Thursday, November 30, 2006

Our evening...

After putting our kitchen back together, getting myself cleaned up, Don and I took a short road trip for a late lunch/early supper. Undecided about where to go, we ended up in Ontario at the Olive Garland having soup, salads, and breadsticks! Yummm!

Afterwards, a trip into Hobby Lobby sounded perfect --- just to walk off our meal. We browsed through the Christmas aisles, all 108 of them, so it seemed, LOL! Then, headed into the scrapbooking supplies and rubber stamping supplies. I was in shock over how much this area has grown! They definately are in competion with an area scrapbook store, Michael's, and another area stamp store! I was amazed at the selection. I wasn't too bad purchasing wise, mostly stocked up on some adhesive; although, I couldn't resist picking up a few sheets of some My Mind's Eye Bohemian papers. I've no idea if I'll use them in Alexxis's album or for backgrounds for some cards. From there we walked through the remaining sections of the store as we made our way to the cashier. Both Don & I were shocked to see that it was already dark outside and checked the time... 5:30 p.m.!!! I don't know about you but I am so ready for the time change... I don't like being in the dark so early!!!

Arriving home, I was feeling it! After taking some Advil, I sat on the couch watching Without a Trace, snuggling in a comfy throw, and enjoying every moment of not having to move.

The room wouldn't be complete without at least one....

Of my previous craft projects! I created this centerpiece a few years ago using a white florist foam wreath ring, a large circular mirror, a winter wreath, dried twigs with lots of sparkle, a strand of white christmas lights, and a majestic acylic reindeer! The silk flowers are added using floral picks and not actually adhered to the piece, like the reindeer, so that I can change them out whenever I'd desire.

Now, all I need is a home-cooked meal, the smell of some freshly baked Christmas goodies, and the company of family and friends. Would you like to come to dinner? {wink}

Touches of Christmas....

are scattered about the room without being too overbearing. They are both functional and easily enough to replace after the holidays. The basket is usually filled with potatoes and offers a cute dry goods storage solution.

Some other various touches....

My four foot Christmas tree adds light and warmth to the breakfast bar area of the room, while I love the stark white of my Avon Navity scene on the shelf high above the everyday dining area.

My kitchen is "almost" finished...

Whoo-hoo! I am out of paint! For now at least... {I'll need to purchase another gallon as I have some "touch-ups" to do. I like to have some paint on hand for those little dents and dings that occur through the course of our daily lives.}

Don was kind enough to bring our glass top table supports and four chairs down out of the upstairs storage area; while I set about cleaning and putting things back in the room. It wasn't long after that when we were setting the tabletop in place! Everything seemed to go back together perfectly... without any mishaps!

On the tabletop, I added a glass Home Interior bowl filled with a chubby candle and surrounded it with a winter scented potporri. A pair of a rooster and a hen grace the bowl with their presence and create a wonderful easy to remove centerpiece. The chair cushions that we recovered a few years ago from some leftover remanents from the curtains, assist in tying the room together. They offer just enough of the black and vanilla checks, that is repeated in our curtains, to provide some contrast and match perfectly with the touches of black and white scattered about the space. I so loved waking up to this room this morning!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And a "Thank You"....

To all my blog readers... I so appreciate your comments and concerns! I don't believe that I can say it often enough but I do appreciate each and everyone of you. {Yes, even when pictures of Alexxis outshines some of my best artwork to date, LOL!}

If you have a moment or two today, please post a reply to one of your blog readers, even if only it is to say, "Thank you!" A word of encouragement goes a long, long way!

Good Morning!

I fell out early last night to awake early this morning! I am feeling great! not too sore and well-rested.

I am excited about putting my kitchen back together today and getting to the re-decorating; even though I'll be using what we currently own vs. buying anything new! It will be a challenge not to put things back in the same ole' spot but in a way that highlight each items unique qualities and display them as the well-loved treasures that they are. Today's goal is to get the kitchen finished, do some decorating within the space for the Christmas season, and clean the remainder of my home. I love a clean house --- when that happens, LOL! and I can assure you, it doesn't stay that way for too long. {grin}

I am looking forward to finishing some old projects and starting some new projects soon.... some creativeness for Christmas gift-giving; some home decor items, and some simply for the pure enjoyment of creating!

My time will be spent juggling various duties, as it is once again time to clean up my computer, burn some disks, do a back up, and maintanance. I am also hopeful to make some changes to my blog before the New Year rolls in.... complete with links, and some new labels. Wish me luck with that... as I tend to get sidetracked, LOL.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another coat of paint is drying, a light brunch has been eaten and cleaned up after, and this girl is taking a well-deserved break!!!

I was thinking about adding photographs to my blog after I finished re-decorating it when it dawned on me how little respect we tend to give to the photographers that take all the photographs of beautiful homes to inspire us within the many pages of a variety of magazines. If you've ever tried to capture your beloved items within your home, you know what I am talking about. The way the light shines into a room, the glare or reflections from the lights within. Mirrors, or the glass within a picture, can become a photographer's worst nightmare ---- flash or no flash!!! So, just a word of caution, in the event that I do upload some photographs, I'm no professional home photogragher! Just me, my ameuterish attempts to capture a moment in our lives and times! {smiles}

Back to painting....

Today's agenda is to get the final two coats of red paint on the kitchen walls. The previous coats of paint are dry, yet splotching looking --- the nature of this red paint! I know, however, that once completed, I'm going to love it! I've procrastinated long enough about painting it; mainly because there is so much to paint around. Cabinets, windows, the back door... the color in my previous pic is a bit off. In reality, the paint is a ruby red, Behr's Ruby Ring, which cures to a wonderful red with a hint of burgandy as the layers of paint mix together. I am anxious to get it finished up today because once dry... I get to start putting everything back into the space and re-decorate!

