Friday, November 4, 2011

My Brother, Jim

Sometimes life throws you a curveball that smacks you in the face. I received such a curveball last night when my brother, Mike, called to let me know that my brother, Jim,  passed away. Jim was 54. Certainly too young. 

Jim was the second of 5 boys in my family.  I am the youngest. He was a very unique individual. Growing up, I remember he LOVED the Beatles and baseball. He was huge into music of all kinds. He worked for a music store called Licorice Pizza for years (I don’t think they are even in existence anymore). He then worked for distributing company in their music department until he was let go a few years ago due to downsizing.  He also loved trains and history. He could remember things in great detail. He was a collector, both of things and trivia.  He was always interesting to talk to because he was knowledgeable about so many things. He wasn’t very sociable, however. He was shy and could have been considered quite grumpy and he made no bones about sharing his opinion about things, popular or not. He never married. After my mom passed away, he and I formed a pretty strong bond. We always called each other on birthdays and holidays and it was like we had just talked last week. Jessica shared his birthday. Unfortunately for me this year, I didn’t get to call him on his birthday. I was caught up in my volunteer commitments and Jessica’s birthday. He understood (I had sent him a card and emailed him), but I will regret not calling him that day or even a couple of days later.  I am grateful for the 2 hour conversation we had on my birthday however. It was a great one and I told him in his birthday card how much I appreciated that chat.

I hadn’t seen him in years, but this past summer he got to meet my girls when we took a side trip from South Dakota to Minnesota, where he and Steve’s aunt lived. Steve’s aunt is ill and we wanted to visit her. Of course, we had to stop to see Jim, too. We had a great lunch. I’m so glad now we made that stop, even though it made for an extremely long day.

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Jim, I love you and will miss you terribly, but will take comfort in the knowledge that you have met up with Mom and are probably catching up, big time.

My dad seems to be doing okay so far. He’ll be heading out to Minnesota and my brother Jeff (the oldest) will most likely head that way too, to help him. I don’t know for sure anything beyond that.

Thanks for reading, if you got this far. Hug your loved ones tight while you can. Please don’t get too busy to make a call or send an email/card.  You just never know.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Themed Birthday Card

Well, hello there! How have you been? Good I hope! Do you know where the last several weeks have gone? I seem to have blown right through them and November is right around the corner. It was not intentional to have seemingly disappeared, but I managed to, didn’t I?

I’ve been helping out at school.

Need I say more? LOL

Now that we are at the end of October and we just had our Trunk or Treat on Friday evening, the volunteer commitments should ease off a bit.  Jessica had her 9th birthday in amongst all this too!


She got this neat t-shirt from my friend, Kelly. It’s from Kohl’s and it came black and white with markers in a bag. You can color the shirt with the markers. You wash it and the colors wash out, so you can color it again. Very cool. I was so busy with the party, I didn’t get many photos, except her opening her gifts (lots of Barbie stuff). She had fun and that’s what matters most.

On Tuesdays both girls do an after school activity for an hour(at least until December when Jessica’s ends). That means I don’t have to pick them up until an hour later. I don’t know why, but I feel like I have so much more time on those days! And I’ve tried (not very successfully so far) to use that day for crafting. This past Tuesday, I had a ton of projects I wanted to work on. I had one card I had to make for a teacher at the school and once I was done with that, I was going to work on fun ideas for Halloween.

I only managed to finish the card for the teacher. Erggghhh! It’s been a frustrating process for me recently, this trying to make cards gig.


Here’s my version of this card. Only without the broom. Because I was running out of time! I did use the Cricut to make the shoes. I don’t have the Top Note die, but the Storybook cartridge has a very similar shape, so I used it and fiddle-futzed to get the shape similar. I ended up reducing the size of the same shape used on the shoes for the sentiment, which is computer generated. This particular teacher’s birthday is on Halloween, hence the theme of the card. I just put the card in her mailbox, so I don’t know if she liked it. She may be tired of getting birthday cards that are this type of theme. The edge punch is a Martha Stewart border punch.  I discovered that Archiver’s carries some twine now. This purple and white is on a card with a few other colors geared for Halloween. It’s put out by Doodlebug. So, I’ve joined the twine wagon, kind of.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are having a good weekend. Happy Halloween!!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Card Inspired by Cardmaps Today

My friend, Becky recently gave me this:


Thanks, Becky! I really like the cards and designs.

