I always have great intentions on getting these completed and submitted on time but often they never make it online by the deadline. I still love following sketches though so I was excited to jump into the Basicgrey sketch challenge this week. The Clippings paper was perfect for this week's sketch!
Title: Cousins Make Life Sweeter
Supplies: paper (BasicGrey Clippings) alpha stickers (BasicGrey Ambrosia and Marrakech) kit (Studio Calico-Central High) (tags, badge, ribbon) marker (Zig)
Another quick and easy one. Used some Studio Calico kit bits and the star is an old Scenic Route journaling tag.
Title: Explaining Algebra
Journaling: It's been a long time since we learned Algebra so we are doing some re-learning as we try to help you understand your homework. The look on your face here is so much like the way you must feel. "Ugh!"
I took this photo on the bus on the way home. My son was
so excited that he had to open up the watch, try it on and set it
immediately. It was too cute of a moment not to capture.
Title: First Real Watch
Journaling: A quick trip to Target and you spotted the watches and asked to pick one out. You said it was your first real watch.
Used just a few bits and pieces of Studio Calico kits + some of my old stash (Scenic Route flower, Sassafras grey button (I think).
Sorry for the long gap in posting these. I haven't stopped creating, just haven't gotten them to the blog in awhile! Enjoy!
Title: Drummer Boy
Journaling: Spring concert in Mr. Stein's class. You played the drums and sang. Studio Calico Kits used: 35mm - May 2012 (Sold Out) City of Lights Main Kit and Versailles Add-On - April 2012 (Sold Out) Glee Club - September 2011 (Sold Out)
Yesterday my daughter started her first swim team practice. It is an hour and a half of swimming laps starting at 6:30 AM. No sleeping in for her this summer!
When I get home last night I noticed that she was sniffling. I figured it was just from all of the chlorine and didn't think much of it. Later on, while we were running errands, she complained of being cold. Odd, since it was in the upper 70's. A mom's first reaction -- putting my cheek on her forehead to see if she had a fever. Yup, I could feel it.
When we got home I had her take her temperature - 100.3. Not too bad, but neither of my kids have been sick like this for a long time and since a fever was one of the early symptoms I know it isn't a simple cold.
I had her take a long bath with my lavender vanilla aromatherapy foam bath. Love that scent! She went to bed right after.
I checked on her when I went to bed around midnight. As soon as my cheek touched her forehead I exclaimed "Oh shit!" She was so hot! She has never been one to have high fevers but my son has many times (usually 103-105 when he was sick) so my memories of nights with him being ill rushed to mind. I had her get up and take her temperature. The thermometer still showed a 100.something temperature. Clearly the thermometer lies. (I'm guessing her temp. was around 102-103.)
There is just something special about mom's checking temperatures, isn't there? I don't know how many times my cheek has touched their foreheads to check for fever. It has felt a cool forehead all the way up to 105.4.
This page is a mish-mash of recent Studio Calico kits.
Incidentally, this photo was taken last year at the Memorial Day parade!
Title: If I Could Bottle You At This Age . . .
I used old Making Memories felt alphas (blue), and old black alphas (not sure manufacturer).
Journaling: You are so cute, still tell me "I love you" and hug me every morning. You are proud of growing up, looking for signs of puberty and showing me how tall you're getting and the muscles on your arms. It's so fun to see you at this age! (10 years old)
I created this layout using Studio Calico's April kit, City of Lights Check out that bicycle stamp I used across the middle. (One of the reasons I'm addicted to Studio Calico -- their amazing exclusive stamps for kit subscribers!)
Title: Riding Bikes
I added some old Theresa Collins bracket paper, a Basic Grey border sticker, and some old black alpha stickers I've had in my stash.
Journaling: This is how you looked on any given Saturday. You would ride up and down the street and I'd usually be there with a watchful eye. This is your second set of bikes and you were so proud to show them off! Right now I'm trying to build endurance on my bike so we can all go biking around Madison.
