August Blog Trains

Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx: Summer (85F)
Listening to: Purring cat

The smoke from distant forest fires fill our skies here in Eastern Oregon.  The Substation Fire was a difficult one for firefighters to control.  Fields of wheat fed the fury.  Wheat, dry and ready for harvest, was no match for the flames.  Farmers lost their crops, their homes, their farming equipment. One kind gentleman died – he was trying to save the neighbors crops, because that’s what neighbors do for each other.  It’s hard to see these multi-generational farmers standing there watching the wall of flames take their world and turn it into smoking ash.  And although most had insurance, insurance never covers the financial part of losing it all.  The emotional toll is heartbreaking.  There are weather tragedies happening all over the world, so let’s keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.

The last few weeks of July were difficult for my precious husband – His  “Most Bestest” buddy passed away on July 15th, after a difficult struggle with cancer.  The friend was a good man, with a good and kind heart.  He will be missed greatly. I am making sure to be EXTRA kind and gentle to my husband this week, as he adjusts. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is just sit quietly and hold their hands………

I love to work my family’s Genealogy.  I find interesting stories or blank holes that interest me.  For example, this week I found out that the first black man to ever hold the Priesthood in the Mormon Church, Elijah Able, born in 1810, was a distant ancestor.  We descend from the same set of Grandparents (x6). I descend from the son of these GGGGGG-Parents, and he descends from the daughter.  The daughter married and had a son named Andrew Curtis.  They had a son named Andrew Curtis, Jr.  THAT son, is Elijah’s father.  Apparently he impregnated a servant named Delilah, and was promptly sent off to join the Army at the age of 18.  Military records indicate that Andrew deserted the military shortly thereafter.   What a scallywag!  Anyway, the family’s records indicate that Andrew died at the tender age of 18 – but…….. I think that Andrew deserted the Army, and never returned home!  I believe that he knew that he would disgrace his family further by coming home a deserter – so he set out to establish a new life for himself in a distant area.  I wonder if Andrew ever regretted leaving his family, or if he knew that Elijah had attained a priesthood……Just supposition on my part.  I don’t belong to the Mormon church, but my sister does, so she was interested to hear the latest.  I had my DNA tested several years ago, and it has been an interesting source of connections!

I have two blog trains and two other kits for you this week,  The first one is for the Pixelscrapper Blog Train, and the theme is “Kids Ahead”.  Please visit the Pixelscrapper Blog Train Forum for access to all the offerings in the train.

Blog Train Header


I also participated in the Pixelscrapper Designer Challenge “Brought to you by the Letter M” – a Masculine themed kit. I enjoyed learning how to make marbled papers, so I was happy with my papers that I made – I can’t always say that because there are times that I just don’t come up with papers that I am satisfied with enough to post!  I have posted this kit link before at the Scraptwist Freebies Facebook Page, but just in case you missed it, here it is:


Download Elements
Download Papers

Blog Train Header
The Theme for August for the Scraptwist Free4All Blog Train is “Garden of Your Mind”.  I had so much fun making the seed saver packets for you!  I checked to insure that the images from Beatrix Potter were in the public domain.  And, as usual, I couldn’t help throw in a few pieces of jewelry images, too!  There is just something elegant about a jewelry piece, when you place it with a cluster.

Please visit the blog role below.  The designers work hard to bring you their best designs, so show them some love, please.


Dancing Tiger Designs
Nellie Bell
Songbird Scraps Designs
Marniejo’s House of Scraps
The Brown Owl
LEA Art Designs
Lady DGScraps

Preview of all August Blog Train Kits:
No automatic alt text available.

I am also the “Designer Of The Month” over at Scraptwist Free4All, and I have a free kit for you to download there, if you visit the forum.


And that’s not all!  This preview below reflects all the stuff you can get free, just for participating in the August Scraptwist Free4All Challenge Forum:No automatic alt text available.


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 “Scrapping 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 1960’s). 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 role 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,


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.


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.

















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

Dancing Tiger Designs


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,


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.

















May your blessing this month be bountiful.