"When our eyes see our hands doing the works of out hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us, the doors of our soul flies open and love steps forth to heal everything in signt"

-- Michael Bridge

Monday, March 28, 2011

Relay for Life Recap (full of Pics)

Hi there. Hope everyone has an amazing weekend. Mine was good. I am still seriously exhausted (like falling asleep while driving to work kind of exhausted). The relay for Life was a great experience. We got there around 1pm on Saturday and left at 10am on Sunday. I ended up staying up the entire time. Around 2:30am I decided i was going to try to sleep, but that did not happen. It was so wet and foggy there was a sheene of dew on everything (and everyone). Plus there was so much going on, I couldn't get to sleep. When I got home, all of my home duties (including unpacking all of our crap and my 2 kiddies) were still waiting for me (YAY!!), I only took a 2 hour nap when I got home - as you can imagine, I'm exhausted. Oh well. The day shall go on.

Since I had no crafty goodness to share, I though I'd share pics from the relay. This is the members of my office (with our sign). My boss was supposed to be in Texas, and surprised us all while we were walking!! Exciting! So, this is my mom, my boss, Jim, Josh (AKA other attorney in the office, AKA our team captain), me (and my daughter Alivia, who would not smile!), and Kathy. My mom, Kathy & I are all the Legal Assistants/Secretaries of the office ;):

This is my mom's boyfriend, Mike, my mom, Linda (my boss' wife), Jim, and their dog, Rosie:

This is me, Alivia, and Karla (she's my Pastor's daughter). She was all about the pink fire rescue car! it was pretty cool!:

This is my hubby, Sal, Christian (my son), and Rob (he works with Sal and was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer at the end of last year. He had his thyroid out, a little radiation, and thank God, he's been doing great!!!):

This is all of us in the tent. Each team sells stuff (food, drinks, crafts, has games, etc.) to raise funds for Relay. We were selling water:

This is my mom & my sweet son, Christian (who stayed overnight with us - and was amazing!) walking in the moment of silence to remember all those lost to cancer. it was super sad and emotional. I'm literally thanking God for everyday I have with my mom:

They also had a bounce house for the kids. My hubby stayed there with my daughter, Alivia, until about 9:00pm. Late for her:

But she sure had LOTS of fun:

My son did too. He slept overnight with our team:

No need to be bored. He was so good, and has an awesome time.

They had a special Luminaria Ceremony just before the walk in silence. They showed a few videos and they really helped me to realize what my mom’s going through emotionally right now. She said it really helped her to hear (from someone else) that others feel the same way. That it’s ok to feel helpless sometimes:

This is my mom showing Christian how to use his marshmallow gun (one of the teams sold them as their fund raiser):

Un....fortunately he used it on our team members instead of shooting it at the ground

Which my mom kinda liked... High Five!

So, long post, I know. But we had an amazing time. It was really nice to be there with my mom and son all night. I wish I didn’t let my size (and my discrimination of myself) get in the way of including myself in more pictures. I gotta either get over it, or do something about it.
Anyway. In total the Davie/Cooper City Relay for Life raised over $100,000.00 for Cancer Research!!! I feel so proud to be a part of that. It raised a lot more, and that was:

I took that pic @ 4am :D.

If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a Relay for Life near you, I absolutely recommend it. Even if you, or someone you love hasn’t been effected with Cancer, it's a real life experience. If you do it with your kids - even better. This was truly something my son, mom, & I will remember forever. We’ll do it again, for sure.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much done in the crafting department this weekend. I did START on something I’m working on, but in NO WAY did I complete anything!! Sigh... I plan on getting my craft on tonight.

In the meantime, you should totally be checking out Christiana Reuling’s Blog post today!!! She has a fabulous giveaway to celebrate her blog-a-versary :D. Happy Blog-A-Versary Christy!!! The card she’s sharing today is just awesome!!!!!!! Way too much fun. If you are NOT a follower of Christy’s blog, you really should be. Get on that will ya! She’s totally inspiring and makes fabulous cards!

