A Washi Tape Cross for Good Friday!

washi tape cross

Today is Good Friday and its all about the cross.

I love this card because the cross is not perfectly made. It looks a bit rough as in …. “the old rugged cross”… even though it has gold all around it.

You need nothing but some card stock and washi tape.

Just a Minute! Make a Washi Tape Cross!

Use this idea for any religious occasions. What do you have coming up? Baptisms, Confirmations, First Communions? This lovely and meaningful cross will cover them all.

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Weekly Deals


Margaret’s Death and Project Life

Read to the end and I promise I will tie these two together!marg and hank-001

If you have been following my blog, you will have noticed that I have written quite a bit this past month about my experience at my MIL’s bedside during her hospice stay.

Margaret died this past Monday, April 14, at 11:30 pm. Tim and I were each holding one of her hands. Tim leaned over and kissed her and whispered to her to “go with Jesus” right before she left.

Two of Tim’s brothers and wives arrived soon after. We had a short prayer service for Margaret right in the nursing home room and then sent her body off. She is donating her body to the Mayo clinic for use in the training of medical students. That is her last gift to this world! Instead of having a funeral service, we will have a party in her honor in May at a Christian Retreat Center. All of this was planned by her!

I left my blog empty yesterday in her honor.

Tim and I just came back home….and I found that I have missed by one day a major announcement from Stampin’ Up! They have partnered with Becky Higgins on Project Life. (Spend more time making memories, less time scrapping them.)

My first (and selfish) thought was “Oh no, I’ve missed out”, followed by “One more thing I have to quickly learn about” and then I stopped. I know everything happens in its right timing.

Over this last month I have often strayed from sharing my love of paper crafting to writing about end-of-life thoughts and experiences. In my daily life, I have listened and shared stories with many of Margaret’s friends. My life is richer because of that.

We all have stories, with the major events in our lives, of course, but also with the little things. What better way to keep these stories alive than to record them…..and Project Life is the easiest way to do this that I have ever seen.

I have discovered there is power in writing about your life and experiences….even if its just for yourself

project lifeSo, whether you are an avid scrapbooker or have never even considered trying it, I am encouraging you to join me in this Project Life adventure. What would you like to capture?

Family history, daily life, quotes that inspire you, things you are grateful for….the possibilities are endless.

More information will be coming on Friday.

Thanks for reading this, my friend! Karen


P.S. On my facebook page last night, I shared a couple of comments about Margaret from two of her grandchildren, our nieces. I was so touched by what they shared, and if you have ever doubted the impact a grandparent can have, just read these.

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Hospice Care: Reading with Margaret

book by Henri NouwenMargaret has done a lot of reading of books on spirituality during what she has called her “final stage of life”, a time of preparation for leaving this world and going to heaven. She would read and re-read a book, highlighting passages in yellow and writing notes in the sidelines.

One of her favorite authors is Henri Nouwen, an author Tim introduced her to. They have shared many discussions over what he had written.

Tim found a book recently by Henri Nouwen that we had not read, and brought it to Jackson. A Letter of Consolation is a series of letters Henri wrote to his father when his mother died. How fitting. It was also written just before Easter.

I read it aloud to her, pausing to share thoughts and memories that pertained to her. Here is a short sampling from the book:

What strikes me most in all that is read and said during these days (Holy Week) is that Jesus of Nazareth did not die for himself, but for us, and that in following him we too are called to make our death a death for others.

It is because of the liberating death of Christ that I dare say to you that mother’s death is not simply an absurd end to a beautiful, altruistic life. Rather, her death is an event that allows her altruism to yield a rich harvest.

We are sitting at Margaret’s bedside. She is no longer eating or drinking or talking. We have told her that God is waiting for her and Holy Week is surely a fitting time for her to go.

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Quick and Easy Easter Basket!

Need a last minute idea for Easter favors for the table or Easter baskets for the kids?

diy easter basket

This is as easy as it gets! Just take a 6″ x6″ piece of card stock, grab some punches and you are set. Change to a 12″ x 12″ piece of card stock and follow the same directions and you have a much larger basket – for a centerpiece or for hiding! (Of course, you could use that Fringe Scissors to create some grass for the inside of the basket.)

