Hello stampers and happy Monday. What do you think of when you here “the least of these”? I chose this phrase rather than the longer version: “Whatever you do for the least of these my brothers, you do for Me.” This is a loose paraphrase of the Scripture verse Matthew 25:40. Perhaps it is a bit of an odd topic for a stamping blog, but let me tell you why I chose it.
A Visit to the Market
There is a famous market in the Hague that Gerard has been meaning to take me to for a long time. Last Saturday we finally made it. What makes this market so famous is its size and popularity. More than 100,000 people visit each week and it is the largest market in Europe. It is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Saturday alone has between 35 and 40 thousand visitors!
This market is not “kitchy” with great Instagram photo opportunities. Instead it has down to earth fruit and vegetable stands, lots of fish mongers, some butchers, a few cheese stalls and a lot of clothing stalls and even drugstore items like shaving cream and toothpaste.
Who We Met
The highlight of our market trip was not a thing but a person. We met Samse there and it is his story that I want to tell. As soon as he saw us his face was transformed with delight. Before we knew it he had ushered us to his only table outside of his stall and was telling us to wait, he would bring food. Boy, did he bring food!! We started with Turkish pizzas that are more like a burrito. They are thin and topped with a mixture of spices, herbs and a wee bit of sauce. Then you add chicken schwarma meat, chopped tomatoes, red onions and lettuce. Add some garlic sauce and sambal sauce and roll it up or fold it and eat. Delicious.
There was more! More spinach and cheese filled phyllo pastries, some sort of beef croquette and then dessert which was assorted baklava, walnut and pistachio. Why all this food? Why the effusive welcome?
The Least of These
You see, Semsi came from Turkey with nothing. He was an illegal immigrant and had to rely on the mercy of the Dutch people to find employment. He ended up working for Gerard’s dad in the greenhouses. Semsi tells the story of how he was working and got injured with a pitchfork. Gerard’s dad took him to the doctor and arranged things so that his care was covered and that he even received sick pay. This sick pay was unheard of in Turkey and Samse was delighted to be able to send this money home to his family.
Semsi also told us how lonely it was for them in a new country with most of their family still in Turkey. He spoke fondly of Gerard’s mother who used to bring coffee to the greenhouse twice a day. Semsi told us that she was like a mother figure to them. Later Gerard told me that his mom brought coffee since there wasn’t a coffee machine in the greenhouse. She didn’t even stay to drink coffee with them and I am sure she did not realize what this simple gesture meant to those workers.
A few years later Semsi and his brother wanted to invest in a restaurant but they were short a few thousand guilders. When they explained to Gerard’s father, he didn’t hesitate. He loaned them all the money they needed. Because of this generosity and trust, Semsi has now built a successful business that employs his entire family. What a joy to see.
As we were walking away Gerard says, I think he is seeing things with rose-coloured glasses. This could be, but how wonderful when the little things you do for another person can have such significance.
A Few More Glimpses of the Market
Even though this was an outdoor market, it was far more crowded than I was comfortable with, so I didn’t take many pictures. There were at least five huge fish stalls like this one. You could even buy fish heads, which I assume you would use to make fish stock.
Seeing the butcher walk through the crowds with a fresh carcass on his back made me want to become vegetarian!
The person in the blue jacket was a “pedestrian” control person making sure that people followed the arrows for one way traffic.
Perhaps a Card Now??
Since this is supposed to be a stamping blog I suppose I should at least share one card with you!! I am only going to show you a little sneak peek of a beautiful and unique card that I made using the Pansy Patch bundle. If you love pansies you will also love this suite. My card really capitalized on the pretty paper. Did you know that the dies cut out two whole sheets of pansies as well as over 100 leaves? My card is part of the new Create With Us International Tutorial Bundle team and the theme this month is Pansy Patch.
Here you get a better glimpse of what you will get in this amazing 15 tutorial bundle. Many of our team members are Artisan Design team members so you are getting the best of the best!!
If you want to purchase this tutorial is is $25, but you can also get it for free with a $60 order in June. It will be released later today and then I will put it on my tutorials page for you to purchase.
On Wednesday I will share some cards using the Peach suite as this will most likely be my theme for July virtual coffee and a card class.
Thanks so much for joining me today. Tomorrow will be the first day for the Sweet Strawberry and Berry Blessings virtual coffee and a card class. If you are interested in this kit in the mail, let me know, I think I have a couple of extra ones! Have a super day!!
Hello stampers and happy Friday to you. Today I have some Pansy Patch drapery fold cards for you. What I like most about drapery fold cards is that they let you show both sides of your patterned paper. I chose to add even more patterned paper to the mix by using the pretty Soft Succulent gingham paper as the background. Let’s take a look.
