Saturday, May 31, 2008

Field Day Today!

I had hoped to get out to my craft room today, but it never happened. What we did today was tons of fun though! Amy's school had their Field Day on Saturday for the first time ever. I wasn't too sure about it being on a Saturday, but I came to realize what a great idea it was. Parents/grandparents who normally can't attend during the week because of work could be there and enjoy time with their kids. Steve came for a short time, but wasn't feeling well, so I told him to go home and rest, while we enjoyed ourselves. There were all kinds of activities for the kids to do. First we played a bit of volleyball. Then the girls decided they REALLY wanted to go down the slide. Which they did too many times to count. Last year, we were told Jessica could go down the slide, but she was too nervous to do it by herself. This year...not a problem. She didn't care if Amy was with her or not, nothing was going to deter her from that slide! There was also a jumping enclosure in the shape of a train and those kids expended a ton of energy between those two activities.

There was also the requisite sack race, hippity hop race, three legged race as well as face painting (the girls refused to do that), bubbles, chalk, and belly bumpers. The bookmobile was also there and Amy insisted on going in with her library card to check out a book. :o) If you look closely in the background, you can see the jungle gym that the girls play on after school just about every day. It was on this play equipment that Amy broke that molar last fall.
And time for lots of fun and giggles.
We were there the whole time and it was just wonderful to see how much fun the girls were having. The event was free and the memories we'll have are priceless!

I plan on getting out to that craft room tomorrow!!!
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Surprise Field Trip!

I received an email Thursday from an email/blog friend who recently moved to a city about 45-50 miles north of where I live. She's a Close To My Heart consultant, and while we'd chatted via email/blogs for a while, we hadn't met in person. Christi emailed me to let me know that she had organized a field trip for her homeschool group to the Butterfly Pavilion and realized I lived pretty close to it. She invited the girls and I to join them. Since Amy's still in school, she couldn't go. But getting Jessica's enthusiastic YES when I asked her if she wanted to go sealed the deal. Here are some pictures from our surprise field trip. We have been to the Butterfly Pavilion many times, but never as part of a field trip. The first few pictures are of Jessica and her two new friends, Chloe and Natalie checking out Madagasgar Hissing Beetles as part of the initial lesson the students got. The girls didn't want to pick them up, so I did the honors. LOL I love how fascinated Jessica was and how close she wanted to get to observe them.
After the great lesson, we were free to visit the rest of the Pavilion. Christi planned the time to coincide with the release of butterflies (another thing we'd never seen before). It was hard for me to take pictures because the number of people watching made it difficult for Jessica to see anything, so I held her up. This next photo is of a huge moth! It's the one that drew the most oohs and awwws at the release I think. What fascinated me, beyond its size, is the fact that they live only a week and the markings on the wings which resemble snake heads!
I don't know if it was because it was late morning, early afternoon, but the butterflies where quite active on this trip. Jessica loved seeing the Blue Morthos (courtesy of Go, Diego, Go) and pointed out each one she saw. I wanted to get this butterfly with its wings open, but wasn't successful. I did like how the butterfly was in focus and the background wasn't. A happy accident, I assure you!
One of the more recent features in the Butterfly Pavilion is the area called Shrunk. They have scaled the exhibits to be huge, so you feel like you have shrunk when you walk through it. It's hands on, too, which is great. Anyway, Jessica's favorite part by far is the honeycomb you can play on.
It was a fun trip and I'm so glad Christi thought to invite us. Although we didn't get to chat much, it was wonderful meeting her in person. Thanks, Christi!!
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You cards...

Hope you had a nice Memorial Day. It was cool and overcast all day, then around dinner time it started to rain, so I am even more thankful we got a bbq in yesterday. I did some shopping instead, so I didn't get out to my craft room as early as I had planned. And once I got out there, I almost couldn't see my table for all the junk stuff piled on it! So, with a huge sigh, I started cleaning up. That took a long time! I only had time to make two semi-quick cards.

