December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas from an Errant Poster

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you had a fantastic holiday! Mine was full of family as well as some not to pleasant drama but I survived and I'm here to tell the tale! Ha! Seriously, families can be a pain in the ass sometimes and I'd rather not retell the tale but just know that I still love each and every one of my family members and it was good to see them again.

Part of the drama in the family is that both Hubby's Dad and his Grandma both suffered a stroke a few days apart from each other about three weeks ago. They are both doing well but it did throw some kinks into our Christmas get-togethers this year. Grandma won't be back to 100% since she fell and fractured her pelvis during the stroke and then had a second stroke while she was in the hospital. She does have some brain damage and will not be able to live independently anymore and that will be a big change for her.

That and I think money was also another source of stress for some. Everyone cut back this year, and some couldn't afford gifts at all, so there was a bit of wounded pride. Even though we all know that giving gifts isn't the real meaning of Christmas, it does make us feel good to give to others this time of year.

Now I'm starting to think about the New Year. Do you make resolutions? I normally write up a new set of goals each year. The past year or two have been really lackluster as far as my efforts and determination have gone. I'm hoping to get things back on track in 2009 as I say goodbye to my ScrapFriends gig (and hopefully hello to the CMK design team instead). Either way I've got plans.....whoooaaaa ha ha ha!! Can you feel the evil laughter?

I'll spend a bit of time writing down my goals. I hope you'll join in and share yours with me.

And...before I go...a little layout for you:


December 21, 2008

Create My Keepsake DT Application

Here's my entry for the Create My Keepsake design team application: (Note: You can click on any picture to view it larger.)

3 cardstock -
1 Stampin Up (red)
1 Bazzill (black)
1 Bazzill Bling (blue)

6 patterned papers -
Tinkering Ink Al Fresco - Strisce
Tinkering Ink Beau Jardin - Meadow
BasicGrey Urban Prairie - Weather Vane
BasicGrey Urban Prairie - Bluebird
BasicGrey Urban Prairie - Petticoat
Making Memories Addie - Die Cut Flower

1 alpha,
BasicGrey Urban Prairie Alphabet Stickers

1 rubons,
Maya Road Cherry Blossoms

bling/brads/buttons,
Me & My Big Ideas Icons
American Crafts Flair Badges - Smile
Assorted Sequins

chipboard/rubber charms/flowers,
Scenic Route Butterflies chipboard

stickers/die-cut shapes/journaling cards, and
BasicGrey Urban Prairie - Element Stickers

ribbon/trim
4 Assorted Bazzill Just the Edge Cardstock Strips - black

Miscellaneous
piece of vintage book page

Title: Look What I Can Do!
Design Notes: I layered two chipboard pieces to make the butterfly, inking the edges before adhering them together. I used a random circle shape and scissors to create the circle.

Journaling: This is your new thing now. "Hey, Mom look at this!" you say with pure excitement. You can almost see the adrenaline rushing through your body as you've achieved each new goal. Whether it be shooting a basket, doing a new trick on the skateboard, popping a wheelie on your bike or beating a video game, just remember that life is not about winning but the journey along the way.

Title: Little Gym(nast)
Design Notes: I hand cut the leaves from a piece of patterned paper and glued them on this page. The photo mats were torn and inked. I placed the bling along the Bazzill edge cardstock. The title plays on my kids' experience at the Little Gym. I had each of my children descibe their experience this day for the journaling.

Journaling: Katie - The Little Gym is no fun! We got to go in a fire truck and other stuff. There was an inflatable mat that we could jump on. I wish I could go there again. Korbin - The cupcakes were good.

Title: A Duck

Design Notes: I used the vintage book page on top of the chipboard and inked the edges. The bling was put on top of the flower rub ons and inside the cut out in the Making Memories patterned paper. I also layered a rub on over top of the Bazzill cardstock accent below the photo.

Journaling: I saw you while walking around the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. My first time there. 9/08












Title: Smile Card
As published in the April issue of ScrapStreet ezine.

Design Notes: I created this card using the leftover scrap from the Making Memories patterned paper. I layered several pieces of cardstock shapes on top and added the flower image button. I love the way the cardstock petals add to the design. I also cut the front short and layered the Bazzill scalloped edge to the bottom.



Title: Birds and Blossoms Card
Design Notes: I used patterned paper that I distressed and inked the edges of for my base. I layered yellow flower sequins in a strip and then added a small section of Bazzill scalloped edge cardstock below and applied a few rub ons above them.



Title: Girls Keepsake Box
Design Notes: This was a small old cardboard box I've had laying around. I applied patterned paper to the outside, painted the inside and used black cardstock over top of the chipboard butterfly. I outlined its edges with bling. I plan to give this to my daughter to hold some tiny treasures.

December 9, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - December Delights

I know, I know...it's been like forever since I posted. Bad me!!

