June 30, 2009

Mix It Up #23 - Time Well Spent

I created this for the latest mixer challenge at Mix It Up. We had to use a minimum of four photos, four manufacturers, handwritten journaling and flowers.

Title: Time Well Spent
Cardstock (Bazzill)
Patterned Paper (Cosmo Cricket, We R Memory Keepers)
Die Cut Tags (We R Memory Keepers)
Flowers (Making Memories)
Stickers (Deja Views)
Rub On (Scenic Route)
Marker (Zig)
Adhesive (Ad Tech, Stampin Up)
Other: buttons

You spent the afternoon with Erin and Sara at the Henry Vilas Zoo, walking down State Street and stopping for ice cream.

June 25, 2009

Core'dinations Review at ScrapFriends

The Core'dinations cardstock review was released on ScrapFriends so I can share it with you....finally! I love the way these turned out. Seriously some of my fave projects of late. Reminded me of how much I enjoyed doing the review thing on a regular basis.

Title: Flip
Products Used:
Cardstock (Core'dinations Whitewash)
Patterned Paper (Fancy Pants)
Stickers (Adorn It)
Rub Ons (Sassafras Lass)
Foam Alpha (American Crafts)
Punch (Fiskars)
Marker (Zig)
Other: buttons, flower trim
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)

You loved flipping around on the bars and mats at The Little Gym!

Title: Mason
I distressed the edges of the layout to show the reverse color. I took a strip of the cardstock and wet it down really good and laid it on top of a texture plate and molded the paper to it. I let it dry completely and then sanded it slightly to show off the embossed areas that the texture plate created. This is a pic of my best friend's little boy...isn't he cute???

Products Used:
Cardstock (Core'dinations)
Patterned Paper (Deja Views)
Rub Ons (Cosmo Cricket)
Alpha (Scrap Within Reach, Around the Block)
Texture Plate (Scratch Art Co.)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)
Other: buttons

Title: Love You
I sanded the cardstock and then tore the edges at the bottom of the layout. The title word "YOU" was created with a needle to etch out the letters and show the blue inner core on the edges. I wanted to pop it off the LO a bit more so I added a touch of stickles on top of the letters.

Products Used:
Cardstock (Core'dinations, Prism)
Patterned Paper (KaiserCraft, October Afternoon)
Foam Alpha (American Crafts)
Letter Masks (Heidi Swapp)
Stickles (Ranger)
Jewels (Prima)
Stickers (Scenic Route, Luxe)
Photo Corners (Chatterbox)
Fabric Tag (K&Company)
Stamps (EK Success)
Ink (ColorBox)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)
Other: paper ribbon

I'll be doing three reviews in July for Karen Foster, Memento ink (Tsukineko) and Shrink Plastic from Grafix....fun, fun!! Stay tuned!

June 22, 2009

Sketch Challenge Layout - Imagination Highway

Created this for a sketch challenge over at A Peek Into Yesterday.

Title: Imagination Highway
Cardstock (Bazzill)
Patterned Paper (Little Yellow Bicycle, Far Flung Crafts)
Stickers (Making Memories)
Chipboard (American Crafts, Heidi Swapp)
Rub Ons, Buttons (Scarlet Lime Kit Club)
Pen (Uni-Ball Signo)
Adhesive (Ad Tech)

It's a typical boy thing I suppose - to love cars and wanting to collect them. You love to play with Matchbox cars and when you see a sporty car on the road you]ll exclaim that it's a "sweet" car.

MIX IT UP #22 - The Graduate

I created this for the Mix It Up blog challenge #22. The five stars are made of stickers, chipboard, sequins, acrylic and rub ons.

Patterned Paper (Little Yellow Bicycle, Far Flung Crafts)
Stickers (Making Memories, Scenic Route)
Badges (American Crafts)
Felt, Rub Ons (Creative Imaginations)
Chipboard (Fancy Pants)
Paint (Ranger)
Acrylic (Heidi Swapp)
Adhesive (Ad Tech)

A year of school and working full time, you made a big life change! I'm so proud of you!

