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:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guatemala off to a pretty good start.

Good morning!  Although I have to say, I'm not feeling too fabulous right now so it doesn't feel like that good a morning.  My cold seems to have reared its ugly head again and I didn't sleep very well last night.  Hopefully I'll feel better later.
Things have gone pretty well so far.  We had good flights in, although the second one to Guatemala was VERY bumpy, in a small plane.
We spent Sunday getting ready.  That meant sorting distribution items and counting vitamins.  We also visited Antigua for a while, shopping at the market, seeing the sights and eating a late lunch at a coffee plantation.
Yesterday we had our first clinic day and it was pretty easy on those of us in Pharmacy.  The medics seemed to moving patients through quite slowly, so we actually got some breaks throughout the day.  We still ended up seeing over 600 people.  Dental saw 148 patients, a record!
Today will be much of the same and with 4 more medics on Wednesday, we'll be hopping all day.
I'm sorry I don't have time to post photos.  The internet connection doesn't work well in the evening and I've got to go have breakfast now.  I'll see if I can post some tonight.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!