Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tag and cookies

Hello! I hope your Christmas was peaceful and enjoyable! No snow here, in fact we had such high temperatures that it felt like a summer's day here.

I'm sharing two little projects (in one photo) that I enjoyed doing last night. I found a little box full of old scraps so I designed this little tag with them. The tag is a download which I printed out twice in two different sizes. I have to say that I love the Dogwood stamp. I used distress markers and sprayed with water.
The little bag to the right, is a Magazine project from Daphne's Diary, which probably some of my Dutch friends will recognize. 

 For Christmas I treated myself to a little Chocolate mould biscuit set. I saw it at the local supermarket for a good price. Loved the French theme. Here is the result.

I am getting in the crafting mood once again and just love Pinterest for inspiration too.
Hoping you have a wonderful, creative and BLESSED New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas mail

I wanted to make a little Christmas mail just reminiscing over the past year - a year full of blessing and encouragement. My last six-monthly appointment this month gave me a clean report. I can only thank the Heavenly Father for His constant care. One son got married, David went to a new Home. I am still in love with my husband, something to be unbelievably happy about! When I see all my boys sitting next to each other in Church then I only have a deep, deep, thankfulness which wells up inside and bursts in praise to God!
I also had a time when I started to complain. I felt cut off from the world. My latest trip to Holland and the wonderful counseling of a great friend of mine helped me to make a decision - I will be where God wants me to be because of who He IS, not because of what He does. It has brought a new peace into my life! Having a relationship with somebody means you love them for who they are, right? The same goes for God!! I just want to be a blessing to other people and share His Peace and Light.

Our family picture

Another feat was that I made my first real English Christmas cake, I didn't know I could do it, but enjoyed the process immensely, especially making Marzipan,  it was easier than I thought. So, I made four small ones, as I thought they would make nice Christmas gifts, but only managed to give one away :)

This is the only one I have left. I think I received the piece of lace from Susanne, Illinois - everything comes in handy! So now I have my mince pies, sausage rolls, spicy pears and peaches and other Christmas specials ready. Tomorrow I am going to marinate my turkey (which is called brining). The recipe is here for those interested. I made my own 'bouquet garni' from the herbs I have in the garden. Tied a piece of string around them and put them in a little yoghurt pot so they don't dry out.

Then I have a Chistmas card to share. I have a lovely basket which carries the cards I have received in the past years, it is a treasure chest! I love to look through them for inspiration. I got inspired to make this one using distress markers. Gives such a different look to using a distress pad.

And I made a couple of vintage tags which I added to two gift packages.

To close I wanted to quote a devotional which just confirmed what I wrote above. It speaks volumes to me and I want to cherish it for the coming year and work with it.

A Father and a Friend
Luke 11:1--13
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find ..." (v. 9)

The great danger of a quiet time is that we will use it as an opportunity to petition God rather than to know Him and be known by Him. I thought back to a statement I remember reading in C. S. Lewis's book, Prayer: Letters to Malcolm, to the effect that the older he got the less involved he became in petitionary prayer. "The strange thing is," said Lewis, "the more I pray for things the less my prayers seem to get answered. I think God is leading me on to ask less and less for things and more and more for Himself." Then he expressed this profound thought: "Prayer is taking part in the process of being known." I glanced up as I wrote those words and looked out at the trees in my garden.

God knows everything there is to know about those trees, but they are not persons so they cannot join in the process of being known. God knows all there is to know about me, but that objective knowledge is quite different from the process of drawing close to Him in prayer and letting Him know me through my opening up to Him. One is objective knowledge, the other experiential. And what is breathtakingly marvelous about all this is that in every spiritual tĂȘte-to-tĂȘte I hold with God, He seeks to draw my soul into such a relationship with Him that I know Him as a Father and a Friend. Such knowledge is almost too good to be true. But also too good not to be true.

Just wanted to say THANK YOU for being so kind, for your visits, your lovely feedback and for the beautiful, inspirational work you do on your blogs. I really enjoy your company!

May God's richest blessing be yours in 2013 and Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vintage Christmas and revisiting a Christmas Tag

I have been playing with some Christmas vintage images to make a couple of cards which I know I will need in the coming weeks.

and this one

 A long time ago there used to be a challenge called 'Tag Tuesday' which was hosted by Louise Granlund. That used to be a little highlight of my week. I thought it would be nice to revisit one of the Christmas tags I made at that time. We were to use three certain colors, which I found very hard. The nice thing about revisiting a card or tag is that you already have the design and all you need to do is use different elements to get a totally different look.

