Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Signs of Autumn

One of the biggest signs autumn is on it's way is the nip in the air. Let me tell you, the nip in the air is back in MN today! I let the dog out this morning to do his thing and oooooh, was it heavenly outside. 55 degrees and no humidity. The last few days have actually been really hot (two days ago it was 88), yesterday it was muggier than heck here. Yucky. We've actually had to turn on the air conditioning to cool things off!

Well, prepare yourself. I've got another fall card to share with you. I can't help it. It's nearly officially "autumn", how could I even imagine making a summery card? I look at my summer paper now and think ick!

I made this one last weeked, and I love how it turned out. I bought the new SU set Autumn Harvest recently, and I adore it! I love the pencil type etchings of the pumpkins and the squash. I thought they would be perfect stamped onto designer paper and then cut out. So, that's exactly what I did on this card.

I used paper from dasiy d's, Basic Grey, and Paper Salon. I just stamped the pumpkins and squash on little scraps I had laying around and then cut them out, and mounted them using dimensional dots. I sewed a whole bunch on this card, as you can see! I love my sewing machine, it adds so much to your cards! If you've got one tucked away somewhere, take it out today and give it a run. You won't be sorry you did!

I'm still finding it hard to blog after what happened. It affects me SO MUCH, that trying to write on my blog without mentioning it seems "false" to me. I still feel so sad, but up until this paragraph I was really trying hard not to say anything and burden you any more with my troubles. I don't want to be this big downer that wallows in self pity, but it's just to early for me to pretend everything is ok with me. I know it will eventually be easier, but right now, I'm still feeling very raw. There are so many details that have to be worked out before the end of the month. We have to add Doug to my cell phone plan since his old phone was through his work. We have to try and get all our drs to write up 3 month scripts for a prescriptions so we can get those filled before our insurance runs out. And, most importantly, we need to evaulate what "extras" can be cut from the family budget (newspaper, The Dish, etc). No more frivolous runs to the scrapbook store anymore, I'm afraid. And dinner out? Forget it. Those will be put on the backburner for a few months. Does anyone else have some cost cutting measure advice you can share with me? I know many of you have experienced the loss of a job, and know exactly where I'm coming from, so I figure you've got some good advise for me!

Today is my first morning as an "official" BSF leader, so I've got to go get ready. Have to cut this post short. Have a great day!



  1. Amy, I am just now getting caught up on some blog reading while in Wisconsin...I am SO sorry to hear about Doug...what a horrible situation to have to face. I know that you are handling it with grace and optimism...good for you. I just wanted to send you big hugs. (I can GET email, but I can't SEND email while I am at my parents house...I will contact you in a few days...)

  2. Amy--My husband took a job 3 years ago that cut our income by almost half, and yet we're okay. We don't eat out, we don't have cable, I only bought new clothes so that I could be in dress code for work, and some days of the month it's pancakes for dinner. If you take stock of what you really have--both in your cupboards and in your craft room--I'm relatively certain that you'll have more than you think you do. I know you'll figure this out, as you want to stand by your man. If you can't make as many cards for a season, well, we'll be okay without daily posts of cards, but don't stop sharing about your life. Your transparency is so refreshing. One last suggestion: If you have Aldi grocery stores in your area, they're a good cost saver. Keep remembering you belong to the Great Provider and the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills...

  3. Elizabeth V.8:37 AM

    I have lurked on your blog for months now and am compelled to comment this morning. Best wishes today as you start your BSF adventure. I don't think there are any easier answers as we wait on the Lord to sort out the details of our lives but it sounds like you are clinging to his precious promises and in Him is always the best place to be. It sounds like you're making a good list of places to cut costs. My best suggestion is just to keep your eyes, ears and heart open. It seems that whenever there has been a need, if I am listening, the Lord is answering. Maybe it's a great sale with an additional coupon at the grocery store, or an acquaintance with just the item I need, just as they are ready to part with it. It's not always easy but we're not promised easy now, we're promised eternity with Him. My prayers are with you.

