Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some new cards

I am sick again! The whole family sounds horrible - there is that seal bark cough coming from every room and every member in the family. The other night I couldn't even fall asleep because of all the stuffy noses that were trying to pass air through the snot barriers. Is that gross? Yeah, I was nauseated over it myself that night. It isn't like you can stick your fingers in your ears and sing "Lalalalalala" at 2:00 in the morning. Anyway, I pushed it and did too much stuff and it came around again to bite me - it is going on 3 weeks now. I had a fever yesterday and could barely do a thing. I didn't have a fever today but I am gonna hit the sack early. I felt well enough that I made a couple of cards today and posted one that has been trapped in my camera for a week now - DH borrowed my camera to take pictures of the airplane he is building.

This is the card I made for a baby shower. They are going to be surprised as far as boy or girl. I cased: nvscrapmom did this card which I used as a jumping off point. I just bought a Cuttlebug but didn't buy any embossing plates yet ~ Michaels didn't have a good selection and Jo Ann's didn't have any. Small town stores. Anyway - I loved what she did. Right down to the Stickles on the moon and the pop up of the Sweet One band. Everything is Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted.

Paper: Barely Banana, Pretty In Pink, Bashful Blue, and Very Vanilla
Stamps: A New Little Someone, So Many Scallops and Fresh Fillers
Ink: Timber Brown StazOn, Pretty In Pink, Bashful Blue, Apricot Appeal
Accessories: Watercolor Pencils, Aqua Pen, Mat Pack & piecing tool, Yellow Stickles, Scallop Punch, Signo white gel pen, black SU! journaler, Pretty in Pink marker, Black, pink & blue gingham ribbon, glue & pop dots
Techniques: faux stitching, doodling

This card was created for my step-daughter who will be graduating soon. The school colors, as you might guess are green and white. I love that Event Full has the graduation stamp - it is not a specific set that I would buy, you know? As I look at it I might see if I can pull of the hats off bundle and back it with another layer of Whisper White or Basic Black to make it pop a little bit more. The card sketch was SC128.

Stamps: Event Full
Paper: Whisper White, Glorious Green, Basic Black, Paper Pizazz: Graduation
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Me & My Big Ideas Ellen Krans: Graduation, Black Gingham ribbon, glue & pop dots

My step sister is getting married in June and we (my mom, and the two little kids) will be heading out to Colorado in a couple of weeks... YEAH!!!! I could not cut this DP once I had trimmed down the piece that I had ~ I was going to do the card sketch that I ended up using for my mom's birthday card (below) so I just left it and I think it speaks for itself. It measures 5 1/2" X 5 1/2". I also didn't have a wedding image that went with the paper: everything I have was too cutesy. It mostly fits into this week's color challenge CC168: Sage Shadow, Chocolate Chip, and Very Vanilla~ I added Blush Blossom because it softened the card and complimented it nicely, IMO. I used the paper that was going to be on the outside (you know, the fab card in your head) and put it on the inside. It is layered with Blush Blossom and every piece of paper except Very Vanilla was touched to the Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold pad. I thought the Fairytale saying was very appropriate, especially for these two wonderful people.

Stamps: Full of Life
Paper: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Blush Blossom, K & Company Brenda Walton "Somerset": Bouquet Glitter and Diamonds Foil
Ink: Blush Blossom (sponging), Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold (edges)
Accessories: White Organdy ribbon (off some gift), Chocolate Chip, Sage Shadow & Marvy Dusty Pink markers
Techniques: sponging

This last card is the one I made for my mom's birthday completing the CC168 and SSS4 from Heartfelt Greetings Super Sketch Sunday, May 18th. I already love her blog. I added her blog to my list of Favorite Places to Go. These are the colors that I think of when I picture my mom. It turned out okay, but you should have seen the debris field of discarded attempts for the image. Anyway, thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Smells like Waffles

It was such a nice day today and it was a gift. The weather man said it was going to be crappy. We took advantage of it and went to the park before the sun turned the slides into fanny toasters. The little kids and I were the only ones at the toddler park for quite a while so I could push them on the swings and let them slides down the slides as much as they wanted. We went last weekend when the weather was like mid-July and there was a waiting line for the toddler swings. Other times the park attracts tweens and teenagers who run around like bulls in a china shop, and it is time to go. We played out the toddler park and headed over to another area where the slides are longer and there are tunnels to crawl through. It is a grade school kid park but they both love it and if it is not too populated then we usually stay. I brought my book in hopes that I could read for just a minute but that's just dreaming - never going to happen. I get out there and play with them in all the areas. It is fun and for safety too because there are gaps in the play structure so that the bigger kids can swing out and do stuff like the overhand ladder thingy - which seemed like fun until it turned into exercise in gym class. Remember the President's Fitness Test? You had to run the 800 or what ever it was and do push-ups and sit-up and for girls, hang from the bar with your chin above it? Not a fun week in gym. I remember there was this girl Lisa who was pretty short compared to the rest of us and she could hang up there for well over a minute. It seemed the smaller you were the better you did at that one. My friend Amy, who was really tall could only hang for 12 seconds. Me, about 40 seconds was my max.
Anywho, I climb through the tunnels behind my kids and we go down the slides together. Okay, well it is more like, I schlep my body through the tunnel because I am just a little bit too big to do it on hands and knees and as for the slide, it is curvy and my ass drags down it at a rather modest creep. No whee for me! I think it is okay that way though. We went to one of those play places for a friend's birthday party for her little boy and I think I cracked my tailbone. I wore pants made out of a synthetic material and I went flying down the slide like a greased pig and skidded a couple of feet on the crash mat. Bumpity bumpity went my rumpity.