That's it for me today. I hope you all have a great day. Thanks for all of the sweet comments last week, AND (most importantly) thank you so very much for all of your thoughts and prayers for my mom. She's off treatment for about 3 weeks. Will be trying to gain her strength (and some weight) because this next, new, round of Chemo is supposed to be tough. Please keep the prayers coming you wonderful thoughtful girls!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paper Niche's April Kit Sneaky Peeks!!

Well good morning there!! I hope everyone had a great weekend!! I’ll share my Relay for Life stories and pictures with you tomorrow, as I am still way too exhausted today. What an amazing experiance!!

Today, I wanted to share a few sneaks from Paper Niche’s April Designer Kit!! Such fabulousness awaits you this month!! I was blown away by the Prima content, I can tell you that.

These are my sneaks:

That’s the extent of my sneakiness for today. Make sure to check out the other DT members blogs {Gine, Veronica, Beatriz, and Tara - And don’t for get Paper Niche’s Blog} through out the next week to see what everyone has come up with using the kit.

I’m off to rest myself. Been a long {but totally amazing} weekend. I have to work tomorrow, and if I’m expected to function, I must get some rest. Now. Have a lovely day!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Relay for Life - this Saturday

Good morning.

Ok, we made it to hump day... the weekend is on the horizon! I haven't had much to share this week. I've been crafting like crazy with Paper Niche's April kit. It's amazing and keeping me SUPER busy!! I can't share my goodies just yet though, stay tuned!

Any weekend plans? I'm walking in the Relay for Life this weekend, here in Cooper City, Florida. My office formed a team and so, myself and 3 of my coworkers - including my mom - are all doing our part and "walking for a cure".
I've never participated in a Relay for Life before, so this will be a new experience for me. It starts Saturday @ 12:00pm and ands at 8:00am on Sunday. I'm borrowing a 6 people tent from a friend and we'll all be camping out and walking our tushes off. I'm also really excited to be bringing my son. I think it'll be a great experience for him! To see his Nana walking in the Survivor line. To cheer her (and all the other survivors) on. I think it's a really good thing for him to be there. Plus, in our family - it's probably the only "camping" he'll ever do ;).

I don't usually wander too far into my personal dramady (get it... drama/comedy) that is my life, here on my blog. Besides the random, everyday family stuff, I mainly focus on crafting here - it is my crafty place - after all. But I have mentioned on my blog before, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma in her lungs back in July (2010). July 23rd, to be exact. Three days after my little one's 2nd birthday. Not the best day. Lots of tears and prayers since. The strengthening of our faith muscles started working out that day. I though they were strong, but we hadn't really tested them too awful much - now that I think about it. This kinda burst in and pushed us down a little bit. But my mom's one strong lady - you don't knock her down without a fight.

Last week, she had new scans. The results are not exactly what I had hoped for. So this pill isn't the miracle cure. That's OK. We know God's in charge. Honestly, I feel like the little neighbor kid in “The Incredibles”. He’s staring up at Mr. Incredible, and he says (to the kid) “What are you waiting for?!?” and kid answers “I DONO, SOMETHIN' AMAZIN' TO HAPPEN!!”. Yep, I’m waiting on something amazing to happen.

She'll start a new kind of Chemo next week and we're just going to continue to put our faith in God and know that he has a {PERFECT} plan. For her, me and everyone. She still has no signs of her cancer. She's been very sick - only from the Chemo. Started loosing her hair back in January (due to radiation she had to get because of a spot they found on her brain over the course of treatment). At first, the hair loss didn't really bother her. Until it started coming out more and more. Coming out in clumps. The loss of control was too much.

