December 17′ Blog Hop

Home For The Holidays – December 2017
Location:  Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
WX:  50F, Partly Cloudy

Cove, the town that I live in, has an interesting history.  I live on the slopes of Mt. Fannie, looking down upon the beautiful and fruitful Grande Ronde Valley.  Grande Ronde means “Great Round” in the native languages. The valley is surrounded by the Blue Mountains, of which Mt. Fannie is a part of.   Historically, the valley was the gathering place for many different tribes during the winter months, and there was a steady peace between them while wintering together in the valley. The mild winters here were very favorable to raising their families and the hunting was plentiful. Today there are seven officially recognized tribes located in Oregon.   We share, honor and respect this great land together.

Mt. Fannie is a strange name for a mountain I suppose, but it was a sweet honor to name the mountain after Fannie Cowles McDaniel, a very adventurous woman that climbed the mountain back in 1863 – the first known woman to do so.  The City of Cove was so named because it is a small community nestled into a nook of the mountain.  It was originally named “Forest Cove”, but the post office was quite frustrated by trying to keep the mail between “Forest Cove” and another Oregon city named “Forest Grove” separated.  Cove finally dropped the “Forest” from their name in order to satisfy the USPS.  Today we have approximately 500 people living here.  We have one school, one combination small store/gas station/ laundromat, one bar, one hamburger joint, a Sportsman’s Gun Club, and five churches.  Mennonite, Methodist, Episcopal, Seventh Day Adventist and Baptist.  If you are a Latter Day Saint, you drive 10 miles to the south of Cove to the small town of Union, to attend the Mormon church there. The various churches are also open to other community activities, for example, the baptist church hosts the bi-weekly senior meals, the “AA” Meetings, and an exercise class called “Fit Seniors”.  The Methodist church hosts the Friday Food Bank.  The Episcopal church hosts weddings and an annual “Cherry Fair” on their very lovely grounds.

Our small, local store keeps a running paper tab of your purchases if you wish, then you pay it down once a month.  And if you have any extra veggies from your garden, you can place them on the free table outside of the store for your neighbors.  In the spring I have picked up a few tomato and flower starts, too.

Cove used to be a very large fruit growing area, mostly cherries.  But over the years, the cherry crops failed too often due to colder weather, and the market prices were unfavorable, too.  The majority of orchards have been cut down and the land returned to their natural state for cattle grazing.  So, that’s a small glimpse into the history and environment that I thrive in.  I like the small town atmosphere.  Everybody waves hello to each other and takes care of each other.

The Blog Hop this month is titled “Home for the Holidays.”Palette

I wish that I had been a little more inventive for you, but it seems that I just came up with the usual clusters, borders and brads.  The holidays are such a busy time for me that I think my creative self is shared by too many different projects – I shall strive to be more inventive in my next offering for you!  As always, these are free for any use, personal and commercial.  All I ask is that you do a small kindness for someone else.  Please.

Download Elements


Download Papers


Download Journal papers

All my love to your and yours during this Holiday Season.  May blessings abound for you in the new year!


Free Download – Southern Spring

Southern Spring
November 20, 2017
Location: Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  High 44F, raining

It is a blustery day here in Oregon on the side of my mountain.  The trees rock back and forth as my cats sit in the window, watching birds huddle down in the leafless trees.  The sky is alternating between stormy gray and promises of blue.  I rather believe the gray shall prevail.  A good day for baking, reading, napping, or doing crafts.

Busy.  Busy with family things for Thanksgiving and for Christmas.  Making gifts (Crochet), baking, planning, christmas cards, decorations……..and things are uber busy at church.  My Sunday school class is practicing for their school play, as well as putting together the props for it.  When the children range from ages of 1 year to 14 years, it is rather hectic having them all in the same class and working on the same project.  Yikes!  Our church has also participated in “Operation Christmas Child”, and another local charity called “Next Step”, so although I love the holidays, they can be so crazy/busy/tiring.  It’s important to remember the “Reason for the Season”, and tune out the commercialism of it all.   This holiday season I ask you to show a kindness to someone in your community – A plate of cookies to a neighbor, an invite to dinner to a widow or single mother, put extra coins in someone else’s parking meter, pay for the cup of coffee of the person in line behind you at the local shop, let someone in front of you at the grocery store line…….and pray for your country, your leadership, all manner of people – pray that they will recognize the need for doing the right thing, under the kingdom of heaven.

