Distress Oxide Ink Thank You

Good evening. I expect all of you think I've disappeared forever. Sadly, our family has just had a lot of illness and bereavement in the last 6 months. In April SIL#2 passed away, and right after the funeral, her husband developed a very bad eye infection in his 'good eye'. He has macular degeneration, has been getting the shots for about 7 years, and shortly after getting one, got a really bad infection which basically blinded him for about 6-8 wks. Just added to his depression after losing his wife. Someone had to be with him 24/7 and do pretty much everything for him. We're down the street, so we were staying there all the time for about a month.  His kids and other relatives came into the breach so that we could take our planned trip to the UK in early June.

The afternoon prior to our departure I spent at the emergency room with SIL#1, who had brain cancer last August, underwent surgery and treatment, seemed to have been doing very well. Then she started having some bad symptoms. It was another lesion on the opposite side from before, and was deemed inoperable. So after an encouraging phone call from that SIL the night prior to leaving, we set off. What she said was: 'You can't do anything to help me here but pray, and you can do that traveling just as well. I know you've wanted to go, so go and enjoy yourself.' I tried real hard to do that...but.....

We visited Pt Isaac, where I got to shake hands with "Doc" and "Louisa". I must say that Caroline Catz is much more beautiful IRL than she is on the program...and she's gorgeous in the film! Had a couple photos with John Marquez, saw the other major actors in my favorite tv show. Just didn't have a long enough time to explore Cornwall, but what we saw was so very beautiful. Then on to the Isle of Guernsey, also very lovely with friendly people. Then back to London, for a flight to Edinburgh. Again, great time, and thoroughly enjoyed all the sights. However I got one of my breathing attacks there, after exiting a pub into a gaggle of smokers. Still managed to take our booked bus tour up into the Highlands for a day...awesome scenery there. Back to London, where thankfully we had a hotel with air conditioning, as that was the time of the heat wave. We had a couple tours booked there, but I had to stay put, as I was coughing badly, having trouble breathing, and just generally miserable. Tours were non-refundable, so I persuaded DH and our friend to go ahead. Talk about feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, when we returned  home, the SIL news was grim. So from June until early September it was a watch, wait and pray. She was so brave & courageous, but left us on September 13, with her 4 daughters and my brother by her side. We all know she went to the Lord, and was content to do so. And by then, everyone was relieved & thankful she was now out of pain and at peace.

With all of that, not been in the mood to craft, blog or do much else. Additionally many relatives have come and we hosted some of these.

However, I did manage to do a couple cards, which I photo'd but just not had the frame of mind to share as yet. Also received SO many comforting emails, that seemed to arrive just on the right day to lift my spirits. Ditto for wonderfully lovely cards, which I will share soon (well I hope I can get back into the swing of blogging, visiting, and seeing my friends' work).

Please forgive me for being so long MIA, but I hope you understand. It's part of Life and living to have to say goodbye to those we love, but oh, it's so hard. And in the span of 10 months, our family lost 3 sisters-in-law, 2 of them we were so close to. They lived nearby, and had been in the family for most of my life -- really more like sisters than inlaws. None of us can actually believe they have left us.

I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to so many of you who kept me smiling & feeling grateful for emails & cards in the times when all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed, and just cry. Thank you!

While in Guernsey, we met a young lady at the hotel where we stayed there, who (gasp!) is a card maker. She had some of her wonderful cards displayed in the lobby, so I'll be sharing those too.

For tonight, here's the 2 cards I've found on the computer. Realized I still have some in the camera that I didn't download

My first experiment using black gesso, crackle embossing paste with a stencil (which didn't turn out the greatest, but I had fun). Had gotten the first set of Distress Oxides, so used those over the embossing. It's a technique I hope to revisit, and get better results. I was inspired by one of the cards my friend Loll had done. Hope you'll take time to see Loll's pretty card, if you've missed it.
The 2nd card was done for a neighbor who lost her Mom. The background was made with sponging Distress oxide on c/stock, then die cutting the sentiment. The inlaid sentiment on this card was cut from the same color of oxide sponged over a stencil which had been placed over white card stock. Switched the sentiments with the backgrounds, and have another background ready to make into a card. Seems like we're having to do more of this kind of card lately.
I will be sharing some of my wonderful blog friends' cards, but I knew I had to get this post done tonight, else tomorrow I'd find another reason to put it off. We're trying to get the house winter ready, as we had our first really cool day on Sunday. Porches being cleaned, and then need to clean some windows. Still are having relatives come in to visit with the brothers, so we are yet a bit busy with that part of our life as well. I miss you all, and hope to get back to visiting your blogs and commenting real soon! In the meantime, God Bless, and thanks again for your friendship and kindness! My next post will be a happier one, I promise, but I did want to share this update with you.