She read on the American Cancer Society's website that sometimes it helps people to take matters into their own hands and shave their heads themselves - helps with the lack of control. Gives them back the power. She decided to shave it - I did it for her. Here are some pics:
So, this is my mom before we found out about her Cancer (June 2010):

This is the day we shaved her (January 2011)
The before:

The after:

She's a trooper, because right after that, she took my son & niece to sell girl scout cookies in the neighborhood:

Then we all tried on her wig... for fun... lightened up the mood:
Here's Sal, my hubby - always the comedian:

My niece Paige:

My little Christian (the future wife is gunna LOVE this huh?!?):

And my little Lulu:

I just can't stop laughing when I see these pics!! Sal cracks me up!!! Also, Christian... I think he's really working that wig!! In case you're wondering why there's not a picture of me in here, it's because I looked REDONKULOUS in it... but also my camera's batteries died right at that moment {just in the nick of time, if you ask me}. I thought I actually broke the camera with how crazy I looked in it - alas, I did not.

So, wish me luck. I plan on walking/staying up all night. I'm hoping that my Black Friday shopping excursion fully prepared me for this adventure! I'm also hoping I'm not the fat girl they have to have air lifted out of there for, like, heat exhaustion, or something. Drink lots of water - check! All joking aside, I'm really excited. I'm sure I'll also be super emotional. What a year! I never imagined my mom would get cancer. She's always been so healthy. And she still is. If she didn't get kidney stones (and have a CT scan to check them out) we probably STILL wouldn't even know she was "sick". She has no symptoms. It's only the Chemo that's kicking her butt. Everything happens for a reason. I can tell you, it's been quite an experiance. Before I forget, if you'd like to donate to our team, here is the link to our team's page. You can read our stories there as well as get info on the event.

Lastly, Paige (WHO WILL BE 10 TOMORROW - YAY!!) drew this picture of herself & my mom. In it, my mom is wearing the knitted cap the ladies at the VA made for her :). This is what she wears around the house (the wig is itchy).
I love that little girl. And I love my mom. I hope to have her around for MANY years to come.

I just thought I'd share that with you today, just a little snippet from my everyday. Thanks for listening ;). My blog readers are simply the best, I'm so grateful to "know" you all!! I hope you have a great day - and a great weekend, just in case I don't get to post anymore craftiness this week :). Next week will be full of crafty goodness though :D.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lawnscaping Bonus & Wee Memories #48 Challenges

Good morning. Hope you had a great weekend! I sure did. One of the attorneys in my office gave us tickets to Saturday’s Florida Panthers (hockey) game. It was crazy close - closer than we’ve ever sat before - row 8!!! It was amazing. We took Paige & Christian and they had a blast!!! I also took my mom for a pedi on Sunday. It’s always nice to spend that time together. She’s having a rough week. Just gotta keep remembering who’s in charge ;).

I’ve been super busy putting together my craftiness for April’s Paper Niche Kit. So much goodness!!! It’s been hard to stop! I did take a breather from it to make a card to enter into the Lawnscaping Bonus/Wee Memories #48 Challenge.

I just love both of these challenges so much. I haven’t participated in the Wee Memories Challenges but once or twice, but I’m really going to make an effort to do so from now on. Jenny is so lovely and FULL of inspiration. You can check out today’s post to see how amazing she is with twine!!! Good Lord!

Ok, so my card is a CASEd card, kinda. I saw Nichol Magouirk’s card on the Lawn Fawn Blog last week and made a mental note that I had give something like it a try. She has such amazing ideas!! So, here is my card:

I popped up the pics with foamies for extra fun!

This Thursday will be My & Sal’s 10 year (wedding) anniversary. I wanted to make a card that kind of reflected our dating years. Walking around looking at the stars. I had lots of fun making it. I started off with yellow (Bazzil) cardstock and stamped (with Versamark)/heat embossed (in Clear) the adorable Lawn Fawn Star Backdrop stamp. Then I inked that up with Ranger’s Black Soot Distress Ink and the ink blending tool, to create the night sky. The “ground” is white Bristol (art paper) that I inked up with Shabby Shutters and Peeled paint. I stamped the grass (from Critters in the Burbs) using both inks also. My Polaroid Pics are also stamped onto the Bristol paper and then inked with Antique Linnen for a worn look. The sentiment is from Sophie’s Sentiments.

