Friday, February 20, 2009

it's the {right} road that makes all the difference

Today is a special day (I think I may have said this last year too -lol) marks the 23rd! anniversary of the day my first child was born, and consequently, the day I first became a mom. I never understood how much a heart could love...or ache...until that day. My life has never been the same since, nor would I want it to be. How the memory of that day, holding my precious baby boy in my arms for the first time, touches my heart, as does remembering when I was finally able to meet and hold each of my children.

I remember so well being in that little 'bonding bubble' with each of my kids --it was so hard to let them go...even to the warm and welcoming arms of another loved one-- but sharing them is a must and very beneficial for everyone. (Isn't that what we're always taught from the time we're a share? lol) And now that I've had to truly let go of my three oldest, it's still very hard to do at times...but it's an inevitable point in life and the ultimate goal of give them the confidence and wings to venture out and find their own way (and I'm hoping I'll be better at it and more prepared by the time our two youngest are ready to fly the nest, but I'm not holding my breath). The apron strings may become untied over time, but the heart strings will remain taut forever...being constantly tugged at the mere thought of each child. {And is it just me, or does it seem that the heart strings are somehow attached to the tear ducts?}

Looking back, it truly amazes me how quickly they grow up and how fast the years seem to pass. I don't feel any older than the day Eric entered my life (well, okay, I do have a few minor aches and pains I didn't have back then, and there are some tell-tale signs when I look in the mirror, most of which I'd like to say my kids are responsible for -lol), but when I see my children and how they're growing, changing, and maturing, it's a definite reminder to me that the circle of life is still alive and well...and revolving at an alarming, though, ironically, almost undetectable, speed! What an incredible adventure this has been...and I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes us next (although I do hope the upcoming twists and turns will be easier to handle -lol)!

Well, enough gushing and getting all misty-eyed and philosophical on ya.... Here's the card you came to see. Not a lot of stamping there, but then I don't have an abundance of images that would work well for men (do they even exist? lol). The sentiment piece on the focal panel looks a bit off-center, but it's just the unfortunate angle of my pic (and it's too late to try it again...the card's supposed to be arriving in California any minute now
It reminds me a little of the Hundred Hearts card I just made for my parents, but I really struggle with "guy cards" so it's quite possible that my challenged little brain subconsciously went back to one of the last cards I made. ?? I could've easily used that same Hundred Hearts sentiment for this card too, but because Eric is my deep thinker {and a budding writer}, I thought the life he leads made this sentiment from Beautiful You a natural choice. This kid just makes my heart swell whenever I think of him and the kind of man he's becoming, and if you knew him, you'd see why and no doubt love him too. I so admire his genuine compassion, concern, and love for others; his honesty, integrity, and strength of character; his servant's heart; his love of the Lord; his wanting to make a difference; the fact that he's not materialistic or self-centered in our very self-absorbed, ME-first society; his way with words; and the fact that he's sentimental, still loves hugs, and keeps all my cards is endearing too -lol! --he is such a wonderful blessing to me and I am so proud of the path he has chosen to take. Oh, and did I mention that I just love him to pieces?! lol (Guess I wasn't done gushing --sorry-- when it comes to my kiddos, sometimes I just can't help myself. lol)

Of course I'm hoping he likes the card, but I'm guessing the big hit of the day will be the fact that, along with his gift, I also made and sent his long-standing favorite birthday cake: lemon (and because only 2/3 of it would fit in the container, we devoured the other 1/3 of his cake last night...YUMMMM-O!). It's obviously not the same as celebrating with him in person and it most likely won't look all that appetizing, but I think it'll bring a smile to his face anyway and I'm so glad I thought to do that for him. ;)

Well, Eric is celebrating his big day at Disneyland today, and I'll be spending some time in the kitchen (every Friday Noah and Chloe request chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and I'm also making a dessert for a dinner we were invited to tonight -- hopefully, I'll find some time to stamp a little today too, but, if not, being in the kitchen is the next best thing...and it sure beats cleaning house! lol). I hope you're going to have a wonderful day doing something you love too. ;D