Pansy Petals Drapery Fold Cards
It has been years since I made a drapery fold card. About two months ago we decided to do weekly challenges with my Beyond Pampered Team. My team member Alison Reid posts the challenge each week and we are loving that it gets us stamping cards that we might not make of our own accord. Alison shared Lisa Curcio’s tutorial with us, so I will share it here with you as well as it super clear to follow.
Here is a closer look at the Pansy Patch Drapery Fold. I embellished with some In Colour Jewels and some open weave ribbon. If you want to see another card that I made with the Pansy Patch bundle, you can check it out here.
Stamping With Pansy Patch
It takes just a little bit of trial and error to stamp with the Pansy Patch bundle. Some colour combinations are better than others, but thankfully that is a choice in personal taste. In real life there are also lots of different colour choices. The easiest way is to just get them all or make them all. I hope to share a video with you today on a Facebook live.
International Tutorial Bundle Team
Next month our Create With Us International Tutorial Bundle Team is focusing on Pansy Patch. You will get 15 tutorials all featuring this beautiful suite of products. It costs $25 OR you can get it for free with a purchase of $60. Here is the sneak peek.
I am trying to get into the daily routine of a morning bike ride. We have our daily beach walks but my job involves a lot of sitting and some standing while I made cards. I find that COVID has not been kind to my body so I am pushing myself. The weather here doesn’t make it easy to stick to a routine. There is a LOT of wind and even more rain, but now we have five days in a row with a sunny forecast and a high of 20C. Ideal!!
You might be asking, what is the problem here? I would bike if this was my view. True, true. Just be aware that my bike has three gears and it is stuck in third gear. That means that occasionally I have to humble myself in front of very fit locals who were basically born on a bike. Picture me huffing and puffing up the dike as they whiz past me tinkling their bike horns as I meander dangerously close to the middle line!
I am always proud of myself when I stick to my guns and make it up the few hills or when I finish the stretch against the wind. What are your challenges?
Thanks for joining me today. Just a gentle reminder that the chance to get the amazing deal on the starter kit ends on May 31 which is Sunday. If you are not interested yourself, maybe you know someone who is? Many people are looking for a new hobby with all the COVID restrictions and this would also be great for young families.
Here is the link to get your box full of goodies ($206 worth of products) for only $135. There is even a Paper Pumpkin kit in there as a bonus. Remember, this deal expires May 31.
Have a super day!!
Hello stampers and happy Monday to you. Today I want to talk to you about overwhelming dies. Have you ever had it that a bundle has so many dies that you feel overwhelmed? It is a great thing to have a lot of dies in a bundle because that is good value, but then you think, oh no, what a LOT of work!! Don’t let overwhelming dies scare you off!
One such bundle is Pansy Patch. Now I really love pansies. Those pretty flowers look like they have smiling faces and they bring a burst of joy in early spring. The gorgeous paper was also irresistible, so I took the plunge. Did you know that the die cuts also cut out flowers from the designer series paper? Here are a few photos from my fellow International Bundle Tutorial team members that might be a big help to you.
Caroline van der Straaten made this beautiful photo showing how the dies work.
Another International Tutorial Team member Tamara Bertram made this die graphic.
Create With Us International Tutorial Bundle Team
Did you know that I am a part of this new amazing tutorial bundle team? This month we will have 15 members and that means fifteen tutorials for you all featuring the `Pansy Patch bundle. The tutorials can be purchased for $25 OR you can get them free with a $60 purchase. For May the tutorial features the Sweet Strawberry bundle. June 1 the Pansy Patch tutorial will be available.
Here is a sneak peek of my card for this tutorial. If you want to check out my tutorial offerings, you can do so here. Tutorials are great for instant gratification. They take the work out of making cards. Why not indulge yourself today?
Don’t Let it Scare You Off
Please don’t let those overwhelming dies scare you off. Pansy Patch is a gorgeous bundle and there is a trick to easing the fear. Simply die cut the various shapes in bulk so that you have a good number of each in various colours. Put them all in neat little piles and then you will be ready to get creative! Let me know how it works for you.
Some More Stories from Holland
Truth be told, I shouldn’t say “Holland” for this beautiful country, it is really called The Netherlands and Holland is only a province or two (north and south Holland) My parents always called their country “Holland” so I do too.
I just wanted to share a few more photos with you to brighten your day and kindle your desire to visit here.
Stormy skies make for splendid pictures. The village of Woudsend is so beautiful you can make a whole photo book to capture it all.
Dutch people love their neatly trimmed hedges and “espaliers” which is what you call trees that are trained to grow to grow flat against a wall or supported on a lattice.
The design on these wooden shoes (klompen) is the Friesian flag. Such cute little vignettes!
Prime Time With the Pampered Stamper
Perhaps you have heard of this private Facebook group. I started it shortly after COVID19 hit and I had to cancel all my in person classes. Let me tell you, that was a little scary. Recently divorced, in my own home with bills to pay I was scrambling to make up for this lost income.