This would be a great project to do with your kids if they are young, or, if they are a little older, have them make them for the table (or for younger cousins)!

Getting your kids involved in family celebrations is a real gift to them! “Things” are temporary, but memories last forever…..

Just a Minute! Quick & Easy Easter Basket!

… and may you have a blessed Holy Week.

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Easter Card for Kids: Punch Art Chick in Egg!

handmade easter card

Do you make Easter cards for any kids?

Here’s an idea of a card that is sure to please them!

Its all done with Stampin’ Up! punches and the Ovals Collection Framelits.

When you slide the Easter egg up………..easter pop up card out pops the Chick!



I think the chick looks a little scared! The Fringe Scissors makes the bunched-up grass that the egg is sitting in.

Just a Minute! Easter Card with Chick in Egg!

You could easily adapt whatever you have on hand to made this cute Easter card, so have fun with the idea!

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Visiting and Hospice Care: a Lesson from Margaret

visiting in hospice careEvery few days, I am leaving the world of crafting behind to share our end-of-life experiences with Tim’s mom. Today is one of those days. I want to share this story of Margaret that I think leaves a message for us all.

Early on in hospice care, people would visit and Margaret would tell them to leave after a few minutes of talking. We would all laugh because that is “so Margaret”….blunt and to the point.

About 2 weeks ago, when she could no longer carry on much of a conversation, her best friend Marge came to visit. We were each sitting on one side of her bed and each holding one of her hands while talking with each other. At one point, Margaret said “I love listening to your good conversation”.

That simple statement said a lot! (I realized then, that she probably had told people to leave because she was too tired to talk.) After that, I invited each person that stopped by to sit and visit with me for awhile. I shared that Margaret had said she loved that. We would sit by her, holding her hands and talking….sometimes about her, but mostly about anything at all. Margaret would let me know by squeezing my hand how much she appreciated it.

One woman, someone I had never met, stopped in and told Margaret how much watching Margaret’s faith in action had impacted her life. She then quickly left the room with tears in her eyes. I caught up with her in the hall and invited her back in to talk with me. She accepted and we had the most amazing conversation…..and to think I would have never gotten to know her if I hadn’t learned this lesson from Margaret.

Perhaps you have visited people in hospice card and felt like I have – you want to stop by and let them know you care and you are praying for them, but you don’t hang around because you don’t know what else to do. Now, I know I will be different. I will visit with a friend, if possible, or if I’m alone, I will sit and just talk about whatever……and tell them I’m not looking for a response.

It reminds of being sick when our five kids were little….you know that point where you are feeling better and are enjoying hearing the sounds of daily life around you…but not being responsible for any of it. I suspect listening to these conversations leaves Margaret with a comforting feeling of life going on without you even when you yourself will soon be leaving it.

What a gift it is to be spending these days with Margaret.

(The coffee cup is in honor of Margaret. She isn’t really eating at all, but she still enjoys her sips of coffee!)

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Weekly Deals

If you don’t own this set of 3 little punches, you will want to get them this week! I use them all the time. Its also a great time to stock up on glimmer brads and bakers twine, either for yourself or for little gifts for crafter friends.

Birthday cards are one of the most common cards we make, so its always fun to have variety. The Make a Cake stamp set is a great addition for that…and it makes pretty wedding cards as well! Enjoy shopping here.

Enjoy this week’s Weekly Deals!

