Monday, June 30, 2008

Wow: 7,000 visits!

I think it's time for my first blog give-away! Actually, I had planned to do one at 5,000 visits, but when it hit that number, I hadn't decided what I should do for it, and then too much time had passed.

I would like to do two random drawings.

The first drawing will be for anyone who responds to this post, telling us about a card that you received from someone that really encouraged you.

The second drawing will also be from those responding to this post, who have left a comment in the past on my blog. (At this point, you're not too huge a group for me to do this fairly easily, so don't worry about making sure I know you are a repeat visitor! I'll find you!)

Hmmm...what will the drawing be for?

I put together "collections" of misc stamp related items, but in the process of photographing it all, I knocked the camera to the floor and broke it. :-( Since a new camera is not in the budget just now, and the nearest place to get a decent one is 45 minutes away, I decided this morning to see what stamps I have photographed to offer you instead, and I will add a little something extra to the package as well. :-) So, here are the options:

My first full sheet of stamps. These are stamps with greetings that I would have bought from a stamp company if I could have found them, but since I could not, I made my own! My favorites are the humorous ones: "Remember, the Proverbs 31 woman had SERVANTS!" and one that my friends at college and I were fond of reminding each other, "Isn't it great that the Bible says you HAVE to love me?" If you have trouble reading any of the images, you can see them individually here.

I want those of you who do not share my faith to be part of this, so for you I have a set of adorable "atti-toads" from Biblical Impressions. I use these a lot, for apologies, romance, Christmas, etc. You can check my galleries out for samples, if you'd like. They are just too cute! The picture shows them mounted on EZ mount foam, but if you prefer them without, I have can cut another set out that does not have the EZ mount foam.

So, comment away! I will announce the winners next Monday, July 7th. You'll need to contact me by Friday, July 11th to claim your collection.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Maybe not!

I was trying to put the "finishing touches" on this card before I glued everything down when I realized that it just was not going to work. The dark blue was not right. I had sensed it in the back of my mind earlier, but I liked how it looked and did not want to change it! Did you get the same idea I did when looking at it? My family agreed with me that with the dark blue surrounding it, the card looks rather rather funereal. It's one thing to make a sympathy card, but in this context, the image is a bit too intense; the "dearest" sounds like an agonizing cry from the heart. What do you think? I'm going to try to re-make it today...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tag fun!

I was given a bunch of tags from an old stationery store that had been closed a couple of decades ago. The remaining inventory had just been stuck in an attic somewhere for years. Anyway, I'd seen some on Etsy, done just in browns, and the seller seems to sell quite a lot of them. So, I decided to see what my gift shop friend thought. I made a set of the small ones, all coffee themed, and she loved them, so this will be yet another project for me down the road! I was happy to stick with brown for the coffee tags, but I wanted to try out some color with other styles.

I used distress inks for all the tags, these are so much fun! I had purchased some last year on impulse, but until a couple of months ago, had only used the vintage postcard and tea dye. But I "discovered" the colored ones when I was making Mother's Day cards, and was hooked on them too!

I listed a few last items on ebay, you can view them here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sisters collage

I don't know if these two are supposed to be sisters, but that's what I think of when I see it this image. I am borrowing a bunch of Paperbag Studios stamps from a friend; I wanted to make sure that if I get to a place of being able to order some of them, I would actually be able to work with them.

Though I absolutely love the look of collage, I have done little of it. I had a day about a week ago to work with these stamps, and just could not get anywhere. I have a perfectionist streak which dramatically affects how much work I get done. Because I am very aware of my inexperience and lack of knowedge, I spend an ridiculous amount of time making decisions in my cardmaking. Today I was determined that instead of taking ten minutes to decide if I should stamp an image in a certain place, I was just going to "do it!!" When I found a background paper I liked, I resisted (well, after a minute or two!) looking for a "better" paper. Once I had the card more or less done, I stopped myself from continuing to play around with the embellishments.

So, whether the card is a technical success or not, I am delighted with it because I did not second guess ( or 3rd, 4th, 5th guess!!)myself at every step!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Psalm 23

I didn't put this in my galleries anywhere, because shortly after I made it a couple of years ago, I discovered that a card maker I really admired had almost the identical card in her gallery! I was mortified: had I subconsciously copied her card? Upon further thought, I realized that the combination of the psalm and the lamb was an obvious one, so it wasn't really that surprising that more than one person came up with the same idea. Still, I was too insecure to put it up!

