June Blog Train – Double Downloads

Double Blog Trains
Location:  The Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Spring, slight rain

Things are going well at the Rush Ranch.  Whinny and Scratchy (Horses) are gaining a little weight, and the way they are eating, that will continue. So wonderful to see them happy and getting back to health.  They get along so well with Sunflower (horse).  I guess it was meant to be.  Here is a photo of Sunflower taken last Monday.  It was morning so she was reminding me to get a move on and fill her grain bucket – instead of taking photos.

DSC_0212

Its Blog Train time.  I am shaking things up this month, with TWO seperate Blog Train downloads this month.

First is my download for a blog train from Pixelscrapper.  The theme is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”  It would have been so fun to have a cartoon flair in a Dr. Seuss style – but I’m not that talented with my free-hand drawing.  (But that is an eventual goal of mine.)  So, no cute little snufflewhuffers, snorklepuffs or whackalackers this time.  There are two separate element previews, but just one download for both.  Here is the link to the forum for all of the other designer downloads.

THEN, my next blog train is with a new group of like-minded individuals that I am pleased to be working with, over at ScrapTwist Free4all .  There are lots of challenges to participate in, and the members are awesome.  Please stop by and check it out – it’s a fairly new website – all is free – and I know that you will enjoy meeting creative and talented people.  This month’s Blog Train theme is “Water Splash”.  I gave it a slight nautical flair.  Please visit the other designer links to move through the train.  The links are below my previews.

The PIXELSCRAPPER Blog Train:

PSJun2018_oh-the-places-you'll-go_elements

PSJun2018_oh-the-places-you'll-go_elements2

DOWNLOAD ALL ELEMENTS

PSJun2018_oh-the-places-you'll-go_journal-cards-cu

DOWNLOAD JOURNAL CARDS

PSJun2018_oh-the-places-you'll-go_papers_cu

DOWNLOAD PAPERS

PSJun2018_oh-the-places-you'll-go_travel-stickers_cu

DOWNLOAD TRAVEL STICKERS

 

The SCRAPTWIST FREE4ALL Blog Train:

STF4A_JUN2018_watersplash_elements_rushranch

DOWNLOAD WATERSPLASH ELEMENTS

STF4A_JUN2018_watersplash_papers1_rushranch

DOWNLOAD WATERSPLASH PAPERS

Please visit the other designer blogs for their Scraptwist Blog Train Kits:

Dancing Tiger Designs

KJDdesigns

Lady Dgscrap

Lea Art Designs

MarnieJo’s House of Scraps

Moore Blessings Digital Design

My Crazy Cat Creations

Nellie Belle’s Unique Boutique

Song Bird Scraps

The Preacher’s Gal

As always, my designs are free for you to use in any manner including CU4CU.  I simply ask that you perform a kindness for a stranger this month, in return.  If you want to be alerted each time I release a download, please sign up for notifications.  I only post with free downloads.

And, as a favor to me, if you have any problems downloading from my Dropbox account, would you please let me know?  I was contacted by one person that she was having issues, and I want to ensure that it is not my Dropbox service.  Thank you in advance!

Bountiful Blessings,

SunnyBee-on-flower
the rushranch@gmail.com

Bee Kind – Download

Bee Kind – May 2018 Designer Challenge
Location – Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon

I wanted to share with you a glimpse of my dear husband’s heart.  The kind heart that I fell in love with, the heart that makes MY heart sing.

For Mother’s Day, Husband ordered flowers for the widows of our church.  Those wonderful ladies that have gracefully grown with age well into their 80’s and still remain the kind and loving people they always were.  Their own families are distant or “forgetful”, and it is an absolute delight to see their glowing faces and hear their peals of laughter on Sunday morning after their surprise flower delivery.  THAT is the wonderful and priceless Mother’s Day gift that my dear husband gives to me – that joy, captured in their laughter and hugs. Yes – Priceless.

I talked a bit about our neighbor’s horses last post, Whinny and Scratchy.  Their owner has become a single parent this year of three little girls. Obviously their finances have been greatly impacted, and the horses are now dependent upon their grassy field for food.  My husband frequently throws alfalfa over their fence for the horses as a supplement.  Yesterday he called the owner and asked if she could do him a BIG favor, and bring her horses over to our field for the summer, because “our horse was lonely”.   Of course, this will allow us to feed them and care for them, which will help her out as well.  One less worry for her – she is a hard-working and kind soul.

