take our daughter Karen to a doctor appointment two hours away). But, not one sharp word or complaint. He is so amazing!

Anyway, we finished packing around midnight or so, not too bad considering our setback! Now I will be wondering all week if everything made it through customs...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wow, website really a mess...

Evidently, all my files were deleted from Front Page, the program I use to do the website. So, I have to check with my server on Tuesday to see if I can retrieve what is online so that I at least have that to work with, rather than redoing the ENTIRE website. Amazingly enough, I'm not upset - God is good! Normally I'd be very distressed over all the wasted hours finally doing some serious updating, and horrified over the amount of time it's going to take to redo stuff. I hope I'm just maturing and not just in shock, lol!

Website issues

My website has somehow malfunctioned, and everything I've added to it over the past few months has disappeared. Really odd. The web host is closed for the holiday weekend, so I won't be able to call until Tuesday, and that's really close to the two family missions trips, so I may not think to call...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Love those oriental papers!

I probably put more effort into this card than it needed, the paper is so gorgeous it really doesn't need more added to it. But I love flourish stamps, and they seemed to go perfectly with the elegant paper!

My husband, oldest daughter (Abbie), and I are off to Virginia to collect our next oldest daughter from college. It will be a hard day for Karen, she is not returning, and she dearly loves the school and her friends there. But, they don't have the right major for her, and added to the debt she is accruing, it's just not logical to stay. She has had a mystery illness for over a year now, and we think we finally have someone local who is willing to really help us figure it out. But, we just don't know, so having her transfer to a local college will be a good idea.

Two weeks from now my husband leaves for Latin America, and three days after that, Abbie leaves for a ten week stay in Bosnia. As part of her Intercultural studies minor, she needs to do a one week homestay with a family there, and then she'll be working at a Christian camp in Bosnia that unites Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. God is doing exciting things there, in that country that has been through so much trauma...

So ... my posting may be a bit sporadic for the next two weeks as we get ready for the two trips, and still take time to enjoy having all four children together. Our son enters the Navy in January, we think, so our times of all being together are swiftly disappearing. But, I'm NOT going to think about that late at night...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


While cleaning out my craft closet recently, I came across the paper used in the hearts here. My mother had given it to me about four years ago, and because it was in the form of a long, bent roll, I put it in the back corner with some contact paper rolls that I never used. I'm so glad to have stumbled across it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gilia greetings

I used Tattered Rose & faded jeans distress inks for these cards ... I love these pads! The soft look of the background was just what I wanted, and then by spraying water for the background behind the black-inked gilia, I got a sharper, and more variegated look. I stamped that image a second time (without re-inking) for the text background.

There are a few things still needed for the missions trip, but I am thrilled with what has come in! God is good!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Baby booties!

There is an expression "familiarity breeds contempt," and that was true for me with the bootie stamps on these cards! When I first discovered Biblical Impressions, under the former owners, they had a grab-bag special of 100 stamps for $30 or $35. Not knowing they were going to go bankrupt a year or two later, I had become a "partner" and was buying tons of stamps (and other supplies wherever I could find them on sale) with the idea of home parties where I actually had stock on hand. So, I bought three of the grab bags (a huge expense, but what a deal!!) There were full sized background stamps, really great images, and not a lot of repeats. Except, as you've guessed by now, booties. In fact, they actually had two sizes of these, and I think I wound up with about ten sets! So ... I absolutely loathed them! They were everywhere!! But finally, after several years of never using them, I took a second look and decided they were actually really cute!

The booties are embossed and colored in with chalks.

So, those of you who are stampers, I challenge you to go find that poor despised stamp you've ignored all these years and use it! :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008


My wonderful friend Jacki sent me (among other things!) some prima flowers to play with. It's so funny ... when I first was introduced to eyelets, I thought they were gaudy and ugly. Now I can't imagine not having any! I though the same about flowers. Fake flowers on cards? You've got to be kidding! But I absolutely love using them, whether for just the right touch on a wedding card, or for a funky look on my "Becky cards," I really have fun with them!

Top card: glued ribbon accross the card, tied a second piece of ribbon to it. Text is embossed in fine detail gold, paper is white linen for that added touch of elegance.

Middle card: embossed with smARTworks "Faith's transcendence powder" (with dye ink, not pigment) on pink vellum. I love this embossing powder: it is so fine that I can add it onto printed items from my scanner, something that just does not work for me with standard clear embossing. For the ribbon, I tied it around the white oval which covers the edge of the pink vellum, and heated it until it curled up. This is a precarious process: it's easy to accidentally melt holes in the ribbon!

Bottom card: I wanted to make this a non-frilly/feminine card, because I know there are women who simply don't care for that look. I went a little too plain, though. I like the gloss of the buttons (I love using my half-inch hole punch to cover buttons with matching/coordinating papers), but overall, it's just a bit too dreary for a wedding! Still, I thought the concept was worth sharing!

And since I'm thinking wedding thoughts, I thought I'd post a link to my sister's family's video/photo scanning business, Vista Video. Among other things, they create heirloom montage weddings. The sample video on their website is my own mom and dad's wedding! Dad passed away a few years ago, so I've loved watching this!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The woman of Proverbs 31

This gal was amazing. Incredible. She could do everything, amazing friends and family. Many women feel intimidated by her. But years ago a lovely woman in the music industry (which was more of a music ministry back then), wrote how she believed that if you look closely at the Proverbs 31 woman, those amazing accomplishments were on a timeline; she was not doing them all at once (which should be obvious to any mother with teenagers. Can you imagine teenage children arising and calling their mother "blessed?" Unless meant in the "my mom is soooo blessed to have me for a child" sense of blessed...)

