Saturday, April 30, 2011

CTMH May SOTM Blog Hop

Welcome to the May Stamp-of-the-Month blog Hop!  I say it every time, but this past month has just flown by and I can hardly believe it's already May.  We have lots of consultants participating this time again, and I'm happy to be back after a month away.  If you came from Georgia's blog, you're on the right track.

I love this stamp set.  It's all about chairs and it's so fun!  I had a hoot using a brand new technique for me.  Here's the card:

I used some of the leftover paper from the You and Me kit, CTMH's special promotion this month to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month.  I add some Mocha Opaques and Chocolate buttons with Colonial White waxy flax.  The stitching is a stamp that comes with the You and Me set.  The little flowers were stamped in a different way.  I coloured the stamp with markers and then huffed on it before stamping.  It looks mottled in a neat way.

Here's a close up of the chair and then I'll explain the new technique I used.

I learned a really neat way to create a suede-like feel and look on paper!  It's all about Liquid Applique and re-inker.  Mix a good amount of Liquid Applique with re-inker the same colour as the paper.  Smooth it out as much as possible.  Then stamp your image with StazOn ink.  Use your brayer to cover the paper with the mixture, then heat set.  Cut out your image and voila!

Enjoy the rest of the hop!  Head on over to Angela's blog.  I'm sure you'll love what she's made!

Happy Creating!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Close To My Heart Rocks!

What an amazing two days I've had!  We learned SO much!  We created SO much!  I had 8 team members attend with me (Yay for Tara, Joanne, Lynn, Heather, Susanne, Monica, Mona, and Sissy!)  We missed Michelle who was sick.  :(  I loved being there with all of you ladies.  It was so nice to get to know you better and make some memories, including getting our photo taken all together on stage.  (Ahh, paparazzi!)  It was so rewarding to be there with my team!

I also felt so honoured during one of our classes.  It was all about Studio J.  At the end of the presentation, Sheena, our trainer, showed her three favourite layouts.  One of them was mine.  You can check it out in the post below.  I was so flattered and so excited!  There are lots of giveaways at these types of events and so I got a little gift for being featured.  And since I got a free gift, I'm passing one on to you.  Oma correctly identified which paper pack I used, so I'm popping in a set of Blue and Green Sparkles in the mail to you, Aunt Anna.

Stay tuned for photos of the event and the incredible artwork we made.  It may take a couple of days, I'm pretty busy the next few days.  But in the mean time,

Happy Creating!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Heading to Toronto soon...

Why am I going to Toronto,  you ask?  Close To My Heart is having a fabulous weekend, called a Regional Celebration, where I will be taking some business classes and creative classes and even participating in a 4-hour crop tomorrow night!  I'll be creating some wonderful artwork.  I can say that because the artwork the corporate team comes up with is always stunning.  Stay tuned here for photos and the like.
In the meantime, I'll share a Studio J layout I made specifically for this weekend.  I don't know why we had to make one, or how they're going to use it, but it was free to make, and so much fun.

Here it is:
Just click on the photo to see it larger.  Can you tell me which paper kit I used?
Happy Creating!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Studio J: video

We're home and trying to get back into the swing of things.  Although, now I'm battling a cold.  My hubby says it must be because our bodies are missing all that glorious fruit we ate last week!

Close To My Heart's creative team has been making these fabulous videos about all kinds of things and I thought I would share this one, all about Studio J and how easy it is to use.  I plan to make some pages about our trip to El Salvador (and Guatemala in November!) using Studio J.

I hope it peaks your curiosity enough to try it out.  You can go here to play for free on my website.  If you want to access everything, purchase a membership and enjoy catching up on your scrapbooking!

Watch for more videos in the future, maybe even one from El Salvador.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

El Salvador: Day Five

Hola, mi amigos!  What an amazing day we've had.  It's a little hard to believe that we have come to the end of our time here, in El Salvador.  We finished with a bang in Somalia, a slum right in San Salvador.  It took some time to set up so we were grateful for a short drive to the site.  It was a little interesting getting our buses in there.  This is the third time we have done a clinic in Somalia and each time the community takes more charge of preparations and that is so great to see.  They wanted to take care of getting tarps to put over our heads, tables to put our things on, including all the pharmacy boxes, and chairs for us to rest our weary legs as well as for all the medics and patients.  They did a great job and each time we asked for another table, one appeared.  They had a community person at the "door" of the pharmacy to take "recettas"(not sure on the spelling of that one!), patient forms, keeping families straight for us.  We had a fabulous, big table to counsel over, no one was going to be pushing that one in today!  Everything went so smoothly.  I did hear of one little girl being sent to the hospital, a growth was removed and someone was having angina attacks.  We also saw more than 800 people, which is much higher than any of our other days.
There is something I should say about Somalia.  You won't understand it, not having been there.  These people's homes are made with tin, sticks, some wood, plastic signs for roofs, sometimes fabric, and the lucky ones have all tin.  In fact, last year they actually took apart a house so we would have a place to set up.  I don't think that happened this time.  They have outhouses that are put together in such a way that they look like they'll fall over in a big wind, and for some people, their house looks like that, too.  The people of Somalia live on less than $2 a day and are considered outcasts in San Salvador.  In fact, they probably wouldn't even venture out if we held a clinic just outside the limits of their community.  This is why we go right into the centre.
Here are a few photos I took today:

The community even made their own signs!