Anyway, I have listed more stamps on ebay, including the psalm and the lamb. I also have listed a "card kit", a set of cards, layers and embellishments in a pink theme. If anyone is interested in this sort of thing, only in a different color, I plan to put together at least one more set for posting on Thursday, so let me know and I can do your color. :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Late again birthday!

My poor nephews, Aunt Sarah is late again. Really late. I found one already made card for one nephew, and whipped this one up this afternoon for the other. The fish are mounted on sticky dots for a 3D effect.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I'm going to put this in my room where it will catch my eye each morning. Gentleness is not a natural part of my character, and lately I've caught myself cutting people off or just coming on too strong, giving unasked for advice, etc. When I become painfully aware of a particular area of my life like this, it is usually because God is ready to work on that area of my life, and is highlighting it for me. It's actually an encouragement; He doesn't bring my faults before me to condemn me, but to help me get victory over them. :-) He is faithful!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ebay time

I haven't sold on ebay for quite some time, but I have begun listing items. I like to list on Thursdays, but every Thursday (including yesterday) for the past month has been spent out of town, mostly with out of town medical stuff. So, I don't have a lot up yet, but will be adding more possibly tomorrow, definitely Tuesday. At any rate, my list is here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Humble yourselves...

I was looking for encouragement today, it's been a hard day for my daughter Karen, who was hoping for a different result from her week's stay at the hospital for diagnosis. I don't really want to get into the details, but essentially we're still searching.

Anyway, I looked at this scripture in a different light than I ever have before. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." 1 Peter 5:6,7. Sometimes instead of praying we are really banging on His door hollering hysterically, "Pay attention to me, God!!! Don't you see how important and urgent my needs are???!!! What are you doing about them??? It's time to act NOW!!!" No humility there, no trust, only a childish carrying on or whining. But as we remember just how much He loves us, just what He did for us on the cross that we might spend eternity together ... wow. How much more proof do we need that He is deeply involved in our issues, that He is acting on our behalf?! That is humility, and with that, the grace to wait for His timing, confident that He is Good, and He cares for us.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What does one do with glossy envelopes?

Alcohol ink them, of course! I found this neat idea on a The Paper Source website last week, and decided it was the perfect way to use up some of the glossy A1 envelopes I have had for ages and never used.

I forgot to open the envelope so that the flap was being inked at the same time as the back; if you look closely, you can see there is a slight "line" on the backs of the envelopes where the "bump" created by the flap kept the ink from being applied evenly. If that does not make sense, don't worry, just be sure to open the envelope before inking!

Monday, June 16, 2008


I originally made this card for a couple of graduates in our church, but my son, who is graduating now, it going into the navy, so I think I will be remaking it for him! I just love map stamps, and the antique map theme, and it also matches with his bedroom, which has vintage planes, trains, and ships on the wallpaper border, and various clipper ships, etc, that have ended up in his room to add to the theme.

The paper is from an old box of typing paper I picked up from an old business. Remember that parchement-like stuff? Distress inks work really well on it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day

My family often teases me about being a last minute card maker. Sometimes the birthday card is being finished as the candles on the birthday cake are lit. It really is that bad, I must admit. And with everything that's been going on here lately, well, I forgot until today. So, I just completed my husband's Father's Day card this evening, and it would have been very late at night if it weren't for the fact that he is not here right now, whew! These last minute cards are usually not by best, :-( for which I feel so badly! But, I have nothing else to post tonight, so here it is! It actually looks much nicer in person; the embossing is copper, and the blue of the text matches the blue of the cardstock. But, that's what happens when I use the scanner.

I just realized this afternoon that I had forgotten to invite several important people to my son Stephen's graduation party. I also had forgotten I wanted to clean out the barn which is a horrible wreck before the party, and I hadn't planned the meal, or the small ceremony we want to have. (We homeschool, and I want to do something to recognize the occasion. His older sisters had actual graduation ceremonies, but the one other student in town who is graduating did not want to do that, and since Stephen was delighted not to do one, I didn't force it. But, I want something. Then, of course, I don't know when Karen will be released, probably some time this coming week, and the hospital is two hours away, and I imagine there will be a meeting with one or more of the doctors. There's no planning for it; they have to come to the diagnosis first. So, it really is nuts to try to plan for this weekend. It took forever to nail this date down, so it was a hard decision to make, but now that it's made, I can't tell you how relieved I am!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Settled in

