"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, October 31, 2011

My 1st Handmade Halloween Costume!

Hi there! Happy Halloween. I've been a total crafty mute lately, but I finally finished the Halloween Tutu that I made for my daughter - with hours to spare - and wanted to share it with you ;).

This was my 1st costume adventure, it's a No Sew Tutu. My friend/coworker Googled it & after making 5 of them for her daughter, convinced me that I need to give it a try. She taught me how, so I don't know what site she got the idea from, but if you can also Google it - she said it was easy to find.

I'll hopefully be back tomorrow with some photos of her actually in it. She's being a Monarch Butterfly, obviously. I got the wings at Joann Fabrics, they were $14.99 & I used a 40% off coupon. The tights were about $3.99 and a friend gave me the leotard. In the end, it cost me about the same as if I had bought a costume for her, but I'm sure no one will have a costume exactly like hers. My son is being a SWAT Team guy ;).

Thanks for peeking - have a Happy Halloween & be safe friends!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

32 Things to do While I'm 32! - Blogging my Heart

Good morning.

Hope your week is treating you good. So, yesterday was my Birthday, I turned 32! Today I wanted to do a blogging from the heart. The amazing (!!) Stephanie Howell started this little challenge on her blog & I've wanted to participate for a while.

This is an attempt to partcipate in that ;). So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a “little” to do list of sorts. The 32 Things I want to do While I’m 32. The funny thing is, I’m not really a “to do list” person. I’ve recently started making them though (at work), and find I find it very helpful - and it’s nice checking things off the list too.

My mom being sick has made me think a lot. Life gets so hard, and busy. I work a full time job, have an amazing (and amazingly busy) family. My hubby works two jobs, we’re active in our church, teach Sunday School the 2nd Sunday of the month without fail. Between all of that - plus playing with the kids, helping my mom, just doing every everyday tasks that come up - I sometimes wonder what I’m doing to work on me. I try so hard to raise my kids to be happy and confident - make time with my husband really count, but I find myself feeling sad and neglected.

Honestly, it’s no one’s fault but my own. My husband is amazing and helps with EVERYTHING, but I neglect myself because I’ve always thought doing things I want to do for me is selfish. I’m the oldest of 3 kids. My father was an alcoholic (he passes away from Cirrhosis of the Liver almost 4 years ago) and my mom was busy with that, and working two jobs, and going to college at night. I kept things going. Kept people safe. I’ve always had people to take care of. I realized that I have spent all of my time taking care of everyone else’s needs (which I will always do - it’s just me) but I, myself, feel exhausted and unmotivated - I don’t know where to begin to take care of me.

Really, the only thing I do that’s just for myself is craft wee into the evening hours after everyone’s asleep. It makes me happy.

This list is about me deciding what I would HOPE to do this year. I’ll try really hard, but not beat myself up if it doesn’t ALL happen. Sometimes life gets in the way - and I have to be flexible. I’ll feel happy for the things I do get to do and there is always next year for what doesn’t get done this year.

I don’t want to let a to do list dictate my life - if I do, I know I’ll get overwhelmed and quit, but at the same time I want to make myself a priority too. To myself. Anyway, it sounds like I’m wining. I’m sorry. Maybe I needed to vent. I’ve never really had goals before - besides being a wife and mother. Check and Check ;).

32 Things to do While I’m 32!
1. Open an Etsy Shop.
2. Get someone to actually BUY something from my Etsy Shop ;).
3. Read 32 books.
4. Not use my Credit Card - AT ALL.
5. Read the bible & do devotions more.
6. Write in my Prayer/Meditation Journal.
7. Visit the Library weekly.
8. Bake a 6 layer Rainbow cake.
9. Re-purpose my old picture frames.
10. Use my old jeans for art.
11. Loose at least 32 pounds!!
12. Count and record my blessings.
13. Learn to meditate and just be still.
14. Do something that scares me.
15. Pray with my kids - not just at mealtimes.
16. Go to the movies alone 3 times.
17. Find a teenage babysitter & go on actual dates with Sal.
18. Go on a road trip.
19. Clear out stuff from the kids’ closet and donate it.
20. Sew something that is NOT paper.
21. Get myself published or onto a Design Team that I love!
22. Make cards for the elderly and shut-ins of our church.
23. Make AND STICK TO a budget.
24. Be more motivated (and less distracted) at work and home.
25. No more Red Bull.
26. Learn how to run and be consistent with it.
27. Ride a 4wheeler.
28. Spend more time with my mom.
29. Make 2 new recipes a month.
30. Scrapbook at least twice a month.
31. Send cards of Appreciation.
32. Be a little bit closer to being happy with being me.