I laugh at myself when I remember my husband and my first few “dates” (So long ago. Most likely, before you were even born….).  I made sure that the dates were always during the day, and I always brought my girlfriend with me.  The three of us, having lunch together.  Can you imagine?  And he just smiled right thought it all, a good sport.  Years later, here I am – partnered up with a wonderful fella………………

Well – I’ve bored you enough with my sappy stuff.  Thanks for indulging me.

The latest Designer Challenge over at Pixelscrapper was to come up with our own kit theme and color palette.  There are quite a few participants in the challenge, so I encourage you to go check out their designs – such talent and imagination!  But I am releasing my kit about 2 weeks early, so there is no final link to share yet for the other designers.  Here is the link to that forum, when the thread begins for the completed kits.  Be advised, some of them may not be a free download – please check the terms of each designer to be clear on the intended usage and fees, if any.

My theme was “Bee Kind”, because I love bees, and I love all things “kind”.   Bees have been a point of fascination for many,  since biblical times.  John the Baptist was documented as eating wild honey and insects to survive.  Egyptians thought that bees represented the afterlife and reincarnation, and frequently included bees in their burial tombs. Even “Childeric I”  the Merovingian King born in 440 AD was buried with over 300 golden bees with lovely insets of garnet.  Napoleon used the image of Childeric’s bee as his official seal as Emperor.   Throughout history, the bee has come to symbolise hard work, diligence, industriousness and orderliness. Because it is also the producer of honey, the bee also symbolises sweetness and benevolence.

All good stuff, the bee.

My designs are free to all, commercial use included.  As always, I just ask that you perform a kindness for a stranger this month.  Please note that I show two previews of elements, but there is just one download to get them both.

PSMay2018_bee-kind_clusters

DOWNLOAD CLUSTERS

pr2018_bee-kind_elements-preview-2

PSMay2018_bee-kind_elements-preview-1
DOWNLOAD ELEMENTS – Both Previews

PSMay2018_bee-kind_journal-cards

DOWNLOAD JOURNAL CARDS

PSMay2018_bee-kind_special-papers_cu

DOWNLOAD BEE PAPERS

New-Logo-for-Challenges-Preview

DOWNLOAD BASIC PAPERS 1

PSAPR2018_bee-positive_general-pattern-papers2

DOWNLOAD PATTERNED PAPERS

PSmay2018_bee-kind_quickpages

DOWNLOAD QUICKPAGES

PSMay2018_bee-kind_word-art

DOWNLOAD WORD ART

May your blessing this month be bountiful.

Sunny
therushranch@gmail.com

 

 

May ’18 Blog Train

Theme:  Flower Power
Location:  Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon

My kitchen window faces the morning sunrise.  Three crystal prisms hang there in the sun, splashing brilliant rainbows against the walls. I take a deep breath and give thanks for all the small things and all the big things that can only exist through the grace of God.  My family.  My home.

I look out upon the upper fields of the Rush Ranch.  Sunflower (The wild mustang) is racing back and forth across the field this morning, expressing her displeasure that Lacy (the calm and gentle horse) has been taken away for the summer.  Lacy belongs to a neighbor teenager, and every summer he and Lacy become part of a “Great Train Robbery” show in Sumpter, Washington.  Sunflower loves having Lacy with her all winter, and hates it when Lacy goes away for the summer.  I hate it, too, because I am sad for Sunflower.   But Sunflower does have the two neighbor horses to visit with, across the fence.  There is “Whinny”, the beautiful white Arabian, and “Scratchy”, the Shetland.  Can you tell that they were named by the three neighbor girls, all under the age of 8?   The Arabian is such a beautiful and graceful animal; it deserves a name worthy of him, don’t you think?  Something majestic and royal, like “Sir Lancelot”, “Apollo”, or “Michelangelo”.

Scratchy_600px          (That’s Scratchy in the foreground, and Sunflower in the back.  Sunflower has
been rolling in the dirt, as you can see…..)

Scratchy is forever escaping his place of residence, and running over here to spend time with our horses.  Over here, he can share in the apple and molasses-coated oats that my husband feeds the horses for a treat.  Scratchy has never met an apple that he didn’t like.  We actually miss Scratchy when his owner comes over to collect him.  Each horse has their own treat bucket, even scratchy.  Husband dishes out the treats, and our lab then tries to steal the apples from the buckets before the horses get them.    In the summertime, both horses and dogs can go pick their own apples directly from the trees, so this game of swiping apples is a winter sport.

