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Rest in peace, dear friend

I’m sorry . . . I hardly have words right now..

I am simply distraught.

I lost my best crafting friend tonight.

She’s been a friend for so long. Or at least it seems so. We met last spring, and have spent just about every day together since then. Every day. No matter the weather, no matter what day of the week. She was right there by my side. Working alongside me—she never refused a crafting date, even stayed up late when I was in a creative mood and needed company into the wee hours.

And oh, the talent she had. She could start with a loose idea and unite paper and embellisment together to create a work of art. I hardly know what I’ll do without her, I’m not sure I can even attempt to put card front to card any more.

But now, she’s gone.

The accident was tragic, but she was brave. Not a peep. Not a scream. Just the bang of impact, then . . . silence. I took a deep breath, and just stared at the carnage.

I hesitate to show the shocking photos here. It’s really graphic, I warn you now. If you’re squeeamish, please don’t scroll down any further. If you choose to look . . . be sure you’re sitting down. Might get the kleenex.



Yes, my ATG is broken.


**EDITED TO ADD: See the condolences from Scapa HERE**

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The ducks of ’64

Between the album my mom had made for me with my baby photos, plus a stack that I had in a box, I found four shots at a duck pond; two in spring a month after I was born, and another in November that same year. I don’t necessarily remember feeding those ducks—but I have vivid recall of saving a lot of breadcrumbs in the bottom of the breadbag to feed birds. “But Mom, I have to save my crust for the birds, otherwise what will they eat?” To this day I keep a birdfeeder full of seeds for my local feathered friends; I eat my crust now, but I buy them yummy seeds and suet to keep them singing outside my window! (And fortunately my cats are pretty lazy hunters!

Papers by K&Co; lace edging punch by Fiskars. Flowers are Heidi Grace and Prima; leaf and flower stamps by Rubber Stampede. Duck stamp by Rosie’s Roadshow.
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My first birthday

Oh how I wish I had context for the look on my face in this photo. Mom, if you visit, let me know if there’s a story to go with these photos! 🙂
And lest anyone think I spent time on the background—its patterned paper from the Nana’s Kids stack. The ribbon with the flowers is from the dollar store, cute eh? I freehanded the “1” and the candle flame, and the alpha set used for “one” is from Alpha Stamps. The little buckle says “celebrate”, which is ironic given the look on my face in the photos!
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Shalom: Scrapbook Progress

Well I have indeed made more progress on my trip scrapbook. . . it’s been a while since I spent time on it, and it feels good to remember the adventure! I’m not scrapping in any particular order—I still don’t really know what order the book will be in when I’m finished, I probably should figure that out!

Goin’ Up (Convention layout)
This double layout is all about goin’ up to Jerusalem—a song written by Tommy Walker, the worship leader, during his time touring with us; the reference is to the verse in Psalms, “I was glad when they said let us go up to the house of the Lord.” It’s a great song, and I wanted to be sure I never forgot the words! (The title is tripled because that’s how the song goes.) The photo of Jerusalem with the rainbow is a postcard, but oh how I wish I could have seen a rainbow over the city of the Lord! One small photo at the top is a guy whose name I can’t remember right now, but he played a number of wind instruments all during the convention—he is the man who played wind instruments in the movie, The Passion! Remember all that haunting music? It was by this guy, and he is just amazing.

New Israeli Shekel (aka the shopping layout!)
This one is kinda funny. While in Israel, I saved paper. Lots of paper. Wrappers, receipts, napkins. People thought I was nuts! But I was saving them for the scrapbook! And as I sorted through the pile of *stuff*, and found my few leftover shekels, this little layout emerged. I punched circles out of all that—leaving the prices in New Israeli Shekels on them. While there, it always caught me off guard that an ice cream was 4.00 — which is actually about $1 USD, but my brain was slow at picking up the fact that prices were in shekels! Some of the journalling talks about the adventures trying to get money out of an ATM in Jerusalem when the screen was all in Hebrew . . . fortunately things like pressing a green button for “ok” and red for “cancel” seem to be international!


Travel & Itinerary
One function of this scrapbook is to serve as a reference for when I go back to Israel someday. So this layout will remind me of the travel company, airline, tour guide company, and day by day itinerary for this trip. The “Israel at a glance” book was so full of really useful info—everything from some words in Hebrew to how to get around, time zones, stats about the country—that I kept the whole book, creating a “pocket” so the book sits in it and can be pulled out for reference. The stamps embellishing the page are from an eBay auction I won.

King’s Game (Antonia Fortress)
This was a really tough page to work on during the Christmas season! I was really moved by Antonia Fortress; the stones on the floor in the fortress are the ones Jesus would have stood on, knelt on, bled on. This is the location he would have been scourged. The “King’s Game” was a game of mockery that soldiers would play, using the game board carved into the rock shown. The pastor who led our devotions at this location spoke of a moment of truth: for Pilate, at his moment of truth, he gave in to popular opinion. Jesus, at His moment, chose to follow God’s plan through to the end. We were challenged to think about our own moments of truth—what will we choose?