Next I stamped and Copic colored the Doggies (also Critters in the Burbs). As you can see, I used Marie’s fabulous technique again to make a mirror/reversed image of the doggy - so they could face each other. I really am so happy to have learned this technique. It’s so much fun!! I filled in the dog tags with Glossy Accents to make them realistic. Then I added a few bakers twine bows... because everything’s better with twine (agreed?) And finished it off with a heart from Silly Valentine.

Ok, that's all for me today. Are you playing in these Challenges?? You totally should - double the chance to win!! Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. have a great day!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Masculine "Happy Birthday" Card

Hi there! I’m back today to share a masculine “Happy Birthday” card. I’m pretty sure it’s my 1st masculine card... well besides the It’s a Boy Card I made last week ;).

To make it, I paired Lawn Fawn’s Bake Me a Cake Stamp Set with Sassafras’ Monstrosity line and came out with this:

I added a 7Gypsie tape/ribbon border for funness (is, that a word?!?). I used the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher to make the ruffles, and then glued that to the card using Glue Dots (the tape/ribbon was sticky, but just didn’t seem sticky enough). I colored in the cake stand and candles with Copics, and I finished the card off with a handmade banner (the “Happy Birthday sentiment is also from Bake Me a Cake) and a Papertrey Ink Button. My boss’ B-Day is in May and I think it’ll be perfect for him.

Short. and sweet. Hope you have a lovely weekend. One of the attorneys in my office hooked us up with tickets to the Florida Panters (Hockey) game for Saturday. Those are the only plans I have so far. I also just picked up April’s kit from Paper Niche - so you know I’ll be getting crafty!!!

One More Monster Jam Layout!

Morning! I’m back with another project to share.

Ok, so I’ve been trying to “clean out” (HA!) my stash. What I mean is, if I have a paper collection that I’ve used a few times, and there’s not much left of it, I’m making a card or layout and giving the leftovers (which are typically a few pieces of paper... some embellishments, maybe... etc) to my kids to play with (they really love getting crafty and making cards & stuff), to their teachers, or to a crafty friend... you get it. I’m also planning a Happy Mail giveaway here on my blog soon (a la Christiana). I think she is REALLY onto something there - stay tuned for that!!

Anyway, so I had a few more Monster Jam pics that I’ve been really wanting to scrap, and while I’ve already done a 2 pager on the 2009 Monster Jam - and I used Sassafras’ Monstrosity line for it - I wanted to get this left over paper out of my stash and finally scrap the pics. I really love it, think it’s a perfect fit for Monster Jam Layouts, so here’s a look:

I had Paige & Christian write what they loved most about Monster Jam, and then I traced it with a Copic Multiliner to preserve it. I thought I’d be all slick and erase their penciled writing once I traced it and that didn’t work out for me. Because it’s on a slicker sticker (I guess) when I tried to erase the pencil, the ink from the Multiliner started getting lighter... that wouldn’t do, so it’s a little messy, oh well. It has character, I guess.

I love that picture of the two of them laying by the monster truck’s wheels!! Too funny!! They do love Monster Jam!! I popped that picture up with foamies to give it some emphasis. I also love the smiles the kids are wearing. I just LOVE those smiles!!! Oh! In case you were wondering, yes, I did mist the background with Mister Huey (Studio Calico) in Red & Cream. I’m loving the Mister Hueys!!! Great colors! I want to mist everything!!

Well, that’s all I got for today. Tomorrow I’ll share my final project with Monstrosity before I pass it on ;). Have a great day!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Auntie's Brag Book - using Say Cheese!!

Good morning! Today I wanted to share a mini book I made for my sister-in-law. Her birthday is fast approaching & she loves nothing more than pics of my kiddies (she lives in NYC - and is coming for a visit in 29 days!!!!). I wanted to make a little something that she could just throw into her purse and show off ;).

I have been wanting to try Lowri's awesome mini book tutorial for a while!! Her blog is PaperVine & she is an amazing crafter!! Go check it out!

