Friday, February 22, 2013

21 years ago.....

 today Joe and I were married.  And for our anniversary we are getting a new boat and truck.  Kinda hard to wrap.  But, I will still give Joe a card ;-D .  I am anxious for the summer and being able to go out on the water.  Especially today as we are having ANOTHER snow storm.  Yes. More snow.  I am so done with winter, with cold, with wind chills well below zero and with ice.  And done with matter how pretty it is.  I am glad we are exchanging a gift that represents warmth and fun and outdoors.  It gives me something enjoyable to look forward to!  And, another reason why we are giving each other this boat is because this summer Corm graduates, and then will be off to college and so the boat and truck represent the "next" phase of life for Joe and me.  And, I think, even though I will miss having a house full of kids, I think Joe and I will have fun. We plan to be out on the water more, travel more...just generally do more for "us".  We have been parents who have really tried so hard to always be there for our kids. To always support them in their activities and, believe me, they were busy, involved kids!  All three of them!  So much so that our Joe's and my life together became one of spectating at our kid's lives!  Heheh...I. Am sure a lot of you can relate to that!  And now, facing a future with the kids out of the house and away at college it opens up lots of time for the two of us.  So, this summer we hope to bike ride more, boat and fish more, hike.....heck, even camp again.  We live in area that is filled with near by lakes and parks.  So, it will be different not structuring our entire existence around the three kids and their will be very different to be able to have our own activities but ultimately I think that Joe and  I are ready to "date" again!  And I guarantee you that I know that he is thinking about his new boat being made right now this very minute  because he is outside snowblowing us out for the gazillioneth time!!!!!!
Here is the card that I made for Joe.  I really have a difficult time with masculine cards....can you tell? Heheh.....

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Be well,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Proud as a Peacock-BEWARE!!!!!!!!!

I have some unabashed bragging to do. And I will tell you why so if you are just here for the card and not the pride then please scroll down! I have been super busy the last few weeks and the main reason has been that it was the end half of my son's swim season.  Corm is a senior in high school and when he was a scrawny little boy in 8th grade he told us not only did he want to swim Varsity in high school he planned on going to State his freshman year.  To give you an idea of what a big statement that is it means you have to be one of the top 16 swimmers in all of Wisconsin to compete at State. And, going into high school he was not swimming with the type of times that were even close to State qualifying times.  But, to make a long story short, (and also to prevent me from tearing up as I am having a really hard time ;-( with the end of swim season ) Corm made it to State his freshman year.  Actually he made it in two events.  Just like he said he would.  He swam every morning before school at 5:30 and every afternoon for 2+ hours.  And, swimming was one of the best things that ever could have happened to him.  Corm  was kinda picked on in elementary and middle school.  Nothing too horrible but enough to make a young boy feel sad and insecure.  And swimming changed that.  Swimming made him feel good.  It made him feel tired so he went to bed at a decent time.  It made him really hungry so he ate....lots of food and lots of good, healthy food.  It made him organized because he needed to budget his time around school and two practices as well as meets and if his grades dipped we told him he would have to sit out a meet....It made him more confident,  out going and willing to try new things because, in Corm's own words, "mom, you realize that if you can be up on the starting block in a teeny weeny Speedo in front of a bunch of strangers then you can do just about anything!" So, swimming led Corm to go for more Band, Marching and Pep Band, Jazz and German Band, Math Club, Peers to Peers, Tutoring, x-country and track and field as well as the musical.  And, State.  By the time his swim season ended last weekend, Corm made it to State his freshman year in two events, his sophmore year in three events, his junior year in three events and finally his senior year in 4 events....a total of 12 times.  And he medaled. Twice.  So this mom is proud.  Proud as a peacock.  My husband and I were saying that we can't even imagine what type of high school experience Corm would have had if he didn't have swimming....we can't imagine the person Corm would have turned out to be had he not had swimming.