So that’s it. I have to say, I read The Hunger Games last night (what a great book!!!) & am half way though book 2 “Catching Fire”. Working on #3 on the list ;). I’m going to get a planner to kind of sort out these goals and keep track of them. There are so many things here - things I really want to do. I’ll have to keep myself accountable, and hopefully document some of the progress for ya!

Thanks for stopping in. I know there’s no cute craftiness to look at - but I appreciate you popping in on me. If you decide to Blog your Heart, please let me know so I can stop in & see whats going on with you too. I hope you have a great day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hi there.

Hi friends. I don't have a crafty project to share today. My sister-in-law and niece are visiting from New York for the weekend, and between that and my mom being so sick it's been a bit crazy around here. No crafting what so ever.

I did want to share some pictures. A teensy peek into my weekend ;).

My kids & the New Yorkers :)
We did pumpkin carving yesterday after church:

Of course, after an hour it was just me carving 4 pumpkins alone. My carving knife broke... and I killed Yoda

We also spent some time down on the (Hollywood) Beach - just us and the kids, while my sis-in-law/niece were at a wedding. It was a beautiful night. Our 1st of the year below 80!

Also, my niece, Kristen, fell in love with our guinea pigs. This is her, my Alivia, and Krystal (guinea pig #2)
All in all this has been a great weekend. Filled with family. I really needed my sister in law. It's been an incredibly rough few weeks. I'm so blessed to have her in my life. I love her like a sister, and she is amazing to our kids.

Tomorrow is my birthday ;). I'll be 32. I've been making a list - "32 things I want to do while I'm 32" - and I'll share it with you guys tomorrow. I think that if I start & stay motivated, I can really accomplish most of it. I have hope anyway, and sometimes that's all you need. Anyway, I hope you have an amazing day. Thanks for peeking into my world today ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Be Merry Banner {Lawnscaping#20/Wee Memories#72}

Good morning friends! I finally had the opportunity to craft this weekend. It’s been about a week since I’ve done anything crafty. Things around here have been so crazy with my mom’s medical situation. I just haven’t had the mental energy to craft at all.

Anyway, things kind of calmed down finally on Sunday, and I really needed some creative therapy. I was looking around the blog-o-sphere and was honestly SO inspired by both the Lawnscaping #20 {Paper piecing} and Wee Memories’ #72 {Holiday Madness} Challenges, that decided to combine the two {AGAIN}!

So, I decided to make a Paper pieced Holiday Banner for my office :). I don’t know if I mentioned that my mom and I work together and between her health issues lately, and my boss’ death back in June (his nephew who also works there took over & he’s a great boss BTW), well, we’ve been a bit gloomy at times. I think after Halloween, I’m going to decorate for Christmas. Get us all into the spirit extra early. I’m going to do it at home too. No time to waste. I need the good cheer. Anywho, here is a look at my banner:

{I'm SO sorry the picture is teensy - it’s been terribly rainy here for 3 days straight, and I just couldn't get a full picture that was good :(. Boooo. Scroll down to for a better view of each individual piece of the banner}

To make it I did some fancy recycling by taking cereal boxes and cutting them up and covering them with October Afternoon (Very Merry - from last year) patterned paper. I like to do that, it’s actually makes recycling really fun! I also used the alpha stickers from this collection to make the sentiment “Be Merry”. I knew I’d have to get the awesome Lawn Fawn Snowman on there too, so, I paper pieced “her” and added some accessories (the gloves, hat, and sweet birdie) for fun. I added a bit of Doodlebug (red) flock for the hat/gloves. I think it adds a bit of fun.

When it was all said and done, I decided I really wanted to add the Christmas lights from Lawn Fawn’s Cozy Christmas to the banner too. I love them 0- they’re just so fun! So I stamped them onto white cardstock and did some Copic coloring. To finish them off, I added Glossy Accents over each one and after they dried I paper pieced them onto my banner. Yep - each and every light is paper pieced onto the banner (I stamped it onto the actual banner too - so that the wires would show). In the end, I decided to use embroidery floss as the wires for the light. Just glued it right on. I set large eyelets to make the banner nice and sturdy, and tied each “link” together with 3 layers of Marachino Bakers Twine from the Twinery.