This is my tag for 2012

And this is my old Christmas tag from 2010. I made it into a tag-card, it opens up for a written message.

 Wishing you all the best with the Christmas preparations.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Frames from Stampendous

A dear blogging friend of mine, Susanne, sent me the new frames from Stampendous. I was so excited and saw straight away many possibilities incorporating other stamps into the frames. This afternoon I worked out a design I had in my head with the elegant Reindeer stamp from Hero Arts and embossed in white.

I wanted to start adding... a sentiment, more pearls, a ribbon, and then I thought, no just leave it like it is.

This afternoon I am going to start on my mince pies, I want to be well prepared this Christmas!

Before I go, a photo of the Ark of Noah we visited last week. It is docked in Dordrecht in Holland and will be traveling around the world in the future, to bring the Biblical Message into many homes.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Busy.. and a couple of Christmas Cards

This is such a busy time of the year. I have been writing my Christmas cards and thinking about the Christmas preparations. I have the tree up and the wreaths - so cozy!
My heart has found much more rest since Friday when we picked up David to find him happy, relaxed and upbeat! I was so thankful to God as I had prayed all week that I would find him settled and at peace. Change takes time to get used too and we have to give ourselves and other people time to adapt.

This is a joint effort Christmas card. Susanne sent me this deer diecut a long time ago and the snowflakes are from my American friend Betty, who visited me in the summer. I got the idea for this card from Pinterest and it was one of those cards I just had to case. I also embossed some snowflakes on the patterned paper. I can't take credit for the stitching because it was already on the paper, which I believe also came from Susanne. So you see how much we need each other in crafting!

Edit: Just adding another card which was made with a different die cut. I used the Misty Garden pattern background stamp from Hero Arts and stamped a Christmas definition three times. Added some die-cut snowflakes and it was done very quickly. I will be adding this card (which I made today 05/12) to the challenge on Simon Says stamp blog who are asking for snowflake cards.

 And another one.

Other than that, I have been cooking - since I got introduced (via the TV and books) to a very inspiring cook (Jamie Oliver), I have been on a discovery trip and want to get hold of as many herbs, spices etc. that I can!

This was so nice.
On Sunday we came home from Church to find that one of our shoes had been put in front of the fire with a burlap wrapped present and a poem. This had to be our son and daughter in law as they excused themselves from the church service earlier than usual. They had been preparing all day Saturday as they made their own Pepernoten, which are sweet spicy little biscuits, which were in our shoes, and a lovely poem for everybody. It was such a lovely treat and so thoughtful of them.
This is what they call Sinter Klaas in the Netherlands, and it is usually celebrated around the 5th of December.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Paper Players Challenge

I love paper challenges and was drawn to this sketch on the Paper Players Blog here.

This is the sketch

And this is my card, using distress inks, the Hydrangea stamp from Hero Arts and some patterned paper.
In fact the card doesn't look small, but it measures 12x9cm. Sometimes, I prefer the smaller cards to the big ones. I am also adding to this to 'Anything goes" in the Simon Says Stamp weekly challenge here.

Life has settled down a bit more now. I know that David is doing o.k. and that with time he will settle down and accept his new life style. I still feel I need to find my place.
Thanks for your visit, I really appreciate you all!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Winner Give-away and Tuesday Trigger share

Happy Thanksgiving to all the lovely American ladies who visit my blog! We do not celebrate this here in France, which I think we should! Yesterday I went to visit David to make some puzzles with him and Friday I get to pick him up early in the afternoon. I am soooo looking forward to it, makes me happy. He was doing o.k. but I still feel I have to fill up his battery to let him go again on Monday for a week, until the following Friday.

Without further ado, Random Org gave me nr.6 - I skipped over Barb as she didn't want to be entered and came to LAURA JANE - congratulations!! I also want to send Janet L something as she was the official nr.6, but I decided beforehand I would skip those that didn't want to be entered because I didn't do that the last time around.... oh dear, does it sound complicated? So I would love to receive your address Janet L to send you a card.