And I came upon this card, which I thought was super cute.


And I found out this morning that today is the birthday of a mom friend of mine at our school. Her kids and mine are good friends and we hang out for a bit after school most days, if the weather cooperates.  She had never mentioned it was her birthday, a little bird told me. So, I ran out and got a little something, something for her and made this card:


I really wanted to do the accordion fold, well, I DID do the accordion fold piece, but I was running out of time and I couldn’t get the folds to stay down,  so I had to come up with Plan B real quick, which was the scallop punch and circle with the button on top. I would have LOVED to have dressed this up more, but Wednesdays are early release days at the school and I literally had like 5 minutes before I had to leave to get to the school after trying to get that accordion piece to stay down.

My friend loved the card, whew! I used papers from DCWV’s Autumn Gathering stack and some kraft cardstock. I punched the butterfly with a Martha Stewart punch and used and a glue dot to put the butterfly onto a Making Memories stick pin. Happy Birthday is from Papertrey Ink.

My friend has been having a bit of a tough time recently and I’m so glad I was able to pull something together to bring a smile to her face.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you are having a great week!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Cupcake Gift Card Holder

We had a birthday party to go to yesterday for my friend, Becky’s son, Aaron. His gift choices are getting a bit more pricey as he gets older and this year I decided we should give him a gift card so he can use it towards something he’s been saving up for. I also thought it would be fun to put that gift card in a cute container. Enter the Sweet Tooth Boxes Cricut cartridge and Echo Park paper from the Little Boy Collection (picked up at Hobby Lobby, with a coupon).


To me those polka dots almost look like big sprinkles. Yum! Fun cherry on top, too.


I decided to put in the insert for the cupcake, partially to let Becky see what it looked like and partially to give the base a little more stability.


Thought Aaron would also like a little sugar fix, too. *Ü*  


Birthday card…used the Wild Card cartridge, Echo Park paper and a bit of Holiday Red cardstock (CTMH).

These were fun to make.

Hope you had a great weekend and are ready for a super week!

See you again sometime soon (I hope!)


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Project…

Since I’ve grown so enamored of being able to use the Cricut over these past few years and enjoy seeing projects made from it, I subscribed to the digital version of the Cricut magazine. It used to be published every other month, but recently they switched it to a monthly publication. I’d love to have a hard copy version, but honestly, couldn’t afford it. Love that digital is available. And I can print off the pages I want to use when creating a project.

I really like the October issue. There are several neat projects using Happy Hauntings and the recently released project cartridge called Sweet Tooth Boxes. The project cartridges are just that, more geared toward 3-d type things.  And now that I have the Expression, I don’t have to fiddle-futz too much in trying to make the 3-d stuff. (squeal).

With all that said, here’s something that I’ve been working on. It was a lot of fun to create. Thanks to the magazine for the inspiration, because that’s where I saw this. I never, ever would have come up with this on my own.

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This is the tool box in the Sweet Tooth Boxes. It opens up and there is a little box inside. You could, if you wanted, put cupcakes inside. There are cut-outs to do just that. The only little glitch I found was that I couldn’t cut the inside box parts the same size as the tool box. I thought it would adjust for the fact that you are putting it inside the tool box and would need to be slightly smaller, but it doesn’t. I made a box for inside (to give the entire thing a little more stability) but I didn’t really decorate it because I’m not sure what I want to do with it.

Anyway, I saw this idea in the Cricut magazine (so I can’t link it). It totally gave me the justification I needed wanted to get the DCWV’s Ghosts and Goblins stack (seriously, I picked it up and put it back so many times before caving).  The black pattern paper is from Lemon Flower (I thought it looked more interesting). The box itself is made from textured black cardstock from Hobby Lobby. The add ons (poison, caution, spiders) are from Happy Hauntings. You can’t really tell but there is glitter glue on the spiders (Jessica did that). They are put on with pop dots. I grabbed three ribbons from my stash, that worked really well and those stick pins are from Making Memories.

I had it all done a week ago, except for the caution and ribbon. I wasn’t sure just what I wanted to do and got inspired yesterday after letting it percolate for a while. I’m pretty happy with the finished project and hope you enjoy it too.