My daughter Karen is settled in at the hospital. My mom accompanied us to the hospital. It took six and a half hours to get her into her room! But it wasn't a lack of organization, there was a lot to do first, and then we had to wait for a delayed patient check-out. I am so impressed with the team of doctors. Three neurologists have just shrugged their shoulders when they could not find an immediate diagnosis, and not offered any kind of suggestions either for what else to look for, who to see, etc. But this group has been very, very interested in finding a diagnosis. When we first made an appointment, we saw two doctors, and they spent nearly two hours with us. At the hospital, we had two more extensive interviews with different doctors (from the same group.) I was impressed they each wanted to hear from Karen's (and my) lips what the symptoms were. So, we are very hopeful. She will be there four days to two weeks.

I'll be posting some cards later today...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Now I know why I never toss anything!

I made this card about three years ago, when I was just beginning stamping. It seemed too cold with just the red and blue, but (I can't believe I remember this, I am so not a detail person, everything had been already glued in place. Well, there was just enough of a gap or light glue application for me to slide the thin band of butterscotch underneath the blue pocket. Then I thought it needed that color elsewhere to tie it all together, so I sponged some butterscotch ink into the white plaid. I did not like it at all, and so I didn't put it in the store. Well, in the midst of looking for my husband's passport, I rediscovered it, in a pile of papers. I decided to set it aside just in case I did not get around to making a card for my Father-in-law. Well, that was the last I thought about Father's day until my husband called me from work late last night, needing to get it in the mail today! :-)

Tomorrow it's off to Strong Memorial hospital, to leave my daughter off for observation for one to two weeks to determine what her "mystery illness" is. We hope this will be the end of a year-long search for answers...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Small floral journal

I love papers; the patterns, textures, colors that are out there enthrall me! I mentioned awhile back that I'm trying to find items to make for sale that are less time consuming than the cards and stamped journals I have been making. California Paper Goods had some amazing really, really thick floral papers, and so I am making simple, smaller journals that have no stamping at all; the paper is so perfect it needs no altering! I glued a strip of cardstock down the side that was punched for added strength. For the back, as always, I put wallpaper, with some thin floral paper on the inside. I attached the closure ribbon (as well as the bookmark ribbon) between the cardstock and floral paper, because I thought it would get ruined if I had it wrap around the back of the journal. The little circle is made from the same floral paper I put in the back of the journal. I glued two circles of it to two circles of carstock, then sandwiched the ribbon in between. I spread some matte Perfect Paper Adhesive to protect it.

I sized the covers so that I could fill it with quarter sheets from 8.5 x 11 cardstock. I cut the cardstock in half, than divided it further in half by using decorative scissors.

Monday, June 9, 2008

From C uba with love!

My husband was in Cuba for just one week; Lenia and Majelin, the two "keepers of the stamps" are the busiest women I have ever known. Both mothers of young children in a place with few of the conveniences (dryers, microwaves, etc), that make our lives easier here), one a wife of a man who has been at death's door for over a year, the other a pastor's wife who was also our pastor's interpreter for the week (he came with my husband). And these are just four out of the ten or so cards that came back.

So ... do you think the stamps were a hit? :-)

They told Bruce they were embarrassed at how the cards turned out, but I thought they did great! And I know at least once it was about three in the morning when they stopped!

Themissing suitcase was never recovered, (itout had some really important stuff in it (and my pastor's dress shoes; as they really dress for church there, he was rather embarrassed!). But I was glad it was not one with stamps supplies.

Anyway, a huge hug and thank you to each one of you who sent supplies! They are absolutely thrilled with the supplies, and many will be using them. An absolutely incredible blessing! Lenia's life is one of heartbreak and pain right now with her ill husband, and I know the time she is somehow able to carve away for stamping is theraputic for her...


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank you!

My husband returned around 8:00, and we and the children talked until I realized it was 11:30 - time to head to bed. So, no time to post now, but I will tomorrow, or Monday if tomorrow does not happen.

They were ecstatic over the stamp supplies! So much so, both women made cards for everyone, which I'll take pictures of tomorrow. I feel kind of badly they felt they needed to use stuff just for us (and various others who have gone down from our church); I couldn't send a ton of cardstock, or I should say, space became a big enough issue I had to take some out - but that shows you their unselfishness !