Murphy_Apr2018Our lab is 10 years old this month.  We have had him since he was a few weeks old.  A neighbor‘s dog had puppies, and our “Murphy” was a runt.  We immediately fell in love with him.  He now takes Rimadyl each day for his hip, and it is a funny routine that occurs EVERY morning.  Husband gives him a Rimadyl, and Murphy immediately spits it out on the floor.  The husband says  “You need to take that – it’s your medicine”.  Murphy picks it back up and eats it.  EVERY morning.  Murphy has his share of quirks too numerous to mention – he usually carries a toy in his mouth – We call it his security “boo-boo”.  Usually a stuffed squirrel or frog.  He won’t pass through a door unless it is wide-open. He barks if my husband gives me a hug or smooch in the kitchen.  When he goes for a walk with my husband, he barks for a full minute to let everyone know that he is VERY happy, taking his dad for a walk.

This month I participated in a free “Crochet Along”, also known as a “CAL”.  Rebecca over at Yarn + Chai led over 20,000 people on a CAL to make her Malia tote.  It was fun seeing all of the different colors people used, and how they enhanced the bag with lining or special findings.  The pattern is still free and people are still signing up, so head on over there is you want to try something new.  This is my first bag I’ve ever made, and first time working with mercerized cotton.  I learned a lot and enjoyed the camaraderie.  Here is my result:
malia bag 2

The theme for the monthly Blog Train over at Pixelscrapper is Flower Power.  Here is a link back to the blog train forum.  All kits are free to download, but will have different terms of use.  As always my work is free for you to use, both personal and commercial.  All I ask is that you pass along a kindness to a stranger this month.

PSMay2018_Flower-Power_elements
DOWNLOAD ELEMENTS

PSMay2018_flower-power_journal-cards_cu
DOWNLOAD JOURNAL CARDS

PSMay2018_Flower-Power_Papers-2
DOWNLOAD PAPERS 1

PSMay2018_Flower-Power_Paprs-1DOWNLOAD PAPERS 2

I will have another download for you in about two weeks, so sign up for email alerts if you want to know when I release a new download.

Have a great month!

Sunny
therushranch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

April ’18 Blog Train

Mug and a Book
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Overcast, Cool

Related imageLook!  A library book checkout card with Elvis Presley’s signature on it. Originally published in 1904, “Told By Uncle Remus” was the first of several stories about Brer Rabbit.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr. Seuss

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott

What?  Book wisdom from both Dr. Seuss and Anne Lamott, in the same paragraph?  Yup.  It’s pretty much universal – reading is good for you.  There’s nothing better than cuddling up with a good book. Books inherently offer solitude and a temporary escape from your own story. They’re basically magic. Avid readers usually have a long history with books that often either started in the womb or shortly thereafter — thanks to parents and their incessant desire to enrich your brain. So it’s no surprise that you are at your happiest, when you’re reading.

According to library use and sales statistics, the three most read books (in order) are:
1.  The Holy Bible
2.  Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
3.  Harry Potter.

Additionally, here are some interesting facts about reading (If you are still reading this…..)

  1. Reading about yawning makes you yawn.
  2. Books used to be shelved “backwards” with the spine facing the back of the shelf and the fore-edge facing out. The earliest books in the Library had their shelf‐marks written on their fore‐ These volumes were shelved with their fore-edges, rather than their spines, facing outwards,  with the shelf‐mark written in black ink
  3. Research now indicates that the 4- to 6-year-old age range is the sweet spot for teaching reading. Beyond the age of 6 or 7, teaching a child to read is a game of catch up.
  4. On average across the world people spend 6.5 hours a week reading.
  5. According to a study from Yale University, three-quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school.
  6. Dr. Seuss coined the word “nerd” in his 1950 book “If I Ran the Zoo.”
  7. It takes an average of 475 hours to write a novel.
  8. Books that were penned or conceived behind bars include Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes), Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan), De Profundis (Oscar Wilde), and The Prince (Machiavelli).
  9. Books used to be chained to the bookshelves in libraries.
  10. The ratio of customers to bookstores is highest in Nevada, Texas, and Mississippi.
  11. On the average, a bookstore browser will spend eight seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds scanning the back cover.
  12. Half of all books sold today are to people over the age of 45.
  13. Adults who read literature on a regular basis are more than two-and-a-half times as likely to do volunteer or charity work, and over one-and-a-half times as likely to participate in sporting activities.
  14. The largest advance ever paid for a self-published book? A whopping $4.125 million. Simon & Schuster paid that for Richard Paul Evans’ The Christmas Box.
  15. Women buy 68% of all books sold.
  16. The page most readers lose interest at? Page 18!
  17. A glimpse into the NASA library reveals astronauts’ preferred reading includes A Tale of Two Citiesby Charles Dickens, 20,000 Leagues under the Seaby Jules Verne, and London Bridges by James Patterson.
  18. The longest reading aloud marathon by a team lasted 224 hours and was completed by Milton Nan, Silvina Carbone, Carlos Antón, Edit Díaz, Yolanda Baptista and Natalie Dantaz (all Uruguay) at Mac Center Shopping, Paysandú, Uruguay between September 13-22, 2007.
  19. The Penguin paperback was created to make books as affordable as cigarettes, and the first Penguin paperbacks were distributed from a church crypt.
  20. Nancy Pearl, in addition to being the most famous librarian in the world, is also now the only librarian to have an action figure created in her likeness.
  21. Studies have shown that American children who learn to read by the third grade are less likely to end up in prison, drop out of school, or take drugs.
  22. The 1930’s reading primer series Fun with Dick and Janeby Dr. William S. Gray is rumored to be plagiarized from Sir Fred Schonell’s similar Dick and Dora readers, found in his Happy Venture Playbooks.
  23. It is estimated that limited literacy skills cost business and taxpayers $20 billion in lost wages, profits, and productivity annually.

