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
Email:  therushranch@gmail.com

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, 


October Blog Hop – Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice
Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  79F, Overcast
email:  therushranch@gmail.com

My blog is filled with random thoughts this month.

 1.  My friend George died today.  He had been experiencing several health issues this past year.  He was a neighbor, and the former Treasurer of our church.  I took over the position when he decided that it was time to pass the work on to another.  I had been his Assistant Treasurer for about four years before I assumed the Treasurer positon in April of this year. 

Death of a loved one is greeted with both sorrow and joy – joy that they no longer suffer, that they have walked into the arms of a loving God.  Knowing that we shall see them again as they once were, healthy and strong.   Of course there is the inevitable sorrow at the loss of their companionship.  But we can use that sorrow to inspire us, to examine our own lives, to declutter ourselves from things that don’t really matter.  To grasp with gusto and hold dear to all that is relevant and important and LOVED.  Each passing of a friend or loved one should inspire us to make our own last years – whether that be 5 or 50 – to count.  To matter.  To make a difference.  To establish and nurture a perpetual wave of goodness and kindness, to flourish and thrive.  May it be so.  May I honor George with being better at what and who I am supposed to be in this world. 

2.  I have often thought that there are no downsides of teaching little kids in Sunday School.  But actually, there are two.  One is that I miss them very much, when someone moves away.  I get attached very easily to them – they feel like my own grandchildren.   I don’t have the ability to NOT love them.   The other downside is demonstrated by a conversation I had with one of the kids this Sunday.  I asked her if she had a good week at school, and she informed me that she didn’t go to school all week because she had strep throat!  Gads.  I hope the other kids don’t come down with it!  At other times my heart is heavy for one or more of them because of their tough family situations – but, I don’t consider that a downside – I think that I was placed there in that classroom to help them emotionally “weather their storm”.  To “be there” for them, and let them know that they are not alone in their trials, that I care, that I love them unconditionally, and so does the Lord. We always do a craft in the last half of our class to support our lessons, and art can be very healing, too.   

3.  I think that I use too many commas in my writing………Not sure why I use them at all, but I suppose it is a remnant left over from a very strict English Teacher back in the day.  I was not a good English student, because I never saw the value in diagramming a sentence – I mean, who does that in real life!?  I just wanted to write what my head and heart was saying, and forget the punctuation.   A stream of consciousness doesn’t care about such things.  I am a flawed human.

4.  Another flaw:  I have a hard time making decisions.  There.  I put it out there in black and white.  I didn’t have that issue on the job when a critical decision needed to be made, in fact I could make a decision within a second of reviewing the best options.  But ask me where I wanted to go for dinner, or where to sit in a movie theatre……..it wasn’t important enough to let my  personal opinion override anyone else’s. My decision-making skills have grown lax since I have retired.  I could use the excuse that I am just easy-going and affable – but I wonder if, depending upon the subject, I am just a little afraid of the outcome.

One of the issues that I am having regarding decision making, is regarding the promotion at Pixel Scrapper to a level 3 designer.  The regulations for that level say that any designs I post to the Commons on Pixel Scrapper become the property of Pixel Scrapper, and I can’t share them anywhere else.  (This doesn’t apply to the blog hops, unless I post the blog hop kit in the Commons.)  So, my dilemma is …… do I want to become exclusive to the Commons on all designs besides the blog hops, or do I focus on sharing the majority my designs on my blog? Am I being prideful and boastful by seeking designer advancement, or is that effort truly helping me to advance my personal goals?

My goal is always, ALWAYS to express kindness when I can.  I hope that I am making a difference in this world by providing free downloads to be used for any purpose, including commercial use.  My designs are humble and not at the peak of perfection, but it is what I currently have to offer. So, what would you do, if you were me?  Would you post exclusively to the Commons and continue your advancement level as a designer at PS, or would you choose to post the majority of your work on your blog?

5.  Over at the Pixel Scrapper site, the Blog Hop theme for October is “Pumpkin Spice”.  I love that title for fall!  The palette was a bit of a challenge as there was none of the normal golden brown, rust, burgundy and yellow colors normally associated with fall.  And I think that was the whole idea, to challenge designers with different palettes and see what develops!  You can find the rest of the Blog Hop designer links here, at the Forum.


