Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Land Of the Free BECAUSE of the Brave Blog Hop!

Happy Veteran's Day!
Welcome To the Land of the Free Because of the Brave Blog Hop!

You should have arrived here today from Belinda's blog. I know you were impressed by her talent, that's why she's our Queen Bee! She is one of the best artists I know!
On this Veteran's Day 2010, I would like to take a moment to remember why we are free to say what we feel and believe. Why we can practice our personal Religions, or choose not to practice any Religion at all. Why we can choose to embrace our heritage and celebrate cultural differences. It is because of the brave men and woman who serve, and have served for our great Country, for Us, for Freedom for All People. They are truly the Brave in our Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. I just want to say Thank You to our Veterans.
Before I introduce you to my personal all time favorite Veteran, I just want to make sure you are hopping on the right path towards not one, but two fabulous Blog Hop Grand Prizes, and even more importantly, beautiful stories and interviews shared by my fellow blog hoppers. Here is the list in case you may have ventured down the road less travelled.

1. KarelJ at One By One The Flamingos Are Stealing My Sanity

2. Celeste at Touched By a Butterfly

3. Deb at Tidbit’s Place

4. Michelle at Peanut Butter and Jelly Designs

5. Jennifer at Young’s Scrapping

6. Diane at Crafting This Moment

7. Judy at Be Present Be Real

8. Marianne at Life From Marianne’s Table

9. Deb at If It’s Groovy

10. Christel at One Scrappin’ Sista

11. Belinda at Queen Bee’s Musings

12. Colleen at Col’s Creative Corner You are here!

13. Summer and Jennifer at Cricut Diaries

14. Rachel at Suburban Crafter

15. Gina at Gina Thornton Stamping

16. Becky at Sew in Stitches

17. Rebecca at Creations With Becca

18. Bobbi Jo at Sweet Sassy Diva

19. Angie at Gypsy Paperie

20. Linda at The Tulip Collector

If you find you've lost your way, you can head back to our Amazing, Creative, all around Wonderful,  host's Karel J's blog. I would like to also say a big Thank You to Karel for taking so much time to co-ordinate this blog hop and for all her she does for the Military and their families, as well as so many other worthy endeavors she gives so much of her time to. She is truly an amazing person!

Our Military and their Families sacrifice so much for us, everyday, not just during times of war. It is so important to all of us, as Americans to show our appreciation for all they do and have done. I hope this blog hop reminds us that Veteran's Day is so much more than silly sales. There are so many organizations that assist our Military and families, this is one of my favorites, Operation Shoe Box

Operation Shoe Box was started as a grass roots campaign to send support, snacks and much needed personal care items to our troops deployed outside of the USA. One of the most wonderful gifts we can give to our Military serving overseas is mail and care packages from the home front. It is a huge morale boost and don't our service men and women deserve all the morale boosting we can offer?

Take time today to send a package. If you don't have a family member deployed overseas, check with your friends, colleagues, or church members to get the address of someone who is serving. If you don't know of a service member to send to, you can still help Operation Shoe Box with a tax deductible donation.

As I promised earlier, I proudly introduce you all to my Dad, Robert.
My Dad served in Korea, as did his brothers, my uncles, Ally and Frank.
My Dad was the type of guy who didn't really talk about his time in the Military. He would only say that it was his Duty to Serve and the he was Proud to have Served. He had a long scar that ran down his leg from an injury he sustained when a cannon gun fell on top of his legs. He wouldn't talk about that either. When my Aunt passed away almost two years ago, I came up what is truly a treasure for me, letters from Dad to his family. In these letters, he talked about the difficulties of serving in Korea, and he requested something that brings home all that Operation Shoe Box does for our Military, cookies. I've scanned a page from his letter to share with you. I can't imagine the feelings about getting goodies from home has changed much for our service men and women since October 1953.

Dad's letter to Aunt Dot, October 6, 1953

I am so blessed to have found these letters. I laughed at how my Dad's letter's to my Uncle Ally and My Aunt Dot were so different in their tone. He was sweet and funny with my Aunt. My Aunt loved to sew, and my Dad offered her his take on what he thought uniforms should look like. I see where my creative talents come from! LOL!

