Monday, December 27, 2010

Just because you haven't seen them in a while...

Here's some photos of my babies. My mother-in-law got them these balls with feathers attached for Christmas. Sophie was fascinated. She chased them up and down the hallway, batting at them like soccer balls. Athena, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less. The picture of Athena is from earlier this year, when I had thrown my old robe over the couch and she decided it made the perfect resting spot.

Typical cat, huh? Soft and fluffy makes a good bed. Perhaps that's why they lay on me so much!!!

Reminder to self: you need more pictures!

Oh, and because someone asked at some point, both girls are sealpoint siamese. They are not from the same litter, but had the same dad. Athena's litter was born on September 23, 2005. Sophie's was born the very next day. It's hard to tell here, but Athena is more of the "modern" siamese with a triangular face, longer body, and almond-shaped eyes. Sophie is an "applehead" with a rounder face and eyes, and shorter, more squat body. Both are very active and loving, although Athena's a tad afraid of strangers. Therefore, visitors to my house often see Sophie only, and she loves it that way. She gets all of the attention!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best Bunnies

Here's another little image that makes me smile. My mojo has really deserted me; I had hoped to get so many more crafty projects done over the Christmas break. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. Yeah, I got a few things accomplished, but not as many as I'd like. I was just having a hard time with design and also with motivation. Once again, I let a sketch rescue me. This one is from Friday Sketchers. I added a few of my own elements to the sketch, like the hearts, lace, and felt photo corner. This card is also for Simon Says Challenge and the All that Scraps Wednesday challenge to make a card inspired by a song. I heard this cute kid's song the other day called the Snuggle Song with Schnuffel bunny. Since this cute little girl from the Greeting Farm is snuggling her bunny, it seemed perfect.
I know a sweet little girl who will be celebrating a birthday in a month or so. Perhaps I'll save this card for her. Or maybe, Mr. Mojo will take mercy on me and visit again, so I can make more cards! With my luck, he'll come back as I am working on my scrap room next weekend. My mom is coming over to help me get my Jetmax cubes and new computer desk set up, plus to help me move old furniture out of this room and down to the basement. That should be fun - ha! NOT. I know I will love it once the room is all set up like I want it, though. I'll just be hating life for the time it takes to get it that way! As always, thanks for looking and sharing any thoughts. I appreciate it!

Happy New Year...soon enough!

2011 is almost here, and the Belles n Whistles challenge blog is hosting a challenge to celebrate. This challenge seemed perfect, since I'm way over making Christmas cards (although I did make one yesterday morning. Nothing like the last minute). I don't have any New Year's stamps, so I just wrote out the sentiment. Usually, I'd print it off on the computer, but I didn't want to waste ink with sizing issues. Well, let's face it...I'm tired and didn't feel like experimenting with that frustration today. I woke up way early this morning and I'm not at my best. Anyway, I figured what better way to bring in the New Year than this cute baby? I think we've all heard the story of baby New Year, right? If not, look it up. I'm too tired to do it. Ok. Yeah. I said I'm tired. Cut me some slack for this short, not quite coherent, probably a bit cranky post, ok? Sheesh. And oh yeah, Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I haven't made it a secret that I'm not feeling exactly festive this year. Tomorrow afternoon is the gift exchange with Rick's family. I am hoping I can keep it together; I find that I am very emotional right now. One thing I hate to do is to cry around other people. I've always hated it. I don't know why, but it doesn't make me feel better. I prefer the kind of sobbing I can do on my own, with only my cats for company. I have preferred to grieve on my own throughout this whole journey. I go to the cemetary alone. I spend Christmas Day alone. Don't go feeling sorry for me....this is what I want and it's healthy for me (this opinion was reinforced by my therapist, so don't go getting all concerned and thinking that I don't know what I need. Alone time is EXACTLY what I need. I find myself defending this position a lot, in case you can't tell. LOL). So, anyway, I'm a little worried that I won't keep it together this year. To try to make myself jump a little more into the holiday spirit, I made this ornament for the Belles n Whistles ornament contest. I have no illusions that it'll win; the competition is fierce. However, it sort of calmed me to craft and this image always makes me smile. I was going to do a "baby's first Christmas" ornament and give her as a gift, but then I decided to make something that I could hang up in my scrap area to remind me that there are always blessings. A silent, peaceful night is one of them. New babies to love is another. And then there's Christmas trees and snowflakes and fun things all wrapped up in a bow. Yeah, I gotta remind myself that blessings abound, so she's currently dangling from a hook in my crafting space, trying to be that reminder. What a tough job for such a little girl, but I think she can handle it. Merry Christmas to all of you and thanks for your continued prayers and positive thoughts. I hope your holidays are full of fun, love, and laughter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Sweet Pea Dream (or two)