I changed mine up a bit because I REALLY wanted to use the adorable Polaroid Pic stamp from Lawn Fawn's new Say Cheese stamp set and 4" wouldn't cut it (well, it would, but not really). So, instead of using a 12x12 piece of paper and cutting a 12x4 strip off, I used a full sheet of 12x12 paper and did the folding/cutting. The difference is, I had to add a strip of coordinating 6 by 6 & 1/2 paper (and just trimmed off the excess). I also added a strip of ribbon between the folded project and the cover so she could tie it closed. Here is a look at my finished project:

The first one is to show the size of the book & details, the second is the book laying open so you can see both the fron/back (or shall I say, back/front):
We {heart} our aunt dawn lots:

Wouldn't be perfection without some butterflies attached with the tiny attacher and bakers twine:

I stumbled on this little makeshift (and totally ca~ute) banner by punching the big scalloped border punch (EK Success)... these are the insides of the scallop (which I'd normally just trash):

I love how my son always has this huge (sometimes very mischievous) smile on his face. Both my babies have amazing smiles, makes me happy:

My finished project measures 6 by 3. I thought it would be flimsy (it is just paper), but it's not at all!!! The glue (I used Mod Podge) and extra layers of paper that I decorated it with made it pretty sturdy!! Every page in the book (and all patterned paper, for the most part) has been chalked using ColorBox Red, chalk ink. As you can see, I used the Polaroid Pic Stamp to matte all of my pictures, and added in a few other Lawn Fawn Stamps as well (look for little bits from Say Cheese; Say Cheese Too; Hello Friend; Silly Valentine; & Fly Free). The paper and stickers are all October Afternoon's "Cherry Hill", which I misted with Studio Calico's Mister Huey (Red). I think she'll like it. It goes perfectly with her card too :).

As a side note, if you want to try this (which you totally should!!) please practice at least once on a paper you don't really care that much about first. That way you don't experiment (say... if you're using a really pretty piece of paper that you don't want ruined... hee hee). By the time you start your project, you have your technique down ;).

What are you working on this week? Anything good? If so let me know, so I can stop by and peek. Hope you have a great day!!!

Our Baby Bear...and some rantings from a sleep deprived lady!

Hi there! Hope you're having a great week so far. Mine's been good & crafty.

Ok, I do have one complaint. This time change has really messed with my sleep! I mean it's nice to leave work when it's light out for a change, and it's great for my crafting... but not so great for my mind/body.

Like (probably) a lot of you working girls when I'm in a crafty mood (which is not always every night, but often), after I get home/have dinner with the family/do the bedtime routine/put my babies to bed, I start my crafting while the hubby is channel surfing. This is usually around 9pm. Then, depending on my project, I'll craft until 11-11:30pm on a week night (later on the weekends, if I want to). After that, I have to wind down with a little t.v., myself, and am usually waking the hubbs up to head up stairs around 12-12:30am. Since the time change my body/mind aren't settled even at bedtime. I had to lay in bed for an hour both Sunday and Monday night wishing I could go to sleep :(.

Ok, ok, I know, I shouldn't even complain... it's my "choice" to stay up and all, but you know how it is, sometimes you can't not create. You get an idea, or have a product you've been dying to use... Anyway, Last night's bed time, you ask? 12:23am. To be fair, I finished my crafty project, in this case, a scrapbook layout, by 10:46pm but wasn't tired. Boo :(.

Enough about me and my whiney sleep-deprived ranting. So to create my layout, I used Prima's "So Cute" patterned paper. I've had it my stash for A WHILE (got it from Paper Niche - too hard to pass up). Anyway, I thought it was perfect for these cute pictures of my sweet little Alivia. She was almost 6 months old in these pictures. She's so big now. Almost 3! The time goes by so quickly!!!

I love the addition of the bakers twine (in Carribean) from the Twinery. There is just something about bakers twine that makes me extremely happy! I attached it with Tim Holtz's Tiny Attacher (and Glossy Accents). I really love journaling on layouts, but kept it short, sweet, and simple here - let the pictures do the talking ;).
And here are a few details:

Ok that's my share for today. Thanks for peeking. I really appreciate all your comments and support. It makes me feel super happy!! Have a great day!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lawnscaping Challenge #5 "WE JUST CLICK" card ;)

Good Morning!! Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was nice. Busy. Let the week begin...

