Hello stampers and happy Monday to you. What is the most important thing in your life? That was the question we were asked in church yesterday and it really made me think. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives and the day to day things that need to get done that we forget to ask ourselves that question. At the beginning of a new year, indeed a new decade, I think it is a very good question to ponder. What do you spend the most time doing? If you have extra money where does it go? What do you spend a lot of time thinking about? When you answer those questions, you get closer to finding your “dioko”, the Greek word that means to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire.
There are lots of things that I love and that are very important to me and card making and stamping is at the top of the list. Traveling, baking, reading, pickleball, walking, wine, those are all great, but without my faith, without salvation, they would mean absolutely nothing. That is a sobering reality but also a deep comfort. What is your most important thing? What do you believe?
Happy Mail from Janis
On Friday I received this beautiful card from Janis Taylor from Chatham, Ontario. Janis is also on my team and I happen to know that she sends a LOT of cards to a lot of people. I first met Janis when she came to my Hearts for Haiti fundraiser. At that time Janis was still a public health nurse. Now she is a regular volunteer at the Chatham-Kent Hospice. We also play pickleball together once in a while and when we pair up we make a pretty mean team that I affectionately refer to as “Tall and Small”. Janis is convinced that all Dutch people are giants!
Here you can see some more detail in Janis’ card. The touch of silver thread in behind that gorgeous embossed frame from the Heirloom frames collection is so pretty. A few shiny black sequins add just the right added interest. I’m pretty sure she also ran the patterned paper through the Subtle embossing folder for a truly subtle touch. If you want to kick up your card a notch, this is a great way to do it! The focal point of this card is actually a Memories and More card from a few years ago. If you are looking for fun and easy card making, be sure to check out our Memories and More cards, they are definitely for more than just memory keeping.
Janis’ card fits in so well with what is on my mind today. It is so true that if you begin each day with a grateful heart you will be so much happier and your joy and gratitude will spill over to others that you meet. I am so grateful to Janis and to everyone else who has a sent happy mail to Holland. Your cards are a vivid reminder of how important card making really is. I am firmly convinced that it is so much more than just a hobby. What are you grateful for today?
I am so grateful for the added benefit of being close to my extended family while I am in Holland visiting Gerard. For most of my life my cousins have been people I saw only rarely and I often missed having family near by. Now it’s time to make up for lost time!! This weekend I visited with these cousins and my Dad’s youngest brother. Have you noticed that as you get older differences in age matter less and less? Staying in contact with my relatives is super important to me.
Being surrounded by centuries of history never gets old either!! Pardon the pun. Zierikzee is the beautiful city that is very close to the village where my Pap was born. This past Saturday I was able to show it off to Gerard.
This scene captures what I love so much about Dutch cities. They all have large open squares that serve so many purposes. It allows restaurants to have large terraces (patios) so people can sit outside. This space also serves as the location for the weekly farmer’s market and also for other town celebrations. It is just the perfect place to be gezellig. This time they had a skating rink set up for the kids as well as an “oliebollen kraam” where you get fresh treats and another booth where you could get a shot of Jagermeister or hot mulled wine or hot chocolate. So nice to see everyone outside together enjoying themselves.
Dutch people might not bake a lot at home, but there is no shortage of good food. All those lovely cheese shops!! Be still my heart. We did go into a bakery, but only to look. Carrying around pastries for a few hours didn’t seem like a great idea. Self-control was necessary because I was planning to bake an apple cake for my other cousins the next day!
I love seeing all the detail in the old architecture as well, so traipsing around an old city on a Saturday afternoon and ending with dinner in a small Thai restaurant was definitely a great way to spend a weekend. The weather wasn’t great, the sun had disappeared but at least it wasn’t raining and the wool hat that I bought at #OnStageQuebec has served me very well.