                              Sooooo, swimming has been a HUGE part of this family's life for several years and I can't believe that it is now over......I have loved all the socializing with the other parent's, watching my kid....just everything.  And, of course everything is all the more sweet as Corm is my youngest and heading to graduation so each "end" is really a true END this year.  Sniff-Sniff.  But, I am proud of what he has accomplished but it is a true example of a kid who just worked his butt off.  The card that I made is with one of the images that I bought at a stamp store that is by the swim store in another town.  I have gone to this store each time I go and pick up the special race suits for the boys the day before the sectional meet.  I get the suits then head over to this amazing store....really, amazing.  And this little peacock called out to me...." won't be sorry.....!"  And, I'm not!

I used a WhipperSnapper Design image and Spellbinder dies along with a Cheery Lynn doily die.  I cut apart various layers of the peacock and popped them up on dots.  I did go over some of my copic coloring with a glitter pen and I think that is what is making the image "glare" a bit...but in real life it's pretty spectacular.

Thank you so much for slogging through my looooooong post....and if you didn't slog then thank you for skipping over my looooooooong post and looking at my card!  I appreciate the time you took either way ;-D

Be well,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Something new....

I have "belonged" to Splitcoast Stampers for some time now but honestly, I have never been able to figure out the site so unfortunately my "uploads" are minimal over there.  It is my aim to change that in 2013 however and today I plan to enter their LOVEFEST challenge.  It actually sounds pretty fun and I wanted to try my hand at another white on white "romantic" card.  I did bend to the color demon on this really called out to me to add  more than just white.  I got this birdcage die at my favorite little scrapbook store that unfortunately went out of biz last December.  So sad....I sure miss the ladies from there!  Anyways, I purchased this die at a deep discount and have been waiting for a time to use it.  It seemed to me to just whisper "love and romance" and so I think it will be one I turn to time and again for Valentine's, Anniversary and Wedding cards.  I love the blue combo that I used also.....isn't it soothing?  All dies and embossing folders are from Spellbinders and the little birds are a Martha Stewart punch.  I also plan to enter this into the Die Cut Diva's Untraditional Valentines Challenge.  The Splitcoast Stampers Lovefest Challenge is sponsored by Simon Says Stamp and it is called Die Crazy.  And lately, I have been so Die Crazy!  I think it is because I traded up on my die cutting machine to a Grand Caliber which I like very much.  I like the fact that I can cut  many dies out at fact often I am able to cut all the dies that I want for a particular card at the same time.  And, if I don't have alot of die cuts to make for a certain card I go ahead and cover random dies with scrap paper in order to maximize my plate pass through.  Anyway, here is my card...I lightly chalked the embossed sections of the die cut using the die as a stencil.  I have never done that before and thought that I would be making a mistake but I actually ended up liking it quite a bit.  Maybe I wouldn't with ink....maybe that would be to intense...but the chalk worked out just fine.

And here is the inside of the card.

I love this little saying....and after inking it with some Mememto Bahama Blue I traced over it with a glitter pen.  Well, I do have so much else to share...we have had quite a few busy weeks lately and I want to tell you all about it but will wait for another time :-D

Take care and Be well,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Bag....

This is my second post of the day....I know....crazy right?  Anyways, if you are here to see the White on White entry for Simon Says Stamp challenge....please scroll down.

I like to make gift bags.  In fact, that was one of the very first things I did when I got into paper crafting.    It is a big canvas and always provides a fun and creative surface for decoration.  This is the bag I just made for my 17year old son to give to his girlfriend.  I was going for an old timey vintage look.  I hope they both like it as I don't have any more crafting time to make him a different one!

The coloring turned out a bit funky here but in real life it is actually very pretty!  Thanks for stopping by!

Be well,

White on White Valentine

White on white is not normally my thing but it is a style that I have really been wanting to try. I always admire other people's work when they go all white and I have had this on my "to try" list for ever!  When the Simon Says Stamp Challenge for White on White came up I decided that this was the day! I usually love an abundance of color so the absence of color was truly a challenge for me.  In fact, the way I approached this was to try and make the layers of white give the same oomph as the layers of color would.  It was fun...and I will admit that at first I added colored flowers and then ripped them off and went to white ones.  The colored looked really beautiful too and I will probably make a card with them but....I felt like I was cheating on my challenge and so went back to an all white card.  I am entering this into the Simon Says Stamp Challenge of White on White

I used 120 lb card stock...the luxury card stock from Gina K.  I like that for white because it looks so thick and crisp.  Then I used the Spellbinder nesting heart die to make a frame, their Botanical Swirls expandable die for the heart insert and then a simple dotted embossing folder. The corner pieces are also Spellbinders....from a set that I bought years ago and don't have the packaging to tell you what it is.  The doily is a Cheery Lynn die and I have no idea of where the flowers are from!  I have had them for ages!  

