Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Black Hole and Gratitude

February/March have been one long black hole event horizon. My mom got sick--very sick--and for about two weeks all I could do when I wasn't teaching was worry about her and my sister caring for her. I hadn't had my shots yet, and she'd only had one, so going to see her in Maryland wasn't an option. COVID sucks.

My house is a wreck, but my students are learning. There's something therapeutic about knowing that. Work has, in many ways, kept me sane.

Stamping isn't happening hardly at all right now, and I totally dropped the ball with acknowledging the awesome contributions to Karen's Card Shop. Today, I finally got thank-you notes written for almost all the donations. Muchas gracias to the following (many of whom are repeat donors!):

  • Tammy F.
  • Kelle S.
  • Charlotte A.
  • Carol V.
  • Deborah L.
  • Beverly Y.
  • Karen Mc.
  • Patti M.
  • Anne A.
  • Eddie VRD
  • Mick J.

Eleven people from ten states. Much love and appreciation to each and every person who's ever donated to Karen's. 

This isn't even all of them, y'all!

Mom is doing a bit better, and she got her second shot Saturday as I was getting my first. Soon, I'll have a chance to go see her. Thank you, God. 

My younger son graduates from high school in a few months. We are trying to teach him to drive. 

And my husband wants a new house, so we're shopping. 

Seriously?

God is good, all the time and most especially in black hole event horizons. The list of names above proves it. Receiving your packages in the last two months has filled my heart with gratitude and deep appreciation for this wonderful hobby and the wonderful people who throw their hearts and skill into it. 

Blessings from the black hole. We'll get through this.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,

Susan

Thursday, February 25, 2021

So Much Gratitude

 Stampers really are the best!


In addition to the earlier packages, I've received donations from Carol V., Charlotte, Karen M., Tammy, Deborah, and Kelle. 

It feels like Christmas around here!

The previous batch of cards is at the church already, and I will package these with envelopes in the cello bags over my spring break in early March. 

Endless gratitude from First United Methodist Church. Seriously, y'all. We are so grateful for each and every card. 

Next time I restock the shop, I'll take a picture. In a re-decoration fit last year, someone painted our display case black. The cards really pop against the black backdrop now, and it looks lovely. 

Blessings to you all. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Lenten Thoughts

 If you are interested, I've posted on my faith-based blog, Transforming Common Days

Just some thoughts about Lent in times such as these.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,

Susan

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Mixed Feelings

So things have been pretty bad for many, many people in the past two weeks. Between the normal tragedies of life to pandemic, weather, and infrastructure failures, people are struggling all over this world. I'm gonna call it like I see it right now, and send this card out to all who need their feeling of frustration, anger, hurt, or grief validated. I see you. 



This sucks. I am so sorry. 

But I am also so very grateful for the outpouring of cards for Karen's Card Shop. Over 160 beautiful cards have already come in from Beverly, Sue, Paula, Carol, Cheryl, Pat, and June. 

The second batch...



June had already put her donations in cello bags with envelopes, so I packaged up the rest and sorted them today. Wow. 

Just wow. 

I am truly overwhelmed and deeply appreciate each of these cards. They will be put in stock Monday, and I know they will sell like hotcakes. Stampers are the best people!

Blessings to everyone who is struggling and to everyone who is giving to the hurting world right now. 

From an overflowing heart,

Susan

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Sending All My Love

It's been a weird weather week in the United States, and my thoughts are with those in areas not equipped to deal with winter weather mess. I grew up in the south, have lived in the north, live in the mid-west, and know the struggle. Big hugs and lots of prayers to all!

My request for cards for Karen's Card Shop is already being answered by four amazing people: Beverly, Sue, Paula, and Carol. A number of others have said they are sending cards as well. What a generous bunch of people stampers are!



Such wonderful cards from everyone!

Muchas gracias! Y'all are awesome!

I'm slipping into my southern accent in solidarity with those snowed in without shovels and plows....

So, y'all just would not believe it, but today's card began with an attempt to CASE a card on Pinterest (can't remember which one) that was a lot more involved. After fussing around for about an hour, this happened...a retreat to my happy place of super-minimalist joy. Ahhhhh.




And that's all I have to say about that. Stay safe, stay warm, and wear your masks!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,
Susan

Saturday, February 6, 2021

A Request

Okay, talented and generous card-makers! Many of you have contributed cards to my church's card shop, and if you want to send more, we surely will appreciate them! If you're unfamiliar with the story behind Karen's Card Shop, please click the link. Karen was an amazing woman and friend, and the card shop is the PERFECT way to remember her giving spirit.

Although our worship attendance is quite low as a result of the precautions on worship services, the preschool and before/after-school care in our church has been fully functioning. Karen's Card Shop has kept up a slower but steady business. I got an email this week from the church secretary asking me to restock since the teachers were asking for more cards. As I restocked on Friday, I realized that we are short on the following types of cards:

  • Birthday
  • Get Well
  • Sympathy
  • Thinking of You
  • Friendship/Love 

We still have a LOT of thank-you cards. Oddly, faith-based cards don't sell well, nor holiday-themed cards. 

I will, as always, provide envelopes. 

If you feel called to support our efforts, email me at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com, and I will send you my snail mail address. 

I've been making birthday cards for my family and friends, and this one made me so very happy!



Only need a few more to finish my own needs, and then I will concentrate on making cards for Karen's Card Shop. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,

Susan

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Getting There...Eventually

So tell me if this sounds familiar. 

You see a stamp set. It's by a company you love. It's got the four words of Advent that you've been looking for for forever (they always leave out hope, for some reason). It's got an owl, fox, and bunny. It's got some tiny mushrooms and a stump. It's got some snowflakes. But most importantly, it's got a TREE...and you just can't say no to trees of any sort. Bonus: the images are block stamps so no coloring. 

Everything about this set screamed "BUY ME!"

So I did. 

And then I proceeded to make a bunch of pretty trash with it. 

Ugh. 

In a fit of pique, I die cut a circle from a trash panel. Then another. 

And after ruining a whole bunch of paper and wasting a whole bunch of ink....


Be still, my heart. 


This card makes me so happy. And so grateful to have discovered the European stampers who taught me to play with circles. 

The set is Winter Tree and Animals from Hero Arts. The sentiment is an old Gina K stamp, I think. And this will be this year's birthday card for my hipster son who wears plaid flannel, suspenders, and a beanie. He's the young fox, and I'm the wise old owl he never listens to. 

He's going to love it!

Peace, love, joy, and HOPE, 

Susan