Life has been good. I had an excellent Thanksgiving and gracefully it was the first one since my sister died that I didn't feel like my day was totally missing something...and what right did I have to be celebrating anyway??

I also visited my BIL and his new girlfriend in the house he and my sister had lived in for the first time since she passed...it was long overdue but still caused me some panic and anxiety. Would the house look the same? Would I feel my sister around me? What would I think of his new girlfriend? I've missed seeing the kids sooo much so I focused on them and did really enjoy the time together.

I guess the third year is the one for me where things start to settle in a bit.

This is my last month at ScrapFriends and my assignments are near completion. The January reviews will be assigned soon and I'll get to see all I'll be missing. It is so bittersweet. I have many thoughts of creative ideas and being able to really do what I want to do just for the fun of it soon and that has me very excited. Perhaps this will finally be my chance to clean my scrap room a bit and use up some of my old stuff.

I just finished a review for Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Textures and Techniques DVD which will be published on ScrapFriends in about a week. It inspired me to create the new header for my blog. I used the petroleum jelly technique as a resist for the paint on the ART letter pieces. Whaddaya think?

This month's big project is applying for the Create My Keepsake DT call. It is the one I mentioned in my earlier post. I've been a lurker and shopper there for a long time but have only recently been participating in their forum. I LOVE how interactive the site is, the owner is top notch, the store ROCKS and the ladies are super talented. I see that some members have applied to the DT for many years without success....ack! I may not make the cut, but it is truly what I wish for more than anything else. I'm busy putting together my kit for the entry and will be posting it and my projects in another week or two. I'm hoping the creative fairy stops by and gives my work that extra something. :D

Oh yes, we also got our first big snowstorm last night and today. I think we got around 7" of snow and the schools closed. Our schools are notorious for staying open no matter what so it is a really big deal when they close! It was so windy and snowy that I didn't even bother trying to make it into work.

Later...







November 18, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Big Decisions

I have just made a very big and difficult decision...December will be my last month with the ScrapFriends review team. I've been with them for two years now and feel ready for a change.

I don't want to stop scrapping professionally altogether. I'd like to work with a kit club or manufacturer that will involve a little less time commitment and allow me to have time to work on my writing. I have several manufacturer's I'm interested in: Bo Bunny, Cosmo Cricket, Sassafras Lass and Sandylion. There is one kit club in particular that I'm hoping to be offered a design team position. They will be having a design team call any day now so that I can put in my application and pray, REALLY hard.

The most monumental aspect of this is my real commitment to writing. I dream of becoming a published author but have never really put myself in a position to achieve that. I've always let other things get in the way. So, now I am taking a proactive step to work toward that goal. It is scary and exhilarating all at the same time.


November 17, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Life Is Good

I had a weekend full of family. I had my brother and his family over for dinner on Saturday. It wasn't planned until later on that morning and since we are both busy people it was wonderful that it worked out. I made a HUGE meatloaf, mashed potatoes and broccoli. We had some absolutely sinful cakes and coffee for dessert. There was a lot of laughs and just the wonderful comfort I get from having my family around me. We played Smart Ass (trivia game) and things got a little crazy as they tend to do, and there was a lot of laughter.

My niece had an interesting story to share with me. She and a friend had played with the Ouija board recently and she asked about my sister. The spirit they were communicating with was not my sister and she was also not in the room at the time. The freaky thing is that the spirit said my sister's name as well as my brothers and myself. My niece also asked if she was proud of us (naming us individually) and for me it spelled "LOTS" as for my brothers "YES." That made me feel sooo good! There are so many questions I have as to why she chose to leave us and I've been thinking a lot about whether or not she even thought of me that day. It hurts to have so many things left unsaid, and forever unknown. That one little confirmation felt like gold to me.

Now, I've used a Ouija board a few times and I do not like them. I think they are BAD NEWS but my niece seemed to have a very positive and factually accurate experience with it. It sure makes me think about trying it again as well. What have your experiences been with it?

My kids are weird....my son went outside to ride his bike and skateboard yesterday. He almost always "forgets" to put on a jacket or any other cold weather gear no matter the temperature and instead had a long-sleeved sweatshirt and insisted he was "fine" and not cold even though it was only 30-some degrees. After awhile though I couldn't hear him anymore so I went to see what he was up to and here he was sweeping out the driveway and later raking leaves in our yard. HE IS 7! He told me when it was lunchtime that he was just being helpful. I said that it looked like he'd gotten a lot done and he said "Yeah, I have about 2 1/2 inches left." LOL!!! My daughter had joined in at the end too. I had to count my blessings for such wonderful children...life is good


November 15, 2008

Lovin' Bo Bunny

I had to have the Beau Jardin collection of Bo Bunny papers! It is pretty feminine with the swirls and most of the colors, but look how well it works for BOY pages too!