Police presence was so important today.  We love having them around, especially when they whisk us home with sirens and lights.

I'd better sign off.  It's getting very close to dinner time.  We're having a banquet with all the people who worked with us this week, including our translators.  Then we head home tomorrow morning.  Thank you so much for your prayers, everyone.  We found out today that our next trip is most likely back to Guatemala in February of 2012.  Yup, we're already looking forward to the next one.  ;)


El Salvador: Clinic Day Four (our Fifth Day)

Hola.  I learned a new sentence in Spanish today, Como se llama?  What is your name?  I used to ask the name of a sweet little girl who grabbed my hand this afternoon.  I wish I had known it at the beginning of today, because another adorable little girl, probably 2 or 3, was passed to me and I held her and talked to her.  She squirmed down and led me into the area where our clinic was being held.  She didn't say a word to me, but I loved every minute.  :)

Steve Russell, one of the doctors with us, led us in a morning devotion on the bus.  This is something we do every morning on the way to our clinics.  He told us two stories.  I want to share them here, as well as another one that happened today.  He spoke about a woman who had had a heart attack probably a couple days ago.  She had no idea.  We weren't able to see everyone on Wednesday, so two of our paramedics went out to the line and essentially decided who would still get in.  Leo found this woman.  She was still having chest pain and had water on her lungs.  We arranged for her to get to the hospital free of charge and will now get the care she needs.

The other story was one that almost had me in tears all the way to the orphanage.  It's the story of a little boy named Juan.  I don't know how old he is.  His parents split up, something not unheard of.  His siblings went with either their mom or dad.  Juan got left behind, yes, left behind, all on his own, with no one to look after him, no place to live, no one to hug him or feed him or clean his clothes.  The neighbour saw that he didn't seem to have anyone and took him in.  We made sure Juan got the meds he needed, but also extra clothing, food, shoes, etc.  We also made sure the neighbour would have some support as well.  Despite his situation, he was smiling when Steve saw him.  It still makes me want to rush in there and just scoop him out of there.

This last story was something that happened at the very end of the day today.  We were cleaning up and one last patient came in.  (We didn't have to turn anyone away today!!!)  It was a young mom, very young at 14, who lived at the orphanage with her daughter of 18 months.  This little girl, named Hazel, was so sick she was having seizures because of a fever.  The doctors put an IV in her with antibiotics immediately.  Tony (the doc in charge) and Ross (a paramedic) rode her and her mom to the hospital.  The police that play the role of our security, raced her there, sirens blaring and lights flashing.  We just found out tonight at dinner that she's going to be okay.

I don't know what would have happened to these three people if we hadn't been in their communities on the days we were.  God knew we needed to be in those places as those exact times to be of help to those people.  It blows my mind sometimes when I think about how He is so involved in our lives, in every little thing.  He brought us here for some very specific purposes.  The community around Remar Orphanage isn't as needy as some of the other ones we've been to in the past, but serving them was still worth it, even if we were only there for Hazel.  It reminds me that God has a purpose and a plan for my life, for our family.  He knows the deepest desires of my heart because He put them there.  He knows how they will be fulfilled.  And afterwards we will look back and see His hand through it all, as we are beginning to see it already.  What an amazing God we serve, I serve!  A God who loves us so perfectly and knows exactly what we need.  This God, this wonderful God.

I apologize.  I'm rambling now, but I can't help but write about it all.  It's been a bit of an emotional day for me.  I'll quit now and share some photos.  I walked around a bit again, this time in the morning before the pharmacy really got hopping.

Chris, Olgui (the teacher of all our translators), Flor, and Susan filling prescriptions in the Pharmacy.

Dr. Bert examining and patient.  Bert is the Deputy Coroner of Ontario and he wanted to join us on this mission.

Joan showing a family how to use an aero chamber for puffers.

This sweetie was waiting for her mom to be finished with a medic.

Patients discussing things with a Christine, a medic.

Grandmas and grand-babies waiting in line.  They were asking for a photo and no wonder, these two are adorable!

Our two local team members registering new patients.

Marlene, and Dennis, handing out reading glasses.

Two of the children who attend the school we were at, which is attached to the orphanage.

A local dentist, Dr. Alba, working on a little boy.

Canadian team members, Mark Cross, and Odalmus.

The piles of clothing in distribution.

I know this has been a long post and I hope I haven't bored you.  We have one more clinic day, in a squatters slum right in San Salvador, called Somalia.  The weather has held out for us, although today was incredibly hot.  It should be a little cooler tomorrow, especially since we'll be setting up outside, under tarps.  

Now I'd better get to sleep because we give it our all tomorrow.  I may not have time for another post before we get home on Sunday night.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  We had one team member stay at the hotel today because she was so sick, a few others are feeling a little under the weather.  Gracias!  One more day...

Buenos Noches.