Thursday, October 27, 2011

Together again

That is what I am telling myself today to get me through the day and sad times. I have known Tori since high school. I then met her parents and grandfather when we were both members of the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Department. We all became great friends. Her grandfather Poe was an angel on earth. That man was always ready with a smile and kind word for everyone. You couldn't help but smile when you were around him. He was 86 years old when he died on Sunday, October 23rd. I went to the funeral today and let me tell you, I was pretty much done in when Taps started, but I held it together. That is, until they folded, saluted, and presented the flag. Holy canoli! What I am telling myself now is that Poe is where he was happiest; he is once again by his wife's side. She preceded him in death by 14 years and he told me once that he missed her every single day. They were married for 56 years!

I wanted to make a special sympathy card for the family, to not only share a memory of Poe but also to let them know that a donation had been made in his name to Hospice of the Chesapeake. This is what I came up with, and they must have liked it since they displayed it at the funeral home:

Rest in peace, Poe. You will be missed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Truer words have never been spoken!

I am way overdue for checking out the blogs I follow. My schedule has just been so nutso lately. I'm behind on leaving love in the gallery at I'm behind in the challenges I've entered. I need to make three sympathy cards within the next day or two, ship off the RAK from our Guylou surprise birthday blog hop, get stuff ready for my visit with my gram this weekend, do a crapload of laundry, unpack from my camping trip, clean my house...well, you get the jist. I know I'm not the only one with a hectic schedule at this time of year, so I'll stop whining and get to the purpose of this post.

I was trying to be good and catch up on some blog comments tonight. I didn't get far, because I saw this quote over at Nicole's blog and it just made me stop and think. Here it is (I copied it direct from her blog; I hope she doesn't mind):
As most of you know because I'm not shy when talking about it, my husband Rick died unexpectedly on September 18, 2009. He was exactly one week past his 38th birthday. We had been together for a little over 11 years, and were friends for 5 years before that. It's a horrific loss that I still struggle with every day. I can't even tell you how many people have told me that they admire my strength. I hear quite a bit, "you're so strong. I couldn't be that strong." I've heard "I'd just curl up in a ball and die with him" or "I'd just go into a corner and never come out" and other variations on the same theme. My response is always something like, "you don't know that. You have absolutely no idea what you'll do until you are in the situation yourself. Nothing prepares you for it, and you just don't know how you'll handle it until you're there." I think the quote that Nicole posted is so much more eloquent. I think I'm going to use it on one of the pages of Rick's memorial album. It speaks volumes to me in one little sentence. Thanks, Nicole!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's one of the only kinds of recipes I like (again).

You know, the kind that means you don't have to cook! It's my turn to host the challenge at Guylou's Inimitability. This time around, with the help of some brainstorming from my fabulous friends on the DT, it's a recipe challenge! Since I love so many things about fall that I could not pick just one, I picked a few! I love the colors, the leaves, and the textures of everything. Heck, if I could have figured out how to add the smell of campfires, I'd have done that, too! Since I couldn't, our recipe just deals with colors, leaves, and textures. Make a card using the following recipe:
F - fabric
A - amber (as in the color, not the stone!)
L - lace
L - leaf or leaves

Easy enough, right? Here's my card.
I had the hardest time picking which image I wanted to use, simply because Guylou has so many great ones for fall. I finally settled on Chuck with his pumpkins. I colored the image with copics. Here's how I fulfilled the recipe:
F (fabric) - the houndstooth paper is actually a thin piece of fabric that I inked and adhered with glue lines. The leaves are felt.
A (amber) - well, hopefully, you can see the color in the paper I used to mount everything, and in the button.
L (lace) - this card went to my father-in-law for his birthday, so I didn't want to make it too girlie. I found a strip of lace that would fit through the buttonholes.
L (leaves) - I added felt ones and stickers.

I colored Chuck with copics. It's a bit off topic, but I have to tell you a funny story. I gave this card to my father-in-law last night. He was asking me about the image, because he thought it came colored like that. I told him about my incredibly talented friend Guylou and how this is one of her images. He's heard about her already, so that wasn't the shock. Then I told him that I colored it. He said, "you can do that with crayons?" I told him that I used markers, and he said, "how did you stay inside the lines?" My reply: "because I'm not five anymore, dad." I guess we never grow up in the eyes of our parents. Or, in this case, my adopted parent. Funny part is that my FIL didn't even meet me until I was in my 20's!!!