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and {if you made it this far -lol} for hanging in there with my very LONG-winded post today; I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Outdoor Denim, Chocolate (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Dad" Diamond/Lime (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Beautiful You (Verve); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Antique Linen Distress Ink (Ranger); Other: Cuttlebug, Houndstooth embossing folder (Provo Craft), Antique Gold net (May Arts), brads (Making Memories), Large Flourish punch (EK Success), ticket corner punch (SU!), sponge, paper piercer (CTMH), foam mounting tape

Monday, February 16, 2009

{a CASE} for being Thankful

I'm not sure how, but I'm able to squeeze in a quick post today. ;) I wanted to share some quick thank you cards I made recently CASEing a card made by Lauren Meader for Lizzie Anne Designs found on THIS post. I typically try not to CASE, but I loved her card so much that I actually made four of them over the course of a couple weeks --and I may even be tempted to revisit it yet again...I found it to be such a fun design and I'm still not tired of it! lol

Lauren's looked so cute as it was, but I think mine would've looked better with some stitching, bling, or maybe even a little bit more layering. Oh, well. Next time?... And, as you'll probably notice, I had a thing for butterflies and Summer Cloud Blue goin' on at that time (I so wish they hadn't retired that color!). ;)

They're all pretty basic and I need to get back to the "classroom," so I'm gonna cut the chit-chat and just leave the supply list at the bottom of this post.

On this first one, I really liked how the yellow organdy almost mimics the butterfly's wings. Purely accidental, but I liked it. ;)

This one actually has a quite a bit of detail with the clear glitter pen, but it didn't get picked up in the pic. ;( This one had to be hand-delivered because I was afraid to put it in the mail with the long hat pin. lol And this last one was a bit more basic than the others because I was short on time and imagination, as I was in a big rush to get it in the mail. ;( I hope you're all off to a good start for your week! ;)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Just a Note card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue, Black (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Harvest, Wild Flowers, Bluebird from "Urban Prairie" collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: Butterfly (BasicGrey), Asian Flair (Verve); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Honey, Black (CTMH); Other: black gingham ribbon, (ret.) Buttercup organdy ribbon (CTMH), embossed zigzag edge punch (Martha Stewart), crystal bling (Swarovski), black My Legacy writer pen (CTMH), sandpaper, foam mounting tape, pop dots

So Grateful card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue, Hollyhock, Black (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Weather Vane, Ladybug, Petticoat from "Urban Prairie" collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: butterfly from September KOM Friendship, Love, Miracles (Unity), Simply Said (My Favorite Things); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko); Other: black gingham ribbon (CTMH), Mountain Lake craft seam binding (Martha Stewart), 3/4" circle punch (SU!), 1" circle punch (Marvy Uchida), Doily Lace edge punch (Martha Stewart), Gelly Roll Clear Stardust Glitter pen (Sakura), sandpaper, foam mounting tape

Heartfelt Gratitude card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Birthday Girl" Dots, Plaid, and Light Pink (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: butterfly from September KOM Friendship, Love, Miracles (Unity), Simply Said (My Favorite Things); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Sorbet (CTMH); Other: Blush polka dot grosgrain (CTMH), Mountain Lake craft seam binding (Martha Stewart), buttons (BasicGrey), Doily Lace edge punch (Martha Stewart), Stardust Stickles (Ranger), Gelly Roll Clear Stardust Glitter pen (Sakura), brown waxed linen thread (unknown), white embroidery floss (DMC), sandpaper, foam mounting tape