I'll be re-hanging my baskets, my gardening hat will hang on a nail besides the back door, my stained glass rooster will be catching and throwing a bit of color into the space, while my rooster cookie jar will be waiting to be filled with Christmas cookies, my cake pedastal with a delish delight! and the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas will soon be waifing through the air. However, before all that can happen, I need to once again pick up the roller and the paint brush.... {ta...ta...*until then*}

Monday, November 27, 2006

What a day!!!

Since the employment opportunity is temporarily on hold, I decided I had better begin using my time a bit more wisely. As the above picture shows, I cleaned and cleared the back section of our kitchen, trimmed in, and managed to get two coats of paint on the walls! I'll be painting once again in the morning; in hopes that I will be ready to clean up and begin putting things back into place. Our small kitchen table and chairs will be placed once again in front of the window, complete with a red tablecloth, placemats, and a 4 foot tree for my kitchen! We will be bringing our larger glass top table back out of the attic and using it in the front section of the kitchen. Preparations for the holidays are underway!!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What a treasure!!!

I wasn't certain when I took this one just how it would turn out, however, I desired to try it. I did manage to capture Alexxis' reflection within the ornament. {Love this! *smile*}


Of course, Grandma had to consider safety first before placing a shatterproof ornament at the end of a branch for Alexxis to reach and play with. As you can see, she had a blast!

So Precious...

Alexxis spent the night with Grandma and Papa last night. She is growing up so fast! I was surprised when I put her in her duckie pj's to discover that she won't be wearing them for much longer. She loved our Christmas tree, staring at the lights, while attempting to dance to Christmas Music. She laughed hysterically when Grandma sung along to Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You! song...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Good News/Bad News...

Don and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! First with a light lunch at his mom's house, time spent with his family and good friends. Next, at Dennis and Sheila's for Thanksgiving dinner, spending time with them a their family. Can you say, "STUFFED!" LOL! With all the food and visiting, I captured only a few photographs and none from their home. Maybe next time?

On Friday, while I spent time sorting through a lot of boxes of Christmas decorations, I received a telephone call for a job! $10 an hour; 2nd shift; 10 hr. workdays with mandatory overtime, with transportation provided and a 4 hour commute per day. I went filled out the paperwork, took a drug test, and was all scheduled to start on Monday! I was ecstatic!!! Now, mind you, I am not a 2nd shift person. In fact, that is my last choice of hours, however, since it is only temporary, 5 weeks in duration, I'd intended to stick it out. Not crazy about commuting to Columbus either, but hey! we need another vehicle or $$$ to repair our Jeep. Fast forward, to this morning and a telephone call, NOW if I want the job, I need to make my own transportaion arrangements. The reason, not enough interested applicants to bus us down and back. Urghhh! So, I am undecided. Do I take it anyways, in hopes that during the next week or two there will be enough interest and transportation will be provided at that point? Or do I continue to search on my own???

We only have one vehicle; the reason I'm willing to go to work in the first place. IF I take this job, we are putting more wear and tear on the truck with two round trips made with each shift I work and $20 per day spent in gasoline(which comes out or our pocket expenses until I receive my first pay.) I don't know what the answer is... but we're discussing and weighting our options.

In the meantime, I am staying busy. I put up our 7 1/2 foot Christmas pre-light tree last night. I hung gold bead strands of garland on it, along with three rolls of gold embossed burgandy ribbon, and hung all the ornaments. I loved sitting and looking at it late last night after returning from the Moose for the Friday night drawing.

Today, I wrapped the presents we've purchased to date; with the exception of a few. I created some tags for four stockings using gift tags, cardstock, printed papers, eyelets and jute. I tied them on to the hangers. I don't have enough stockings for everyone individually so I used one for Alexxis, another for Amber & Chris, another for my Mom & Dad; and the last one for Don and I. I've added a few things to Alexxis; Amber's is filled with assorted items I've purchased for her, while my parents, Amber & Chris's and ours, will be filled later with candies, fudge, chocolate and a homemade Christmas card.

After taking this break to update, I'll preparing a Handmade Christmas Mingle for an online group for mailing. Next, is to work in the two Art Idea Journals in my possession and prepare them for mailing. I'm ready to focus on more painting, decorating, and Christmas gifts that need to be made still yet. Until then... have a great day and wish me luck with whatever I decide regarding the employment opportunity!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Over the river and through the woods....

but not to Grandma's house we'll go...

We received another Thanksgiving Day invitaion. Not the first, but the fourth!!!! Talk about persistance, sheessshhhh, LOL! Our good friends, Sheila and Dennis telephoned yesterday to say, "it wouldn't be Thanksgiving Day without us!" So, we've accepted. Sheila has invited us 3 times prior to this already and simply would not take "No." for an answer.

Don and I first met them when I had Partly Paper at the Marion Farm and Flea Market. The newest one, for anyone familiar with the area. Dennis had a booth opposite from mine with the most amazing woodcrafted furniture you've ever seen in your life! The four of us instantly made that connection and bonded, inviting one another to each others homes, having cookouts, camp outs, and many parties together. You couldn't ask for a sweeter couple. Due to low sales, I was sad when Dennis decided to pull his booth and a few short months later, I pulled mine out. This freed up a lot of weekends for all of us to continue on our journey of friendship. That has been two years ago, and to this day, we've managed to stay in touch, visiting with one another often.

I've been meaning to take some photographs of them and their home. I tell you it is like heaven over there! Country life suits them and their property is amazing! Surrounded by cow pastures, small rolling hills, a creek that gently winds along beside their property, the clearing in the woods where we've camped and cooked and sung karoke around a roaring fire. So, today I'm taking my camera along! Hopefully, we will arrive with an appetite and early enough to get some outdoor shots.

I'm also excited to see Shadow. He is Chaos' father. If Chaos turns out to be half the dog his father is, we got ourselves a good one. Unfortunately, Chaos will be staying home today since we're going to Don's mother's home first. Shadow will however thank us as Chaos is still a young pup in his daddy's eyes; one with too much energy all in one place, LOL!