I have so many thoughts to share and I want to share them all with you. My problem is trying to stick to one thought and not dumping everything all at once. I am going to post them a little bit at a time from now on. They will still be titled THURSDAY THOUGHTS (for now) but will be posted as they are written. The other parts of my blog will probably take a backseat, and I am okay with that. I hope you are too.
I often feel that I am NOT ENOUGH.
Not smart enough.
Not pretty enough.
Not important enough.
Not a good enough mother.
Not a good enough spouse.
Not physically active enough.
Not patient enough.
You get the idea.
This thinking leads to loneliness, depression, over eating, grumpiness and wanting more but not sure how to get it. What a shitty state to be in.
But then I realized that in God's eyes I have always been enough. I was born with the odds heavily stacked against me yet I survived, grew and prospered beyond my own expectations. Why did it take me 39 years to finally get this?
I am starting to approach everyday life with excitement and appreciation in a way I've never felt before. I am learning to be a role model and treat life as a gift and not a burden, no matter what the circumstance. Each life event, whether good or bad, is an opportunity to grow and isn't that what life is all about? I think so.
One personal accomplishment to share today:
To share some good news, a friend of mine asked to do some collaboration using her amazing jewelry skills and my polymer clay pendants. This is the first one she's made and she entered it into a contest on Vintaj. It doesn't look like it will win, but I am so excited to see my pendant as part of such a beautiful piece!
The past several weeks have been full of ups and downs.
My grandma passed away on March 4. The funeral went well, although the Father's eulogy touched me greatly when he said that my grandma was a great cook throughout her life and that God will be able to use her talents to prepare a great feast for us when it is our time to join her. Then it was announced that we would sing Amazing Grace and I lost it. I can't even hear that song on a good day without crying, and I didn't know it was part of her service. Before the first word was sung I started bawling and fought the urge to run out of the church. My niece, Erin, and my brother, David, held me up from each side and made me feel loved. I had to take many deep breaths (and try not to listen to the song) in order to make it through. It is one of my favorite songs, but I find it incredibly personal and that I am not worthy of God's grace. The last song they sung was another of my favorites, How Great Thou Art, which I listen to every morning on my musical angel that my other grandma had made for me.
It was wonderful to see a few of my relatives that I hadn't seen in a very long time. My cousin, Dan, in particular. He is such an adventurer and has accomplished so much in his life that I felt like I was meeting a celebrity. Even though we were close as children I was nervous and had trouble even approaching him. He did approach me, however, and we were able to catch up a bit (and I didn't act like a tongue-tied fool). I feel blessed that I had a chance to see him again.
On the same day my son had his strings recital. I felt bad for missing it, but Hubby did videotape some of it for me. When I asked my son later how it went and if he had been nervous, he said "A little bit, but once the music started it was like I was in my own little world." He got lost in the music. That strikes me as an unusual comment for a 10 year old to make and further solidifies my sense that he has some great natural musical abilities.
We had my Hubby's 40th birthday party. It was a disco theme and he had set up our garage to be one big dance floor. He draped black plastic on the walls, hung a disco ball and strobe light, and put in a black light. He also had a bubble machine going. The music was pumped and we had a blast. (The kids later asked that we do it again for their birthday in July.)
My Hubby dressed the part, as is his custom. He had a huge afro, a silver sparkle scarf tied around it, an exceptionally appropriate patterned shirt, black leather vest, plaid pants and big sunglasses. We weren't able to find big jewelry or 70's style shoes but he looked great without them.
We had expected a bigger turnout so we were left with a lot of leftover food. I think this will be one of his more memorable parties.
Last night my daughter and I went to see the Hunger Games. She read all of the books some time ago, but I haven't. The movie was awesome! The lead character, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is incredibly beautiful. I am not sure that I've seen her before but I plan to watch her other movies now.
I do a lousy job at taking everyday photos. Even when I've been trying to take photos I suck at it. I did manage to get 6 photos to share with you this week.
Week in Pictures 3.28.12
Little Man at his first "real" soccer practice. He seems to be out of his league at this point. Every other child is either older than he is or much larger. He manages to get toward the front when they are doing a group run though. That kid loves to run.