So, anyhow, you have until November 3 at 10:00 p.m. EST to cook up your own card or project using our recipe. Post it over at Guylou's Inimitability for a chance to win a $5 gift card to her store, where she has some super cute images! And while you're at it, why not try for a shot on the DT? Details on the GI blog!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Congrats to Colleen!

Congrats to Colleen Holmes! You have won the RAK for the surprise birthday blog hop that we had for Guylou. That means you get: a 4 pack of copic multiliners, a 2 pack of stardust pens, a black memento ink pad, and a $5 gift card to Guylou's Inimitability store. Please email me at (email removed).
Congratulations, Colleen!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

DT Call at Guylou's Inimitability

Hey to all of my fellow crafters! Just in case you haven't heard, we're looking to add a design team member over at Guylou's Inimitability. There's lots of perks, like free digi images and "hanging out" on the Net with a fun group of crafters. For more information, check out the details here. I'm going to shut up now, in the hopes that you'll head over to the GI blog and share your talent with us!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hoppin' over to wish G a happy birthday!

***if you made it hear from the wonderful Trina's blog, you're in the right place. If not, head to Brenda's and start your hop!***

As you all know by now, I'm a member of Guylou's design team. G and I have been friends for several years now. She's stood by me through lots of stuff. G has always been compassionate, supportive, and a bit protective, too. She's a kind, caring, wonderful person and I am blessed to call her my friend.

When the calendar told us that G's birthday was just about here, Bren came up with the idea to have a surprise birthday blog hop to celebrate. So, G, are you surprised?!? G's not the only one who gets something out of this, though. I'm giving away a RAK to one lucky person. All you have to do is leave a comment on every single blog along the hop (including mine!), then head on over to Guylou's blog to wish her a happy birthday. Yep, that's it. Not too hard, right, especially considering that you get to look at several fun, inspiring creations along the way! What you could potentially win is: a 4 pack of copic multi-liners, a black memento ink pad, a two pack of stardust pens, and a $5 gift card to Guylou's Inimitability.

In case you got lost, here's the blog hop order:
Gina (me!)

And then head on over to wish Guylou a happy birthday!

Now that all of the chatter is out of the way (come on, you all know how I love to chatter), let me share a birthday card for G. It's actually my second one, because the first one got mailed off over a week ago. G will get two cards from me this year. Here's the second one:
Once again, Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Guylou! I hope your birthday is everything you could wish for and more. LUG!!!!

***shoot, I almost forgot to tell you: you have until Sunday night to leave comments for all of the hop stops and Guylou (don't forget to wish her a happy birthday!). I'll use to draw a winner on Monday. I'll be checking to make sure that you commented for everyone! Thanks for hopping along with us, and more importantly, helping us to make Guylou realize how special she is!***

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

With Sympathy

Sympathy cards are so difficult for me to make, not only because of the overall design issues (keeping the colors more subdued, going for elegant or CAS rather than fun and over the top, etc), but because they make me sad for the recipient. I know what loss is like and I always find myself getting upset when I make these cards for my friends, because it hurts me that they are suffering losses, as well. This time around, it's for a coworker who just lost her dad. Here's the card, the design of which was actually inspired by the paper:
Paper is Prima's Madeline line. The big rose is from Recollections (Michael's). The brown ribbon was purchased at Hobby Lobby ages ago. The sentiment is from Verve and was cut using a spellbinders die. The little butterfly brad is from Oriental Trading Company, I think. The little leaf stick pins were in a pack at Joann's. I think that about covers it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Fun

I love fall and always have. September is a rough month for me now, but once I get through it, I can usually jump into the joys of fall a bit more. I love the changing of the leaves, the brisk feel in the air, the smell of campfires, Halloween, pumpkins, the whole nine yards. Last weekend, my friend Kim and I took her son to the Fall Festival at Homestead Gardens. They had tons of activities for the kiddos, like a hay bale maze, pumpkin painting, a jungle gym made from hay, a little train, pumpkin bowling, horseback riding, and even some llamas. We had a grand old time, even though it was a bit cold.