Kathi's card inspired this one. 'Course, I don't have the same stamps, but I like how it came out using the Women of Life set from Papertrey Ink. Colors are Ocean, Topiary, Holiday Red and Sunflower. I also used my rectangle Nestabilities. The white brads are from my stash.Remember I said I went shopping? Well, after I bought out checked out JoAnn's, I went to a different Hobby Lobby than I usually shop at. This other one is a bit bigger than the one closer to my house (it used to be a grocery store) and sometimes has more schtuff. I wandered around for a bit, not seeing anything that screamed BUY ME, then I went to the corner where the clearance section was. As I looked through the scrapbooking papers I let out a loud gasp. So loud I got the attention of a clerk pricing items. You are not going to believe this, but I actually FOUND the Basic Grey Romani paper (albeit in 12 x 12) that I had been looking for since March! They actually had several packs (but I only got one). I had to share my quest in looking for the paper with the very nice clerk. I told her I had just been at JoAnn's and they accepted my 50% off coupon from Michaels. She all of a sudden told me, "Come here, I can give you a discount, too." And she took my paper into the back room, repriced it lower and handed it back to me. I got that paper pack for less than half of it's original price. How sweet was that???? Of course I had to use some of that paper today! Remember this card? I had been inspired by this one on the Just Dandy blog. Well, here's my latest version! Ohhh, I'm so giddy! In addition to the Basic Grey paper, I added a bit of Sweet Leaf (CTMH) and some satin ribbon I found at Michaels. The paper flower is also CTMH and I punched a small circle of Sweet Leaf to go under that epoxy circle (from JoAnn's). A quick stamp in blue of the sentiment from Mixed Messages (Papertrey Ink) and the card was finished. Not a lot of stamping, I know, but I really like how it looks. :o)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you have a great week!
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Congrats to the Grad...

I hope this finds you in the middle of a great Memorial Day Weekend. Jessica, Amy and I went to a local park on Friday for Jessica's Preschool Picnic. Wasn't sure if we were going to be able to stay as it started to rain a bit. But the cloud passed and it was fun. I don't think the girls would have cared if it poured, they were playing with friends. Anyway, here's a couple of pics I took just before we left. There is a lake at the park and a dock for paddle boats, which is what you see behind them.

Since I didn't do much in the way of planting on Mother's Day weekend, I figured I'd better get 'r done on Saturday. I spent a majority of the day prepping and then planting. I got a few more flowers, too. I finally planted that lilac, under the window by the garage. The window is to my craft room, so hopefully, eventually the lilac fragrance will waft in while I'm creating! I was completely pooped (and sore) by evening, so I parked on the couch.

I managed to sneak away for a bit today and this trifold pocket card is what I created. I followed this tutorial from SplitCoastStampers' Weekly Inkling newsletter. It wasn't hard at all, but I took a lot of time deciding what I wanted to do to decorate it.
Credits: Dutch Blue, Petal, Topiary cardstock-CTMH, Petal, Black ink (CTMH), Purple Flowers pattern paper (DCWV), Graduation stamp set (My Sentiments Exactly), Mixed Messages (Papertrey Ink), Topiary My Accents concho, Cricut scalloped circle, circle punches, Ribbon is from my stash...

I used a scoring blade to score along the belly band...just to add a bit of interest-may be hard to see unless you enlarge the picture. For the Petal colored scallop along the top curves I punched small circles and adhered them along the edge. The scallop on the insert is from punch.

We were invited to some friends' for a bbq this evening. They grilled steaks which were so yummy! These friends have a family with 8 kids that lives right across the street. Some of the kids are near the girls' ages and all of them played and played! Our friends' 20 something kids and their friends who were there also played with the kids. It was great...just like life used to be when I was a kid. LOVE that my kids get to experience fun times like this. They had rolling races (down a little hill in the back yard), and crab walk races. They played hide and seek, freeze tag, and Red Light, Green Light! They jumped on pogo sticks! And they were so ready for bed tonight!