So I am the only adult playing on the structure until this charming man with a British accent gets on with his two little boys. The story isn't even about him, but rather about this pack of three kids there having a picnic with their grandma. They are so excited to have a big kid on the structure that they flock to me like flies on stink. At first I don't really notice it but they keep inserting themselves between my kids and I, which I don't like. My little boy is too little to be on this stuff by himself and I need to be free and clear of and from other children when I am taking him down the slide and by the gaps. I move so that they can play where they are and we have space to play on the other side. Except they move with us. The oldest is a girl about 7 or so. And wearing a T-shirt with Pull-Ups and no pants or underwear. Her little butt cheeks were hanging out the sides of her Pull-Ups which couldn't have felt nice. I originally thought she was wearing them over her shorts to provide a better sliding fabric but that was not the case. The next was a boy somewhat younger, maybe 5 or so and the youngest another girl at around 4. I had my kids go through the tunnel to go back over to the slide when I heard them following us and then felt some one's face in my butt. I forgive a little bit of this stuff because I imagine in her excitement that she has no concept of personal space. We head up the slide and she is practically pushing me and has nudged my daughter out of her way so she can be right behind me. She ends up going down the slide with her feet in my hair because I have to lay down to go down this slide. I ask her nicely to let my daughter be right behind me and not to be so close that her feet are on me. We continue to play and it doesn't get any better. Her head is up my butt so far I am sure she can smell what I had for breakfast. This is so bizarre! I even lose the niceness in my tone and the asking quality the next time I speak to her. Grandma finally tunes in and asks them to back off. I wish she would have told them to butt out, but apparently she couldn't see what was happening. They basically then are just watching to see where we are headed so that they can get there first. The next time we head through a tunnel I pick my feet up a little bit so that they provide a bit of a barrier and natural discouragement from breathing up my britches. All I can think of at this point is a joke that my friend told me yesterday:
Papa Mole sticks his head out of his hole and says, "I smell honey." Momma Mole sticks her head out of the hole and says, "I smell maple syrup." Baby Mole tries to poke his head out of the hole and says, "Can you move? All I smell is molasses."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Can See the Future....

Mind if I just rant for a little bit?

My husband is confusing me. We have 2 children together and his two teenagers living in the house with us. I must say the daughter is doing awesome. She just got another scholarship grant. Who Hoo! Only 35 more months of college in a foreign country to pay for! She broke up with her boyfriend last night because he didn't want her to go away to college. And she thought that if she continued dating him through the summer she might not want to go away either. And then 2 years down the line at an in-state university she would have regrets. How friggin' smart is that? I would have never made that decision when I was 17 and I would have stayed and regretted it. I still regret it.... not going on an international exchange during high school or college. It is why I went with Rotary in 2000 ~ wasn't going to let another relationship prevent me from experiencing something amazing and worthwhile. What is even more amazing is that her Sophomore year in high school she was hanging out with the worst people, dressing all Emo and making poor choices. Her dad straightened her out. There were consequences that were handed out for poor choices and followed through with. She moved in with us and has stayed ever since. Even through all of the sad bribery her mom has offered her in order to get her to move back: belly button piercing (she took her up on that one), let her drive the car, offered her a used one and some other weird things too bizarre to go into right now. If she was caught doing something there was punishment like taking the phone away, loss of all activities with friends, a homework and TV/computer time schedule, loss of the car her dad bought her. And there were discussions about choices and consequences and seeing the bigger picture. And she got it. She dumped her loser friends, more than a few of them dropped out of school that year. She gave peer pressure the middle finger and found a better set of friends. How many kids do that? She is graduating with honors in her high school "focus," has won awards for her many projects in school, received grants & scholarships, and has been accepted into her first school of choice.

