Friday, November 30, 2012

CTMH: December SOTM Blog Hop

It's time again!  Another Stamp-of-the-Month Blog Hop.  If you came from the fabulous Wendy, you're on the right track.  I'm sure she's knocked your socks off with her amazing talent.

Although it's December and you're probably in full Christmas-prep mode, our SOTM gets you focused on something else.  In fact, you can create some perfect Christmas gifts with it!  Here's what's included in the set:

I used it to create a set of cards.  I might give them as a gift, but I might just hold on to them.  Not sure yet.  My inspiration for these cards came from My Craftroom Creations.  Check out Deb's blog for gorgeous clean and simple designs.

Here are my cards:

The tags are all cut from White Daisy, using the Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge and the bases are cut from our Kraft cardstock.  I stamped each image in a different colour, masking the sentiment so I could stamp that part in Black.  Then, using our handy ruler, I drew lines around the edges of the tags because they needed some grounding.  I added a strip of matching cardstock and matching ribbon and popped the tag.  Not all the ribbon is from Close To My Heart.  I'm a bit of a ribbon collector, so I'm not sure where they all came from.  The yellow one, though is from a gift bag!  

Below are photos of all 12 cards.  But if you'd rather be on your way, feel free to hop on over to Wanda's blog and check out what she's created.

Here are all 12 cards:

Now hop on over to Wanda's blog and enjoy the hop!

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pun Fun, Belated Birthday Card

A while ago I had to send a birthday card to someone, almost 3 weeks after their birthday!  I felt terrible for forgetting to pop a card in the mail, so I decided to make them smile with a silly little card.  It was Pun Fun to the rescue!

I completely fell in love with this stamp set when I saw it and it's even more fun to work with.  I apologize for the quality of my photos, I had to snap them quickly in my studio with my phone.  Here's the front:

Yup, that's the front!  Hee hee.  I wanted to reinforce the "I'm soooo late" theme.  I stamped this turtle in Archival Black ink.  I did cut the sentiment off the image so I can use the turtle for other events.  (No, I won't ever need the belated birthday sentiment again.  Nope.  I won't!)  Then I turned my attention to the inside:

Yes, this is the inside.  The turtle is again stamped with Archival Black ink and then coloured with our alcohol marker sets.  The markers bleed through, so I stamped him on another piece of cardstock and to make him even more fun, I popped him up with foam tape.  I can't remember the exact colours I used, but I think it's the Olive and Twilight sets. (Can I just say how much I LOVE our alcohol markers?  I do, I love them.  Might just turn into a "colour-er" yet!)

I hope you got a little chuckle out of this card.  I'm sure my recipient did, too.  :)

Happy Creating!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

El Salvador: Day One and Two

** I just realized that this post never went up on the blog! That's Central American internet for you. Sorry about that!**

It's been a very busy two days. It's pretty late here so I'm going to keep it short. I'm exhausted!

On Monday we went to a community about an hours drive from San Salvador. It was pretty much what we are used to, although less children than we expected. We left the hotel a lot later than we expected as well. There was a mix up with the buses and they arrived an hour and a half late, which meant we got a late start. Because we don't have as big a truck this year, all the pharmacy meds arrive the same time we do which means we have a lot more set up to do before we can get going. Despite all that, as well as working out the logistics that come with our first day, we still saw 759 people in medical and dental helped about 140. God is good!
It was very hot in our room and there were a number of times that I was really lacking energy. The thought actually crossed my mind, Can I make it this week? I would so appreciate your thoughts and prayers for stamina and lots of energy.
Today was different. We headed out to the same area, but turned up a road and climbed a mountain for a bit. That brought a much needed reprieve from the heat. We had some communities from farther away bussed in. We saw 876 in medical and 150 or so in dental, which brought us over 1000 people today!
While here, we are partnering with an organization called Operation Blessing. They are supported by the 700 Club. People who work with them have been helping us all week. Tonight they treated us to dinner. But not just any dinner, we drove for an hour, straight up the volcano we can see from our hotel! It was cold. But it was gorgeous. We could see the sprawling city of San Salvador laid out in front of us. What a treat!
Now, I'm ready to curl up and fall fast asleep. Tomorrow we are heading down to the beach area, to an orphanage called Remar. It's going to be a LOT hotter!

Thank you for your support, thoughts and prayers. Following are photos of our two "farmacia" rooms and the view from tonight's supper.

El Salvador: Wrap Up

It's Sunday morning and we're relaxing at the hotel before we need to get on the bus one last time. Our work is done for the week. I'm sorry for not posting more. Hopefully I can help you understand a bit of what the rest if the week was like.

After our trip up the mountain a bit we went down to the ocean. It was a HOT day, but made more special by the fact that we were back at Remar Orphanage, for the fourth time. We worked steadily and were able to treat all the orphans as well as any one from the community. We didn't need to turn anyone away, which is something I really love! We saw a little girl, Hazel, whom we treated a year and a half ago. At that time she was so sick we had to rush her to the hospital. If we hadn't been there she would have died. She is a happy, healthy little sweetheart today! What a blessing to get to reconnect with her and her young mom. We even had time to hang around at the end of the day. The first photos at the end of my post are taken at Remar. I had a couple boys quite interested in my phone which I was using for photos. They ended up discovering the games I have for my kids. Soon, as you can imagine, I had a little crowd sitting on my lap, hanging on my shoulders, gathered around. They all took a turn with Cupcake Maker. So fun!

