Sunday, October 9, 2011


"The Simplest of Gifts," is a digital stamp by Sassy Cheryl. Michele and I were looking for some Christmas stamps to start crafting this years cards, when we ran across this one.  I didn't even have to think twice before adding it to the cart and asking Michele to work some black and white magic on it for me!

Memory lane is a wonderfully magical place to take a stroll every now and again, and there are certain sights and sounds and smells that can can push you down that road no matter what direction you are heading in. This image did that for me.

My grandmother, May Fry Holland, used to drop money in the Salvation Army bucket every time we passed one during the Christmas season.  I can recall her saying, "Aunt Carrie used to tell me that she could never pass the bucket without putting something in." She would say it aloud, but it was more of a comment to no one here and to everyone in the wind.  I had no idea what it meant then.

Years passed and Christmas shopping season after season brought out red buckets and Grandma dropping her money. I was well into my teens by the time my curiosity had peaked and I wanted to know the STORY!

I had heard Grandma refer to "the Christian Mission" over the years as well and just couldn't wrap my mind around it as a noun the way she used it. Like it was a place, not a statement of purpose. When I finally asked about Aunt Carrie, I found my answer.

May Elizabeth Fry Holland, was born on July 21, 1915. She was the daughter of Emma Arretta Cunningham, 35 years old and John Quincy Fry, 65 years old. Emma's motto in life was that, "It was better to be an old mans princess, than a young man's slave." Emma was adventerous and wanted to see the world and John was getting up into his years and tired from already having raised one family and had just begun another. May and her twin brother Raymond Henry were the age of some of his grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I'm sure. Raymond died in September of 1915 and a few years later another son, Alfred was born. They weren't Emma's only two, but they were the youngest two, and the only two from John Fry.

When my Grandma was still a little girl, just at school age, her mother decided it was time to see more of the world. Emma, I'm sure hoping to be the princess again, set to traveling with a new beau. John, in his 70's by now was a, "junk collector," according to the census records and a "second hand salesman," according to my grandma. He was too old and too poor to raise children so he sent them to, "the Christian Mission." A place! A real place! Grandma explained that the Christian Mission was now known as the Salvation Army! It was an orphanage. My grandma was raised in an orphanage! It all made perfect sense now. She told me about how her Dad paid 10 cents a week for her and Al to stay at the orphanage and not be adopted. She told me stories about the ladies that worked at the Mission and the families that she worked for when she was old enough to be sent out as hired help for farmers and their wives. She told me stories that made my heart break and swell and soar! I loved her stories.

Aunt Carrie was Emma's sister, the one grandma would talk about or maybe even to, as she dropped her money in the red bucket at Christmas time. I can imagine that she was talking to or thinking about a dozen different people as she passed those red buckets, but Aunt Carrie is the only name that came out.

I only have and have only seen one picture of May Fry Holland as a little girl, this is it. This is John, May and Alfred.

~Michele~ created card.
*Josee's story*

This card was colored by Michele with Copic markers, and this digi stamp can be found at Sassy Cheryl's, it's called, "The Simplest Gift."

This card will be entered into the following challenges:
This one reminds me of the song, "Don't Save it all for Christmas Day," by Celine Dion.

This one reminds me of the song, "Don't Save it all for Christmas Day," by Celine Dion.


Sandra Stephens said...

I love this card...the colouring is wonderful...and the image so cute.Thank you for joining the Cupcake Craft Challenge this week...and sharing that sweet memory.

Tina said... the details and the coloring is amazing...thanks for joining us at just some lines saturday challenge


Jacq said...

Hi Girls,
What a Beautiful story!!! And this little image must be so poignant for you, its such a beautiful image. Love the dp, the monochromatic scheme is beautiful. Love the layout. Coloured to perfection. Love this beautiful card.
Hugs Jacqui xxx

Fabrizio said...

Beautiful card and that story makes it even more special. Thanks for joining my Christmas challenge. X Fab

Shannon White said...

Goodness what a Wonderful Story! And I just love your card! Perfect image for sure and wonderful coloring as well. Love the embossed snowflakes and touch of sparkle too! Thanks so much for playing along with us at The Sweet Stop! 8-)

StephC said...

What a gorgeous card! Loved the story as well. So glad you joined us for this weeks CCC!

Monika/Buzsy said...

Wow! What a great story! One to be remembered. I see why you had to have that image. It's perfect... and the black and white look fabulous. Great textures and embellishments. Thank you for playing along with us at The Sweet Stop this week. :o)

Jenn Borjeson said...

So stinkin' cute! Thank you for joining our "Reminds Me of a Song" challenge at Just Some Lines! :)

craftybunny said...

Beautiful card and fab design.The image is coloured to perfection.It's lovely that it brought back a special memory.Thanks for joining us at Craft Your Passion. Hope to see you again next week :D
Lisa x

Alanna said...

Lovely card. Thanks for joining us this week at Christmas Card Challenges.

jackiescrafts said...

This is a great card, thanks for joining in at SFC this time

Jackie x

Allisa said...

Loved reading your story! Great card and thanks for sharing the pic.

Susie said...

A really beautiful card and a lovely story! Thanks for joining our monochrome challenge at Dream Valley. Susie x

Lin said...

Thanks for joining us at Dream Valley for our monochrome challenge and Crafty Cardmakers for our anything goes challenge.
Lin xx

Kendra said...

What a great story and an awesome card to boot! Thanks for sharing with us at Dream Valley!

downrightcrafty said...

Gorgeous sparkly creation and love the color choice, thank you for sharing your lovely work with us at The Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge this week.
hugs Kate xx
PS I have some new candy if you are interested:)

Joy said...

Awesome colouring, definitely the WOW! factor... thanks for joining us at Simon Says Challenge blog

Tamie said...

The details on your card are amazing. I just love the black and white theme and the image is wow, wow, wow. Thanks so much for sharing it with us at 4 Crafty Chicks monochromatic challenge.

Francesca said...

what a brilliant Sparkle Card

thanks for joining us at SECRET CRAFTER SATURDAY CHALLENGE and good luck!


Leanne said...

Thanks for playing our Monochromatic Challenge at 4 Crafty Chicks! TFS!

Shelby Goolsby said...

What a nice story and your card is gorgeous!! I just love the black and white and embossed snowflakes. Thanks for joining us at The Sweet Stop.

Michele and Josee' said...

Thank you all so much for the wonderful and encouraging comments! I really love reading them! Hugs!

Jess Willison said...

Gorgeous card! Love the black and white combo! Thanks for joining us at CCC this week.

Helen said...

Awwww...such a sweet card!
Thanks for joining us at the Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge!
Helen x

Kim x said...

What a lovely card and story.
Thanks for joining us over at Crafty Cardmakers.
Hugs Kimx

Dominique said...

What a wonderful card! Love the image and your design is great! Thank you for playing along with us this time at the crazy christmas challenge, good luck! Dominique

Just Some Lines Digital Stamps said...

Oh what a precious card.
Thanks for joining Just Some Lines Saturday Challenge :)

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