It is the boy's turn to cause concern. He has really crappy grades, D's and F's along with some C's and B's. Trouble is, he is smarter than that. Trouble is, so is Dad. He has unlimited time on his computer. His mom got him Grand Theft Auto for his birthday. See above paragraph for sad bribery. (She wants him to spend more time with her. On paper he lives with her so we pay her support every month when he actually spends his time outside of school and baseball here, even on "her" weekends.) I feel bad for her. I don't want to live her life as ex-wife trying to co-parent. Anywho, I don't see the same reactions in dad that I would expect. His grades are worse than his sister's ever were, yet there is still plenty of time spent at baseball and on the computer with a little TV thrown in to balance it all out. Baseball. Regular season has ended and now he has started another league. Double AA or A or something. So he continues to have practice in the early evening after coming home in the afternoon to wage war on NYC. On alternating days he meets with his personal trainer directly after school to lift weights or run, depending on the day. His physical transformation in a single year has been amazing. After regular baseball team practice there is no less than an hour at the batting cages, every day. What I can't figure out is why this is continuing while the grades are so poor. Dad has even admitted that he should probably be doing something. He gave me this line of bullspit about how difficult it is to dominate another male. I cry foul ball here. That is the biggest plate of crap set before the Queen in quite a while. When I think of my husband I can visualize him with a steel core, might also be considered a pole up his ... wait a minute! I am getting off base here. He can dig his heels in like no one I know. And it is basically his way or the highway with a lot of stuff. So how hard is it to pull the plug on the computer? Take the cords away while he is at school. Sorry, no more computer until your grades improve. He wants to get his license at the end of the summer. Biggest carrot a teenager will chase after as far as I know. No coffee no workie! I think Dad might be concerned that the kid will not move in with us. He should be free to live where he wants, regardless of the desires of either parent. He doesn't tell his mom he wants to live with us because he doesn't want to hurt her ~ he is a caring kid at his soul ~ but instead he is sullen and angry and totally disrespectful to her in every way he can be (unless it is his birthday) because he is angry about having to coddle her feelings. I would think that the kid is hoping someone will actually take the reins and tell him to shape up. Instead he is adrift.

Dad was trying to convince me (or himself) that he has raised his kids well. Funny, one of his dad's favorite sayings was if you were going to do something do it to the best of your abilities. And my husband idolized his father. The time he spends at home he is usually on his computer, yes researching something for work, but ignoring his littlest kids, the ones who still want to play with him. No one has to any chores. No need to help clean up the kitchen after you make your self a sandwich or whatever, or help after dinner. Cleaning the bathroom is foreign territory as are brooms for when you come in the house with dirt and grass on your cleats. Garden tools are on another planet. Hey, think maybe you could help out by mowing the lawn or doing your own laundry? Dad cleans the boy's room! DH isn't the neat and tidy man he claims himself to be. Gee, I wish I could live there. And dad doesn't support the idea of after school jobs to earn money because they might take up too much time for baseball, or softball when she played or other school activities. The girl has pretty much had a job for two years now and really likes having her own money. It is why she has an iPhone. She gets it. But a job would get in the way of baseball and he needs to relax after his hard day too.

So I don't get it. He was able to get the job done for the girl but not for the boy. Maybe he is getting tired of raising children. My future? I have a girl and a boy who will one day be teenagers. And I will be the Guy. The Good Guy and the Bad Guy making sure my kids are raised to be responsible, helpful, charitable, respectful, fun, educated, balanced children, most likely by myself. I gonna make it as right as I can make it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flip Turns

Three Kid Circus posted the winner to the Wii Fitness Contest she just ran. When you have a moment you have to read her entry on Fit in Only Six Minutes a Day. I haven't laughed so hard at a blog story ever. It made me think of what my most embarrassing fitness moment would be.
A couple of years ago now I joined my local gym. It has everything: weights, fitness classes and the pool. I used to swim in college for exercise and I got to be okay at it. Not that I ever lost weight doing it, but it was something I could do. So to ease back into fitness (was I ever really fit??? I don't think so, I was just Young) I headed for the pool. It is good for your cardiovascular system and doesn't put too much strain on your body, your lazy ass couch potato body that hasn't seen the light of day on a walk in many a year now, nor known the strain of spandex pulled tight enough around your thighs to snap you into the next dress size. And being the thrifty gal that I am, I pulled out my old college swimsuit ~ I was still the same size so I didn't need to get a new one. It is a one-piece with plenty of coverage in nice enough colors, colors and cut that don't say LOOK AT ME! Perfect. Never mind the toll that chlorine takes on a swimsuit, specifically the elastic of the swimsuit, I was rarin' to go. I found my goggles, my pool shampoo, my flip-flops so I don't pick up anything icky off the gym floor... I mean, I am close to thin now! And off I go.

I am kinda of a cold wimp so it takes me a while to actually get in the pool and all the way wet - I mean, it is cold. But once submerged I am ready to try my stroke. Luckily I have chosen a time where there are not too many people using the pool. Some of those people will mow you down like road ragers in rush hour traffic: you're the idiot in the fast lane taking a casual Sunday drive, communicating their displeasure with you with hand signals and some choice words, distorted by their underwater filter - you still get the message though. I try the breast stroke and to breathe every third stroke on opposing sides. Three breaths in and I gotta take a break, I am way out of shape. But I soldier on to the end of the lane and make my way back and forth a few more times. Then I decide to pull out my bag of tricks. A couple of yards out I decide I am going to pull out one of my old and only skills, the flip turn. I am not sure that is even what it is called but you swim near to the pool wall, dive down like an otter and do a flip, timing it so that your feet can use the wall to push off for another lap.