  1. Sending prayers and hugs to you and your family Mary, we'll be here for you whenever you're ready :) Cathy x

  2. Hi Mary, welcome back to blogland! I supposed that there was other bad events in your life... and I too have had a very sad time, because of my beloved DAD passed away at June... and so I can understand so well these your words: "It's part of Life and living to have to say goodbye to those we love, but oh, it's so hard."
    Yes, it's very hard, and in these sad moments our life is at another place of our mind and soul...I too have had a break from crafting and blogging.
    Your experiment with black gesso and oxides is wonderful, great colors and texture! Also the second one card looks so lovely.
    Big hugs!

  3. Oh Mary, hugs and more hugs - grief is such hard work, even with God on our side. Be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can.
    So glad you got to take your trip, even if you did miss some due to your coughing :( - precious memories though. for all that, and how wonderful of your SIL so day go regardless of my condition.
    Love your cards, and yes, byt the time you get to a certain age, sympathy cards become much more fequent in our card making.
    Blessings and prayers

  4. Dear Mary I am very sorry about all the family members you lost... My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Please don't apologise for being away from blogland, real life and family always comes first.
    Your cards are gorfeous!
    Xoxo Olga

  5. Oh my Mary, my sincere condoleances to you and your family. I knew your SIL wasn't good as you had told us and I knew about your trip. So just lately I was thinking something must have gone wrong with your SIL as we didn't see you back after comming back from your UK visit. (at least I figured you would have returned by now) My thoughts are with you and your family my dear. Your cards look wonderful, I love them. Big hug, lots of love Veerle xxx

  6. I'm so sorry that you've had such a prolonged sad time this year Mary, tragedies are part of family life but no-one should have this to cope with in such a short space of time. Healing takes time too and you will need plenty of support from close friends and family to come to terms with it all. I'm sure you will help each other through it.
    On a more positive note your crafting, when you can get back to it, will help to concentrate your mind on brighter things and help to lift your spirits while you create. I look forward to seeing you back in blog land soon.
    Take care,

  7. Hi Mary, I know we have exchanged some emails, but it's still nice to see you blogging. Love the cards.

    I hope life treats you much kinder.

    Sending heaps of hugs

  8. Fabulous cards Mary! I am so very sorry to hear about all the heartache you and your family has had to go through! I pray you are all gradually healing. I can certainly understand how you might not be feeling up to crafting . . . take your time, we are not going anywhere!

    I am also very sorry to hear you visited my little part of the globe and we never got a chance to meet! :O Port Isaac is literally only around a hour-and-a-half away from us in Plymouth and we would have driven down to see you and had a 'Cream Tea' with you! I'm glad you got to meet the lovely 'Doc' and 'Louisa', as I also know that was a dream of yours!

    Take care my Anglophile friend! I will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family! Love & Healing Hugs. Hazel xx
    My Card Attic

  9. Hello Mary and welcome back, so lovely to see you here, as I know some of what has been happening to you and your family I won't comment here,just to say you are in my thoughts.
    Beautifully designed and coloured cards, I love the DO, they are marvellous to work with, looking forward to seeing your new creations when your ready.
    Take your time Big Hugs, Kate x

  10. Mary, you've been through so much. My thoughts, prayers, and heart go out to you. Hoping that your family can find peace and you can get back to what you would love to do. Big hugs!

  11. I'm so sorry to hear of the losses in your family and all the sadness. It is so good to see you back again and posting. I really like your thanks card. It looks great for a first attempt. The sympathy card is pretty too. Welcome back.

  12. Good to see your blog pop up, my friend! Hope you'll be feeling more like creating in the coming days! xoxo

  13. Hello Mary how lovely to hear you are back home safe from your wonderful holiday....I hope it has started to heal your heart from all the tragedy’s of this year and gives you strength to face the day with you face to the sun.Winter is closing in here too as the nights get colder and darker and our sights get firmly set towards to joy of Christmas.looking forward to seeing your holiday photos and hear of all your adventures......sending big hugs xxxxx

  14. Oh Mary I am so sorry for all your loss. Prayers for you and your family. Glad the one that gets the shots in the eye recovered. I have been getting shots in one eye now for 3yrs and do worry about getting a cold or anything when getting it. I have a leaky blood vessel in it, now dr is talking to add laser surgery between shots......
    Glad you got to go on your planned trip.
    Time to take care of yourself and not worry about your blog. We understand.

  15. I am so sorry for all the sadness in your life but knowing those loved ones are no longer in pain should be a comfort to you. Also cherish the memories. I always feel when I remember something with those who went before me that somehow they are still there with me. It is a comfort to think of them that way. And, I love your wonderful cards. I have not done too much with Oxide inks lately so I may just have to get my four pads out and get busy with them as well. Thanks also for sharing with us. God bless you and your family.