Thanks for visiting! I am hoping to create tomorrow. I heard today was the day to grill this weekend, as tomorrow it will be cooler (60s) and we'll have a good chance for rain.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Preschool Teachers' Gifts-Stationery Boxes

I'm still here, I'm still here! Whew, what a week this has been and not all in an entirely good way.

We've been having a problem with our car all of a sudden not starting-like when I am out running errands in the evening and I am stranded until Steve comes to get me. Tried getting a new battery, but it happened again last night, so now they think it's the starter. I'm not keen on driving it again until they figure out what's causing the problem. Before last night I'd never "popped the clutch" to get a car started (it has a manual transmission) and now I've done it twice! So there's that.

Amy's having some behavior issues at school which are bothersome to me, but I'm working on ways to correct this and end the year on a positive note. However, I am having a bit of trouble getting to sleep because my brain won't turn off!

Yesterday we had a Kindergarten Tea (to introduce everyone to the school and share some expectations and ways to prepare them for when they come in August). We went straight from that to our last swim class for this session. So I was gone the entire day, just about!

Then today was Jessica's last day a preschool. (Sniff, sniff) I didn't get to stay since I was already going to Amy's class to observe, but they don't do any sort of ceremony or anything, so it was okay. Tomorrow is the class picnic at the park.

So, plans to work on the gifts while the girls were in school never happened. I had to work on them after they went to bed, which made for a couple of late-ish nights. It also required that I change what I originally thought I'd do (I had to scale back). I ended up making the stationery boxes like the previous one I shared. Here is what they look like (I took these pictures in a rush this morning before we left for school):

I think they are pretty straight forward and I've used supplies I've used a lot of lately Die Cuts With a View papers, textured cardstock and some CTMH cardstock. Stamps are Legendary Moments (CTMH), Mixed Messages (Papertrey Ink) and Share Laughter (Hero Arts). Used my Cricut to cut the scallops and circle punches for the layers. Cuttlebug Swiss Dots Embossing Folder for the bottom portion of the cards. Some have pop dots, some don't. The ribbon is stuff in my stash. I know these credits are pretty general, and if you have a particular question about a product, feel free to ask away. I'm pretty tired right now and may not have another chance to blog today, so I'll call these credits good.

I made 8 cards for each box all the same style. I chose 4 sentiments and made two cards each. For directions on how to create the boxes please see my previous post on the stationery box. I cut the main box papers 7 1/2 by 7 1/2 and the paper for the lid 3 5/8 x 6 1/2 (I think-I meant to write it down so I could share, but ended up just trying to get them done). You may want to measure the box opening and add an inch all around for scoring.

Okay, that's it. I need to go pick up Amy now. Jessica is done with school and Amy has a L O N G weekend. She doesn't go back until Wednesday next week, then she has 3 days the following week before she's done for the summer.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Work in Progess...

So much for posting on Sunday! I actually didn't make it out to my craft room at all. :o( Did my usual Sunday morning stuff and when I got back, Steve asked if I wanted to get any flowers to plant. Usually I do a big planting on Mother's Day, but I'd heard it might be smart to wait a bit due to some cold temps expected. Since weeding isn't high on my list of fun things to do, I didn't even work on that. One of the plants I've been wanting is a lilac bush. A generic lilac that I see in just about every yard except ours. This is the time of year when they are blooming and seeing them takes me back to visits my parents would make to a lilac "farm" where they would go to pick bunches of lilacs to bring home. Where they lived, lilacs didn't do well, but a semi-short drive to this place (that I cannot remember the name of, but can picture in my head) and my mom would be in heaven. Our house would smell like lilacs for a while. I didn't realize how prolific lilacs could be until I lived in CO. It's taken me a while to want a bush...I gradually worked my way up to this idea. I've got a decent butterfly bush (which is a type of lilac) and I plant daisy like flowers with thoughts of her. Now I'm ready for a lilac bush.

