Thursday, July 29


Howdy, all my dear Paper Cowgirls!

Just a note to let you know that I will be crafting "on the fly" (literally) as my sister and I fly out to vacation a few days on the Oregon Coast! I will be bringing with me all types of crafting goodness, and so I will hopefully be able to post a few pictures and creations while I'm gone. Meanwhile, I have been working on the "July Tag Along" with Elizabeth of Creative Breathing:

I found this DREAMY aquamarine scalloped dresden and the patina washed embellie at Red Lead. Also found a vintage spool of hand dyed aquamarine bias tape/ribbon, a colorbox inkpad, and some fine glitter the same shade! I await some fabric curls from Elizabeth to complete my tag...I prefer to add silver to the images rather than leaving the gold also. Behold E's tag:

And here's my special cowgirl version. I'm gonna see if I can lasso me a stampede of seahorses for them to ride on! :

More seaside goodies soon!

Paula Clare

Wednesday, July 28


Greetings, cowpokes!

(Amazing Rodeo Hearts from the Incredible Elizabeth of Creative Breathing!)

I thought I'd rustle up a list o' things that I am NOT...(Idea stolen from friend, "Collage Contessa"). For those of you runnin' around the corral with a morbid sense o' curiosity, this post should suffice...for a while anyway!

Okay...let's git this roundup rollin!I am NOT a morning person...well, unless we're talkin early EARLY mornin' 2ish or 3ish! Which, when ya think about it, explains why I'm not a "typical" day shift type mornin' person!
  1. I am NOT a person who will, when asked for an honest opinion, withhold because what I think might not be "nice"...although I try very hard to be a "nice monk" whenever possible!
  2. I am NOT a neat and tidy creative person! My craft corral (on any given day) looks like a stampede ran through it. Although I like a somewhat neat workspace (table), things tend to get REAL messy REAL fast!
  3. I am NOT a lover of any thing purple! I don't like purple. Any shade of purple. In fact, the only redeeming quality I find in purple is that it is created by the primary colors red and blue. Nope. Not an "I Shall Wear Purple" kinda gal.
  4. I am NOT a "Negative Nelly". I tend to see the good in people and events...(it's kinda my job as a therapist to do that). But even if it WEREN'T, I would far rather somebody leave me feelin like there's hope and better days comin', than be a "naysayer" or "prophet of doom" regarding their circumstances. My strong belief that there is "always purpose in the pain" comforts me and I hope comforts others.
  5. I am NOT a believer in "they're just animals...they don't have emotions." All you have to do is own a dog or cat (even a fish) and you can detect a little personality coming through. My now deceased family finned friend, Tobi was proof that a Betta can be fun and even a bit mischievous. (Laugh! Mock me if you will...I'd have enrolled him in fish school had he endured his illness!) Go here to see a slideshow that pays homage to my little friend!
  6. I am NOT one who necessarily believes in the "they are beyond hope" theology...I have seen many, MANY people (myself included) who have rallied after life-altering become a better person; an authentic person! I often back the "dark horse" because I know what it is to be the "long shot" outta the gate!
  7. I am NOT afraid to tell someone that I love them, appreciate them, find them inspiring, or wonderful while they are alive and can accept the compliment. Please SPARE ME the kind and flowery eulogies if you didn't say the same things about the person while they were among the livin'!
There you have it. Hope you enjoyed my "Things That I Am NOT" list! What kinds of things are YOU ...NOT?!?!

Tuesday, July 27


Howdy pardners!

Just a message comin' to you via Pony Express....

Our Wild West Tag Swap is now open to International Tag Makers! Cat of Catalina's Cottage in New Zealand has requested to join and I am personally THRILLED to have her be a part of our little swap! I am willing to mail internationally...what I need to know is this: Are those of you who have signed up willing to mail out of the country? If not, please just email me and I'll make sure your swap partners are from the good ol' US of A. Otherwise, I think I might like to know what the "Wild West" looks like to someone in another part of the world! WOOHOO!

