Friday, December 31, 2010

CTMH January Blog Hop

Happy New Year!  What amazing things do you think are in store for you in 2011?  I can hardly wait to find out what God has planned for me.
Welcome to the first SOTM Blog Hop for this new year.  If you arrived from Lori's blog, then you are on the right path.  Is this your first time hopping with us?  It's super easy.  At the end of each blog post, you'll find a link to click on to hop you to the next one.  When you get back here, you've hit them all.
The stamp-of-the-month this month is just gorgeous, full of beautiful images like a bird, a butterfly and a dress form created out of wonderfully inspiring words.  I was so excited when my new product arrived that I had to work with it for this card.  I'm sure you'll see lots of artwork on the hop made with the new Wings paper.  It's stunning!

Here is my card:

I used a clear card as my base. Then added the Wings paper, Black Mini-Medleys and the Wings Level 2 Assortment (that fabulous black ribbon), all of which are new products available this month!  I stamped the butterfly in Vineyard Berry on the Colonial White piece and then on another piece so I could cut it out and pop its wings, using the Rock 'n' Roll technique in Black on the top one.  Look closely at those fabulous words.

Here is a photo of the inside:

I again stamped the butterfly rockin' and rollin', but in second generation.  I don't have a close up of the words there, but click on the image and you can see it bigger. All the papers except the inside patten were ink distressed with Black.

I hope you like it as much as I do!  And if you are a customer of mine, or don't have your own consultant, email me to find out how you can get these products and unlock some more amazing deals this month!

Now it's time for you to hop on over to Nancy's blog and see what wonderful things she's made.  Happy Creating!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Giving Away Blog Candy!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I know I'm a few days late, but I still wanted to say it.  I hope you had a blessed Christmas spent with family and friends.  We were able to spend Christmas Day with my husband's mom and sister and her family for the very first time!  It was so nice, extra special.
Anyway, I've finally decided on my blog candy.  I've now reached 104 followers!  Wow, I can hardly believe it. So fun!
Here is what one lucky follower will receive:

This blog candy includes ten, yes 10, cards made by me.  Some of them are from past Workshops-on-the-Go so they may seem familiar.
How do you win?  Well, you get one chance just for being a follower.  Post a comment and you'll get another chance.  Share my blog candy on your blog and then let me know and you'll get another chance!
I'll draw a winner one week from today, Wednesday, January 5.

Happy Creating!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Studio J: Don't have it? Studio J it!

There are so many things happening at my house right now, in fact it's felt like that for a few months!  I'm so looking forward to the Christmas holidays, which have officially started now that my kids are off school.  The holidays mean I can take a bit of a breather.  We can have pajama days here at home, take our time in the morning, and there aren't a million things pulling me in all sorts of directions.
Another thing I love about this time is spending time with family.  For the first time we will be able to celebrate Christmas with my husband's family!  They just recently moved to our province, only an hour and a half away.  My family (brother and his family, sister, mom and dad) have always been close.  We get together a lot.
Here is a layout I did of one of those times.  I think it was just a normal Sunday afternoon.  I was staying with my parents because my hubby was in Central America.  (This is before I started going along.)  Since I was there, my brother and his family came for the afternoon.  That almost bald guy is my twin brother.  Okay, he just shaves his head.  ;)  You can click on the photo to see it larger.

This layout is an example of one of the perks to using Studio J.  The paper kit I used is called Zipidee.  I don't own any of the classic Level 2 kit, never have.  But now I have a layout made with it.  I think the colours on this page work perfectly with my photos.  I didn't add much to the page, other than colourize the suggested embellishments.  This one was a pretty quick layout.  
I love scrapbooking the unique relationship my kids have with their Uncle Tony.  He's a pretty crazy guy and did just about anything to get a grin from Nathaniel here, or at least to keep him riveted to his face.
So, what special relationship do you love to celebrate in your layouts?  I'd love to hear about it.