More to come...

Friday, June 6, 2008

El Jardinero (the gardener)

One of the young men of the church we used to stay at is named Arsenio, or "Arsenito" as we call him. He was in an accident that damaged his brain a bit when he was younger, so while he is a functioning adult who holds a steady job and loves the Lord, he is just a bit on the slow side. He has the sweetest smile in the world, and every day would bring each of us a flower. I still have a few pressed in my Bible.

I decided I needed to make a card with flowers for Arsenito, but I didn't want it to look to feminine. I hope he liked it!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Family Photo Easel card

We had a friend of the family stay with us for college May term, and asked him to take a family picture of us to send with Bruce. I have sleep issues in normal times, when I have a major event, positive or negative, it's that much worse. So, I made this at 3:30a.m. the night before Bruce left, and that's my excuse for putting the upside down exclamation mark but forgetting to actually put the text in Spanish! "I love you more" was a phrase we were always using on each other on our trips, so they will appreciate the significance!

I did not take notes, and the easel card is gone, so I don't remember precisely how I did it. Probably there are templates on the web, but in case not, here's my best guess: I cut three inches off of an 8.5 x 11 sheet, folded it in half, then scored the cardstock on either side to at 4.25" below that (mountain folds). Here's where my 3:30 a.m. memory fails. I could have glued the two flaps so that one was fully on top of the other, but I wanted to be able to fold the easel card flat, and the double thickness would have been too much. So, I'm guessing I trimmed one of the 1.25" ends by half, then scored the other 1.25" end in half. I then would have attached the shorter flap up to the score line of the longer flap. Then doing a valley fold ("up" into the card), I had a relatively flat piece that I could put into an envelope. Clear as mud? :-)

Update on trip

When we go down to C uba, we never communicate with the states, it's just too complicated to find a computer or use the telephone, and for a week, it doesn't seem important. However, I just heard from my husband via e-mail! One of the four suitcases is missing; they are working with the airline to recover it. We're praying; C uba and lost suitcases are usually without a happy ending. :-( By the color of the suitcase my husband mentioned, I had feared it was the one with stamps & a neat little Sunday School curriculum we had found online, but my son helped me realize it was not, what a relief. Still, it contained medicines and other needed items...

Here is part of Bruce's e-mail:
Lenia told me that she actually put on a class for all the people who wanted to use the stamps explaining how not to mix the colors, washing the stamps properly, etc. She is especially happy for the alphabet stamps, she says you read her mind. Mayelin* also sends her thanks, and insists that I greet you for her right now!

*from the church that requested the stamp supplies

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

On sending stamp stuff...

I thought I'd post tonight in response to a question of why I was sending the stamps. One of the churches we are connected to actually requested them, as they had been borrowing the supplies I had sent down to Lenia, the "pastora" of the church we were originally connected with, and due to a transfer to another church some distance away, it was very inconvenient to keep borrowing stamp supplies, and the pads were now dry.

They told us they were using them for "murales," probably meaning "posters," for church events, and/or seminarios, which are training sessions for pastoring. Bible schools are illegal, but they are allowed a certain number of days per ______ (I can't remember exactly how it works), but they pull it into long weekends, I think, and people come from all over the Island, walking/hitching if there is no money (I remember one student took three days to get there), riding coches (horse driven buses/cabs), catching rides with someone fortunate to have a car (vintage 50's style).

When I first brought stamp supplies down, it was just for Lenia's, or the church ladies' pleasure; I imagine finding any kind of craft is a challenge, so I was fairly confident someone would enjoy them! It's also practical: they cannot easily find stationery in the stores (frankly, one finds precious little of anything in the stores - lots of bare shelves); letters are usually written on cheap, lined paper. Lenia has made bookmarks for all the women of the church, and I believe they've made cards together. I imagine they've found use for them with children's ministries as well.

Birthdays are a huge deal in C uba, so I imagine that happy birthday posters & cards will be made with the stamps. And of course, cards would be a great gift to give someone.

Could they be used for income? While having your own business is more or less illegal, it's possible someone could sell a few cards here and there, but I doubt they will have done so, they'll have focused on ministry.

I look forward to maybe learning more when my husband returns....