I think I've mentioned a few gazillion times now that Sweet Pea stamps are my new obsession. Tonight, I was in the mood to create. The last challenge on In a Sweet Pea Dream was a monochromatic card. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to make my monochromatic card. Since the current challenge is "Anything Goes," I figured that meant that I could still give the monochromatic card a shot. The image is colored with copics in various shades of green, then accented with a stardust pen. The bling is hard to see in this pic, though. I had some Basic Grey paper sitting around (no surprise, since it's one of my fave manufacturers). It seemed to go perfectly with the image.
While Mr. Mojo was flowing, I also colored another Sweet Pea image to enter in the In a Sweet Pea Dream challenge. This one also qualifies for the Simon Says challenge to make a card using primarily blue, white, and silver. I chose turquoise as my shade of blue and just distressed edges and layered various textures. I embossed thick vellum using the tree textured folder from Tim Holtz (I think!). As it was going through the machine, it cracked and I thought that ended up being perfect for this card. Thanks, as always, for looking!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Out with the Christmas cards!

and thank goodness for that. The scrooge in me comes through once again, but I am so over making Christmas cards. I don't mind looking at them and still drool over everyone else's. I even like to color the images still, but I'm saving these images for when I'm ready to make next year's cards. I'm done sending mine out (yipppeeee!). After making about 50, I'm done with making them for now, too. So, I started looking at upcoming birthdays and other events for which I'd need cards. My cousin Tina's birthday is January 4th. This little cake girl stamp is just perfect for her, so I colored her up and on a card she went! She's another Sweet Pea stamp, just from a different artist than the image I colored up yesterday. Isn't she cute? Don't give me credit for the design; it's based after a sketch on Sweet Sketch Wednesday. I'm also entering her in the anything goes challenge over at In a Sweet Pea Dream.
This cute little cake girl is colored with copics. Her hat is accented with liquid applique. Papers are Cosmo Cricket for the most part, although the little border strip is from a piece of Sassafras Lass. The sentiment is Magnolia.
Happy Sunday, everybody. This might be my last bit of creating for a day or two, although I deliberately did not make many plans for this week. I need to hibernate.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Obsession

I am stoked to actually have some mojo today. I've been feeling stressed; this holiday is filled with love, wonder, giving, family, and friends, but also holds a lot of sadness for me (see post below if you're curious). It's therapeutic for me to sit down at my scrap desk and create. I found sweet pea stamps months and months ago, but I was a bit intimidated about coloring them. So much detail and many of them have quite a bit of background to color, as well. I finally bit the bullet and colored one for a friend's Christmas card. Now, I admit it. I'm hooked. I promptly took my wallet and myself over to their online store and bought more. Here is one of my new sweet pea stamps. Isn't she beautiful? I chose to color her with very muted, soft colors: a bit of green, some lavender, and a very light grey. I just love her and think I'll be using this image a lot in the future. I can see her with burgundies or oranges for fall and yellows or pinks for spring..she's just so versatile and pretty!
The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts. I used the Martha Stewart trellis border punch behind the ribbon, Recollections pearls, copics for coloring, and a sentiment stamp that I recently got at my friend Kimi's store. The image is cut with my spellbinders ovals and backed with the scalloped oval die. I can't recall the name of this fold, where the card opens in the center. Gate fold, maybe?
I plan to enter her in the In a Sweet Pea Dream challenge. It's anything goes this time. You should give it a shot!

Scrooge and other crappy stuff

Ok, so the cartoon for the Scrooge is not crappy. In fact, I love it. It was a holiday tradition for my husband and I to watch it, as well as Frosty, Charlie Brown Christmas, and several other holiday cartoons. I haven't brought myself to watch any of them this year. In fact, I didn't even watch "the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" until a week or two ago. Cut me some slack...I'm coping as best as I can. Heck, I consider it a step forward that I not only sent Christmas cards this year, I made each and every one! That was a major feat. Anyhow, I made this layout yesterday, for a scraplifting challenge. The layout was inspired by ScrappinFan19 on The picture is one that was taken by my grandmother at my husband's funeral (morbid, but I admit that I'm glad to have it). It's his bunker (a.k.a. turnout) gear on the front of the engine. They guys spotlighted it with rescue lights. The engine and ambo were both draped in black, as is the custom when we mourn the loss of a fellow firefighter/EMT. I thought it was so sweet of the guys to take care of these details.

However, I am not the only one dealing with difficult things and challenges this holiday season. My wonderful aunt is undergoing testing to figure out what in the heck is going wrong with her
body. Lung cancer has been ruled out, thank God. However, we still don't really know what's going on. I figured she could use some encouragement while waiting on test results, so I made her this card with a cute little duck image.