Whatever your Thanksgiving plans are for the day, we wish you a "Happy Thanksgiving!" May it be everything you hoped for and so much more! Be safe and don't eat too much! {*smiles*}

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday Preparations....

Holiday preparations are always crazy; and this year is no exception for us! It is a juggling act trying to accomodate so many people. My parents, Don's Mom, ourselves, and our own families: Shawn and his, and Amber and hers.

The only constant thing, we can depend upon is Thanksgiving at Don's moms. Every year, dinner is at 1 o'clock! Like clock-work. We know we will be invited. We know who will be there. We know, we will be able to spend time with Shawn and his family as they will be there, too.

My family is another story completely. Over the past 6-7 years, we've tried just about everything! doing dinner the day before, the day after, the day of Thanksgiving. Having it here at my home, having it at my parents. Including Amber and her family and somehow managed to jugggling it all.

This year will be so very different. My mom desires to go out! No long hours spent cooking, preparing, moving tables over to her home; or having it here. I've come to accept that. It is hard on her... trying to accommodate everyone's wished and desires, along with their thoughts and feelings so everyone is happy. I believe as my parent's age, it is easier for them to do this in their home. They are more comfortable there and I can respect that. There home is smaller than mine, but I am able to get past that, just to have the opportunity to share with everyone. You never know what Thanksgiving will be the last, so put your differences of opinion aside... it is only one day!

I can definately relate to as I myself have attempted to have Thanksgiving dinner here, on more than one occasion. It gets crazy! As much as you love everyone, you cannot please everyone. Eventually, someone's feeling are hurt over the most trival little things. Scheduling conflicts, what to serve, ham or turkey? I hate to accept that it has come to this but that, my dear blog readers, is the truth! There is nothing consistent about it. Try as hard as I might, I've never managed to establish that old time tradition with my family. It is a hard reality and it hurts. This year, I am trying my darnest to accept that and remain thankful to have family to even worry about spending it with, in whatever way they choose to spent it!

I have to admit this is hard for me. I want my descendants to remember Thanksgiving spent at Grandma's house like I did growing up. We knew without question we'd be there! We knew without question, even with over 200 people sometimes, everyone would pitch in and be accomodated. There was no stress and differences were set aside for another day. It was a day to be THANKFUL!

That tradition, crumbled and fell by the wayside after my Grandma Kennedy past away. We struggled, attempting to reclaim that, until a few years later, my mom re-established a Thanksgiving Day tradition within her home for our family. Getting together with 4 older brothers, their families, 2 other sister, and there families, with some out of state, into a small two bedroom home was a challenge but with God's grace, somehow, it all come together. Some years, some didn't make it; other years some did. As our families grew, and our parents aged, that tradition crumbled and fell by the wayside. Our parents were invited elsewhere and graciously accepted; while the rest set out to establish our own traditions.

So, my family and friends, that is where we are today. Trying to re-establish. Hey, it is a FAMILY TRADITION! LOL!

(Just so you know... I hesitate to push that "publish" button! But I have decide to. I'm intending to create a scrapbook page about this later, not just for my own therapy, but for Alexxis. I hope she will one day be able to experience a Family Tradition; one so very different from what you've read here. One of love, thankfulness, of caring about putting differences aside and just accepting one another as they are. I hope she'll understand that just because you aren't able to love someone as they desire to be loved, doesn't mean you love them any less! Sending my love to family and friends, wherever and however you are... I love you and I'm grateful to be able to simply call you, "FAMILY & FRIENDS")

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Christmas Goodies...

These Ornaments are wooden tags and I've created a co-ordinating "Notes & Quotes" Japanese Stab Bound little book.

Monday, November 20, 2006

For a Great Cause....


Help make snowflakes to increase donations to the Salvation Army! There is also a link to donate, if you feel generous to the Angel Tree!

I tried once again to capture my rendition of

my Wendy Addison Winter fairy in a jar.... I think it is a better view of the outside of the jar and the glittered stars. A rim in the formation of the jar distorts when photographed but not in real life.

Another Christmas Set

I felt creative again tonight so I created another Christmas set using another vintage image and a new banner saying, "Warm Winter Wishes" This set will be going postal so I decided to include one of my Paper Paper labels.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Christmas Gift Box with a gift tag and card

I have been desiring to create with some vintage Christmas images and this Old World Santa lended himself perfectly to this set of artful creations. He is adorning a red decorative paper lined card with matching "To/From" gift tag. I used a circle chipboard and a peppermint sticker on the inside, with a glitter sizzix cut star graces the outside.
The Christmas gift box is completely handmade! It is a slider box (matchbox style) adhered to a chipboard covered and printed paper layered support. Red tinsel surrounds but does not interfere with the sliding portion of the box. The inside contains more of the green printed paper on the bottom, although cotton could also be inserted. Surrounding the box is a pinking sheared edge border upon which I've placed a paper medallion, another paper covered circle chipboard, and a pinking sheared edge banner that says, "Christmas Wishes" Completely Barbara Schriber inspired!!!!
I am also desiring to walnut ink some shipping tags! Some will be crinkled first, while others will be created as is. Vintage images and jute will be added to them so I can hang them on our tree as ornaments. I'm thinking I'll glitter some sections of some, create some plain, and others may just get some Diamond dust sprinked over them. I'm excited about the upcoming holidays! Can you tell?

Now for some of my most recent artwork...

My target tree! I so feel in love with these little trees from the Dollar Spot at Target. Unfortunately, the Target at Polaris had no gold ones, and I was torn between choosing between this irridescent, a teal, and the traditional silver style. So, I compromised! I purchased this one and a silver. One will be in my art studio, and one in Alexxis's nursery here. I would have loved to have been able to put lights on it, however, decide to think safety and peace of mind over beautiful lights that would be seen infrequently.