So anyway, we did that. Or actually Steve got his veggie plants and we looked for a lilac in a couple of nurseries. Didn't find one. We were going to head out to one more place, but by then Steve had his plants and he was ready to go home. He said why don't I go look for the bush, while he got the girls home and fed lunch (ie...I don't want to go looking go and have fun!) So, I did and I found one at the Home Depot of all places! I found some other flowers, but didn't go overboard since I still had to weed first. Got home from that and started weeding. That took care of the afternoon. Then dinner and a bike ride after finished off my day. My back was sore from bending over, so I parked on the couch and watched the season finale of Desperate Housewives (a show I mostly gave up on last year, but it improved greatly this season).

And there is my rather long-winded explanation as to why I didn't post on Sunday. :o)

However, this is a work in progress I started on Saturday. The thought is to create a purse and a set of cards to go in it. I got the idea here on the Stampin' When I Can blog. Allison links a tutorial on how to make the purse on the post I linked.

As you can see, it's not finished! I did want to share what I've done so far and let you know the paper is Heidi Grace paper that I picked up at Joann's last year. My store (a super store) still carries this paper. I love the colors! And the cardstock is doublesided, which accounts for the design you see on the inside of the purse. I also used CTMH's Twilight and Buttercup cardstock. Sentiments are Papertrey Ink-Mixed Messages. Ribbon is from Michaels.

I think the cards are pretty straight forward with the possible exception of my adding an epoxy sticker to the sentiment circles. I found the stickers at Walmart for less than half the price of any other store!

Okay...what a long winded post...guess I'm trying to make up for the two weeks I was pretty quiet. LOL Thanks for visiting!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stationery Set Inspired by Lisa's Creative Corner...

When I saw this stationery set on Lisa's Creative Corner, I KNEW I had to try to make one myself. While Lisa uses CTMH images I don't own (with the exception of Legendary Moments), I made do with other CTMH sets. :o) Lisa's artwork inspires me quite a bit and I thank her for always sharing and inspiring!

Lisa shared a link for the tutorial on how to make the box. Check it out here. Like Lisa, I modified the box so that it would fit standard size cards (4 1/4 by 5 1/2 and envelopes. I used the same dimension as Lisa did and also had to modify the size of the lid a bit. I think the lid piece was 6 1/2 long by 3 1/2 wide. It's the dimension of the top opening of the box, with an inch added on each side for scoring.

I created 10 cards and followed Lisa's idea of using the corner stamp in Legendary Moments. It took a lot bit of fiddling with the stamp for me to realize how to turn it to get it to work correctly.

Here is an example of the blue cards. As you can see, I stamped the envelopes as well as the front corner with the corner stamp. I used a variety of sentiments on the cards, making 5 cards blue and 5 cards brown.

Stamps: All CTMH-Butterflies, Legendary Moments, Thinking of You, Happy Birthday, Share Laughter (Hero Arts-sentiment on box and flower on handles-which you can't see in the photos),
Cardstock: Heavenly Blue, Chocolate (same inks as well)
Other: Brown brads, 1 1/8 inch circle punch, 1 inch circle punch, super sticky adhesive (the kind that looks red until you peel the backing off)
This will be an end of year thank you gift for one of the girls' teachers I think.
Thanks so much for visiting! I may have some time tomorrow to create. Actually I need to get Jessica's teachers' gifts done as next week is her last week so I'll most likely be back with something to share. :o)
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I Played Today...2 Cards!

Hi there! I was able to head out to my craft room today and get busy! Yea! I have two cards to share in this post. Later this evening, I hope to post another project I worked on...

Here we go! I was completely inspired by this lovely card by Nancy Riley (who cased another stamper-Jackie Pedro) at iStamp.

I used a flower stamp by Heidi Grace in her Wild Daisy Road stamp collection. Actually I stamped it two times and cut them out (there were some parts of the stamped image I didn't want to use), layered them and added the pearl brad. I used my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder and gold brads. For a little more visual interest, and to make it more "my own" card, I added some satin ribbon that I got at Walmart. Cardstock: Textured Black (Hobby Lobby), Bamboo, Garden Green (Close To My Heart) This next card is a case of this pretty card by Carolyn King at My Blog By Cammie. You have to scroll a bit to see how closely I copied! I took a close up of the flower to show you that I used an open ring in CTMH's My Accents line (cannot for the life of me remember what those things are called...not conchos...) for the center of the flower. Then I added the rhinestone with a small piece of foam tape. I used the Share Laughter stamp set by Hero Arts as well as a set called Dotted Flourishes by Inkadinkado. The cardstock and ink colors are Outdoor Denim and Crystal Blue, both from CTMH.

