Monday, July 21, 2014


Just to let you know that I was asked to be guest designer on the Penny Black blog for this week, every day I will showcase one of their beautiful stamps, or a stencil. I love their latest botanical stamps.

I would love for you to visit me there at this link. Thank you so much.

A meadow scene I made inspired by a challenge on the Color Q blog of a very trendy dress; using several of my solid flower stamps which are some of my all time favorites.

News about Rodney is not good. He is once again in hospital, he is too weak to stay at home and the doctors are concerned. He is not eating as he should due to pain in his gums and his intestines. It looks inevitable that he will have to have an operation- however our faith and hope in the God of Healing remains.

This is Part Two of the Eagle and Parrot story that I shared last week:

Of Parrots and Eagles, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
Eagle thinkers ask the hard questions, take strategic risks, search hard for the whole truth, and soar high above mediocrity. Parrot people enjoy the predictable, routine, rehearsed words of others.
The church is overrun with parrots and virtually devoid of eagles. Too harsh? You decide. Who are the eagles today who offer fresh-from-the-mountain insights about world missions, biblical doctrines, evangelism, Christian education, apologetics, and the disciplines of the faith? Who are those who forge out creative ways of communicating the truths of Scripture so that it's more than a hodge-podge of borrowed thoughts and rehearsals of the obvious which tend to paralyze the critical faculties of active minds?
Eagles are independent thinkers.
It's not that they abandon the orthodox faith or question the authority of God's inerrant Word . . . it's simply that they are weary of being told, "Stay on the perch and repeat after me." Eagles have built-in perspective, a sensitivity that leaves room for fresh input that hasn't been glazed by overuse.
The church today is in desperate need of eagles---people who come to their tasks with the abandonment of that keen-minded Jew from Tarsus. If you need an illustration, read Romans. Like a careful midwife, Paul assists in the birth of doctrine, allowing it to breathe and scream, stretch and grow, as God the Creator designed it to do. And he isn't afraid to say it for the first time, using a whole new vocabulary and style that is as original as it is accurate. There's not as much as a parrot feather on one page of that one-of-a-kind letter.
So then, which will it be? If you like being a parrot, stay put. But if you're an eagle at heart, what are you doing on that perch? Do you have any idea how greatly you're needed to soar and explore? Do you realize how out of place you are inside that cage? Even though others may not tell you, eagles look pretty silly stuck on a perch picking over a tasteless pile of dried seeds.
I've never heard anybody ask, "Eagle want a cracker?"

 I hope you all have a wonderful week. We are having a visit from René's brother's family for three days and then are going to a Wedding in England, if the situation with Rodney allows us.

Thank you for your visit!

Blessings and enjoy the Summer!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Color palette

This was inspiration from Pinterest. It must have stayed in my head because the next card I made had the same colors..

So I put the two together:

This flower stamp has given me so much enjoyment, it makes a card in minutes.

Talking about birds... (see above picture), I have something for some of you to ponder on. When I read it, it fit into everything I believe about our spiritual life.. I wonder what you will think!

Of Parrots and Eagles, Part One
by Charles R. Swindoll
We are running shy of eagles, and we're running over with parrots.
Content to sit safely on our evangelical perches and repeat in rapid-fire falsetto our religious words, we are fast becoming overpopulated with bright-colored birds having soft bellies, big beaks, and little heads. What would help to balance things out would be a lot more keen-eyed, wide-winged creatures willing to soar out and up, exploring the illimitable ranges of the kingdom of God . . . willing to return with a brief report on their findings before they leave the nest again for another fascinating adventure.
Parrot people are much different than eagle thinkers. They like to stay in the same cage, pick over the same pan full of seeds, and listen to the same words over and over again until they can say them with ease. They like company too. Lots of attention, a scratch here, a snuggle there, and they'll stay for years right on the same perch. You and I can't remember the last time we saw one fly. Parrots like the predictable, the secure, the strokes they get from their mutual admiration society.
Not eagles. There's not a predictable pinion in their wings! They think. They love to think. They are driven with this inner urge to search, to discover, to learn. And that means they're courageous, tough-minded, willing to ask the hard questions as they bypass the routine in vigorous pursuit of the truth. The whole truth. "The deep things of God"---fresh from the Himalayan heights, where the thin air makes thoughts pure and clear---rather than the tired, worn distillations of humanity. And unlike the intellectually impoverished parrot, eagles take risks getting their food because they hate anything that comes from a small dish of picked-over seeds . . . it's boring, dull, repetitious, and dry.
Although rare, eagles are not completely extinct in the historic skies of the church. Thomas Aquinas was one, as were Augustine and Bunyan, Wycliffe and Huss. So were G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Robert Dick Wilson, J. Gresham Machen, W. R. Nicoll, and A. W. Tozer.
Many of the reformers qualify, as do John Newton, George Whitefield, and a long line of nonconformists---original thinkers whose lives were interwoven through the treasured tapestry of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
And in our day? We could name some . . . but they are increasingly rarer, as the "Entertain Me" philosophy of the public outshouts those who plead, "Make me think!"
Have you fallen prey to a similar mind-set? Do you find yourself contentedly sitting on your perch, pecking at dry morsels rather than longing for the skies? Think about it.

I will quote part two the next time I post. In the mean time we have something to think about :) I can tell you that I long for the skies!

The weather here is super hot - a French summer in the making. As long as it doesn't get humid I am enjoying this weather!

Until next time!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Virginia's View Challenge - use a diecut

Good morning! Hope all is well with you. I am looking at the lavender that is blooming in my garden and enjoying the red plum tree that is growing just above it... hmmm, I am thinking that red and lavender would make a lovely color combination for a card, with a touch of green. Maybe I will work on that one.