I came across a gentleman in my small town that cannot read.  He is an elderly fella and lives in a local care facility.  Every so often I will see him and a caretaker making their way along the sidewalk, he in his wheelchair enjoying   He is so polite and kind when I see him – I’ve been thinking of getting an audio book for him to see if it is something he might enjoy.  I can’t imagine not being able to read, but perhaps in his generation he was working in the fields at a very young age, and life just happened.  Makes me want to make it up to him somehow, having to work so hard and miss out on some of the things that are a luxury.  I’ve never thought about being able to read as a luxury, but there are so many people in this world that cannot read due to circumstances beyond their control.  It is a humbling experience to see beyond our own fences.

My latest free kit called “Southern Spring” reflects my inability to make decisions  – I really didn’t stick to a specific color palette, rather, there are various shades and tones that seem to go together.  I really didn’t find “my groove”, in building this kit, but I hope that you can use some of the items anyway.  The previews do not reflect all of the papers in the kit – I have only displayed a few of them in the preview. Although there are two previews of the elements, there is only one download for them both.  These are for either personal and commercial use.




I will have a Pixelscrapper December Blog Hop kit for you on the 1st, called “Home for the Holidays”.  In the meantime, I wish you a great time with family and friends.


Free Download – November ’17

Northern November
Location:  Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Beautiful fall, clear skies

Cold this morning.  20F.  I found comfort in my flannel shirt as I whipped up some oatmeal for breakfast this morning.  I shuffled around the kitchen in fuzzy slippers, sipping on a mug of hot cocoa.  Jake sat in the kitchen window and entertained himself by smacking my prism ornaments back and forth.  The sunlight bounced through them and rainbow splashes of color danced wildly across the walls.  Typical morning at the ranch.  My husband was rushing around this morning getting ready to take the truck in to have the windshield replaced.  The shop had to order one from Portland and have it shipped in.  I think I heard faint grumbling as he stuffed his checkbook in his pocket – poor guy.  He is a diabetic, so we have a checklist drill that we run through when he is going to be away from the house for any length of time:  Emergency candy bar, fluids, insulin kit, etc.

Eastern Oregon has a large number of hawk species, and we see them hunting in the fields every day.  Down in the valley below us, the farmers have large mechanical irrigation tracks that move across the field.  The hawks are incredibly intelligent birds, and have adapted to hunting in these lush fields of grain.  It seems almost like a “drive-thru” banquet for them.  When the irrigation tracks are watering the fields, the hawks will sit on the pipes and watch for the mice and gophers to exit their hiding spaces as the water starts to flood dens and nests.  One day I counted nine hawks sitting on the same irrigation track as it moved across the field – and they don’t really like to be in the same hunting area.  But I guess when the hunting is plentiful, they share the bounty.  I don’t really like to think of the hawks snatching up prey, but the circle of life is everywhere.
In case you have never seen the typical irrigation equipment, here is a photo of a set of irrigation tracks in the spring:


We had a small sparrow hawk that kept coming around our evergreens in the backyard.  It is a popular place for nesting robins, sparrows, etc.  We discovered that the hawk was attacking a nest of baby robins, so we had to keep spraying him with the waterhose until he finally left the area. My daughter took the photo of him, below.  He looks rather majestic, but had no manners whatsoever.  (That is Sunflower the horse, in the background….)


New thought:  I found a lovely new website that provides high quality free printables such as planners, calendars, digital paper, etc.  Take a look at the site if you are a planner person like me:

I have made a new mini kit for you, called “Northern November”.  The reason for the title is that in the southern hemisphere, it is spring/summer season, whereas in the northern hemisphere it is fall/winter.  So I have made a fall kit this time, and I will work on a spring/summer kit next.  Three downloads today, including Journal Cards that are 3″x 4″:







Have a glorious week and for those in the USA, I wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends.