Long Island Medium. A new show that just started. This was the only TV I watched all week. Not sure what that says about me, but anywho, this type of show/ability fascinates me and I can't get enough. I would LOVE to have a legit reading one day.
An almost perfect sour cream coffee cake. A chunk on the left decided to stick to the pan. I threw in a banana to get rid of a ripe one and it added more flavor than I expected. I would probably like it better without.
Monday it was 34 degrees and a high of 48. The day before it was in the mid 70's. A strange spring.
A sunset caught in our church parking lot before my daughter's confirmation class.
My niece playing peek-a-boo with my daughter at the meal following my grandma's funeral. She was a lovely distraction for us.
I used a bunch of my Studio Calico kits in this one, trying to use up some of the past kits so I can prepare for the new ones. I created the red chevron by cutting out a bit of that yellow patterned paper beneath and painting it red.
Title: He Cares
Journaling: It seems like everywhere he goes he gives his time and talent to others.
Kits Used: Daydream Believer kit (chevron paper, fabric scallops), Brooklyn Flea (alphas, people border strip, button), Field Guide (tape), and Lawn Party (flag)
Old supplies: October Afternoon label sticker, Heidi Swapp photo corner.
Is it possible to have too many creative endeavors?
That is what I've been asking myself lately. I have so many ideas that I'm not sure it's physically possible for me to do them all, but the visions, dreams, hopes continue and push me forward. I'm not complaining, creative energy is a wonderful feeling, but some days I feel more like a collector of dreams than realizing my dreams. I feel passionate about all of them equally.
Right now I have a card idea that involves a doily die cut -- perhaps for a wedding. I can see it in my mind, perhaps metallic grey card base, a pink doily extending off and around the crease to the back of the card, and a white organza ribbon and pink brad at the center point of the doily. What a perfect card for Mother's Day or Weddings.
I want to paint on canvas. It involves red, white and black acrylic, a poppy image perhaps, I am not really sure yet, but I can see certain elements in my mind, some red/black blending in the background and bold white element as a focal point. I haven't painted since high school but for some reason I have a strong urge to do so and also the confidence that I can make something beautiful.
I have a lot of new Copic markers waiting for me to play with them. I spent a small fortune on them and haven't given them much of my time yet, because my visions keep pulling me elsewhere.
I have two photo frame projects in the works.
I have a very elegant heart banner idea that I want to create and sell in the shop.
I have some new buttons and pendants waiting for the final coats of sealant and listing in the shop. I also have a clay technique book that I want to go through and really explore the properties of polymer clay.
I want to write, but that has been pushed to the back burner for a long time.
I want to scrapbook. That is one thing I have been consistent on this month and have -- for the first time ever -- used up most of my monthly Studio Calico kit before the next one arrives.
I started some new owl die cuts that I am going to list in the shop.
I think that's it, but these are only the active, daily creative thoughts that I've been having. There are tons more just floating in the back of my mind or written down for later.
Sometimes my brain just blossoms with colors, images and ideas and it is too exciting to let go of them.
So, I ask, is it possible to have too many endeavors or is this simply a characteristic of artists in general?
A picture of our chicken Smores when she was just a few months old. I used some Studio Calico Glee Club kit product and added some very old Tinkering Ink rub ons (flowers) and a tag I've had for about a year and a half.
I was listening to Prince's Greatest Hits on Saturday when my daughter asked me, "Mom is that old time music?" I said, "Why, do you think it sounds old?" and she said "Yes." Damn did that make me feel old. I then realized that she's only known music with hip hop influence, nothing rock 'n roll, so it made sense for her to not recognize that type of music. Funny moment!
On Saturday I made two types of cupcakes preparing for Hubby's 40th birthday party. I tested caramel toffee crunch and red velvet cupcakes (both from scratch). The first batch of caramel toffee cupcakes were a complete bust.
completely sunken in the middle. I Googled that problem and the answers were consistent, wrong temperature or opening oven door during baking, both of which I had done. I threw these away and made another batch, only this time a half batch.