You Make Me Smile card:
Cardstock: White Daisy, (ret.) Summer Cloud Blue, Hollyhock (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Wild Asparagus "Birthday Girl" Dots and Plaid (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: butterfly from September KOM Friendship, Love, Miracles (Unity), Simply Said (My Favorite Things); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Sorbet (CTMH); Other: Blush polka dot grosgrain (CTMH), Mountain Lake craft seam binding (Martha Stewart), buttons (Foof-a-La), Doily Lace edge punch (Martha Stewart), White gel pen (Signo), Gelly Roll Clear Stardust Glitter pen (Sakura), white embroidery floss (DMC), Brides Table Confetti (Gartner), sandpaper, foam mounting tape, pop dots

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Hundred Hearts

Hello! I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful weekend. I spent all day cleaning house yesterday because we had friends coming over today after church. (Y'all know how that goes; right? Why clean when you can stamp...until you have to put away all your stamping stuff so you can clean {if you don't have your own craft room}, but only because you have to). I don't mean to make it sound like we live in a pig sty, but it can get rather cluttered and a little dusty at times. One might even go so far as to say that it looks like someone here is obsessed with stamping. lol Fortunately, no one seems to mind. ;) So yesterday was my day for a cleaning frenzy. Not fun, but totally worth it -- we got to enjoy a great time of food and fun with friends today without being embarrassed by dust bunnies AND we now get to enjoy a clean house for a little while. ;) Of course, tomorrow many of my stamp supplies will start their migration back out into my current "craft room" where they feel right at home (aka our kitchen table/family room area), but I'm good with that. ;)

Now I know that it's not technically Valentine's Day anymore, but it is still Valentine's Day weekend, so I'm gonna go ahead and show you the card I made for my parents. ;) But mostly because I rather like it. lol I absolutely LOVE that patterned paper, but I'm using it very sparingly since I bought it a couple years ago and only have one sheet. Rather than going with the darker pink like I did on this card, I chose to go much softer this time for a more romantic feel.

My inspiration was a card made by the uber-talented Melissa Phillips. Her work just oozes the soft, warm, romantic, and homespun feel I love. I can only imagine what her home must look like. I've admired her style in publications for years, but this was the first time I've actually attempted to design a card inspired by her work.

Back to the card.... The focal piece was stamped and embossed using a flourish from CTMH's Legendary Moments stamp set onto Baby Pink cardstock, and there's a piece of vellum overlayed on the upper portion of it where I stamped the sentiment.

Working with felt was a first for me, but after seeing what my mom did on a darling Christmas card she made for Chloe, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Mine is totally different (not stuffed and puffy or with fancy stitching), but it was a fun and easy way to get my feet wet and can definitely see myself playing with felt more in the future. I cut out two felt hearts and stitched them together using some embroidery floss, and the "frame" at the top of the focal piece was made using two intertwined Large Flourish punches with some half-back pearls added here and there. It didn't come out exactly as I'd envisioned, but all in all, I was really pleased with the end result. Hope you like it too. ;)

Well, that's about it. I think an early bedtime is in order for me tonight. ;) I need to hit the ground running in the morning...and I am NOT a morning person at all.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Baby Pink (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Nursery Pink Flowers (Daisy D's); Stamps: Hundred Hearts (Verve), Legendary Moments (CTMH); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-n (Tsukineko); Other: Cuttlebug, Swiss Dots embossing folder (Provo Craft), VersaMark (Tsukineko), Opaque White embossing powder (Stampendous); Large Flourish and corner rounder punches (EK Success), vellum, heat tool, Liquid Glass (CTMH), Cluny trim (Wright's), pink pearls (Joy! Crafts), craft felt (craft supply), embroidery floss (DMC), sewing machine, white thread, vellum adhesive (Glue Dots), foam mounting tape, pop dots

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines for my {other} guys

Well, I've shown you the Valentine cards I made for my two oldest sons, so now I'm going to show you the ones I made for my youngest son and my hubby. Just like the previous two, these were both quick and simple. (Guy further explanation needed, right? lol)

Here's the one I made for my loving and handsome hubby (who brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers last night): I used the current sketch challenge by Lizzie Anne Designs, where they added a make it a masculine Valentine card.... I really liked working with this sketch and think it came together nicely.