A cool technique I discovered is to use alcohol inks on both sides of a sheer element. I dabbed the front with a mixture of blue and green but it just didn't show up well when I put it on the page. I tried apply silver alcohol ink to the BACK of my piece and it turned out looking like a mirrored stained glass sort of thing...it's beautiful!! I'm probably the last one to figure this out but it's a wonderful technique!

Products Used:
Patterned Paper, Rub Ons (Bo Bunny)
Felt Alpha (American Crafts)
Sheer Alpha (Maya Road)
Chipboard (Scenic Route)
Ink (Ranger Distress)
Hole Puncher (Crop a Dile)
Rhinestones (Doodlebug)
Adhesive (Ad Tech)
Other: misc. paper scraps

Journaling:
There’s just something special about you. Your energy and spirit are unmistakeable.
You are very intelligent but cannot sit still for long. You are affectionate and emotional. You are a challenge.

Establishing yourself in the great big world, you are jonesing for the top. Whether you
realize it or not, you are destined for big things. I felt it before you even came into this world. This is just the beginning.

AND I LEARNED A GOOD LESSON: Make sure you understand slang before you try to use it! I used Jonesing in an entirely different way than it's true slang meaning. I think Jonesing in a sense of achievement sounds better anyway, so there.

November 11, 2008

One Little Word - LISTEN

Here's my take on this week's One Little Word Challenge - LISTEN.


The scan doesn't do the colors in this justice. The blues are deep and luscious and the pic has a violet tone to it.

Supplies:
Patterned Paper, Fiber (Scarlet Lime Kit)
Acrylic Paint (Ranger)
Rub Ons (Pink Paislee)
Chipboard (American Crafts)
Stickers (BasicGrey)
Marker (Zig Writer)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)

Journaling:
LISTEN...
to my faith.
to my creative vision.
to my happy colors.
to my designer's eye.
to my undying enthusiasm and drive to better myself.
to the encouraging words of my friends and family.
for the simple pleasures in life.
to my every day.
to my heart.

November 7, 2008

Grow With Love


I made this for the Create My Keepsake Jenni Bowlin monthly sponsor contest. It was fun to focus on using her stuff!

November 5, 2008

Good news to share today!

I won the Sassafras Lass Monthly Sponsor contest at Coordinates Collections with my layout Bubblicious You!

I also made One Little Word Favorites for my Imagine layout!

Coolness!

October 29, 2008

Just Imagine

It was hard to get a good picture of this. It is Prism's textured paper which has a pearl finish to it. It's fab stuff but it didn't photograph too well. The paper is pure white like it looks in the middle. Maybe I'll get some sunlight and try taking a better pic.


Imagine a blank wall ready to create.
Imagine a world without prejudice and hate,
Or imagine a language no one needs to translate.

Imagine all the ways life could be great.
Imagine enough crops to put food on our plate,
and imagine life without separation of church and state.

Imagine a society not run by government mandate.
Imagine strong individuals we don't need to validate,
or imagine a heavenly home we can anticipate.

Imagine there's no wrong or right.
Imagine a country without angst and strife,
and imagine loving this thing we call life.

Just Imagine.

Copyright 2008 by Penny Brellenthin. All rights reserved.


I'm B-A-A-A-A-C-K!

So if you read yesterday's Thursday Thoughts (and yes, I realize that it was not posted on a Thursday) you will remember me saying that I miss having insomnia. Well, someone was listening because last night I could not sleep!! I stayed up until 1 AM working on a layout. When I finally got to bed I was too stoked to sleep. Then my dog woke me up at 4 AM choking for some unknown reason. I got back to bed for another hour and a half of sleep and GUESS WHAT? I feel GREAT!!

In fact, my creative mind was going wild this morning and I began some poetry on my way into work. I *LOVE* days like that. Let's hope this little spurt lasts for awhile...

Oh...and check out these totally CUTE hand painted pumpkins that were on Joann.com today. Love 'em!





October 28, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - The Path I've Chosen

Hey everyone....

Last week was a tough one for me...no particular reason...but it was rough. I felt *off* in every way possible on Friday and ended up going home sick. I slept for a couple hours in the afternoon and woke up feeling better. I completely miss the days when I had more energy...insomnia or not...I felt much more alive than I have been feeling lately. I am just about due for a med. checkup with my psych. and sense an increased dosage will be helpful for me.

I am starting to feel that energy perk up just a bit and along with it has come some clarity. I've been weighing some very big decisions lately, particularly about scrapping and writing, and where I want to go with my creativity. I have always felt propelled to continue scrapping and writing but how I choose to do that has not been clear to me. I have been able to narrow my focus on these goals and it has brought major relief and increased energy along with it.

There are a couple of things I'm working on that I can't reveal at the moment but I am praying deeply that my focus is now in the right place. If things all come together the way I'd like to, there will be tremendous peace for me to look forward to. I am stoked.

One proud accomplishment is attending a writing workshop this past weekend. It was extremely invigorating and I was surrounded by a room full of creative & kind souls. It felt surreal. And it also brought me great joy and peace.