This week's Tuesday Trigger is so inspiring and challenging. I decided on a CAS design using the Starburst Lace stamp from Hero Arts. I popped up the butterfly which is punched out, for dimension.

Thanks once again to Cath from the Moxie Fab World who challenges us on a regular basis! The challenge can be found here.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A little celebration give-away!

The lovely Cath asked me to be a Moxie Fabber a while ago.. I was so excited! So for those who are interested, it was featured on the Moxie Fab World blog yesterday and here is the link. I'm celebrating with a little give away, courtesy of Hero Arts, who kindly let me keep some stamps, which I had received twice!

I think its a good thing to celebrate when we can - there are still so many good things in life, so many blessings that come along our paths.

This card will be accompanying the Stamp Set Floral Blossoms which is pictured below. Just leave me a comment if you would like to be in the drawing. The card is made on a journaling card using punched out squares from projects not used.

Thanks to everyone who was so kind as to leave me such lovely comments on my interview; I was overwhelmed yesterday. I also want to thank everyone who has been leaving me such encouraging feedback over David, it has helped just to talk about it and sharing with you.

God bless!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas cards for Scrambles

Yes, there were tears in the car yesterday. David started tearing up and I started...
I am so happy to have him home so that I can pamper and love him to bits. He seems to drink it all in. When he went to bed last night, he started looking all around him, just remembering his room, his cupboard, his springy warm water-bed. He was snoring in no time! Care-ladies can't take the place of a mum and I've noticed that it may take quite some time before David finds his rhythm. Apparently he won't take off his shoes, as if to say, I want to go home. Even in the evenings, he sits with his shoes on and they have difficulty getting him into bed... I am going to be phoning and calling in more often I think.

Today is a 24 hour scramble day on the Hero Arts Flickr Gallery. Different volunteers take it in turn to  host a 45 minute card-making time with a special theme. So, as it includes all time periods, I was able to take part.

This was for the theme 'Use a tag on your card'. I was going so quickly because I had to go shopping that the C on the Christmas wasn't complete. This is a HA sentiment.
I found these window cards very cheaply at the ALDI. I used the front of a 6x6 Christmas pad which I have kept for ages and adhered it to the back. Then I picked out a small tag and adhered a small snowflake and two branches which were die cuts from Betty (thanks Betty) to make a snow flower arrangement.

This is a card for my son to give to his girlfriend this Christmas. Cecilia's challenge was "All that glitters is not gold, or silver". The card had to glitter but not with silver or gold.

And this photo was taken this week Thursday. The weather was so warm that my daughter in law with her two friends, took my crafting supplies outside to play with them! Can't imagine that now, we have had to light the fire today!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thank You and a Collage card

THANK YOU all so much for your uplifting comments on my last post about David. It helped me so much! The crafting community has once again proven to be a source of encouragement and positivity and it makes me so thankful for this outlet!

Although I am much better than last week my inspiration levels are very low and I'm not feeling like crafting. I miss David coming home every day at 5:45, cuddling him, feeding him and waking him up for school in the mornings. There is such a quietness in the air although he never spoke!

Here he is on Monday morning after spending his first weekend at home, we were getting ready to take him back again. His dad praying for him for the week.

And I made some cupcakes... this one is for David

So, I do have one card to share that was made as a case of my crafting friend Susanne's card. A layered college card, using Scrap basket bits and pieces. Love that when a card comes together.


Saturday, November 10, 2012


I have had such a difficult week. Last Monday 07/11 was the day that David, our son of 22 years, went to his new Home. Having become an adult he had to leave his School in Carcassonne to enter into a new structure in his life. That meant, no bus that would pick him up and bring him home every day. That meant that I would be bound to the house even more and even have to take him to work with me. The fact that he is severely handicapped in that he is deaf and mute as well as having Down Syndrome and autistic behavior patterns, made my task even heavier. Our lives revolved around David, he was my first thought in the morning and my last at night. If we wanted to do something or go somewhere our first thought had to be... and David?? When we really needed a break our sons would step in and look after him, but they had to look after a grown man who couldn't even go to the toilet on his own, someone had to be there to help him.

 David, with his dad in the mornings.. sometimes he had tears in his eyes but we never knew why...