I started Prime Time to help fill the void. My thought was that by charging only a small amount of money and hopefully attracting a larger number of people I could do private, exclusive video classes once a week and also offer weekly prizes. The cost is only $10 a month.
Recently Gerard suggested that I give my Prime Time members more perks. One of those perks is exclusive photos and stories of my traveling adventures. I would love to have YOU join as well. This group is for people all over the world. If you are a demonstrator, you can use the cards that I teach in your own classes or with your team. Here is the link if you are interested.
Thanks for joining me today, I alway love hearing your stories and reading your comments. I love that you send me emails, but did you know that it is even nicer when you leave a comment right on the blog? Then everyone can enjoy what you have to say. This blog, like my Facebook page is a stamping community. I’m so glad you’re here. Have a super day.
PS. Don’t forget on the amazing deal on the starter kit. It ends May 30 and I would LOVE to have you on my team.
Hello stampers and happy Wednesday to you. Today I have a Pansy Patch Easel-Fold card for you. Do you want to hear the story of how this card came to be? Maybe you already know because you joined me for my YouTube and Facebook live at 10am yesterday. Let me tell you the story.
When Bad Things Happen
Here is a glimpse behind the scenes. Yesterday was my youngest daughter Rachel’s birthday. I am in Holland and she is in Canada and there is a 6 hour time difference. She misses Mama Bear so of course she called me when she woke up at 9am. That means it was 3pm here, one hour before my live video. We chatted for 45 minutes and then I said, I have to go, to get ready for my live video.
Upstairs I go, quite confident in my ManyCam abilities now. I already had my card materials ready, so it was just a matter of setting up the live stream. This all went really well and I could see that my microphone was working. I had my laptop off to the side so that I could see your comments. That didn’t work so well this time but since I could see my microphone working just fine, I thought I would catch up with the comments later. Big mistake.
Apparently the sound conked out after you were treated to the sound of the frogs copulating in the pond outside!! You should have heard me when I saw the first comments after the video had ended!! I said something like this: “You mean they could hear those blasted frogs and not me!! Arggghhhh!!” Then my screen also froze. Gerard did a speed test and apparently the internet connection was fine. Must have been the technology gremlins having fun.
The reason I was so upset that it didn’t work is that I was in such a good flow. While the card was being made ever so nicely I had a great dialogue going, telling you all about how the virtual coffee and a card class started and how a demo’s brain works when they are planning events. Then it was all for nought!!!
Gerard says, don’t give up, just make it again. I moaned, I can’t!! I don’t have any more Sweet Ice Cream supplies. You see, I only took the card kits with me just like the ones my subscribers get. Deep breaths. There must be a solution. There was. I cased my own card using different stamps and paper and this was the result.
Why Does This Make Me Happy?
The biggest win in this situation is that people can see that they can participate in my video tutorials even if they don’t have any of the supplies that I am using. As long as you have some basic cardstock and patterned paper and some stamps you CAN create along with me. My advice is to first watch the video and then watch again with your supplies ready to go. You can pause me whenever you want and catch up with your own card making. I would love to see what you make!!
A Few More Pictures
Pansy Patch is really a lovely suite. The patterned paper has both florals and gingham as well as some leaves and pansy bouquets that you can cut out. I used the dies to cut out the individual pansies. Gorgeous!! The new in colour gems are a perfect match too. They are currently on back order so you will have to wait a while to get them.
If you want to subscribe to my virtual coffee and a card class, you can do so here.
The Original Card
Do you want to see what the original card was from my Sweet Ice Cream Virtual Coffee and a Card class? I had to steal the ribbon from it to finish the pansy card! That reminds me of what I sometimes had to do when I was first a demonstrator and did workshops in people’s homes! No matter how hard I tried to be organized I would always forget some product. To improvise and make the class possible I sometimes had to take apart my card samples to glean enough supplies!!
Unfortunately the Sweet Ice Cream bundle is back ordered until the end of May. I would strongly advise getting the paper before it is gone. The mini catalog is supposed to be “live” until the end of June but supplies are only available while supplies last. We can be upset about that, but it happens all the time in the real world. I had found an amazing pair of shoes but alas, no longer available in my size.
Once again I want to thank you for all your support and encouragement. What a wonderful stamping community we have. Just like the card says, I truly appreciate all the little things you do.
Join My Team!
My heart is with my Beyond Pampered Team. What a wonderful group of stampers we have and it is growing across the country. There has never been a better time to join. From now until the end of May there is significant added value to the starter kit and by getting the kit you also get your own personal 20% discount.
The kit is $135 with no shipping or tax. You can put any products you want in it except for host sets. The best part is that you get to choose a whopping $208 worth of products. I have to admit, I got the starter kit myself in the Netherlands so that I could get the ink pads and the in colour ribbon that I didn’t have here. If you want to join, just click here.
I hope you have a super day!!