(Source:  helloGiggles.com)

So you guessed it – The theme for this month over at Pixelscrapper is about reading.  The theme is “Mug and a Book”.  I love reading – I read every evening before I go to bed.   Yet I found it hard to design a scrapping kit around the theme.  So, as usual, it is a scattered bunch of designs and I am hopeful that you will find something useful to you.  Visit the other designer kits here:  All are free to download, but each designer has their own terms of use.

My designs are free to use, including commercial use.  I only ask that you do a kindness for someone else in a quiet and loving way.

Color Palette

PSAPR2018_Mug-and-a-Book_Books
DOWNLOAD BOOK COVERS

PSAPR2018_Mug-and-a-Book_elements
DOWNLOAD ELEMENTS

PSAPR2018_Mug-and-a-Book_jornal-cards
DOWNLOAD JOURNAL CARDS

PSAPR2018_Mug-and-a-Book_papers
DOWNLOAD PAPERS # 1
DOWNLOAD PAPERS # 2

I wish you a really terrific month of April,  I will have another free kit coming out in a few weeks, so if you haven’t signed up for an email alert, it’s an easy way to be aware when new downloads become available.

Easter Blessings to you!

Sunny
therushranch@gmail.com

 

March ’18 Challenges

Peaceful In My Soul
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Snow/rain
Listening to:  Soundscapes

The rains of the season splash against my windows.  The crockpot simmers with the inviting scents of homemade stew.  Today it is peaceful in my soul. It reminds me of the lyrics of  “Peace in My Soul”,  by Jermaine Edwards:

“There’s a peace in my soul when I’m with You
There’s a peace in my soul when my spirit is in tune
You’re my Master and I’m not a slave to sin anymore
There’s a peace running deep in my soul. 

In Your will, that’s my strength when I’m with You
Just can’t stop getting closer to You
When my mind now renewed and conformed to the image of You
There’s a peace running deep in my soul.

My spirit bears witness that I’m a child of a King
And I’m sorry I just can’t walk the way I used to
Say the things I used to do I just can’t do them no more
There’s a peace running deep from my soul.”

At the Rush Ranch, things march forward in March.  Moving the clocks forward (I hate that).  Changing vehicle snow tires to summer tires.  Cleaning out flower beds, and trimming trees.  Cleaning out the horse barn, and repairing the fencing line.  The usual.  New birds show up everyday  with the promise of spring.  Red-winged blackbirds and Kittyhawks have arrived just this week.  It will be another month before I begin looking for hummingbirds. I wait, some days with my nose pressed against the windowpane, for spring.  Glorious SPRING!

I have two downloads for you today.  Both were Designer Challenges at Pixelscrapper.  One theme was on birds, and the other was on “The Letter J”.

I don’t draw birds well, so I just used antique bird paintings to make journal cards with – and then I did make one bird with a swirly tail and carrying a beaded chain. Sort of a whimsical peep.  The journal cards are 3inX4in. You can see and download the other designer kits here.

The “Letter J” challenge required several things, such as jade, something jagged, something joyful, jewelry, etc.  It was a rather enjoyable challenge.   You can see and download the other designer kits here.

As always, these are free to download and are CU for CU friendly.  Use as you wish, and in return, please do a kindness for another.

PSMar2018_spring-birds_cu
DOWNLOAD BIRDS

PSMAR2018_letter-J-preview_cu
DOWNLOAD LETTER J – ELEMENTS

DOWNLOAD LETTER J – PAPERS

Thank you for visiting my humble blog, and I look forward to providing you with another Blog Train kit on April 1st!

