Most of us cannot even begin to understand the devastation that has taken place in Haiti. One of our Yahoo mini books group members lives in Haiti and we anxiously awaited word from her. We did hear from her and she is okay physically. Her brother was buried in the rubble for quite some time (he is safe now) and the devastation all around her is horrendous. She has become my personal hero as she works tirelessly to help her fellow Haitians during this time of crisis. She said the best way to help at this time is through a known charity such as American Red Cross, and to please continue to pray.

Another personal hero of mine is another Yahoo group member, Coleen Franks. Coleen is an American missionary living in Ukraine. This month she was kind enough to be interviewed for the newsletter. Here is that interview:

Debi: How long have you lived in the Ukraine?
Coleen: 16 years, we came in 1994 not too many years after the fall of the former Soviet Union. It was certainly a different country from what it is today. We heated with coal and wood, we didn't always have electric and water and we went to a separate building for our kitchen.

Debi: When did you first get into papercrafts?
Coleen: I've been creative since I was a child. My mother always encouraged me to create. I studied fine arts in college, but when children came I didn't do anything but hairbows and painting their clothes. After coming to Ukraine, due to language limitations in the beginning, one thing I could do is crafts with the children. That is what got me started in a ministry direction using crafts.

Debi: Tell us about how you use scrapbooking and papercrafts in ministry?
Coleen: Now I do a variety of things all using crafts as a medium of interacting with children and adults. I am the art director of a large church with a team of ladies that volunteer. We do crafts in Sunday school classes, we decorate the church for various events and holidays and we do the crafts for summer camps. Beyond this I also do scrapbooking classes in different churches, i.e. prayer albums, gratefulness albums and faith albums. I've traveled around Ukraine doing this and it is great fun. Recently I was asked to do crafts for a family conference. I worked with children in the morning and came back in the evening to do a class with children and parents combined. I was blessed to be able to talk to these parents about the value of encouraging their children to do crafts.

Debi: Tell us about the 2010 Life Path Challenge.
Coleen: That is on our blog which I have recently changed the name from Tea On The Terrace to Vintage Terrace 2 The challenge is really quite simple. There is a weekly question that can be interpreted anyway one desires. I am doing tags each week as an expression of the question. Jaine Drake is doing an altered book page for each week. There are many, including a 7th grade class, who are simply writing their answers out. There is nothing one has to sign up for just come to the blog and start doing the questions. Participants will end the year with a lovely collection of questions that they would never have asked themselves otherwise. We also have a Flickr site where you can show off what you are creating and that can be accessed from the blog header. I hope some who read this will come and play along.

Debi: What are smile cards and how do you use them?
Coleen: The concept of "Smile Cards" is an idea that came to me to be an encouragement to people here. In particular, those imprisoned, in hospitals, shut-ins, orphans, children, etc. I have had the privilege to give many such packets of cards away to pastors and people who work in prisons, with children, etc. When I receive cards I put something on the back of each card in their language that will further be an encouragement. That might be a poem, quote, Bible verse, etc. It has given me a great sense of being blessed to be able to pass these on knowing that they will make someone smile. Unlike America, Ukrainians keep cards for years because they have not had such in their past.

Many of our Yahoo group members send cards to this ministry. Both Coleen and I would like to invite any readers of this newsletter who want to send cards to do so. Also, stickers are a real treat and can be used on the backs of cards. For simplicity sake, we usually send her 4" x 4" cards decorated on the front and left blank on the back for Coleen to write an encouraging message in Russian. These can be mailed to:
Coleen Franks
8a Pushkin
Kyiv ob.

Also be sure to check out Coleen's Facebook page

New Projects on Making-Mini-Scrapbooks.com

I created a tutorial on creating Epoxy Embellishments for you this month. These are super easy and are great for adding dimension to a scrapbook page or card.

Awhile back I had a near disaster with all of my family photos. So I decided to scan them all (a huge undertaking) and upload them to somewhere on the Internet for safe keeping. Well, I found a whole bunch of old photos that my in-laws had given me. I'd been wanting to start a Vintage Images section on the website for quite some time. So I started uploading some of the things I've gotten from yard sales as well as some appropriate family photos I found in our personal photos. This is just the start, believe me. I have tons of stuff for you guys that will be added to this section every month. Besides photos I have old cabinet cards, magazines with advertisements, postcards, etc. I hope you enjoy this section.

And last, but not least, is a new tutorial in the Beginning Scrapbookers section that is a simple Tag Book. You can make this book in a very short time. Super easy!

Prize Giveaway

This month's prize giveaway is a set of Tim Holtz Mixed Minis Grungeboard. There are 342 pieces in this set. To enter this month's contest, all you have to do is submit your name, address and e-mail, as well as why you would like to win to me by March 12th. Send this info to: E-Mail One winner will be randomly drawn from the entries.

That's it for this month. I have a ton of stuff planned for this coming month. I just hope I have enough time to do it all. Take care. And remember to keep Shallale and all the people of Haiti and Chile in your prayers.