I hope you are having a great weekend so far! I'll be back later with the next project. Oh boy, it feels good to want to create something! :o) Forgive the pictures showing up not centered...I was trying something different in my formating.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Mother's Day Gifts Digi Layout

Well doesn't this photo look like it's floating in space? It is a 12 x 12 layout, but obviously my background is white. I wanted it to sort of go with the flowers layout (see previous post), so I used Kay Miller Designs' It's a Spring Thing papers again. The template is one by Terriann Hanks, but I lost where I got it from. Fonts are Roselyn and Century Gothic.
Another simple one, but I'll go with it, since I've now posted two layouts in two days. Yippeee!

Thanks as always for visiting. I'm still hoping to get out to my craft room this weekend and maybe I'll be back with some new cards. (fingers crossed)
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mother's Day Flowers digi layout!

I futzed enough with this layout and am calling it done! I used a Kay Miller Designs template that had some other elements included. I tried and tried to make them work, but couldn't so I took them off and kept this clean and simple. I also used papers from Kay Miller Designs' newest kit called It's a Spring Thing. the font is Roselyn and it was on a font cd I bought somewhere sometime!
I had to share this picture I took today. These are the chicks that were born just a few short weeks ago at Jessica's preschool. They quickly outgrew a 10 gallon aquarium, then a 35 gallon aquarium, and have spent this week in a dog kennel/cage.But, they simply need more room, so they are going back to the farm. I honestly cannot believe how quickly they lost their down and started growing feathers. Amazing. The kids really enjoyed having them. I hope Jessica isn't too upset next week when she realizes they are really gone. The kids have been watching caterpillars become a chrysalis (sp?) this week and those are supposed to open up and become butterflies next week. Maybe that will be a good distraction...G'bye Peanut and's been fun watching you grow!
Acrylic discs, flowers and I've jumped around a lot today, huh? LOL

Ah well, at least I've posted something...
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Acrylic Discs from Michaels...

I could have sworn I blogged about this before, but I cannot find the post, so I will share now. I was just reading Kathi's blog and she had a Q and A post. She gets asked about the acrylic discs from Michaels, as do I. She answered a question about them. Because so many people are having a difficult time finding these little things, I decided to risk a double post and talk about them.

Unfortunately, these are on clearance now at Michaels. So, if your store has a clearance section like mine does...look there. I actually picked up some clear ones last week, so my store still has them. They are $2 a bag right now. This is the size of the bag, and it is jam packed with discs, both clear and in a color. Feel free to print off these pictures and take it to your Michaels when asking where they might be located.

Now why would I go out and buy a bag of just clear? Well, I have often heard that using Copic Markers (pricey little suckers that I do not need to get hooked on) on the clear discs will work in coloring them. It got me to wondering if using Sharpie Markers will work. I finally tried it back when I had a creative urge and they DO work-just color the bottom!!! You'll get your fingers dirty in the process if you are like me and hold them in your hand, but whatever...The light blue I tried didn't work all that well, but the other colors did. So...seeing that Sharpie keeps coming out with more colors in the markers and they are cheaper than Copics, I picked up the clear...just in case I should ever run out...And there's my enabler tip for you today. :o)

I actually started a digi layout last night, GASP, can you believe it? But then I got sucked into watching Super Nanny, which was followed by Boston Legal and all was lost! But at least I attempted something right? Boston Legal moved nights and I've missed watching it. Last night was funny because someone told Denny Crane they wanted him to run for president. If you watch this show at all you know how scary the thought of Denny Crane as president would be.