I'll be back tomorrow with a wonderful little contest! Meanwhile, I'll be roundin' up some treasures for the contest!

Happy Trails, girlfriends!

Monday, July 26


Howdy, Cowpokes!

I hope all of you are enjoying our little wranglin' get together?! I wanted to show you the first Wild West Tags to show up in the stables:

Found these in Elizabeth's Flickr MUST go see what the mind of this creative woman has been up to!

YEEHAW! Have ya'll got your little camper tags yet? Should be arriving to a mailbox near you...even if they went Pony Express!

Started a Flickr group for our Vintage Camper Tag Swap...go upload your campers, campers!

Hugs and Horse Kisses,
paula Clare

Saturday, July 24


Greetings, cowgirls!

With the Vintage Camper Tag Swap just finishing up (the campers went in the mail Friday) and now the Wild West Tag Swap firing! You have all inspired my boots off! However, there is one "little lady" (if you say that like John Wayne it sounds better!) who has truly outdone herself...

Congrats to Christine of "The Tin Can Cottage"! You are the July winner of the "You Inspire Me" award! Christine's little campers were oh so adorable...

And her blog of her adventures in her vintage Shasta have me swooning with envy!

(My husband Bud is green over her parking takes him longer to park our tiny 13' "canned ham" than most of the guys driving the big class C fifth wheels!)

Christine travels in this sweet little 1964 Shasta...isn't it dreamy? Her little campers were the "spittin image" of the real thing!

I am just so inspired by her love of all things "canned ham" ... and by her mobile crafting! Congrats, Christine! Hope you like your award!

I'm reading and checking out the blogs of all who enter my swaps, and spend entirely TOO MUCH TIME surfing to find blogs that are fun, colorful, full of sweet images and inspiration! Maybe YOU will be August's winner?!?!

Hugs and Inspiration! YEEHAW!
Paula Clare


Greetings, dear readers!

Happy National Cowboy Day! What a perfect time to share with you some of my sweet wild west images! Also, here is a button to add to your blog...

If you'd like to join the swap, please sign up on this post. Also, please tell your friends! Since we have only two tags to make, the more the merrier!

Here are tags made a while ago for my friend Elizabeth at Creative Breathing:

Here are a few sweet cowboy/cowgirl images from my personal card collection. Feel free to use on your tags for the swap! (As always, images are for personal use only. :-))

YEEHAW! Time to "cowgirl up"! More soon!

Hugs, ya'll!
Paula Clare

Thursday, July 22


Howdy pardners!

I am back with the details of our fab little you saw in my last post, you can make the tags in western shapes, or use western shapes ON the tag. I will include vintage cowboy/cowgirl images and vintage card scans, examples and ideas as the tag swap begins!

Each of you will receive on your tag swap envelope at least one of these fantastic images from the silver screen (available at!) There is a biography on the back of each stamp...WAY COOL!

The criteria:

1. Use the sandwich method of "tagging" (cardstock, chipboard, cardstock) to create 2 tags.

2. Make the tag any size you're only making two so go crazy!

3. Embellish to your heart's content...buttons, ribbon, found objects, whatEVER!

4. Include a western image on your can be a photo, a vintage card, advertisement, postcard

5. Sign up deadline August 15th.

6. Mail tags to me and I will "trade them out" with your tag partner (this will be done AFTER the tags are in my hot little hands... your tag partner will be a surprise! Please create something wonderful that you would like to receive yourself!)

7. Tags to be postmarked by Tuesday, August 31st.

I will scan and show each tag as it arrives...and I will show you the final Wild West tag ring created with the extra tags each of you will send. There will be little treasures and trinkets added to each tag package, so everyone who joins the swap will find their Wild West tag, and surprise goodies in each envelope!

Giveaways and Contests will ensue! Prizes will be won! Fun will be had by all! YEEHAW! C'mon all you paper's your chance to shine!