I remember that the flip turn is best executed for me about two strokes out and I dive down, make my turn, my feet actually hit the wall perfectly so that I can thrust off and be a quarter of the way down the lane without taking a stroke. I left the top of my bathing suit at the wall. Except I don't know it yet. I keep going on down the lane, complete that lap and decide I need a rest at the pool wall. You know, the end where the camera focuses on you and you look at the stop watch to see which world record and personal best you have broken and imagine yourself in your crown of bay leaves and some bling around your neck. Or the end where you grip the wall like you might not be able to haul yo ass out of the water and you're sure you have digested a fair amount of chlorine because you didn't get your mouth completely out of the water during that last sucking air attempt.
This end of the pool is also the business end of the pool. There are chairs there for the slightly creepy old men that hang out and the moms watching their kids taking their swim lessons, the hooks for hanging up your towel, the walkway to the sauna, public pool shower, and the hot tub. It is also where there is a public restroom and the door to the men's locker room. It is busy and I am topless. My elastic has given completely away, eroded by the sands of time and the gallons of chlorine never completely washed out of the suit. And my boobies are out for one and all to gaze upon. The air is cold, the water is cold and I am somewhat numb from both colds and I don't feel the difference between water wet and air wet and lack of suit wet. Better yet, I become aware of this fact when someone I know looks at me and immediately averts his eyes from me like I am Medusa. I mean, why would he not say hi to me? Maybe because I have a booger. That sometimes happens when you are exercising and sometimes when you are swimming. And heaven forbid, I am doing both. So I reach up to casually wipe my face and nose and that is when I notice that something is wrong with my suit. I don't have a booger, he is not looking at me because .... Oh, because I am half naked in the pool? Yeah, that's probably why. I sink back down to get a better look at what kind of wardrobe malfunction I am having. The elastic has disintegrated at the strap and at the clip in the back and now there is nothing quite holding it up or together. I can feel the water in the pool evaporating at the blaze of red heat that my face has become. And what do I do now? Poke my head out of my hole like a prairie dog to see how many people have witnessed my nakedness? How am I going to make the mile long walk to my towel and slink off to the women's room, the farthest door away from where I am without passing everyone? I am certainly not going to venture back into the middle of the pool like nothing happened, maybe you really didn't see what you think you saw, and I can't even pretend to swim because I can't hold my suit together and swim at the same time. If there had been a fire alarm to pull at the side of the pool I would have done it.

I hung out there until my lips turned blue and my teeth chattered and hypothermia relinquished me of my embarrassment. I figured that everyone who had been a witness to my boobies had gone off to tell someone and have a good chuckle over it and wasn't in the pool area any more, so I could go back to just being another person slaving to the fitness gods. I scrambled out, holding my suit together as best and as casually as I could and made my way to the ladies locker room for a shower. I figured once I had my clothes on no one would recognize me anymore.

I still run into that guy every once in a while and I think to myself: he has seen my boobies.

And I wonder if he is thinking the same thing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This is the card I created for scs Ways To Use It Challenge #166: Inchies. An inchie is a 1 inch square canvas (paper or fabric) on which you create your work. Mine is a 1 3/8" because that was the closest square punch that I own. The image from Little Somethings was stamped in StazOn Timber Brown and watercolored with crayons and an AquaPainter. It was matted on More Mustard and then Bashful Blue. The Bashful Blue covers up my handwriting attempt at Home Sweet Home. The Bashful Blue is pierced using the Mat Pack. I hand doodled along the edge of the Whisper White and felt it needed something else. I usually reach for the ribbon at that point. I thought the black & white gingham could look like bees with a yellow brad. So I added some bee trails and called it good. All supplies are by Stampin' Up!

The little beehive is also an image in Alison Jay's 1 2 3 A Child's First Counting Book. It is a picture hanging on the wall in the house of the Three Bears.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Little Boys

What makes them pee when you take off the diaper?

What makes them squat down to play in it afterwards?

Thank heavens we were headed to the shower. We all needed a bath after today. Thank heavens I have an extra bath mat always at the ready so that I can clean up that mess and have another one to step onto when the shower is done.
We hop in there and I am getting all of us cleaned up when Ryan tells me that Cole's potty is open.
I look at his little private parts and you could say that is exactly what has happened. I don't have these parts so I don't really have a good answer for her. I have nothing I could relate it to. If my nipple decided to roll inward I am sure I would be hopping around like I stubbed my toe, holding my breath to see if I could pop it out again. When I have to clean in his penis area ~ especially after the round of nasty smelling diarrhea we have been through again, he always squirms his hips like it is uncomfortable. So I am gentle and quick. I let my husband deal with the whole circumcision thing - I would have left it alone where it just me.
So I am just not sure how it feels to have it rolled back like that. I reached down and pulled his hood down ~ I mean I think it would be sensitive, like a hermit crab without his shell. He popped it back so maybe it is like having the window down in the car on a hot day. I just let it be. Ryan was already back to making smiley faces on the shower door leaving me to be the only one wondering about little boys.

