Sunday, March 29, 2009

Unity Delivers!

How 'bout that blog hop yesterday?! Did y'all make the long trek to the end, getting your fill of eye candy along the way? I couldn't believe all the incredible projects that were shared...VERY inspiring! And thanks to all of you who stopped by and left such nice comments about my card. ;)

I forgot to post it here yesterday, but I noticed it on many of the other blogs in the hop.... Unity's got some great deals on some beautiful stamp sets, and if you're new to their products, then the deals are even sweeter! They even have a sneak peek of their April Kit of the Month on their site --super cute! And remember, today's your last chance to get in on those sweet deals, so don't forget to stop by and check it out! (No, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, other than being addicted to their stamps. lol)

Okay, so as I hinted yesterday, I have another Unity card to share with you today. This one took me on quite an adventure. It was my first time using Love in the Air --or more specifically, this adorable hot air balloon-- and I can't even tell you how many times this card morphed between when I started it {last weekend} and when I finished it {yesterday}. lol I started out trying to work it into Jen del Muro's SFYTT last week, but it just wasn't working for me. I love the sketch but I think without making it into a larger card, which I didn't want to do, it just wasn't gonna happen. I finally had to put it aside and just think about it for several days, then come at it again from a different perspective...without the sketch. I had already cut that little piece of patterned paper, and because I only have one 6x6 pad of the Marrakesh line (meaning only two itty bitty pieces of this beautiful Chai paper), I was bound and determined to fit it in somehow...can't have it go to waste, ya know! ;)

I think it would be fun to try to fit something like little flowers or packages overflowing from the balloon's basket, but it's a little late for that here. Oh, well. Maybe next time. ;)

The card isn't at all what I'd originally envisioned, but I'm actually pretty happy with the end result (except for the funky bow...I'll blame it on my ineptitude at working with single-sided ribbon). My hubby asked if it was a baby card (we don't know anyone who's having a baby...except for the recipient's brother and sister-in-law, but that's a whole 'nother story) --it's actually a birthday card for a dear friend in California, see.... ;)Well, you've been so patient with my long-windedness with my last few posts, so I think I'll spare you all the details and call it done and wish you a happy Sunday. If you have any questions about anything on the card, just ask....

As always, 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: White Daisy, Outdoor Denim, Garden Green, Blush (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Marrakech 6x6 pad "Chai" (BasicGrey); Stamps: Love in the Air (Unity Stamp Company); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), Heavenly Blue, Baby Pink (CTMH); Other: Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew-Cornell), VersaMark (Tsukineko), White Opaque embossing powder (Stampendous), heat tool, Blush polka dot grosgrain (CTMH), Double Scallop border punch, button punch (Martha Stewart), Cuttlebug, D'vine Swirl embossing folder (Provo Craft), button (Foof-a-La), embroidery floss (DMC), sandpaper, sewing machine, white thread, foam mounting tape, pop dots, glue dots

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Today's the Day!

Happy Saturday to you!

Today I'm participating in the World Record Inspirational Unity Blog Hop (as if you wouldn't have guessed by the nice photo greeting -lol), and I hope you're having fun HoPping your way through all the way to the end of the line. There are a tremendous amount of talented stampers out there and Unity has TONS of stamps to inspire creativity -- put them together, and, well, it's a winning combination! ;D

Oh, and just in case you didn't arrive here following the parade, and you don't want to miss any of the FUN Unity goodness planned for you today, then click here to see where it all started!

Here's my contribution -- hope you like it {especially you, Jeanne}. ;) **ETA: The green cardstock really does coordinate with the green color of the image...the pic's just off and makes it look kinda gray -- sorry!**

I know you're in a hurry, so I'll keep this short and sweet and just tell you that I combined two of the fun stamps from Little Reminders (Unity's recent December Kit of the Month -- btw, I absolutely LOVE their KOMs!!!), to create the focal image of this card.

The sketch was one of Jen del Muro's SFYTTs...and I'm sure I'll be using it again -- it's one of my new favorites!

So how'd I do for keeping it short and sweet today? (I think this may be another World Record here today! lol)

If you check back tomorrow, I may have another Unity card for you...their stamps have been getting a lot of love from me lately!

Here's one (or two) of my favorite quotes:

"Make Today Count" (anonymous)

"Character is what you are when you think no one will see." (anonymous)

I hope you're enjoying the HOP so far. Your next stop on this FUN parade is HERE!