I actually really, really liked making this white on white card.   It was somewhat harder than I thought it would be and that has nothing to do with my favoritism for color.  It had more to do with the need to create interest for the eye.....something that would be pleasing to look at yet at the same time wasn't overwhelming and cluttered.  I am not fully convinced that I achieved those goals but I do like this card as a "first timer"  and know that I will be going all white again and again.  In fact, I think the whole monochromatic look is one that I want to play with for awhile....time to change things up again!  Take care and thank you so much for stopping by....I always appreciate your visits.  And, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Be well,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stuck on this die....

lately.  I have used this particular die for several cards recently and one of the reasons is because I end up spending so much time with it I feel like I have to use it no matter what!  I know, I know....wrong way to get a card made. I love this die but it is a little tricky to get the branch overlay out.  What I have been doing lately is cutting out the heart and then putting double sided adhesive paper over regular paper and then cutting out the branches.  Then after I get the rather thick branch section out of the die I carefully peel off the adhesive cover and then stick it in some Glamour Dust.  But even though I like it I don't love it so I guess I haven't found the way to be  really, really happy using this die yet.  It seems like it is missing a mounting layer to my eye....but when I have tried to free hand cut one out they always look a little like amateur hour.  Oh well. Anyways, after I get the heart cut and pasted with it's branches I really feel like I MUST find a way to use it.  By then I have spent so much time fiddling with it! I mean, it would be wasteful not often end up spending a lot of time on a card that doesn't  truly deserve to have my attention that long!  I am trying to make a card a day.  I feel if I really try and commit myself to this challenge I will ultimately get enough practice to become better at this hobby.  Many times my crafting comes in spits and spurts and then I tend to stay at the same competency level without ever progressing to better cards with better sketches and using better techniques.  So, I figure that some days I will have more time and other days I will have less time but if I have to get a card done each day then I will become more efficient in the time that I have available on that particular day.  Some many of my blogging friends are taking that online course and their cards are just fabulous!  I have total card envy ;-D  But, I have taken online courses before without fully thinking about how my upcoming schedule looks and unfortunately I have missed large sections of the class....only to try and play massive catch up in the day or two that I have free. So, knowing how crazy busy Jan, Feb and March are I decided not to take the class and so, OF COURSE I  am now bumming about how much I am missing and that  I should have taken it blah blah blah! Over at the Simon Says Stamp Blog the new challenge is Anything with a Heart and so I thought I would enter this card into their challenge!

Anyways, here is my card....kinda intense....I was going for the shabby look but I don't think I quite made it there!

The inside is decorated and says "May all of your Dreams come true" but I didn't include the picture as it was so overexposed that it looked completely washed out!  Thank you for stopping by and I hope you are able to fit in some crafting time!

Be well,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Extremely Cool Valentine Project!

And I should add a very easy one too! Before I start though, I want to point out that this is my second post of the first one was also an untraditional Valentine for the Die Cut Diva Challenge! I am planning to add this to the Die Cut Divas Untraditional Valentine Challenge as I think that chocolate flowers are untraditional and we did uses die cuts in the project.  In fact, my die cutting machine is a Grand Caliber and I was so pleased to be able to fit 13 various foliage dies onto each tray and pass through!  That made the the die cutting so easy. For my project another mother and I were in charge of putting together the flowers for parent's night for our son's swim team.  Traditionally we order flowers to be given out to the parent's but by the time the boys get all the way up to the balcony (where the spectators sit) the flowers are usually "broken headed" or limp or just pretty damaged looking.  I think perhaps the boys use them like "light sabers" all the way up the stairs to the balcony.  Anyways, the flowers are not cheap to begin with and by the time they reach the parents they are pretty lousy looking and only get worse as they are lanquishing in the humid pool bleachers amongst crushing winter coats.  So, the other mom said she had an idea to make roses out of Hersey Kisses. She came over and because our team is so large (36 - 40 swimmer and divers) we decided to go ahead and make these little bouquets for roughly 20 cents apiece.  First we made the roses.....approximately 260 of them!  And, actually, they went really, really fast. With two people we each made 22 bouquets...we made extra for the coaches to give to their little girls too.  Each rose is made of two Hersey kisses glued dotted together with wire and floral tape.