Punch Pack Item # 118309
Regular Price: $16.95 US/$22.95 CAN
Discounted Price: $12.71 US/$17.21 CAN
Make A Cake Clear-Mount Stamp Set Item # 126742
Regular Price: $11.95 US/$14.95 CAN
Discounted Price: $8.96 US/$11.21 CAN
Secret Garden Framelits Dies Item # 129372
Regular Price: $24.95 US/$30.95 CAN
Discounted Price: $18.71 US/$23.21 CAN
Summer Starfruit 1-1/4″ Striped Grosgrain Ribbon Item # 132980
Regular Price: $8.95 US/$12.50 CAN
Discounted Price: $6.71 US/$9.38 CAN
Island Indigo Baker’S Twine Item # 125575
Regular Price: $2.95 US/$3.95 CAN
Discounted Price: $2.21 US/$2.96 CAN
Brights Glimmer Brads Item # 121006
Regular Price: $4.95 US/$6.50 CAN
Discounted Price: $3.71 US/$4.88 CAN
Gingham Standard Stampin’ Around Wheel Item # 130110
Regular Price: $6.50 US/$7.95 CAN
Discounted Price: $4.88 US/$5.96 CAN
Recipes By Design Digital Kit – Digital Download Item # 118869
Regular Price: $9.95 /$10.95 CAN
Discounted Price: $5.97 US/$6.57 CAN



Tuesdays with Tim: a Tribute to Mom

“Going Out and Remaining Within”

My Mother's HandIn the last few weeks of my Mothers life, she insists on holding your hand.

If you are in her room and sitting next to her bed, she will grab your hand and squeeze it and not let go. If you get up to leave she will keep feeling around the bed, trying to find your hand.

One thing that you need to know about my Mother is that she is not a touchy-feely person; I don’t remember one time holding her hand in childhood or as an adult. But now as cancer has put her in the presence of death, holding my hand has become a very intimate connection.

700 years ago a German Theologian stated that the key to the Spiritual life was the “Going out and yet remaining within”. These words of Spiritual Direction have become abundantly clear in the living and the dying of my Mom.

In her living she has always been a person ‘going-out’; speaking her mind, entertaining friends, taking long walks, drinking wine, following sports on T.V. and spending a lot of quality time with friends on Facebook. 

Her outgoing personality is not without depth. She has a rich interior life, filled with an awareness of the Presence of God. She loved to say, ‘If you knew God like I do, you wouldn’t need to go to Church’. Sincere about this statement, it was for her the reality that defined who she was.

Her blustery swag may have lacked the spiritual sensitivity of this idea of ‘going out and yet remaining within’, but you could always tell that there was a depth to her love and friendship to God.

At this point Mom spends most of her time sleeping and holding your hand.

This is her gift to us in her dying; and in a very concrete and real way, her ‘going out and yet remaining within’, and waiting for the Lord to take her home.

So when sleep becomes her last breath, she will take the hand of Jesus and experience the greatest expression of “going-out and remaining within”.

May her dying and the holding of our hand, teach us something about our coming and going and our Intimacy with God.

With Love and a life time of appreciation, your Son Tim

(Update: my mom is still living but down to her last days. I read this to her last weekend and she appreciated it.)

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Would You Like to be a More Creative Card Maker?

When you are admiring all of the cards you like on Pinterest, do you sometimes feel like you would like to be more creative? Today’s Just a Minute video will show you a fun  way to expand your creativity!

handmade card















For this example, I took this card I had made using the Storybook Friends and the Etcetera DSP. I decided to see what else I could come up with if I kept the basic structure of the card (using the Ruffled Trim and the Window Frames Collection Framelits) and just changed the stamp set and the DSP.

Here is the second card I came up with:

Timeless talk stamp set

The stamp set on this card is Timeless Talk and the paper is the Afternoon Picnic.

For the sake of showing an example of how to change a card, I limited the changes to 3: the stamp set, the DSP and the basic colors.





handmade coffee card


And on this third card, I used the Soho Subway DSP with the Perfect Blend.

Who wouldn’t love to get a coffee/tea card?









Here is a quick video about this project!

Just a Minute! Tips to Becoming a More Creative Card Maker!

Just think about the other things you could choose to change: the Framelits set, the ribbon trim, the size of the layered card piece……and so on.To start with, I would encourage you to just choose two or three things items to change

I would love to see what you do with this idea! Please email me at karen@karentitus.com if you take on this challenge!

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