Peace that passes all understanding

9“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:7)

Peace? Control? Certainty? If we don’t have control or certainty, can we have peace?

The myth of certainty and the illusion of control are out the window as we face the uncertainty and loss of control brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. If we think we are in control and certain of outcomes, does that not make us like God? Isn’t that the devil’s greatest temptation? To be like God? Where do we find peace?

When things are uncertain, or upsetting, I look to Jesus’ words for comfort and guidance. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus knew that fear paralyzes us and hinders our ability to respond effectively to the challenges of life. Fear also lowers our immune system’s ability to ward off sickness.

That said, in these uncertain times when nothing of the world is what we have, until now, considered ‘normal’, comfort is to be found in scripture. God and his word are the only certain things upon which we can rely. I also find peace and comfort in the world around me….not the infectious COVID-19 world, but in the natural world.

Because…..”All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3) Thus, the natural world, made by God, is of great comfort.

Today I will share some images with you that, I hope, will bring YOU some semblance of peace and comfort. I do not live in a fantasy world where all is well just because I wish it to be, but in the real world where sickness, death, financial issues, hatred, anger and all the other symptoms of our fallen world exist. Therefore, I NEED to know that God is there, that God loves me, and that, no matter what, God is in control. ‘Nuff said.

4It is spring, or nearly so, and the crocus, ferns and other early plants are bursting forth. This is all part of the order of the universe, made by God.

6God cares for all of creation from the smallest Lichen to

10Majestic mountains. Think of the power behind the creation of this mountain. He cares no less for you.

I love seeing as much of the whole landscape as I can, and sometime make images of the larger picture. However, there is something to be said for looking more closely at the parts that make up that bigger picture.

8I like to take a closer look at the veins of leaves or

5the seed heads of grasses. I find all of it fascinating. And nearly beyond my comprehension of how wonderfully it is made. Without the knowledge that He created it all, it would truly be beyond me.

7There is order in the natural world. The sun rises. The sun sets. The moon rises. The moon sets. Sometimes the sun comes up before the moon goes down. This was one of those times…October, 7:15 a.m. in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

Actually, all the images you see here were taken in that 1.9 million acre wilderness. Obviously, I was only able to be in a fraction of the area in 10 days. I must return someday.2I love to make images of trees, large, small, dead, alive, or dying. All serve a purpose, and each has its own beauty. Even the trees that don’t quite make it as a tree, but only as scrub brush or shrubs have their own kind of beauty.

3These ‘trees’ are only scrub brush in the desert sands. However, where there is water, there are real trees, as evidenced in the left side of the image. There is a creek there, which nourishes the trees that grow along its banks.

1I made this image for a couple of reasons. First it reminds me of the cycle of life. Secondly, I see it as a color palette, perhaps as a sweater, or a piece of jewelry, or maybe as the inspiration for a quilt. My computer software lets me pick colors, then gives them the Pantone equivalent. This is helpful in choosing materials for a project.

color paletteThis palette is done in my computer software. I chose to have 7 colors from the image because I would need that many to make a Fair Isle sweater.

canva paletteThis palette was done online through a company called Canva which lets you upload an image and their software chooses your palette. The 3rd and 4th ones in this palette are the same, or nearly so, as a couple of the colors in my palette.

As you can see there are many ways I see the world around me, and many ways that I can use what I see. Primarily though, I am at peace in these surroundings, and only need to remember: God is in control and God loves me, even when I am not out there. For that matter, even when I am not very lovable!

Now, May God’s peace be with you in the days ahead.




Where do we go from here?

Or, perhaps the question should be, where are we today?

I am not a preacher, and I tend to not talk much about my faith. That said, if you perceive this post as preaching, or disagree, or are of un-belief, you can stop right here to save your sensibilities from being offended. However, I would urge you in any case to hear me out.

This worldwide mess is unprecedented in the fact of almost instant information, if of nothing else. Besides that, much of the information we get so quickly is mis-information, or misleading at best. Thus, we have many people, who have no faith background to sustain them in times of trouble and stress, who are SCARED! Due to the overwhelming overload of information, we are facing a situation never before seen at the level we have today.

Yes, there was the bubonic plague, the 1918 influenza, and others over the centuries. They were different in that they did not have access to information, and did not (or could not) know that

For those, I pray that they might find peace.

To prevent this post from being totally boring, I am attaching a few photos, just to remind you that:

1-God is the Great Creator

2-God is in control


In the beauty of a single flower is SO much more than we see with our eyes. Think of the many kinds of flowers and thank God for the beauty therein and the eyes to see. Think Peace.

I am a healthy adult in the ‘over 60’ group, so I guess I am considered elderly and at higher risk than someone younger. I am not afraid. Cautious, yes. Fearful, no. I always do due diligence in the hand washing department, cover my nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid, when possible, those who are sick. Beyond that, since so many events are cancelled, I will be self-isolating.