I purchased this image at Michelle's scrapbooking and more back in November. Isn't she cute? She makes me smile. I colored her with copics, then highlighted the image with glossy accents and a blue stardust pen. I gave the umbrella frog some googly eyes for a bit of whimsy. The sentiment was just printed on my computer. I know I have a stamp that says basically the same thing, but darned if I could find that sucker. I hand drew the little puddle and the raindrops coming down...not the best work, but I think it adds to the sense of fun that they're not perfect. Yeah, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!
As always, thanks for looking and leaving comments. I really appreciate each and every one. And thanks again to those of you who have prayed and sent positive thoughts for my aunt. Hopefully, we're getting closer to figuring out the mystery so that we can help her on the road to recovery.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A new image and challenge from Guylou

A smile is contagious. It's a visual hug and can have a positive impact on another person's day. I have a stamp that says it's the shortest distance between two people. Too true!

Your challenge is to make a card using a new image at Guylou's Inimitability: the smile bingo card. Better yet, you can get it for free! Just head on over to Guylou's blog, right click on the bingo card image, and save it to your computer. You can print it small or large.

In my case, I chose to print it kind of small: less than two inches wide. Then I tucked it behind this friends sentiment stamp. Of course, this little smile bingo card works so well with other images that G decided it'd be best if you used BOTH the smile card and another Guylou's Inimitability image. Yeah, yeah, I was beating around the bush a bit. Basic gist is that you need to make a card using the Smile bingo card and another image from her store. If you like, you can join her group over on Crafter's Digital Art Center (CDAC), which could yield another freebie! So, make your card, then head on over to her blog and post your card there for a chance to win a digistamp of your choice and the opportunity to be a guest designer on a future challenge. When the time comes, you'll also get another image for free to use in that challenge.

For my card, I've used Bernadette. She's colored with copics. I added some bling with gold ribbon from Michael's. The paper is from Hobby Lobby. I think it's Paper Studio, but don't quote me on that because I might be wrong. It's hard to tell in this pic, but it has gold foiled elements, which is what gave me the inspiration to use gold ribbon. I added some bling with pink rhinestones, too. As always, thanks for looking, and thanks in advance for playing along with G's challenge.

Oh, yeah, I should add that the challenge doesn't end until January 6th. Hopefully, that gives you plenty of time to make your card, despite the stress and rush that holidays involve. I can't wait to see what you do!

Thanks, thanks, thanks!

For all of you who knew about the situation and prayed, we have good news. It's not lung cancer! I must admit, we're a bit shocked...all symptoms pointed to the big C, but medical testing does not support that diagnosis. The weakness is apparently related to a spinal issue. Now we just need to determine what these episodes of confusion and memory loss are all about. She's also had this nasty cough and sputum, and does have spots on her lungs, but it looks like those are damage from smoking. So, thanks to everyone for your prayers. And if you aren't the praying type, thanks for the positive thoughts! It is much appreciated!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Anita Be Stampin' Challenge

I just love this image from Anita Be Stampin'. They have a new challenge every Tuesday. Thanks to my friend Tracy, I now know about it. Well, in her defense, she told me about it when it first started back in November. She even showed me some amazing cards she made with images from ABS. I was just too crazed with finishing my Christmas cards, making calendars, making sets of cards for gifts, Christmas shopping, etc. Well, the challenge to use green and pink on a card officially ends in less than two hours. I'm cutting it close to the wire, here. I love this image from Anita Be Stampin' and had to rush to get her onto a card. I worked on her before my dinner and a movie date with my friend tonight, then put the finishing touches on just a few minutes ago (as an aside....Burlesque wasn't a very good movie. Phenom singing and dancing by two very talented women, but really slow otherwise). Anyhow, if you love this little image as much as I do, you should go to the store and purchase her, because all funds from the purchase of this adorable image benefit the Susan G Komen foundation to find a cure for breast cancer. As you can see, she's pretty versatile. In this case, I've given her a purple ribbon. I'm sending this card to a sassy, spunky, fun, awesome lady I know who is currently undergoing testing for probable lung cancer. I know, I'm being pessimistic by making the card before she's even been diagnosed. Maybe I am tempting the fates to make me wrong. I sure hope it works out that way. If not, I'll send her this card with an uplifting note inside, right before I crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and cry like a baby. Now, let's focus on details so I can try to forget the reason I'll probably have red eyes in a few days. The image was colored with copics. I paper pieced her stockings and dry embossed them with a herringbone pattern. I added pearls to her choker and shoes. The pink roses are from Wild Orchid Crafts. The leaf punch is Martha Stewart. The heart straight pin was from a pack in the dollar bin at Joann's. The sparkly paper is My Mind's Eye. I think that about covers it. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am such a dolt!