June 19, 2009


You Know You Grew Up In The 80s When...
You know what "Sike" means.

You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, Wax off."

You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer".

You can sing the McDonald's Big Mac, Filet-o-fish, quarter pounder and French fry song.
(I know the Big Mac song even though I never liked them!)

You know who Mr. T is.

You know who Fat Albert is. And who was the old boy with the pink mask?
(Hey, it's Fat Albert. Pink mask? Not sure on that one.)

You ever wore fluorescent, neon clothing.
(I still do...hello!)

You could breakdance, or wish you could.
(um....no but we had a performance at an 8th grade mixer. I thought those boys were sooo cool!)

You wanted to be The Hulk for Halloween.

You Believed that "By the power of Greyskull, you HAD the power!"

Partying "like it's 1999" seemed SO far away.

You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.
(I wasn't into them.)

You knew that knowing is half the battle.

You wanted to be on Star Search.
(Nope...those people seemed odd to me.)

You can remember Michael Jackson when he was black.
(Who's Michael Jackson?? Yes, of course I remember.)

You wore a banana clip at some point during your youth.
(Yes, yes, I did.)

You remember the garbage pail kids, and owned some.

You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout."
(I sure did.)

You knew "Rut row raggy" and "Zoinks."
(Um...yeah...and it's still on for the kids.)

You HAD to have your MTV.
(It was just around the time we got cable when MTV came on. Miss the old MTV.)

"The Breakfast Club" become an instant classic.
(Yes. I adore Molly Ringwald.)

You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game system.
(We had one, but my neighbor's Intellivision was better.)

You owned only cassettes.
(I had lots, but albums and 45's too.)

You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.
(No, I couldn't imagine the world at 2000.)

You remember and/or owned any of the Care Bear Glass collection from Pizza Hut or the Muppets glasses from McDonalds.
(Nope, but I had the Smurfs glasses from McDonalds)

Poltergeist freaked you out.
(Still does....)

You knew who Ben Stein was before you could win his money, "Bueller?"

You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins, ET, Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, Strawberry Shortcake or A-Team lunch box.
(I don't remember...probably!)

You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female Smurf.
(That never occurred to me!)

You know what leg warmers are and probably had a pair.
(Yes...is that bad?)

You wore biker shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish.
(I don't think so.)

You wore your Izod shirt with the collar up.

You had a Swatch Watch with the Swatch Guard.
(No, only the cool, rich kids could afford a Swatch watch.)

Your Legos collection started with the free sets in a Happy Meal.

You remember when Happy Meals came in a box, not a paper bag.
(Sure do, with cool toys too!)

You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.
(No, never watched late night TV.)

You had Wonder Woman or Superman underoos.

You know what a "Push Up" ice cream is.
(Yes....don't they still make those??)

You had to come in the house when the street lights came on.
(We didn't have street lights in the country.)

You had to change into play clothes after school.
(Not sure.)

You owned or knew somebody with a Commodore 64.

You hated Scrappy Doo.

You recorded songs off the radio with your boom box.

You wish you had a light saber.

Somehow you still know all the words to songs played on VH1's "Big 80's" ("it's been 7 hours & 15 days...")

Your arm was full of rubber bracelets.
(Like totally! Don't forget Jelly (sp?) shoes too!)

You have ever said, "Gag me with a spoon."
(I still say that.)

You have ever wondered what happened to Saturday morning cartoons.
(No, only the kind of cartoons they show these days.)

You had to get up to change the channel.

You can still sing 1 to 12 from the Pinball machine on Sesame Street.

You thought the "Thriller" video was pretty cool.

You remember the first time you went into a video store to rent a movie.

You wore those wide, colorful shoelaces.

Quiet Riot's "Come on feel the noise" was the best song - ever.
(It still is.)

You know where "I want my two dollars" came from.

You still cannot go in to the water because of that damn movie - Jaws.
(duh, dum, dah, dum....)