The funny thing is the conversation I had with Hubby a couple weeks ago about my need for making more friends who focus on creativity like I do. I need that comfort and sense that I belong somewhere. For a shy soul like me this is a bit of work, but the rewards are oh so nurturing and I'm starting to learn that.

The cool thing is that literally the day after I had that conversation with my Hubby, a good friend of mine who I do not talk to frequently invited me to the writing workshop. It felt like confirmation that I am finally doing what is meant to be. How cool is that??


October 25, 2008

Color Story Challenge #9

I created this for Color Story Challenge 9.
Supplies:
Cardstock (Prism)
Patterned Paper (BasicGrey, Crate Paper)
Stickers (BasicGrey, Jenni Bowlin, 7Gypsies, Creative Imaginations)
Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels in Patina)
Fabric Brad (Mens Closet) in Scarlet Lime Kit
Flower (Prima)
Ribbon (alexx Kesh) in Scarlet Lime Kit
Marker (Zig)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)
Other: Butterfly Applique in Scarlet Lime Kit

Journaling:
Tickles from Daddy are a recent occurrence around here. You are ticklish on your neck and knees but your giggle is what gets me. I can't help but laugh too. 2/07

October 23, 2008

I'm Having a Relapse

It's been years but finally there's a new Eminem CD coming out! The teaser was just released this week and I'm *TOTALLY* in love all over again.

Relapse


October 16, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Following the leader

We met with a psychologist and two grad students at the UW on Monday to talk about my son's behavior at school. The meeting lasted for two hours where we went over things very thoroughly. Right now they are gathering information from his doctors and teachers and will be observing in his classroom next week. I am told that they provide an extremely thorough report and it doesn't cost too much so I thought it was worth a shot. I am looking forward to an objective viewpoint.

This year has seemed much different for my son. He actually goes to school happy and seems very enthused about it. I wouldn't know that he's still struggling if I hadn't asked his new teachers about it.

Hubby has slowly been picking up clients - he's got five now! OK, so it's obviously not enough to pay the bills but it seems like those days are on the horizon. He also has been interviewing at several places to provide some supplemental income until his business gets busier.

I had lunch with my friend Diane last week at a really yummy cafe called Jo's Tazzina Cafe & Confectionery located just a few blocks from work. It was absolutely delicious!! I'd love to go there again.

It has been a quiet week otherwise. I've been cleaning things up including emails & my scraproom and am getting ready to have a scrap-tastic evening...maybe tonight!

Also, my new How-To was just published on ScrapFriends: How to Color With Masks. Enjoy!


October 15, 2008

Webster's Pages - Hello! Beautiful

Have you seen the new Webster's Pages release??? OMG!! They are giving it away on their blog!! Go leave them some love!

October 9, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Holy Hives Batman!

My poor son has been covered in hives since Monday.

He's never had hives before.

The doctor we took him to on Monday believes they are as a result of a virus.

Today is Thursday and he's still covered in them.

I've contacted his pediatrician today to see if she would like to see him again or to talk about allergy testing.

I can't believe it's been four days of this.


October 6, 2008

Food in San Antonio

One thing I love to document is prices. It amazes me how much prices can change in just one year. I can still remember believing we were in crisis once gas rose above $3 a gallon and now, just a few years later, we're happy if it's under $4. I love to listen to those "Remember when . . ." conversations.

I want to keep a record of my more memorable meals in San Antonio. I will incorporate this into a scrapbook page somehow. Perhaps you can find a way to do this too?

9/24/08 at 7:17 PM
Joe's Crab Shack-Riverwalk
Cheesecake Sampler $4.69
Mojito $6.99
The cheesecakes...OMG...four small slices of cheesecake on one plate...ALL FOR ME! It was over-indulgent and I couldn't finish them all though I tried my hardest! The mojito was fabulous! Cheesecake and alcohol. Sounds yummy doesn't it?? LOL!!

9/25/08 at 9:37 PM
Boudro's on the Riverwalk
Seared Gulf Tuna $21.00
Prickly Pear Margarita $7.00
Guacamole $8.00 (split into 10)
Boudro's is one of the fancier restaurants I've been too. Each night it was PACKED with people standing along the riverwalk waiting to be seated. Reservations are a must. I knew we'd be in for some great food. A party of 10 - the earliest reservation we could get was 8PM - many others attending the conference weren't able to get reservations at all and had to go elsewhere. It was clear we were at the "IT" spot.

The waitress was extremely accommodating and personable. It's one of the few places I've been where the customer actually gets put first. We ordered guacamole which would be prepared fresh table side. We got to see just how to choose a ripe avocado and each item that was placed into the mixture. My first bite must have included some of the serrano pepper because it was HOT!! I wouldn't take another bite for most of the meal, but eventually tried it again and was spared the heat.

We were told we couldn't leave without trying a prickly pear margarita. Out comes this large margarita glass with a light green and berry colored mixture with a lime wedge on the rim. I did not stir mine but drank where these two beautiful mixtures met. It was a lovely blend of salty with sweet with a little different taste to it.