  16. It's so good to see you on your blog, Mary! I am so sorry that you've lost yet another sister(IL). It's been a really rough six months for you and for your family. Your update really captured what you and Joe have been going through. I'm glad you are feeling better and I look forward to seeing you around Blogland again! Sending lots of love and hugs, Darnell

  17. I have definitely thought of you and wondered how you are. I'm so sorry your family has suffered so much. Big warm hugs to you! You're back with a beautiful start to your crafting adventures. These are just lovely. Hugs, Autumn

  18. So glad you had time to drop us all an update Mary, you have been in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry you are going through such a rough patch. Hang in there. Hugs and prayers, Donna

  19. Hello Mary, it's so nice to see your blog post this evening, I have often wondered how you were. I am sorry for all sadness you and your family have suffered this year and hope that you have good memories to comfort you and help you in the healing process.
    I am pleased that you still got to enjoy your trip though and it sounds like a very busy but enjoyable one.
    I like your thank you card, the oxide colours are lovely. Look forward to seeing more of your cards again when you feel ready.
    Jean x

  20. Hello Mary, lovely to see you back, so sorry for the hard time you and your family have gone through..
    Sending love and hugs.
    Pam x

  21. So glad to see you back blogging again, Mary, and sharing some of your beautiful cards. You have often been in my thoughts over the last few months, during which has been a very difficult time for you and your family. I'm pleased that you made it over to the UK, although I'm sure you were also thinking of your family during this time.
    Take care, Liz xx

  22. Hi Mary. So pleased to see this blog post and had been wondering what was keeping you away from it for so long, and just so sorry to hear of all the heartache you have been going through in the last few months. I knew you were having a trip to the UK but just wasn't sure when it began and when you would have got back home, and I know that sometimes after a trip it is hard to get back to creating for a while. You know we will all look forward to seeing and hearing more about your UK trip and glad you got to Port Isaac as that was very important to you, and that you enjoyed the trip as much as you could considering the circumstances. Take care and hope to see you here again soon. x

  23. It's good to see a post from you again after such a long time, but I do understand all the heartache you've been through over the past several months. I'm glad you were able to take that trip of a lifetime and enjoy it, even with the coughing spells. The cards are just lovely and I do hope you find tranquility and peace in your life again soon. Saying good-bye is never an easy thing to do and we all go through it.

  24. So nice to see you posting, Mary! I'm so sorry about all the family issues too. How difficult that must be. I LOVE your cards! What a fabulous job you did with those Oxides for your backgrounds! Glad to see you creating again so we can enjoy your wonderful work!

  25. So glad to see you back with a post Mary. What a long hard summer you have had. Happy to hear that you did get to go to Britain, albeit that you weren't able to enjoy it fully. So sad about your dear sister-in-law, but just try to keep the good memories at the fore front. Your cards are lovely, so nice to see you back and look forward to many more in the future. Take your time, remember that family and friends are more important than a blog! We all understand - Hang in there, dear friend.

  26. Oh, my dear Mary, you have never been far from my thoughts. I am so, so very sad at all the losses your family has suffered over these months, I wish I could say something to take all the pain away. It is lovely to see you back, hear about your wonderful trip (apart from illness) and see your beautiful cards. Please take care of yourselves. Big hugs, Anne xxx

  27. It's lovely to see you Mary. I'm so sorry to hear all of your sad news - your family has certainly suffered much sadness and heartbreak over the past 6 months.
    Your cards are beautiful, such elegant designs.
    Take care of yourself and hope to see you again soon.
    Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

  28. You have certainly had lots to cope with in a short amount of time. Thinking of you..

  29. I'm so sorry to hear about your extra lose. It is so hard to bear I know as I lost my Dad last month too. This weekend we received news that a family friend had had a massive heart attack and was taken straight into hospital where he had a heart bypass op yesterday. We are hoping he will be ok as there was no prior warning he had a heart problem.
    Your cards are lovely examples of the techniques youv'e used on them. Hugs Mrs A.

  30. Oh Mary, what a time you've been having. So much heartache and loss. Like others I really thought that your UK trip was taking you away from blogging. Glad to hear you made it, and also made the best of it despite the breathing difficulties. Would have loved to meet up but apart from London you seem to have been hopping about tha place. Welcome back to blog land my friend!