El Debarge's "Get a beat to the Rhythm of the night" plagued the radio every hour.
(OMG...I don't want to hear that song in my head...wiping memory!)

You remember life before minivans and SUVs.
(And seatbelts too!)

June 18, 2009

Gift idea - Catalog of Love

This is a fabulous do-it-yourself gift idea! I must do this!

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Running Down a Dream

I initially wrote this story for a Sunday Scribblings prompt. The word was confession.
The Confession

It was another night of restlessness for Liam. His brain just couldn't stop sputtering between one painful memory after another. The memories that he thought he'd buried, tucked away neatly among other old forgotten memories.

The pain and torment of his inner mind lifted temporarily as Kate cried out softly in her sleep. She'd been tossing and turning in her sleep more frequently these days just as Liam had. Suffering with thoughts she couldn't stop, just like him, he supposed.
He propped up on one elbow to see her clutching the covers close to her chest. Even in this dim light Liam could see the strawberry pink color of her slightly parted lips. The lips that he had betrayed.

His chest ached with the realization that he had ruined everything that was good in his life with one simple act. One regrettable decision. A moment of weakness.

"Fuck" he whispered rubbing his palm over his stubbled chin and cheek as he shifted his legs out of bed and sat up. He walked to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face. He stared into his own vacant eyes in the mirror still thinking, still hurting.

Kate stepped in behind him asking "What's the matter?" Liam was speechless. He didn't know how to answer that question. No matter what he said it would feel wrong.

"Nothing, just couldn't sleep" he replied.

"Liam, I know something's going on. You haven't been sleeping and you've barely been eating. Something is not right. I can feel it. Tell me what it is."

"I told you already, nothing! Can't you hear?" he snapped.

She recoiled at his sharp tone, a tear welled and wended its way down her cheek.

Liam noticed the tear and something else too--those damn sweet pink lips of hers were quivering.

"Shit" he said as he walked past her and into the living room, his hands balled into fists as his anger rose.

Kate followed close behind pleading with him to tell her what was wrong.

"So it's a confession you want? Is that it?" Liam screamed.

Kate stood confused. "A confession? What do you need to confess about?" she asked, her voice sounding unstable now.

"Why can't you just leave it alone!" he replied.

"Liam, ..." she whimpered, fresh tears falling from her eyes as she collapsed to the floor. Her white nightgown pooled around her making it look like she was under the moon's spotlight.

Liam thought she looked like an angel, so soft and vulnerable. He couldn't break her heart. He just couldn't!

He knelt down beside her and whispered "I love you" as a lump of emotion rose in his throat. He wrapped his arms around her kissing each tear soaked spot on her beautiful face until she was smiling again.

His thoughts lifted then, a smile playing on his own lips. "Wait here" Liam said, tapping her gently on the nose. He rose and went into their bedroom.

A minute later he reappeared and took both of her hands in his coaxing her to a stand. He knelt down on one knee before her and took out a small blue box. He opened it to reveal a delicate diamond ring.

"Kate, I can't live without you. Will you marry me?" Liam asked.

She was stunned at what was happening.

"Yes, yes, of course I will!" she beamed. They stood kissing passionately until he swept her off of her feet and carried her into the bedroom. After the rush of emotions they had just gone through, their love making felt brand new and intense.

Kate snuggled up beside him and drifted off to sleep. Liam couldn't believe what had just happened. What the fuck did he just do?, he thought. As her soft breath floated over his chest, he realized that life would not be worth living without her and buried his secret even deeper into his memories. Besides, he thought, a secret is only a confession if you tell someone and that will never happen.
A couple of weeks later I found the Editor Unleashed forums and a Flash Fiction contest they were having. So, I entered The Confession. The voting started Monday and though I know this story is far from great its rating right now is "bad." Ouch.

What's a girl to do? Do you listen to your critics and give up? No! I can't give up. I believe in myself. I believe that no matter who you are or your level of talent you are going to be exposed to critics. Some of the criticism may be valid but not all of it.