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

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

Cardstock: Colonial White, Garden Green (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Laundry Line Sundress "Sweetness," Running Lace Paper (My Mind's Eye); Stamps: frame and potted flowers from Little Reminders (Unity), Scripty Words (Cornish Heritage Farms); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko); Other: Dotted Wave border punch (EK Success), felt flower (American Crafts), button (unknown), embroidery floss (DMC), Star Dust Stickles (Ranger), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew-Cornell), ribbon (May Arts), foam mounting tape, pop dot

Saturday, March 21, 2009

{Verve-ntly} Praying..and a little Sunshine

Welcome back! I hope you're having a nice weekend...we are. It's a beautiful day here, and tomorrow should be the same (of course then we're in for some colder weather with possible rain and snow for the rest of the week). Noah loved his birthday dinner and cake and all of the phone calls, emails, cards, and gifts he received that made him feel so loved and special. I think he's going to be smiling for a very long time. ;) (His orthodontist's office even called with his staff breaking into a chorus of Happy Birthday --a singing telegram of sorts. We've experienced birthday postcards from professional offices before, but this was a first! lol)

Here's the "gift" that Chloe made for Noah: We thought that was so sweet of her...and a little funny too. ;) He really is blessed to have her as a little sister. Despite their typical sibling moments, it's at times like these I'm reminded how much they really do love each other.

In addition to sharing a card with you today, I thought it might be fun to show you a special plate we've been using for our family birthdays the last few years: It reads: "I am an amazing, incredible person...on the day I was born the sun was brighter & heaven smiled...there is only one wonderful is my very special day!"

It came with a coordinating little journal that I write in to commemorate each time we use the plate. Makes for fun times to look back on it and recall those special days. Here's the journal: Okay...onto the card. But first, a little background. ;) I made this one for a man in our church who was recently diagnosed with a very advanced stage of esophageal cancer that had already spread to his liver. Neither my husband nor myself actually knew the guy at that time, though we both knew who he was as he's very active in our church. For some reason I was really touched by his circumstances and actually surprised at how it's affected me...maybe because he's just a couple years younger than we are, maybe because he, too, has two families so to speak (two sets of kids from two marriages), and maybe because he had absolutely NO idea that he was sick (he'd gone to the doctor for something totally unrelated and routine, and during their conversation he casually mentioned something that the doctor apparently thought should be checked into...thankfully so!). So within a few days he went from needing a renewal of a prescription to being faced with the news that he may not be around much longer.

I can only imagine what a frightening roller coaster of emotion he and his family have been on. The ironic thing here is that so many people {including those they didn't really even know} have rallied around him and his family with such an overwhelming outpouring of love, prayers, and phenomenal support, that his circumstance has actually been a huge blessing to them and his attitude through this has been so positive and his humor is still intact.

{Tangent warning: It's unfortunate, though, that it seems like it often takes something this life-altering to wake people up enough to stop taking life for granted and to let others know how important they are to us while we still have the chance. Life is short and what we know can change dramatically in the blink of an eye. Maybe you don't need a reminder, but if you do, I hope that each of you reading this will do your best to start letting others know how much they mean to you on a regular basis. Imagine how much joy we have the ability to bring to those people whose paths we cross during our lifetime, and how sad it would be if we didn't make the effort, because perhaps no one else will. We all need to know we're loved and that we matter, if only to one person...and that one person could be you! Okay, END tangent.}

Are you still with me? lol I'm getting to the BEST part now!!

So...we've been praying for him and anxiously awaiting each update on his condition as he's been undergoing some very aggressive chemo treatments this past month. Then, last week he underwent a PET scan to see how the treatments were working, and the results were so incredibly encouraging --the four cancerous spots on his liver were no longer visible and the tumor on his esophagus had shrunk by 30% and did not show any cancer activity (we're told what did show on the scan could've easily been evidence of scar tissue or irritation) --absolutely AMAZING!! Isn't this awesome?! Some people may scoff at the notion, but there is great strength in the power of prayer.

Anyway, so now I'll share the card you came to see. Enough of the torturous monologue...if you're still here, I think you've endured enough. I truly don't set out to write such long posts, but sometimes the words just start pouring out through my fingers. lol Please don't hold it against me. I'll try to be better. A lot better. Really, I will. (No wonder blogging takes me soooo long! lol) ;)

So here it is: I'm not sure how well you can see it, but the cross has three layers: And here's a peek at the inside: The cross image came from Verve's Jeremiah 29:11, which I recently received from Patti (thanks so much, Patti!), and the sentiments are also from Verve, as was the sketch (only differing in that I wasn't submitting it in their contest so I didn't add their "twist"). I hope that this card will give him some encouragement to know how much others care about him and that he's still in our prayers.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope we'll both be back soon (with a MUCH shorter post -lol! ;) Until then, many blessings to you!

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

Cardstock: Colonial White, Chocolate (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Archaic 6x6 pad (BasicGrey); Stamps: Jeremiah 29:11, Notes of Prayer, Trust in the Lord (Verve); Ink: Chocolate, Garden Green (CTMH); Other: Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), waxed linen thread (unknown), button (BasicGrey), edge distressor, sponges, grosgrain ribbon (CTMH), foam dimensional squares (Scotch), foam mounting tape,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Party {with Spike}!

