Monday, August 29, 2011

He wants to think he's big and bad...

..but my nephew Josh is still an angel at heart. He's such a caring, giving kid who often thinks of others. He loves animals. Today, he rescued a turtle from the road and put it in the park. Don't get me wrong; the kid's not all sappy sweetness. He's ornery at times. He loves to play practical jokes and tease. He's got a devilish streak, with a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor. I love every last inch of this kid and his personality.

For Christmas a year or two ago, I snagged a big box of pictures my brother was hoarding at his house. I organized them all and put them into this photo box that I bought at some home store. He let me keep the doubles. When I saw this picture, I had to have it. Friday night at a crop, I finally got around to scrapping it. Take a peek below and you'll see how cute this picture is, and hopefully, you'll fall in love with it, too!

Josh is 14 now. I have no idea how old he was when this picture was taken, but I'm guessing around 4. He's grown and yet maintained his cuteness. He's a bit of a chick magnet now, and he's loving that. When he was younger, he attracted the older women who wanted to mother him and pinch his little cheeks. Now he's attracting other teenagers, including ones older than him. What 14 year old wouldn't love that?!?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Birthday wishes

Happy belated birthday to my friend, Trina. I sent this card on her actual birthday, so I know it was at least a day, probably even two or three days, late. Sorry, girl!

Trina is one of my fabulous and fun DT friends. She has some serious talent. Go check out here blog HERE. I had fun making this card for her. Ok, so once again, the picture sucks. What happens is that I tend to create late at night, when I am up and energetic. The problem is that there's no natural light at that time. I could hold off on taking the pic til the next day, but then what happens is that I'll forget. In this case, I had to send the darned card, so I made it, wrote the note inside, and shoved it in the addressed envie before I had the chance to forget. Cut me some slack, people. It was already late enough!

Anyway, the card is not cream and brown, as the bad picture portrays. I already admitted the pic is bad, so no need to remind me. The card is white and brown. Image is Elisabeth Bell from Ladybug and Friends. It's colored with copics and accented with flower soft, then cut out with a spellbinders die and inked on the edges.

Thanks for stopping by. If you're in Irene's path, take care and do your best to stay safe, please! I'd like to keep all of my followers, k?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

If the airplane is functioning just fine, what else is there to do but jump out of it?

When Rick was alive, we decided to go skydiving for our 40th birthdays. His would have been this upcoming September 11th. His brother, sister, and mine and Rick's friend Missy all wanted to follow through with our plans and honor Rick's memory. Today, I went skydiving for the first, but hopefully not the last, time. Wow. I have been psyching myself up for it since we booked the jump. I felt pretty excited with a healthy dose of frickin' terrified. When we got there this morning, excitement was pushing that little terrified dude to the back of my brain. I was bouncing off the walls to go. Here's me, grinning like a fool, harness on and ready to go.
That's Bharat with me. He's a nice guy from work. We had a group of guys from my work as well as some of my family and friends jumping.

Then we went up in this teeny, tiny, itty bitty plane. It was like one of these:

No big deal. The four of us (two instructors, plus two jumpers) were shoved in there pretty tightly, but the mood and gorgeous scenery made up for it. After climbing up into the air for about two miles, it was time to hook in with our instructors. No biggie. I was still ready to go, filled with anticipation. Then Bharat's instructor opened the door, got Bharat into position, and BAM! they were gone. Just like that. At that point, I focused my bugged out eyes on the blank spot where Bharat used to be. I think that was when I decided that maybe this was not the best idea I've ever had. Yeah, I was flippin' TERRIFIED. This picture is me, hiding my terror behind what was supposed to be a happy, jaunty wave and comes out more like, "WTH did I sign up for?":
(notice the death grip on the harness with the hand that is not pretending to be jaunty and happy). Seriously, WTF was I thinking?!? Daniel didn't give me much time to decide. He hustled my chubs to the door, where I steadfastly refused to look down and did just what they told me to do: I stuck my head back against his shoulder. This is me, less than 10 seconds into that first freefall, realizing that my terror was all for naught and this was going to be one of the very best experiences of my life:

We're already planning the next trip. Try it. You will like it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Sketch"y behavior at Guylou's!

Come on in! Today, we're behaving in a bit of a sketchy fashion at Guylou's Inimitability. It's Carmen's turn to host our challenge and I am stoked about it. Not only because my behavior is sometimes a little less than stellar (i.e., sketchy!!! LOL...I am not as innocent as I look, people), but also because I just love her sketches. She is big into layering, which I love because layering up those pretty patterned papers is one of my favorite things to do. Rather than just talking about it, let me show you what I mean. Here's Carmen's sketch.

It's awesome, don't you think? I used it to make yet another card for the troops. I've been running low lately. I'm down to one card to use for sending a letter to a wonderful soldier. I need to build that stash back up, so I used the perfect image for it: praying soldier.

Isn't he powerful? I left him in black and white, because I think it makes a stark contrast against the muted military colors of the card. What do you think? Do you think I should color him or leave him in black and white?

So, that's it. Here's your challenge this time around: make a card using Carmen's sketch and upload it to Guylou's Inimitability by September 1st at 10 p.m. EST. You could win a $5 gift card to her shop, as well as the opportunity to appear as a Guest DT in a future challenge. Come on, you know that sketch is calling you!