Free Tutorial with $50 order
Just a reminder that with a $50 purchase you get an amazing pdf tutorial with 16 cards from the demo design dream team. With a $60 purchase you get a free saleabration product. I am so happy to be able to offer you this little perk for shopping with me. I hope you have a super day. Thanks for dropping by.
Hello stampers. I am writing this Happy New Year blog post while my oliebollen dough is rising. My heart is once again happy with the arrival of more happy mail. It really makes me feel so close to all of you and it is a joy to share your work with everyone. Today I am sharing a card from Prince George, British Columbia which is half way up the coast to Alaska. Thanks Sandy Allman for this stunning card! Tomorrow or the next day I will share the second card. I’m going to keep you in suspense!
I love the story that the outside of the envelope tells as well, don’t you? #itsinthedetails The handwriting, the return address, the postmark, the stamps, they all tell a story and I love that. You don’t get those vibes from an email or a text, that is for sure! Take a look:
Do you see how the one post office has a special Christmas postmark with a wreath and Happy Holidays?
Sandy Allman’s card
If lots of layers means lots of love, then I am definitely feeling the love with this card. I had also forgotten that we had copper glimmer paper! There was one detail that also almost evaded me. Sandy even decorated the back of the card. Oh. My. Goodness. Sandy used the NIght of Bethlehem framelits which I just love. They just happen to be on the clearance rack right now in case you missed out when they first became available.
Here is the inside:
Finally the surprise detail on the back!
The Little Details
The last thing I love about Sandy’s card is that she signed the back of it and included the year. That can really mean a lot when you discover this card in your box of Christmas cards years later. It was a lot of fun showcasing Sandy’s card. Thanks for participating in the happy mail contest Sandy.
I hope that all of you are having a fantastic last day of the year. It is hard to believe that tomorrow it will be 2020. As a teenager in the 80’s the year 2020 sounded futuristic. Now it is our reality. It is time for me to begin baking oliebollen. This blog post was supposed to be done hours ago but I was having technical difficulties on the home computer. Picmonkey was only allowing me to edit one photo and then it balked. No fun!!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I may do a little live video of everyone enjoying oliebollen. We have a perfect day for it. Sunny and 8C. Blessed beyond measure.
Hello stampers! Happy Monday to you. I am sure feeling the love over here in the Netherlands. It would appear that I may have to start blogging about more than one card at a time. I still have two to feature and then two more arrived in the mail on Saturday. What a wonderful problem to have!
A Card from Shelley Merkin
Not only is Shelley’s card lovely, there is also a heartwarming story inside. Sometimes as stampers we would like more sayings for the inside of our cards but I always tell my people that the best thing you can put inside a card is your own writing. I am a huge proponent of writing more than just your name and a quick sentiment inside your card. Make it personal!! That will add so much more meaning and value to your beautiful hand made card. Your recipient will definitely feel the love!
Shelley shared about her responsibilities caring for elderly parents with declining health and also commisserated with me about living further away from her own parents than she would like. It is hard to not be able to spend as much time with your loved ones as you would like, especially when they need more care and attention. What really shone through with this card is how we can touch each other’s lives without even knowing it and that social media and the internet can truly be a powerful tool for connection and blessings.
Shelley used a technique called triple layer stamping for her card and if I remember correctly the stamp set used is one from saleabration last year. It is a DistINKtive stamp which I just love. I will do a video this week showing that technique. Shelley lives in Lawrenceburg, Indiana in the United States.
Karen Silvester’s Card
Karen chose to use the beautiful stamp set Nature’s Beauty since it is a stamp set that is being used to raise money for mental health awareness around the world. Her card is soft and pretty in balmy blue and whisper white. I love the touch of glitter. It really is amazing what a simple little extra will do for a card! Karen comes from Chaplin, Saskatchewan. Some day Gerard and I want to do a cross Canada tour in a camper, then I can see Saskatchewan and maybe even meet Karen. I really would love to meet all of you in person!