This was the first time I've eaten fresh tuna steak so I had them prepare it medium rare as the waitress recommended. It was delicious with a slightly spicy sauce on top and steamed vegetables along the side. Service was outstanding.

9/26/08 at 1:15 PM
La Frite Belgian Bistro
Crab Crepe $10.50
Iced Tea $2.50
This was a quaint bistro a few blocks from our training center. It gave me images of small town Italy - just a whole different place and feel to it. The crab crepe was awesome. I couldn't believe how much crab there was for $10.50. The waitress was the cutest little thing and reminded me very much of my cousin, Sue. This is one of the few restaurants with a real hometown feel to it. Service wasn't rushed, conversation wasn't phony but sincere and relaxed.


October 2, 2008

October's Ad Inspired Challenge

I've posted October's ad on ScrapFriends. I loved the fun colors and randomness of this page. The angled journaling, the confetti floating around, and the uneven title work. Fab.u.lous I tell ya'!

Please stop on by the ScrapFriends message board to get the chocolaty scoop on this month's challenge. The prize is from Flair's Spellbound Collection...just in time to scrap those Halloween photos!!

All entries are due October 31st at 12 midnight CST.

Have fun.


October's Undiscovered Scrapper - Helen Croft

This month I had a really hard time finding an undiscovered scrapper for my monthly feature at ScrapFriends. I searched and searched I can't even tell you how many HOURS. I just wasn't feelin' it until I spotted Helen Croft's work at Scrapbook.com. This woman is amazingly talented and I discovered her! It truly feels like finding a bit of gold among the rocks. Such a great feeling!

Please hop on over to read our interview and see some of Helen's work: Helen Croft

Create everyday.


THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Don't Eat the Scorpion

I spent the majority of last week in San Antonio, TX. My first time visiting Texas! It was gorgeous. Warm weather and sunny skies every day!! I stayed directly on the Riverwalk at the amazing Westin Hotel. The service there is really top notch.

I didn't get a lot of free time but I did manage to have my very first prickly pear margarita, visited the Alamo, fresh tuna and crab and purchased the mandatory souvenirs. One of which was this creepy Scorpion Sucker from Hotlix. I thought my 7 year old son would get a kick out of licking around this plastic scorpion. Only I come to find out that it is a REAL scorpion inside of this banana flavored sucker. How gross is that??? So now despite my attempt to bring home a yummy gift for my son he now has a sucker he can't eat.

Apparently these things are edible, but I certainly wouldn't try it. Everytime I think about licking that sucker and feeling a REAL insect inside I get the shivers...and so does my son...so far.

I've got so much more to say but I'll leave it for another post. Peace.


September 23, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Winds of Change

I've been wanting to post for several days now but life has been crazazy over this past week especially.

I don't know if you felt the winds change direction but we definitely have here at home. Last Friday Hubby graduated from massage therapy school and passed his national exam a few days before that. It was an extremely difficult year for both of us and on our marriagte. It's been looming like a light at the end of the tunnel that this day would come. And now it has.

Adjustments.....they can be uncomfortable even under the best circumstances, can't they?? After a year of barely seeing each other we are now together ALL the time and boy, does that take some readjusting to! It's like we have to learn how to reconnect again. We still have work to do but things are going fine.

This week Hubby is officially working as a massage therapist. Well, trying to anyway. He needs to build clients first so that he can earn some money so that we can pay bills. In the meantime things are extremely lean around here. I am thankful that we are in pretty good shape financially and should be able to work through these few months with a loss of almost an entire income. Hubby has already build a good reputation among his co-students, instructors and clients who he'd met through school so I think we just need time to get it all running smoothly.

This new path has also meant being able to take our kids out of daycare for the very first time. It is an adjustment for them and us too, but I think it will be a very good thing overall. Hubby has seemed excited to help out around the house more and has promised me many meals ready to eat when I get home from work. It sounds lovely. I wonder how this new life will play out.

To celebrate we went to the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells over the weekend. We attending a gorgeous wedding there and then did the waterpark thing with the kids and my in-laws (who watched the kids so Hubby and I could enjoy the wedding as a couple). It was a great time, but also a very tiring weekend. In a good way.

Tonight I've been packing for a trip to San Antonio where it is supposed to be near 90 degree highs each day and sunny or partly sunny. I can't wait! It just feels like I've been doing nothing but running lately so I'll be glad to actually arrive in San Antonio and have a few quiet days before I return home to a pile of laundry, bills needing to be paid and work to get ready for.

Change can be uncomfortable but it can also be very refreshing.

September 19, 2008

One Little Word - LOVE

Here's my take on this week's One Little Word.