I have more layouts to work on this weekend . . . so stay tuned! Many thanks to Rachel who cut out a bunch of titles for me—I appreciate it!! I also need to get some cards done for the troops because I’m going to see about getting a bunch of boxes out on Monday; I figure the P.O. should be nice and empty, since it’ll be too late for anyone to get Christmas packages shipped!

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Cards For Heroes: Grand Opening!!

Those of you who have been visiting my little corner of the blogosphere have seen plenty of my cards for the troops . . . well thanks to the generosity of a friend on the Two Peas stamping board, I have the pleasure of announcing a brand new website for the project!

It’s been a while in formation, and I’ve kept it a secret from most folks except a select few. And now they don’t have to listen to me babble on about it because now it’s up and running, and they can go see it instead of listen to me about it! 😛 Take a look and let me know what you think—there are blogs over there, so you can post a comment there, or come back and post one here, or whatever, just let me know you’re looking! lol. Yes, a shameless plug for SURE!

Click on the logo! Come on, you can do it!

This weekend I’ll post some blog candy here to get everyone excited—so check in again!!!

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Shalom: Walking on Water

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.”—Matthew 4:19-20
I have been so anxious to work on this layout (ha, it only took me months to get here!) I knew I wanted a large sunrise photo, and kept forgetting to buy large photo paper!
The sunrise photos were taken on the very first morning of our stay in Israel; we were at the Gai Beach Hotel in Tiberias, and the patio outside was right at the edge of the lake! I was so excited, I woke up at about 4:30 and went outside to have some devotional time alone with the Lord while watching the sun come up. I was struck with the carriage of sounds I could hear as I sat in the peaceful quiet morning: I could hear fish jumping regularly—that lake is teeming with fish! Someone was at the other end of the hotel’s patio area, quite a distance away, and I could hear her praying. The hillside I was facing were the same hills Jesus looked at on days when he got up early to pray. The fish were descendents of the fish He ate. The reality of being in the place where He chose to make His home really settled over me as I watched that sun rise.


The other photos are: #2—me and my roommate Maggie; #3—the boat we went out on the first morning of touring; #4—tilapia in the lake as I leaned over the wall looking down; #5—one of the boats we were on; #6—the boat cutting through the waters of the Galilee; #7—Israeli and US flags raised together on the boat; #8—me on the boat, brimming with excitement! #9—the rocks at the swimming area at the hotel (the rocks were, I am certain, trucked in, but the water IS Galilee water!); #10—overlooking the Galilee as we entered Tiberias; #11—sunrise from closer to the hotel (the pool and date palms are between the camera and the water’s edge); #12—looking out over the back of the boat toward Tiberias.

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Shalom: Mt of Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12

One of the small regrets from my Israel trip (if it’s much of a regret!) is not having been able to walk on the hillside where Jesus probably preached the Sermon on the Mount. They don’t know exactly which spot it would have been anyway, though. Many sites in Israel are that kind of site: “Probable.”

It was wonderful to see the area, and the view of the Galilee was lovely, but the hillside that has the acoustics that would have allowed for such a sermon to be heard by thousands is down the hill from the site of the church pictured. In the photo on the upper right, the slope is steep but can’t quite be seen from the photo.

The Church of the Beatitudes is a verrrrry tiny 8sided church . . . one for each beatitudes. Pastor Steve gave a stirring message to us all as we sat under a tree that day.

This week, was the perfect time for me to work on this layout; in my Bible Study Fellowship class, we’re studying Matthew 5 this week.

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Shalom: Place of the Skull, Garden Tomb

“So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).” (Jn 19:17)

The Garden Tomb and Place of the Skull (which is what “Golgotha” means) are one of the places it is believed that Christ was crucified and was buried. The two are not very far apart—one on either side of this park-like location. The site of Golgotha is disputed; there is a site within the old city, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, that has traditionally been the site, but now they know that the walls of the city as drawn during Jesus’ time would have that location within the walls. But since they led him out of the city, it probably is not the site.

In the cliff shown in the picture in this layout, you can see a rock formation that looks like eye and nose sockets in a skull; click on the layout if you need to see it larger. In the bus repair lot below those rocks, skulls were found, thus making this a more likely site for the crucifixion.

“He is not here; He has risen . . . ” Mt 28:6
The Garden Tomb is a serene park with winding pathways, lovely flower gardens, benches, and areas for visitors to be seated as docents explain the location. A comment made by the man who led our group through this site was quite profound:

“We don’t know if this is the actual site of the crucifixion and burial of Christ. But I’m glad it isn’t known for certain, or we’d build a church on it and worship the site, not the Man.”

The paths through the site lead up to the tomb; it is a large flat rock wall, and has an opening hewn from it (close up of layout below). In front of the tomb, running along the wall, is a groove along which a stone would be rolled to cover the tomb’s opening.