In my Dad's letters to my Uncle that I found, he offers advice on coping with being in the Military. He also tells my Uncle that he is hoping and praying that if he is deployed somewhere overseas, he hopes my Uncle goes to Germany or Japan, anywhere but Korea. It says so much for who my Dad was as a man, he would do what needed to be done, but always try to make everyone's lives easier. He loved his family, all of us, until the day we lost him, November 18, 1996. When I see a Veteran who served for us in Korea, I always think of how much they have done for us, and how little they seem to be remembered for it. Korea, the forgotten war, the war that was called a Police Action. Here are a few facts about  "THE FORGOTTEN WAR"

33,741 US Dead
23,615 Killed In Action
92,134 US Wounded**
4,820 US Missing In Action (Declared Dead)
7,245 Prisoners Of War
2,847 Died in POW Camp
389 POWs known to have been alive after all U.S. POWs supposedly returned.
**Lightly wounded who were treated and released back to duty are not included in these figures.

These are some of the faces of this war, the men that served side by side with my Dad. The men I think about on Veteran's Day. These are the faces of Veteran's Day.

Some Down Time

My Dad is in the middle
I was so lucky that my Dad and his brothers all returned home safely. My folks often told me about their cousins who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I am blessed that I live in a country where I am free to be myself, I am blessed to be in The Land Of The Free BECAUSE Of The BRAVE.

Thank you Daddy, for all you have done!
Thank you for hanging in there through this veeery long blog post! Now back to our hop!
As I mentioned earlier, as you are hopping through our blogs, leave a comment at each blog and you will be entered into not one, but TWO grand prize drawings! Our first prize is the ultra fabulous Scrap'N' Tote so generously donated by Marlo Letterle! Check out her great Cricut Storage Solution.

Anne-Therese Cermola Luper, who owns Paper Patch Crafts, a terrific on-line store, is donating
a *super-secret* Grand Prize too! I know what it is, but if you want to know, you'll have to keep hopping!  I am also giving away some yummy blog candy, are you interested? The information is after my project! Speaking of my project, here it is.....

Materials needed:
Floral ring
Copic Markers
Cricut Stand and Salute
American Crafts Metallic Cardstock
DCWV Glitter paper, yellow for ribbon
SEI Velvet paper, Navy Blue
Red and White cardstock
Viva Decor Pearl Pen, Ice White and Gold
Stickles, Star Dust

I made this wreath using the Stand and Salute Cartridge, and a couple of my favorite stamps. I picked up a ring in the floral department at Michael's and covered it with blue ribbon. Then I cut Stars from Stand and Salute in several sizes ranging from 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches. I picked several of the stars from Stand and Salute cartridge to give them some interest. I cut the dog tags at 2 1/2 inches as well. For the Yellow ribbon, I went larger, I believe it is 4 inches. I cut 2 of the ribbons and layered them with Pop Dots. For the Support Our Troops, I cut it at 5 inches and added a shadow cut with blue metallic cardstock. The American flag was cut at 4 1/2 inches. I cut the blue field for the stars with SEI Velvet paper. Just in case you are wondering, yes, there are 50 Stars on my flag! I used Ice White Viva Decor to make them, then added Star Dust Stickles to give them some shimmer. The flag is attached to the back of the wreath. I cut the Eagles at 3 1/2 inches and added a shadow with SEI Velvet paper.
Don't you just love the Sailor Boy? It's a digi stamp by Mo Manning called Out There . The story behind this stamp is here. I will guarantee if you read the story behind it, you will order it! I colored him with my copics, using C00, C0, C1, C2, C3, T0 and T4 on his Sailor Suit. For his tie, I used R29, R27, B26 and B29. I used E50, E42, and E43 on the dog. Then I used Gold Viva Decor on his collar. If you haven't tried Viva Decor yet, I highly recommend it. You can get it Susana's Custom Art and Card Design. For the little sailor's hair, I used E34, E47, E57, and E29 for shadows. I colored his telescope with T7, T4 and T0. I also used the blues and E29 for his shoes.