Maybe Spring Has Sprung!

Today was gorgeous ~ it was sunny and warm with just a hint of wind. So we took advantage of it. After the gym and library we went to the airport to wash my truck. I wish I had brought my camera because the kids had a blast playing in the water. Ryan spent the whole time running through the monster puddle we had created while Cole was entertained just by standing there stomping his feet. They got soaked pretty much from the waist down. I also got to vacuum the inside of my truck. I wish I had the money to have someone detail it for me. Although I wouldn't be able to hand it over the way it is - I would feel guilty for letting someone else start where it is now. I still haven't gotten the gum and candy out of the carpet from the previous owner. I need a vacuum attachment with the micro-nozzle end so that I can get into all the crevasses of a car seat. So nice to be able to hoover up a car seat - makes it almost like new. Cleaning the truck is like the purse game, only way grosser. I found soda bottles (not from any of my regular little passengers), Cheerios, and dandelion petals. But the coup de gras was the wad of used tissues from one of my passengers who sat in the back of my truck on our way to pizza last weekend. The whole family is sick, coughing up a lung here and there, with runny noses and froggy throats. And no one is going to eat another snack in my car for a while.

At least until tomorrow.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kristina's Color Inspirtation Challenge #9

This is the card I submitted for her 9th challenge. The colors were Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Old Olive, and Tempting Turquoise. I loved this color combo. I'd save it to decorate my next kitchen. I stamped the 5 1/2" square base card with Real Red using my Canvas bg. The ship was stamped on Whisper White, Real Red, So Saffron, and the Summer Picnic DP. I cut those pieces out and colored in the Olive Olive. I used a Signo white gel pen to color in the anchor and port holes. The image was masked so I could sponge in the sky in Bashful Blue and use my WC crayon in Tempting Turquoise to make the waves. It was blended with the AquaPainter (thank you Toni!). Next I stamped it in VersaMark and then applied Ultra Thick Embossing Powder and applied the heat gun. I noticed the StazOn might have run a little bit under the embossing powder so that will be something to play with. The other thing I would do would be to apply another layer of powder because my smokestack cut out is poking through a bit. The tag was stamped with Real Red, hand doodled in Tempting Turquoise and attached with a brad. I added the ribbon and placed the various layers on pop dots. Overall, I like how it turned out ~ even if it didn't make her Top Ten! There is always next week!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pedals to the Wind

This was created for scs Color Challenge 166: Rose Red, Soft Sky & Pumpkin Pie. The gallery is full of beautiful cards so I had to play. While looking I ran into a great card with a cupcake on it and it was for something called Mojo Monday. I checked the site out, it is called Poetic Artistry, and loved her card & sketch so I decided to play there as well. I just got this new set and thought the flower blossoms would be fun in the PP; only later did I remember that I had some flowers that might match. I stamped the image in Jet Black StazOn on watercolor paper. I masked the bike and flowers to sponge the sky in SS. If it weren't for a cc I would use Bashful Blue as I think it is a much happier sunny kind of day sky color. I colored the bike in RR with a blender pen. The tires were done with a black WC pencil and then also blended in. I used SS scraps to weave a little basket and then touched it to the SS pad to give it some depth. (It sounds like I might have known what I was doing, but in reality I had no clue what was going to happen to my cute little basket. It actually turned out just like I wanted it to! LOL I think I just got something like that in a new stamp set: "If you at first succeed, try not to look astonished!) I used a PP marker to color in the flowers. The SS layer was stamped in SS using the Polka Dot background. The base card, in RR, is stamped using the Everyday Blossoms wheel in RR. I added the PP grosgrain ribbon embellishments and sat back to look at it. It needed something. So I dug through my stash trying to remember where I kept the flowers. Found them without too much trouble and played with it in various forms. I ended up keeping the flower with the two layers of petals and changing out the brad with a RR one. I would have used white if I owned white brads. It still needed something. One of my favorite children's illustrators is Tracey Campbell Pearson. She does ink and watercolors so I borrowed her outline technique and added the PP pen to the bike panel. It is one of those things that once you start you have to keep going and if you don't like it your stuck with it unless you want to make another one. I am not that gal. I don't mind mass producing but I don't like redoing a mistake. Go figure. I liked it so I did more handwork on the SS panel in black marker, polka dots like the stamp. Last I colored in the centers and dots to the RR blossoms. I like it better than when it was plain. I had originally popped some of the little float away blossoms on micro pop dots but you couldn't see then and there wasn't enough surface area for them to really stick so I peeled them off. One was still on my work surface which I added to the prima, just cuz I thought it might look cute.
This card took me a little while longer to make. My toddler never feel asleep during nap and I could hear her scampering around in the bedroom. I'll be so sad when she drops her once a day nap. It is my time. To nap or stamp or fold laundry or call a friend. Then the baby woke up. I got there in time to say hi and give him a hug and catch his barf. Aren't you thinking cute little orange blossoms too right now? Hey, that's my get away bike! I haven't had as much time at the computer and thinking funny blogging thoughts because the three of us are a little punky right now. Each of us has a head and chest cold and he has the vomiting and nasty smelling diarrhea to go along with his cold. I had to do laundry so that we could have blankets tonight and the most abundant amount of clean bedding as possible before we went to bed. The last time he had the flu in January we went through all the bedding & his pj's in the house. In a 4 hour stretch. Starting about 2:00 in the morning. I bought more bedding after that. Then I caught it and that's when my friend Shannon brought over the pink 7-Up because my DH didn't have the time to run to the store. My other friend Rena was reading my blog, catching up and thought that I was sick again so she bought me Fresca, in the original flavor. Although she was disappointed that I wasn't in need of her soda (not that because I wasn't sick) I was very happy because it is now secretly stashed away from the soda snatchers in the house for the next time I am praying to the porcelain god and my DH is too busy to be kind and thoughtful. Blog candy is when win something off some one's blog.... so is that called Blog Booty?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Orange You Wonderful