Thanks So Much
I am so enjoying sharing the cards that I am receiving. Tomorrow I will share two more. I just realized that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I am hosting a party and I will be busy making oliebollen, so there will be NO Facebook live video this week. Well, there might be an unscheduled one but not the regular weekly one. I know you understand and that you will most likely also be busy with festivities. Thanks for joining me today, I hope you have a super day!!
If you want to join in on the happy mail contest, my mailing address here is Jackie Bultje c/o Gerard van der Sar Bloemenlaan 6 2691 JC s’Gravenzande The Netherlands I will be here until January 29.,
Hello stampers. Yesterday I got happy mail from Belgium, from Canada and from the United States! I am just loving going to the mailbox to look for “Stampin’Up!” shaped envelopes. Today I will share the card from Belgium. The most amazing thing is that Stampin’Up! products are not even sold in Belgium so Christine has to go to quite the effort to buy the products.
Here is Christine’s beautiful card. I am not sure which stamp sets she used, I think some of them must be retired and the main image is what I fondly refer to as “contraband”. I love the vintage feel of this card and the combination of early espresso with balmy blue. If you want to check out Christine’s blog you can do that here.
It’s All in the Details
I took a picture of the envelopes as well because I love all the little details and I thought you might too. They inspired me to add a little love to my envelopes too!
Yesterday we had an unexpected gift of time as the flower picking was done early. Gerard asked me if I wanted to go to Bakker Vreugdenhil. This is the famous bakery in my mom’s hometown of Maasdijk. Of course I said yes. Instead of baking for my evening get together with some friends, I picked up an “Amandel Slof” which was an amazing almond pastry with whipped cream and who knows what other yumminess. It wasn’t the most beautiful pastry on display but was it ever good. It may well be a new favourite.
I do have a great weakness for fresh pastries. See that beautiful fruit tart? I had one of those for dessert. With all that fruit is a pretty healthy option!!
Thanks very much for the happy mail Christine, your name will go into the draw for the framelits. I will do the draw on January 30 when I am back in Chatham. Thanks also to everyone who stopped by today to read this post. Have a super day!
Hello stampers! It was a very exciting afternoon at Bloemenlaan 6, the first happy mail in Holland has arrived! Actually it was the second one, the first was a Christmas photo card from my daughter Stefanie and her family. However, the first official happy mail for the contest arrived today and I was so so happy to open it up. Would you like to see it too?
Barb Gourlay’s Card
Barb Gourlay from Chatham, Ontario is the artist who made this card. I am so touched with how much thought went into making this card so personal. Where do I start? The obvious ones are the windmill stamp which perfectly suits my location. Detail number two is the little airplane on the banner. The third personal touch might be more subtle and that is the colour scheme. Barb chose blue and white because that is reminiscent of the famous Delft Blau which is the gorgeous blue and white pottery that Delft is known for. What you might not know is that Barb is also on my Beyond Pampered team in my second downline. She is a positive stamper who loves to share new things with me including fancy fold techniques. This one is called a side panel fold and you can find the instructions for this fold here.
Here is a look at one of the panels. I just love all the cute details, don’t you?
Happy Mail Contest
Thanks so much for stopping by, so nice to connect with people all around the world through a blog. It is so much easier being away from home when you can still connect with “your people” everywhere. This happy mail contest is just one more way to make that connection even sweeter. I hope you will consider joining in too! My mailing address is: Jackie Bultje c/o Gerard van der Sar, Bloemenlaan 6, 2691 JC ‘s-Gravenzande, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands. Everyone who sends me a card will be entered into a contest to win either the Painted Labels dies or the Poppy Moments dies from the new mini catalog.
Just in case you missed the announcement the other day, a LOT of amazing things have been added to the clearance rack. The prices are really great too, so don’t miss out. The savings make it worth the splurge to order online and have it sent straight to your door. Here is the link to do that. If you prefer me to order it for you, I can do that as well, just send me a message.