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 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’s post is not about cards. It’s about blessings new every morning. As you may know, I am in the Netherlands right now with Gerard for five weeks. Did you know that this was a very difficult decision for me? Why should you even care?
Leap of Faith
The reason it was so difficult for me to leave is that my Pap is 94 and in failing health. What kind of a daughter goes on an international flight during COVID in such a situation? Thankfully both Pap and Mom said, go, you cannot put your life on hold. I had to have faith that Pap was in God’s hands and that there is nothing I can do to change the number of his days. We have said everything that there needs to be said. I have peace because he is at perfect peace. He is ready to meet his heavenly Father. How amazing is that?
Blessings New Every Morning
I am one of four children. What I have seen now that I am gone is that my older sister is filling the void. She has stepped up what she does and how often she does it. She is finding her niche and it a beautiful to see. As you know, every child has a unique relationship with their parents. When one child leaves for university, it can really change the dynamics in the family. Same thing when an adult child leaves for another country. My sister is no longer in my shadow and it is wonderful to see that relationship flourish!
I have seen the same thing happen in church ministries. When you have certain gifts, you feel called to use them but sometimes life happens and you have to cut back on your commitments. What I have found though, is that when you step back it gives someone else an opportunity to step forward and that is a beautiful thing.
Update on Pap
Prayers are being answered and Pap is doing amazingly well. He still sleeps a lot, but in the morning he is in the kitchen before mom and even sets the table and makes the tea! He has a head start because she has first helped him with his toiletries, and then she has to take care of herself.
On Mother’s Day Pap went for a car ride and visited my sister for outdoor coffee and drinks and then stopped by the farm to see my brother and his wife. At the farm it was just a “drive by” visit but how wonderful for him to get out of the house and see all his kids. Imagine my joy when mom told me that Pap was able to get in and out of the tub all by himself! Mind you, this does change from day to day. The next day it was such an ordeal that Mom finally conceded that she should get help. Another blessing!!
Why did I share this?
The reason I shared these details with you is to encourage you to also step out in faith. If there is something that you wanted to do but you were holding back on because you felt like you couldn’t “let down” or disappoint the people around you, think again. It might be just what they need for their own personal growth.
I am going with Gerard to Friesland today. Friesland is the Dutch equivalent of Quebec. The Fries people are fiercely independent and have their own language that is so different from Dutch that I cannot understand it. Friesland is in the north of Holland, about a two hour drive. I will be sure to post pictures. Here is the quaint B&B we will be going to.
Thanks for joining me, I hope you have a super day!