Sadly, I colored CC Designs Sailor Honey around July 4th, so I have no idea what colors I used on her! She is cute, isn't she?!
I loved making this project for Veteran's Day. Stand and Salute is such a versatile cartridge. I have used it for so much. Way back on a post for ATCs, I used it to make the sweetest little suitcase ATC. I love this cartridge so much, that I have decided to give a Brand New Stand and Salute Cartridge as my blog candy for this hop.

 All you need to do is become a follower, if you aren't already, and leave me a comment. Don't forget to leave me away to contact you when I use to draw a number on Sunday, November 15th and announce the winner here on Monday November 16th!
Now that you have finally reached the end of what has to be the longest post in blogger history! You should be heading to see the incredible talent of Summer and Jennifer at Cricut Diaries. I know you will love visiting their blog, it's awesome! What a great group of crafters we have celebrating today!
Thank you for sharing Veteran's Day with us! Thank you to all our Veteran's! God Bless America!


  1. Wow!!! I love your letters that you found. What a great family keepsake and you have so many great pictures you are very lucky. My father fought in Vietnam and he never talks about it. He actually avoids all questions. I only ever saw 1 picture of him in his army Fatigues.

    I just love your wreath. It's adorable. Very colorful. I'm a new follower to your blog.


  2. LOVE your blog and the post is absolutely heart felt... I love seeing the letters and the pictures... It is so wonderful to have those momentos...
    thank you so much for sharing your families story.

  3. I loved your story and the photos! My uncle also served in Korea and was a prisoner of war there. My favorite photo is of his return home. It is a photo of my dad, my grandma, grandpa and all of his brothers and my uncle in his uniform.

    Thanks so much for the blog hop today!

  4. I'm so impressed! My Veteran, my DH, is currently retired from the Air Force, but he is and always will be my hero. He spent many months away from home serving our country. Thank you so much for recognizing these self-less individuals! I absolutely love the wreath and will have to use those directions very soon!

  5. wow, you photos are great and your project is beautiful! I love that stamps you used. thanks for joining us!

  6. I love your wreath!! You did a great job!! I love the story and the pics of your dad!! So sweet!! Thanks for sharing your story!!

  7. All I can say is, "WOW"!!! The stories and the wreath. WOW. TFS!

    Blog Hop Sista

  8. Your wreath is GREAT!!! Love how you did it!!! Great job!!! I want to thank everyone that fight for our freedom in this country!!


  9. That is a GREAT project!!! I love all the details.


  10. What great memories,love the wreath

  11. What a great wreath!! it rocks! You are so lucky to have those letters.. lovely memories...

  12. Colleen!! Your post and photos have me in tears. Your Dad was obviously a very special man. I love your wreath and you are too sweet to say those things about me. I don't feel my artwork holds a candle to yours!!

  13. WOW!!! That wreath is AMAZING!!!

    Thank you so much for participating in this important blog hop. Your stories, photos and those LETTERS are priceless!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post today.

  14. The wreath is amazing, I love it!!! I loved reading your story, the photos and letters, it is amazing to read the inspirational stories. Thanks
    otrbanks at earthlink dot net

  15. WOW, I absolutely love that wreath!!!! you put a lot of work into it.

    Thank you very much for sharing your stories with us. The photos and letters are one of a kind and I really enjoyed reading your post.


    tleigenheer at yahoo dot com

  16. All the pictures and stories on this blog hop
    are just wonderful......
    Thank you for acknowledging and honoring
    our veterans. They are a brave troupe.


  17. thank you so much for sharing your picturea and stories!! I think the little sketches your dad made were great!! How funny! I read your profile and your truly a selfless giving person! Thank you for doing what you do!!


  18. Thank you for sharing your story, I also have uncles who served in the Korean war. It is very hard for them to talk about- well they do not talk about it at all. Great hanging, you are awesome with those copics!

  19. I really like all the detail on your wreath. Thanks for sharing such personal stories.

  20. Your wreath is amazing. Thanks for sharing - loved your story too.

  21. Love your wreath!!

  22. WOW, what a fantastic post, and yes you are very blessed to have those letters, I treasure things like that since my father has passed it gives me great joy to read his letters. Thanks for the hop!!