Maybe one if these days I’ll be inspired to pull out Fall/Halloween decorations. My house is sadly bare. I’ve been on a get rid of stuff kick and not a put out a bunch of decorations kick. Sorry.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are having a great weekend.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birthday Cards

Hello! Thanks for the great comments about Amy’s new ‘doo. I completely agree that it makes her look a bit older and that makes me sniff, sniff, but it looks so cute, I can’t be too sad, right? She’s getting lots of positive feedback about it around here, too, so it’s all good.

Steve recently updated Internet Explorer for the computer I use and I got to wondering if Live Writer would work better than it did before. So, I’m trying to use it for this post. Fingers crossed.

In my last post I said that I was going to be making the birthday cards for the staff at the girls’ school. It took a bit of time for the secretary to get me a list of when the birthdays are(she was super busy with more important stuff), so I started out  needing several to be made in short amount of time. If you know how long it takes me to get one made, this is a little stressful for me! LOL. I decided to use some Cricut cuts I’d made when I got the Florals Embellished cartridge, but never put on cards.

So, here they are:





The card design on the cards is one I found here. I thought it looked really cool and after a few goof ups in cutting, I finally got the hang of it. The papers on the first two are from DCWV, Autumn Gathering and a little Amber Autumn (from last year). The papers on the next ones are from K & Co, Sweet Nectar.

The last card is a diamond fold. I hadn’t printed off where I found it, so I quick searched Splitcoaststampers for diamond fold card. This is what turned up. Then while scrolling my favorites, I found the inspiration for this card here. The Splitcoast tutorial makes a square card, so I just added the pattern paper rectangles on either size to make it more of a standard rectangle card.

I made the cuts several months ago, so I had to figure out the papers that might best showcase them. I hope they translate well.


Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a terrific weekend.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Miss Amy's New 'Doo

Our neighbor cuts our hair. It's fabulous really. She's from Germany and was a hairdresser there before moving to the States. Anyway, she started wanting to cut our hair as a thank you for my watching their house when they go out of town. Pretty cool deal, huh? Well, for the past month or so, she keeps talking to me about Amy's hair. She wasn't happy about it at all. To her it looked stringy and straggly. The ends were super duper thin. Well, yesterday was the day to finally do something about it. Amy was up for it, so across the street we went.

To give you a refresher, here she is on the first day of school:

 And her she is now! Wow, what a difference, huh?!

She is quite happy with it and I think it looks adorable. It really "fits" her personality.  I'm not sure how dad feels about it (Guys with their thing for long hair, you know, and I'll never have long hair). Jessica likes it, but says she wouldn't cut her hair like this. I think it looks so much healthier. Oma told me she thinks the super thin hair was baby hair and now it's cut off. Sounds reasonable to me. 

I'll have some cards to share soon. I agreed to make the birthday cards for the staff at our school and the first batch is just about done.

Also, Erin G is in town today and should be arriving soon for a quick visit. Yay!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are having a great week.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Haunted House WIP

Wow! Thanks so much for all the great comments you've left on my post yesterday. Gosh, it's great to know that you are still there and willing to encourage me after I've been MIA for so long. Thanks!

The card you all liked so well is one I saw wayyyyyy back in July and you can find it here (yep, I pretty much copied it). The other card is from the Hero Arts blog and I really liked the look of the embossing and then coloring/painting in the Perfect Pearls. It's from June...and you can find it here. Glad to have the credits taken care of for those cards.

I have to share that my hmmmmm....2 year or so wait for a particular tool is finally over and I'm thrilled (although my hubby isn't) to pieces. It went on sale at Hobby Lobby last week for an incredibly good price and I also had a Visa gift card in my wallet for $35, which I applied to my purchase, making the out of pocket cost that much better. What tool is it? Well, if you know me at all, I've mentioned a time or two (or three or four) that I wanted a Cricut Expression. And now I own one! Yippeeeee!

And I finally was able to make a project that is larger than 5.5 this case, the 3-D Haunted House on the Happy Hauntings cartridge. *Ü* Wanna see? I put in my title that it's a wip (work in progress) because I think I want to add some details to it, but am not sure. In the meantime, here it is put together (cut at 7 inches) I took a bunch of photos....

 Jessica made the witch's broom you see on the stoop. Cute, eh?