Are you excited yet?

More soon,
Yer Favorite Cowgirl,
Paula Clare


Greetings, dear friends!

I am just getting our vintage camper tags mailed and I'm already thinking of a new swap! Am I insane? Certifiable? Perhaps...BUT I have discovered many of my blogworld friends have the same LOVE for all things wild west as I do...THEREFORE...

I am hosting a "Wild West Tag Swap". AND, rather than having to make 12, 17, 24 or 1,232 individual tags, we will trade with only ONE OTHER PERSON...and will make a tag for our hostess ring. SO a total of TWO tags! WOOHOO! What a relief! AND it will allow more folks to be involved in the swap! HOORAY!

"What" you may ask "is a Wild West Tag Swap all about?" I'll be back with details, but here's a hint!

Back soon with details!

paula clare

Wednesday, July 21


Greetings, dear readers!

I know this is an altAred art blog, but I have made it no secret that there is a spiritual side to me as that often dresses in a monk robe!

I hope you will indulge me as I hit some of the highlights of my sermon "Brave Love..."

The thrust of the entire message was about my sister and her family who are now living in Sudan, Africa. Here's my intro:

WELCOME: I bet you’re wondering…did I come to the right place? Am I in the right church? Yes, you did and yes you are…so what’s with the monk robe? Well, I’m a monk. An evangelical monk. I’ve studied as monks study, and I am an “official, card carrying” monk. I always wear my robe when I am functioning in a pastoral capacity, so that’s the explanation for the “garb”…in case you were wondering. J

AND, in case you haven’t figured it out, these wonderful people here are my relatives. Pam’s my sister…can you tell? I’d also like to point out and embarrass my son Paul and daughter in law Leah!

Thanks too for the many friends that have come to support both me and missions today. I appreciate it. A lot.

And then I said this:
WHAT is it, that causes a family to sell all they have, leave their home and family, and move to the other side of the world…in HOPE of making friends with strangers? (Pam and fam)

WHAT would cause a son to give up the security of his father’s textile business, give up the notariety of being a war hero, and instead spend his time bathing and caring for lepers? (Francis of Assisi)

WHAT is it that would drive a man to give up a church he pioneered, a huge congregation, a comfortable living, a strong presence in the community…to go to an obscure place in Thailand to LIVE in poverty and hope to make a difference THERE? (Francis Chan)

WHAT is it, that causes a well known singer/songwriter to give up royalties and money from his music, (he asked his accountant to only give him whatever the average guy in America was making per year…and to send him a weekly paycheck. When he died, in 1997, his pay was 26,000 a year) and instead live in a hogan on an indian reservation teaching music to kids? (Rich Mullins)

WHAT kind of “crazy love” is it that causes a Father to give His only Son for the wrongs of the very same people who will KILL HIM?

What kind of lunacy causes us to behave in such a way? I believe it is “brave love.” The kind of love that knows no fear, because it is free. Last week pastor David called it “Fearless Freedom.” YES!

~ A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave. ~ Mahatma Gandhi.

A friend and I just watched the movie Gandhi. Wow…what a powerful story of brave love! Gandhi was a lawyer…did you know that? I did not! But as a lawyer he was able to stand for the rights of the people of India in what was then a British-ruled empire.

In one especially poignant scene, Gandhi’s message of peaceful resistance was spreading throughout India. The British hierarchy laughed and mocked his “following” and counted it as “no threat.” One one particular day, a group of men and women, several THOUSAND men and women, determined they were going to stand without violence. They linked arms, 10-15 wide, and then marched resolutely into the arms of those who were waiting to beat them, bludgeon them, and leave them bleeding and dying. They came. And having seen what happened, they did not retreat. They raised not a hand and spoke not a word. They came. And they came. And they came.

An American reporter said of the scene: “Whatever moral ascendancy the West once held was lost here today. India is free, for she has taken all that steel and cruelty can give and she has neither cringed nor retreated.”