I know you get the idea - but just in case you’re interested, here are pictures of the individual banner pieces ;)

Thanks so much for peeking in on me today! If you can please keep my mom and our family in your prayers - I would really, really appreciate it so much! I hope you have a great one!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fun Birthday Idea for a Friend!

Hi guys! Hope you had a great weekend! Mine was good, until Saturday evening when it turned a bit traumatic. I think I mentioned that my mom was having her new round of Chemo Therapy on Thursday last week. Turns out she fell violently ill on Saturday. I’ve never in my life seen her like that before, and it scared the absolute crap out of me!!! We still don’t know if she caught a little bug or it was the aftermath of the Chemo (which is what I think it was) but it was terrifying! I spent Saturday night and Sunday morning praying like crazy.

Then Sunday after church, I went to check in on her and bring her some soup/jello/gatorade. She looked a lot better, but not 100%. She stayed home from work today, needs rest and to regain some strength. Hopefully she’s getting there. Seeing her like that reminded me SO MUCH of my dad when he was in Hospice (he passed away almost 4 years ago - he was an alcoholic and died at 52 years old of cirrhosis of the liver - it was horrible.). Anyway, it scared me to death. I was so relieved to see her looking better Sunday. I really appreciate all of your prayers and if you could keep them coming we could definitely use them around here.

Prior to that scare I had a pretty crafty weekend. I made several more of the cute corner bookmarks (which I will hopefully share with you tomorrow). I sure am burning through my stash 6x6 pads of patterned paper ;). Today I wanted to share a fun little birthday idea I got from here.

My friend (who also is one of my co-workers) has her Birthday on Thursday and we got her a few cupcake pans (she recently moved into a new apartment and needs kitchenwares - we also got her a pressure cooker). Anyway, so, to go with the cupcake pans I got her a Funfetti cake mix & frosting and created a little “party” for her to take home with her too. Here is the before:
Using a 6x6 pad of My Minds Eye’s Lost & Found 2 - “Blush” and a fun Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch, I punched a bunch of butterfly “confetti” - which I put into a small glassine bag. Then I also made her little cupcake topper flags and put them in their own glassine bag. I decorated both bags, and made the confetti/flags using My Minds Eye’s Blush 6x6 pad.
For the flags, I used a toothpick and 3/4 x 4" strips of paper (with wet glue) and then cut a little triangle out
Then I wrapped the cake mix/frosting in Kraft packaging paper and finished them off with some pink twine from The Twinery & Trendy Twine. Fun Stuff. I think it’ll be a cute little add-on to her other gifts. Then when she gets home her hubby & kiddos have all the goodies to throw her a little party ;).

Here is a look at the finished product:

Hope you have a good Monday friends!!! If you can, please keep the prayers coming for my mom - thank you so much!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Corner Bookmarks - Lawnscaping #19 & Wee Memories #70

Morning, happy Thursday! EEK, I’m honestly so excited to share today’s projects with you guys!!! The story goes like this:

Several months ago I was browsing Etsy (I totally love Etsy for handmade gifts - and inspiration!!) and came across a handmade corner bookmark. What a totally a cool idea and I’d never seen one before that. I decided I must make one... I Googled “corner bookmark and found several tutorials and printed them out. Then... they sat tucked away in a drawer for about 3 months. HMPH. Just working on other stuff, I guess.

Anyway so this week is “book fair” week @ my son’s school and since he’s learning to read (and doing AMAZING) he loves getting books. My hubby took him & my daughter last night & they each picked up one. So, when I got home, my son decided he needed me to make him a bookmark, which I did. After he went to sleep, I remembered the corner bookmarks and pulled out the tutorials. I gave two of them a try and failed miserably. Here is the link to the one that I had success with. It’s pretty easy and the “hardest” part is covering them with patterned paper - which really wasn’t hard AT ALL.

Before I share my bookmarks with you, I should tell you, I’m entering the whole stash into both the Lawnscaping #19 Challenge

and the Wee Memories #70 Challenge

Both are very cool challenges and I think these babies fit the bill for both. Some of my favorite techniques are stamping, paper piecing, and I love reading. Also, I think they've got some good dimention going on.

So, without further delay here are my bookmarks:

As you can see, I made 4 of them (so far). I modified the tutorial to fit my needs, I think it says to cut the paper to 3x3 - I cut mine 4x3. Basically, then you fold the corners in {so it looks like a house}. I corner punched the bottom corners - because I like how that looks, and then covered them with patterned paper. Fun!