I view this as an opportunity to be un-busy and to accomplish things I might not otherwise have the time to do: Spend more time in prayer, make cards and SEND them, make jewelry, knit, read, rake the lawn, clean closets, etc.  Of course, I will do some birding and photography!! That is pretty much an isolated activity with great rewards. 7

This is one of the rewards. Who knew that the feathers on the face of a Northern Saw-whet Owl (a little guy not much bigger than a pop can) were so intricate?

There is always an upside to every downside, so think positively. Perhaps, if you have children at home, you will be able to spend more time with them, and teach them things important that are not taught in school. Have them help you prepare dinner, then sit down to give thanks and enjoy the food, TOGETHER. Get outside with them and teach them things of nature (which are things of God).


An example might be found in these seeds of a milkweed, which you can use to teach about the Monarch Butterfly life cycle and why it is important to help them.


It is spring and birds are beginning to migrate, starting with geese and ducks who nest in the far north. These are Greater White-fronted Geese. Another lesson for your kids. How many kinds of geese are there? Why do they fly north? How many eggs do they lay? Where do they lay them? (Hint: you may have to educate yourself!)

You may ask, “Why is God giving this virus to us?” God is not giving anything bad to us, but sometimes He allows bad things. All bad things are a result of this fallen world and the work of Satan, who is fighting God every day for your soul. Following God does not mean bad things won’t happen, rather that you will have peace and comfort when they do, instead of fear.

The beauty of our natural world is a testament of God’s love for us. We are surrounded by that love and the beauty he created. If you see ugliness, it is most likely made by mankind. Ugliness in God’s creation is a matter of our perception of beauty/ugliness.


There is an element of beauty in a dying plant, as well as another lesson in the life cycle.

I would urge you to take advantage of these trying times and make the most of this gift of TIME, which you now have if you are not attending sporting or social events, school or work. We all complain that we don’t have enough time, so now that you have some, what will you do with it?? Whine and complain, or make the most of what you have? Call someone who may need to hear a friendly voice today. Send a card. Get outdoors.


Many do not see the beauty around them, simply because their minds are full of the next busy thing on their calendar. Now that your calendar is empty, see the beauty in a dead tree, blue sky and green moss.  This image is one of the many beautiful scenes in my state. Get out and enjoy the scenes around you, wherever you are.


More evidence of spring.


A Blue Grosbeak

OK, enough for today. Now that I have more TIME, maybe I can post more often. It might be a project, it might be photos, it might be sharing my love of God, Family, Country, or it might include one of my many interests. Tune in again next time to see what awaits you.

Until then, remember, God loves each and every one, no matter the circumstances. He loves YOU where you are, in whatever situation. And, don’t be afraid.





Blossoms Birthday for Amy’s Inkin’ Krew Team Hop

inkin-krew-blog-hop-banner2Welcome to the Amy’s Inkin’ Krew Team once-every-month-on-Tuesday Blog Hop! What a mouthful! We have a nice line-up of card makers on this month’s hop, so, come on along for the fun and inspiration. I haven’t hopped for awhile, so it is good to be back with these talented ladies.

Our theme this month is ‘Birthday’ and any thing to do with a birthday qualifies. My family has LOTS of January and February birthdays, so the theme isn’t a problem. My problem is whether to post a card for a child, man or woman. So many choices! To add to  the mix, I had to send some belated cards, so those were a possibility, too. I finally decided on a feminine card.

I know you don’t care about my indecision, so let’s get on with the hop!

The recipient likes purple, so I used Gorgeous Grape, Highland Heather and Purple Posy for this card. I began with a card base of Whisper White Thick card stock and added a Gorgeous Grape mat, cut with the largest Stitched Rectangles die and adhered with Liquid Glue.4

The sentiment, from Grace’s Garden Bundle (purchasing the bundle saves 10%), was stamped in Gorgeous Grape on Whisper White. I then cut this with the Heirloom Frames die, saving the center for my card.

The real frame was cut from Highland Heather, which I embossed with the Parisian Flourish 3D embossing folder. This was attached to the card front with Stampin’ Dimensionals. I then inserted the sentiment piece and adhered it with liquid glue.

A side note: The Heirloom Frames comes with an embossing folder, but I had a leftover piece of Highland Heather already embossed with the Parisian Flourish folder, so I used that.

For the flowers, I stamped the large spray in the Forever Blossoms Bundle ( save 10% by purchasing the bundle) in Gray Granite, then colored them in with my Purple Posy and Crushed Curry Stampin’ Write Markers and Light and Dark Old Olive Stampin’ Blends. I then cut them out with the appropriate matching dies. I repeated the process with the small flower and leaves.


