Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vintage Picnic and Fire Updates!

We are having a quiet and simple Fourth of July.  We usually head up to our place in the small mountain town of Frisco, Colorado.  It's a tiny little place that celebrates the Fourth with pancake breakfasts, a parade - the highlight of which is the 100s of kids who ride by on their decorated bikes, a fishing derby, and, at dusk, everybody comes out their front door and walks down to the marina for a big fireworks display over the lake.  Small town charm!  But virtually every fireworks display in Colorado has been cancelled.  We decided to just stay home and relax.  Our big celebration will be paying homage to our missed pancake breakfast by having pancakes for dinner with RED strawberries, BLUE blueberries and a lot of WHITE whipped cream.

Here's my creation for the day.  I pulled out a set that is absolutely charming, but for some reason I never think of it.  I did this card for today's One Layer Wednesday challenge to use at least one stripe and one star.

Vintage Picnic for the 4th

Just a couple of fun things to point out.  I have been having fun cutting up my tan embossing pads - the ones you use to emboss a Spellbinders die cut after you cut it.  You can use the mat in a slightly different sandwich - instead of putting an embossing folder between two Cuttlebug B plates, put it between a Cuttlebug C plate and the tan mat.  I cut one mat long and skinny, so when I emboss with it, I just get a strip.  For the above card, I cut one edge wavy so when I emboss, the pattern just seems to fade out randomly.

The other thing to point out is going to sound so small but is actually so wonderful.  I am on a perpetual quest to find bling that adheres well.  The cards in our church card racks get a lot of abuse as people look at them and shove them back.  Stampin' Up gems work very well - but they don't have a teeny, tiny gem.  I recently re-discovered Close To My Heart through Allisa and on my first CTMH order, I got a package of Bitty Sparkles.  They are perfect!!  Teeny tiny with lots of sparkle (way more than the photo shows).  I'm going to put a dozen packages in my next order!!


After my difficult fire posts last week: looking ominous, destruction and aftermathI promised you some positive stories about the fires in Colorado.  Just so you know, there are still major fires out there, but the massive, destructive ones are calming down.  (Having said, the air today is HEAVY with smoke.  I am so hoping that reminds people that there is a fireworks ban!)  If you didn't read those posts, I am not directly affected - I am 60 miles from the nearest fire - but everybody in Colorado sees the smoke and the red skies and we all know someone who has feared for their home.

In the midst of all of that destruction, there were amazing stories...

Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp is our families favorite place on earth.  We have been going their since the kids were teeny...Bible camps, confirmation camps, photography workshops, work weekends, and just plain camping.  

The camp was about 20 miles from the fire when youth from our church headed up there for Confirmation camp.  The camp was assured that it was OK to continue operations.  But within a few days, firefighters decided they had to have the road into the camp as an access point to the fire.  They were given a time that they had to be out and they were preparing, but the emergency workers came early.  The staff feverishly got the campers packed up - but they themselves had to leave everything behind.

Eighty campers descended on a church in Fort Collins with virtually no notice.  Yet they were fed and housed.

Donations came pouring in for the staff - clothes, toothbrushes, cell phone access, temporary computers, the list goes on and on.  This all from a town that was dealing with the fear of this massive fire.

Another camp, Highlands Presbyterian, opened up their doors to the campers and continued finding space for each week of new campers throughout the three weeks that Sky Ranch wasn't allowed back.

A large retail store, REI, called up our staff of their own accord and offered any outdoor equipment or backpacking supplies that were needed.

A charming little girl stayed up all night baking and held a bake sale to raise money for the camp which she had attended last year.  She raised $600!!

Our campers who went through this say that they wouldn't have had it any other way.  The theme for the week was "grace" and they got a hands-on, real life lesson in God's grace that they will NEVER forget.

Sky Ranch staff was allowed back in just a few days ago.  You won't believe what they found!  Bears, displaced by the fire, had taken up residence INSIDE the buildings.  Check out the news story here and then head to the next blog post to see photos of the damage.  (Yes, the mess on the floor, other than all of the ripped open cans, is bear scat.)

Like any other church camp, Sky Ranch operates on a shoe-string and all these extra costs are devastating.  If you are touched by what you are reading, head over the Sky Ranch website...there is a Donate button along the header...they could use our help.

Hope my U.S. readers are having a relaxed, safe, and happy holiday, and for those of you on the east coast without power, I hope you have found a way to stay cool!