In front of the tree to the left, is my Wendy Addison rendition created fairy in a jar style. Gold glittered stars adorn the jar in a variety of places... {2 small and 1 large}. I used a Ragu Spaghetti Sauce jar for this and hot glued "Have yourself a merry little christmas" ribbon to the side edges of the jar's lid. On top is a paper medallion with a "Joyeux Noel" banner! The banner is combinition of white text weight paper, speckled gold vellum, with a matted verse over the red patterned paper medallion. I'll show you a sample of the medallions in my next post.

Here is a sample of the smiles, I get...

Unfortunately, my flash went off and I captured her with her pretty blue eyes closed. She still has a hint of Angel Kisses on her eyelids. {smile} And did you notice those three pearly whites? She also just got one of her top front teeth through the gum while visiting this past weekend. Although teething, she takes it all in stride. Can you tell she is "my girl"? LOL!

Grammie's Girl...

Ahhh, Ha.... I got my camera batteries and just have to share this sweetness! Alexxis McKenzie, almost 5 and a half months old, playing with her toys at Grammies. At this point, she was more interested in getting her hands on Grandma's camera than in having her picture taken.

Blogger Beta and an update

One day last week I updated my blog to Blogger Beta. So far, so good. I've not experienced any problems and this is my first post since making that move. I figure all blogger blogs will be moved eventually anyways, so I made the move. I must admit that I was a little hesitant and concerned about losing anything, so before I did I copied my template source and all posts and pasted them into notepad! Just as a precaution! I'm am totally amazed that I fastly approaching my 2nd blog-aversary! It's hard for even me to comprehend that I've managed to keep up with it. I am also grateful that I've done this. I keep handwritten journals, however, sometimes I become too busy to find the time to sit and write all the I desire too; so this online blog helps me to stay in touch with family and friends, as well as record those little moments that may never have been documented; although my handwritten journals are a bit more personal. I used to hesitate to document some things that could controvery, but now, I no longer worry about that; I remain hopeful that whoever may read them after I am gone will realize that what I might have written is my point of view. Hell, there is even a disclaimer written there for my daughter, should she ever read them, LOL! Sometimes what I write centers around her, my frustrations as a mother, my disappointments when I know she could do better for herself, ect. I just have hope that as a mother herself, she will one day understand what I feel and the way I think.

I wonder sometimes if one day my granddaughter, Alexxis, will come to love this blog as much as I do! Will my blog even be around when she is in her 20's, 30's? Who knows, but for now, it is enough for me. And enough about this blog or my journals....

Lately, my mind has been on decorating for the holidays so I've started doing some major housekeeping that sort of gets shoved to side with the everyday cleaning. Closets, Art supplies, clearing and organizing drawers, type of stuff. Those things we put off for that "one day", which never seems to come, LOL!

I spent some time searching online for holiday decorating ideas, going through some previous years worth of magazines, going through some catalogs, thinking about what I have available and how to best utilize it. While doing so, I think I'd like to hang on to some of these older magazines and catalogs so that I can clip some of the photographs to add to a handmade scrapbook with ideas, projects, and anything holiday related. On the BHG website, there has been a 100 days of decorating ideas covering everything from Autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas which I've been enjoying but I'm am not about to try to tackle one of that size! At least not yet, anyways. I'm thinking of focusing only on Christmas for now. I think I'm going to simply use sheets of 12x12 cardstock rather than cutting, resizing, ect. and leave a 1" margin on the left side. Once done I'll created some covers and bind in an easy Japanese Stab Binding, maybe using some wider red satin Christmas-y style ribbon. I'm thinking my pages will be dimensional, using paper clips, fold outs, envelopes with sample craft supplies tucked inside, fabric samples, ect. I've some 6x9 envelopes that I can seal, cut in half, add clippings and things to as I work, along with any notes and ideas, until I'm ready to start actually constructing it; which by the way will be well after the new year! I'm stressing myself out trying to accomplish it during this busy season.

Today's agenda: Get out of the house! Do a bit of shopping; list: Camera batteries!!!!! LOL! I'm dying to share my latest creations! Be back later.........

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Some recent creations...

I don't have pictures to share with you of Linda's deco or the artwork mentioned below. I still have to locate my scanner software and my digital batteries died. Somedays, you just cannot win, LOL! I tried recharging them, with no such luck, so I asked if Linda would try to capture an image of her pages for me, I'll share them when I receive them and capture the below mentioned artwork when I purchase fresh batteries. I'm going to need them for the upcoming holidays!

After turning in my job application, resume, making the trip to the P.O, paying home and auto insurance, I made a quick jot into JoAnn's for adhesives. I was shocked at how little selection they actually had; although there was actually quite a bit there to choose from. I really had no idea what type I was looking for, however, I found a 4 pk. of the Duck adhesive which I've never personally tried but have heard good reviews about and purchased it. I also found some DCWV 8x8 Christmas block with cardstock, printed paper, vellum quotes, and alphabet alphabet stickers for 50% off and a co-ordinating rub-on stack and a sticker stack. I purchased them thinking they'd be perfect for some Christmas card and tags. I was inspired further when I read this:

Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bit and pieces into an enticing new possibility.
— Rosabeth Moss Kanter, American business speaker and consultant

Last night, I played around with them a bit. Created one card, a tag, an ornament, and a Christmas fairy in a jar! I have long admired the artwork of Wendy Addison, so I googled her name, discovered some of her artwork.... actually it is a figurine which I saved and printed onto cardstock, cut out, and slid into a jar. I filled the bottom up with unrolled cotton balls, created a medallion for decoration the lid which I hot glued ribbon around the edge of. I used glitter and some tinsel to further decorate it. I hesitated a bit to use Wendy's art within mine, afterall, it is copyrighted. But I decided to go ahead and use it since I am giving credit where create is due and the item isn't for resale but for my own personal use. One of the factors in making that decision was the knock off Sally Jean Alexander Vintage Art charms. Not a original idea, but one she expanded upon in her own unique style and copyright of her own creations. She provides her own line, but within her recent book, Pretty Little Things, shares her tips and techniques and how to's. I am waiting for such a book, written by Wendy Addision!!!! There was a recent write up in the Post Script newsletter, within it you can read A Magical Art Adventure by Jenny Doh and find a photograph of Jenny and Wendy, and read about her adventures with Pam Garrison!