November ’17 Blog Hop

Enchanted Autumn
Location:  Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Fall, cool and clear

I have made a personal decision and will no longer be posting scrapbooking designs in the Pixel Scrapper’s “The Commons”, nor will I participate in their Designer Forums.    Not because of anything going on over at the Pixelscrapper community – No.  The folks there are helpful, nurturing and kind.  Really good to me.  Simply,  I have reached a personal turning point in my life where I want to do something different with the majority of my time. Walking a different path.  (Alright Lord, you can stop pushing now……)  When I design in the future – and I will continue to design –  I will be posting my designs here on this blog.   If you subscribe to my blog, you will always be alerted to a new download.  As always, my designs shall be free to download, and may be used as you wish, including CU4CU.  I simply ask that you do a kindness for someone you come across, in the future.

Things here on the ranch are gearing up for winter.  Fruit trees are being trimmed, New hay stored in the barn.  Garden and flower beds being cleaned up.  Tractors being moved into storage.  It may sound pretty straight-forward, but there is always a glitch somewhere.  This fall’s glitch is a result of the garden shovel hitting the windshield of the truck.  Windshield replacement has now been scheduled.  Apparently someone I am married to was putting his tools out on a pallet to clean and oil them before storage, but forgot that the handles stuck out to the side of the pallet, as he drove by them.  He ran over the handle of the shovel and it broke and the metal spade flew up in the air and came down on the windshield.  I ran outside and hugged him, because I knew that he would be upset with himself about it.  You never grouch at a good man, when he is down.  Here is a photo of the crack looking from inside the truck and up into the sky…….

I have a scrapbooking question for you – do you use any of those borders that I make with the curved backgrounds, clustered with flowers and leaves?  Or, would you just rather have the clusters themselves?

The Blog Hop colors were a real challenge for a lot of our designers, only because the colors and the theme didn’t seem to be compatible.  “Elegant Autumn”, with not a single rust, burgundy, gold, brown, red…………

As usual, everyone seemed to make it work.  That’s the thing that really energizes creativity, being tasked with ideas that are outside of the norm.  I hope that you will find something you can use in my kit for this Blog Hop.  By the way, I have two previews for the elements, but there is only one download needed for them.


Download Elements


Download Papers

Have a wonderful start to your month of November!


October 27th Designer Challenge

Mini Kit Challenge
Location:  The Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Fall, cool 55F
Listening to:  The quail, clucking to each other on the front porch.

We have a new family member – a second cat named Jake, who is pretty new to the ranch.  I have to watch him closely, because he thinks that birds are for chasing, not watching.  He is four years old.  He was an abused cat and was taken to a vet clinic with severe injuries.  I won’t go into that, as I am sure that it would be just as upsetting to you as it was to me.  He has no tail, has only 3 teeth, and he is deaf.  He was at the animal shelter for six months, living in a tiny cage – I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to bring him home.  I think that people were afraid that he might be timid, have special needs, or have emotional issues because of his earlier experiences, but he has been the delight of our family from the minute I brought him home.  Our other cat ignores him.  Jake spreads the love around.  He sleeps on my daughter’s bed, cuddles with my husband or me.  He ignores our dogs.  I  glad that he is finally in his forever home.  (I don’t know if I ever mentioned that my husband volunteers at the animal shelter a few days every month….. I can’t volunteer there, because I would bring every animal home.)  Jake has already caught a mouse in our garage (Poor mouse!) and he dropped it into the dog’s food bowl.  I’m not sure what that means……..It could be like that Godfather movie, where the Mafia can place a horse’s head in your bed as a warning.  Or, it could mean that it was a gift to the dogs……..That poker face is going to keep those dogs guessing, I suppose.

The Designer Challenge over at Pixelscrapper was to take a Halloween template kit made by designer Sheila Reid, and use it in other ways.   We could go with any theme we chose, EXCEPT for a Halloween theme.   The kit bundle is called “No Tricks Just Treats”, and is available at Pixelscrapper.  I originally misunderstood the instructions, and used more than 50% of Sheila’s items to build my own kit – but I was reminded that a designer cannot use 50% or more of any other designer’s work in the making of a new kit.  So, I deleted the majority of the things I had made in compliance with the rules.  The kit below is what I came up with, and utilizes only about 15% of her designs – a bow on the ornament, a string on the tag, etc.  I don’t think that I will ever do another challenge where I am specifically instructed to use items from someone else’s designs……….It’s just too stressful to be so careful.  And, I enjoy the creativity of making my own designs, instead.  I didn’t see anyone else participate in the challenge, so I don’t have a link to share with you to grab additional kits.