THAT dear friends, is brave love.

1 John 4:18 says: Perfect love, (BRAVE love) drives out fear.

I’m sure you’ve all heard or seen the acrostic for FEAR?


If this is FALSE evidence, then what is the TRUE evidence?
Last week we saw an excellent video…we were told 3 important truths:

1. God is FOR us. So we need not FEAR punishment.
2. God is WITH us. So we need not FEAR tragedy.
3. God is IN us. The hope of glory! So we need not FEAR failure.

Therefore, we must muster whatever courage we can and walk bravely into that which we fear most…fear of being hurt, fear of being rejected, fear of losing everything, fear of being made a fool of (there ARE worse things!)

We are called to love…to emulate Love…to BE the kind of love that Christ was while He walked here on earth. Wouldn’t it have been easier for Jesus to say, “You know, if people want to see or hear from ME, then THEY can come see ME in the synagogue.” The truth of the matter is, Jesus didn’t spend much time at all inside the Church building. He was out with the people.

But love does not come without sacrifice.

He did not have, what some might call the “luxury of being brave from a distance.” He was called to be out among and with the very people who would later kill Him. THAT is Brave Love.

Pam and John do not have the luxury of being brave from a distance. Brave love compels them to go and live among the Muslim people in Sudan. THAT, is Brave Love.

Francis of Assisi fell head over heels in love with Jesus…and he began to act like a man in love. He’d spend hours in the fields just thanking God for the flowers and animals. He’d sing to the chipmunks. He’d preach to the birds. Don’t you know to those who knew him, his friends and family, he must have looked like he’d lost his mind. But the TRUTH of the matter is, he’d FOUND it. Being in love makes us crazy. Are you head over heels in love with Jesus this morning? Remember what that’s like? Remember when you first fell in love…the grass was greener, the sky was bluer…everything was beautiful.

But love does not come without sacrifice.

Francis gave up his inheritance to spend time with lepers…with those no one else would even go near. He said, “I see the face of Christ in each one I see…” and he would hug them. In Biblical days lepers were untouchable? No one, not even their families could touch them. And Francis, the little man from Assisi, bathed their wounds and brought them food. And he hugged them. THAT is BRAVE LOVE.

Here’s a quote from one of these who lived with Brave Love:

"Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken." (the quote by the way, is from Rich Mullins)

So, loving others, ALL OTHERS, (even in the church body) requires us to be brave. We need to show ourselves friendly. Tear down the walls that protect us. Take off the mask. Let Jesus teach us how to love bravely, how to accept each other and how to do this whether we are afraid or not. The time has come. It’s time for BRAVE LOVE.

The next post will be more of the typical fare...thanks for indulging me the privilege of sharing my sermon with you!

Paula Clare

Tuesday, July 20


Greetings, dear campers!

My family has come and gone (boo) and I am free to once again attend the campground. I am embarassed to say that I have misplaced the campground roster and need you all to email me with your snail mail addys again...Yes, just call me the "Absent Minded Campground Host". I have some of your addresses, but if you will ALL email, I can put the addresses in a file for future reference, hopefully never to bother you again with such triviality.

All the tags are in their boxes...however (horror of horrors) the thing a tag hosts fears most of all has befallen me...I ended up with an odd number of campers at the end of the boxing up process. SOoooooooo (Webster our campground mascot was trying to help and in doing so trotted through my neatly organized stacks of campers. ) Perhaps you'll end up with two of a kind...or missing one all together? Just let me know what grievous error I've made and I will be happy to accommodate and fix said error. (blush) I guess there was just too much going on here at the was our itinerary while the fam was here:

Thursday: Family arrives. Dinner out.
Friday: Red Lead. The Cupcakery. Missouri Botanical Gardens. Old Spaghetti Factory. Kohls. Barnes and Noble.