Sunny
therushranch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

March ’18 Blog Train

Love Knows No Borders
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Snow, Cold

Parkland, Florida.  It is difficult to see any wisdom in current events.  Yes, difficult to see how we can glue all the broken pieces back together again.  I’m not talking about politics, democrat or republican.  I’m talking about human values.  Our nation’s heart for each other.  At the very least, I wish that we lived in a world where all children are safe, healthy, fed, clothed, educated and nurtured. My husband is a direct descendent of Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence. I wonder what the signers would think today – have we been good stewards of their hopes and dreams?

So, I focus.  I focus on local things.  Making a difference in my church, neighborhood, in my hometown.  It’s hard to see how letting someone else go in front of me in line at the grocery store can make any ripple of goodness throughout the state, country, world – but I keep on believing it is so – I keep on keeping on.  It is because I know the ending to this story – I do!  I know how it all ends.  They lived happily ever after.  It’s true.  I quote the Message bible:  I Colossians 1:18-20

“He was supreme in the beginning and – leading the resurrection parade – he is supreme in the end.  From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything.  Everyone.  So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.  Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.”

Keep the faith.

Although the title of this month’s Blog Train was “Love Knows no Borders“, I misread it to be “Bounds“.  It means the same in the long run, but I wanted you to know of the title difference.

“Love knows no reason, no boundaries, no distance. It has a sole intention of bring people together to a time called forever.” (unknown author)

As always, my designs are free to use however you wish, including for commercial use.  All I ask in return is that you pass along a kindness to another.  You can find all the other designer’s blog hop kits at Pixelscrapper.

PSMar2018_Blog-Train_PapersPSMar2018_Blog-Train_Papers_Watercolors
Two paper previews, but both are in one download:
Papers Download

PSMar2018_Blog-Train_journal-cards

Journal Cards Download

PSMar2018_Blog-Train_elements_clusters
Two Elements previews, but both are in one download:
Elements Download

Below is a special challenge that I did for Pixelscrapper Designer Forum,  designing clusters for Spring.  Your can download my clusters here.

PSMar2018_spring-clusters_cu

Sign up for email alerts, to be notified of future releases.
Thank you for your kind words over the past year.  Together, we can make a difference.  May you be blessed beyond measure.

Sunny
therushranch@gmail.com

 

Free Downloads – February 2018

Black, White and Read All Over
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  51F, cloudy

Spring is in the distance, but has not yet visited our valley.  The coat of many colors in the valley floor is a reflection of remnants from a tired winter.  Colors of emerald and chartreuse are trying their best to weave their way through the dark, brown earth.   I love how the valley changes with the seasons.
grande_ronde_beamsLife around the ranch is as busy as ever.  I have asked my husband to plan a few getaways for us this spring and summer.  I need to see the sea.  I need to close my eyes and hear (and feel) the sound of the surf and seagulls.  I need to feel the breeze against my face, and the sand beneath my feet.  I need to let it all in, and let it blow away the dust and dull of winter greys.
Related image
I am all at once focused and then again wandering amidst  thoughts of where I need to be in this world, and what I need to be doing.  My dear husband and I have been talking to the local Food Bank, as we consider our volunteering options. I must take into consideration my ability to handle the emotional aspect of dealing with people that find themselves in stressful situations – I tend to be too overly emotional about children in sad situations, and know that my heart would break at every story. Tears will fall down my face and dry there, time and again.  But perhaps that is what we need, what is human about us, to feel another’s broken heart and reach out with compassion and respect.  Perhaps we are meant to have our hearts broken daily, to encourage each other, to be the light for one another.  I have no answers, I simply move through each day and hope that I am getting at least 10% of my actions right.

I participated in two small challenges at Pixelscrapper.  The first one was to design 3 items for commercial use, using a Mardi Gras theme.  The second was called “Black, White and Read All Over”, and challenged us to use newsprint in our designs.  We were to use a limited number of colors, mainly black, white and green, with another color of our choice – I chose red.  Then we could use a neutral color to round it out.  Well, you know me and color; I never seem to get it right.  So, I simply offer my results and hopefully you can find something that you can use.

PSFeb2018_mardi-gras_cu

Download Mardi Gras

PSFeb2018_black-white-read_papers_cu

Download Papers

PSFeb2018_black-white-read_elements_cu

Download Elements

I most likely will not have another download until the Blog Train on March 1st.  Sign up for email alerts if you wish to be notified of a download.

Have a great February,

Sunny
therushranch@gmail.com