Both kinds are yummy but I actually like the red velvet more. It is very chocolatey tasting. I think we'll be making both of these for the party and maybe a yellow box mix one too.
The weather this week has changed for the better, now in the upper 60's and low to mid-70's. I love this time of year! I spend a lot of time outside enjoying the sunshine and watching the chickens roam the yard.
My son had an interesting end to last week with a new boy in his class giving him $50 in exchange for my son's French toast stick. Luckily he mentioned it right away at pick up time and Daddy took the money to a teacher to be returned to the boy's father. My son said this boy actually had $150 in his pocket! Apparently the boy has had some issues and early this week was suspended for an unrelated infraction.
Hubby made the best-ever venison chops this week. I can take or leave venison and it is really hard to cook it well, but this was WONDERFUL. So good that I picked the meat from the bone. His secret? Marinating the chops in buttermilk overnight. The venison was so tender and flavorful. If you eat venison you have to give this a try. You'll thank me later.
My mom spent the weekend and early part of the week in the hospital. It was worrisome because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. High fever for many days, bad, painful cough, not getting enough oxygen and very dehydrated. After a battery of tests and almost 4 days in the hospital they determined she has the rhinovirus. This is not good timing as she has been very busy (and stressed!) trying to plan my Grandma's funeral.
Here's to a wonderfully eventful week ahead for us all!
A photo of my niece in June 2011. I used paint and Stickles glitter glue on these chipboard butterflies. Sadly, the paint I wanted to use was completely dried up so I can to use what was still wet and mix them together to make green. That is how long my paints have been sitting around. It was good to use them again!
I used just a few old supplies on this layout--the chipboard figures, the heart sticker and chalk. Yes, chalk! See the pink cheeks on the woman? Hee! The rest came from some recent Studio Calico kits.
Title: 21 Yrs.
Journaling: Twenty-one years? Seems impossible though it feels like we've been together forever. Our routine is family oriented and comfortable--not to many surprises. But our perfect alignment when we sleep, the way we hold hands with our pinkies free and that it's impossible to get a serious picture of you -- those are all things that make us great.
The photos are actually from our 20th anniversary. Seems I didn't get one photo of the two of us in 2011.
This week started off with a gorgeous snowfall. The flakes were huge and floating softly as they fell. It was so pretty I shot some video of it. And the next day we woke up to this:
I appreciate the snowfall much more this year since we've only had a few small snowfalls and nothing more than a few inches at a time.
The weather was perfect for this treat:
A huge mug of chipolte hot chocolate from Theo Chocolates. The mix is made up of big yummy chunks of chocolate, no powder. It is awesome!
We had a REALLY bad night on Monday. The kids were home alone for a couple of hours and when I came home I saw that there was dog poop in our family room. Not a happy camper!
The tale begins with my daughter telling my son to let Milo outside. He said he would after he was done with the computer game he was in the middle of. Get where this is going?
He forgot to let Milo out.
Why my daughter didn't let him out--who knows.
So they both had the pleasure of picking up the mess. It was a struggle to get this accomplished but I was just the supervisor standing by with my arms crossed and a scowl on my face so I could deal.
After this was done I sat down for a moment and saw that Milo had also puked on the floor. Lovely. I asked the kids to clean this up too. I figured this was part of the mess they failed to clean up before I got home.
They ended up fighting with each other trying to get the stuff to clean it up and I heard a crack and then really shrill crying from my son. I was pissed. Beyond pissed actually.
I went to check on my son who was sobbing on his bed to find out what happened. He said he'd kicked Milo's bone at my daughter and she responded by slapping him in the face. I know from the sound I heard it was very hard and I felt sick.
I somehow was able to manage this all without losing it and explained to my daughter that it was never okay to hit someone, and that slapping someone across the face is much different than having a bone hit your foot. I said when you are standing eye-to-eye with someone and you slap them across the face that causes more damage then a red cheek. It is emotionally bruising too.
I took her phone away from her for a week, and her world stopped. At least that is the way she felt. She went on like a two year old telling me I love my son more than her, etc., etc. My daughter rarely gets this level of punishment so this was a big deal to her, and that is what she deserved.