I created this card for Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #47. I still had Pumpkin Pie (orange) on my mind because of Kristina's "Color Inspiration" or Color Frustration in my case for last challenge. I had fun but liked the other submissions a lot better than mine. Anywho, I wanted to do something cute with orange. I just got the Tart and Tangy set from the SU! Occasions catalog and knew I was going to use the orange in some fashion. Beate's challenge included an oval. Hmmm.
I don't own Nestabilities YET and I went to Michaels this week with my 40% off coupon to get the Cuttlebug and they were OUT OF STOCK! #@$">%#*$'! She wouldn't issue me a rain check. Lady, it isn't easy to drag my kids around this store puh~lease help me out here!
I looked all around my house for something to use and I finally found an oval. It came off the top of my daughter's fish toy. It even came pretty close to the size I wanted. So I traced and cut it out. I am not a very good snipper. Drives me nuts!
I have the new DP Summer Picnic that matches the Tart & Tangy set so I pulled a couple of sheets out along with Whisper White, Real Red and Pumpkin Pie. When I was brainstorming over Beate's challenge at nap time I came up with Orange juice sweet. And if you say it fast enough it sounds like Aren't You Sweet. All fine and dandy until I look through my stamp sets and realize I don't have the sentiment "sweet!" Must be in my craft room over at my friend Toni's house. During my search I pulled out my Warm Words set just in case because it does have a lot of fun and cheerful words, including the "wonderful" I ended up using, stamping in Basic Black. I decided to write out "you" in Real Red using my ABC Alphabet lowercase set, made better by the use of my Stamp-a-ma-Jig. That has to be in my top 5 tools for perfect placement of stamp images. Really great when you hand-mount your own stamps - you can do a lousy job of mounting and never know it by your masterpiece!
Since the scalloped edge might cover up some of my graceless cutting I used my 1/2" circle punch to pop out a bunch of Pumpkin Pie paper circles and glued them on the back of the oval. I decided to further cover my cutting tracks by sponging on a little Pumpkin Pie around the edges. Add a little Pumpkin Pie grosgrain and call it kinda punny. When I added my submission in my comments I mentioned a bit of MacGyvering to make this card. She said she was glad that I didn't do any MacGrubering. Boy, so am I because with having to small children, not to mention some pretty icky runny noses and stinky butts there would be lots of opportunity for some nasty tools! Plus my house already looks like something exploded.
I am much happier with the way this one turned out. The colors are happy together, the orange fruit is cheerful, and someone receiving it might feel a little bit better about his/herself. I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for looking!

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you Moms out there I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day!

My daughter planted a petunia for me at the gym Kids' Club the other day. They got to paint the little cartons that they planted the flower in. It is really cute, and she was so proud of herself. I'll snap a pic of it and post tomorrow. My husband took the little kids and I out for dinner ~ yummy Thai! He then took my daughter into the grocery store where she could pick out some flowers for me. I'll post that pic tomorrow as well. I got the loveliest Mother's Day card from my kids. I hope you all had a nice day as well.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

DragonFly Friend

This is the other card I made for the In Stitches challenge . I have been thinking about this DP since I bought it. It is Cosmo Cricket called Fleuriste. Yummy!
The base card is 4 x 8. I wanted the project to be long enough that I could have more of the designer paper showing. The base is Blush Blossom. I just got that cs in my latest order. I kinda overlooked it for a while, but I really like the softness of it. It was stamped with River Rock using the Canvas background. The three panels are Almost Amethyst, Pale Plum, and Certainly Celery. I sponged the edges of them in River Rock as well to soften their effect. River Rock is so versatile! I stamped the image in Jet Black StazOn and colored the flutterbyes in the Soft Subtles markers. It is mounted on Blush Blossom. I used a crewel embroidery needle to sew 1/4" taffeta over the dragonfly wings. They are shimmery in my mind when I think of them. I also added Stickles: Waterfall and Yellow to the main body of the dragonfly for some extra shine.
I faux stitched the image panel in a basic straight stitch, the DP panels in a zig zag, and cross-stitched around the edge of the base card. Oh! and I faux sew as well I sew IRL. Enjoy and thanks for looking!

