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Saturday, June 27, 2015


Faith often comes from patience....
and remembering....
that sometimes
patience is taking a deep breath,
and listening
to that little voice on the inside...
don't worry,
everything is going to be alright.

Charles F. Glassman
Brain Drain:
The Breakthrough that Will Change Your Life.

Stay cool on this HOT Saturday....... stay serene if you can.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015


The magical gift of serenity........... most of us wish we had it..........some of us do have it. I think serenity is loving what we have, and not wanting what we don't have or can't have....... and being perfectly in sync with our life's situation.

Embrace the magical gift of serenity in your daily life.
Nothing beats patience......
And tranquility.

~ Angelica Hopes, Landscapes of a Heart,
Whispers of a Soul ~

Calmness and tranquility...... being at peace with yourself and your situation.  To me, that is serenity. It is a wonderful feeling. Do you have it? how did you achieve it?

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Oops.... I forgot to give a video credit!

Hi everyone... I did a post yesterday about a neat technique I found called "block fill". You can find that post here on my blog. I forgot to fill in the name of the person who made the YouTube video! (I had left a blank line).  My bad. 

So here it is.... Tina Weller at The Serene Stamper.  Click on the link and it will take you directly to her video, if you would like to watch it.

So sorry I left that out!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Block fill technique tutorial and paint chips......

I'm an avid YouTube watcher, and last week I found a new stamping/cardmaking technique that I just love and that is VERY addictive and fun. And the results are downright gorgeous and unique.

The technique is called "block fill" and the video was posted by ____________. She is one of my favorite crafty ladies on YouTube.

I thought I'd do a tutorial on how to do this technique.. I have two samples. The results are pretty neat. I made a 5x7 card with this stamped image that I made.  Here's what you do:

1.  Cut yourself a piece of 4x6 watercolor (wc) paper. I have a little pad of 4x6 wc papers so that's what I always use for my card fronts.

2.  Find a stamp set that has a couple of large images that are good for coloring inside the lines. I used these gorgeous sunflower images. Or... if you are a drawer, draw your own image. Now stamp in the middle of the wc paper, so that part of the image goes fairly close to the edge. 

I added the leaves separately so that they would extend a little further out  and be close to the edge.

3.  Draw a border around your wc paper using a pencil. Draw the lines lightly. I drew mine 3/4" around the edges. You want the image to extend into the border somewhat.  See below... you can erase the lines later.

4.  Now the fun part begins! You can color in your image(s) or leave plain. I used my watercolor pencils and just kind of scribbled the colors in here and there. I scribbled a little bit of darker colors by the centers of the petals, and the veins in the leaves. Then I used a little paintbrush dipped in water, to blend the pencil lines. If there are any parts of the stamped image that didn't stamp well, draw over them with a waterproof black pen.

5.  Now color inside the "block" (that you drew with pencil) that is behind the image, using a permanent black pen. I used my Vellum Writer pen by Kuretake Co. It has a very fine tip and a fatter tip. Use a pen that is waterproof. I think you could use a Sharpie permanent marker, but you'll need two types.. one with a fine tip and then one with the normal fatter tip.  I first drew along the pencil lines with my fine tip, and then around the flowers and between the little areas. Then I could use the fatter tip for the larger areas.  Just scribble and you don't have to be real neat as most waterproof/permanent writers kind of blend together. See below.

I made a "boo boo" when I stamped the top flower! I should have "masked" the stem so it wouldn't be on top of the bottom flower. This was just a sample, so I thought... oh well and left it as is. Normally I would have not stamped that part of the stem or masked it off.
Here is the finished block, all colored in. I did some touching up with my black pen to add some lines in the flower petals and leaves.  See the dot of black ink on the border on each side? That was another "boo boo" but I fixed it later.

6.  I decided this needed something else, so I drew little scrolly lines and dots around the outside of the block... freehand.  That darned black dot of ink is still there!

7.  Then I cut a black mat to put behind the wc paper. It's size is 4-1/4" x 6-1/4". My card base is a 5x7 card that I cut from some cream colored cardstock.  Stick your image on top of the black mat, and then adhere to the card front.

8.  To cover up the two little mistakes black ink dots, I decided this card needed some butterflies.  I used some paint chip samples to punch out some soft mint green butterflies with my new Martha Stewart butterfly punch. I love that punch!

I put a butterfly over each mistake little black dot, adhered them with hot glue, bent up the wings a little bit, and put 3 tiny vinyl dazzle stickers on their body. Voila! mistakes all gone!

9.  Stamp a small sentiment on the top right, and another larger sentiment on the bottom in the middle. I usually like to ink the edges of everything for that vintage look, but decided to leave this card crisp and clean. Finished!

I stamped some little butterflies inside the card, dancing atop a strip of black border punched cardstock. 

How fun was that????  Here is another card that I did with pinks. This time I made sure that the stalk of the top flower appears BEHIND the lower flower.... and I put tiny black dots around the block for a different look.