And of course, the major point of comfort to us: SHE HAD SERVANTS!!!! Couldn't most of us accomplish more with household help??? :-)

The picture stamp is no longer in publication. The text is from my stamps, which I have finally priced individually.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Today the Vietnam Memorial wall came to our town. I thought our family should go, so we went to the opening ceremonies this evening. Very moving. One of the speakers, a Vietnam veteran, had never before spoken about his experiences. One that he shared was how six times he was in a vehicle that went over a landmine, and each time the vehicle behind him blew up. Wow. My prayers are with him and other vets who may be awake late into the night tonight, reliving....

It is in thinking of these veterans especially ... but other veterans, and those currently serving as well ... that I decided to post these cards, although they are not new. May God bless them with His peace and comfort.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Joy to You!

I love how perfect the pink cardstock (Arcobelano intense pink light) blends with this photo!

I have updated my galleries on my website, wow, what a job! The backgrounds are varied; I haven't yet decided how I want them to look! I also now, because of scanner/camera issues, have some scanned cards, the others are photographed, and as a camera, at least like ours, "warps" the card, I can't cut out all the background. So I hope the lack of consistency is not jarring. :-( Feel free to e-mail opinions on any issues...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Make hay while the sun shines!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I was raised in the Adirondacks, where most of the roadside scene was dense forest. The beautiful, open fields of western NY were such a change! We have our stretches of tree-lined highway to be sure, but lots of open spaces, with farms, large hills, streams.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Editing is such fun!

I love being able to edit photos! I thought this picture would be great for those seeking God's direction in their lives, especially at graduation! But I did have one concern over the weather vane ... that coachman riding at the back of the coach was swigging a bottle of spirits! Not quite appropriate for a Christian card, lol! So, I erased his bottle!

Re yesterday's post: I think, if everything comes through that has been promised, I'll have most of what is needed stamp-wise for the trip. If you have an interest, please let me know, as there are just a few things left to be gotten, and of course, sometimes people mean well, but are not able to come through with what they planned to for a myriad of reasons... I'll post more in a few days...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Love to multi-task!

I like to post cards thematically when appropriate. I forgot when I posted a photo card a few days ago that I hadn't done the SaltFaith challenge yet. I knew what scripture I wanted to use, just hadn't made the card. It's not important, but I want to finish doing photo cards before moving on. Fast forward to last night. Our church & especially our family make short mission trips to C uba whenever possible. We have made some incredibly deep bonds with the church family down there. My husband and another person will be going down in the next few weeks, and last night, my husband recieved an e-mail from our friends. Now, they just about never ask for anything; they understand our small church does not have a lot of funds, and really, only God's grace makes it possible to go down there. Several times that I have gone down I have brought rubber stamps and supplies, and they have absolutely loved them! The pastor's wife frequently did stamping projects with the women of the church. In the e-mail, I learned that the Bible school that they have (illegal to have an actual seminary, but there is permission to meet for training within certain interesting parameters), has been regularly borrowing the stamping supplies! They feel badly for the inconvenience to the pastor's wife we gave them to (the church is some distance away), and the pads are running dry. So, they asked if it might be possible to send them more! I was so excited, it means I really was hearing from the Lord to bring them down in the first place! There are so many actual needs - medicines, clothing, etc, that we are careful about non-essentials. Anyway, I wanted to present the need here on my blog (I also posted on Gingerwood), and as I thought about wanting to keep doing photo cards, and also do the Salt challenge on time, it occured to me that the scripture I had chose for Salt's contentment theme was a perfect prayer for our pastor friend in C uba. He has been ill for an extremely long time, and has really wasted away physically, and spiritually is struggling as well. Here is the scripture in English from Isaiah 58:

The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

So, this card is for our beloved brother in Christ there. The photo was actually taken on the island.

If you are interested in helping out with providing (new) ink pads and/or reinkers, acrylic mounts, or stamps that are either Spanish, or Christian images, please e-mail me (click on the link to my website, and my e-mail is posted there) and I will give you more info. You also can click on the information I posted at Gingerwood. We try to be careful about being overly public about our trips there, so I don't really want a search for this nation to bring up my blog, hence the awkward spelling. I hope you'll do the same if you post a response, thanks! Oh, I had someone ask about donating money. Biblical Impressions sells Christian Spanish stamps, and if you would like to contribute toward some of those, that would be lovely. (Or of course, purchase them directly and have them shipped here).

Note: If you have stamps that are wood mounted that you think would be a blessing, if you don't mind removing them from the wood, I will remount them with EZ mount. This saves on space, both in our suitcases, and for our friends.

Friday, May 2, 2008

John 16:33

I love these sunset on the lake scenes! Adding a comforting scripture about God being in control always seems the right thing to add. Life is full of difficult challenges and painful situations, how wonderful to know that the Lord is in control, and nothing can happen outside of His knowledge or ability to get us through.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sunshine for the soul

Photo card time again! This set of four is possibly my last for summer. I am running out of pictures taken by my father. :-( But my youngest daughter, Susannah, is taking some lovely pictures, so I look forward to working with those.

I have never been able to keep flower names straight, so I'm not going to guess the names of these; presumbably they're from my Mom's garden.

Text is from smARTworks.