And today marks one week since I've had an "episode," so hopefully they will be just a memory soon. My pressure has been pretty decent all week, if I do say so myself. Yea...

I am starting to feel the itch to create, so hopefully this weekend will provide ample opportunity to play. After I cut out 55 paper turtles for Jessica's preschool that is! Sniff week is her last week in preschool....

Man, I got windy in this post...sorry about that!
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Sorry...not feeling very creative~

Gosh, it's been a bit since I last posted, hasn't it? I'm sorry about that. I don't even have any artwork to share for my hiatus from posting. :o( I just haven't felt very creative lately. Hopefully that will change soon.

I thought I'd let you know that I had planned to see a new doctor in a different practice about my blood pressure situation. I had even set up an appointment, but I couldn't get in until Wednesday of this week. I was okay with that...until I had another "episode" of a tingly left hand and raging headache with the bp rising (although not quite as high as last time-thank goodness) last Thursday. I called the practice I normally go to and asked for a different doctor. I'd heard that another doctor in that practice was good, so I thought I'd try him. I was able to get in by the end of the day (I think I was his last patient). The bp was up when I got there...but that didn't surprise me given my history of higher bp when I go in. He was able to explain things in a way that made sense. I'm making some pretty big health changes, plus I am in perimenopause, all of which are big stressors on my body. But he listened and he answered questions and gave me some guidelines to follow. He gave me reasons for what has been happening which eased my mind tremendously. There are some things I am to"do" which helps me feel a bit more in control (like recording my bp at specific times during the day-not just willy nilly) and that helps. I'm to go back in a few weeks for follow up. So, I feel a lot better about things. I most impressed that he spent a significant amount of time with me, and didn't rush me out the door. Whew!

I hope you had a nice Mother's Day. Mine was nice, but it is always a bit bittersweet as my mom is no longer here to celebrate. Steve didn't feel like making his usual Sunday morning breakfast, so we went out. Then at dinner time he asked what was for dinner. To which I replied...whatever you feel like making or whatever you choose to eat at a restaurant. I think he thought going out to breakfast would "cover" the meal. But since I don't make the big breakfast, ever, what kind of time off was that? LOL I was in the mood for salad so we went to Sweet Tomatoes...which was yummy and not crowded! :o) We all went for a bike ride after dinner, too, which was a nice way to finish off the day.

Today was a bit busy as Amy only had to go to school for an hour and a half for assessments. She went in at 8, Jessica starts at 9. Drop Jess off and go back to pick up Amy. We ran some errands to fill the time til we picked up Jess. Got home, had lunch and they played a bit before swim class. Back and forth...back and forth! LOL But it's all good. Enjoyed the 70plus degree weather as tomorrow we are supposed to get a rain/snow mix I've heard! Thank goodness I listened and haven't started planting flowers just yet.

Okay...that's it. Hopefully my creative spark will return soon and I'll have something fun to share. :o)
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Trying something out...

I'm just being a dork trying something out that I've seen done a lot but didn't know how to do.

According to my preview it worked, so I'll 'splain.

I was just reading the Because I Said So blog and on Sundays she does a Sound Out where she answers questions she received during the week. Someone asked and she gave this answer:

QUESTION: I recently started a blog for my family and friends to see, but I can't figure out the *cross out the word* thing that you do . I can do it in my word program, but when I copy and try to paste it over, it doesn't have the crossed out words there. I know this is such a random and off the subject thing, but I AM SO CURIOUS!!! AND I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT!!!

ANSWER: OK, before the word you want crossed out, type < *del > (take the asterisk and spaces out) Then after the word you want crossed out, type < /del >. That will draw a line through the word. I used some spaces in my example so the word wouldn't really get crossed out. Just omit the spaces when you do it.

I'm just testing it to see if it works and it looks like it does. How fun! :o) Yes, I know it takes very little sometimes to make me giddy.

And, by the way, I completely forgot meant to add the stamp set Gift Tags (CTMH) in my credits on the card I posted earlier.

Okay, I'm done now. Have a good one. :o)
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