  1. I just LOVE the heartwarming so so cool!!! Your card is so so cool too!!

  2. Love your new photo Kim! This is one of the cutest cards I've seen festive and fun...LOVE IT! Happy 4th of July!!

  3. Thanks for the tip on cutting the embossing mats. I love the wave effect you made here and that little picnic basket is adorable! Happy Independence Day!

  4. I love your embossing idea...think I might need to start cutting I love the embossing on you card. Thanks so much for linking to my blog in your post. The Itty Bitty Sparkles are a staple item for me. They add just the right amount of sparkle without adding bulk to your creations. On another note, amazing the amount of destruction a couple of bears can do. The sad thing, they have lost their home as well. Stay safe this 4th of July!

  5. Sounds like you live near some wonderful people Kim. ;) I love your patriotic card and I love your new photo too.

  6. A lovely card! Clever of you to hav worked out how to emboss only a part of your card after a little bit of mat cutting. And some heartwarming stories too! Hugs, Lesley

  7. Hope you had a lovely family day yesterday Kim. Your idea with the embossing mat is so clever, I love the fading stars on your card. Thank you for sharing those heartwarming stories too. take care. xx

  8. Thank you so much Kim for sharing all that is happening in your part of the world! It certainly helps us all to stop and think about all our blessings and be thankful! Definitely will keep all those who are suffering in my prayers! I so wish I could come and have some lessons at your house! I would love to visualise all these great tips you share with us! Hugs x x

  9. Beautiful heartwarming stories...always love those!!!
    Love this festive one-layer card! Now you have me curious about the CTMH gems! I too have wondered if there were some tiny ones that actually stick well! Now I might have to place a CTMH order. I've been putting it off... :)
    Thanks for the embossing pad tip! What a great idea! You're always full of them! :)

  10. wonderful card, Kim, and I love your tip an the embossing! Cool idea! I will link back to you if I give it a shot! Such heartwarming stories have come from all this. Yes, it was such a quiet 4th, we let our kids roast marshmallows on the grill and make s'mores. They also did water balloons. pancakes sound like a fun and yummy 4th treat! Thanks for popping by my blog. :)

  11. I live in Wetmore, a very small rural Colorado community between Pueblo and Westcliffe in the Wet Mountains and about 1 1/2 hours from the Springs. We are not strangers to fire danger. It was devastating to watch the fire coverage. Physically we were not affected, but emotionally... I think all Coloradoans were shell shocked. But, the healing process is beginning. Thanks for your positive words.

  12. Great post, Kim! Thanks so much for taking the time to update us on the fires. My heart goes out to all those affected, including the four-legged ones.

    And thanks, too, for sharing your tips on the mats and the bling. I will be employing both of those tips! (Allisa will be owing you a commission!)

    Love your charming and fun card and that you had pancakes for dinner with whipped cream, no less! Will you be my Mom?

  13. Saw your card posted in the OLW gallery. It is a sweet card. Nicely designed. TFS the info re the fires and the camp. I was wondering how the wildlife in the burning areas fared. Sounds like the bears did all right! Hee! :)

  14. Great card! I'm going to try your mat-cutting part-embossing technique, thanks for the tip!

  15. Adorable card! So patriotic! Loved your tip about the tan embossing mats...must try this!

  16. Kim this card is wonderful! I absolutely love the design. This was a great post. New ideas and tips, beautifully designed card and of course heartwarming stories full of God's grace and mercy. He is faithful even in the midst of the storm.

    Thank you for sharing about the gems and where I can purchase them. Now, promise you won't laugh *tehehe* I'm a slow learner: lay the embossing folder on top of the C plate (cutting plate), then place a partial piece of the tan embossing mat on top and run it through - correct? Well that's just the bomb-digity! I'm gona have to try that. Thanks Kim.

  17. A lovely patriotic card Kim and I love the use of the gems. Thank you for sharing your stories of the fires - here in the UK there has been unprecedented rain and people have died in flash floods and homes have been flooded. My heart goes out to them all.

  18. Love this CAS creation - the dry embossing along the side just adds the perfect finishing touch!

  19. Beautiful card, and beautiful coloring. Great tip for embossing, thanks. Thank you for participating in this weeks OLW Challenge.

  20. I love the embossed stars. Why have I never thought of using embossing on my OLW cards? The effect you got by cutting the tan embossing mat is awesome :)


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