This card is for Virginia's challenge, which can be found here. I do not have a diecut machine, but I do have lovely fellow card-makers who send me them. This one is a circle diecut that Sue sent me ages ago. I have tried to cut out a circle with scissors, it is never perfect. Actually I was inspired by Virginia herself as she has used alcohol inks on her card backgrounds a lot lately.
On this card I used alcohol inks on glossy card stock for the background and white embossed the image. For the circle I used distress inks to stamp this Poppy from Hero Arts. Surely I thought the colors of alcohol and distress inks would not let themselves be combined, but they do. My other source of inspiration is in this post from Laura Jane. She reminded me of the Tapestry background stamp from Hero Arts, which I have used on this card.

Just sharing a photo of Mother and child. Vivian with a sleeping Seréna in her arms. Actually I have some photos of her now with her eyes open and she is beginning to recognize us and smile. 

Rodney is home from Hospital but his intestines are playing up again while the ulcers in his mouth are clearing up - seems a no-win situation at the moment. Here is an article which was published to promote awareness of this illness, as it seems that in the UK alone, 260,000 people suffer with it.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Hello! Thanks for all your good wishes (and separate e-mails) about Rodney, so appreciate you all. He is back in the hospital and is feeling a bit better with treatment. He just asked his dad if we could import a load of Saté with Peanut butter sauce from Holland - as he hasn't eaten for a while :)!

This is a fairly new stamp from Hero Arts called 'Poppy' - H5904.

Its not easy to get a good print with it, so had to experiment with inks and water before I was satisfied. Actually it doesn't need too much water, it stamps better without it.


I stamped on pp, and adhered to a winelabel. Gold embossed the sentiment.

This second card was made by using a free download which was adhered to pp. I used a text stamp from Hero Arts to stamp on the right side and attached a butterfly and a stamped a sentiment. I love making this collage cards! Wish their was a challenge around to make these, but it's very seldom you will find them.

Lastly, had to mention my son, Michaël and his fiancé, Roxane who will be getting married on September 6th this year. The last son to leave the house - I will miss him very much. I'm so proud of these two.

Thanks for your visit!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A share

Yesterday we had some real bad thunder storms and hail. It was about five in the afternoon, the sky was black and all of a sudden these huge hail stones fell from the sky. They were as big as an average ice cube and in some places in the area, bigger than golf balls, and they rained down for at least twenty minutes! My chickens were in the garden and although I tried a heroic run with the umbrella to get them to safety, I could not entice them into a shelter. Later I found them huddled against a tree, soaking wet but not distressed at all. A violent wind tumbled several trees a bit further away from us but unfortunately in most areas the Wine harvest has been devastated. The vines have been ruined.

On a postive note, we had our little Seréna for an evening to look after. We did have to carry her around a lot because then she stopped crying - the days I had to do that for my children came back to me.

Now on the creativity side. I bought a new stamp: Flowers on a Stem from Hero Arts H5935:

A new stamp means new inspiration and I thought this one was worth investing in.

Adhered several layers of patterned paper before I attached a stamped panel and attached a butterfly to wish somebody a Happy Birthday.

I love it in pink too - here I used distress markers direct to stamp and sprayed with water for the watercolor look.

This is a one layer card, for the challenge on the Hero Arts Blog.

The latest news of our son is that he is not doing so good. He had to stop his medicine because of the side effects. It is puzzling the doctors. He now has a mouth full of very sore blisters and cannot eat and hardly talk. It seems his whole body is suffering. It has been like this for the last several months and he is slowly loosing heart although he keeps his faith intact. Just today somebody passed on a beautiful song to listen too, made after Psalm 13 - when you hear it as a song, the whole psalm comes alive!
I don't know if you are going through trials in your walk with God today, but please listen to this beautiful song and be reminded of God's faithfulness!

The psalm begins: How long, O Lord, will you forget me for ever
                            How long will you hide your face from me?
                            How long must I bear pain in my soul,
                            and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
                            How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

and it ends:   But I have trusted in they steadfast love;
                   my heart shall rejoice in they salvation.
                    I will sing to the Lord,
                   because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Blessings to you all,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Two quick cards

A huge Thank You for all the lovely comments I received on my last post - so appreciated all your good wishes for becoming a Grandmother!

I am having trouble finding time to craft these days. I used to have lots of time but it just doesn't happen nowadays. I wonder whether it is the Summer time.

 I can share a couple of quick cards I made today, trying to find some inspiration.  The panel 'Marché aux fleurs - Paris' was a free download I found via Pinterest. I stamped the Hero Arts Large Tulip Etching H1893 on the first one and a little bit of green around the edges, adding one of my scrap basket butterflies, in need of a home, to finish it off. The second cards uses a different flower stamp but has the same collage elements. Love doing collage style cards like this.

My second card is also a free download and reminded me of the summer colors in my garden, especially the apricots which are orangey yellow. All I did was add a background panel of PP, a butterfly, a couple of embellishments and stamped a Hero Arts sentiment. About the apricots, I made a very quick jam with them together with peaches last week.

To finish off, a little photo of my grand-daughter, a week after her birth. There is only one who can create like this and that is God!! There is quite a connection between her and her granddad, she just seems so content when he holds her. What a blessing!

Hope to see you all again soon!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Introducing... Seréna Yannai de Groot


Today, early in the morning at 0.41 a.m. little Seréna Yannai was born, a beautiful little girl and my first granddaughter! We went to visit this afternoon and were able to hold her, hear her little voice, watch her sleep and even look into her eyes and see her smile! Mother is doing well although very tired and the new Father is so proud of his little girl.

So, here I am with her at last. She weighed in at 3,7 kilos and is healthy and well... serene!

All praise be to God for His Blessings, giving us a little girl to cherish and to pray for!
Have a lovely weekend!