The finishing touch was a small bow, left over from a previous project and I don’t remember what the ribbon is called. I think it is retired. This was adhered with a Mini Glue Dot.

For the inside, the Stitched Rectangles dies cut the Gorgeous Grape mat and the Whisper White sentiment panel. These were Liquid Glued to another mat of Purple Posy.


The sentiment is from the Special Celebrations stamp set and is stamped in Gorgeous Grape. I masked the upper portion of the large spray used for the front, then inked it in Gray Granite, removed the mask, stamped it off on a piece of scrap paper, then stamped my sentiment panel. Again using the markers and blends, I colored the image.

This finished the card. For the Medium Whisper White Envelope, I embossed a piece of Purple Posy (I am out of Highland Heather! How did THAT happen?), and used Liquid Glue to attach it to the flap.

I had stamped two of the large spray images and colored them, so I just cut the second one apart with my Paper Snips Scissors and used Liquid Glue to glue it to the front.

I hope you enjoy the hop, so to continue just click on the NEXT button. To reverse, click the PREVIOUS button, or select any name to go to her blog. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave comments below.

If you don’t have a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, and need help with anything, please contact me. I will be happy to help you. To order products, just click on the SHOP button at right.



Jaimie Babarczy

Connie Troyer

Akiko Sudano

Mary Deatherage

Karen Ksenzakovic

Leslie Larkin

Sue Prather

Julie Johnston-You are Here

Karen Finkle

Amy Koenders

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One Day Road Trip!?

Good Tuesday Morning All!

I planned to do this post yesterday, but getting caught up took more time than I figured. Caught up from what, you ask? If you have a minute I will explain.

My two birding friends, Gay and Therese, had invited me to go with them on a birding trip to the south last week. We planned to leave on Sunday and return on Saturday or Sunday. The weather didn’t cooperate, giving us snow and ice on Friday and Saturday, making for treacherous travel on Sunday, so we decided to leave Monday. Monday was no better, so it was decided to just do a day trip on Tuesday.

“Just in case…” we decided to pack an overnight bag in the event we got too far away to get back in one day, or the weather made that decision for us. The radar map looked like a lot of precipitation, and who knew whether it would be snow, ice or rain? So far, so good.

We first went to Keokuk, IA to Lock and Dam #19, thinking we would see lots of Bald Eagles, and maybe some ducks. We saw a few, but not as many as expected. We moved on into Missouri, stopping at Canton at Lock and Dam #20.

Pay dirt! Over 100 Bald Eagles were there along with numerous Ring-billed Gulls, Common Mergansers and Common Golden-Eye. The Black and white ones are the male Golden-eyes and the darker one is the female. Pretty ducks.

common goldeneye

Several of the 100 or so Bald Eagles were perched, but some were fishing and I managed to get a couple of shots. This one is of an adult coming in for a fish (he hopes), and the next one is hitting the water. He did get the fish, and somehow transferred it from talon to beak.

bald eagle

eagle hit water

fishing eagle

That was pretty exciting!

After that we thought we should go into Illinois for a stop at Lock and Dam #21 at Quincy. On the way there we stopped at a small pond where there were thousands of geese and a few Trumpeter Swans. It was quite a sight and noisy too! This is just a few of the Canada and Greater White-fronted Geese, maybe 1/8 of the total on the pond. There were 6 Trumpeter Swans there also.


When birding with Gay and Therese, there is always a plan, but that plan changes frequently! You just never know where you might find birds. From there we went to Quincy, Illinois to Lock and Dam #21 where we saw more Bald Eagles and plenty of ducks, mostly Mallards but a few Redhead Ducks also. This guy is SO handsome (or maybe it is a she since it is so big-females are larger than males).

sitting eagle

Nearing the end of the day we decided to hit one of the 9 National Wildlife Refuges in Illinois, and spend the night nearby. From there we would follow the Illinois River upriver toward Peoria, to see what we might find, then find our way home.

No lodging in the town nearest the Meredosia NWR, so we went to the next town, thinking to double back the next morning. We never made it to Meredosia NWR. Nor did we get very far upriver. The next likely place for birds was Emiquon NWR, also on the Illinois River, but there wasn’t much there as the water was frozen. This would be a place to return to in the spring.

We did see a couple of Bald Eagles, but more birds were seen along the road en route to Emiquon. Among them were 1 Eagle, 1 American Kestrel, 1 Eastern Bluebird, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 Blue Jay, 3 Northern Cardinals, 5 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Swamp Sparrow, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 2 House Sparrows and 6 Pigeons. Not terribly exciting.