He was admitted into a beautiful new Center for handicapped people, having his own room with en suite bathroom and lovely ladies who look after him day and night. Of course he will have to adapt, just like us, and it made me feel guilty, but I had the conviction deep down inside from God that it was the right step to take. I have looked after him for 22 years! A big empty space came to the surface in his absence, and he had only been gone for four days... I will have to deal with it slowly and surely, asking the Lord to fill in that space. The blessing in all of this is that he is not too far away - yesterday I picked him up for the weekend, and he will return again on Monday morning. We hope to have him with us in the weekends just seeing how it goes. He was looking good and had a smile on his face! I think he can handle more than I think he can! He is the second son to leave the nest and we feel like we are in a transition period - a twilight zone. Having left the old state of things we are waiting for what the future will bring, the Plans the Lord may have for us.

Our prayer is still every day for him:  
The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
The memories I will treasure of him

Life is not always how we want it, but it is very important to stay thankful to God and to see the blessings amidst the sorrows. He has promised that ALL THINGS WILL WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSES! Rom.8:28
There are many people who are suffering in the world at the moment and I am thinking of those who lost their homes in Sandy - then I feel that my suffering is so small compared to what other people have to go through in life. I want to remain a thankful woman and count my blessings daily, giving thanks to God who is a Helper in times of need!

 I am going to share a card for the blog challenge on the blog I just recently discovered (thanks Ross!) and the topic this week was being thankful!! Here is the link.
Thanks for listening!
God bless,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Distress inks and creating dimension

Just a little card to share with you today.

 I have found that stamping with distress inks over a distressed background can be very effective, but if you stamp the inked stamp twice without reinking it creates a shadow effect which gives depth. I hope this card shows you that.
Stamps used are the Leaf Sprig from Stampendous and a sentiment from Versus Rubber stamps.
I am joining the Word Art Wednesday Challenge with this card. The link is here.

Thats all for today!

P.S. Love that the blogs can be interactive! Here's wat Susanne from Canada had to say about the Pumpkin Soup recipe:
Hi Jacqueline :) I lovvve your patchwork pumpkin and Betty's pumpkin too!! Gorgeous! Guess what I'm doing right now ... it's very late, but after I saw your Potimarron Soup recipe .. I just had to go to the kitchen .. yup .. I'm busy making potimarron soup. Now I didn't know that is what you call these little squash-like pumpkins but I always get them from the farmer in the Fall. I have made a similar soup using a cooking-pumpkin but I really prefer the taste of these potimarron .. it's more full bodied is the only way I can describe it. I've been loving all of your beautiful cards that I've been seeing. Sending you a hug,Susanne

Jacqueline, I made a huge pot of the potimarron soup late last night .. it is sooo good!! Love the addition of the apples!! I had family come over today, everyone loved the soup and had second helpings. It's all gone!!! I will have to make some more tomorrow so that I will have it during the week! Thanks so much for sharing Jacqueline .. there is always so many wonderful things on your blog. I love your quote from CS Lewis. sending hugs, Susanne 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Pumpkins remind me of a beautiful fruit or vegetable that lends itself to delicious cooking! My friend, Betty, who visited me this summer was so kind as to send me a paper pumpkin, as well as a template so that I could make my own.

This is Betty's gorgeous pumpkin card:

and this is the pumpkin I made, which has always been my wish, to make it patchwork!

Thank you Betty!

Now onto a lovely recipe for Pumpkin soup. Only I don't use this kind of pumpkin but a POTIMARRON, which is part of the pumpkin family but much smaller and it has a different shape. I can buy them at our supermarket and this is what they look like. As you can see I also have some black tomatoes and I just love Red peppers too!

In most recipes the Potimarron has to be peeled and cut up into slices. Well I don't do that because it takes too long and mostly this vegetable is quite hard to cut through. So, I cut it in half and remove all the seeds, wash it and put it into a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes, peel and all. When it is soft, the skin can be removed quite easily and thrown away.

1 Potimarron of about 1kg
2 onions
2 apples
1 tablespoon of brown suger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 or 2 chicken broth cubes

Peel onions and slice.  Peel apples, slice in four, take out the core, cut into pieces.  Put olive oil into a high pan and when hot, fry the onions for three minutes. Add the apple and the sugar and fry together for another five minutes on medium heat stirring all the time. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and crumble the chicken broth cubes into the soup. Add the Potimarron which has already been peeled and cooked to the pan and add some water so that it isn't too thick. Add according to the consistency you like, but it must remain thick. Cook on a very low heat for a good five minutes. Then, either with a wand mixer or another type of Kitchen machine, puree it all together.
Add more of the above spices according to the taste you like. After serving the soup, add some cream to the top.
This is what it should look like:

If you do make it, which can be done just as well with pumpkins, please tell me.