 In fact, your supply list is:
1. Red or Pink Cellophane (big rolls sold at dollar store) cut into 4 1/2 inch squares.
2. Hersey Kisses
3. Floral Wires....we cut ours and made two flowers from each original wire.
4. Floral Tape.
5. Something to wrap around the sticky floral tape.
Then these are the supplies that we added to our bouquets.....but aren't necessary.
6. Doilies....can uses store bought or cut your own out of think printer paper.
7. Foliage....we used all my "leaf" die cuts so we have maples leaves, ferns pine needles ete....hahah
8. Ribbon.

 Here is a front view of how the roses look before we began assembling them into bouquets.

And here is a side view.  We cut our roses down to be part of something smaller but I have seen them left long and wrapped to mimic long stem roses.....

Then, we folded and taped cheap rectangular birthday  "treat" bags to resemble the shape of floral bags and stuck in 5 roses that we first wrapped in a doily.  Then we put in various foliage that was die cut.  Finally, we wrapped a ribbon around each bouquet and tied it with a foam heart that we glued a small "thank you" charm to.  Here is a close up shot of the bouquet.

And here is a group shot of all the bouquets that we made.  Isn't this a cute idea?  And how sweet would it be to give to a teacher, grandparent or elderly neighbor for a Valentine's Day gift?

Well, this isn't quite a tutorial but it sure became a "how to" without me planning on it!  If you have any questions please ask and I will be more than happy to help you!  We found all supplies for cheap and used lots of scrap paper for the you can see...the foliage is all different papers!  Thanks for stopping by!

Be well,

Another Day.....

another "Valentine-y-ish" card.   For this one I went with untraditional colors although I kept with the heart theme.  I am going to enter this into the Die Cut Diva's challenge Untraditional Valentines.  I had fun making this card although it is nowhere near the card that I first started out with!  Sometimes I am okay when that occurs but other times it drives me crazy!  I wish I was one of those crafters that was able to see the final product in my mind, layout it out and then, finally, execute and assemble it according to my vision.  But, sadly, that happens like once in a blue moon!  I hope the recipient likes it though...I think she will!

The lighting is a bit off as we have a pretty gray and blustery day here in Plymouth. Also, snow showers.....lots of snow showers!  The showers are so pretty though.

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for any comments!...I always appreciate the time you take to visit!

Be well,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Card Chain...

I made this card for someone in a card chain that I am involved in.  I love this little image and it's accompanying sentiment.  I am not too much of a cutsie image person but "cute" always seems to work for Valentines.

My son is finishing up his fourth year, senior year of high school swimming.  And swim team has been a great experience for all of us.  Certainly for Cormick but also for Joe and I as we have found the swim parents over the years to be such a nice group of people.  In fact, after home meets, the parents often found it necessary to hold a practice of our own down at the the local  water hole!  I am going to really, really miss watching Corm swim and compete but I will also miss getting together with this really great group of people on a weekly basis.  This coming Saturday is Sectionals and it is kinda a big deal as it determines which swimmers make it to State.  Most swimmers get special suits for this meet called "fast" suits....they are incredibly thin and only last for perhaps 4-6 times.  I usually go pick up the suits for the kids and they are sold in Milwaukee...a town about 1 hour away.  By picking up these suits I am able to blend two things I there is a fabulous stamping store that is about a mile away from the suit store.  And, I only go to this store once a year when I pick up the suits!  It is the leading contact for Whipper Snapper Design stamps as that is a stamp company right here in Wisconsin.  So, this store has 1000's and 1000's and 1000's of stamps.  If you ever make it to Wisconsin it is worth going into this store.  The amount of stamps is mind blowing!  So, after picking up the suits I always make a small detour to the store before I head home.

So, here is my card.


And, here is the inside!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I always appreciate your comments.

Be well,