Thursday, April 30, 2009

To the Moms of the blog-world -

My good friend Deb sent this to me. That she thinks I am an awesome mom is a total compliment. Seriously. Deb is an AWESOME mom! She was a mom when most of our friends weren't even thinking about raising a family. Deb was blessed with 4 wonderful children, all of whom are equally blessed to have her as their mom. Just as I am blessed to have her friendship.

I am placing this on my blog in the hope that others will read it - I read many blogs (see the right hand side of my blog for a list) and each of you are amazing women who live life with heart and soul. This is for you.

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby..
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

Send this to someone who you think is an awesome Mom.

May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life

Monday, April 27, 2009

........ Good Morning!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed every moment.
Life has been busy, but I did get a chance to create several cards and a gift tote this weekend.

If I can remember, I'll take photos and post them before they are given to their owner tomorrow.

Off I go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door:

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is:
Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals.
To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes,
(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stamp Your Heart Out 300,000 blog candy

One of my favorite bloggers is Jenn Diercks.

Her blog: Stamp Your Heart Out always features crisp, beautiful creations that make me want to get my fingers inky, and my brain creating.

Recently Jenn posted a 300,000 blog candy "challenge." All I had to do to enter was follow her very simple and concise instructions:

1. Make a card with the following color combination: Chocolate Chip,
Pumpkin Pie, Kiwi Kiss and Whisper White or Very Vanilla
(if you do not own Kiwi Kiss you may use Old Olive).

2. This must be a new card, you can’t link to an old post that contains a card with these colors.

3. Post your card online (SCS, your blog, etc.) and then come back to this
post. Post the direct link to your creation in the comment section.

Good Luck and have fun creating!

So - following those wonderful instructions ---- my card appears below:

I used the the following supplies and tools
(All supplies Stampin' UP! unless otherwise noted):

"Bloomin Beautiful" stamp set

Card stock & Ink:
Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Kiwi Kiss & Very Vanilla

Big Shot Embossing Plate: Flourish
(very vanilla card stock sponged with Kiwi Kiss, Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Chip)

Ribbon: Old Olive Polytwill (retired)

Aqua Painter
( with Kiwi Kiss, Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Chip re-inkers)

Punches: 1 3/8" square; 1 1/4" square; 1 1/4" circle
(Stampin' UP! / EK Success)

1" square (Creative Memories)

I love entering challenges and blog candy opportunities which make me create. After all, isn't that why I have a craft room, so that I can create to my hearts content?

Thanks Jenn for sharing your wonderful works of art on your blog! I love what you create and inspire to one day be as talented as you are.

Garden Tote ----- Totally Adorable!!!!

Can I say two things:

1. that Becky Roberts (Inking Idaho!) is a wonderful designer! If you have not already seen or made her Garden Tote, head on over to her blog and order a copy of the instructions, you'll be glad you did!

2. Carmen Johansen is an AMAZINGLY talented and totally patient teacher! Carmen and I have been friends for a long time. I first met Carmen way back when I was a CM consultant ~ Carmen was an avid scrapbooker with an eye for color and design that is just breath-taking.

Carmen designs and creates the most wonderful crafts. It is a pleaure to be her friend and her customer. I ALWAYS love the projects Carmen shares with us. She makes our lil' group of happy stampers reach for that next level while reminding us of the techniques and tips we have learned.

Both Carmen Johansen and Becky Roberts do Stampin' UP! PROUD!

I first saw Becky's tote about a month ago on her website. I knew I wanted to buy the tutorial, but frankly was just a lil' leery --- would I take the time to make it? Would I make it as pretty as hers?

Then MY very wonderful, totally talented friend Carmen, who just happens to be my very favorite SU demonstrator told me about this great tote she had made .... and when I saw it, I started drooling .... I KNEW I had to have one of my very own!

So - I bought the tutorial from Becky; ordered all of my supplies from Carmen and then got to spend this afternoon with Carmen at her house in Lincoln creating my own Garden Tote!

I used the "To the Nines" designer series paper from Stampin' UP! and I have to say. I totally love my tote.

Thanks Becky for the design, and a HUGE Thank YOU to Carmen Johansen for sharing her afternoon with me.

Carmen Johansen's April Challenge

Several years ago 6 or 8 of my friends and I formed a stampin cult (big grin!)

I love the girls I stamp with. Carmen, Tami, Kathie, Sarah, Melisa and I have been stamping together for 6 or 7 years. Jenn moved to Elk Grove, and Samantha moved to Texas - but other wise our group has stayed really close. We've been through 3 demonstrators as our talent and passion for new projects has increased. Not that we are experts by any means .....

Last year, knowing that we needed a change in demonstrators - Carmen signed up, and became our Stampin' UP! demonstrator. It is AWESOME to have her at the head of our group - not only is she nice, funny, easy to be around and talented - she understands the needs of our stamp group and she caters to us. We are truly spoiled by the time, talent and devotion she shares with us. Love ya!, Carmen!

Carmen recently started a monthly challenge. Last months was paper piecing, and when I get that card back I will post a pic of it.

Our challenge for April: Rock N Roll. My card is a little blurry, but here is a picture of my submission for April:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fiskars Give a Way

Everyone loves to have the chance to win ~ and this was one that I thought I'd share with everyone:

Lisa of Paper Fashions is doing a sweet Fiskars give a away - no tools, just some really great consumables.

