Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quick scrap cards and an Update

Hello, hope everybody is doing well!
Just got back from a Wedding in the U.K. on Monday evening. Had a very nice time with family and friends and it was refreshing to have a change of air (as they say in France) and have a break from the routine.
I have an update on Rodney which I will share after the cards.

Sometimes its good just to look what is lying on your desk and assemble a card with what you find. For instance, this is what I had on my desk this morning when I looked through a little pile (see above). At first glance it doesn't seem to coordinate, but it does as you will below. There is even a little watermark at the top of the patterned paper which I had to cover up with a flower (from the scrap basket).

So this is what the little pile of scraps became. A card to send to somebody with an encouraging message inside!

Then my second card was just lying on my desk unfinished. So, I finished it to add to this post today.
I used some card stock patterned paper as my card base and some free downloads. The big sentiment in the middle is from Hero Arts.

Now a little update. Yesterday we went to see Rodney who is still in Intensive Care. It was a big operation and quite a shock to see him with two big holes in his lower body fitted with bags and tubes to drain all fluids from his intestines, well what is left of them. He has a huge bruise on the right side of his body apparently caused by internal bleeding. It is marked off so that they can monitor its spreading because it has to be stopped. He has a Catheter in his neck for feeding and other fluids and medicines he has to take, as they couldn't find a vein in his arms suitable enough. He has strappings around his legs so as not to get any blood clots.Yesterday he had a temporary intestine paralysis and was in pain. He is attached to a lot of machinery and everything is registered into a computer. He cannot get out of bed, nurses have to wash and help him with everything and he has been in IC for five days now. But he can still talk and laugh and we enjoyed being with him - but oh boy - Please GOD help this guy recover!! It was such a privilege to pray with him and to feel the presence of the Lord in his hospital room!
I have been very encouraged with your feedback and would love to ask for your continued support! Thank you!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summertime in my garden and news

I am just sharing about my garden today as many times during an afternoon when I am home from work, I see things and I think - I have to grab my camera..

 I didn't know that a green tree frog was sleeping undisturbed in this flower pot, until I decided it needed some water...out it popped, with earth on its nose, looking around thinking what hit him!

And then he lifted his back leg carefully onto the side of the pot, thinking, I've got to get out of here!

Then my chickens made me laugh too,  they come and join me when I sit outside and sit in the shade under this chair. I do believe that Dally is taking a nap!

My wild plum tree - gave a lovely harvest this year and I made a thick syrup for in deserts with it. I don't use sugar in my jams,  honey is much healthier.

My lavender bushes are unstoppable and provide a beautiful scent along the driveway all through the summer. Then the Oleanders that bloom richly every year.

My last picture is my son Rodney, who has had his Colon removed this morning due to his illness. After surgery he will wait for two months before the next operation when a reconstruction shall be done to give him a new Colon allowing him to live as much a normal life as possible without all the side effects the medicine would otherwise give. I am a bit nervous about it all, but my hope and trust is and will be in the Lord as is the case with Rodney too. He will be in intensive care for 48 hours.
Edit: we just got news that everything went well!

Thanks to everyone who was so kind to visit me over on the Penny Black blog.
Have a sunny weekend!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!