Anyways, the above quotaion was taken from the Stampington & Company Post Script Nov. 14, 2006 issue. You can subscribe to it here:

If you received this newsletter from a friend and would like to SUBSCRIBE, simply click below. Please add to your email address book to ensure you receive all of our newsletters in your in-box (not bulk or junk folders). Note: Please keep in mind that this email is not solicited as you added your name to the Stampington Post Script mailing list and expressed an interest in being kept up to date on the latest Stampington & Company news. E-mail addresses will never be shared, traded or sold through Stampington & Company.

"Reprinted with permission from Stampington & Company’s FREE Post Script e-newsletter. You can subscribe to their e-newsletter and enter the drawing for a $25.00 gift certificate by visiting their website at"

Another item I created was an orgami folded slider box which I decorated with a paper medallion and banner that reads, "Joyeus Noel" I believe I'd like to create a few more of these to send out as RAK's.

I am also desiring to purchase a small tree for my studio, create some walnut inked tags using the Cavallini alphabet stamps to spell our some words prior to decorating with some fabric strips and rusty bells. I am hopeful to create some alcohol ink ornaments and some faux Victorian paper style ornaments as well. Of course, I will have to work on this between finishing the Art Idea Journals and the last deco swap!

While at JoAnn's, I also discovered some suitcases, sort of similar to my own Stationery Suitcase. I believe I'll be going back to purchase a few of them, possibly for Christmas gifts... Oh, and while I was out yesterday turning in my application, I came across a Stoneware Popcorn Bucket and Bowl set, complete with Salt and Pepper shakers, and a butter melting pan. Since the price was just as much as I would have spent on another gift for Don's neice, I purchased it. I'll be creating a paper gift card holder instead of the bookmarks I had originally intented to enclose with a gift card to Barnes and Nobles. The gift card will be to a video store so she can rent some new releases. This will free up a bit of my time for creating the journals since I'm hopeful to return to work soon. So please visit again, there is more coming --- I promise!

Art gone postal....

I worked in Linda's deco on Monday evening after receiving it in the mail. Since I'd gotten side tracked in mailing Rebecca's and still had it in my possession, I was inspired to get my artwork in Linda's completed, repackage the package so that it contained both, and made it a priority to get them in the mail. I'm happy to say that they were mailed out together on Tuesday morning.

I so loved Linda's deco. Her theme was a childhood beach or by the sea. She used some lovely, yet subtle bright colors and decorations with vintage style artwork of children. Deborah's, Rebecca's, and Lianne's page contribution were absolutely amazing as well. Linda requested only one page, however, upon determining what to use within it became a challenge for me. I had two images, one a picture and the other a printed version of a SB page piece that I had used long ago. I felt the quotation was perfect for the last page within the deco so I improvised a bit by creating a folded page that once adhered left me with 3 pages to decorate. I placed the photograph and text on the front and the quotation on the 3rd inside last page. Since my photograph had a beachcomber theme, I played off of it using a Stamper's Anonymous "Found object" cube with exhibition # ____ and added in beach themed starfish, shells, with a sand dollar charm. Text spelling out starfish, scallop shell, and sand dollar was also used to embellish a bit further.

I thought it would be nice to include as souvenir, especially a found object, so I dug a small scalloped shell out of a larger concho shell that Amber had brought back with her from Florida. The large shell was found on her living room floor in Ft. Pierce. It had been left in the wake of the aftermath of Hurrican Frances. This shell is filled with sand with bits of shells and some entire shells packed inside of the sand. I used a small rectangle of cardstock, punched four holes in it, and used a piece of jute to hold the shell in place. I stamped "Found Object" on this and wrote in the details regarding where it was found and how the shell came to be there. I think she'll enjoy that. I know I enjoyed gifting her with a piece of our family history. {smile}

Monday, November 13, 2006

Weekend update...

Don and I have been busy with household duties, grocery shopping, laundry, ect. We did manage to pick up a few more Christmas gifts on Friday. I'm happy about that as it will make the holidays a bit less stressful having to shop in the crowds. We aren't planning to go all out this year, as far as our gift-giving goes; yet remain hopeful that we will provide our loved ones with items that can be used and well received. We still have gifts on our lists and people to purchase gifts for but we're knocking it out little by little. With some success, we should be finishing up soon and can then turn our attention to focusing on saving for a new vehicle.

While we were shopping and conversing with an employee at the store, I learned there was a Merchandise Stock Clerk postition available. I've decided to apply for it, as I have heard nothing from the hospital to date. I'll be making another follow-up telephone call for that today; along with returning my application and resume to the other store. One plus with the store position is that it is local, which would no commute, less time spent commuting. The pay scale may be lower, however, I really cannot say that for certain. I only hope the position available isn't seasonal and will last well after the holidays are over.

Sunday, found us checking out a quilt shop that I've never been to before, a visit to the Marion Farm and Flea Market that I used to have Partly Paper located at. It was so very different than from when I was there. Then, there were more upscale boutique-style businesses whereas now it is more of a Flea Market. I did find a pair of vintage wood carved wall hanging of birds and another vintage blue mason jar. I'm thinking I may fill my collection of vintage jars with dry goods, such as, beans, rice, pasta to display and use on my kitchen shelves.

