Win a FREE Silhouette!

I just became aware of a site offering a free Silhouette…so hop over there for YOUR chance too:  http://www.sugardoodle.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6344

SugarDoodle is not only offering a chance to win, but there are some awesome ideas on the site…very worth the time to peruse a while.

I admit, I have a Silhouette…but mine is a very old version and starting to experience the signs of it’s age so my fingers are crossed.  If I am lucky enough to win, you will certainly know…if you win, would you tell me?  I would love to congratulate you!  Good Luck!!

Buddys!

I couldn't be more pleased that they are buddies

It’s no secret, along with my Husband, Sons and Daughters-In-Laws, these two little fellows own my heart.  As a young Mother of two, I often worried about how often my boys argued and wrestled.  It was my goal to instill strong core values while allowing them blossom into the amazing individuals they were created to be, in the hopes their relationship would be strong and that they would be friends when they were grown.

Not only am I immensely proud of the men they have become, but I am grateful to have achieved my goal:  they ARE friends!  The desire continues to do all I can to help Will & Izzy be friends; and we are lucky to be able to nurture their relationship.  Each month while the “big boys and girls” are L.A.R.P.ing, I  open what I affectionately refer to as “Grammy’s Day Care”; while the big kids nurture their relationships, Grammy gets to carry on the legacy of nurturing the younger ones’ relationship with each other too.  Eventually, Hubby & I won’t be on this world anymore; I know I will rest in peace knowing I have fulfilled my job as Mother and Grandmother teaching tolerance and love.

The pictures on this spread were taken while Nick & Crystal and Thad & Jennifer were L.A.R.P.ing last weekend.  Grammy’s Day Care was opened so Grumpy & I played with Will & Izzy that day.  We tend to not to be rigid to any particular scheduled activity; rather, we just go with the flow and enjoy what the day brings.  The little boys love kid’s meals from fast food restaurants so we decided to go to a nearby one.  As we drove there, we saw a small road sign directing to a park and decided to check it out.  There was a wonderful playground where the boys had a good time and provided me lots of photo opportunities.  We ate in the glorious sun and even Grumpy spent a little while on the swings…OK, Grammy even went down the spiral slide too!  There was a baseball field where we had an imaginary ball game and while doing so, we noticed a path winding around another ball field and decided to check it out.  The path ended up looping through a large wooded area where the boys quickly led the way.  As we journeyed through the woods, I noticed how the boys stayed close to each other and felt a great sense of satisfaction that they had grown to walking side-by-side rather than competing to be first.  I had to snap pictures all along the way; these shots are just some of the ones I felt depicted my feelings while they walked.

And as usual, the paper supplies and embellishments are from ClubScrap; this kit is the April 2005 Down To Earth kit which I felt was appropriate.  I created the spread for the last week of this season of the ProScrpping League on ClubScrap’s forum.  The challenge was to use a sketch layout, or ALSB instructions, from a kit different than you chose to use; the sketch I chose was from ClubScrap’s January 2005 Mosaic Twist kit.

The pictures of Grumpy on the swings and Grammy on the slide MAY surface at another time…consider yourself warned!

Happy scrapping!

It’s a Blog Hop!

Welcome!  And, thanks for hopping onto my blog. 

This posting is my contribution to the PennyWiseArts community blog hop.  If you happened to simply stumble onto my blog, the previous blog in the hop is my friend Michele Aiello-Zendejas who is an amazing artist, gifted in assemblage and collage.  From my blog, please be sure to visit my other friend Bridget Larsen who hails from Australia, also an amazing paper artist. 

There will be a fabulous prize drawing from blog hoppers that leave a comment on every blog entry of the hop, so make sure to let us know you were here!  If you prefer to go back to the starting point, do so and remember to comment at each stop…and good luck with possibly being chosen in the drawing!

Our PennyWise Arts Yahoo group is a community of stampers and crafters from all over the world sharing a passion for art, swaps,  micro beads, and friendships…we are a genuine sisterhood!  The group was established in 2003 and has grown deep roots and lasting relationships.  We always welcome new members and look forward to meeting you!  This blog hop is a special event to help us get to know one another better and meet new friends…we hope you hop on board!