I need to thank Trina for also giving me the stylish blogger award, way back on Dec 6...ok, that was not WAY back, but it was still a few days ago. I missed her post to me about it. Sorry, girl! I wanted to thank you and figured this would be the best way to do it!

Wow, two people think I deserve the award...y'all make me blush. Even if you just picked me because my blog was on top of your dashboard from all of the chatter I do....LOL

****edited to add that Kim also gave me this award. Sheesh, you girls are too sweet to me!

Well, I guess I'll take this forward...

I hate forwarded emails. I hate those things that tell you to "send this on to X amount of people". I don't even open forwarded emails and if I happen to do so by mistake, I actively cringe. Then I got a good one today, that actually made me smile. I should add that I am having a sucky day. I got bad news about a family member last night that had me crying for a while. You know, the kind of news that lets you know this person may not be with you for long. So, I didn't start the day out well. Nothing can take that news away or really make it 100% better, but an email from Charlene led me to her blog, which made me smile. It brightened my day for a few minutes, and isn't that what friends do? They take a dark day and brighten it up, even if the darkness creeps back in quickly. Anyway, this is what Char had for me. An award! She got one and had to forward it along to eight "stylish" bloggers. Hey, at least something is stylish about me. Wait, let me rephrase that. At least someone thinks that something is stylish about me! LOL.
Of course, it's one of those that requires effort from me, which isn't such a bad thing today. It's a good distraction. Hey, pick yourselves up off the floor....I know, I know...I just said that a forwarded thing is good. First thing I gotta do is tell you eight things about myself. I don't even know where to start. I could talk for days. LOL.
1. I live in Maryland. I've lived here my whole life and actually love this state. I only once ever gave serious thought to leaving, and that was when my husband and I considered moving to Williamsburg, VA.
2. I'm a shopaholic. I mean, to the point of probably needing a support group. I don't have debt from it, but I'd sure have a lot more moolah saved if I didn't spend it all.
3. My fave color is pink, followed closely by Granny Smith apple green.
4. I am actually an introvert. Yes, chatty and social, but I have more introverted qualities than most people realize. For instance, once I am home for the day, leave me the heck alone. Don't call, and for goodness' sake, don't stop by unannounced. I hate that and often won't even answer the door.
5. I think my cats are just really furry, tiny humans.
6. I love kids, but I also love to give them back to their parents. Hence the reason I don't have any. I just borrow someone else's on occasion.
7. I'm a chronic organizer of my scrap space, while the rest of my house goes to hell in a handbasket.
8. I'm a drama queen. Save this blog. I might have to delete this one (#8), because I don't think I've ever actually admitted that before. I get so mad at others who create drama, but if I'm honest with myself (and you!), I'm pretty good at stirring the pot, myself.
Ok, now I get to pay this award forward to eight other stylish bloggers. I'll try not to repeat any that Char already gave. Here goes:
2. Bren
3. Dale
6. Ruby
7. Sara
I urge you to visit their blogs...great stuff there. As for you ladies I have awarded, if you've got a spare minute, tell us eight things about yourself and pay this award forward!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas time's a'comin'...

And perhaps it's coming a bit faster than I'd like, as in barreling down on me with lights flashing and speakers screaming out Christmas music. It seems like it's always here before I know it. I'm almost done my shopping, have wrapped the presents I've bought so far, and I've even finished making my cards. I still need to send them out, but hey, they're made! I'm not decorating this year, so that's one stressor off of my back. However, I am making a few presents, which I have not even started! EEEK! That's stress, given that two of them are for a gift exchange on Dec 12. Oh, well. You can only do what you can do, right? I'm going to be gentle with myself yet again this year and do what I need to do, which is spend Christmas day at home. I think this second year of holidays is hitting harder than the first one did, probably because my good buddy Mr. Denial took off, and dragged his friend Ms. Shock away with him. I feel abandoned, but I'll pull through. And before I get all sappy and sad, dragging others down with me, let's head back to happier topics, shall we? Guylou is having another challenge at her store. This time, the challenge is to make a Christmas card using one of her images. Super easy peesy, right? I mean, heck, even if you are done the ones for this year, you can get a jump start on next year's cards! I'm not kidding. Really. Every year, I plan to do just that. I plan to make several Christmas cards per month so that I have them all done by Thanksgiving. Ha! Like that ever works. However, life is better with goals. They help you move forward. So, add making a card for her challenge to your list of holiday goals. Go ahead. Do it. I dare you. And since I wouldn't dare someone to do something I wouldn't do myself, I've added my cards to this blog post. Chuck as an elf makes me smile. I paper pieced his outfit. The little cowboy snowman was perfect for a primarily white card. Both images are colored with copics, because I can't seem to leave those poor markers alone for five minutes.

Christmas time