  4. I'm sorry you are hurting so, Amy. My prayers are with you during this time of change.

    p.s. your card is lovely. ;)

  5. I'm a little behind in my blog reading and just read your posts from the last few days. Big hugs to you. In tough times I like to count my blessings- you could even do a mini scrapbook or something.

  6. Hi Amy

    Sorry to learn of your sad news, just remember though, everything happens for a reason, it may not seem like it now but it will.
    I was made redundant after working for a company for 7yrs, after the hatred came the self pity and with that a downward spiral - but you have to say to yourself you have to get up & get on with it - the glass is always half full NOT half empty.
    I have had a few things happen of late along with moving 250miles from everything I ever knew, but with the support of my hubby I am getting through it.
    Your relasionship sounds strong and you will get through this hard time I know you will.
    The cards you have posted are wonderful please keep sharing, you would be amazed what things you can craft with when hunting through household items.
    The ribbons that hold clothes on the hangers are great to use, I never hang my clothes up with those so I cut them off & use them for ribbon on my cards.

  7. I agree with Jenn. I read your blog daily and hearing about your life with your family, god, and friends, makes you a refreshing breath of air. I love your cards, and ideas too, but hearing about your strengths and struggles, i know you will get through this time because of your beliefs. I remember when I was young, my mother lost 2 children and a good friend once told her "god never gives you more than you can handle". She took this too heart, and I truly believe this for my mother. She was a wonderful mother but I know having my brother and I were enough for her. I know you truly appreciate your family and friends, and they will be a great strength to you. I know some months, I struggle as a single parent, but my children know how much they are loved and cared for. Know that I am sending you hugs from texas. Chris

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your husband's job. I left my job under completely different circumstances and it was scary at first dealing with only one income. I know that a lot of my neighbors have been affected by lay offs in recent months but everyone seems to make it through it, some more easily than others. It is surprising how just sticking together as a family can make a difference.

    I wish you all the strength to work through these tough times.

  9. marciad11:04 AM

    Hugs for you all. The Autumn card is beautiful and speaks of bounty. Keep that in mind. Something good will come of this.

  10. Amy - Jenn in GA couldn't have said it any better so I'm just going to second her thoughts!

    Since we've been in a period of transition ourselves for over a year, I have really gleaned a lot of information from Like Merchant Ships. She often reminds me that attitude has a lot to do with whatever situation you find yourself in. I hope you'll check it out.

    Many Blessings Friend!

  11. Amy, I am so sorry about what has happened to Doug. Go ahead and share with us and I hope it gives you some peace to know that we are all praying for you. If we didn't know what was going on, we wouldn't be able to say our prayers for you. Anyhow, for cost cutting in the stamping part, join the Wish RAK group on Splitcoast (if you aren't there already) and then you can wish for images, paper, supplies, etc. that you would like and not have to buy them. I love that group and it has been so helpful to me. I would love to see you there!! Keep your chin up.

  12. Your Autumn card is so beautiful! I LOVE the pumpkins and swash stamped on the beautiful patterned paper, and all of your sewing. (I have one of those Janome machines, thanks to Cambria's enabling. I need to get it out more.)

    My DH works for Ford Motor Company, and we all know how poorly US automakers are doing right now. Sad to say...we too, could be in the same situation at any time (my husband only has one under him in seniority).

    Hugs & prayers

  13. Michelle1:13 PM

    Stunning card.

    Everything will work and be fine in the end.

  14. Anonymous2:29 PM

    First, your autumn card is awesome...I do love the design in the stamp. Second, I am wishing you the best in your situation. My husband and I do not have Dish, cable or any of the others....just 5 local channels and we rarely eat out. I know that probably doesn't help you out but, I guess we feel it is one of those expenses we don't need.
    Again, I am rooting for you!! And I love to check out what new post you have. Thanks for sharing and hang in there!!
    Debbie J.