Jami hosts a sketch challenge at each month. The first week's sketches for October inspired this two page layout:

And just in case you are interested in reading it, here's a close up of the journaling:
What's your favorite thing about fall?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pink is my favorite color for many reasons... of them being that it promotes breast cancer awareness. It seems like everyone knows what that pink ribbon means. This time around, we're encouraging everyone to be aware. Think of someone they know who is fighting or has survived breast cancer. Think of your good friends and remind them to take care of themselves by doing regular breast self-exams.

My good friend Sara is hosting the challenge this time around at Guylou's Inimitability. It's a pretty simple challenge, really. Make a card with pink ribbon and make the predominant color of the card be pink, as well. Guylou even made a brand new image for everyone to use, called Gabrielle and Ribbon. Check her out on my card:
Isn't she pretty? I colored her with copics and highlighted her wings with a silver stardust pen. Guess what else? You can get her for FREE between October 7-14, just by using the code BCA-Gabrielle at checkout in Guylou's store. So, you don't have any excuses this time around. I think the rules are pretty easy: pink and ribbon. The image is free, plus you've got until October 20th at 10 p.m. EST to upload your project to Guylou's Inimitability.

If it helps, think of someone you know who is a survivor, or who is currently fighting this awful disease. You could even send this card to a friend, just to remind her to be aware and do breast self-exams. Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, and the best means of prevention is early detection. I'm sending my card to my aunt, who is a survivor. She's strong, she's awesome, she has the most positive attitude and sense of humor, and she knows how to kick cancer ass; she fights like a girl and I am so proud of her!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Calorie-free cupcakes. Really!

Calorie-free but I don't think they'd taste too good. Isn't that always the way, though? If something tastes divine, it usually has a gazillion calories floating around in it. You know, the kind of calorie count where not even a two-hour session at the gym will fix the fat that went right to your hips when you ate it? Anyway, I was recently approached to make a "crafty" (her word, not mine) favor to use at a baby shower. I initially thought of boo-boo bunnies, but nobody who is childless wants those things. So, then I thought of making a diaper cake for the mom, but since this was supposed to be a favor to give out to guests, that wouldn't really work. Plus, I don't think I've got the skills of frustration tolerance for that. I came up with this idea to make cupcakes using washcloths, pom-poms, stick pins and patterned paper. Once I figured out that I needed two washcloths per cupcake (yes, I admit that I got thin washcloths, but that was because all of the thick ones were funky colors), and then I figured out how to fold them, it wasn't so hard and the rest came together pretty quickly. I made not quite 2 dozen. Here's a pic of my calorie-free, no cook cupcakes:
As with most handmade things, some look better than others. They were super simple to make, though, and were a pretty big hit. I'm not much good at tutorials, especially without pictures. I don't have pictures of each step, so here's a description and I hope you can figure it out.

square washcloths - 1 if it's thick or 2 if they're thinner
red pom-poms
straight pins
patterned paper that fits your theme
a border punch
adhesive to hold the patterned paper in place

1. Put the washcloth down on a flat surface so that one of the corners is facing you (like a diamond). If you're using two cloths, just layer one on top of the other before folding.
2. Fold the corner facing you about 1/4 of the way into the center. Then continue to fold the cloth until it's in a long tube.
3. Now begin at the end and roll the fabric into a cinnamon roll shape, making sure that the center comes out a bit higher than the rest, so you have distinct "rolls".
4. Once it's all rolled up and looks like you want it to look, use a rubber band to secure the bottom. Don't worry, the paper will cover it later.
5. Now cut a strip of paper, about 1 3/4" wide x 8-10 inches long (depends on how fat your cupcake is; it needs to go around the bottom of the cloth cupcake).
6. Use a border punch to make a fancy edge along the top of the paper.
7. Wrap the paper around the bottom of the washcloth cupcake. I used a 1" glue line to secure it shut. You want it kind of tight so the washcloth can't fall out the bottom.
8. Put a red pom-pom on top of your cupcake and secure it with a straight pin. Ta-da!!! All done!

I'm not a good cook of real food, which is probably a good thing or I'd be fatter than I already am. These cupcakes, though, are just my kind!!!