Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lessons Learned from Service, Holiday Cards, and "North and South"...

Good evening, all! Hope the day has been wonderful!

My daughters are hard at work on their homework...My husband's laughing in the family room with an old friend who came tonight for a visit. They've been friends since they were both babies, but don't get to see each other very often anymore. So while they're reminiscing and enjoying a visit, I'm here visiting with all of you--that works for me!

Do you ever find sometimes that the things you dread doing usually teach you the most important lessons? Last night, our church was responsible to feed the homeless men in our town at another church. We do this every few months, but I haven't been able to go for awhile. I prepared the food our family was supposed to bring during the day, but I just wasn't looking forward to going...but, obviously, I know it's an important and a good thing to do...!

While there, the men were gracious. They thanked us over and over again for the meal. I watched my daughters refill emptying bowls of food. My husband and I talked to many of the men...and I was so humbled. I enjoyed every minute of it.

As we drove off to our warm and comfortable home, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what we as a family have. I so regret my selfish feelings, and I'll try very hard not to repeat that next time it's my turn to serve them. As I get older, I'm realizing that when we serve others, it's really ourselves that are blessed the most.....

Okay, on to vintage things...!

I was able to take part in the Crafty Secrets' challenge over at Splitcoast today--I so love the ladies over there! They have all become such very dear friends of mine--go and visit--you'll see what I mean!

This week's challenge was hosted by the lovely Pammyjo. She decided to take it easy on us this week, so the challenge was to use red and green in our cards...not necessarily with a Christmas theme...but, as I still need some Christmas cards, I went with the obvious!

This adorable image is from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes--I keep turning to that lovely little booklet time and time again--makes cards so easy!!! I actually have two of that booklet, and I really wanted to give this image a little dimension (I love doing that!), so I sacrificed the second image, cut it up and popped it up!

I think you can see it pretty well here...added a bunch of fat, glistening Martha Stewart glitter for a snowy effect, and fine diamond glitter on the trees and behind the sweet little carolers. I found these holly berries at Michael's and stuck them in the corners...I'm happy with the way it turned out, I think!

I fell in love with a lovely old vintage that Karen, The Graphics Fairy, posted on her blog yesterday, and used it in a card today...such a sweet, simple image...she also shared the back of the postcard, which was postmarked 1914--wonderful!

I went fairly simple for this card, the image didn't want to be fussed with too much--no glitter here! Although the little sprigs I put up at the top are a bit shiny, aren't they?! Loved the gingham for this--very old-fashioned and simple. The dp is from a retired SU! dp pack--"Au Chocolat"--I loved that one--hoarded it, too...obviously! Thank-you, Karen!

Finally, after my experience last night, I kept thinking about another of my favorite movies, and decided I'd share that with you tonight. I love these fabulous BBC dramas--the longer the better, in my book! This one is another by Elizabeth Gaskell, called "North and South"--anyone else seen this beauty of a film?

One of my quiet favorites--so much gentleness and beauty on the one hand, but also the harshness of a life lived in poverty for factory workers in the Industrial Age. And, oh so much misunderstanding for the lead characters to overcome!

You see the main character as a kind, giving young woman, who helps the poor and isn't worried about befriending the "lower classes", but has problems with the lead man (the dreamy Richard Armitage!), who of course you know she'll be with in the end! Just a lovely film! I don't want to give details, I just want you to see this! I promise you'll absolutely love it...Let me know when you do!

Well, that's it for tonight! Off the serve some delicious, warm Pumpkin Crumble to the chatty men and my studious daughters! Sweet dreams!


  1. What lovely thought accompanied this post...thank you for the stirring story you shared and one that inspires us to be creative in more ways than just our art!

  2. Ohhh, warm pumpkin crumble . . . you have left me wanting more!! I bet that is delicious. Would love the recipe! I have found in my life that it wasn't until I learned to give it away that I truly started to live my life. I get the most joy in service to others, even if I don't always want or feel like doing it. Sometimes I really need to kick start myself, but once I get going I always find that it is worth any effort or trouble! Love your newest cards as well. I wish I could get that booklet over here. Everything you have shared from it has been amazing! You are just so talented!!! Oh and another lovely period drama to share as well! I'll have to look this one up as I haven't seen it and it looks fabulous! hmmm. . . I loved every inch of this post, but then again, I always do!! xxoo

  3. Hi Julie, great's so important to do things that make us reflect on our blessings. I love the cards. I know what you mean, I tend to be a hoarder with my paper but the sacrifice was worth it...the dimension was the perfect touch.

  4. Julie, thanks for the recipe. I shall be making this soon and I know we'll enjoy it a lot. IT sounds delicious! Wish I had your e-mail address so then I wouldn't have to pepper your comments with these messages! xxoo

  5. Beautiful cards again! Glad you found your food run was not the trial you feared but gave your something you didn't expect. I think we often see the label (in this case "homeless", in other cases "disabled" or whatever) and forget that there are people underneath it - just people, like us. Maybe not as lucky as us but people all the same.

  6. Another inspiring posting my friend ... thank you for that! Yes we sometimes forget just how blessed we are until we look around! There are always lessons to be learned ... we all need to open our hearts a little more often to those less fortunate! Bless you for being you ... a friend with a VERY kind heart!!

  7. Ooops, forgot to mention how much I love your card creations! They are just lovely ... you know how much I enjoy seeing your works of art!! Well done!

  8. All of the cards you made are so lovely! Blessings!

  9. Another lovely post Julie - they are always so interesting, and your cards are scrumptious. x

  10. Love your story about the dinner. My mom works 3 days a week at a food bank - the last year has seen a very big increase in the number of people (mostly families) that they serve. It's a very humbling experience.

    OMG...that Thanksgiving card is incredible! WOW!

  11. Julie, these are two of the cutest cards I have Ever seen! I always enjoy my visits with you. Enjoy your day! Twyla

  12. Julie, if you can't get chestnut puree there, I'll be happy to get you some. Just let me know! E-mail me! mariealicejoan at aol dot come

  13. Beautiful thoughts! Thanks for sharing and your projects are so yummy and vintage!