Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Giveaway! - Deadline May 30

Hello friends!  Well I have been saying I would get together a giveaway sometime soon, and here it is!
After the move and various other studio de-organizing events, it's time to clean out a bit.
AND we have also had so many blessings in the past few months, I thought it would be nice to share a few smiles with my blog friends.

I've had a lot of time to think during 3AM feedings and such, and JUST WAIT...
I have some exciting things planned!  This giveaway is just the beginning ;)

Here are the goodies:

And since one picture doesn't do the stash justice...

You know me... why use just one or two pictures when you could take 6?! ;)

So, what do you have to do to be in for the drawing?

1) Blog about the giveaway or put it on your sidebar to let all your friends know!
2) Leave me your blog link with InLinkz below so I can come and visit you!
3) Not a requirement, but you may want to follow so that you won't miss the winner announcement, as well as all the extra upcoming fun I've got planned. :)
4) Then leave me a comment because I would love to know what's that one crafting embellishment you just can't seem to keep away from?  You know... the one that almost always ends up on your projects, no matter what... I'm always curious :)

The links will close at midnight on May 30th, and I'll announce the winner on the 31st.

AND... this time I have another surprise!
--- AN EASTER EGG! ---
I will add some super sweet extra goodness to the package if the prizewinner can tell me
on which post in my blog archives I have hidden THIS picture:

I snapped this one in a large field outside our home in Texas last year, on Easter Sunday.
A year later, although I am thrilled to be back home in the South,
there's a part of me that is missing the Texas wildflowers--especially the lupine.

So happy hunting for the Easter egg... and remember, don't spoil the surprise or else I will have to move the picture to another post, OK?

My little Explorer & Garden Memories

No craft projects to share today; just a few snapshots into our life.

At Shutter Sisters this week we were introduced to a wonderful company, Pinhole Press, that will take your photos and make high-quality printed products from them.  We were encouraged to choose a photo that would be our choice for a day planner cover, or another project.

Here is my first choice, as well as a few other shots from our trip to the gardens this spring.  My little explorer had such an amazing time, and it was sheer joy to watch him.

Once we were further into the garden, he discovered the fountain...
I let him splash around; after all, there was a spare outfit in the car.  What fun is there if a boy can't get messy once in awhile? :)

This garden is particularly special to our family.  It was one of our favorite places to go when my sweetheart and I were dating.  Then, for almost the duration of our engagement, we were over 2000 miles apart.  When he returned, we came here and read from our book -- C.S. Lewis' "The Horse and His Boy".  We were reading the series together as just another way to feel not-so-far apart while he was away.  We finished that volume in the garden together. 

Then we played frisbee with my backpacking frisbee...  It got lost in this very pond.

 We took our engagement picture right here in the beautiful soft green grass.  And now here is my baby... under the same trees, enjoying the same beautiful lawn.

Next he explored the stairs, which he figured out how to climb upright--
all by himself, using the railing.  *Proud mommy moment* :)

After he'd taken his uncle's hat, he thought it would be SO funny for mommy to wear it...

Live well and love every little moment!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bold Tropical Butterfly

I simply loved the Lesley's sketch over at Paper players, so I had to do something.  I'm also a little pastelled-out with all the easter eggs around... I was ready for a palette that was a bit more bold.
As it's turned out, it's a bit more bold than usual for me... but I like the result.

I don't yet own a Nesties Label One die set :(
so instead I folded over a scrap and drew a template for the label shape on the right.
Turned out well enough, I think...

These adhesive butterflies are so beautiful to look at, I feel like I'm making a card for someone very special whenever I part with one of them.  Do you ever feel that way about certain supplies?

Here are the challenges:
The Crazy Challenge #64 "Three Different Papers"
Polka Doodles #16 "Three Patterned Papers"
Crafty Creations Challenge #115 "Easy as 1,2,3..."
(i.e., 1 technique, 2 embellishments, 3 papers)
Stamptacular Sunday #108 "PILE IT ON!" - At least 5 layers
The Shabby Tea Room Challenge #59 "Butterflies"
Paper Players #44 Lesley's Sketch
Materials Used on this Card:
Cardstock {Papertrey Ink, DCWV "Cafe Mediterranean" collection}
Stamp {Basic Grey}
Adhesive Chipboard Butterfly {K & Company}
Turquoise brads {k.i. memories}
Olive button {Fancy Pants Designs "Little Sprout" collection}
Butcher's twine
Zots, Foam Tape, and X-Acto blade
Thank you all for visiting!  Don't forget to enter for my spring giveaway before you leave--
the drawing will happen on May 30th.

Live well and happy crafting on this fine day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coupons for Overseas Military Families

Just a heads up for those of you who are coupon-clippers...
I know I just hate throwing away all those really great coupons I never got around to using before they expired.  Well I have just found a good use for them; as it turns out, military families overseas can still use these coupons for up to 6 months after their expiration date!
I have just put together a small package of mine to send to Okinawa, Japan.
Since US military bases are considered as though they were in the US, postage is not extra!
If you would like more information, visit

Thursday, April 21, 2011

CAS Aqua Sparkles and Lace - Under the Weather

I really enjoyed making a few cards with this theme and pattern today.