(Hey, my fellow Americans...check out the links for Soldier's Angels and Operation Write Home in my sidebar on the left. Let's give back to our troops, who give for us every single day!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What about your friends?

I don't know why, but the TLC song popped into my head as I started to write this post, so the title comes from there. Anyway, I don't know about everyone out there in blogland, but I have been blessed to have some very wonderful, supportive, compassionate, caring friends in my life. When Rick passed away in September of 2009 (coming up on the 2 year anniversary. Terrible thought....), I was lucky to have a strong support system of friends and family to help pull me through it. I honestly don't know where I'd be today without them. My friend Brenda is among that group. She's simply amazing, and I treasure her friendship more than she can possibly know. Bren is celebrating her birthday this month, so I sent her a goodie box and added a card just for her. Here it is.
I had a lot of fun making this card. Papers are Graphic 45 Romantique and Bazzill cardstock. I used my spellbinders, some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts, a couple of buttons from my stash, some antique lace, pearls from Queen & Co, and a cuttlebug embossing folder.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you are blessed to have close, caring, wonderful friends like Brenda in your life! Oh, and speaking of Bren, go stop by her blog. She's having birthday candy madness this month. Check it out here. You've got two days left to enter! Follow her blog while you are there, too. She's not only a great person, but she is uber talented. Happy Birthday, Bren!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A weekend not totally wasted

I don't know about you, but I am one of those people who starts thinking on Monday about all of the things I want to get done during the upcoming weekend. This weekend, I planned to clean my house from top to bottom. Um, yeah. That didn't happen. I just couldn't get motivated to do much of anything. I did the dishes and laundry, straightened up here and there, hung up the shadowbox I made a bit ago, changed the sheets on the bed, and that was pretty much it for household stuff. I was hoping to get all of the household stuff done so I could create. Well, I didn't have much mojo for creating, either. I managed to eek out one card and one layout. I'll show you the card later. The layout is one that I made for a challenge on Basically, you scraplift the person who signed up before you. I lifted a LO called "Love" by Amy (abk32276 on You can find her layout HERE. Here's what I did with it.
The picture is a little crooked. Sorry about that. This is my friend's son Brent. Papers are all Bungle Jungle by Sassafras Lass, with the exception of the yellow cardstock and the leaf paper. The leaf paper is Creative Imaginations. They're a great company for shaped and themed papers. The little paws are buttons; I cut off the shanks.
I haven't been scrapping much this year and I'll admit it's been kind of hard to get back into it. Scraplift challenges are great for that, because it takes the guesswork out of designing the LO. I've joined two other challenges at this month, too. Now I just hope I can pull something out for them, as well!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Holy cow, what a challenge!

It's time for another challenge at Guylou's Inimitability, and what a challenge it is! Well, at least, it was a challenge for me. This time around, our wonderful shop owner and the creator behind Guylou's Inimitability digi stamps, Guylou herself, hosted our challenge. She likes to push the limits of creativity, I think. Rather than just doing a color challenge OR an "anything but a card" challenge, she decided to do them both at once. In other words, it's time for an Anything but a card color challenge! Whoa.

Here's the colors you get to play with:
For most people, I guess that wouldn't be an issue. The colors are beautiful, bright, happy and cool, all at the same time. However, I tend to create with more subdued colors, or maybe it's just that I'm in a vintage/shabby chic mood. Either way, this color palette really challenged me. To top it off, I wasn't allowed to make a card. Sheesh...talking about testing my imagination and creativity. I guess that's why they call it a "challenge."

I came up with this idea to make something using my shrinky dink plastic. At first, I attempted a magnet, but I used the wrong type of shrinky dink paper. The ink from my printer ran all over the place. Oops. So, I paid attention to what I was doing the next time around and grabbed the inkjet shrinky dink plastic. I intended to make a ring, but the image didn't shrink as much as I thought it would, so it became a pin instead. I used Ben. Check it out:

Here's how I did it:
Step 1. Crop the image and size it bigger than you need. The package says it will shrink to about a third of its size. I don't think it shrank that much. Then again, I suck at eyeballing these things.
Step 2. Print the image out on INKJET shrinky dink plastic. It is very important that you use the Inkjet kind, or the ink will run.
Step 3. Color with a stayfast medium, like copics. The colors will change slightly when they heat up. Mine got less vivid. I promise that I started out with the bright colors of the challenge.
Step 4. Cut around the image in the shape you want. This can't be done after you put the stuff in the oven, so do it now! If you want to make a charm, don't forget to hole punch the image at this point, too.
Step 5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1-3 minutes.
Step 6. Pull image from oven and hold wax paper flat over image for about 15 seconds, to flatten out any residual curling.
Step 7. Once image is cooled, add a pin back, ring, or other jewelry fastener/notion. This is also the time to add any embellishment, like the rhinestone I put on my pin. If you don't have a pin back, use some strong glue and attach a safety pin to the back.

It's quick, it's easy, and it's fun! Who doesn't want to head back to childhood and play with markers and shrinky dinks???

You have until August 18th at 10:00 p.m. EST to enter this challenge. Random draw will choose a winner to get a $5 gift card to G's store, as well as the opportunity to be a guest DT on a future challenge! Let's see how creative YOU can get!