In Stitches

No Time to Stamp has her Stamp Simply challenge #34 posted. She says: we want you to sew — real or faux — your choice. You can machine stitch, hand stitch, lace something up, faux stitch with pen, faux stitch with pierced holes, faux stitch with the perforator on SU’s cutter kit — whatever you can figure to do — you can even sew on a button!!!
I really wanted to get my hands on my ribbon embroidery supplies and sew a garden of flowers and critters. Couldn't even locate my needles. I want a craft room! I'd have shelves where I could organize my supplies, be able to use my sewing machine, leave a project out on the table without the fear of crumbs and soda splashes...
Yesterday was my step-son's 16th birthday. He'll go for his driving test later on in the summer, something to do about not having applied for his learner's permit in time to take the test on his birthday. It'll work fine that way, his big sis will head off to college, most likely without her car and he'll have something to drive. It keeps him from wanting to borrow mine. I remember finding her high school parking space application with my Tahoe information on it, stuck in a book of mine she had borrowed. As if she was going to take my car, park it for 7 hours, and then go off for Lord knows where for hours until whenever... as if I didn't have a toddler in tow and a baby on the way with limited activity restrictions and things to do. I got a real kick out of finding that application.
This is the card I made for the birthday boy. My husband didn't really like the card I had pulled out for him, he said it was too girly so my challenge was to make a manly manly card. To me that meant primary colors, no ribbon, brads, and a sap-free sentiment.
His card was all SU! supplies: Basic Black base card, Brilliant Blue panel, Real Red and Whisper White. I used markers to color in the sentiment and Real Red brads. I used my new Mat Pack, which I love! and my crafter's tool kit. My husband gave a little ooh when I presented it to him so I know he was pleased with it. We wrote our hand sentiments with a Signo gel pen, great for dark cards. I also made him a cherry pie as his birthday cake. I had been asking about when we were going to have him for his birthday because we share the day with his mom. DH had said that he didn't think he would be with us for dinner so I figured we would celebrate at our next dinner together. Yesterday afternoon, birthday boy was hanging out on the couch and I learned that we were going to pizza for dinner. Holy cherry pie not made Batman! So off the the grocery store we (the little kids & I) go to pick up regular grocery stuff and hurry home to make the pie. DH swears he told me to make it for yesterday. I still think the info was too vague. He gives me a present to wrap, I make the card and I get the pie made and in the oven to bake while they are at baseball. In the meantime the baby has asked to go "nigh, nigh." What kid asks to go to bed? How great is that? I know we are going out to dinner so I left him in his clothes. My daughter decorates a card for her big brother. When they get home, big sis rolls in with her BF and we all get in the 'burb to go to pizza. BD Boy is carrying a bag with him. When we finish pizza he asks that he be dropped off at his mom's. Only on his birthday and Christmas does he ask to go see her, 353 other days he demands that he stay with us. So we do. And the only one to eat the cherry pie is my husband. This morning Big Sis and Dad had it for breakfast. Maybe there will be some left when BD boy comes back.

Friday, May 9, 2008

So Sweet!

Friday is Limited Supplies Challenge at splitcoast; today's challenge was "No Stamping." I used the new Designer Paper series from SU! called Summer Picnic. I can't tell you how hard it was to cut it! I used the coordinating rub-ons called A Perfect Day for the flower in the middle and the sentiment. I cased a card (Sassy Tulips) from last week's Featured Stamper (FS65) Nutsymuhl for the design sketch. I loved the challenge from No Time To Stamps "Stamp Simply" #31 in which black was used as an accent. I love Mary Engelbreit so I wanted to add the checks but I don't think my card has the same level of whimsical as her works does. Another great stamper Markie's Mom always frames her work in white gel pen dots so I used her technique here too.

Here is a link to my card in the scs gallery for all the details.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Kristina's Color Inspiration Challenge #8

The colors for her latest challenge are: Brilliant Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, and Whisper White. This was a challenge as these are not colors I would normally put together. I think of football when I see blue & orange together, not that I could name a team. I posted the details on splitcoast.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I won Blog Candy!