We then took a side road through the Emiquon NWR and came to a spot where we saw a gorgeous Northern Harrier, a smaller hawk that used to be called a Marsh Hawk. It was sitting in a grassy field, so we stopped, thinking I might get a photo. It apparently had some prey in mind as it began to hop around and fly a bit, then hover. I love birds of prey, and the Northern Harrier is my favorite hawk.

northern harrier

I wish he had been a bit closer as I had to crop the image a lot to get this view of him hovering. So far, this was the highlight of the day, actually the trip, except for the fishing Bald Eagle the day before.

In discussing heading home and checking the weather, which was worsening (at home) as we talked, we decided to head south and maybe miss the 5-8″ of snow expected at home that night and the next couple of days, along with some mixed precipitation. It turned out to be an excellent decision.

Long story made much shorter, we did head south  and crossed back into Missouri. Moving on, we went south in Missouri then crossed over into Illinois at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where we found a lovely lake called Horseshoe Lake. It was what we were looking for….open water. There were hundreds of ducks there as well as crows, woodpeckers, White-crowned Sparrows and geese. Greater White-fronted geese are quite handsome with their white faces and orange feet.

Greater White-fronted Geese

We then went south into Kentucky, Tennessee and into Arkansas. Our day trip turned into a 6 day trip!! Good thing we are flexible and not afraid to wear the same clothes for several days! We each had a change of clothes, and it was no problem to wash underwear at night. Also necessary were the meds that some of us have to take, and fortunately they had taken enough with them for several days.

What I missed most were my battery charger for the camera, and my computer. I thought for one day I wouldn’t need either, and I probably didn’t, but it would have saved me some anxiety to have had the charger. I did take an extra charged battery, but who knows how long it might last, right? It turned out to be enough.

Crossing into Arkansas at Memphis, TN, we spent the night at Marion, which is near the Wapanocca NWR. We got an early start and went directly to the refuge where we saw maybe 52 species. The area has forest, grassland, wetland and open water, so many species were present.  Not many photos here, as most birds were either in trees and half hidden by branches, or too far away for a decent shot. Also, they do tend to fly around! However, I did get a Pied-billed Grebe to share with you.

Pied-billed Grebe

We spent about 4 hours at the refuge, and, speaking for myself, I would like to go back in the spring. There were THOUSANDS of Snow Geese on the lake as well as many duck species. Who knows how many species would be there as the weather turns warmer? Leaving there put us on Interstate 55 which quickly took us into Missouri and back home. On the way we saw our target bird, a Loggerhead Shrike. Woo-Hoo! Every time we go looking for birds, we say we would like to see a Shrike. This was the day for our Shrike. It is not a great photo, but he was pretty far away, and it is a SMALL bird.


According to texts from family and neighbors, the highways at home were clear, but side roads still pretty icy. We spent one more night in Missouri and made the final leg of our trip on Sunday, crossing back over into Illinois on the chance that we might see an Eastern Screech Owl located at the river cabin of a friend. The owl was cooperative, so we added one more species to our list.

Lisa has named him (or her) Ollie, who hangs out in a Wood Duck house on their property. As an interesting side note, Lisa is the daughter of the publisher and editor of the local newspaper (back in the 1980s), who gave me my start as a photographer. Dean Gabbert loved the Mississippi River and spent as much time there at this cabin as he and his wife could manage. They are both gone now, but I think Dean would be pleased that I have a decent photo of the owl.

screech owl

Back in Iowa at Fort Madison, we took secondary roads, you know, so we could see more birds. You can’t just stop on an interstate highway to look at some birds and try to identify them!

On Highway 16 we saw MANY Horned Larks, 3 Northern Harriers, and a Rough-legged Hawk, as well as other species. The Rough-legged Hawk cooperated to land on a utility pole long enough for me to get a photo. Until this time, I did not have a good photo of a Rough-legged.

rough legged hawk

By now, it is about 3 p.m. on Sunday, and our day trip on Tuesday was just about to end. You probably (if you are still reading this) think we must be a little bit crazy to do what we did. Maybe so. But, I am thinking that life is short, and you have to be willing to bend a little bit to take advantage of opportunities that you would otherwise miss.

For the trip we saw 84 species of birds, which is not too bad to my way of thinking. Some species we saw in every state (5 states) and some only migrate through and are only where habitat allows. Others are indigenous to certain areas. No matter, it was fun, educational, and gave us an appreciation for other places. It also gave us an appreciation for home, clean clothes, and chargers! We did have phone chargers, so we were not completely out of touch.

In anticipation of a week-long trip, I had notified the post office to hold my mail, and asked my granddaughter to check in on my aging cat and feed the birds. After our plans changed, I had let her know we were only going to be gone ONE DAY, so she didn’t need to go over to my house. By the time I let her know we were going to be gone much longer, the roads were too bad for her to risk the 7 mile trip. Thus, my greatest concern was that my poor kitty would be very lonely, and that the birds wouldn’t be able to find food with all the snow.

