Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti Relief

In this new year, I'm keeping up with a renewed commitment to blogging~I've been doing great at reading others, but not so great in writing my own. However, the whole Haiti situation has prompted me to come back to writing. I can't go there, but I can donate my time, and love, and talents, so I'm giving 25% of the sales in my shop through Feb. 14 to Haiti. One of the churches I served has been sending teams for years, and I'm excited about contibuting to the team going this April. One of my items that has sold 17 times in less than 2 weeks, is all about LOVE, and what does that truly mean, if not reaching beyond ourselves and our little comfort zone to those who need it the most. You can see some of the items featured in the column to your right...and my announcement page has the direct link where my 25% is going. There are also many other talented etsy artists creating and donating too. Check it out~but I warn you, etsy is addictive, especially to us creative, artsy types.....You were warned!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A perfect life

My life would be perfect if I could continue to do what I love (create and teach), only do it while living by the water! Maybe someday...I'm blessed we got to spend a week at the beach, and both girls, one boyfriend and my mom joined us. But, though totally not ready to go back to work yesterday...I'm slowly getting into the groove again. I will be posting some brand new items in my shop soon ( ), including my popular BLESSING blocks, but with a Christmas nativity scene on them~they are precious! I also found some new favorite blogs to follow, and I'll be posting those links too, so check back soon. More later,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Has it been a month?

I'm still new to this, and facebook too...and have made, unbelieveably,and sold more than 27 mom cards and 6 graduation cards in the last week or so...I will be back. Tune back in soon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

2 words

So, if you know me well, you won't believe I'm writing a 2 word blog....I know, I know.

The 2 words are these: "The Shack".

This book, by Wm. Paul Young, is one of the most powerful ones I've read in a very long time, and I used to read A LOT (until I started making and selling my "riricreations" cards...)
I first read this book almost one year ago next week, after a very good friend had died on April 14, my oldest daughter was relieving April 16 nightmares at Va. tech, and then my youngest daughter and my father were both hospitalized at the same time 100 miles apart from each other~April was not a very good month last year. But, I've read the book again since then. Tommy, my hubby, read it twice in one week, on the way to Texas, and on the way back home to Va., last November. He then went out and bought 4 more copies to give to our girls and my mother and others for Christmas.Even well known religious leaders like Gordon MacDonald of Leadership magazine (Christianity Today) admits that reading it, along with his wife, was a moving experience. Many reading groups and small groups have been blessed by this book~you could be to.

But, you have to go in with an open mind, and if you do, no matter what your religious background is (or is not) I believe it will stretch your mind and prick your heart in a way that very few other books can or have. Your ideas of the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) probably have never been imagined quite this way before...I can pretty much guarantee that. It's hard to read at times, because of the emotions, and at other times you can't put it down for the same reason-the emotions.

Do yourself a favor, during this spring break week or on the weekends, or at night~pick up a copy for you and another one to share with someone you love. Don't say I didn't warn you.
You will be blessed...

Hugs and Blessings,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Live and learn, love and laugh: Beginnings,endings

Life is full of beginnings and endings, and most of them are bittersweet; some are definitely more sweet than others.

There's nothing as sweet as the smell of babies (can you tell lots of my friends are requesting cards for baby showers right now?) and as those sweet babies get older, the sleepless nights during those beginning weeks fade in our memories. (I found the cutest stamp of baby footprints that I incorporated into several new card designs this weekend. Frankly I'm still learning how to add pics to the blog, and am not exactly sure how I got this one inserted...!) For now, see more cards at

Those babies grow and moms (and dads) struggle with the lifelong process of the countless beginnings and endings of letting their babies go, step by step, through all the new stages and phases of starting school , then college, then even graduate work. The missing them is tempered by the missed one's excitement about his/her new adventures, sometimes far away~bittersweet indeed.

We (the adults, or "grown ups") have our own fits and starts in our own growing up. We explore beginning and endings in jobs, relationships, homes, and hobbies, in family and friends,as well as, if not most importantly, in and through our faith. At some point, we begin to settle into an ease that wasn't possible when we were younger (or maybe it just took me longer to get here than others :) We become more content with who we are, more steady in riding the currents of ups and downs, more ....(gosh, when I read that back to myself it sounds boring, but that's not what I meant at all!)