Before I even started - I knew I was going to use Lawn Fawn's Critters as the fun focal points, paired with their punny sayings - love those. {I used Critters on the Farm, Critters in the Sea - and then also added in a few stamps from Silly Valentine, Crusing Through Life, and Hello Friend} All of the images are paper pieced. Here is a look at them all in use - and product info for each:
This is my favorite one!! For it I used My Minds Eye’s Lost & Found “Sunshine” 6x6 pad
For this I used an October Afternoon’s Seaside 8x8 pad
And on this one I used a My Minds Eye Stella & Rose “Hazel” 6x6 pad
Lastly, for this one, I used My Minds Eye Lost & Found II “Blush” 6x6 pad

For each of them, I stamped my little personalized “Handmade by Heather” stamp on the back - love this stamp ;).

They don’t hurt your book either, just fit on your marked page, nice and snug.

I think they’ll make nice little gifts for Teacher Appreciation day. Maybe Christmas gifts for my bible study group. I brought them in to show the ladies at my daughter’s preschool (which is also our church - we’re all friendly) and they LOVED THEM!!! I basically lost 3 of them right there on the spot, but told them I’d have to take pics 1st ;).

Also, have you read this book:

My grandma referred it to me and it didn’t disappoint. Good book. I want to see the movie! Soon hopefully. Of course, I had to get the copy with the movie scene on the cover - Robert Pattinson {hunk-o-rama!}. You should check the book out. It's not just a love story - it's also about the {old days} Circus and how people look at/treat older people.

Ok, that’s it for me today. Thanks you, so very much for all the prayers for my mom!!! They obviously are working, she already got her Chemo today and it went smoothly. Her doctor is adjusting the other meds that go along with the Chemo, because she’s swollen in her face. I hope they help. If you can remember, when you can, can you keep her in your prayers for a while - I'd sure appreciate that. Anyway, have an awesome day & weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm here for you - LF WCMD & YCU Challenges

Hi guys! Hope your week is off to a good start. Halfway to the weekend :) YAY! I’ve been exhausted this week - plain old tired out. I took a mini break from my craftiness to recharge - gotta do that sometimes. I was not feeling totally inspired and basically knew that meant to give it a rest for a quickie. Otherwise I wouldn’t be happy with anything I created. Ever feel like that?

Anyway. I’ve been dying to submit something for Lawn Fawn’s World Cardmaking Day Challenge - to make a card AND SEND IT.

It ends today - so, I’m getting this in right in the nick of time. Also, I’ve really wanted to play along with the Young Crafters Unite #2 Challenge - to create an envelope to go with your card.

I’m entering today’s card into both challenges ;). With out delay, here is my card:

and with it’s envelope:

Lawn Fawn’s challenge wasn’t too awful hard for me. For the most part, I like to make cards & sent them right away. I usually have an idea of whom I’m making it for and sending it to before I even start the card/concept. And I always love (but have never tried) the idea of matching envelopes to the card - so personalized.

I made this card for my mom. Last week, Thursday, she got the not great news that her current Chemotherapy had stopped working. She’d been on it for 8 rounds (basically 7 months) and it was working great, 2 months ago, she had a PET scan that said her tumors (which are in her lungs) had shrunk by 50% and some were even dissolving. They kept her on it for 2 more months until another PET scan, and this one showed that they had grown a bit and now there is also a spot on her Liver and Pancreas. Sheesh.

She knows God’s in charge. He’s leading her somewhere - I know that too - but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this news is scary to me. We just have to continue to rely on him, not our own understanding. She’ll start a new Chemo tomorrow. I’m going to sneak this card into her purse today at work so when she leaves & finds it, it’ll be a little smile in her day.

On the inside of the card I wrote “Remember that you were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it” - a quote I found online somewhere and wrote it down. I like it. To make the card, I started of with Neenah Kraft paper and stamped the cute clouds from Lawn Fawn’s Partly Cloudy Set (using Papertrey Ink’s white Ink) and when the ink dried used Glossy Accents to randomly glue Papertrey Ink buttons on them. I made rainbow stitched raindrops and added gems & pearls to the end of them. My mom is a seamstress, so the stitching really say “mom” to me ;).

For the envelope, I used the cute closed umbrella - also from Lawn Fawn’s Partly Cloudy set and stamped it in various inks (Jenni Bowlin, Colorbox, and Versafine). I also added the sentiment (to the card & envelope) “I’m here for you” from Lawn Fawn’s On the Mend set.

That’s it. Thanks for having a look. If you can remember, will you please lift my mom, Kathy, up in your prayers? I would really and truly appreciate it. Hope your day is great friends.