All posts by Ruth Penk McCabe

Returning to School – sort of

 I am taking an online class in WordPress and have been learning all sorts of new things about the program that I use to support my website/blog. This first week I learned that I really don’t know much about the program.

At first I was scared and embarrassed because I thought I should “know” what I’m doing. There was this old tape playing in my head that went on about not being smart enough, or good enough, or even worthy enough to have my web-stuff and my artwork up on the internet.

There are several hundred people taking this class, scattered all over the globe. Many of these folks are working for not-for-profit companies and have been tasked with managing their company websites. Some folks are taking it to be able to keep the paying job they have because their job description has expanded to include the management of the company website.

There are some who, like me, either have a hobby or a small business they want to promote.

We are all on a boat in the middle of the internet (okay, I know the metaphor is sloppy) trying to get to the same place: competency. I am looking forward to arriving and in the meantime, I’m hanging on tight to my pens and my scissors!


Here’s a little sweetness I whipped up for dear friends who recently lost their Pup.

Puppy LossPuppy Loss Inside


Sunshine in October = A Pond in the Spring

October is nearly over and I am stunned by the weather we have had. I’m frequently in shorts and short-sleeved shirts and playing in the yard.

Several years ago we removed a tree (over 120 feet tall) from our yard to make way for The Hub’s woodshop. Once it was down, the garden that it used to shade went absolutely crazy:
-Daisies once growing two feet tall were now coming up to my waist.
-Vinca which had been well-behaved  was creeping into pathways.
-Everything needed more water – all the time and not getting it.

Additionally, the moles were grabbing my Asian Lily bulbs and the deer seemed to think that we planted the crocuses just so they could nibble the tender little buds off in the night.

This is the year that I had vowed to take control again. I planned to strip everything back to the bones and start anew. The moles had collapsed a pathway and a planter with their tunneling and it was time to bring in some additional fill-dirt to level the garden.

My Lyme Disease is in remission and I have been feeling stronger and have more energy than the past few summers, so I started lifting plant material and potting up the precious ones. I gave some daisy clumps to my mom and stored others in a kiddie-pool. If they make it, great. If not, oh well. My darling girl-child has learned to drive the yard tractor down the hill to the dump-pile and has made countless trips with the trimmings and debris.
Upper Garden Pond
When we first bought the house in The Glen, I told The Hubs that the front bed was begging for a water feature. A big water feature. And now, as we pull out the plant material, it is screaming for a water feature. I’m thinking streambed and water-drops and fish.

My mom introduced me to her friends who have as over-abundance of Koi in their pond. They are sharing them with us. I think this is a sign that we should have another pond in our yard.

We have some friends who are Pond People. My Hubs is a great cook. I am a great organizer. Throw those three things together and we get a great dinner at our house with the Pond People and a dynamic discussion of pond building! Digging commences in the Spring!

In the meantime – I’m still making cards!
Birthday Scooter

Peace and joy to you!


Our Anniversary

Some days are just amazing. Wedding anniversaries generally fall into that category and ours is no exception.

It was a day filled with friends and finery and today I spent some time thinking about the people that made that day so wonderful.

Beside the obvious Groom – my thoughts land quickly on our kiddos. All six of them (and their significant others).

There were quiet moments with my two who were nearly 4 and 7 that day. A sweet, silly time with my Mom trying to get my wiggly young daughter’s long hair under control (her as well).

My Little Man kissed me sweetly before he headed off to perform his duties as “Ring Boy”. So serious and careful with golden bands tied to the pillow that my Mom had stitched for us. The plain bands were my wedding gift from The Hubs so that I would have something to wear in the garden instead of my diamond set.

Hubs’ twin sons served as our ushers – handsome and dashing in their tuxedos. gentle and kind in their escorting our guests. One of his daughters helped ride herd over the four grandchildren who were seven and younger. The other daughter, who had a difficult time adjusting to her dad remarrying, came to the wedding. She showed up, it was brave thing for her to do and we were grateful that she was there. In the years that followed, I am so happy to say that she is an active part of our extended family.

The blending of our family has been messy at times – we have referred to ourselves as a Blender Family. It felt like being chopped up and smooshed together. And by God’s grace, we continued on.

Fourteen years later: The Hubs pulls into the driveway early bearing yellow roses and an invitation to dinner out. And me – I’m in my pajama pants and sweatshirt, un-showered and fighting a cold.

It is a great thing that he loves me!

Off to the shower!



My Missing Muse

Has anyone seen her? My Muse is missing. You know, that sparky-thing inside of each of us that is creative. Mine has wandered off. See:


She's gone a-wandering.
She’s gone a-wandering.

I think she might be in that mess somewhere, but so far, no luck.

And what is that sparky-thing? I have a theory that as we are created in the Image of God, we are also creators. There is a part in each of us that cries out (or whimpers) to be creative.

My friends know that I don’t cook – not that I can’t – I simply prefer not to cook. I don’t create meals. I have a cousin, though, who is an amazing chef. She can look at a recipe and say, “That sounds good.” She can “taste” what each ingredient will bring to the dish and make adjustments to satisfy her particular preferences. Not me.

My husband is a wood-worker. I can show him something I think is neat and he says, “I can make that.” And then he does. He also cooks, which is why I don’t look like I’m starving. He’s creative.

I have friends whose homes are amazingly bedecked in shabby-chic or eclectic industrial. The Scentsy warmer in the room fill their homes with soft, wonderful fragrances. They create homes that are inviting.

Gardeners, writers, painters, code-writers and animators all create. Moms create. Dads create.

I happen to be experimenting with creating with paper and colored pens. Sounds like grade school, huh? It kind of is for me – a reclaiming of a part that I set down for a while when life was more difficult and demanded more of me.

Perhaps my Muse isn’t missing today, maybe she just took a nap. After all, I got to color today:


Coloring Today

What are you creating with today? Care to share?


My Favorites

Why does this happen? I place an order with one of my favorite stamp companies and the next day  they announce their new stamps. Its as if my Order Confirmation triggers an email from their Let’s Make Them Want More Department showing me all the sweet things I can create if I had “This Stamp”.


One of my all-time favorite companies is Paper Smooches Stamps – Kim Hughes. I saw her stamps featured in a Paper Crafters magazine and knew I wanted some of those stamps and a subscription to the magazine. I got both – I ordered stamps and Bob gave me a subscription for my birthday last year.

I like Kim’s style – whimsical and very “layer-able”. She has several duet-dies designed to match up with her stamp sets.

She also ships crazy-fast. I placed an order with her one morning, got an immediate confirmation email and then got another email about an hour later saying that the order had shipped. My heart was beating fast, my head was spinning and my palms were sweating in anticipation of an unexpectedly early arrival of my latest tools.

So, What is your favorite stamp company? Share a link and let me know why you like it.

Christmas, already?

I spent part of the day today trying not to “over-process” the process of creating this space. Not having a background in anything remotely technical, I have been hounding my Sweet Friend about what to do next. She is patient and kind – she is Love and I am grateful for her.

That being said, I shut off my Mini-Geek-Brain and worked at my desk today. There are a few cards for family celebrations (birthdays and anniversaries) this month that I have started on and Christmas really is around the corner.

Christmas 1

Here’s a little something I worked on this morning.


It’s about time!

I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while and finally (with the help of some sweet friends and patient family members) I’m launching PaperClip Cards’ website. Come along with me on an adventure that began in heartache and morphed into something that takes my breath away, challenges me and makes me giggle just a bit.  Please allow me to share my designs and a bit of my heart with you.

Always 1

Weddings were keeping me busy this summer.