Everything was fine…the cat was lonely, but had plenty of food and water and litter box for survival. The birds ran out of food, but came back quickly enough when I filled the feeders. My excellent neighbor, Rick, cleared out my driveway. All I had to do was unload my car and scoop off the sidewalk. Easy Peasy!

All’s well that ends well. I thank God for the blessings of good friends, good weather (where we were), and good BIRDS! It was a wonderful day trip and we think we might try another one when it warms up a bit.




Merry Christmas and 2020 calendar

Good Monday everyone, and happy day before Christmas Eve! I may not get another chance to wish you all a very merry Christmas and I don’t want to miss the opportunity. Especially since I didn’t get my cards done and in the mail! No excuses, just not enough time to do it right and I don’t like to do anything by halves.

Much has happened since my last post. For one thing, I have accepted an appointment as Grand Esther, one of the 5 star points in Eastern Star at the state level. This appointment involves a LOT of travel around the state for receptions, schools of instruction, chapter visits, and exchanges with other surrounding states. There is a great group of folks, who are quickly becoming like family, that forms the state chapter, called the Grand Chapter. Thus, my title as Grand Esther. Esther is one of the books of the Bible and is one of the five Biblical heroines of our Order. I am honored to represent her.

The photo below is most of my Grand Family. Due to illness there were three unable to attend my reception, which is where this photo was taken. Yes, it was a formal affair, and I have one of the teal green formals that I wear to most functions. However, for my own reception I could choose to wear something else. My travel companion is my friend Paula, who is in blue, the formal color for her position in the General Chapter (national) of the Order of the Eastern Star. Believe you me, I had to get used to wearing hose and heels again after choosing to mostly dress in a casual fashion for the last several years. We have a lot of fun and have grown to be like family.

In addition to the travel involved with my appointment, I still have all the usual stuff at home and the volunteer work. Some of that will have to take a back seat, so I am still finding my way on that score. Probably I am still trying to do too much, but am learning to say ‘no’ to some things, at least temporarily.

Throw into the mix the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am as busy as the next person. Oh, yes, and I did manage to get my annual calendar finished and ordered. Here is a photo of the cover shot.

If you are interested in ordering one, they are $15 for anyone to whom I don’t have to mail it. If I have to mail it, tack on $5 for the PO.

With all that I haven’t had time to make cards for awhile, thus, no Christmas cards in the mail. I will do it, they will just have to be late.

Remember the Reason for the Season, and worship our Lord at the church of your choice. Since my family cannot come on Christmas Eve as they usually do, I will attend a Christmas Eve service. I will also read to my Great Grandchildren from the book, “Twas the Night Before Jesus”, by Herbert Brokering. It is the same rhyming cadence as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Moore. The photo shows our Grand family dressed as Mary & Joseph, wise men, shepherds, sheep (yeah, I was a lamb!) and angels as our Worthy Grand Patron (we call him Dad) read the story to residents when we attended the Christmas party at the Eastern Star/Masonic Home.

I would recommend this book to everyone and the illustrations are as lovely as the story.

OK. All for now. I will try to get back to a regular posting after the first of the year when things settle down, at least a little bit.

Again, I wish all of you a Blessed Christmas, and a safe and Joyous New Year!

By the way, I am still a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, so if you need any help with your paper crafting please let me know. If you care to order products you can do that by clicking on the ORDER button at right. Thanks for stopping by.



Stampin’ Up! 24 hour 15% off sale on select stamp sets


Stampin’ Up is offering 15% off on select stamps, but only for 24 hours. These stamps are in the annual catalog. Sale day is Wednesday October 23, but only for 24 hours. If there are some stamps you have been waiting to purchase, now is the time.

Don’t miss out. Below are the sets you can get and save 15%. Make your list today and don’t forget to order on Wednesday October 23!


Stamp Set Sale Details:

  • Get select sets at a 15% discount.
  • Ordering Deadline:  October 23, 2019; 11:50 pm (MT)
  • All order types qualify for this promotion.
  • All selected stamp sets can be applied to Starter Kits.
  • Discount applies to select stamp sets only when purchased individually during the 24-hour promotion period.
  • Bundles featuring stamp sets from the promotion will not be discounted.
  • If you purchased a stamp set prior to the sale, Stampin’ Up! will not be offering exchanges or credits.
  • In the event that Stampin’ Up! runs out of any item offered, promotional pricing will be honored on items backordered, up to the point it reaches the backorder limit. Once an item reaches the backorder limit and is not orderable, it will no longer be available during the promotion and will not be available to order until additional inventory arrives in stock.

Wa-Hoo for a stamp sale!!


Stampin’ Up! Day of Thanks

Good Tuesday morning to Everyone out there!