Happy Creating!  (And stay tuned for some blog candy!  I promise it is coming.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

CTMH: Any-Purpose Club Layout

I've been meaning to post this layout for a couple weeks.  I decided to do a fairly generic theme so my club members could use it for just about anything.  And since paper flowers are so much fun to make, we did that as well. (Just click on the photo to see it larger.)

This is one of the layouts from our new How-To book, Magic, although I chose to leave the interactive portion out of this one.  I am really trying hard to use up older paper, so we created this layout with Grace.  I love the earthy tones in it.  We also used Picture Perfect for the stamped titles and Comments for the journaling lines.  The following photos are close-ups of the embellishment clusters and you can see where we inked and scored the Cocoa cardstock at every 1/2 inch.  You'll also notice that we edged everything, except the darker patterned paper, with a Direct-to-Paper technique in Cocoa ink.  Just brush your ink pad along the edges of the paper.

You may notice that my paper flowers don't look like the ones you're used to seeing.  I chose to only use 3 or 4 layers (cut with my NEW Nestibilities!).  I didn't want them to be too bulky since these pages will be going into albums.
For my club members who are using this post to help them create this layout, here is a photo of what each flower needs from your little embellishment package.

I just realized that the little gold brad sitting on top of the larger blue/yellow scallops is supposed to go with the smaller set!  Sorry about that.

Here are a couple links to YouTube videos so you'll know how to create the flowers. 
This one is for the larger blue/yellow one with the button on top.  You can skip the cutting part, just jump to the section where she starts scrunching them all up.  This one is for the other two flowers.  Again, just skip to where they are scrunched.  We sprayed them with a tiny bit of water to make them harder when they're dry.

As for the Bitty Sparkles, tiny Pearl Opaques, and brads I included in your package, it's up to you where you'd like to put them.  The photos above show you how I used them.

Have fun and email or phone me if you have any questions.
Happy Creating!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guatemala: Stunning!

This country was just gorgeous!  I don't know what your thoughts are on how our world came to be, but I believe that God created it with his words.  Driving through this country made me think that God really had some fun in Guatemala.  He took His great fingers and pulled up the earth here, molded it there, and pushed down deep with the heel of His hand in that place.  And all the while, He was thinking about how we humans would work with what He'd done.
Here are a couple photos I took:

This one was taken from our hotel window.

This is Antigua.

The next couple photos I found online.  I tried so hard to get a photo of the mountains and valleys as we drove up the volcano on two of our days, but I always missed the view or the photos were blurry.  The buses never stopped for photo-ops.

This photo is exactly what we saw on our drives.  Imagine that the road is just leveling out after a steep descent.

I also took some fun photos in Antigua, along with a few more of that amazing cross.  Antigua is a historical site, so the people who live there are not allowed to build anything over the ruins there.  They're beautiful!

Yes, that is the peak of the volcano above the cloud.

Guatemala is truly a beautiful country and I feel so blessed to have been able to work there, helping their people.  God is giving me His eyes and heart for the people of Central America.  My thoughts and feelings stayed in Guatemala for a number of days after we got back home.  It was hard to get back into the swing of daily life here, when all I could think about was their stories and faces.  My heart breaks for the pain and loss they experience and the hardships they deal with on a daily basis.  I pray, as we prepare to go back to El Salvador in March, that God will continue to show me His people through His eyes and with His heart.  I know it breaks, too, when He sees what His beloved creations go through, in Central America, in North America and all over the globe.  May Jesus' love heal wounds, restore relationships, and bring peace all around the world.
Okay, I'd better stop.  I'm tearing up again!
Blessings to you, my blog readers and Happy Creating!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CTMH December STOM Blog Hop

Welcome to the SOTM Blog Hop!  If you're coming from Katy's blog, I'm sure you've seen some fabulous artwork, and you're on the right track.  Is this your first time hopping?  Well, just keep on clicking through the links until you get back here.
I can not believe how fast November went!  It seems like I blinked and it was gone.  But I guess going to Guatemala, then running the bazaar at my daughter's school, will do that.
I'm so happy to be back on the Blog Hop again!  The stamp set this month is called Amore and it's definitely all about love.  Now I'm not a really lovey-dovey person and looking at this set, I think lovey-dovey.  It is perfect for Valentines Day cards, which I don't make too many of.  So I challenged myself, again, to think outside the box, so I made ... a box.  I was working on hostess gifts for upcoming gatherings and I decided to make sure I used the SOTM set.  This is what I came up with:

This little box is the perfect size for four 3x3 cards and our little Petite Perks stamp set.  I got the pattern and instructions from another blog.  I'll update this post with the link soon.  The Emporium Level 2 paper pack is the inspiration for this project.