My contribution is this sweet little bunny crafted from punched shapes and assembled to represent the funny little bunny.  It really was easy to do. 

Funny Bunny Card

I simply punched various sized oval and round shapes out of white and pink cardstock and assembled them to look like the rabbit.  Using the same punches and paperbacked O’So Sticky Tape, I punched shapes right out of the adhesive then removed one side of the protective paper and adhered the shaped cardstock and tape together, burnishing the two sides well. 

Next, starting with the pink shapes only, I removed the protective paper from the O’So Sticky Tape and applied Ultra Fine Translucent MicroBeads, pressing the beads into the O’So Sticky Tape well.  Taking care to touch the O’So Sticky Tape as LITTLE as possible, I removed the protective paper from the O’So Sticky Tape over the large white oval shapes and carefully placed the smaller pink ovals in the center (these become the ears and feet); do the same with the large white circle and smaller pink circle.

When each pink center was adhered to the white shapes, I applied Ultra Fine Translucent MicroBeads.  This might be a good time to mention that I have a LOT of these beads and rather than keep them in the ziplock baggies in which they come, I put several bags into a shallow plastic bowl that has a very tight lid (Tupperware or Rubbermaid works very well)…then I simply drop the item into the bowl of beads…works for me!

Before applying O’So Sticky Tape to the smaller circles, I added black “whiskers” and “toenails” using a permanent black fine-point pen.  Also, white highlights were added to the small black circles using a white gel pen before O’So Sticky Tape was added.

To assemble all parts of the bunny, I used more O’So Sticky Tape but chose pieces cut from the 1/4″ roll.  A small pink brad was used for the nose.

To make the card, I simply folded in half a piece of white cardstock measuring 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and sponged the edges with a pale pink ink. I cut a pink piece of cardstock in the shape of a large egg, then sandwiched it in the Dotted Swiss embossing folder and ran it through the Cuttlebug. Lastly, I adhered it at an angle to the front of the card and adhered the beaded bunny on top.

I used the Martha Stewart fern punch and light green cardstock to make “faux grass” and simply glued it along the lower edge; I allowed it to hang off the edges, then trimmed it flush with the folded card. Finally, using light green ink, I stamped the word “Easter” around the top edge of the large pink egg.

I had fun making this card and hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to leave a comment so you will be entered in the Beadie Buddy Blog Hop drawing.

Come back and visit anytime!

Pool Fun

Thad & Izzy playing in the pool

If you’ve been reading my postings, you may remember a recent one about receiving from Nick & Crystal beautiful Mother’s Day flowers and sweet cards, and an adorable picture of Will & I drawn by him.  Well, the following day I received an equally wonderful e-mail from my other son, Thad, that included a link to some pictures of he & Izzy taken just the day before.  I felt more love again!

I used some of those pictures for these spreads.  This week’s challenge on ClubScrap’s ProScrapping League was to use different techniques.  The base pages were done using ClubScrap’s February 2009 Artifacts kit.  I absolutely love the bright, fun colors as well as the designs which I thought worked well with the fun pictures.  The pages were laid-out using that month’s ALSB designs.  The techniques used were simple rubber stamping, again using stamps from the kit.  I also tore translucent paper and used a sponge to ink around the edges.  I often add ink to edges simply because I like the look; to me, it softens the hard edges.  The letters were cut using my Making Memories Slice digital die-cutter.

Happy Scrapping!

Dreams really DO come true!

I remember this day as if it was yesterday...

These pictures are some of my most cherished.  As a girl growing up, all I ever really wanted to be was a Mommy.  When I became one, I couldn’t have been more happy.  I may say more often than necessary, but I love my kids!  My family is the most important thing to me, nothing can compare.  I didn’t date these pictures so I’m not positive, but these pictures were taken when Nicholas was around four months old…he was a big boy! 

We lived in Key West Florida at the time and as we did many times while the kids were growing up, we were visiting a park.  There was a very nice, small park at the Truman Annex (a no longer used submarine base) on the south side of the island, very near the southernmost spot in the continental USA.  Because the base was no longer being actively used, and because only Naval/authorized personnel could access it, the park was most often unoccupied…our very own, private park!  We often went there for a cook out or picnic because at that time, there weren’t too many places to go the island…these were back in the pre-commercialized days of Key West. 