  31. Welcome back Mary!! Sorry to hear about your losses and sadness. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  32. Hi Mary,
    oh how I wish I had read this before my other comment.
    Such very sad news about your lovely family.
    My deepest condolences on your losses.
    As you say more like sisters than SIL.
    So glad your hols went as well as could be expected despite your sad news.
    Such a pity about your breathing attack and your ability to go on your tour that day.
    Lovely card and such a super and great design too.
    Brilliant Thank you card.
    Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

  33. Good to see you back Mary have kept checking as thought you must be due back from your trip-sorry to hear about your losses and heartache since you have been gone-good to hear you managed your trip and even though I live here you visited places I have never been to!!!Your cards are beautiful and love the different techniques-after nearly two years of tests and scans my hubby has just been diagnosed with altzheimers and vascular dementia-diagnosis expected but still a shock when you hear it
    Carol x x

  34. Whew! Welcome back, Mary. Please accept my sincere sympathies for your losses and hardships. It does my heart good to know you could take a mini vacation to the UK in the middle of the turmoil, so you could return refreshed for the others. Your kindness to them will always be remembered and I know they were so grateful to have caring family members there throughout their last days. Your oxide cards are lovely, and your experimental techniques are WOW factors in themselves! Beautifully done. Wishing you happiness in the days to come, and an "event-free" season of holiday celebrations. love, de

  35. Sending so much love and hugs as well as prayers to you Momma Mary, I know your family has been though so much lately and it is hard to go though. I still want to crawl up in bed and stay there some days, but it is getting better and part of it was because of you! I hope you realize that we are there for you too!! Just lost a family member here as well, a young lad of only 29 but he had been suffering from illness for his whole adult life and was tired. He is in a better place we know that, but it doesn't make it any easier. Your cards are beautiful!!! I've never worked with crackle anything but love the look. You have done a great job with your oxides, which I love the oxides for blending and stamping. Haven't use them a lot but what I have they are my new favorite inks. Love, love, love the thanks card. Yes, I agree we have needed way to many sympathy cards. It is life, but it isn't easy. So hang in there Momma Mary and lean on your friends, we will help carry you and it will get better in time. A wise lady told me that....wonder who that was?!! And she is right! Lots of love, hugs and prayers, Brenda

  36. I'm so sorry for your losses, Mary, you've all been through so much in such a short time ... I do hope that happier times are ahead for you. We'll all be here whenever you're ready. Sending prayers and hugs, Anita :)

  37. Mary, I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. I'm praying for you and your family members. It is really good to see you blogging again. Just take your time as family is of the utmost importance.

  38. Oh Mary, I've been thinking of you and wondering what had happened! I am so sorry for all your losses and the hard times you've had this year! I hope and pray that things will lighten up for you soon!
    Sending you lots of hugs and love,

  39. Oh, and your cards are beautiful! Great techniques!

  40. Dear Mary, I can't tell you how happy it made me to see your post, although sad for your losses and I sincerely hope that the days ahead will become easier for you. It sounds like you had a wonderful visit over here in the UK and how fantastic that you were able to meet Doc, Louiser (!!!!) and Bert...I look forward to seeing some pictures. The new series started here a couple of weeks ago and it's fantastic. I love the turquoise colour in these cards and how white and black look so good with it. Hope to see you soon xx

  41. It's been such a difficult year for you and your family, Mary. I know that you and Joe are continuing to help both your brothers at this time. Make sure you take time for yourself to rest. Sending more hugs.

    I'm glad to see you post your two beautiful cards. Thanks for sharing with us. Hope you feel up to crafting soon. I find that it's a great distraction during difficult times, if only temporary.


  42. Hi Mary, been thinking of you and all that you are dealing with. So pleased you managed to get over to the UK and had a reasonably good time. You managed to visit two of my favourite places, Cornwall and Scotland! We had a family holiday in Port Isaac years and years ago when I was a child and Doc Martin had not been thought of, it was a lot quieter then! We were up in Scotland ourselves in the summer visiting Dumfries and Galloway and a you so rightly say it is stunning and relatively empty compared to other holiday destinations. If you like open, beautiful countryside then if you ever come over again Northumberland is really worth visiting. I am not surprised London laid you low. WE don't often go but I find it oppressive, never liked London!(Is that treasonable to admit not liking your own Capitol City?) I hope that life improves for you and your family after so much sadness. Take care and God Bless.

  43. So sorry to hear you’ve been having such a sad time recently, but it’s nice to see you back in blogland. Sending you warm wishes!

  44. Hi Mary,
    I've been MIA for a good while too although it was happier things (son's wedding) which has kept me busy. I'm so sorry to read of all your family losses it must have been very hard and no doubt you're still coming to terms with them.
    Glad you managed your trip to the UK...wish I'd known you were in Edinburgh, I'd have loved to have met up.
    Hope things become more settled for you now and you can begin to enjoy your crafting again.
    Carol x

  45. I have missed a lot haven't I, so bad of me. I'm glad your visit to the UK wasn't all bad and you saw Cornwall, I know you love the program so much. I will flip through all your cards now to catch up and will hopefully email you soon. I hope you are feeling a little better after all that has happened to you this year.