Journaling:
You may not realize how alike you and your dad are but I see a lot of him in you. You both like to act silly and dress up. Hello...this is Daddy's Pirate costume! You both have some of the biggest brown eyes and longest eyelashes I've ever seen. You both have a very kind and generous heart. You hurt easily. You aren't afraid to try new things. You are quiet in new situations but WATCH OUT once you're warmed up. :)

There are many things about you both that I am thankful for. I know that I am blessed to have you in my life. It's eternal love.

Supplies:
Cardstock (Prism)
Die Cuts (Tinkering Ink, BasicGrey)
Epoxy Stickers (Around the Block)
Stickers (Heidi Swapp)
Ink (ColorBox, Ranger)
Buttons (Buttons Galore)
Stamps (7Gypsies, EK Success)
Marker (Sharpie)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner, Glue Dots)

September 14, 2008

Safety Patrol


So my daughter's in 5th grade this year and that means she can be on the Safety Patrol. This is the first thing she told me when I saw her on Friday. Then I read her application and it was too funny not to share! Click to read. (Some things were covered for privacy reasons.)

September 12, 2008

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Refocusing (yes, again)

I was sitting typing my thoughts and feelings on Wednesday so that I could share them with you but before I was finished, I accidentally closed it without saving. My thoughts encompassed scrapping (what else is there??) and my insatiable need for praise and recognition. This need has me jumping at every opportunity that I feel might suit me.

Most of my family, friends and coworkers offer little in the way of encouragement and recognition. My own Hubby has nothing more than a passing interest in my creations, my endeavors, my dreams. It leads me to seek that outside recognition from my online friends, design teams and contest submissions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make me feel weak and lacking inside from time to time. I get that feeling sorry for myself sense once in awhile and I hate that.

I think there is a fine line between this being a hobby and a job. Responsibilities lead to more deadlines which leads to a more job-like feel. I have to sit back and remember what I’m doing it all for–my family. They are what’s most important to me. I have to learn to rein myself back in and stay focused on those values.

I’ve given myself a few rules to follow, in order of importance:

  1. Make the most of my time on the ScrapFriends review team. It is my home base.
  2. Do not apply for design team positions for the rest of 2008.
  3. If I’ve accomplished my first two rules, I am allowed to apply for guest design team positions or contests but only to a few select places: One Little Word, ColorStory, Serendipity Scrapbooks, Create My Keepsakes and several manufacturers that I love: BasicGrey, Tinkering Ink, Rusty Pickle, Making Memories and Sassafras Lass. This list may change a bit from time to time, but the importance of this rule is that I am not jumping at any opportunity that comes along.
  4. And, lastly, and perhaps the hardest for me, do NOT buy any more scrap goodies beyond The Scarlet Lime monthly kit. I will use up my stash. I will use any contests I am able to enter as a possible source of earning new supplies. I will continue to sell my unused scrap supplies.
I work best with structure and I’m hoping that this structure helps me focus and gives me a greater sense of satisfaction. I’ll let you know.

September 4, 2008

One Little Word - CHOOSE

Here's my submission for this week's One Little Word - CHOOSE.


Supplies:
Funky Nature Freebie (Tara Dunstan)
Curled Edges Freebie (Jess Gordon)
Inspired Freebie (Ami Collotello for Pixel Gypsy Designs)

Quote reads:
"Destiny is not a matter of chance; but a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, It is a thing to be achieved."

-- William Jennings Bryan

September 3, 2008

Catch Up Post

Yesterday was my birthday!! I'm now on the downward slide to 40. No worries...I still feel like a young'un!

I celebrated a little bit each day over the long Labor Day weekend. I went to a friend's house on Saturday whose son was celebrating his birthday so I got cake! and got into the festive mood. The pinata fell apart on the first turn so the duct tape came out to put his head back on. I thought it would be a great "You might be a redneck if..." joke, especially because that stereotype fits them so well! By the time we got to the end of each child getting a turn at it, most of the head and body was covered in duct tape to try to keep it together just a little bit longer!

Sunday the kids and I went to the Taste of Madison. Taking them to busy places like this can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if they are uncooperative, but this time they did GREAT! We didn't eat a lot but what we did eat was really BAD for us. My favorite - we all split a large piece of chocolate cake with raspberry sauce drizzled overtop. YUM!!

When we got home I crashed on the couch and then woke up realizing my shoulders and chest had gotten quite sunburned.

Monday was mainly a stay home day and that felt great. We celebrated the "last" day of summer by grilling burgers and corn and eating outside on the picnic table. We played Badmitton together for an hour or so - we are a pretty sorry group so it involved a lot of running to grab the birdie. The day ended with a gorgeous sunset. Life is beautiful. :)

Yesterday the kids started their first day of school and all went well. I'm crossing my fingers that my little guy can focus better this year so we don't get calls from his teachers and principal. BOYS, I tell ya'!! He's in 2nd grade this year and my little girl is in 5th. I don't want to think about middle school coming up soon!!