Here are the challenges:

ABC Challenge "S is for Sparkles"
CCEE #1116 "Pleated Ribbon or Paper" - pleated lace
Ooh La La Challenge #78 "Aqua, Bling and Sentiment" - 2nd entry
Crazy Challenge #63 "Friendship" - friends care, right?

Materials Used on this Card:
Cardstock {Martha Stewart, The Paper Studio, Georgia Pacific}
Stamps {Autumn Leaves}
Archival Black ink and Superfine embossing powder {Ranger}
3mm rhinestones {Darice}
ZIG glue pen
Wide white lace
Black saddle-stitched ribbon {RibbonFX}
Jumbo B/W Pebble Brad {Making Memories}

Live well,

Aqua Coral Birthday

Here is one I've been working on for awhile now...
I couldn't quite decide whether I really wanted to use the glass pebbles at first,
but I loved how they made me think of sea glass, and also the way they refract the lines and light... I know they're very heavy for embellishments, but in this case...
I loved them enough in the end.
I splurged.

Here are the challenges:

"Brag Monday" at The Graphics Fairy
ABC Challenge "S is for Sparkle"
Truly Scrumptious #55 "Vintage" - vintage coral image from The Graphics Fairy
Creative Card Crew "Recycle Something" - new use for glass pebbles
Everybody Art #138 "Pearls"
Ooh La La Challenge #78 "Aqua, Bling and Sentiment"
Paper Sundaes #65 "Texture"
Papertake Weekly "Spots and Stripes" - the scallop

And yes, the Coral pun was intended :)

I've been hoping that my DH and I can get away for a weekend, maybe get the grandparents to take a baby apiece, so we can go either to the mountains or the beach... or somewhere.  Almost anywhere!  As long as it's quiet and peaceful.
We almost always head to the hills at special times, but
after this card, I'm thinking I might enjoy the beach for a change.

Another full-size view. 
And Confession: this black ribbon has got to be my all-time favorite.
At least, so far. :)

Materials Used on this Card:
Cardstock {Martha Stewart "Playful Blue", The Paper Studio, Georgia Pacific}
Vintage Coral Image {The Graphics Fairy}
Sentiment Stamp {Papertrey Ink}
Ink {Ranger Archival Black, Studio G - Aqua minicube}
Shell embellishment {K & Co - Grand Adhesions}
Glass Pebbles
Black saddle-stitched ribbon {RibbonFX}
Apron Lace Edge Punch {Fiskars}
Zots Adhesive Dots
This-to-That pop dots {American Crafts}

Live well,


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grateful Sunday - All Things Grow with Love - Mother's Day Card

I have been blessed with an amazing mother.  The things she has experienced and overcome in her lifetime I cannot even imagine going through myself.  She is my best girlfriend and we enjoy spending time with each other--even so much more now, since I have children of my own and we can talk not just as mother/daughter/friend, but as wives and moms as well.  It is truly special, and today I am starting a new tradition on my blog--Grateful Sundays--and this first one, Mom, is for you!

My mother and I were not always as close as we are now.  Through my pre-teen years we clashed over schoolwork in particular.  She is wonderfully gifted in math, while I struggled all the way, even with her help.  I felt sometimes like I just couldn't measure up in that way--the way she seemed to really want me to.  Now I know that not only was she hoping I'd get a scholarship for college ;) --but she was also trying to show me that I should never accept an "I can't do it" kind of attitude.  She simply would not let me do less than she knew I could.  (In the end, I did pull eventually A's in math and yes, I did get the scholarship... thanks in large measure to her perserverance.)

I am a "why" person.  I always have been.  I frustrated my teachers and classmates while in public school to absolutely no end because I would innocently but incessantly ask excitedly "Oh--so is that why...!?" all the time.  While some of my early teachers were kind enough to explain my further questions and share my exciting moments of discovery with me after the schoolday was over, most were frustrated because they had to cover so much material in a day, as required by schoolboards and set curriculum.  The class simply didn't have time for my curiosity.  I still remember the humongous sighs from all around the room when I would raise my hand...

So enter homeschool, and a whole new opportunity to explore the joys of learning deeply and in wonderful, exciting ways that allowed my brothers and I to learn together.  It was one of the best things our family ever did, and another thing that I will be forever grateful for.  It was an enormous sacrifice on my mother's part.  I realize she could have done so many other things, rather than stay home with us for all those years.  She is a remarkably gifted and intelligent woman; but she saw the importance and great worth of staying home with us--to teach us, to spend that time with us...time that simply does not come back.  I am so grateful for all of the learning, the laughs, the memories.  We learned together--and we also learned to love each other more fully, to work together, to help each other.  Now with my own children I am also dedicated to staying home with them--and not only to being here in person, but to being here with them in spirit.  Spending quality time, and giving them all that I can, while I can.  Motherhood...sacrifice...time...what can I say more?