And this one's for my ten-year old: The colors look a little off in the pic, but they blend quite a bit better in real life. Looking at it here, the grass reminds me of a heart-rate line on a hospital monitor --oh, well...if you're going to see it that way, it does have to do with hearts so that's okay, right? lol (Kinda like my daughter seeing silverware instead of trees on her Valentine card here. lol) He loves the card my mom made for him, so I'm hoping he'll like this one too. ;)

Well, I'm in a big hurry (hubby's on his way home from work and I still need to wrap his Valentine gifts -- yikes!), so I'm gonna skip the details on these. I do have to give a shout out to one of my bloggin' buddies Tanis Geisbrecht -- she designed the cute heart tree that you see above, as well as all the other cute stamps of the Love Birdies set (and she's designed a whole LOT more stamp sets than about talented!!). As always, though, if you have any questions on them, please feel free to ask.

I do have one more Valentine card to share, but am going to wait until tomorrow to post it since I don't think my parents have received it yet. Stay tuned.... ;)

Thanks so much for coming by, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

More than Yesterday card:

Cardstock: Kraft (SU!), Vineyard Berry, Colonial White (CTMH); Patterned Paper: "Irresistible" Sweethearts (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: Hundred Hearts (Verve); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko); Other: Cornice edge punch (Martha Stewart), ribbon (American Crafts), sandpaper, foam mounting tape

Heart Tree card:

Cardstock: Black, Twilight, White Daisy (CTMH); Stamps: Love Birdies (Unity Stamp Company); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Heavenly Blue (CTMH); Other: Cuttlebug, Heart Blocks embossing folder (Provo Craft), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew-Cornell), ribbon (craft supply), sandpaper, foam mounting tape

It's a Happy Mail Parade! ;D

I couldn't believe it when I went to the mailbox the other day -- handmade goodness galore, I tell ya! It felt like Christmas...or maybe a hug from a friend, my birthday, and Valentine's Day all wrapped into one. ;)

My hubby should be home from work fairly soon, so in the essence of time I'm not going to gush over every detail on each card (but I definitely could!).

Okay, here's most of what I was greeted with (there was another card, but it was store-bought so I don't really feel right about posting it offense, Erika -lol):

This first card is from Jeanette (it's a thank you for winning my blogiversary bon-bons a couple weeks ago): I remember how much I liked it when she posted it on her blog, and it's even prettier in person! Just check out how the Shimmerz sparkles on this cutie: Thanks, Jeanette! :)

And this pretty card is from Jeanne (I'm lovin' that cork flower she made!):
And check out this ADORABLE crocheted cupcake she made (she's one VERY crafty lady)!: Thanks so much for such a sweet, sweet gift, Jeanne!

Here are the darling Valentine's Day cards my mom made for us (this one's for me and my hubby): This one was for my youngest daughter: And this last one was made for my youngest son: Aren't they cute?! (Thanks, Mom!!)

I also received a few other special handmade birthday cards this year that I want to share with you. This first card is from my friend Kathy:

This bright and festive card is from my friend Jane:

This next one is from my youngest daughter, Chloe (she's eight): Didn't she do a nice job?! ;)

These next two are birthday cards my mom made for me (yeah, she made me blessed am I!?! I am, truly --but I really think my mom was just needing an excuse to play with her stamps some more. lol) This first one is so soft and subtle (love it!): And this next one is very fun, shimmery, and more colorful (I love the shimmery, dimensional flowers!): The bling in the center of the flowers must've had a rough time along their trip from Arizona to Colorado, as you can see from the 'adjusted' center bling. I tried to help it back in place but found it was pretty well rooted in its new home, so rather than tearing the card, I left it. (Gotta love those postage meters...NOT!)