So, I was REALLY stumped on how to take on this round fo the Lawnscaping Challenge #5. I'm also going to add it in for the Moxie Fab World paper Piecing Challenge. I think it definately works for that ;)

I'm telling you, after seeing the DT's work this round, I just felt like I couldn't measure up. I mean Laurel KILLED it!! The other girls were - AS ALWAYS amazing as well! I just couldn't think of what to do!!!

What I decided on, was making a "mirrored"/"reverse stamped" polaroid camera birthday card, using the Say Cheese Stamp Set.

It's a birthday card for my sister-in-law. She was very jealous of the card I made for my hubby using the same stamp (especially bec her b-day comes 1st). So, I decided to up the antie for her card. The way I made it, was by (using Colorbox Chalk Ink, in Charcoal) stamping the camera image onto the "cling" side of a giant Hero Arts Background stamp using Marie's technique. The Hero Background stamped worked the best for me and I just washed it off afterwards, and perfecto... good as new.
It took A LOT of trial and error, plus I had to get 3 perfect images (or close to perfect) because I wanted to paperpiece the camera. It was not an easy task, I had to try several different inks, and had to waste quite a bit of paper (it was double sided though, so I'll reuse the other side). If you give this a try, as Marie suggests, you also have to trace the image (I used a Black Copic Multiliner in 1.0) because the image will not really be crisp without doing so. Here's a look at my card:
I also used a glue pen to trace/fill in one of the hearts and used Martha Stewart's (fine) pink glitter to glam up the card a bit ;). I like it how it came out. It's not perfect, may not even be a great entry (because it's not TOO unconventional) but it is what it is. I'm just happy I made it out of this one alive ;). I made a commitment to myself that I'm really going to try to enter every Lawnscaping Challenge. I just really want to push and grow my cardmaking skills, so I don't want to not enter just because it's "too hard" for me. That's why it's a challenge, right?!?

Thanks for looking, and I hope you have a lovely day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Two fun cards using "Say Cheese"

Hello again! I’ve been a busy card-making bee this week. Today I wanted to share the two cards I made last night using my newest Lawn Fawn Stamps, “Say Cheese”.
For this first one, I wanted to make a birthday card for my hubby using the CA-UTE Polaroid Camera and Picture stamps in the set. I thought of the sentiment (We really CLICK) early yesterday morning and had to keep it locked in my brain until I returned home from work (and dinner was done, kids in bed, etc...). I started the card off by (after cutting paper) inking the edges of the cardstock and card base with Ranger’s Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. It really complimented the colors well.

Then I paper pieced the camera (the camera, then the flas, windows, etc) and the polaroid picture using the new Sassafras Lass’ “Sweetly Smitten” line and popped it up with foamies. Isn’t the paper adorable, I just got it from 2Peas :D. I love the hearts, too sweet! Anyway, then I used Jessie’s ABCs and Sassafras’ letter stickers for the sentiment, at the last minute, I got the idea to add the “I {heart} you” sentiment coming out of the camera as well. I finished the card off with some more homemade crinkly ribbon (this one is Maya Mist in Turquoise & a little bit of Glimmer Mist’s sparkly green), and a heart pin from Maya Road.

For this next card, I used October Afternoon’s “Seaside” line for patterned paper, and used the Polaroid Pic as the image backdrop, and also the “Picture Perfect” sentiment from the Say Cheese Set. I also used Jessies ABCs to add to it and create my own sentiment “Hey have a Perfect Day”. The sweet birdie stamp is from Fly Free and the banner is Bannerific. I paper pieced them and added some rustic twine (with knots instead of bows) and hand drew the birdies “trail”.

Thanks for peeking. I have just begun playing with this set. I have so many ideas. A lot to do with scrapbooking!! Can’t wait to get them onto paper!!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!