I feel like my true emotions of being elated as a new mother relay perfectly in these pictures.  As is true with most 70s vintage photos, the originals had  aged with a “yellow” cast.  I was able to scan them and digitally restore the color and couldn’t be more happy with the results.  So, of course I had to make a spread with the pictures. 

This spread was done using the December 2008 ClubScrap kit Milestones.  The “Priceless Memories” letters were cut using my old QuicKutz squeeze tool and “Phoebe” font dies (maybe my favorite).  The vines were cut with the Vintage Findings design card using the Making Memories Slice die cutter; I cut several and placed them [basically] end-to-end as a border on the right-hand page; the one at the bottom right-hand corner of the page was cut slightly larger and placed in the opposite direction. 

This spread was submitted as an entry on the current season of the ProScrapping League in the ClubScrap forum.  Unfortunately my legs have been bothering me the last few weeks so my creative time has been limited as has my exercise.  They are feeling better so I am hopeful to be more productive in both areas in the coming weeks.

Happy Scrapping!

Exciting news for me!

Visual Designs by Chris

I have been invited to be part of the Creative Team at Visual Designs By Chris.  I hope to share pages created using her fun cutting designs in the near future.  I’ve been collecting her cutting files for several years now and even use them on occassion! 

Thank you Chris!

Creative Clutter

No matter how much I try to clean, this room always appears messy.

Unless you are a crafter, you probably don’t understand how someone could love being surrounded by so much stuff.  I have been involved in some form of arts & crafts as long as I can remember.  I think my earliest recollection of crafting was when my mother was pregnant with my sister who is five years younger than I; so I must have been five.  I recall taking a walk with her in the fall of the year and gathering beautiful leaves that had fallen.  When we got back to the house, she took out the waxed paper and tore off a piece; then she told me to arrange the leaves on the waxed paper.  After that, she put another piece of waxed paper on top and ironed the paper which melted the wax and [basically] fused the two pieces together.

I recall someone giving me a small sewing machine and I learned to use it.  Eventually I took every Home Economics class I could, and enjoyed sewing more than others.

I learned ceramics when I was in about the sixth grade.  Years later, I worked for a while in the ceramic shop on the Naval Base in Key West FL where I poured many molds.

There was a cross stitch era as well as tole painting for several years. 

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but my point is that I have done some form of crafting all my life.  Nothing kept my interest, nor excited me as much nor as long as crafting with paper:  scrapbooking and rubber stamping.  I simply cannot get enough!  There’s always a new technique to learn; someone is always coming out with a new, amazing product or using an item in a way I’d never thought.  I am constantly inspired and amazed by all that others do.

The pictures on this spread were taken a few years ago.  I stood in one corner and took a picture of the opposite corner, then moved around the room doing the same so that I could document all that was in there at the time.  What a mess!  Taking whatever I could find that might be useful to work on/with, the room filled up quickly.  Then, I moved most of it to the other house last year and had a wonderfully huge room in which to work, but didn’t have an appropriate table…so Santa brought me one!

Everything fit much nicer in the bigger room.

When we moved everything back to our house, the table came along and went into the same room I used before.  We “repurposed” the big corner desk to our son, and the small white table is still folded up elsewhere.  The big black table is in the middle of this room too as well as some other storage items around the perimeter walls.  As big as this table is, and as much room as it has, I am ever amused at how the space on which I am working shrinks to less than 12″ square.  No matter where I am working, the same thing always happens!

For the spread, I used the Retreat 2008 kit from ClubScrap with the addition of a rub-on from Close To My Heart and googlie-eyes in the two zeros in the date…which somehow seemed appropriate!  The design was made using the ALSB patterns for the kit.  The letters were cut out with my QuicKutz squeeze tool using the Typewriter font.