Really, it wasn't all that hard to do, just took some time and patience. I cut all the pieces out one day & started putting it together and then finished putting it together a second day. I used textured cardstock from Hobby Lobby (black) and some Co'ordinations cardstock (yellow). 

I think it needs a little more oomph, and am toying with the idea of adding some detail to it. What do you think?

The girls saw me working on this and wanted to make something, too, so Jessica picked out a witch and Amy the bat and I walked them through how to cut the pieces and put them together.

Fun, huh? They were quite tickled.

Today I had a little extra time that the girls were at school because Amy is in Choir again (92 kids in it this year) and Jessica joined the Jumprope club (61 kids) so they are both at school and extra hour on Tuesdays. I'm working on a few things during that extra time. Hopefully I'll have something to show for it soon.

Thanks ever so much for stopping by! I hope you are having a great week so far.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello Out There!

Well, hello to those who may still be checking in here!

I am still alive and kicking. Yay! I last posted in goodness! Right after summer break started and now the girls are back in school. LOL We had a great summer together.

Amy's in 5th grade this year
Jessica is in 3rd grade.

Both girls are thrilled with their teachers and enjoying being back in school.

I'm trying to work my way back to trying to be creative.
Here are a couple of cards I've done over the past few weeks.

Both cards are pretty much copied from cards I've seen on blogs. Although at the moment, I can't tell you which blog. 

Unfortunately for me, I was a bit frustrated after completing each of these. They took longer than I anticipated and the process felt frustrating. I must be really rusty at creating, huh?

I don't know how consistently I will be able to create, but when I have something to share, I'll pop back in.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sum, Sum, Summertime...

Ooooooh weeeee, been just about a month since I last posted. Guess you can tell that blogging hasn't been high on the priority list these days, huh? And, for a while, when I attempted to add comments to the blogs I read, I couldn't for some reason or another, so I've taken to just reading all the blogs I subscribe to. Hopefully, that gives those who may be wondering a heads up on the lack of comments from me.

I have to share that I have absolutely ZERO creative mojo these days. None, nada, zilch. Don't know where it went, but wherever it is, it's hiding real well. As an example, I am trying really hard to crochet a baby blanket for a friend. I've already made a few from this pattern booklet and the patterns aren't hard. My plan was to have it done last week. (I started it around Memorial weekend) No mojo meant I didn't get that goal reached. I didn't even have the body done. So, there went that idea. The edging of this blanket is relatively easy, but I had to evenly space 119 single crochet stitches along the long sides of the blanket and 83 stitches along the short sides. No mojo meant that it was incredibly frustrating to figure out how to evenly space the stitches, and it took wayyyy longer than it should have. And once that was done, no mojo meant that the next few edging rows, which are incredibly easy  normally (basically a single crochet and a chain 5), have been pulled out a couple of times now because I made a silly mistake. At this rate, I'll be lucky to have it done by the end of summer break!

Since there are no creative efforts to share, I thought I'd share some pictures...

Playing in a new sprinkler thingamabob.  
Our backyard may actually be too small for how far this goofy thing sprays water. Some sprinkles got into the open door to the house!
Summer Break as started.

Jessica helping Daddy with the deck re-do. 
The deck pictures were taken on June 1st.
On June 8th...we have a gap!!!
On June 10th, the gap got bigger!
It was the strawberry that created the bigger gap. LOL

The girls and I are enjoying our summer break. So, for now, while the mojo is awol, I'm going to continue to enjoy this time with my girls and not stress about any lack of creating. 

So, if you don't see anything from me for a while, you know why. I hope you have a great summer with your family. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wow...It's Been A While...

It's definitely been longer than I thought it would be since I last posted. Anyone still out there? I guess I wouldn't blame you if you felt like moving on to other blogs. I have spent a lot of time working on the cross stitching projects and have made good progress. School's almost out and activities have ramped up before the last day which have taken up my time and finally, my computer has had some issues where I couldn't access the internet much. Topping it off, accessing from Steve's computer didn't work well either. Add that all together and I simply haven't been around much. Thankfully, the computer issue wasn't a virus or anything bad like that. I think a security program didn't like playing with the internet.

Thought maybe you'd like to see the project I spent so much time working on.

I hope you are doing well and enjoying your spring (or fall) as the case may be.