Here are the four cards that go in the box.  I used a few stamp sets, but mostly Connections, except for the top right card. 

I've made two of these hostess gifts.  My hostess on Thursday night will get one, but the second one is still up for grabs.  Want one?  Book a gathering with me soon.
Now to explain how I made these two cards.  I used the postage stamp image for the middle.  But the swirls in the background, behind that image are actually the big heart image.  I only used the point section of the heart and stamped it twice on my project.  I love how it looks.  But here's a question for you.  Which do you like better?  The card on the left was stamped with Heavenly Blue and the one on the right with Sky.  What do you think?

Thanks for hopping in to visit me.  To my regular readers, I'll have that promised post about Guatemala up soon, very soon.  It's now time to pop over to Kristie's blog and see the beautiful work she's done.

Happy Creating!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

CTMH: Christmas Card Workshop

Every year I have a big Christmas Card workshop.  We make 20 cards in about 3 hours.  These aren't really involved cards and they're fairly flat so they can be mailed easily.
This year we used Mistletoe Level 2 and the Creative Basics paper packs.  We used all kinds of stamp sets, especially new ones.  Here are the cards:

Stamp set: A Timber

Stamp Set: Snow Days

Stamp Sets: A-Dorn-Able, Peace on Earth

Stamp Sets: No Greater Love (retired), Everlasting Life

Stamp Set: Tannenbaum

Each participant will receive a complete package of Mocha Opaques (They hadn't arrived in time for the workshop).  I also provided some Pearl Opaques for one card and Bitty Sparkles (Love those!) for another.  We added some Glitz Glitter Gel to the ornament as well.
I hope these give you some inspiration for your own Christmas cards.  I have one more post about Guatemala, and I still have some more Studio J layouts to share with you, and the December SOTM Blog Hop is coming up very soon.  And I see that I have hit 100 Followers!  Guess I'd better do something special, like some Blog Candy!  Stay tuned.

Happy Creating!

Monday, November 15, 2010

FTC Canada in Guatemala, the Final Days

We have arrived home and are now trying to get back into the routine of things.  It seems very surreal to think that life just continued without us for a week.  My kids went to school, had piano lessons, and lots of fun with Grandma.  Meetings happened at church and decisions were made at school, where I'm on the board.  And now I need to catch up on everything.
Despite the fact that I am very happy to be home with my sweeties, my mind is still in Guatemala, on the last two days of amazing experiences.  I'm not completely sure of the numbers from Friday, but they were somewhere around 650, I think, for medical.  Saturday, we treated 838 patients.  Dental was around the 170 mark.
On Friday we were at another community that had been affected by the volcano in May.  Here are a few photos:
Saw this gentleman on the way to our clinic site.

This is what remains of this section of the school, a large portion just destroyed by the volcano.  They were still in the process of replacing the roof and hooking up electricity in the other section.

The line-up greeting us as we arrived.

This gentleman just broke my heart.  As he sat waiting for his prescriptions, I couldn't help but take his photo. I don't ever want to forget the look of sadness and despair on his face.  This is why we do these missions, to put a smile back on faces like these.  I wish I knew what his story was.