And not to be outdone, my oldest daughter sent me a card she'd made using a computer program, but because it has pictures of real people on it, I'm opting not to post it here. But, trust me, it was hilarious, and so appreciated (thanks, sweetheart)! Let me just say that a good sense of humor definitely runs in our family. ;)

Thanks for watching the parade. I hope you enjoyed all of the cards I shared with you -- it sure is wonderful to have such sweet, thoughtful, and talented family and friends (thanks SO much, ladies!)! ;) I'll be back soon with the last few Valentine cards I made this week.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

{i heart u} and throwin' away my love

I feel badly about not posting very often but I just don't seem to have enough hours in my day to get around to everything, and unfortunately, blogging seems to take a back seat. I've had a little time to stamp lately, but not time to post what I've done...or visit other blogs (I'm sorry guys). This blogging thing is proving to be a real mixed blessing for me. I've kinda got a love/hate thing goin' on here. On the one hand there's SO much inspiration to look at, SO many friends to visit, SO many comments to make, SO many new products to make you think you HAVE to have them, SO many cards to post...and then there's SO much stamping I'm NOT doing, SO much time I know I'm NOT making good use of, SO many new stamp supplies I should NOT be purchasing, SO many "things" piling up on my To-Do List, etc. I can't seem to find the balance. Is it just me and my lack of time-management skills and self-control, or does anyone else feel like that?

Well, for once I'm not sending cards at the last minute (okay, only for Valentine's Day that is -lol), but it's a start even if it is a small victory, so I'm enjoying it...even if the cards are a little on the simple side. ;) Now if only I could be on time for everything....

Here's one that I made for my oldest daughter, using a couple different stamps from Unity (the heart trees are from September KOM Friendship, Love, Miracles and the sentiment is from Love Grows):
She received it yesterday and said she really liked it. And THEN she asked if "they" were supposed to be a fork, knife, and spoon. LOL!, honey; they're trees. *giggle giggle* I didn't know whether to feel sorry for the misunderstood stamp illustrator, for myself for not making the image look more like trees (I didn't see the sense in making pink grass -lol), or for my daughter for not being able to see through the glitter on the trees. lol Oh, well. It gave me a memory I won't soon forget. ;) In her defense, though, I had sent her some homemade goodies to go along with the card, so perhaps she had food on the brain. ;) I still don't really see it, but then again maybe I'm just not hungry enough??

And then here's the "throw-away" card I made for my youngest older son. (He's the one who isn't so sentimental as to keep...or usually comment...on the cards I make for him.) So as you can see I spent an inordinate amount of time and supplies on this one. lol A card base, one stamp, two colors of ink, a bit of ribbon, and about 15 minutes of my time (only cuz I had no idea what I was going to do when I started). Yep, that'll do it. ;) I'm not what I'd call proud of this one, but for what it is and where it's destined to end up, it served its purpose and I'm okay with that. ;)

I hope you're all having a wonderful week. It snowed here this evening...not a lot, but enough to coat everything in a beautiful blanket of white. The snowflakes were big and fluffy -- so pretty to watch! It's really been a mild winter here, so we're happy to see the snow again. Unfortunately, it won't last long and there's no telling when it'll be back.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

{i heart u} card:
Cardstock: Black, (ret.) Wildberry, White Daisy (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Love Letters collection "Kiss Dots" (Little Yellow Bicycle); Stamps: image from September KOM Friendship, Love, Miracles and sentiment from Love Grows (Unity Stamp Company); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko); Other: dog tag punch (SU!), corner rounder punch (EK Success), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew-Cornell), organdy ribbon (May Arts), Pink Stickles (Ranger), foam mounting tape

Love Ya card:
Cardstock: White Daisy (CTMH); Stamp: Love Ya (Inkadinkado); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Cranberry (CTMH); Other: Cranberry grosgrain ribbon (CTMH)