I just had a chance to check out the September issue of ScrapStreet.
and if you take a look on page 16 you'll see one of my pages! I love what the editor wrote about my page too!

There were two other scrappers that caught my eye -
p. 9 "His Love" by Brianne Nevill
and
p. 38 "Crawl" by Danielle Layton. I've added Danielle to my blog roll...her work inspired me so!

What else, what else? Well, believe it or not I have a ton more to say but you've probably stopped reading by now! Right? Still with me? Okay...

Today's commitment is to SUBMIT, SUBMIT, SUBMIT. I haven't been able to for awhile--two or three months maybe?--and there's no way I'll get published if I don't submit! Duh!

Second is that I've applied for the Purple Onion Designs design team. I want to get back to basics and add more stamping to my pages, so I hope this gig works out.

I am debating on applying for the Around the Block design team as well, but haven't done so. I'm afraid of ever getting to a point where scrapping feels like a "chore" because of the deadlines I need to meet. My friend, Andrea, encouraged me to go for it reminding me that I could always step down if it didn't work out.

I go into each of these applications with my fingers crossed and that yearning in my chest. I get anxious but I also know that if the DT doesn't love my work then it's not the right fit.

Right now, this 36 year old has faith and enthusiasm so it's a good day! :)


August 20, 2008

It all started one week ago today....

My daughter began suffering from severe pain on the right side of her abdomen. She was crying and daycare called us concerned. Hubby picked her up and she soon started vomiting. A couple hours later she was in urgent care undergoing blood tests. The blood test showed her white blood cell count was about 3x normal levels. They sent her to the hospital for further tests.

At this point Hubby called to let me know what was going on. I was on my way home and a bit panicked. I wanted to be there with her! I picked up my son from daycare and headed to the emergency room. I got there around 5:30 PM and she was resting comfortably after some anti-nausea medicine and an IV drip. I could tell she was exhausted but Sponge Bob on a little TV right above the bed kept her entertained.

The hospital needed her to have a full bladder in order to do an ultrasound. Of course she was pretty dehydrated at this point so it took a long time to get her full again. The hospital staff decided to put in a larger IV line to force the fluids into her faster. That was a mini-ordeal in itself since putting a larger IV in a smaller child is a bit more complicated. Luckily the nominated "expert" was able to do the job and she tolerated the poking well without moving her arm around. Her face on the other hand was making a silent scream.

They decided to proceed having her drink a LARGE amount of contrast fluid for them to perform a CT scan. Occasionally this is needed in addition to the ultrasound in order to diagnose appendicitis, plus the fluid would work to fill up her bladder for the ultrasound. She did an awesome job drinking the lemony flavored liquid in the alloted hour time frame.
(I don't even think I could have drunk that much!)

They performed the ultrasound and followed with the CT scan. I stayed back in the room with our son. They were gone nearly an hour it felt like but they were able to confirm that she had appendicitis. Only problem? The hospital we go to no longer operates on children younger than 13. Say what?? Apparently this lovely new children's hospital that was completed a little over a year ago is now the place to go for that. So, here it is 10-something at night and we are going to have to go to another hospital!

The emergency room staff arranged for her arrival at the children's hospital and we headed over there. They were expecting us but we still had to go through some additional intake forms for them. The tests had been sent over so those didn't need to be repeated.

Then the wait was on for the surgeon. Around midnight the surgeon was ready and we moved to a new floor on the other side of the hospital. Hubby and son left for the night and I stayed behind to be with our daughter when she woke up. The surgery didn't begin until around 12:30 AM Thursday morning. I went down to the waiting area and tried to sleep on a rock hard couch. The OR nurse called to give me updates. The surgery took about an hour and then I was able to go up to the recovery room to be with her. The surgeon was able to get the appendix out without a problem, but he looked exhausted! When I commented that "that was quick" he had a very strange look on his face. I hope his night wasn't just beginning.

There were two nurses in the recovery room and only my daughter to care for. One of the nurses tried to get a response by calling my daughter's name about 9 times right in her ear, but nothing. I said "Let me try." and I spoke her name and she opened her eyes and as I asked if she wanted to get to her room so she could rest she rolled over and nodded her head and went back to sleep. Pretty cool that mom's voice was all it took.

It was a little after 2 AM when we finally got a room and then I had to answer about 3,000 intake questions about our family, whether or not we had smoke detectors in the home, etc., etc. and around 3 AM I was able to finally go to sleep.

Thursday was a quiet day spent watching cartoons and trying to get her to eat. She was doing well with the pain and we were ready to take her home by early afternoon. Even though she hadn't eaten much yet there wasn't anything the hospital was doing that we could do at home. It took her about two days to get back her appetite.

She became a little mini-celebrity at daycare. All of her friends drew her a get well picture and she was given some balloons and a stuffed animal. Now she's pretty much back to normal and will be able to start showering again so that her bandages can start working their way off. We go back for a follow up on Sept. 2nd.

It happened at a great time of year - before school started - and we caught it early so this went as well as it could have.