Saturday was another busy day.  We were down in a lower spot, close to the lake, so it wasn't as cold.  The school seemed like it was built right into the mountain, though.  The building on one side, with a courtyard/basketball court beside it.  On the other side was a huge concrete wall.  The concrete was put on the side of the hill to eliminate erosion.  Right at the top was a slum area, with houses built almost to the edge of this cliff.  I wish I had a photo so you could really understand what it looked like.  No railing for part of it, kids standing there, watching us below.  A little scary.  
I learned about a woman who came in with a large growth on her breast.  It measured 15cmx20cm!  Sacha, one of our medics who comes from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, said she needed a biopsy to find out if it was cancerous, which she was pretty sure it was, then chemotherapy and radiation possibly.  Without these things, she will die.  FTC Guatemala will be taking charge of making sure she gets the medical help she needs, with funding help from FTC Canada.  Sometimes we're not just giving them a little help; sometimes we can provide a lot!
I didn't have a lot of time to take photos, but here is one from our clinic:

This family was so cute.  The little boy in the middle looked to be about 2 years old and he was chattering away the entire time they waited for their meds.  When I wanted to take a photo, the little girl in the back and the taller boy both hid behind their mother so this was my second attempt.

Here are a few photos of our team:
Pharmacy Team 

Dental Team

Distribution Team, with the entire Guatemalan Team and the people who handed out glasses.

Medical team, with translators.

It takes a lot of people to make these clinics work and we so appreciate the Guatemalan FTC team that comes with us every time.  It was a treat to be in their country this time.  We also couldn't do anything without the translators that sit with each medic.  This has been an amazing group of people to work with!  

Check out the FTC Canada blog for more details, wonderful stories, and even video about our trip.  John did a great job with it.

Thank you, again, for all your thoughts, prayers and support.  We could not be a part of this without it.  We are headed back to El Salvador in March and so until then, you can enjoy more cards and layouts from me.  I hope to create some layouts about this trip on Studio J soon.  Watch for them!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Guatemala, Enjoying a Day Off

It's been an incredible three days so far.  We've had long days, working hard.  And today we are relaxing.  Most of our team is at the beach, but Chris and I have done that before and we were tired.  It's a good day for sleeping in and hanging out in our hotel room, and avoiding a two-hour bus ride, there and back.  And we can take advantage of the working internet.
Yesterday was a fabulous day.  We saw 898 patients in medical.  Dental blasted away their record, seeing 177 patients!  We were hopping in the pharmacy all day, which is exactly how we like it.  Then later we had a very special treat.  We were treated to dinner at the mayor's house.  This gentleman has a gorgeous property and we had a lovely dinner outside in his front yard.  FTC has done a lot for his community of Palencia, and he was so incredibly appreciative.  It was so nice to have that kind of reaction to our hard work.  But it's not about all that. It's about the people who leave with medicines that will make their life easier or clean teeth for the first time in their lives.  It's about the adorable children who play peek-a-boo with me around their mother's legs.  It's about the elderly women who smile back at me with their missing teeth.
Here are a few photos from yesterday:

Local transportation.  Not the kind we took, of course. 

Local shop.  Notice the candy hanging beside the brooms?

Until next time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photos from Tuesday's Clinic

Dashina helping a patient.

The bottom section of steam is the one that erupted in May.

The medical line.  

This little guy stayed with our team all day.  He has Downs and notice the thumb on his right hand.

Two patients, already been through the line.  So sweet!

A girl with her baby sister, while her mom was getting meds.

Guatemala, Day Two a Success as Well

Despite my hopes, the internet was down again last night.  That's just how things are here in Central America.
Day two of our clinics was a fairly smooth day.  We saw 837 patients go through medical, pharmacy and most through distribution.  It was pretty steady all day in the pharmacy and we were kept hopping.
One story I read on a registration sheet brought me to tears.  It simply said, "had a c-section two months ago, baby died in 5 days".  I knew I had to get the rest of the story from Paul, the doctor who saw her.  After dinner last night I asked him.  He said as far as he could tell, she was told she had a kidney infection 6 months ago and it was never treated.  He didn't know exactly what happened, but there must have been complications for her to need a c-section.  He also didn't know exactly why the baby died.  But he did tell me that she seemed okay with it, she was handling it well.  I tried to memorize her face.  I don't want to forget her.
This community was at the foot of a volcano that erupted in May.  We saw the damage, although a lot of the homes had been fixed.  The volcano is still smoking.
Here are a few photos from the beginning of the week: