July Blog Train – Scrapping Your Heart Out

Blog Train:  Scrapping Your Heart Out
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Sunny / hot

This morning the view of the valley below is so beautiful.  The valley sits in a circle, surrounded by the Blue Mountains. It’s 5:30 am, and the sun is just brushing the tops of the mountains across the valley from us – not like the brush of someone brushing their teeth hurriedly in the morning, but as a lover brushes away a curl from your cheek………….It pauses, the sunshine, gently taking a breath before it rushes down the slopes to touch the valley floor below.   It’s quite beautiful to me.

We are busy this week.  We are expanding the area that the horses have to run, by another three acres.  This will allow them to visit and nuzzle the horses that live on the farm adjacent to ours.  Horses are very sociable, and ours love to visit with the neighboring horses.  They are always talking to each other, so we need to put them in a position to visit as often as they wish.

If the horses come to the west side of their pasture, they can align themselves with our sliding glass doors that look right into our kitchen.  And, they do.  Like clockwork.  They come at 8:00 a.m, and at 5:00 p.m., to “remind” my husband that it is time to feed them.  Keep in mind that they have a whole pasture to graze on, as well as a barn full of alfalfa – the alfalfa because they are too picky to eat “regular” hay.  At mealtime, my husband carries up a bucket of maple-coated oats, and a treat – either a carrot or an apple for each horse. These horses have him very well trained.  He secretly loves it.  “I’ve gotta go feed my girls….” he’ll say, as he wanders up to commune with them.  They gather around him like a bunch of fans at a rock concert.  He brushes their coats as they nuzzle him.

The lovely Mennonite family down the road from us is hosting family from all across the US and Canada, for a big wedding event and family reunion.  They have asked to borrow our RV so that they can have more room for their guests.  In the past, we have been able to offer them the use of our apartment that sits over our garage, but this year my youngest daughter is occupying the space for a time – so the RV is the only alternative.  They are such wonderful neighbors, we love them so!  It’s a pleasure to be able to “do” something for them…..

My youngest child had a birthday this week.  My youngest child – I smile at that.  She is 42!  My baby is 42.  That feels so strange to say that.  Time passes so fast.

On with the blog train!  Over at the “Scrappin’ Your Heart Out” a place for designers – The theme is “Watermelon Days”!  And I am ever grateful for the summer to be in full swing here in Oregon. One of my favorite things is to have meals outdoors.  We have a picnic table on the back deck and a round table on the front deck.  Depending upon what time of day it is, we hang out and just marvel at the beauty of the world around us, how lucky, how blessed we are to be able to set our eyes and hearts upon all we see.  Sigh.

Below are the links to my kit, and they continue to be commercial use allowed.  I have double-checked the links for accuracy, as my last download had a bad link – so sorry about that.  (As you can see, I am quite human and make frequent mistakes.  I’ll try to keep them at a minimum in the future.)  Please visit the blogroll links further down this post to gather additional kits from the other amazing designers.  They have worked hard to bring you their best.  We love you and want you to have lots of stuff in your scrapping stash!




July Blog Train – We Believe

Blog Train:  We Believe
Location:  Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Sunny!

I wanted to share with you a little bit of history on a piece of jewelry that I have included in this month’s download.  As you know I often include extractions of brooches or charms from my own collection, or of those in the public domain.  This particular cross that I have included this month once belonged to Pope Paul VI.

In 1965, when Paul VI was invited to be the first Pontiff ever to address the United Nations, he gave this cross and a ring with the hopes that the proceeds from its sale at auction would contribute to the UN’s efforts to end human suffering.

The auction took two years to prepare and was handled by Parke-Bernet, the nation’s largest fine art auction house (until it was acquired by Sotheby’s in the late 1960s). An 8-page brochure about this cross and ring was printed for this unusual sale which took place in November 1967. Chicago jeweler Harry Levinson bought both pieces of jewelry for $64K and the amount was divided between four UN agencies. After that, the two pieces of jewelry were bought and sold several times. At one point they were even owned by renowned daredevil Evel Knievel.

It is a mystery to me why it took two years to set up an auction, and then, why did a set appraised at a million dollars sell for only $64K?  Normally an auction house of such stature would be able to set up an auction very quickly, including all of the advertising and publications required – and then, if bids did not equal the set minimums, it would not be sold.  The buyer, Harry Levinson, had a reputation for acquiring unusual pieces – he once owned the Russian Imperial Nuptial Crown, and the 70 carat “Idol’s Eye”, which was originally set into the eye of an idol, before it was stolen. Idols eye.jpg

The Idol’s Eye was also rumored to be a ransom payment for a lovely princess. I’ve included a link to the Idol’s Eye history if you are interested. I wish that I had known Harry.  Apparently, he was an upstanding fella, and there is a school named for him in the Chicago area.  Even in his 90’s, he was showing up at work in his jewelry store 6 days a week.  Unfortunately, he was a frequent target for burglary, and at the age of 94 was attacked in his home and died.  (My goodness, how morose this post is becoming! I’m sorry – I thought that perhaps you would find it interesting. )

So on with the blog train. It is called the “We Believe” blog train, and yes, this is a blog train for designers that believe in Christianity.  Each kit will have at least one piece that symbolizes our precious beliefs.  The theme for this month is “He Leadeth Me”.  I hope that you will find pieces that will further your own collection of digital designs!  The blog roll is below – please check out their links and pick up their designs too.

Download Elements
Download Papers 1
Download Papers 2
Download Papers 3
Download Pope Paul VI Cross


July Blog Train – Scrap Designer’s

Blog Train:  Scrap Designers
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Sunny

To the person that dropped off a box of newborn kittens at a campground at Anthony Lakes…….ggggrrrrrrrrrr.

Please don’t do that.  I’m sure that your momma didn’t raise you that way. It took you longer to drive up the mountain to the remote area to abandon those little furballs than it would have taken to drive them over to the Blue Mountain Animal Rescue.  I’m sure that you were feeling overwhelmed and I don’t even assume that I am familiar with your situation.  It must have been emotionally difficult for you – I’m not judging the action – I’m just asking that in the future, remember that how we take care of those that can’t take care of themselves determines our very humanity.  It defines who we are. The kittens are fine now – they are warm and well-fed.  Homes are being located.  This could have been tragic, had some young people not been out hiking in the area.  ‘Nuff said.

The newest digital designer team that I have joined up with is called The Scrap Designers.  If you are a digital designer and are interested in a new place to meet kind and generous people, come on over.  you can visit their facebook page here.

This month’s theme is “Family Gathering”.  I’ve made a bunch of boy and girl charms in different colors, but I have only displayed two in the preview.  The blog train role is below, so be sure to visit the other designers to grab their kits.


Download Elements
Download Pattern Papers
Download Solid Papers
Download Watercolor Papers


Promethean Concepts
Songbird Scraps Designs
Nellie Bell
DigiScrap Angelhaze
Lady DGScraps
DigiJen Scraps
LEA Art Designs
Moore Blessings Digital Design

I will have an additional blog train coming out this month, with the “Scraping Your Heart Out” Team.  It will be released on July 20th.  Sign up for email alerts to be notified of new releases.

Bountiful Blessings,


July Blog Train – Scraptwist Free4All

Blog Train:  Scraptwist Free4All
Location:  Rushranch, Eastern Oregon
Listening to:  the birds singing at the feeder

(EDITED:  I fixed a link to Papers # 1 – Sorry about that, folks)
I can’t really complain about the weather because it is crazy all over the world, isn’t it?  But it does present a tremendous opportunity for photographs.   I am not the most skilled photographer, especially since I just use my old phone with limited pixel capability.  But I do love this scene that I captured on June 20th, and you can see a little bit of the lightning flashes in it.  I was actually trying to capture a lightning strike, but easier said than done.  The storm moved toward us and we lost our electricity twice, but all is well.
One of the challenges over at Scraptwist Free4All is building an “All About Me” album, to pass down to our family.  Each month we receive our prompt, and make a page – or several – to go into our album.  This month’s prompt is about what makes us happy – and I really enjoy thinking about that.  One of the things I enjoy most is hearing my daughter and husband laughing together.  They have a good time working on joint projects around the house.  The latest project involves an old chevy travel van they bought.  They are modernizing it at the moment, and I hear their laughter about some silly thing quite often during the renovations.

I have been calling their project the “Scooby-doo” Mystery Machine van.  I don’t know if you are familiar with that one:
Related image

The blog train theme for this month is “Friendship” and if you join in some of the fun challenges in the Scraptwist Free4All Forum, you can get posting bonuses that match the monthly theme colors.  Pretty cool! Below my download is the “blog train roll”,  so that you can visit the other designers and grab their free designs.  Please thank them as you grab them, your kindness goes a long way.


Download Elements
Download Papers 1
Download Papers 2


Dancing Tiger Designs

Marniejo’s House of Scraps

Crazy Cat Creations

Nellie Bell

A-M Designs


Songbird Scraps Designs

Moore Blessings Digital Designs

Lady DGScraps

LEA Art Designs

If you join in my forum challenges at Scraptwist Free4All,  you will receive additional coordinating pieces like these two, below – and remember, it’s all free.

At the Quotes Challenge:


At the “Pay It Forward” Forum Challenge:


I will have three additional blog trains coming out this month, so look for these:
Scrap Designer’s Blog Train – July 10th
We Believe Blog Train – July 15th.
Scraping Your Heart Out – July 20th

Sign up for email alerts if you wish to be notified of the latest downloads.

As always, my designs are Commercial Use allowed.  I simply ask that you perform a kindness for a stranger this month.

Please check the Terms of Use of all other designers in the blog train, as they can differ between designers.

Bountiful Blessings to you,