5th annual caring hearts card drive

A friend knows the song in my heart
and sings it to me when my memory fails.
~Donna Roberts


If you just hopped here from my sweet friend Stacey Schafer’s place
and the Caring Hearts Card Drive,
welcome to Catered Crop!

Wasn’t Stacey’s bokeh card stunning?


I’m Linda McClain, and I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing campaign.

Before I retired from nursing last February I had the honor of inspecting and investigating nursing homes all over central Texas. My job gave me special privileges – a window into the lives of amazing people. I had a front row seat to history when the residents told me about their lives: NASA rocket scientist, championship rodeo cowboy, member of the 1950’s All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Holocaust survivor, teacher in a one-room schoolhouse . . .



My Dad used to joke that he wanted to live to be 100, shot by a jealous woman. We laughed, but then I met a 103 year old woman and realized from her story that the hardest part of aging isn’t arthritis – it’s outliving your family and friends.  This sweet lady and her husband were married for 50 years, but she had been a widow for the last 30 years. Her only surviving son was in his 80’s and unable to drive to visit her. Dad also used to say that growing old isn’t for the weak. He was right!



The wonderful news is that the cards you make for Vera Yates’ and Jennifer McGuire’s Caring Hearts Card Drive really will bring smiles to these residents’ faces and brighten their holiday season. Your simple gesture will let them know that they are not forgotten.


This is the fifth year for the annual Caring Hearts Card Drive to collect holiday cards for the nursing home residents. Last year the campaign distributed over 3600 cards. I know we can top that. You can get all the important details for how to get your holiday cards to Vera and earn chances for tons of fabulous prizes here: Caring Hearts Card Drive.

And, there are Prizes for this blog hop.

Lots of Prizes!

Some lucky blog hoppers are going to win prizes from Online Card Classes, Simon Says Stamp, Inspiration Emporium, Verve Stamps, Latina Crafter, May Arts, and Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking. Gracious.

Just jump onto this hop and leave comments at the blog stops along the way. Vera will randomly pick winners from the comments, so the more stops you make and comment love you leave, the better your chances are.

For a complete list of blog hop participants and prizes, just visit Vera’s blog, Ling’s Design Studio.

Your next stop along the Caring Cards Card Drive Blog Hop
is to Latina Crafter.


tips and techniques

Here are the ingredients to my card and gift tag. I created the text for the gift tag in Photoshop. You can download the .jpg file here: No Peeking.


Off you go to Latina Crafter. Enjoy the rest of the blog hop. I hope you’ll send some cards to Vera and warm a heart.


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be unique

Always remember that you are absolutely unique.
Just like everyone else.
~ Margaret Mead


I love that vintage eye glasses are so on trend. I asked my optometrist to convert Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses into my everyday prescription glasses even though they make me look more like my Dad than my Mom. I get lots of compliments on my funky retro glasses.


But, to be honest, I wish I could pull off wearing these gorgeous cat-eye frames. They look awful on me, but I got to thinking about Grandma Black . . . Every memory I have of my her includes these glasses. She was still wearing them in the 1980s. I wish she had one of her warm smiles in this picture, but the picture does capture where Grandma loved to be – in her spotless farm-house kitchen.


Then I remembered that, goodness gracious, nearly every really stylish woman I knew who wore glasses in the 1950s and early 1960s had some variety of these frames: Mom, Aunt Calita, Cousin Sandra, Cousin Elaine, and my adorable twin sister, Sharon.

Well, that sent me searching through the family archives. You be the judge. Who do you think wore them best?


Ah . . . swoon. These beautiful ladies make those frames look good. Yes, I’m so glad these vintage glasses are fashionable again.


   Tips & Techniques

I’m so tickled to be joining the crazy fun and talented ladies at the Color Throwdown challenge. Check out this gorgeous inspiration Vickie Zimmer gave us for CTD#274. I love how bright and cheerful these colors are – a little sunshine for the dreary gray winter skies.


Here is the rest of the recipe, including the sketch I used Karen Giron’s Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge (SSSC201).

Whatever your fashion accessories are, I hope these cat-eye glasses wearing beauties have inspired you to embrace what makes you uniquely beautiful.

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Our Friendship Grows

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
~ John Lennon

Sunflower Canning Jar Card

You know I’m a trend setter, right? No, not really. I’m a trend follower. Well, I’m not even that. My wardrobe is still inspired by the 60’s. Or maybe it’s the 70’s. Gee, I don’t even know. Maybe that’s why I love it when old trends come back around again, like canning jars and hoop art. Just search on canning jars and hoop art in Etsy,  Pinterest and CraftGawker and you’ll see what I’m mean. They’re hot, man! Proving once again that I’m vintage, but not antique.


Paper Sunflower

Vintage canning jars remind me of Mom’s homemade grape and apple jelly and how fun it was to lick the paraffin when we opened a new jar. Long before Mr. Catered Crop and I got married his Mom helped me create my first of many embroidery hoop projects back in the early 80’s. She got me started in cross stitching, and embroidery hoops were just an inexpensive and easy way to show off our creations.

Sunflower Hoop Art and Card

The idea of combining Lawn Fawn’s Summertime Charm and Our Friendship Grows stamp sets came from the incredibly talented Nichol Magourik and her card here. Thank you Nichol. It’s perfect for our Canning Jar Recipe Swap and a wonderful excuse to play with my toys from I{heart}paper.


Tips & Techniques

I have a ton of tips for this little gift set. So, grab a drink of choice (no judgment), and settle in

I had the most fun making my canning jar.

Summertime Charm Jar

  • I stamped the jar image from the Summertime Charm stamp set onto translucent vellum using Steel Blue ink and Chari Moss’ technique here:Lawn Clippings Video {3.13.13} mason jar tag.
  • Then, and this is so beastly clevah . . . I painted the jar with clear Crackle Paint. I love how this turned out.
  • The lid of the jar is just stamped onto Neenah Solar White paper, colored with a Copic Marker, fussy cut and pieced onto the jar.
  • I cut a slit into the jar lid with a craft knife to slip in a Sunflower leaf.

The sunflowers were fun, too.

Sunflower Blossoms

  • I stamped and die cut the sunflowers, hearts and leaves from Brown Bag paper, using the Our Friendship Grows Lawn Cuts.
  • Then I stamped them all again and paper pieced the flowers, leaves and hearts with paper from the FarmHouse paper pad (link below).  I cut them out right on the stamped line. I layered these on top of the die cut sunflowers using foam adhesive. That gave each element of the Sunflower a little kraft-colored border.
  • I stamped the flowers again on black cardstock and cut out the flower centers. I painted on some clear, three-dimensional gloss medium and then sprinkled on this luscious black art glitter. After that dried I glued the centers onto the sunflowers.
  • I added just a little glitter to the tips of the largest sunflower with Distress Stickles.
  • I stamped the stems of the flowers with Steel Blue ink before I glued down the jar, so the stems could be seen through the jar.


Playing with the embroidery hoop brought back memories.

Sunflower Hoop Art

  • I did some hand stitching around the right edge of the hoop as a tribute to the original purpose of embroidery hoops. I used the grids in a round plastic canvas to guide where I poked holes with a piercing needle. Then I used the holes to guide my sewing with two strands of six-stranded DMC Embroidery floss. You can read more about how to do this here: Read All About It.
  • Adding my stamped, glittered, sewn, colored, fussy cut, paper pieced, and twine embellished masterpiece to the wooden embroidery hoop was super easy. I created a full tutorial for you at CutCardStock.com, here.


Here are the links to all the ingredients. Shew . . . thanks for sticking with me to the end. How’s that drink?

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