We were able to step into the tomb itself; it was a very small “room” with cream/tan colored rock, hewn out probably by hand. There is a door that covers the opening, (which stands ajar unseen from the outside while the site is open), and on it is a sign declaring:


    Today in particular, I’m really glad about this news. He is not here, He has risen. He sits at the right hand of the Father. He reigns. Today I have a lot of questions in my mind, but I know He is on His throne no matter what happens here on earth. He knows that I lost a friend this weekend . . . her name is Sue, and she had a brain aneurism on Friday while at her office. She was rushed to the hospital, and her husband made it there 10 minutes later. They thought for a time that they could save her with surgery on Saturday, if they could stabilize her overnight, but she didn’t make it that long and was declared brain dead. Today they are searching for people to donate her organs to.

    That’s the story of her death. Let me tell you just a little of her life. She was a wife, a mama to kitties—regularly was taking in new ones! She was so active, loved ministering the love of Christ to others. She worked at Boeing, she volunteered for her church and a lot of other organizations, was so healthy and active, rarely sitting still! Our friendship had distanced over the last years as I moved to another town and went to another church, but her friendship was so important to me at the time I knew her best; weekly she and Myrna and I met, praying together and supporting each other through all sorts of things.

    This coming weekend Sue was supposed to lead a Cursillo (a women’s retreat) that she had planned over the last year; she was so excited, and I don’t understand why the Lord took her now. That’s one of my questions for Him someday. But I do know this, He is not in the grave, He has risen, and He is on the throne today just as He was when Sue was alive.

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    Shalom: Tour Bus and Hotel

    I got scrapbook-happy again. Well, when some of you get scrap-happy you get a page or more done an hour, and this took me most of the afternoon; I’m so slow! Give me a card anyday. I want to start another page tonight, and if it’s a single page it might go faster? Maybe? lol.

    Background paper is by Far and Away. The “10” luggage tag was provided so our bags made it onto the correct bus. Theround napkins are salvaged from the trip—I saved every scrap of scrappables I stumbled onto! Israel title is a rubon, not sure of the manufacturer.

    Anyway—the large photo on the left is our bus group; my church had 3 busloads, and the whole tour group had something like 30 buses to coordinate—what a job!! That’s me standing with our tour guide, Naphthali, at the bottom of page 1. What an incredible man he is, such knowledge of both new and old testaments, Israeli history, current affairs, all sorts of things. He once taught Israel history when he was in the military, and it was easy to see why. He told us the story of Eli Cohen—and now I want to see the movie based on his life, it was fascinating!

    The man on the scooter holding the #10 sign is our bus driver, Gabi. He could drive like I’ve never seen anyone drive! Sharp curves engendered no fear. Heights did nothing to shake him. Close traffic in cities didn’t bug him. He could parallel park that beast anywhere! We regularly chanted, “Gabi, Gabi, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can!”

    The page on the right is photos of our hotels that we stayed at, the Gai Beach Hotel in Tiberias and the Hyatt Regency in Jerusalem. The Gai was on the Galilee, so the center photo with the date palms at sunrise was taken there. Wow, how beautiful! That was the view I had the day I captured the sunrise (audio and photos) in the intro of this video that I made.

    At the Hyatt in Jerusalem, we had an experience of Shabbat (pronounced shabbāt, or Sabbath)—hotels are designed in such a way to allow observant Jews to practice Sabbath rest, including things like a Shabbat elevator (it stops at every floor all the time, so no one has to “work” and push a button! Don’t get in it if you’re in a hurry!). Note that the appropriate greeting on the Sabbath is not hello but “Shabbat shalom,” meaning Sabbath Peace.

    My roommate and I also had a challenge with our room’s air conditioning in Jerusalem; the first couple nights it went off every 20 minutes, and with the heat of that city, it got hot fast. The buttons on the AC didn’t work—the only thing that would turn it back on was opening and closing the room door. So the first two nights I got up every 20 minutes to get the AC back on! I told the hotel it was broken but they only said they’d fix it, and nothing changed. The third night I pitched a major fit at the front desk; they sent a workman to our room, assuming it was broken as I told them it was. He left after tinkering, and once again the AC turned off—and I headed for the desk in my pjs in near-tears from exhaustion! Finally the desk clerk checked the computer and realised our room had never been taken off the “Shabbat” setting!! That was rectified, and the rest of the trip our room was blessedly cool as we slept.

    Tomorrow I am blessed to be able to present my Israel videos and stories to a church nearby, and I am so excited! Not a lot of people ask me to tell them about it—so it’s a joy to be asked to share!

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    Shalom: Via Dolorosa

    “Then they led him out to crucify him.” —Mark 15:20

    I finally got back to scrapbooking my Israel trip! And your eyes are not fooling you, it is on an angle; intentionally so. The Via Dolorosa (way of the cross) is somewhat hilly, and I wanted the cross running through the layout but not in a static way. So there ya go, a crooked layout!

    Map under the words is from a tourist brochure, and the tied paper in the corner is the key to the map. The background paper is from the Old World stack, and I created the shadowing in the upper right corner with stamping inks and sponges. Black paper in the lower right is actually “baby” phrases—black with white lettering. I overinked it with Ranger inks til it has a black-and-red look to it, and it looks pretty awesome in real life—and not at all like a baby paper!