I made a 5x7 card using gray cardstock for a different look, and punched the butterflies out of some silver cardstock that I got at our local discount store - an entire package of 6x6 pieces for $1.29! Can't beat that.. and it makes gorgeous butterflies.  Look at them shimmer! I put little gems on top of their bodies for a little bit of glimmer.

My two sentiments are different. I used "Beautiful You" at the top, and "Your friendship means so much to me" at the bottom, both stamps from the dollar bin at Michael's.

Here's one more picture of the pink card. As you must know by now, I LOVE pink and green and love the way this card turned out.

Now I need to get some more stamps that are "color in the lines" type of stamps.... and I'll be off to make some more of these "block fill" cards.

I'd love to know if  you try this technique and the outcome. If you do use this technique, please email me and send me a picture and I'll post it on my blog.  I'd love to see what you make!


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Saturday, June 13, 2015


Oh I wish I was here... in this picture.... right now........... the ocean brings such quietness and solitude... even with the sounds of the crashing waves. Can you hear them?

The serenity of the lulling ocean
is a wondrous thing to behold.....
more precious than the gems coveted
and covered in platinum or gold....
~ Okasana Rus ~

Wishing you a serene day today........

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Family history and poems.

I was cleaning out a box the other day for our garage sale... and ran across this poem that my great uncle. Rodney, wrote in 1914! He was 37 at the time.  I had seen it many many years ago, but of course, packed it away and forgot about it. (Scroll down where I typed out the words so you can read them better).

I'm so glad I found it! His words were meant for his sister, Effie. You can see his handwritten words in the lower right-hand corner. They say: " my dear sister, Effie. A true Roman - who knows how to fight life's battles and take trouble with a smile. Your loving brother, Jim." She was going through a rough time then, as she had a 9 year old son and her husband had abandoned her somewhere in California with her young son.

I never met my great aunt Effie... but this poem lets me see a little glimpse of what her and her brother's relationship must have been like.

And here are the words so you can better read them.... his poem is so relevant for today, even though written in 1914:

Cheer Up

We cannot, of course, all be handsome,
And it’s hard for us all to be good
We are sure now and then to be lonely,
And we don’t always do as we should.

To be patient is not always easy,
To be cheerful is much harder still
But at least we can always be pleasant
If we make up our mind that we will.

And it pays every time to be kindly,
Although you feel worried and blue
If you smile at the world and be cheerful,
The world will smile back at you.

So try to brace up and look pleasant,
No matter how low you are down
Good humor is always contagious,
But you banish your friends when you frown.

~ James R. Gooding~

Written for his sister, Effie Gooding, Dec. 1914.

Isn't family history intriguing? I only met my great uncle, James, when I was a little girl. I vaguely remember him.  My great aunt, Effie, lived in California until she died in 1918 of influenza at age 40. Her 12 year old son was then raised by my grandmother (my mom's mother) up in Portland, Oregon. I met that young son, as a grown-up, when I was a young girl in Portland, Oregon in the 50's.... he was in his 40's. I never knew until years later that he was actually my mom's cousin, raised by her own mother and that he was my 2nd cousin!   

Picture of James R. Gooding and his sister (my grandmother), Marion Hallam Gooding around 1951 or 1952 up by Mt. Hood, Oregon. I don't even have a picture of my great aunt Effie.... very sad.
Sometimes it takes years and years to discover our family history.... and its myriads of happiness, sadness, hard times and depths of emotions that our ancestors experienced. Unless you really delve in, and dig deep, you may never find out what really went on in their lives. 

PLEASE talk to your parents and relatives about your family history! Once they are gone,  you'll never know where your roots lie. You will never know what they experienced and what their lives were like. I'm thankful I talked to my aunt (my mother's sister) in depth, before she died, about their mother and her siblings, as I learned many facts that I never knew (including this one about my great aunt Effie and her son). 

And parents, aunts and uncles, PLEASE talk to your children, nieces and nephews, about your own heritage and what you remember... or better yet, make a recording or write it down.

It is only in the last few years, after my mom and dad died in 2001, that I've learned and discovered the details of my ancestors. Some are still living but I've never even met them! I wish families could remain living close, in the same town, or even in the same state. But I guess even in the 1800's, families were split up, when their relatives took off for the excitement of the unknown and headed west.

What have YOU discovered about your family heritage that you never knew?

And by the way..... I'm in the process of typing my own "diary" and history for my own son.

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Saturday, June 6, 2015


Hi there....  I'm doing a quick "serenity" post today of one of my "instant download" photo quotes that I just added to my Etsy shop. We're having a garage sale this weekend so I'm rushing around in high gear! (this is definitely NOT a serene Saturday!)

I just adore this quote.... don't you? I took this photo on the Snake River, up in Washington state just south of the little town of Asotin. What a beautiful and peaceful area. You can go to my Etsy shop here to see the rest of my "instant download" photo quotes and other fancy font quotes.

Have a serene Saturday...........

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