With the recent job searching comes the knowledge of having a little less time once I return to work. So my thoughts have become focusing on things that I need to start winding up, finishing, ect. Some art releated, some home related, but I'm loving the process and trying not to allow those things to stress me. I find assurance in knowing that I can take my time with them somewhat.

Sunday afternoon, I went to get Alexxis to spend time with her. She is growing and growing! She now is able to sit up by herself, reposition herself from a sitting position to a laying position. She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks herself back and forth. She hasn't quite figured out how to crawl yet and gets a bit frustrated with her failed attempts to get to any number of desired items until she becomes resourceful and lays down and rolls to get there. She will soon be 6 months old on the 28th of this month so I belive she'll conquer another milestone soon. She is cutting teeth right and left! She currently has 3 teeth on the bottom and one of her top front teeth broke through the gumline last night. Needless to say, she's precious, but cranky! She has the sweetest dispositon, taking it all in stride, and manages to laugh and play. She is a music lover, any sights and sounds attract her undivided attention.

Her daddy recently gained employment working 3rd shift and Amber is searching once again due to a lack of hours at Micky's Pizza. I'm certain that they will get back on their feet soon. In the meantime, Don and I do what we can to help out.

I havent' worked anymore on the Heaven and Nature Sing shrine. However, I am intending to try to capture some clearer photographs to upload later. I'm in the process of Suzanne's Whimsical Writing pages and working on both her and Mieki's Art Idea Journals. Today, I received my own and Linda's decos in the mail. {I haven't open them yet, but I'll update again when the opportunity presents itself.} This has been a fun process, with both of these projects.

Friday, November 10, 2006

More to come...

I've decided that I want to add more to the outside and the inside of my Heaven and Nature sing shrine and am currently thinking I'll stick with using the same papers... another bird image, possibly a nest, another egg...? Some glitter or glass glitter... and capture a close up of the interior. Until then... .{*waves}

"Heaven and Nature Sing" Shrine, continued...

This shows the view of one of the sides that I have managed to complete today. I used a bit more of the Basic Gray paper here to provide some additional contrast. There is more bordering a stamped quotation in the inside above the nest, unfortunately the sunlight is fading and I was unable to capture a good photograph. I cut out a bird from the same aqua color Cavallini paper and added some popdots underneath it for additional dimension. The ribbon is satin and I used Cavallini alphabet stamps to stamp "sing" in sepia ink. More images from another Cavallini sheet, grace the inside front in the form of eggs. I hot glued in a shot glass, added the word, "nest" from the aqua sheet. More dried natural twigs fill the glass and assist holding another bouquet of painted silkflowers.

"Heaven and Nature Sing" Shrine

I've loved this paper from Cavallini ever since I first laid my eyes upon it online; and was so surprised to find it while at Dick Blick's some time ago. I thought the aqua color would lend itself perfectly to my shrine so I got to playing around with it. I love how this just suddenly to take on a life all of its own!

Feeling inspired...

I worked on my personal shrine for a little while this morning. It felt really good to get my hands in some paint! even if I am a bit uncertain about the future course of where exactly this piece of artwork is attempting to lead me. However, I am inspired into another direction during the process of creating in it, which I am a bit excited about. I've decided to head out to the studio for a bit of browsing through some additional papers and a few rubberstamps. Hopefully, I'll have a bit more of it to share with you as the day continues....

Monday, November 06, 2006

Deborah's Friendship Deco: Summer Afternoon

My pages within Deborah's deco are done!!! I started off printing my found image and quotation; experimenting with my desired background --- which didn't work out as I intended with the limited supplies I have in the house. I quickly realized that I did however have a lot of my desired stamps and more simply put, one thing lead to another. The colors are off in this picture, it is actually pink where it appears orange and is so much softer, more feminine in real life. {It is hard to capture a good picture indoors at night.}
I used an Anna Griffin stamp under the vellum title, "Summer Afternoon" The image is of a Victorian afternoon tea. The tags, three in total, read, "Mon Ami", "the two most beautiful words". There is a lot of layering, paper tearing, inked edges, and glitter that is hard to capture. The quotation below reads, "A friend is one whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." Posted by Picasa

Capturing Creativity...

Early this evening my mind turned onced again to thinking creating art! I have two of the Art Idea Journals that I need to be working in and early this past week, I received Deborah's deco from my dear friend, Lianne. Although my obligation should be first and foremost to the Art Idea Journal RR, I have decided to work in Deborah's Deco first, since that is the direction my muse is leading me towards.

Tonight, I sat and thought about the feelings that Deborah's Deco evoked within me as I first sat down and looked through it. It evokes those feelings of nostalgia of time worn letters close to one's heart, wrapped beautifully with a satin ribbon, and adorned with a faded, dried rose. Deborah's theme is "Friendship" and the color scheme easily lends itself to something light, soft, and airy; perfect for some vintage victorian images and decorating. So, I browsed through my stash of images until I found one that I believe will work --- although, I cannot say that the search is actually over as I have the inspiration to check a few other online resources before I make my final decision. I am searching and looking for "the perfect one".

I thought about how I'd like to design the pages, and one of the techniques that Suzanne has shared over and over in the Art Idea Journal RR. I've loved it since I've first set my eyes upon it and it has been calling my name, so I believe I am going to actually give it a try. Deborah recently received some wonderful news, which I am uncertain if I could or should disclose here, but there is a certain product line that will soon be associated with her artwork and it will lend itself beautiful to my ideas. I've decided to use some shabby chic style colors in both light and dark pinks and greens, with some gentle touches of white and soft vanilla. I'm envision soft textures, perhaps some golden heat embossing, touches of smooth torn vellum, and some adorning satin ribbon. I also am desiring to incorporate some stamping within the design and believe I have came with some designs that will lend themselves perfectly to the emotions that I am desiring to capture. To be continuing inspired, I wrote down my ideas, created some sketches, added some whimsical, romantic touches through some techniques, design ideas, and an old favorite quotation. I am really looking forward to visiting the studio to design this for her and am hopeful to have it completed and postal near the middle part of the week.