I've always had this internal struggle trying to find a balance in my life between, family, work and hobbies. How much of yourself do you devote to your dreams? See, I believe that you have to work hard to achieve your dreams, and that you can't give up. But, sometimes I wonder if it is a waste of time. Will my dreams ever become a reality?

I am a huge believer in prayer & destiny but hard work is the surest path to achieving your dreams. With all of this doubt I feel it was a wonderful sign to hear Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream" this morning. It couldn't have come at a better time. I am making this my theme song.

Tom Petty Runnin' Down a Dream Lyrics:
It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down
I had the radio on, I was driving
trees flew by, me and Del were
singing little Runaway
I was flying

Yeah running down a dream
that never would come to me
working on a mystery, going wherever it leads
running down a dream

I felt so good like anything was possible
I hit cruise control and rubbed my eyes
the last three days the rain was un-stoppable
it was always cold, no sunshine


I rolled on as the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
there's something good waiting down this road
I'm picking up whatever's mine

[Chorus x2]

I'm running down my dreams.

June 16, 2009

LAYOUT - Chicago

From the Scarlet Lime June kit. Lovely, no??

Title: Destination Chicago
This is almost entirely from the June kit. See those distressed dots I have here and there? Those are from the new Glitz Design stamp I'm reviewing at ScrapFriends this month. I just used acrylic paint instead of ink. Gorgeous effect!

I adore the papers but I've been such a home body lately...I have like NO recent travel photos! I'll be saving the rest of this kit for my trip to DC next month. :-)

Supplies outside of kit:
Ink (ColorBox)
Cardstock (black)
Border Punch (Fiskars)
Circle Punch (EK Success)
Pen (Zig)
Stamp (Glitz Design)
Paint (Making Memories)
Adhesive (Ad Tech)

Went for a few days for a JA Jumpstart workshop. I loved the contrast between the beach and the city sky line.

June 12, 2009

Have you heard about TED?

I just came across this link. It's an 11 minute video that I found extremely moving and well worth the time to watch.


One of my first jobs was at the Brat Stop in Kenosha, WI. My sister was a server there and got me a job at their ice cream counter/take out area. It was such a fun time for me because I'd get to spend a couple of days with my sister and her friends. She was 8 years older than me so probably not always a good influence but I looked forward to it.

A little bit off to the right of the entryway I stood in wait for customers wanting ice cream or to place a take out order. I remember how frightening the cash register was. Buttons, buttons and more buttons. I can't believe I maintained my composure as well as I did. I mean, I'm all alone here and my sister wasn't around a lot because she'd be really hustling to wait tables.

I especially hated the take out orders because I had to leave my post and go to the food pick up area *gasp* which was a counter much taller than I and with my limited vision I couldn't always tell which order was for take out. I mean we're talking brats in every order here people, not always easy to distinguish them, ya know? Not only that but I had to walk into the kitchen and pick up coleslaw, plastic ware and napkins and put them all in a bag. This was really frightening for me.

Thankfully, most of the time I received ice cream orders.* I had about 12 different ice cream flavors to deal with. One scoop or two? Cone or dish? I mean, this is really complicated stuff here people! The worst was the Peppermint Bark ice cream. I could NOT scoop it. It was the one flavor that was frozen very solid. I'd have to grab a waitress to help out on this so I always dreaded that a customer would request it.

Even though my sister was always very busy she'd check up on me and often help out if I needed it. It really was the start of my adult relationship with my sister (even though I was only 15 or 16 at the time). She always treated me with respect and care. That's just the way she was with everyone and one of the great attributes we heard expressed over and over again at her funeral.

What a great memory to have!

*I claim no proficiency in scooping ice cream, only eating it.

June 11, 2009


From May Scarlet Lime Kits.