August 17, 2008

Color Story Challenge #7

Ahh...it always feels good to get a few challenges done each month. Here's my colorstory challenge #7 inspiration:
Title: Beautiful Roses

Design Notes: I used lots and lots of paper distressing and inked all of the edges. The green paper strip was folded and adhered randomly.

Supplies:
Cardstock (Prism)
Patterned Paper (KI Memories, Fancy Pants)
Rub Ons (Stampin Up)
Ink (Versa Color)
Chipboard (Heidi Swapp, Cherry Arte)
Stickers (American Crafts, Making Memories, K&Company)
Punch (EK Success)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)
Paper Distresser (Making Memories)
Brads (BasicGrey)


Journaling:
There's nothing more beautiful than a perfectly shaped rose bud.

August 13, 2008

Inspired....

Every once in awhile I come across something that's just inexplicably and profoundly moving. It's the kind of something that makes me feel extremely creative. Where I just want to sit down and write. I discovered that something in Nikki Sixx's new "soundtrack" to The Heroin Diaries. It's a concept album like none other, filled with spoken excepts from the book of the same title as well as songs inspired by events described in the book. It's like an expression of yourself in multiple forms. And it works, brilliantly.

It's been, oh, 15 YEARS since I've listened to what was called rock music back then (now I think they call it soft rock or, heaven forbid, classic rock??) but listening to this seemed to wrap me up in a creative lullaby that I don't want to end.

It just reminds me how beautiful life can be when we keep an open mind to new experiences.


August 12, 2008

I get so excited!

I get so excited that I just want to yell out a big "WOO HOO!" and tell you what all the good news is about, but you'll just have to wait and see. Really big deal for me. :)

August 7, 2008

One Little Word - BE


Here's an all digi page for this week's OLW.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Sourpuss

Blah, blah, blah.

That's the way I've been feeling and it irks me to post two weeks in a row with this kind of attitude. I'm so not a negative-thinker but it seems that's all I've been lately. I really hope to turn things around and I've been trying. I know I have MUCH to be thankful for and probably really nothing to be down about but hey, I'm only human with a lot of delightful female hormones running around my body. Sometimes it takes us a bit longer to be ready for the race.

So...in the spirit of nonsensical blabber I'm NOT going to tell you what's bothering me and I'm NOT going to feel sorry for myself or ask for sympathy. Instead I'll share the good that's been happening this week.

My writing has really been a focus for me this week. I began a new monthly feature at ScrapFriends called Undiscovered Scrapper. Each month I will find a scrapper with outstanding work who, for the most part, flies totally under the published designer/design team member category. This month I featured Tina Aszmus. This is really cool because it allowed me to do what I like to do - write - while doing what I love to do - finding inspiration through other scrappers. It's been a great experience and I'm already getting excited to search for next month's designer.

Also,
SHHHH, don't say anything but I was also honored to interview Magdalena Muldoon of Mercart. We will be reviewing the "Art Unscripted" DVD with Carol Duvall that she was featured in this month so the interview will complement that. It won't be released for another week or two. So watch for it! And you didn't hear it from me!!

Creatively things are popping really slowly but I do feel a few kernels getting ready to explode and seeing that tomorrow's Friday and I can stay-up-as-late-as-I-wanna I'm pumped! I've got so much I want to do, it's just nuts how excited it makes me!

Oh, and I just purchased the Cricut Storybook cartridge I've been drooling over AND the Design Studio software which I've heard nothing but raves about. I'm totally busted if my Hubby reads this post! That should be arriving in a day or two and wooo hoooo, I'm going to be Cricuting like mad!!

Till' next week then, enjoy each moment!


August 6, 2008

A couple recent pages just for fun.
Title: One Fine Day

Supplies:
Cardstock (Prism)
Patterned Paper (Sassafras Lass??)
Felt (Queen & Co.)
Sequins (Funquins)
Journal Page (Making Memories)
3D Sticker (K&Company)
Rub Ons (Dove of the East)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)

Journaling:
This picture probably wouldn't mean much for some but for me it reminds me of how your childhood in the city differs from my own in the country. There's a certain amount of freedom exploring woods, building forts, and finding patches of wild raspberries that you will never experience. Summer '08

Title: Little Swimmer

Supplies:
Cardstock (Prism, Prima Paintable)
Mask (Heidi Swapp)
Acrylic Paint (Ranger)
Stickers (BasicGrey)
Felt Stickers (American Crafts)
Rub Ons (Creative Imaginations)
Circle Punch, Marker (Stampin Up)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)

Journaling:
We finally got you into swim lessons. OK, so we are a little late but your first attempt at lessons did NOT go well! Summer '08


August 1, 2008

WRMK Winner!!!

I was chosen to win this lovely album package from We R Memory Keepers on Kimber McGray's blog!! This is one of the lines I fell in love with at CHA! I am sooo excited!! Yeah!!


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