As for the Art Idea Journal RR, I've decided to begin working on writing out the Whimsical Writing pages for Suzanne's journal. Since Mieke's pages are complete up to that point, it just made more sense for me to work on the additional pages for both journals together. This will definately save me some time and allow the ideas for Suzanne's page to begin to form and take shape. I am excited to get started........ {*big smile*}

 Posted by Picasa

A sheltering tree...

Sometimes I just need to give myself a break. A break from my everyday life, with all its mundane routines, with its everyday cares and concerns, and all the "what if's" that come with the possibilities of tomorrow. A break to simply let go of my worst worries and fears, my responsibilities and obligations. A break that simply allows me to back up and punt, to re-group, re-think, and that doesn't require putting in a whole lot of thought into the details. A break that helps me to once again celebrate who I am and what is truly important in my life. Without realizing that was what was actually taking place, I truly had the most amazing weekends that I have had in a long time! I know that I enjoyed it so much because everything that Don and I did was so spontaneous, so spur-of-the-moment, without much thought to anything else, and assisted in establishing a renewed sense of wonderment with each other.

It all began on Friday, when I decided I'd like to have a break from cooking dinner at home. I allowed my inner voice to guide me and chose to dine on some fine Mexican food at Mi Jalapeno's. Don thought that sounded like a good idea, so off we went. Everything about our experience there was simply awesome! From the food we dined on, to the good friends we ran into, to the good times we shared with another. At the end of our meal, both of us felt completely satisfied, although I was a bit buzzed from having a few maragaritas! Armed with a re-newed sense of self-assurance, {hahaha} I decided to go to the Moose BY MYSELF while Don worked and could join me there afterward. I think sometimes that I get so caught up in the "us" of our relationship, that I forget to take time to simply be "me". This stems from the fact that I am not normally one who likes to go anywhere and do much of anything alone, especially out in public, desiring and preferring to have someone along with me, so therefore I tend not to do some of the things that I might really enjoy. Anyways, upon arriving and throwing caution into the wind, I instantly spotted some friends of ours who invited me to sit with them. We chatted with one another, catching up, reminiscing, joked around about some of our personal experiences, teased one another, shot a few games of pool together and waited for to Don arrived. Once he made it in from working, we moved to the ballroom side of the Moose to listen to the the band, Heartbreak. They aren't the most amazing band I've ever heard but I enjoyed the variety of music that they played and I swear I was on the dance floor dancing most of the night! It is nice to be able to go somewhere where you know people who enjoy the same things that you do and who make it so easy to join in. It is hard for Don to dance due to the CPA; but a willing friend who recently lost his loved one provided me with a couple of slow dances. Needless to say, we didn't make it home until well after 1 a.m. and on Saturday, I slept in, puttered around the house, and relished in the moment of accomplishing absolutely nothing, while Don worked into early in the evening.

Upon arriving home, we ate some leftover beef and noodles that I cooked on Thursday, and decided to spent the night at home. So we ventured to Family Video to picked up a few new releases before returning home once again to relax and watch them. If you haven't seen the romantic drama,"The Lake House" with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and enjoyed the movie, "The Notebook", based on the novel written by Nicholas Sparks, you've got to see this movie! Don and I both enjoyed it and will one day add it to our DVD collection. We finished the night off watching, "Just My Luck" another romantic but comical movie.

On Sunday morning, we spent some time with Chaos, throwing his ball so he could run off some the over-abundance of energy that he certainly possesses. After totally and completely wearing him out, we ventured off to Polaris Parkway. With no real goal in mind, other than to enjoy the day together and have a nice, quiet dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. We ended up stopping into Target first, where we picked up a few necessities for our home, a few stocking stuffers for Christmas, browsed through the Christmas aisles, talking about Christmas past and family traditions before proceeding for dinner. At the Texas Roadhouse, we enjoyed one another's quiet company,allowing each other to get lost in their own thoughts. I love those moments... especially when you just feel yourself smiling as you remember a tender moment spent together and look up and see your soulmate smiling back at you. Is there anything better? No words are needed, you're simply content to be where you are, relinquishing into pure bliss. Afterwards, our conversation turned once again to the upcoming holiday season, who we desire to buy for, gift ideas we have, which lead us into Old Navy to pick up a few thermal pullover for my dad. While there, I find myself within the aisles of the baby/toddlers area of the store and had to laugh at myself. I commented about it to Don, not believing that I'd even be within these aisles thinking of purchasing yet another item to shower upon Alexxis. Don gently put his arm around me and laughing with me said, "You're being a beautiful grandma!" I so loved that.

As we ventured off, browsing through a few more stores, chatting ever so carelessly, I remember all over again why I feel in love in with him in the first place. He is my sheltering tree, with roots so deep in a self-assured confidence and acceptance of who he is, a sentimentalist into his own family traditions, with a solid trunk to keep him grounded, able to weather whatever storm that may come his way, with branches and limbs that reach up high into the sky never being afraid to take a risk to achieve his dreams, even if the branches may fearfully sway ever so dangerously from time to time. He reminds me of that...a sheltering tree, with the necessity to simply let go and live, to take risks, to make time to play with those gently swaying branches, enjoying the sunshine as it shines from time to time upon my face, to experience the coolness and relaxing qualities provided by its shade, to be here, now, in the moments of my life without too many cares and concern regarding the future. And somehow in assisting me to do exactly that, I suddenly realize how much happier I am, content with being loved, feeling "in love", and learning to love being me.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I am so happy and thankful to post that our truck has been repaired. What an ordeal! Upon taking the truck to our mechanic yesterday morning, the news wasn't looking so good. At first, Rod seemed to think that possibly it was a hose from the radiator that may have been the problem. After repairing it, it became clear that the heater core itself had went. So, Rod gets on the computer, prices and orders the heater core, and moves onto the make, model info on the truck to become alarmed to discover that the entire dashboard and steering column has to come out to repair it and the computer estimates it at a 7 and half hour job! Parts, labor, ect. begin adding up to to a final total of over $650.00 At this point, both Don and mine hearts hit the ground. Goodbye! Old friend. We simply cannot afford to sink $650 into a '91 Ford Ranger.