Title: In the Car
From May '09 Kit except:
Felt (Chatterbox) From December '08 Kit
Velvet Alpha (Making Memories)
Sticker (7Gypsies)
Ink (Stampin Up)
Adhesive (Ad Tech)

You are a great car rider! You often read a book or play with a Matchbox car. Here you are busy drawing a picture in your notebook and we haven't even left the garage yet!

Title: Fairy Tale
I used Valerie Salmon's "Sumo" LO from the April '09 kit as inspiration for this page.
Supplies not in May kit:
Cardstock (Bazzill)
3D stickers (Colorbok) From April '09 Kit
Felt and Foam Alpha (American Crafts)
Rub On Stickers (Sticker King) From April '09 Kit
Sharpie (Sanford)
Adhesive (Ad Tech Glue Runner)

Journaling: You've always enjoyed reading in the car. It must be nice to be able to do that without getting car sick! It's made great use of your hour drive to karate class every other week with Dad

June 10, 2009

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - And so it begins....

Little Girl had her graduation ceremony this past Tuesday. I wasn't aware that this had become a huge deal. There was an hour long ceremony followed by cake and punch. It was a very touching event and I couldn't help but fight back the tears. Why, I wasn't quite sure, but it felt much like weddings where no matter whose wedding I attend, the Wedding March always brings tears to my eyes, or when I hear Amazing Grace.I simply cannot avoid the tears. (That song gives me goosebumps as well.)

Here she is being congratulated by her teacher, Miss T. Little Girl loves Miss T. and brought her a few of our pink peonies, some Tootsie Rolls (because her teacher LOVES chocolate...personally I don't consider Tootsie Rolls chocolate but that's a whole 'nother topic) and a handwritten note of appreciation and love.
Next year she'll be a Middle Schooler!
Unfortunately the event didn't go without some major mishap...namely Little Girl was the ONLY kid in the graduating class who did not receive a graduation certificate. She was handed someone else's certificate while up on stage so it looked legit. Once the ceremony ended and Hubby and I met up with Little Girl I noticed she wasn't holding her certificate. So I asked her where it was. BIG mistake! Suddenly she's fighting off tears while people are swirling all around us to reach the cake and punch sugar-fest. I steered her down the hall a bit so we were out of the way and tried to figure out what was going on.

Hubby grabbed the principal and asked him about it. He was very apologetic and assured Little Girl that she had indeed graduated and that her teacher had just made a mistake. It took a few minutes but she eventually felt okay with this and she practically skipped to the cake and punch line.

I felt horrible. I've so been there, where either intentionally or not, you are overlooked. I know how badly that hurts no matter the reason or circumstances. I hope she'll forget this much sooner than I will.

June 5, 2009


This week I am starting a new feature called "Friday Flashback." Every Friday I will blog about something from my past. You can reminisce with me or learn some more about me. It was a few weeks ago that I read one of those "remember when" emails and realized how different my kids' lives are from my own...I had even forgotten about some of the things listed! So, that is where this feature came into mind. I hope you enjoy it!
This week I pulled out Journey's Greatest Hits CD. Journey was a big part of my life in the early to mid 80's and listening to them again brought back a lot of memories.

Some of my favorites include "Faithfully" (a song which I find almost impossible not to sing along with), Open Arms (so sad to me right now) and "Who's Crying Now" (a song I cried to after a breakup...ironic a bit, no?).

Music has always been a HUGE part of my life and emotions and Journey was definitely involved at the crucial juncture in my life from high school into adult hood.

June 2, 2009

Memorial Day Parade / Guest Designing

One of my favorite photos from the parade. My Little Guy plugged his ears again this year in anticipation of the fire trucks coming by (he's almost 8 now). Ever since he was a baby he'd do this. My daughter joined him a few seconds later.

And on the way home we stopped for pictures here.
And then Little Guy grabbed my camera and took a picture of Little Girl and me.
Did I mention that I'll be guest designing for ScrapFriends for two-three months? I have a couple reviews coming up, one for Core'dinations cardstock and one for Glitz Designs stamps. I'll be sharing some layouts with you soon.

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