Thursday, September 3, 2015

End Of Summer

things to enjoy as summer comes to an end

 eating ice cream
sitting on the bench in backyard
sitting on the screened porch
sleeping with the windows open
the sounds of the cicadas
catching fireflies

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stampin' Up . . . Once Again!

Twenty years ago I was invited to my first Stampin' Up party . . . and that's how my love of making handcrafted cards began.  It was "love at first sight" and I enjoy it even more today than I did then. I eventually branched over into scrapbooking, which was a natural progression as both hobbies use a lot of the same products.  Almost all of my supplies have come from Stampin' Up and I still use some of the same stamps that I first purchased back in 1995.

For many years when we lived in Alaska, I enjoyed sharing the fun of papercrafting with many of my friends as a Stampin' Up demonstrator.  Today I am excited to announce that I have once again signed up as a demonstrator!  

Here is some useful info for those who are interested:

  • You can browse the current SU catalogs by clicking on the left link underneath the catalog in the right margin of my blog.
  • You can place an online order by clicking on the right link.  Then, under "Demonstrator Directory", type in Tammie Baker, Coldwater MI 49036 . Then, click on "shop now".   Your order will be shipped directly to you.
  • You can also email me your order and I will place it for you. (
  • I will reward repeat customers by keeping track of your orders.  For every $10 you spend (before shipping), you will earn a heart "stamp".  Once you have earned 10 stamps, you can choose $10 of free SU merchandise.
  • If you would like an actual catalog, email me and I will be happy to send you one!
  • Each Tuesday here on my blog, I will be sharing a stamping tip or technique, my latest projects, & the weekly specials from SU.
  • I am happy to answer any of your questions; email me at
So for this first official post as a demonstrator, I want to tell you about my #1 favorite paper-crafting supply . . . which is patterned paper, referred to as Designer Series Paper by Stampin' Up.  

Just a few reasons why I love patterned paper:

  • It is a quick & easy way to add color to your projects.
  • It comes in a variety of color and patterns; you are sure to find one that suits your style!
  • All of the paper from SU is color-coordinated to all of our inks, cardstock, ribbons, and other embellishments.
  • Patterned paper can be used in so many different ways; cardmaking, scrapbooking, home decor projects, etc.
  • Paper is cheap!  Most projects only need a small strip of paper, so one pack goes a long way!

So here is one way of using patterned paper that doesn't even involve stamping.  All you need is a three-ring binder with a clear plastic cover and some paper.   As a homemaker, I find many practical uses of a notebook.  This is my notebook that I open up each morning and go over my list of to-do's for the day.  It also includes sections for goals, prayer, Bible study, and miscellaneous lists.  I usually refer to this notebook many times a day, and I think something I use so often should be pretty, as well as functional!  

This is my Stampin' Up notebook, that contains all of my business info and ideas for future projects.

This is one of those little $1 photo albums that I often carry with me so I can show off photos of my kids and grandkids.  If you click on the photo, it will enlarge so that you can better read the text on this paper.

This is my address book that I bought very inexpensively and it had a cover that wasn't my style, so I was quickly able to slip in some paper that I like much better.

Of course, you could get a lot fancier by adding labels and other decorations, but as you can see, I usually go for something quick and simple.

If you are browsing the catalog, you will find our patterned paper on pages 142-144.

I look forward to sharing more stamping & scrapbooking ideas here each Tuesday.

Happy September! 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fighting Cancer With Food

Some of you know that our son, Ben, and his family are currently living with us, since moving here from Mexico in June.  Shortly before they left Mexico, our daughter-in-law, Jazmin, learned that she had bladder cancer.  Soon afterward, she underwent surgery to remove the tumors.  She has seen a bladder cancer specialist here in Michigan and for the moment, she is cancer-free.  However, bladder cancer has a high rate of recurrence, so she will be having regular checkups throughout her life.  

In the meantime, she & I are on a quest to keep the cancer away by strengthening her immune system with food.  Here is a well-known quote by Hippocrates, who is considered to be "the father of medicine":

  Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

He wrote this in the early 5th century and many studies today are proving the effectiveness of this admonition.  For the past few years, I have found it fascinating to read about the link between what we eat and how we feel.  The more I read, the more it makes sense to me. If God created our bodies, then it makes sense that He would provide the food that our bodies need in order to function.  That is why Pete & I have chosen to make an effort to eat foods that will really nourish our bodies (not just fill our stomachs) and to stay away from highly processed foods.  Thanks to God, we enjoy delicious food and good health!  And now, with Jazmin here, we are even more motivated to eat foods that will contribute to good health.

For the past two months, Jazmin has been following a cancer-fighting protocol from Bill Henderson, who has spent the last several years researching and learning proven ways of fighting cancer with food.  She takes a regimen of nutritional supplements and her diet consists of lots and lots of vegetables.  She has had no meat, dairy, sugar,or gluten during this time.  The reason for those particular restrictions is that those are all highly acidic foods, meaning that they have an acidic effect on the body. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.  Obviously, she wants to starve those cells, so instead she eats foods that are alkaline, which include almost all vegetables, most fruits (although she eats only a small amount of fruit each day in order to avoid fructose (fruit sugar) that feeds cancer), stevia, and lots of flavorful herbs & spices.  There is a surprising variety of foods that are considered "safe" for her to eat.  You can believe me when I say that she is not going hungry! 