It was during the homeschool years that things also came to a head over that sticky math problem, though--specifically with Algebra.  I had to know WHY it all worked like it did, why we even needed it.  Mom couldn't give me those answers--and to be quite honest, for the life of me I couldn't tell anyone the whys of algebra now either.  Such a small fragment of the population uses it that I personally think we'd be better served teaching our kids to balance a checkbook, or to understand credit cards, mortgages or the stock market (OK OK, maybe that's another one that defies whys...).  But we got through.

Suffice it to say, Mom and I had a hard time.  But there was one thing in particular that brought us together through all the difficulty.  And that was...
Our garden.
Oh, we worked in the house together too, and cooked and went shopping together.  But in the vegetable and flower gardens, we worked, we weeded, we planned and planted and smiled at the mockingbird that sang from on top of his telephone pole in the early mornings. 
We shook our fists at the deer that came from the woods during the night to eat our swiss chard and sunflowers.  We harvested green beans, corn, squash and tomatoes for summer Sunday dinners--the best I can remember--entirely fresh, wholesome, and satisfying.
And in our gardens, my Mom and I talked.

So as we approach Mothers' Day soon, and while Spring is blossoming everywhere, I think again about those days in the gardens, outside with my strong and wonderful mother--days that very well may have slowly but quite definitely changed the course of my life.
With two babies in the house now, it's taken me literally days to finish this card for her, as I'm constantly having to jump up to get Ben out of something in the kitchen or fetch crying little Joseph from his cradle.  With thousands of things to do, it's still been nice to have a moment here and there, Mom, to think about you.
Let me tell you all about some other meaninful extras on this card...
For one of my parents' anniversaries, my Dad, knowing how much my mother loves flowers, bought her a dozen deep purple iris plants.  When we moved from our home where we had the gardens, my mother's mother's white azalea and the irises came with us.
Also on this card I've used a small piece of vintage lace that my mom gave me, which came from an old pillow of her grandmother's...
I used this week's Mojo Monday sketch for the layout, but flipped it 180 degrees:

Here is the full card:

Materials Used on this Card:
Cardstock {We R Memory Keepers, Making Memories, Papertrey Ink}
Patterned papers {Hot off the Press}
Stamps {Inkadinkado, PSX}
Ink {Studio G (lavendar), Ranger Archival Black}
Purple self-adhesive pearls {e. by Prima Marketing}
Light green brads {Spare Parts by The Paper Studio}
Ribbon {Robert Stanley}
Vellum Iris Stickers {Sticko}
Vintage Lace
Butcher's twine
Divine Swirls Embossing folder, Cuttlebug machine {Provo Craft}
Nestabilities {Spellbinders}
Circle Cutter {Martha Stewart}
Circle Punches , Corner Rounder {EK Success}
Pop dots {This-to-That}

Truly Scrumptious #55 "Vintage" - my great-grandmother's lace
Daring Cardmakers "Spring Fling"
Paper Sundaes "Texture"
Papertake Weekly "Truly Dimensional"

Live well,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3AM Feeding Inspiration

Since I'm already up for the 3Am feeding, I thought I'd share some of what I've found while passing the time until my little guy is ready to sleep again...

Incredibly timely inspiration from Blue Cricket Design.  I've got just the dresser to refurb and just the conundrum again of where to store my ribbon (mounting on the wall with my wonderful cafe curtain rods is not an option at the moment).  I think this just might be the solution I was looking for!

Also, over at 504 Main you simply must see the incredible offering of an Epic 6 Letterpress machine!  There are some requirements for the giveaway but hey... either you or me might get lucky--so all the best to you friends, as well!
Check it out:

Also my talented blog friend Amy (aka Scrapping Mommy) is hosting a huge giveaway with 3 separate prizes on her own blog; hop on over and leave her some love too!

Live well,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nautical Three-Card Thank You Set

Well friends, with two active awesome boys in the house now, I'm in a mood to create with them in mind.  Luckily, when I think of boyish cards, I can hardly help from including boats in some way--so the MTTC and Wee Memories challenges this week were particularly appropos...

Here are the challenges:
My Time to Craft #135 "Nautical"
Tuesday Morning Sketch #88 - (Lifesaver card)
Stamp Something "Circle Somethings" - (Lifesaver card)
Wee Memories #51 "All Tangled Up" twine challenge

 Detail of "You're a Lifesaver" thank you card:

Materials Used on these Cards:

Cardstock {Papertrey Ink, Martha Stewart "Playful Blue" collection, Georgia Pacific, Recycled Kraft}
Stamps {Papertrey Ink "Communique Sentiments" set} 
Embellishments {Paper Bliss by Westrim Crafts, Spare Parts}
Butcher's twine
White grosgrain ribbon {Offray}
Red Sharpie Marker
Corner Rounder {EK Success}

Once again as always friends... I hope you have a truly wonderful day!



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