Today is our monthly Inkin’ Krew Blog Hop, so come on along and see the projects by the very talented ladies on this team. Our theme is “Giving Thanks”, and I have also chosen to play along with the Sunday Stamps challenge as well as the Library Challenge. Let’s Hop!

The Sunday Stamps Challenge 215 is ‘Fall Harvest’, and while there is nothing to harvest on this card, there are plenty of fall leaves. I did try to stick to the colors of the challenge though. The colors used for this card are Cajun Craze, Mango Melody, Crumb Cake and Black, along with some Copper, which I hope is construed as a neutral, which is allowed.

For the Library Challenge, I chose the cover of this challenge book, “The Secret Garden” as my inspiration.

I had so much fun doing this card, it probably should be against the law! I began with a card base of Cajun Craze and used the new Basic Pattern Decorative Masks and Crumb Cake ink to sponge the tree design. The design isn’t overwhelming, but I just wanted the impression of a forest. On top of this I used Liquid Glue to adhere a panel of Copper Foil Sheets. I then set about making the artwork.

For this, I used the Stitched Rectangles die to cut a panel of Basic Black, then used the Woodland Textured Embossing Folder to add more trees to my forest. This was then Liquid Glued to the Copper panel.

I stamped the fox from Nature’s Beauty in Cajun Craze on Cajun Craze card stock and fussy cut him. Yes, it is a he, a fox, not a vixen. He will be adhered to the card front with Stampin’ Dimensionals, but not yet. I will dry fit everything before doing anything permanent.

Next, I stamped the bunny from Nature’s Beauty in Crumb Cake on Crumb Cake card stock. This was also fussy cut. (I don’t know if this is a boy bunny or a girl bunny. You choose.) Whichever, it is wary of the fox.

The fall leaves in the upper left are in Copper Foil Sheets, Cajun Craze and Mango Melody. All are cut and embossed with the dies in the Gathered Leaves die set. These are bundled with the Gather Together stamp set, which will save you 10%. I also stamped two of the large leaf in the To Every Season stamp set in Versamark ink and heat set the Copper Stampin’ Emboss Powder with my heat tool, then added one to the other leaves. The other is at the bottom of the card front. Obviously, there are different kinds of leaves here, but that is what you would find in a forest.

I stamped two more leaves from the To Every Season stamp set, one in Crumb Cake on Mango Melody and one in Cajun Craze, also on Mango Melody, then dry fit them along with the copper embossed on to the bottom of the card front.

Before I adhered any of the elements, I used my Stamparatus to stamp the sentiment from Day of Thanks in Basic Black on the card base. After I stamped the sentiment and re-arranged the elements, and was satisfied with the placement of the leaves and animals, I adhered everything with either Liquid Glue or Stampin’ Dimensionals.

For the inside, I kept things pretty simple with a Crumb Cake mat under a Basic Black liner. The sentiment, also from Day of Thanks, was stamped in Versamark ink and heat embossed with Copper Stampin’ Emboss Powder  and my heat tool. It looked a little TOO simple, so I added a few Copper embossed leaves from To Every Season.

I cannot send a card in a naked envelope, so the Whisper White Medium Envelope flap was sponged with Crumb Cake using the Basic Pattern Decorative Masks tree again.

The front I kept simple with just a Crumb Cake bunny in the corner.

I am very happy with the way my card turned out, though it wasn’t exactly what I started out to do. It just took on a life of its own and told me what to do.

I hope you enjoyed my card, and you are certain to like what the others on my team have done. Just click the ‘Next’ button to continue on to see what the clever Karen Finkle has done, or to do the hop in reverse, click on the ‘Previous’ button to go to talented Sue Prather’s blog. The other option is to just click on any name to go to her blog. Happy Hoppin’!

Karen Ksenzakovic

Mary Deatherage

Jaimie Babarczy

Shirley Gentry

Akiko Sudano

Sue Prather

Julie Johnston – You are here

Karen Finkle

Amy Koenders

Product List

autumn, Uncategorized

Stampin’ Up! Gathered Leaves and Gratitude

Good Saturday morning, Folks! I hope your weekend is off to a good start. So much to do, so little time! And, it seems to move more quickly with each passing day. Make the most of YOUR time!

Today’s card uses several stamp sets to accomplish a different autumn look. My card base is Cajun Craze, which has to be my go-to color for fall. To this I adhered a Grapefruit Grove mat with a panel of Come to Gather Designer Series Paper.


I knew I wanted to use copper on this card, so proceeded to stamp the small leaves from To Every Season  in Versamark ink, after rubbing my Embossing Buddy over the whole panel. I do this so there won’t be little bits of copper where I don’t want them. I then added the Copper Stampin’ Emboss Powder and set it with my heat gun.