Wonder and Delight

A layout made for PennyWise Arts

 A few years ago I was a scrapbooker for the PennyWiseArts Design Team.  I loved the challenge of adding micro beads to any project assignment.  For this assignment, Suzanne sent a packet of Basic Grey papers with a Christmas theme.  I knew which pictures I wanted to use and began the layout process.  Before adhereing the various papers, pictures, and design elements to the base pages, I contemplated how to go about using micro beads; because of the plaid papers, using strips of O’So Sticky tape (PennyWiseArts’ version of industrial strength, double sided adhesive) and silver beads.

I have to say that I was quite pleased with the way the Christmas tree element in the upper left-hand corner of the page below turned out; I love it.  It’s always a joy when you envision something and are able to actually make it work for you.  I used a Christmas tree ornament rubber stamp to stamp and emboss on off-white colored paper several times.  Once the image was stamped and embossed, I cut out each one.  Then, I laid them out side by side in a triangular (tree) shape; the over all design was too big.  So, I pushed them closer together, overlapping a few and they looked better.  It was at that point that I began adhereing the ornaments to a piece of cardstock; the ornaments that were atop others were adhered using foam tape.  Suzanne, the Queen of Beads and owner of PennyWiseArts, had included ribbons and fibers in the supply package; there was a piece of small red twine…perfect!  Painstakenly, I tied teeny-tiny little red bows and adhered them to the top of each of those little ornaments.  I was pleased with the outcome, so considered it well worth the effort.

A layout I made for PennyWiseArts.com

The two little boys in these pictures are my sons…now grown men…I really miss those two little boys but could not be more proud of the men they’ve grown to be…and as a substitute, they each gave me a wonderful little grandson.  Interestingly enough, the little shopping cart in the left-hand picture is still at my house; although it’s slightly worse for wear, those two grandsons play with it.  Now that’s recycling!

Feelin’ The Love

The kids will never know just how much these flowers meant to me.

So…as I mentioned before, I moved away for a while to teach in a stamp/scrapbooking store.  I also mentioned that things turned sour there.  Well, what happened was that after a tag-team all-day class, I was blind sided by the store owner ranting & raving at me with his hands flailing in the air accusing me of putting down others’ art.  First, let me say that not only would I never do that even if the art was less than perfect, I wouldn’t do it even if I felt intimidated by the other artist’s abilities.  To be accused of that devastated me.  As well, because I’d been assaulted before, the body language of the perpetrator frightened me.  This happened shortly before Mother’s Day last year.  I was derailed to the extent that I couldn’t even work for a few days. 

On the Friday before Mother’s Day, my phone rang…it was a nearby florist saying they had a delivery for me.  Me?  What could it be?  I gave them directions to the house we were rented.  In a few hours, the most beautiful arrangement of flowers was delivered…it was from my wonderful son, his sweet wife, and my Schnookums!  Talk about making someone feel good…that bouquet wiped away all the bad and made me feel very special and very loved!  THEN, in the mail came envelopes with cards…Will’s card even had a hand written letter with a drawing of he & I.  Of course I was in tears, this time they were tears of joy for knowing how much I was loved.  And even though I didn’t get to see the kids in person that Mother’s Day, I felt their love as much as if they were in the very same room with me.  What a wonderful feeling!

Priceless Treasures

So, I had to take pictures of the flowers and make special pages to document just how wonderful I felt.  I chose to use these papers from Close To My Heart, they were in a special packet for that month and worked perfectly for this project.  I had to include the letter from Will as well as the cards.  It seemed like Close To My Heart knew I needed these beautiful papers!

Birthday Presents

Will seemed to be as excited with the presents as Izzy!

One more page from Izzy’s birthday party at Chuck E Cheese last November.  I had printed these pictures and wanted to get them on these pages; the pictures seemed lively enough to work with the fun theme.  A bonus was that I was able to find the cute sticker that seemed made for the upper picture on the right-hand page.  I also wanted to feature the picture of one of Izzy’s presents because the wrapping paper had been created by the giver, it was SO cute!  I just wasn’t emotionally prepared for Izzy’s girl friend to be so cute – NOT girlfriend, mind you…whew!

I love how ClubScrap includes the most interesting things in their kits.  Across the top of the page is a fabric “tape” with the “eye” side of hook & eye closures.  The ALSB directions for these pages included hanging elements from those “eyes” with common paper clips.  How cool is that?!!?