Have a lovely weekend!
ps - I had to translate this recipe from Dutch to English, so I hope it makes sense.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paper Crafting Tips and Tricks Week: The Journaling Cards Challenge

I love these challenge weeks that Cath hosts on the Moxie Fab World Blog! I won't be able to do all the challenges, but this one really inspired me. Cath says: 'Created as journaling prompts for layouts, journaling cards aren't just for scrapbookers any more'! The challenge can be found here. Even though I don't have any journaling cards, I found this one which was for free download on the Internet. Now, I'm wishing I did have some because the possibilities are endless with them!

This is the card I made, using Hero Arts Stamps. The roses, from the Pattern, heart and flowers set CL596, have been embossed and painted with distress ink dried Marigold. The whole sentiment reads: I am thankful for... YOU, which is part of a sentiment which I stamped.

As I had some scraps over, I thought I would use a journaling card to make a Tag too. The sentiment reads, I am thankful for... the little things, which once again is part of a Hero Arts sentiment.

26/10 - Then, I actually did find a journaling card in my stash, so I thought I would make it into a little love-letter for my DH... The writing is on the back of course... This little heart is from Hero Arts too, never used it until now.

31/10 - I have a couple more Journaling cards to share, so instead of creating another link, I'm adding them to this one

and this one

And I made this one which was a case of one of my Blog friends Hellemor's cards, for theStitching and Sewing challenge, which can be found here

I stitched around the edge and then turned the panel over before I adhered the stamped panel and I stamped a faux zigzag HA stamp at the bottom.

Quote from the blog:
All hail the latest and greatest special issue from Paper Crafts magazine! With its roots in the PC101 column found in every edition of the regular magazine, Paper Crafting Tips & Tricks gives you 6 moxie creative ideas on how to utilize products and techniques in your paper crafting and then shows you 6 additional ways to incorporate those ideas into actual projects.  All totaled, there are 252 inspiring ideas, and we're going to be celebrating along with Paper Crafts Connection all week long!

Today's challenge is squares, which I love working with for grids, but I don't think that is innovative enough for Cath! Will have to thank about that one.


Kitchen tips

I had to share these with you! Did you know that Jamie Oliver has a new series of programs called '15 minute meals'? I watch them daily because this man inspires me to like cooking! From two programs, heres what I have learned:

- Now and again we can all eat a Rump steak, right? When you buy your meat, make sure you buy it THICK, don't buy the thin slivers! Why? Because they will cook right through too quickly. This is how he did it. He put oil into his pan which he has on full gas - he sprinkles the board with salt, pepper and 5-spice (which I believe is Ginger, paprika, coriander, curry and cumin, could be wrong...) and puts the meat into the spice which picks it up on both sides. Then he puts it into the hot oil and turns EVERY MINUTE for four  or five minutes. This is too avoid the moisture that forms on the bottom of the meat dampening the oil.
Yesterday I noticed that the shops sold thin slivers of Rump steak - which is odd, living here in a cuisine country!

- Second tip was how he savored his chicken filets. He put four or five on kitchen paper. Sprinkled salt and pepper over them and fresh Rosemary. Then he closed the kitchen paper over the top of the meat, and bashed the filets lightly with a roller pin. Why? So that the rosemary gets 'bashed' into the meat to give it more flavor. Liked that one!

Thirdly I noticed that he slices his asparagus with a potato peeler and eats them raw, on salads. Never knew you could eat them raw, but it is logic! I love raw mushrooms too.

Fourthly, he was preparing a salad with that very thin angel hair pasta. He doesn't boil it in a pan of water. He put hot water from the kettle into a bowl and puts the pasta into it for three to four minutes to swell before its ready.

To save time with a potato dish, he slices them in his Kitchen machine, peel and all, cooks them for 3-4 minutes and they are ready to go into the oven together with onions and cream!

To remove the stalk of a Paprika, just push it in and then pull it out!

Never use oil or butter in a griddle pan - the beauty of it is that the meat cooks in its own fat, which is healthier.

Such a clever man, I really like him.