PSOct2017_pumpkin-spice_elementsDOWNLOAD ELEMENTS





Wishing you a very special October –

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32


September ’17 Blog Hop

At The Zoo
Rushranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  85F, smokey
Listening To:  Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Mourning doves gracefully glide to a peaceful landing at the feeder on my front deck.  Regular, like clockwork, they are the first early morning visitors.  Their cooing to each other is a calm and soothing sound to me.  I need that soothing sound this morning.  I need all manner of man, woman and child to feel that soothing sound this morning.  I am concerned for the people of Texas and Louisiana impacted by Harvey.  So many people have lost not only their homes, but their sense of security and safety – their lifeline to who they are.  My brother and his family are in Houston. The country needs our kindness and our prayers.

Here at the Rush Ranch, things are normal.  Well, normal for us.  On my front and back decks, I grow four whiskey barrels of hops.  They grow such a dense, hardy bunch of vines and leaves that cover the deck pergola tops.  They provide some amazing shade throughout the summer.  I have strings of clothesline between the barrels and the top of the pergola, to help the plants find their way to the top in early spring, and those lines caused quite a bit of racket last night.  A deer with a huge set of antlers came by to raid the bird feeders, and somehow got caught up in the clothesline.  He struggled trying to get free, and that huge whiskey barrel went flying out into the front yard.  You can imagine the racket as he finally got free and took off for the hills. The plant is a little war torn, but will survive. The whiskey barrel?  That’s toast.  Always something going on, at the Rush Ranch.

The Blog Hop for September is called “At The Zoo”.  (Sort of reminds me of the ranch.  It can be a zoo around here at times….)  You can find all of the Pixelscrapper contributions to the blog hop at this link.  All of the other contributions are awesome, and some of the designers had some fantastic ideas!  I am always amazed at the talent and scope of imagination these designers have!  They keep inspiring me. We were tasked with selecting a particular animal, and building our designs around it.  I’m not great at drawing animals, but I gave it a shot.   I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a polar bear or fox, so I chose the fox.  Below are my previews, and they are for any use including commercial. I simply ask that you pass along a kindness to a stranger.  Hope that you can find something in this kit that you can use.


PSSept2017_rushranch_at-the-zoo_papersDOWNLOAD PAPERS

Thank you for taking the time to look at my designs – Blessings and Blue Skies,





Download – Journal Cards

Autumn Journal Cards
Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx:  91F, Clear Skies
Listening to:  The Weather Channel

Thinking about family in Texas this week, as Tropical Storm Harvey turns into a Cat 3 Hurricane, and then back down again into a storm.  Prayers go out to the people of Rockport and other locales that have been hit the hardest.  I have a brother that lives outside of Houston, in a town called Katy.  So far they are well prepared for whatever may come, including an evacuation plan.  In times like these we all – the five of us siblings – exchange “I love you’s”, so that we know without a doubt that we are loved and cherished, no matter the outcomes of a normal day, or a tragic day.  Come what may.  We are faith-based people, so we trust that all will be ok in the end.  And as the famous line from the “2nd Best Marigold Hotel” movie goes, “It will be ok in the end – if not, then it’s not the end”.  I actually have that saying on a board hanging in my kitchen.  I don’t know the original author of the quote.  In my research it has been attributed to a hundred different people.

Related image

I made some journal cards, in response to a prompt on the Designer’s Challenge Forum at Pixel Scrapper.  Instead of posting them to PS, I have posted them here.  I don’t know if you use them for anything, personally I don’t.  But I though that perhaps you might be interested in them, even to use a tags if you sized them down a bit.  I will have a September Blog Hop download for you on September 1st, but in the meantime, here is a little something:


Download Journal Cards Here

Please let me know if you are a user of Journal Cards, I truly don’t know the number of people that use them.  Am I wasting my time?  Thank you.

Blessings and Blue Skies,



Free Download – The Darks

Feather Flowers – Darks
Rushranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx: 97F, Smoky
Listening to:  Andrea Bocelli

Today is Saturday, so I have much to do.  Throughout the week I have put together the church’s Sunday Program, and now it is time to print out the original and make copies of it on the church copier.  I wait until Saturday, because throughout the week if I get any reports from the missionaries that we support, I put the highlights of it on the back of our bulletin.  I also add any items to the monthly calendar on the back.   By Saturday (Hopefully earlier in the week!) I have made the decision of what I want to do in the kid’s Sunday School as a craft, so I need to gather supplies and make my sample.  (We are building a birdhouse)  Being the Church’s Treasurer also means that I need to pick up the mail (bills), write the checks, and update the books.  I love the volunteer work that I do for our tiny church with the big heart.  It’s my small contribution to the healthy unity of our church family.

I didn’t leave myself much time to write up a proper blog post today, and I apologize for that.  But I wanted to post the dark version of my feather flowers for you.  Free for any use including commercial.  Please pass along the kindness as you see fit.  You can download them here.


Look for the delight.  Look for the joy around you this week.