Kittie747 is one of my favorite people to case - I think her work is AMAZING! I love her scenes- to me they are works of art. I drop in at her blog and yesterday she was offering Tuesday Treasure Hunt Rubbernecker Bucks for blog candy. To win you had to leave a comment on her blog telling her what craft tool you couldn't live without. For would be a watercolor brush. A number of people talked about their cutting systems... and no kidding... it is a life saver. I can't cut a straight line so I don't think I would make cards without my rotary cutting system by Fiskars.
Okay, time for a ramble..... Last night I read the children's book the dot by Peter Reynolds. It is a great book with a wonderful message about encouraging art. There is a little girl, Vashti, who thinks that she can't draw anything. So her art teacher told her to "just make a mark and see where it takes you." So the little girl grabs a marker and stabs the paper with it. (I have been there!) The teacher looks at it and then has Vashti sign it. The next time she walks into art class her picture is framed in "swirly gold" and hung above the teacher's desk. And Vashti thinks to herself that she can make a better one. And off she goes to explore the dot with all kinds of art materials. She creates numerous compositions based on her original dot and is the hit of the art show. There is a little boy there admiring her work and in awe of Vashti. But he says that can't draw a straight line with a ruler. So she asks him to show her. And then she asks him to sign it.
Now how cool is that book? It is one to buy and have on the shelf for both my kids and myself. I encourage you to check it out at your library or local book store! End of ramble....
But everyone talked about their cutter so I thought about what I reach for in my craft cupboard (wish it were a door knob!) when I am going to make a project. I reach for my Tomboy tape thingy - another essential item when making cards, so quick and easy. But before I even do those things I usually am on the computer. Maybe it is a card sketch or a color challenge (waiting waiting waiting with baited breath for Kristina to upload her latest!) or I have a specific project in mind and I know that there are fantastic cards made for inspiration in some one's gallery, someone like Kittie747.
Anywho, I am off to go spend my Rubbernecker bucks... Yahoo!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron

This novel was inspired by a Katherine Mansfield short story, A Cup of Tea. I think I will check it out from the library to see how it differs. It was a quick read, each chapter being only a couple of pages long, at most.

It would have been perfect for my car book. I keep one there so that if both kids fall asleep I am not stuck in the car waiting for them to wake up. I can't move them either because most likely they will have power-napped and be awake when I don't want them to be. I take advantage of these moments and turn them into Me Time. That means a trip through drive-thru Starbucks, drive somewhere nice or home and settle in with my car book.

Can you change some one's life by doing something nice for them? Can your act of kindness set the course of their life in a completely different direction? Did you think that by doing so your life would not be touched other than to be able to say that you did something nice for another person? How many people's lives are touched by your actions, even if they are not the direct recipient?

This is that story. Yet there are pieces missing, on purpose that make you wonder who the characters really are... what happened to shape them into who they are.

I read it fairly quickly, as I enjoyed it. I will tell you that, as the back of the book reads..."there is a shocking conclusion." Okay, not exactly earth shattering like Night Fall by Nelson DeMille (holy crap!!!! the way ND wove real life and fiction together!!! a favorite of mine) or absolutely angering (for me) at the horrible tragedy of Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks ~ I was so bitter about the ending of that one that I swore I would never read it again and nearly made up my mind not to read another one of his stories. I got over it enough to read other books by him.

The thing I liked about A Cup of Tea was that what I predicted what was going to happen, didn't. And it didn't end like I thought it was going to once I figured out that my prediction was wrong. It is a bit of a dark tale. A good winter book, under a blanket on a comfy couch on a rainy day, sweetened by a cup of hot chocolate.
(Did you think I was going to say tea?)

Monday, May 5, 2008

No more snackin' more me!

I have recently discovered that I no longer wish to eat snacks if the bag is open in the house. My new weight loss secret stategy? The power of observation. There is a teenage boy in the house who likes snacks too. He also likes to keep his hand in his pants while sitting at the computer or watching tv. Not much of a hand washer.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Inspiring Story (and yes, I teared up over it!)

Opponents carry injured home-run hitter around bases
Someone commented on how this was a win in life.... so true.

When I post there are a little over 1200 comments regarding this story. Some people get it and others just don't.

Friday, May 2, 2008

LSC166 - Spotlight on circles

The limited supply challenge in sc was as follows:

This week, you're limit is on tools. Not only are the tools limited, but you can only use one type of punch.... CIRCLES!

Stamps: any
Paper & Ink: any
Embellishments: any
Tools: circle punches, circle die cut shapes, circle cutting systems

I made this little sour cream container because my friend and SU! demonstrator Toni usually gives one away as a door prize and I think they are adorable. My other friend Wendy and her DH (I have more than 2 friends!) are going away to Mexico for 2 weeks. As a little going away gift I got them some SPF 30 lip balms so I packaged them up in this, using the LSC for the week as my theme. It is also in my gallery for all the nitty gritty details on products, mostly SU! The only change I made was the placement of the third strip of tacky tape - it's on the other long side of the paper.

Thanks for looking!

Oh the things kids say...

Mommy! I have to go poop!
Okay, just give me a minute. (I'm putting food on plates.)
I'm nervous.
The poop is making me nervous!
Okay, we'll go right now!

Hide-and-go-seek! ( 3 Year Old Version)

Wendy, you close your eyes and I'll hide, 'kay?
Okay! Ready? I'll close my eyes. One... two...
Ryan scampers off to hide, giggling loudly the whole way.
three.... four....
scrambling inside the box, almost shrieking with delight
five... six...
Tee hee hee seven... eight...
nine... ten... Ready, or not, here I come! Now where is Ryan?
Over here!
Is she under the table?
Is she under the easel?
No, I'm in the box! By the door!
Did I hear something? Was it Ryan?
Yes it was!
giggle giggle
I think I'll look in the box!
laughter from within
Oh! There you are!
How did you ever find me?