Next, I stamped the large leaf from Gather Together in Cajun Craze, and cut it out using the matching die from Gathered Leaves. I also cut one from a Post-It note to use as a mask, anticipating that I might need a mask.

I thought the wheat from Gather Together would be a nice autumn touch, so I stamped it in Soft Suede ink on Soft Suede card stock. I am not sure this was the best choice, but I didn’t make that decision until I had already glued it onto my card front, so there the wheat stays. By the way, these were fussy cut.


I inked one of the cut-and-emboss dies from Gathered Leaves in Versamark ink, then cut and embossed it on a scrap of Cajun Craze. I then heat embossed it for a different look. I also cut two leaves using the cut-and-emboss dies from Gathered Leaves from Copper foil.

The sentiment, from Day of Thanks is stamped in Cajun Craze on Grapefruit Grove, then die cut using one of the Stitched Nested Labels dies. This was adhered to my card front with Liquid Glue.

Next up is the dry arrangement of the wheat and leaves. The large leaf and wheat are fixed on the card front with Liquid Glue. Stampin’ Dimensionals were used to adhere the coppery leaves. A final touch was the Linen Thread bow, which is attached with a Glue Dot.

On the inside, I simply stamped more of the small leaves from To Every Season, and heat embossed them in Copper Stampin’ Emboss Powder. I left the rest blank so I could write a personal note.


The envelope got a strip of the Come To Gather Designer Series Paper on the flap and more of the leaves stamped on the front.


I started the front design by stamping the large leaf in Cajun Craze, letting it run off the edges. Here is where my fore-thought in making a mask came in handy. I used it to cover my stamped image, then stamped the wheat and some of those small leaves. The Wheat was stamped in Soft Suede and the little leaves in Versamark. They were then also heat embossed in Copper.


I hope you enjoy my card. The Grapefruit Grove is a departure from my usual autumn color scheme, but I think it is good.

Please leave comments below.

Back by popular demand: Designer Series Paper sale. BUT YOU NEED TO HURRY as this sale ends Monday. To order, just click on the bird image that says ‘Shop with me’.

buy 3 get 1 DSP

Here are the details:

  • All order types qualify for this promotion.
  • Only Designer Series Papers listed in the table below qualify for this promotion. You may mix and match papers from any of the listed papers.
  • There is no limit to how many times participants can buy three packages of Designer Series Paper, and get one free during this sale.
  • As you order online, when three qualifying Designer Series Paper packs are entered, a prompt to add a free Designer Series Paper will appear.
  • In the online store, if you order four packages of the same qualifying Designer Series Paper, you’ll need to enter three together and then order the fourth free item separately.
  • Designer Series Paper ordered as part of a Starter Kit does not qualify for this sale.
  • Designer Series Paper ordered with Stampin’ Rewards does not qualify for this sale.


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Happy Spooky Halloween for Team Blog Hop

inkin-krew-blog-hop-banner2Good Tuesday morning to Everyone out there. Wow, we are almost at the mid-point of September already, so Halloween will be here before you know it. Our talented team is doing our monthly blog hop today, so come on along for the fun! Our theme is ‘Halloween fun’, which I translated into spooky fun. I am not much into Halloween, so I don’t have a lot to work with to make a card. That said, I will do my best to go along with the theme.

Here is my card:


I began with a panel of Soft Suede card stock and ran it through my Big Shot in the Woodland embossing folder for the card front. Basic Black card stock made the trees using a die from Scrapbooking Made Simple, which is no longer available. These were adhered to the front using Liquid Glue.

The sentiment is from a retired Stampin’ Up set called Sweet Treats. I stamped it in Versamark ink, then used White Stampin’ Emboss powder and set it using my Heat Tool. I used an oval punch to punch it out, then, with Stampin’ dimensionals, adhered it to the card front. The card front was then liquid glued to the card base.


My card base is Cajun Craze. Though there are no jack-o-lanterns on this card, I thought it needed the orange color anyway. This sentiment is from the same Sweet Treats stamp set and is stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black.

The boy and girl, owl and bat are from the same die set as the trees on the card front and are cut from Basic Black card stock. The moon is cut with a 2-1/4″ circle punch. The tree branch on which the owl sits is die cut from Basic Black using the die from Seasonal Layers.  All are adhered with liquid glue.


I did a dry layout of the elements and decided that some clouds or something was necessary. They are stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black using the stamp from Sweet Treats. Later I thought perhaps I should have stamped some over the moon, but decided it was best to leave it plain, allowing the bat to show up better.

As you know, I seldom leave the envelope undecorated. As I prepared to do an envelope, I just didn’t like the stark whiteness of the Whisper White envelope, and the Very Vanilla one wasn’t working either. I did manage to find one last Crumb Cake envelope in my hoard of supplies, which is perfect for this card.