The Bible speaks to us of "joy" not as just an emotion, or feeling of happiness, but as an abiding state of being...I believe as we begin to dig deeper in discovering who God created us to be in the first place, we find, even inside ourselves, all kinds of "beginnings"...we get more comfortable in our own skin, which frees up a lot of emotional energy for us to be available to and more co-equal with others we relate to every day. You know you're in that sweet spot, when you wake up, excited to face the new day, almost every day, and go to bed exhausted, but fulfilled, having directed most of your time and energy and love and talents that day in the directions and ways that best use your unique time and energy, in the wonderfully "you-nique" way God intended for you to use them. Yes, there are daily bumps in the road, and "shoulda, coulda, woulda" thoughts along the way, but at the end of the day: When you know you are loved by the first and best Father, whose love for us and commitment to us begins anew every day and never, ever ends...well, living in that knowlege, is the best way to begin and end, every day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

live, learn, laugh and love~short and sweet

One of my most favorite quotes ever: (I may put this on a card or in a frame soon...)
"When you were born, you were crying, and everyone around you was laughing. Live your life in such a way, that at the end, you are laughing, and everyone around you is crying." Very profound.

Info for coffee lovers: I found a recipe for mocha from "flylady" that I really like when it's cold outside. It's easy to make at home: Heat cup (or large mug) of water in microwave. Add 1 Tbsp. instant coffee, 2 Tbsp. Nestles quik, and 3 Tbsp. of carnation powdered milk. It's not starbucks, but it's way cheaper, and I add a packet of sweet and low to mine...

LAUGH: Sorry I don' t have a cute joke for today~this weekend I've laughed out loud:
1. as my daughter's pups playfully chased each other around the island in our kitchen..
2. at the bud light commercial where they throw the guy out the window-gets me every time!
2. when my Duke basketball boys surprised themselves hitting 3's in the ACC champ game!
3. (it was laugh or cry) when I realized the income (pay) and outflow (bills) were way too close.

I hope you've loved and laughed today,
Blessings to all,

Friday, March 13, 2009


Welcome family, friends, and fellow crafters,
This is my first post on my new blog. Several friends have encouraged me to do this, so here goes the next step for me~into blogosphere.

For those who may not know the latest news: I now have a shop on "". This, my shop, came about shortly before Christmas of 08. I thought I'd make some small steps toward living more "green" and began to recycle Christmas cards (using elements from the fronts of old cards I had saved many years~way more years than I'm willing to admit in writing here! :) Well, it was so much fun creating original greetings to (hopefully) bless others that I started doing my own designs. And~wow! one of the sets of my original Christian Christmas cards sold before Christmas. The rest, as they say, is history. My friends have been affirming me every step of the way in this new journey, and I'm having incredible fun creating handmade greeting cards (and a few other specialty items)...not to mention I've already met incredible customers (who've purchased from me) across the US in more than a dozen different states, and even across the world; one of my sales this week was to an incredibly gifted writer, dollmaker, blogger in PORTUGAL! Wow!

I feel very, very blessed to be able to use the creativity God gave me to encourage others, and now I'm finding I don't have enough time to create all the designs swirling around in my head. But I'm also blessed to still be serving in ministry as a pastoral counselor at St. Mary's Woods part-time, and teaching 22 bright, energetic, gifted piano students (with more to be added soon, when I open up a new evening in my schedule this month.)

I'm hoping this blog will give me a change to stay in touch with family, friends, and new friends and customers. I plan (for now, unless God gives me a different vision) to do this:

1.Post one creative idea each week (this may not just be cards~it might be home decor...etc...

2.Post one devotional thought, short and sweet, each week. I receive by email not just funny jokes, but devotional encouragement from quite a few people, and I can't tell you how many times the particular subject for that day matches some situation I'm going through.

3. Post one or two of my latest, greatest card ideas: This might be one of my designs newly released, or it could be a design from someone else I admire. It might even be a link to someone else's shop, which is the least I can do, considering so many folks have marked my shop as a favorite already on etsy.

4. Finally, I hope to post some upbeat, encouraging thought for the week~this may or may not be scripture: it might just be an upbeat thought, or seasonal musing, or a quirky or funny quote, or a funny (clean) joke. Hopefully it will be somewhat like a "cyber hug" for my readers.

So, watch for more posts, bookmark my blog, and always, PLEASE KEEP THE GREAT FEEDBACK coming: I love your suggestions and I love hearing from each of you.

I'll sign off with 2 thanks:
First and foremost to God: You've led me all these years and continue to amaze me in this latest step in our journey together...Thank you, and help me to keep seeking you FIRST. (Matt. 6:33)
Finally: to my amazing, committed, supportive, helpful, adoring, superhusband Tommy~you complete me. I'm so thankful for the last 25 years, and looking forward to 25+ more with you :

Rita French