Thursday was our day off and we spent it at a private resort area. It was mostly just our group by the pool and on the beach. It was beautiful, relaxing, rejuvenating, and exactly what we needed after three days of hard work.

Friday we were back in the same region as on Monday, but this time we set up Ina municipal building. It actually turned out to be our most challenging space, a space with two entrances an people walking through. It was somewhat isolated from the rest if the team. It was a hard day for me. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I was feeling run down and tired. I ended up sitting for the entire afternoon, just counting lots if Albendazole (parasite medicine) and adult vitamins. We get them in bigger bottles and in order to make them last, we count them into bags of 30. I've included a photo of our pharmacy area.

And then Saturday arrived. Our last day. At a site near and dear to our hearts, Somalia. The worst slum in the country. We've done a clinic here every time we come to El Salvador. We set up our farmacia in their little church. A tiny space with a cross painted on the tin wall. It was a great day. We were able to start early and saw 1004 patients in medical! The last few photos are from Somalia. This community has really banded together and tried to make things better. They are building a new church. (That's the cross you see.) They amaze me with their resilience to do the best they can with what they have. It's an honour to enter their place and serve them.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement over the years. It means more to me than you know. As we get ready to head home, please pray for our continued safety.

I hope I won't forget the feeling of gratefulness I have right now. I have been blessed beyond comprehension, just by being born in Canada. I am truly honoured to be able to serve. God is so good!

Now, I'd better pack! Blessings!

Monday, November 12, 2012

El Salvador: We Are Ready, I Think ...

It's 5:50 am in El Salvador as I write this. There's an hour difference and my body has definitely not adjusted yet. It's one of those times that I know I need as much sleep as possible; it's going to be a very busy day. Oh we'll, that gives me a chance to write an update before we head out to our first clinic day.
I want to warn you that I'm writing these posts on my phone so I'm not sure how the photos will look.
We have already experienced our share of frustrations , even before we left. In preparation, Speroway sent a shipping container here by boat which contained a pile of meds and all our children's vitamins, almost all our distribution items, almost all the instruction sheets for the medication and a lot of other things it was held up in customs for a month! They finally released it on Friday at about 2pm. The truck, our friend, Julio from Guatemala drove here, was held at the border for two days. It held left over drugs from our last trip, all the dental equipment and probably more. It cleared late Friday.
So when we arrived, we still had to go to the warehouse to get all our stuff, then sort it and get it all ready for five clinic days. We worked very hard yesterday! But, we are ready.
Please pray for us. Pray for protection from the plans Satan may have to thwart us, for our families back home, for the people we will see today.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. It's going to be a great week, with God working in mighty ways. Check out for more updates and photos all week long.
Blessings until my next post.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Star Smiles in Guatemala

I'm actually taking some time to post something other than a blog hop!  It seems like I haven't spent much time with you here and I'm not happy about it.  Life is busy.  I really shouldn't be doing it right now either, but I wanted to share a project and give you some exciting news!

First, the news.  Some of you probably already know that my husband and I are heading to El Salvador, tomorrow morning actually!  (That's why I shouldn't be sitting at my computer.  I've got LOTS to do yet!)  It's time again for us to participate in another Speroway Medical Mission and we're so happy to be going back to El Salvador.  This will be the fourth time Speroway has worked there and we'll be going back to at least one site we visit every time.  Interested in learning more about Speroway?  Just click here to go to their website and here to go to the blog, where there will be lots of updates while we're gone.  Stay tuned to my blog as well.  I'll try to post photos and stories here, too.

Now, my project.

I made this layout initially for an album contest, but I didn't get further than this layout!  I tried very hard to stretch myself a bit in the techniques I used.  I was really excited about creating this layout, for a number of reasons.  These are photos I took while we were in Guatemala last year and the year before.  During this last trip, though, something really struck me.  I was there to serve these people, to help them, to give them medicine to make their lives better, but they already had so much resilience!  They endure so many things and if you read my posts during our trip in February, you know about some of them.  This week, this beautiful country was hit with an earthquake.  Thankfully, it wasn't anywhere near where we have worked or where our dear friends live, but it has affected them none-the-less.  My heart goes out to this wonderful people.  People with an amazing work ethic, infinite patience and gratitude for every little thing.  And on top of all the hardship they face, they still smile.  The kids still play, like our kids do.  They are stars in my book and that's why I made this layout.  To honour them and to remind myself that I am privileged to be able to serve them.  

Here are some more photos and the details.

 I really wanted a "dirty" sort of look so I peeled off the top layer of all the chipboard pieces and then inked them with different colours.  I pulled the colours out of the photos.  In the above photo you can see the layered Kraft borders.  I used the white side, the side that you should normally peel off.  Instead, I inked it up.

In the above photos you can see the lighter stars right on the paper.  I cut a stencil on my Cricut, from the Art Philosophy cartridge, and used it to sponge stars all over the place. The following photo shows my fun hidden photos.  you pull the tab and the journaling piece disappears while showing off two more photos.

Please keep us in your prayers as we see similar faces in El Salvador.  Pray for our families whom we leave behind.  My little guy seems to be more upset about us leaving this time.  :(  And pray for the people we will see next week, but also these sweet faces pictured here.

Thank you for your support and encouragement!  See you from El Salvador.

Happy Creating!