  15. Amy, we feel for you - my husband and I have been in similar situations several times over our 43 years of marriage and I always felt that we came out better after each battle. Several years ago we would have never have believed that we would be as successful as we are now and I have always just felt that if the trouble spots hadn't happened we wouldn't have had the opportunity to make the next step to get us to where we are now. Stay positive and most important help your husband know that he isn't a failure and that you have confidence in his ability to once again be successful. Good luck and I know that your family will survive. Also sounds like you are on the right trail to setting up a plan to get you through these tough times.

  16. Terri D.4:17 PM

    Amy, I am truly saddened to hear about Doug. With all you have been through this year, this just doesn't seem possible. Your family is in my prayers. I also want to wish you well with your BSF leadership. I was blessed to have studied seven yrs and in leadership for one. Heb. 11:1-"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Be strong and courageous!!

  17. It's not self-pity to let people who care know the latest, including your feelings. The Lord never intends for any of His people to walk alone!

    Doris Smith

  18. Hey! It's been a while since I've commented (even though I check your blog almost daily). I just want to say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your style!! I've never seen anything like it and I like the way you are so comfortable mixing patterened paper. This most recent card is TO DIE FOR!!!

    Sorry about your hubby's job. I'm sure you've heard the saying "when God closes a door he opens a window"? (In fact, there's a Christian pop song to that effect). I wouldn't be surprised if you learned that God had something "bigger and better" waiting in the wings and he just needed to "move" your hubby in order for that to be a possibility.

    Congrats also on your leadership position. I will pray for you. Leadership can be difficult. I was in BSF for about three years (EONS ago) and then headed up another bible study for about five years.

    Blessings to you and yours. CHIN UP!! Mary

  19. Zanne8:32 PM

    Amy - please try to carry the C.O.B.R.A. from your health plan from work. It may be too expensive, but it is worth trying to do it so that you don't face an unexpected health crisis without insurance. If you just can't stretch the budget, then see if you can apply for the CHIPS program, which is insurance for children. If you own assets, you can't qualify for medicaid, but being without income, you may get the CHIPS. Your local child support enforcement office (usually organized on the county level) can get you an application and tell you the requirements (or check on line).
    I agree with Jenn - check your cupboards and pantry - you can find lots of food you didn't even know you had. Don't worry if you have unusual combinations for meals - it's an adventure in stretching tastebuds! Fall back on the old rule: a protein, two veggies and a starch with your main meal. You can accomplish this with casseroles which are tasty and can be used to stretch meat further with no one knowing what you've done. I always plan at least one meatless meal a week, using egg or cheese to supply the protein, so think about this while looking in your pantry. Convenience foods are expensive and if you have time to cook "from scratch" you can do it cheaper and get more meals from the meat. Think a roast, then open face roast sandwiches with gravy, and finally, hash using potatoes to stretch the last of the meat. Nothing a busy family would want to hassle with but if you have time, it saves money. If you think this way when preparing your shopping list (you do shop only from a list, right?), you can save a great deal. Look at what you're accustomed to buying, and try to save money by avoiding cereal, cookies, candy, sodas, bottled water, prefried chicken patties, etc. You can make your own chicken strips, cookies, and cakes (and bread) from scratch, again if you have time to do it.
    If you want to try and take actual action to help you feel more in control, I would suggest that you start thinking about emptying the excess "stuff" from your house - most everybody has lots and lots of stuff they don't really use, but are too busy to deal with. All that stuff can be sold (flea market, farmer's market) and your house is all the better for it! It may not fetch much, but even a little will make you feel better.
    The last idea I have for you to consider - it's okay to feel depressed and unhappy. Venting out loud to your friends is heathful for you and allows you strength to be upbeat and positive with your husband. Don't beat yourself up over having feelings - you feel what you feel and that's not a wrong or right thing, it just is - like the sky's blue. Don't waste time feeling guilty over feeling badly; that's a waste of good guilt!
    I'm sorry this had to happen, and please know that I added you to my prayer list.