Check out her blog for your own chance to win!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dream Makeovers - A Wish Fulfilled

I am so excited, I can barely contain myself!!!

Once in awhile something happens that is so exciting, so wonderful it makes you smile. Especially when the people it happens to are awesome people who deserve to have nice "things" happen to them.
A few months ago a family that Amanda and I are friends with had the opportunity to participate in a "Make A Wish." Nicole and Amanda have danced together for years.

Nicole is an amazing young lady. She is a gifted dancer with a talent and appreciation for the art of dance that entrances me when I see her on stage. She is a great student, a wonderful sister, and a caring person. Nicole is hard not to like. On top of all that .... Nicole has cystic fibrosis.

But that does not stop Nicole. Nicole enjoys life, laughter and facing challenges head on.

I could go on for hours about Nicole and her family - our family loves and admires them. They are a wonderful family. BUT ~ the entire point of my post is ......

Starting on page 69 is an article titled: A Wish Fulfilled

on page 70 is .............................................
Cathy Austin and Nicole Taipale

I went to the O Magazine website and the link for their article features a great picture of Cathy and Nicole:
Mind you this photo was taken at their photo shoot in New York, but I have to say - even in every day "real life" and not "all made up" both Nicole and Cathy are beautiful --- both inside and out. Love ya girls!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

May your Easter be shared with those you love, and may you find joy in the time you share together.

May your Easter eggs be filled with good blessings!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Starving Artiststamps

Blog Candy Give A Way!!

While reading the messages over at SU4Me (my favorite Yahoo Group!), I found a post from the wonderfully talented Darlene LeMar (who is excellent at finding the coolest blogs on the net!) about Starving Artiststamps.

is having a really cool (yes, I mean really cool!)
BLOG CANDY give a way.

I couln't help but want to enter, so ---- please indugle me as I post in hope that you too will visit their blog, see what the excitement is all about, and maybe even enter yourself.

You'll have to go to their blog to see what is so cool. It wouldn't be nice of me to steal their images and show you myself, but there is a stamp which is called DoodleFactory Super Parents --- it is adorable! I can think of several of my friends (who are becoming parents this spring) this stamp would be great for.

So, click on over to Starving ArtiStamps - home of the DoodleFactory & other fine stamps & things. Don't forget to mention that you learned about them here on my little corner of the world:

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blog Candy give - a - way!

While wandering through my google alerts, I stumbled upon a blog which by title alone intrigued me: Paper Therapy

And then I discovered that she is hosting a blog candy give - a - way! I love blog candy give - a - ways. Even though I never win them, it is fun to follow the rules of entry and see what happens. Blogs fascinate me; I feel like I learn so much for others.

Anyway - click on over to Paper Therapy and throw your hat into the ring. Someone will win her special treat, and it just may be you. (But, let's face it, I hope its me!)

Stampin' and loving it!

I've had a little time lately to spend in my craft room. I have been doing some cleaning, and re-organizing to make better use of the space. Obviously being more organized and having my favorite supplies at my fingertips makes craft time more productive. And, more productive means more fun, right? Right!

Here are a few of the cards I have made recently. The quality of the photos is horrible. I really should use my camera or scan the cards and not be lazy and snap photos with my cell phone.

This first card was made on the fly just before I had to run out the door to a baby shower. My friend Kim is going to be a grandmother. The grand baby will be born in May. The baby's parents are Kim's son Ryan, and his adorable girlfriend, Cara.

Cara is not into pink; she likes sweet and old-fashioned with natural colors and bold accents. This card was made with Kraft card stock, and the paper pack from the Sell A Brations catalog. The colors fit the nursery just about perfectly: certainly celery, deep rich burgundy, and the naturally gentle rich warmth of the Kraft card stock.

The next card I started when Mom was here a few weeks ago. It is a swap card for the wonderful yahoo group: SU4Me. I love the girls over at SU4Me. They are an amazing group of talented and warm hearted ladies. We are not your typical yahoo group - we are like long time friends connected via our Internet connections.

Norma is our swap moderator, and she posted the "polished stone technique" swap. I was so glad she did! It is one of my favorite techniques. I love seeing all the different ways the ink and alcohol blend to create wonderful background colors. I used shades of blue and a silver metallic ink with mine.

Speaking of SU4Me, Sue-Lynn issued a challenge to our group. She sent those of us who were up to the challenge an assortment of card stock pieces, buttons, chip board, and a cute little clip. We had to use 6 of the items on a card. My embellishments were a cheerful orange, and with the help of my daughter and the cat, this card is what I came up with.

Thanks Sue-Lynn! This was a great challenge, I loved created with the items you sent.

This picture is obviously NOT a card. This is Harley. He is the craft room supervisor. It is his job to make sure that everything is being put to the best use possible.

Of course his idea of best use and mine differ. I think the table is best used when I can spread out and use all of the table for my supplies.

Harley is certain the table is for his comfort and relaxation. He loves to stretch out and take a nap while I attempt to work around him. Because he is totally adorable, has a great purr and is a wonderful cat, he almost always gets his way.

While Mom was here she and I had the opportunity to spend some time in the scrapbook room. I wanted her to have the chance to enjoy creating some cards she could share with her friends.

Mom is active with the hospital axillary, and this year she is the Sunshine chair person. As such, she frequently sends out cards to people in her community. Mom likes bold dashes of color mixed with subtle simplicity, so we created cards that reflect her sense of taste and style.