  23. Great job on the wreath!! Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  24. I became a follower.

  25. I love your wreath, it is beautiful. Thank you for sharing you fathers service letters.
    Cherylann (prinkles)

  26. What an amazing project. I LOVE it. The pictures and stories are great

    Burffrau @ aol dot com

  27. Oh my gosh! Your wreath is soooooo CA-UTE!!! As a family historian myself, I'm so happy to see that you kept those letters and pictures. So much family history and an individual's character can be revealed in a simple letter. Thank you for sharing!!

    tammy (at) iplanitmeetings (dot) com

  28. Loved your story. I am crazy about your wreath. I just love it. I am a follower.
    stuff at gt dot rr dot com

  29. Loved reading your letter and story. Your wreath is amazing and that sailor boy it too cute! I am now a follower!
    lfuchs1 at wi. rr. com

  30. Beautiful job on your project,the wreath is amazing, such great details TFS! and thanks for the chance to win the blog candy.
    I am now a follower and hope you will do the same.

  31. Your pictures and letters brought tears to my eyes thanks for sharing.

  32. love your project.. very creative.. thanks for sharing..

  33. Your wreath is very nice and I love your story and letters about your Dad.WE are all very lucky to have heroes like him.

  34. Thank you so very much for sharing your fathers story! I also come from a long line of Army so I understand. Your wreath is amazing!

  35. What treasures you and your family will have. Pictures in themselves are great but to find those letters. How awesome. TYFS

    Your wreath is awesome.

    cureta2 at yahoo dot com

  36. Thanks for sharing your American hero with the rest of us. Cool wreath project!

  37. I truly love your wreath!! I'm not just saying that to win you over, it is great! I never thought to make a wreath, awesome! TFS and for the chance to win. I will become a follower!

    esigmon at cox dot net

  38. Your wreath is something you can really be proud of! Thank you for sharing the story about your dad. It is great that you have the old letters that will always be a treasure to you!

  39. Col - your work is always so inspiring and now the stories that go along with them make it even better. I loved the pics. Next year, I'm getting out my pics!!

  40. What an adorable wreath and it can be used for a lot of holidays. I don't have this cart so thanks for the opprtunity.

    pennyspad at sbcglobal dot net

  41. What a humble thing for your daddy to say that is was his duty. A good man that one! Thanks to each of your uncles alongisde of your darling dad. I had family serving there too and it is sad that it is "forgotten" but for those of us who know, we know that NO war, NO service man or woman should be forgotten but ALWAYS treasured for each and every day they gave of themselves so that we could maintain everything we hold dear here in America.

    Please pass thanks from my family!

    LOVE your wreath and CHEAH the soldier boy is adorable :)

    HVD, Groovy Deb♥

  42. Love the wreath and would love to win this cartridge to make one for myself! Thanks for the chance!


  43. What great stories. It's fun to read old letters. And yours really takes you back in time. Beautiful wreath as well.

    spunkycrayon at yahoo dot com

  44. Thank you for sharing your story. Love the wreath!


  45. Great stories! How lucky your are to have those letters. Wonderful memories & your wreath is beautiful!

  46. Col your work is always impressive and I loved the stories!

    davenlisagorlewski AT sbcglobal DOT net

  47. I love your stories. So excited you have the letters. They are a wonderful picture window to the past aren't they?

    I've been hopping through tonight to see what everyone else posted.

  48. Great post. Love the wreath.

    vwilson577 at

  49. I got all choked up with your story thanks for sharing I LOVE your wreath you made using the Stand and Salute Cartridge. I do not have this one. It on my wish list
    Rebecca Minor

  50. Thanks for sharing your story:) I LOVE you wreath!!! It looks amazing

  51. Great project. I just LOVE your wreathe & the idea of displaying something like that on my front door. I'll have to look for that cartridge. What a treasure you have in those letters. Thanks for sharing your stories & being a part of the blog hop. God Bless all of the veteran's & military personnel for their sacrifices for our countries.

  52. A-MAZING!!!!!!


    rachelsigmak yahoo com