While discussing this on the telephone with Don's son, Shawn, who we believed we'd be borrowing a vehicle from, the suggestion to cut the firewall out, replace the heater core, and then, weild it back in came up. {Yeah, I know, sounded like a lot of work to me, too.} So, Don heads back over to our mechanics, discusses this possibility with him, and Rod thinks it can be done. So, they pull the truck in and start looking at it. Nope. Cannot do it; some plastic box is in the way. But maybe.... we can do it from the inside... So Rod and one of his worker's get to checking around inside the vehicle, pull up the carpeting from the passenger's side and what do you know? There is some sort of an opening in the firewall, that can be temporarily removed and replaced after the heater core is replaced. Yay!!!

The good news is that the truck has been repaired. The bad news is... we still need a newer vehicle. We realize that this a temporary repair; the truck is old, beginning to break down... like the Jeep, it is becoming an ever-creasing money pit that we simply cannot afford. But for no we are simply thankful that it is fixed and running once again, at least until we are are in a better position fiancially to replace it.

Also, there has been no news regarding my recent application. So, I'm going to make a polite, inquirying telephone call to the hospital's department of human resources this afternoon. Crossing my fingers. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

{Sigh.} One down... how many more to go?

{That, my friends, is the sound of a major sigh of relief!} My life has been completely insane the last several days, but somehow, perhaps by the grace of God, I managed to make through! {*SMILES*} I am so very relieved now that I have managed to get my resume completely re-vamped, my reference sheet completely updated, and everything printed out. The application is filled out and my good friend, Sheila, is turning it in for me. {More on that, in a minute...}

I ran into some obstacles and challenges, in almost every step of the way, yet, I perserved! I didn't allow them to become excuses in accomplishing what I know in my heart I really needed to do. That has been quite the accomplishment --- especially with my recent state of mind!

The hardest part was re-creating my resume so that it reflected the skills and education that I have acquired in the Healthcare field. {--- an area I haven't worked in over 1o years.} In all honesty, I am probably over-qualified for the position, but without a college degree, I found it necessary to begin somewhere; so, I chose to apply for it anyways. I am hopeful that the hospital personnel's Department of Human Resources see it that way, as well. It isn't all bad news, since in doing so I believe I am able to ask for and possibly obtain a higher starting wage, and be provided the opportunity to brush up on my skills. More good news is that may also provide me with the opportunity to for me to further continue my education in the future; which I am remaining hopeful about.

My friend, Sheila, has been employed by this hospital for 6 months now and absolutely loves her job, the environment, and her co-workers. In a recent conversation between her and her immediate supervisor, my name and experience was brought up, and the suggestion made for me to put in my application. On Tuesday, Sheila made the trip to Human Resources, on my behalf, picked me up the application, and brought it home with her. In the meantime, I've spent my time re-vamping my resume and all the information above, until it was completed yesterday afternoon. Early in the evening last night, Don and I made the 20 minute drive over to Sheila's intending to pick up the application so I could fill it out and get it turned in today.

Needless to say, Don and I ran into another major obstacle! On the way over, approximately 5 miles from her home, the heater core went out in our truck. Luckily, we were close enough to make it to her home without the truck overheating completely and totally frying the radiator and the engine! Thankfully, I had my resume, references, and all my necessary information with me in a large manilla envelope, so that I was able to fill out the application place it within the envelope so that Sheila could just turn everything in for me today.

So this is where I am at..... wondering, worrying... Luckily, the heater core itself, isn't expensive and I am praying the labor for our mechanic, won't be either! In all honesty, I am afraid to know the final amount!

Also, we should be able to borrow a vehicle from Don's son, Shawn, until ours is running once again, in the event that I should get a telephone call for an interview. {I'd like to think that it feels like we're beginning to come full circle, after all, the decision for me to return to work was majorly made by the necessary of obtaining a new automobile.}

And, may I ask a favor? If you pray, please pray for us; if you think positive thoughts, please send some of those vibes this way.... I promise to be grateful for each and everyone of them! I really need this position, in more ways than one!!! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get some kleenex, wipe the tears from my eyes, take another big, huge sigh, get down on my hands and knees and pray, and get up holding my head up high. Trusting that somehow at the end of this long, hard road, there is a glorious ray of light shining down on us.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I am sorry I haven't been posting and for having my Y! messenger turned off. The last several days, I needed to focus, without any distractions. I am seriously considering re-joining the work force once again, so I have been updating my resume, reference sheets, ect. I don't know all the specifics just yet, but I had to do some soul-searching and make some decisions regarding what I really want to do.

I've decided it is a shame to waste my experience and education, so I am applying for several positions at an out of town hospital. There were a lot of factors that have played into my decision, working out of town vs. searching here and a lot of pro's and con's to weigh out. Some of the main factors were a higher pay scale and 8 hr. shifts vs. 12 hr. shifts. I wasn't to thrilled regarding the commute idea, however, I've done it before and know once I get into swing of things, it won't be such a big deal. That is as long as the truck holds out!

My main objective is to do something that will make me happy, more fulfilled and satisfied. I am uncertain of whatever it is that may be out there, but I realize that it is really more than only a job... as working becomes so much a part of ones life. Another factor was the types of people I'll be working with... entirely different atmosphere from factory/industry scene.

Anyways, I just wanted to post and let everyone know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth --just been busy!