  20. Amy, I am just now checking in on you, your blog, and your beautiful fall creations, and I was saddened to read that Doug had lost his job. Just remember that as one door closes God prepares for another door to open. It sounds like Doug is an awesome man and very well respected in his industry. I have a feeling that a new and better job will be right around the corner.

    In hard times like this it is important to stay close to your friends and family and don't isolate yourself. I am proud of you for wanting to continue to blog and talk about what happened and how you are feeling. Your friends and family will help carry your through this.

    I would like to give you advise on cutting back to save money, but I think you already know what you need to do. The most important thing during this time is to not scare your children because Dad lost his job. Cutting a few corners here and there is fine, but you don't have to get too crazy with it. I have a feeling that Doug will land another job before you know it anyway and all will continue to be well in your household. In a couple of months you will be blogging that "Oh that was what the Lord had in mind for my family" "That was where he wanted Doug to be" "He closed the door on his old job so he could open the door on this new fabulous job for Doug"

    Take care Amy and if you need anything at all, I am only an e mail and a few miles away. Maybe we can have lunch sometime . . . my treat.

    Big hugs to you and your family.


  21. CherylQuilts7:51 AM

    I love your card...just waiting for this stamp set myself. Appreciate your sharing your family situation and know that God will use this, as He uses all things in our lives for our ultimate good...but when we're "in the weeds," it can get difficult. We are holding you up in prayer. And visit for helpful hints. We've had financial difficulties in the past, and they were so helpful in giving us wonderful help and reminders of biblical principles of money.
    Continued blessings to you and your sweet family! -- Cheryl ;-)

  22. Hugs to you and your family, Amy. It must be a difficult time for you. There seems to be a lot to think about right now with insurances, etc. Any more word on that friend that was going to see about getting your husband a job? I guess you would have mentioned it if there was good news. Your cards today are wonderful. It must be so hard to concentrate on your crafting world right now. Hopefully your new design team assignments will help to pull you through this.



  23. It feels good to be good stewards of our money and certainly God expects that of us. In addition, its good that our children have to experience with us when we have to tighten our belts. In this day, an individual facing unemployment is not uncommon at all.

    The one thing I want to impress upon those who do is: Unemployment Insurance benefits were designed to keep money flowing within a community. It is not welfare. So many professionals will not consider UI benefits even though it is money their employers have paid in to the government as an insurance. Most do not want to file because they say it feels like a welfare check. (Pardon this phrase. I know it is antiquated but I'm trying to make a point.) Unemployment Insurance is designed to assist the individual as they look for work and to keep money in the community so OTHER industries don't suffer because some are unemployed.

    Although it's unlikely he would be eligible while receiving a severance package, he should be looking into that NOW by filing online. (MN UI benefits is approx 50% of weekly wage) If he gets the run around or encounters someone rude, ask for management.

  24. Hi there
    I am very sorry to hear your news. I recently watched a segment on Oprah from a book/DVD called The Secret which deals with the Law of Attraction - positive thinking etc. I had been given both the book and the DVD by my brother a month earlier. he told me to watch it as it would change my life, but being busy I didn't get around to it. When I saw the show on Oprah I decided to watch the DVD and read the book.
    It truly has changed my life. I do not have faith in my life as you are lucky enough to have, but the verses you posted reminded me of chapters in The Secret. I urge you to try and get a copy of it and read it, as I have been doing this for a week now and my life has been better than it ever has. There is an excellent website called which is very good I have heard for people in the USA. Also try as they have HUNDREDS of money saving tips.
    I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and although we don't understand them at the time - we are better off in the end - we just have to have faith and stay positive.
    I hope some of this information is useful to you and I LOVE your cards - you are very talented.

  25. Wow, this is really beautiful! I'm hoping after reading your blog that a year from now you and your husband can honestly say, "this was the best thing to ever happen to us!" Best wishes and stampin' hugs!


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