Using the bats stamp from Sweet Treats, I stamped them on the front, and several on the flap. Simple, but effective, I think.


Thanks for stopping by. Please leave comments below.

I hope you enjoy our hop today. Just click the previous or next button to see what the others on the team have done, or click an individual name.



Mary Deatherage

Karen Ksenzakovic

Julie Johnston-You are here

Jaimie Babarczy

Paula Vincent

Akiko Sudano

Amy Koenders

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Today my heart is bursting with gratitude. To God for all the beauty that surrounds me in His creation, for my health, for my family, and for giving His son, Jesus, to atone for MY sins, taking that burden from me. I do not deserve any of it.

Gratitude also for my family, and their goodness. I don’t deserve that either. Especially when I have taken time (selfishly, some would say) to observe some of God’s creation, including birds, when I could have stayed home and worked. The time spent watching birds is time well spent, in my opinion anyway.

You see, the bird on the right in the photo below, is one that is not supposed to be in Iowa. It is a Yellow-billed Loon, and is normally only found in the far northern reaches of our hemisphere, in northern Canada and Alaska, with their wintering grounds in the Aleutians and off the coast of British Columbia. Iowa is far out of their normal range, even for migration. Of course, I HAD to see this rare find. The other bird is a Common Loon, not normally here either, but does migrate through occasionally.

Both birds are immature and look nothing like they will look in their adult plumage. The photo below is of an adult Common Loon. The Yellow-billed adult will look similar, though larger and with a large yellow bill instead of the dark one.

The image below is of the Yellow-billed Loon I saw last week. I think you can see that its bill is much larger and lighter than that of the other loon.

But, I digress! Typical when I begin to talk about birds.  Back to the Gratitude story, though the birds are some of God’s creation for which I am grateful.

I am a member of our local Kiwanis club and Kiwanis International. Our mission is to ‘change the world, one child, one community, at a time’. Our whole focus is on helping and providing for kids. To do that, of course, it takes money. Our primary fundraiser just finished today with the end of the Midwest Old Thresher’s Reunion, an annual 5 day event over Labor Day weekend, in neighboring Henry County and Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The Old Thresher’s Reunion, pays our club to man the campground gate, registering, checking in and checking out the campers that flock to this event. I am guessing (I did not count the registration cards last night) that there were somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 registered campers.

The photo above is from the Midwest Old Thresher’s Reunion camper webpage. It looks like a small city.

This takes a lot of manpower (and womanpower too!) for a couple of weeks, part of that time having personnel there around the clock. Somewhere on my other computer are some photos of our people working the gate, but, with lime water pickles needing attention and other chores on my list of To Do’s,(thankfully, mowing isn’t one of them) I don’t have time to find them. I tell you all of this because I worked 6 eight hour shifts at the Reunion, the latest being yesterday (Labor Day). We were quite busy as hundreds of campers were checking out. The rest will leave today.

My family was here on Sunday for dinner, though I was embarrassed to have them see my shaggy yard and weedy flowerbeds. The day last week that I was free to mow, it rained. Some things can’t be helped , so I swallowed my embarrassment and had them come anyway. My niece was home from South Carolina,and my younger daughter and husband down from Minnesota, and we hadn’t been together since Easter, so it was time.

Now, for the gratitude part.

This morning I went out to feed the birds and was shocked and surprised to see that my yard had been mowed, a couple of volunteer trees cut down (that I had been wanting someone, with a chain saw and the skill to run it, to remove), and the grass trimmed around the trees, etc. Also, my porch swing on a stand, was upright again. It had blown over in a windstorm a couple of weeks ago. It was late last night when I got home, and didn’t notice the changes in the dark. My eyes started leaking and I knew who had been so kind and gracious to do this for me.

My older daughter had mentioned Sunday, “did you know there is a tree (volunteer) growing in the spruce tree in the back yard?”

I did, and said I had asked a couple of people to remove it, who said they would but hadn’t followed through. I also said, “I guess if I want something done I need to ask Pat (her husband) to do it.” I knew if he said he would do it, it would be done. However, I didn’t ask him as I just hated to do that. They have their own busy lives and work to do.

Like good little fairies, they arrived after I left yesterday to work at The Old Thresher’s Reunion and did all that work. For me. I am humbled. And grateful.

I really don’t know how to thank them properly. Perhaps a card???? 🙂 Of course, a card. But that won’t be enough.

I will just try to be an unselfish, grateful, and helpful to them if possible, Mom and Mom-in-Law. It isn’t enough, but I have learned that sometimes gratitude itself is enough.

This post is the long way of saying, “Be grateful. Every day is a gift. And every day brings other gifts for which to be full of gratitude.”

Thank you, God. And thank you, my children.