Saturday: Holiday World - 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. (a deal was made and NO PICTURES were taken while wearing swim attire! Yikes!)
Sunday: Preach at Grace (me) Speak at Grace (Pam and fam) Video Sermon at Grace (Paul and Leah)
Lunch with family and missions team members.
Sunday evening: Dinner out
Monday morning: Everyone leaves, yours truly collapses. :-)

We got a LOT of living done in 3 short days! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did! I so love being with my family!

Thank you for being patient with me...your tags will be winging their way to you by week's end!

Paula Clare

PS I will be back later with excerpts from my 'Brave Love' sermon. (by popular demand. lol)

Tuesday, July 13


Greetings, friends!

Well, all of the campers have arrived at the campground and I am in the process of helping get them all loaded and ready to roll to their next destination...the homes of the tag swap members! I have finally finished all of my campers...and they will be added to your collection of vintage campers...

My family is coming in from Africa this weekend, so I would ask that you allow me a few days time to spend with them...and then MONDAY, I will work to get your tags out to you! They are sorted and mostly ready to be boxed and shipped!

And Cindy, your vintage tablecloth banner will come to you in a separate box at the same time! Meanwhile, say hello to my sister, Pam, her husband John and their two girls, Emileigh and Aria:

They will be sharing with us at Grace Community on Sunday, their travels and time in East Africa. As the Deacon of Missions, I will be preaching Sunday as well...I am excited!

My sermon title is "Brave Love." My sister and her fam are "exhibit A"! Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Paula Clare
Your Happy but Exhausted
Campground Host

Wednesday, July 7


Greetings, dear campers!

Welcoming Kari of DharmaWaits and her beautifully pink 1957 Airfloat Camper!

Here she is with her little bandana'ed gal in the doorway and one of my favorite little cowpokes sitting outside! Don't you just LOVE the cherry blossoms and tulips? One thing I LOVE about the airfloat campers is the round "porthole" windows...Kari made clear FLOWERED windows...aren't they just adorable?

(By the way, the little cowpoke on the rock is my niece Emileigh...she is now home from East Africa and is preparing to go to college in Springfield, Mo. HOORAY for little cowpokes who grow up to be cowgirls for missions!)

Glitter Words

I will be rounding up all the campers and ribbons and get them rolling from the campground to your prospective homes...let me just say I have THOROUGHLY ENJOYED being your Campground Host and hope you will come back again to visit the Happy Camper Campground! Rumor has it that there will be another "hootenany" of a tag swap coming up soon! Stay tuned!

Now let's all gather around the campfire for a good ol' fashioned sing-a-long, homemade ice cream and smores with those giant marshmallows of Sandy's! The chuckwagon will be open all night! WOOHOO!

I see "E" has out her harmonica...let's all join in for a rousing round of "Happy Trails"...

Happy trails to you, until we meet again...

happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

And now let's all recite together, the Roy Rogers Rider Club rules:

1. Be neat and clean.
2. Be courteous and polite.
3. Always obey your parents.
4. Protect the weak and help them.
5. Be brave but never take chances.
6. Study hard and learn all you can.
7. Be kind to animals and take care of them.
8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
10. Always respect our flag and our country.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Your Loving Campground Host,

Paula Clare

Sunday, July 4


Greetings, campers!

Yes, it's true, Elizabeth has already graced us with her wonderful vintage caravans...

Dreamy, are they not? THEN, rolling into the campground late last night, THIS little beauty:

It's just such a wonderfully, thoughtful gift...and so completely perfect with my Camporee tea towel from Linda Ruthie...and my red spotted bird pull toy and my beautiful jar from Sandy and my darling gnome Gilbert...and...

Now THIS?! WHO KNEW there were such perks to being a campground host! I am loving my job, cowgirls! BELIEVE ME!

More tomorrow, as Kari's our last camper to come rolling in...I'll let you all know as soon as she arrives...meanwhile, in the illustrious words of "Bob and Ted", "party on, dudes..." lol

Your Completely Overwhelmed with Your Kindness Campground Host,
Paula Clare