This was a card made for an earlier trip, when I made enough cards so that each woman at the ladies' meeting I spoke at could have one to send a note of encouragement to another sister in the church. Because of the huge number I was making, they were all fairly simple; since I did not have time to make totally new cards for this trip, I just embellished the half dozen I had left. I hoped this could be shown to Mayelin (the pastora receiving the bulk of supplies this trip) as a sample on how to use the buttons I sent down. However, I forgot to tell my husband to show her. :-/

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Safe arrival

Abigail arrived in Bosnia this afternoon, after a nearly 30 hour trip ... she's exhausted but flying high! It was great to hear from her! She has to do a one week homestay to make it qualify for her International Studies minor/major (it changes!), which she hopes will give her a boost with the language.

We haven't heard from Bruce in C uba, but we never do. He's only there for a week, so it's not important. I'm anxious to know, though, how our dear friend Orlando is doing. It's been so hard hearing second hand ...

I'm also wanting to know if all our stamp stuff made it through customs. For those of you who are wondering, we were able to take down a large amount of supplies. Plenty of inkpads, lots of re-inkers for the dry pads, papers, embellishments, a cutter, cardstock, punches, decorative scissors, etc, etc. I was really touched and totally thrilled with all that was sent! A few things did not fit; we even left a few bottles of pain reliever & cough medicine behind, which we never do; considering it and ministry items to be the most important items. However, they had specifically asked for stamp supplies, so while I definitely had to remove some things, those were a priority. The rest will go down on our next trip. I thank all of you who sent stuff down; while card making may be more pleasure than necessity for most of us, it will be very practical and useful (as well as fun!) down there.

This card was for Orlando's wife Lenia, the person to whom I originally sent stamps. She loves music, so I recycled this card. The camera flash had to be on because it was nightime when I finished re-making cards, and Bruce was leaving too early to wait until morning. So, the card looks a bit gaudy, but it actually looks more elegant when bright lights are not shining on it! I stamped the music images in black, then embossed the crackle background in clear. I then sponged the on the sunset colors. Originally, I had planned to use the faux batik method (ironing off the embossing after stamping over the image), but when I was ready for that step, I decided I liked the texture & gloss.

Monday, June 2, 2008

And she's off!

We said goodbye to Abigail shortly after 4:00a.m. this morning. The "we" was supposed to be my son and I, but Sunday morning, as we headed to church, the van was not working. I couldn't believe it! We had to leave for the airport, which is two hours away, at 2:00a.m! After the passport fiasco Wednesday, this was unbelievable! But, we have a great church, and one lady just happened to be driving past our house (not her normal route to church) Sunday morning just as we had the hood of the van open, so we got a ride to church, and when I announced we had a need of a vehicle or driver to the airport that night, our friend Mary responded immediately! She's twenty minutes further from the airport than we are, and has a demanding job, so I was really blessed! Another friend managed to get the van working enough to drive to the repair shop, so at least we won't have to pay for a tow. I have to admit to being a bit grumpy in the beginning (we've been trying to save for a second vehicle for almost two years now, and with Bruce gone this week, I had thought I at least had a week with an accessible vehicle all day!), but really, God provided for us. I'm hoping it will be something simple to fix.

We also are expecting a call this week from a hospital (same city as the airport, so also two hours away) for my daughter Karen to stay for 4-5 days or more to be monitored by EEG and video to see what is causing her "mystery" illness that becomes more and more debilitating all the time. I hope the van is ready by then, but my mom, who lives about 3/4 of the way to the hospital has already said she'll come down here and get us.

Life is CRAZY.

This card is one of a bunch I made, or I should say, remade, last minute for my daughter to take to Bosnia. With the preparation for Bruce's trip, and the cards I really needed to make for that, then the lost day passport hunting, etc, I just had not been able to "think" Bosnia. After my husband left Saturday, I had to clean up the disaster in our living room created by packing & re-packing (and organizing what didn't fit), and return all the stuff I had removed from our study/craft room in the search for the passport. So, Sunday, which I really keep as a Sabbath for my own sanity (ie: no card making), was my last chance. I took card "parts" and reworked them, using online scriptures. At first, I only found Croatian, which is very similar to Bosnian, and made the first two. Then I found Bosnian, and used the same scripture reference. Very confusing! This card has a Bosnian scripture. The layers were all together from a card I had made over two years ago, when I first started stamping. It was rather boring, but the flower helped!