Well, hello!! Did you miss me as much as I've missed you? (I know, you probably didn't even notice I was away. lol) I wish I could say I was off traveling to some exotic destination...or better yet, visiting with my older kids and parents...but with our collapsing economy, I don't think that will be the case any time soon. ;( In fact, buying stamping supplies or anything extra is pretty much on hold for the foreseeable future in our home {*big sigh*}. I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom here (and I'm not turning this into a political forum by any means), but it seems like it's almost daily that I'm made aware of yet another instance of our once-great nation sliding further down that slippery slope, and it's not all related to finances...although our tax situation here isn't helping (let's just say that we're not looking forward to April 15 this year). It's a time I never thought I'd see and it makes me sad...and even angry. I'm just so glad to know that God is aware of all this uncertainty and is still in control.

Anyway, as I look back at this past month, it's truly hard to believe it's been that long since I posted (or likely visited your blog...sorry). Time is just flying by, don't you agree?! I've been thinking about you all and wanting to come visit you, comment on your beautiful work and send out congrats to some as well, and share with you here, but there are only so many hours in a day and I'm realizing that my two youngest kiddos will be up and grown before I know it and our window of molding and shaping them is slowly closing...that, and I don't have a housekeeper (darn!). So unless and until I find a better way to work stamping and blogging into my schedule I fear that I'm just gonna have to keep squeezing them in whenever I can...but hopefully a LOT more often than this past month. I've been keeping up with most of you through your blog email updates, and I'm still in awe at how so many of you manage to do it all...all the time. I'm {obviously} still struggling to find that balance. I hope you'll hang in there with me while I keep working to get it right.

Last time I posted it was my oldest son's birthday, and today is my youngest son's birthday (but don't worry...I'm not going to get all sentimental on you today -lol). Funny that I'd find time to blog on such an important day for our family, but at the moment the happily kids are playing with their Legos and I've got the kitchen under control --the requested birthday cake (a carrot cake) is baking, a loaf of bread is rising, and some pinto beans are simmering (to go with tonight's requested birthday dinner, homemade Chipotle burrito bowls --YUM!...for being only 11, I'd say the kid's got a pretty good set of taste buds, except for the fact that he doesn't care for lasagna...he loves all the ingredients, so we haven't been able to figure that one out!).

Most of my stamping time is done on the weekends, and we haven't been home much the last several weekends so I've had very little stamping time since I posted last. However I HAD to make a birthday card for my little guy (who's almost as tall as I am now so I guess he's not such a little guy anymore -lol), so I thought I'd share it with you today. I hope he likes it. ;)
The cute little monster is named Spike and he came from Paper Makeup Stamps, a relatively new company with what looks like great promise. Cute images and some great sentiments.

I added the cake from a Memory Box set I've had a while now (I realized {too late} that I should've stamped and masked the cake and then added the monster, but if you don't tell Noah I don't think he'll figure it out -lol) and the sentiment is from yet another set, Birthday Bash. I tried to make it look like Spike was rushing over to wish Noah a happy birthday...complete with his version of a carrot cake (Noah's cake in real life will have a LOT more cream cheese frosting {think smothered} than the one Spike brought, but you gotta appreciate his kind gesture -lol) and candles nearly being blown out by the wind. I used Liquid Applique for the frosting and added some sparkle to the flames with a Stardust Gelly Roll clear pen. Spike's eyes are a bit glassy from the help of a little dollop of Liquid Glass -- I was aiming for a fun touch...kinda like googlie eyes...but I think he may look more like the wind may have bothered his allergies on the run down the dirt path there (at least they're not bloodshot -lol). I had orginally planned to do some paper tole technique on parts of Spike and the cake, but due to time (I finished it LATE last night) and the fact that it is for an 11-YO boy, I changed my mind and called it good with the one layer. Somehow I don't think he'll notice.

Well, I'm off to get the 'party' going for tonight, and I hope to get some stamping time in this weekend...I'm long overdue, feeling the withdrawals, and have quite a few cards I need to get made. I'm also hoping to share at least one more card with you before Monday. And last, but certainly not least, I'm also wishing you a wonderful weekend! ;)

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

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

Cardstock: White Daisy, Crystal Blue (CTMH); Patterned Paper: 29th Street Market Fresh "Mother" Apron Dots (My Mind's Eye), (ret.) Crystal Blue tone-on-tone large polka dot (CTMH); Stamps: Spike (Paper Makeup), Penguins at Play (Memory Box), Birthday Bash (Cornish Heritage Farms); Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko); Other: Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Loew-Cornell), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), Tags 5 (Spellbinders), ribbon (Michael's), button (craft supply), embroidery floss (DMC), Liquid Glass, sponges, heat tool (CTMH), Liquid Applique (Marvy Uchida), Stardust Gelly Roll clear pen (Sakura), foam mounting tape, glue dot, staples