In the photo above, she is about to enjoy a plate of delicious pizza stir-fry.  That may sound like a strange combination, but it is one of our new favorite recipes!  If you are curious, you can click here.  

Here are a few other websites that have more information on natural ways of healing cancer: 

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Last night at Wednesday night Bible Study, I got to teach three girls what the Bible says about stars.

  • He made them, he knows how many there are, & he calls them by name.  (Genesis 1:14-19, Psalm 147:4)
  • God told Abraham that he would have as many descendants as there are stars in the sky, they would become a great nation, and that through them, He would bless the whole earth.  God kept His promise by sending Jesus.  (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:4-5)
  • When Jesus was born, God placed a star in the sky and used it to lead the wise men to see the baby Jesus.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed!  (Matthew 2:1-11)
  • Paul told the Christians in Philippi that they could shine like stars if they would avoid complaining and arguing.  (Philippians 2:14-15)

Madde got to put on this shirt.  Then we turned out the lights and saw how brightly the stars glowed in the dark. The other girls got to try to count how many stars are on it. 

 The girls had fun making this craft with glow-in-the-dark stars.  

I read this book to the girls; I love the artwork and the message it gives.  It tells the story of a boy whose mom paints little yellow stars in various places around their house.  When the boy asks why she chose to paint stars as a reminder of God, rather than a heart or a rainbow, she tells him,  "Just because you see the stars doesn't mean they are not there - just like God.  Sometimes we are upset and having a bad day, and we cannot see that God is there with us, but he is.  God will never leave us."

Stars have long been a reminder to me of God's greatness and faithfulness and maybe stars will serve as a reminder to these girls as well.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stamping Scripture

I enjoy sending hand-stamped cards to people on all kinds of occasions
and I try to include a scripture that fits every one of those occasions!

For over twenty years, I've been buying most of my stamps from Stampin' Up,
which produces a wide variety of rubber stamps, including a few 
with verses and scriptural thoughts.

In more recent years, I've also started ordering stamps from a company
 called Our Daily Bread, which specializes in scripture stamps.
They have hundreds of beautiful stamps to choose from 
and the stamps are of high-quality and very easy to work with.
If you are looking for these kinds of stamps, I recommend that 
you check out their website.

Here is another idea for sharing scripture . . . stamping a scripture on the back of envelopes when you mail your bills.  I figure that someone has to open the envelope; I may as well give them something to read!  You never know what impact it might have on that person.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Learning The ABC's

It's that time of year!  Time for books, pencils, notebook paper. (Admittedly some of my favorite things.)  Some parts of the country have already gone "back to school".  Here in Michigan, we start back after Labor Day.   Even though I don't have any school-age children, I still love this time of year!

These are some of the ladies from my church who participated in an 8-week Bible study last fall.  What a sweet blessing it is to come together as sisters-in-Christ and listen to what our Father tells us in His word!  We are getting ready to begin another study in September and would like you to join us, via your computer.

We will be using a study guide entitled The ABC's Of A Godly Heart by Casandra Martin. It is a 13-week study that focuses mainly on the Psalms.  This is an "interactive" study (in other words, there is homework!).  Each chapter is divided into 4 days.  Two days are spent on each letter of the alphabet; the first day focuses on God's heart and highlights a characteristic of God.  The second day focuses on our hearts and gives a practical way of helping us become more godly in our everyday lives.  For example, for the letter A . . . God is ABLE,  therefore we should ABIDE with Him.

One of the things I like best about this study is the structure.  Sometimes it's easy to sit down and read a portion of Scripture, and then get up and not have much recollection of what I just read.  This study gives me a structure and helps me to focus on what I'm reading and how it can make a difference in my daily life.

 I have been going through this study over the summer and am eager to share it with others.  We will soon be ordering our books and if you are interested, you can order one too by clicking here.  I will be posting each week some of the highlights from each lesson.  

Here is how you can participate:

  • order the book and go through the study on your own
  • consider asking a friend (or two or more) to do it too  
  • visit my blog each week to read the highlights and add your comments

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream . . .

for ice cream!!!

Last week, the temperatures here in south central Michigan hovered around 90 degrees; which screamed ICE CREAM!   For the past couple of years, I've enjoyed making my own ice cream using a simple, inexpensive ice cream maker that I bought at WalMart.  No cranking or continually adding salt and best of all, no mess. Just pour in the ingredients and press a switch.  Within 20-30 minutes, you have perfect ice cream!
What I like best about making our own ice cream is that I can control the ingredients.  I don't want any artificial colors or flavors or processed sugars, and I want good healthy fats. One of the very best fats is coconut milk.  According to this article, a few benefits of coconut milk are:

  • it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • it prevents joint inflamation and arthritis
  • it manages  blood sugar and control diabetes

 An infinite number of ice cream recipes can be found online, in any flavor you can imagine.  This summer I've enjoyed making simple strawberry ice cream, using this recipe from

2 cans coconut milk (whole fat)
2 cups chopped frozen strawberries
1/2 maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries

In blender, combine the first three ingredients and blend until smooth.
Place mixture in ice cream maker and process.
Add fresh strawberries right before ice cream is done to combine.
Serve immediately or place in freezer for 1-2 hours.