I sent both children to their rooms with their doors closed and told them they were not allowed to come out unless they had to use the bathroom. They were supposed to clean their room and reflect on their actions. They spent 1 1/2 hours in their room before I allowed them to come out on the condition that they would sit and talk about what happened and find a way to make it right.
They acted so happy and played together so nicely after that, it was like two different children. We have spent a big part of this week talking about these behaviors and ways to prevent them from happening in the future.
We watched an amazing movie called Courageous. It is one of the best movies I've watched. It is Christian based and shows how important having an active father figure in the home is. I have not laughed nor cried as much at any movie as this one. I highly recommend it, and wish more movies were this family appropriate. It has already changed our home a bit with my Hubby wanting us to say a prayer before dinner and eating at the dinner table together (something we did occasionally, but not always). He has also come in to say prayers with the kids and I before bedtime. It is nice to see him choose to be more involved.
The end of the week was a fun one for me as I received my third batch of Copic markers.
Found a great deal on some new markers at the Sale/Trade board at 2 Peas in a Bucket and couldn't pass them up. This is the stash I have now. Haven't counted but around 50 I think.
I played around and got this:
from an old Prima Paintables cardstock sheet I had. I was in poor lighting and kept getting shadows so I stopped trying to be perfect and just experiment with how the colors blend. Not too bad for a first try.
On a sad note, my Grandma (my last living grandparent) is about to die. She's had no water or food or IV for 10 days and is somehow still hanging on. It's quite a feat and doesn't depart from the strength she's shown throughout her life and as she has been battling Alzheimer's and has had a poor quality life for many years now. My mom and my two aunts have told her "It's time to move on" but she still lingers.
I am continuing to use up some of the items on my desk this week. I used the green cardstock and white geometric patterned paper strips that were sitting on my desk, and a scrap of green filigree from a project that didn't work out, and the "Good Times" chipboard that has been sitting in my stash for a long time. Sorry for the shadows, those Jenni Bowlin buttons are very dimensional.
Title: Good Times
Journaling: You are so beautiful! (A message that all women should remember!)
I have made several of these balls to put in my shop, but wanted to get this how to up before listing all of them. It has been a long labor of love as each ball has taken me at least four hours to complete and many stops and starts with each of them. One of the great things about this project is that some of the steps are easy enough to do in front of the TV or when you have just a few minutes here and there.
Step 1: Grab an assortment of patterned papers and punch at least 175 scalloped circles. This will cover approximately 4" diameter foam ball. Whether the paper is single or double sided does not make a huge difference. My color scheme here was teal and lime green for my base colors.
Step 2: Use a nice sharp pair of scissors and cut a spiral in each scalloped circle. Try to keep your spiral even if you can, but having some parts thicker than others will be fine in the end. You can stack a few of these at a time for faster cutting.
Step 3: Roll up each spiral starting from the inside out. Make sure your roll is very tight. Once you've completed the roll, squeeze it between your fingers to make sure you have a tight round cone shape. This will make the spiral keep its shape as we move on to Step 4.
Step 4: Once you have all of your spirals rolled up tightly, go back and loosen each one up just a bit until you have a nice flower shape.
Step 5: Take your foam ball and tie fishing line around it. Create a loop for hanging and keep it visible. I have used a few methods here, including tape to help secure the fishing line, and hanging my ball while moving on to the next step.
Step 6: Using a hot glue gun (mine is low temp), simply add a dime sized spot of glue to your foam ball and firmly press a spiral flower into it. Repeat this step until your ball is full, trying to vary the color so that you get a nice mixture in the completed project.
Step 7: Check to make sure all of the flowers are secure. If there are any loose areas, carefully insert the glue gun in that area and add a small amount of glue to secure them.
Step 8 (Optional): Spray your ball with glimmer mist, roll in ink or add glitter to the edges of your flowers.
Step 9 (Optional): Tie ribbon at the top of your ball. Enjoy!
The ball shown above is 5" diameter.
To see the selection of balls I have available for purchase, click here. Thanks for looking!