By the way, I made a color change to the strip of lace in the elements preview – I added the same lace pattern in a much lighter, cream color.  That initial cinnamon color would be just too dark to be seen on dark paper.  So there are two lace strips in the kit.  Also, the frames you see in the paper preview are in the “elements” download.  This kit can be used for CU purposes.  I did purchase the CU licenses for the parts I utilized in this kit.

PSOct2017_rushranch_cinnamon-&-sage_elementsDownload Elements

Download Papers

I’ll be publishing my November Blog Hop designs for you on November 1st – just a few days away!  I can’t believe how fast the months are flying by!

Have a delight filled week –




Falling 4 Fall – A Digital Download

Falling 4 Fall
Rush Ranch, Eastern Oregon
Wx:  Cool and calm, overcast

My email provider tells me to “Customize your filter strength”.  Don’t you sometimes wish that we could do that in real life?  In every facet of life, from our professional life at work to our home life as mother, wife, friend and daughter, a filter just might be the answer to all of our frustrating interactions with other people and other things.  I know, easier said than done.  And, we might not grow into the people that we are today.  Are we the sum of our experiences, or are we that which we choose to be?

Here is a collection of things that I put together just for this blog – they have not been posted to Pixelscrapper or on any other forum.  I hope that you can find something here to make your stash a little more interesting!  As always these are for any use including commercial.  I just ask that you do a small kindness for someone else in return.





Also, I was notified by a kind reader that my previous posting of the baby shower kit had an incomplete paper download!  It only had half of the papers in it.  Gads, what a silly I can be.  Apologies, and below is the revised paper download.



I will have a pixelscrapper Blog Hop mini kit for you on November 1st.  Thank you for your visit, and your lovely comments.  Please know that they mean so very much to me!


Scrapbooking Download – Oct 15th

October 15, 2017
Wx:  Fall
Rushranch – Eastern Oregon

Fall is rushing in.  The trees are clothed in vibrant colors of scarlet, copper and gold.  It was cold enough to freeze here on the mountain last night, and all of the animals are rushing to pack their food stores for the winter. We have wild pheasants living in the barn, and some came out to sit in the warmth of the afternoon sun.  We saw six males, and we are confident that we have no idea truly,  how many pheasants there really are – we are just so happy to see their numbers grow. May they continue to do so.  Last week we had a plumber over to add a new water faucet to the side of the house outside, a cold and hot water faucet so that we can wash dogs, vehicles, etc.  The plumber saw two of the males run across the field and got excited about it.  He asked my husband if he could come up and hunt them with his gun. My husband politely shut that idea down in a hurry – “these are my wife’s treasures”, he said.  Here is a photo I took of the boys coming in for their evening meal.
PheasantWe have added the dog washing station to the outside garage area, because one of our dogs thought that it was ok to chase a skunk away from the house in the dark of night.  Gads!  Abigail the dog got hit right in the face, and wow did she smell.  First I washed her in the shower so that she could breath, then I washed her with a solution of 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and two tsp of dishwashing liquid.  I mixed that up in a one gallon container, and scrubbed her with that.  It works!  Abigail is usually rolling in something in the barn yard too, so this will ease the hassle of hosing her off.

If you are looking for some uplifting and beautiful blogs to follow, one of my favorites is Susan Branch.  Make sure you sign up for her “Willard” Newsletter.  Her watercolors are so lovely. If you like Zentangle patterns, you might enjoy the Zentangles website as much as I do!

I’ve got a mix of free things today, all available for commercial use.  One is a mini kit intended for a baby, that I designed for Marisa Lerin’s baby, over at Pixelscrapper.  My contribution was NOTHING in comparison to the amazing kits that the other designers made, so I hope you have the time to check them all out.  They really had some great ideas for things that new mothers would really use, whereas mine seemed to be of a more general scrapping nature.

I also designed a few small tags for a designer challenge at Pixelscrapper which you can find below, and I am working on another mini kit with a fall theme that I shall get out to you soon – within the next few days.  I hope that you will subscribe to the blog so that you get notice of new downloads.

Please remember to do a kindness for someone, our world sure needs that right now!


PSOct2017_babyshower_previewDOWNLOAD ELEMENTS


Blessings and Blue Skies,