Friday, May 30, 2008

Jack at 2 Months

Another month has flown by! Here are Jack's 2 month pictures, taken one day late (shhh, don't tell!). I just love the pudgy cheeks in that close up below. And if you're wondering what the significance of the Good Luck bear is, well, there is none. I just wanted to use something in the picture each month to show how he has grown (see the 1 month pics here), and I picked it at random. We're not even Irish!

Jack is holding his head up more, and looking around quite a bit. He still is a good sleeper, so I'm thankful for that. It's not unusual for him to take a 3-4 hour nap at mid-day, and then a few other cat naps here and there when he feels like it. If anyone reading this knows his namesake (my grandpa) you'll know he comes by his sleeping habits naturally ;o). Oh, and he sneezes just like grandpa did too... at least three times in a row, if not more. It really makes you wonder some times if there is any connection...

Henry is all about his "bee" (short for "baby", which is how we usually refer to Jack). As soon as Jack starts to cry a little, Henry is right there, "Mum! Bee! ... MUM! BEE!". A daily conversation around here goes something like this:

H: Brrrroooom?
Me: Yes, we can go for a ride.
H: Elk?
Me: Yep, we'll go to the park (there is a zoo there that you can drive around and see the elk from the outside).
H: Mum?
Me: Yes, Mum's coming.
H: Bee?
Me: Yep, baby too.
H: Heh (with a smile - his signal that all is well in his little world. :o) )

Speaking of Henry, he is 23 mos old now. His vocabularly is up to 35 words (the latest being "hay", which is what the horse in his book eats). We found some throw back tee's at Target last weekend for $3.99 each, so I had to pick up the Star Wars shirts. Hubby is a BIG fan of Star Wars (the last three movies, which technically were the first three movies, don't even get me started on that insanity). I'm kind of regretting that I didn't also buy the Incredible Hulk shirt, but there's always next time.

We're getting ready for Henry's 2nd birthday, trying to get things in order. It won't be anything huge because I figure he won't remember it at this age anyhow. Just the immediate family and godparents. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can have it out on the screened porch (or what my inner Blanche refers to as the "lanai" ;) ) again. Henry is nutso about puppies, dogs, and all things that bark (yes, that includes seals) so we're doing a puppy theme for him. Hubby said he considered actually BUYING him a puppy for his birthday, but thought better of it. Apparently he valued his life to some degree. ;o) LOL! Don't get me wrong - I'd love to get a dog (a beagle or a hound to be specific), but I have enough on my plate at the moment!

Well, this is quite the post! I usually am not this long winded. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the day!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beautiful Butterfly

We had our friends Adam and Oksana (SCS: Osaki) over Sunday night for supper (ordered in, mind you!), and they brought this super cute card with them. Isn't it awesome? I grilled her for the details when I opened it, and she said she inked the bg stamp with (I believe) Certainly Celery, then wiped the ink off of the flowers and butterflies with a paper towel and re-colored them with her markers. The butterfly is a sticker.

Once more, you'll have to excuse the photo. I took this at the same time as yesterday's picture - in direct (read: too much) sunlight. The good news though is that my OTT-lite arrived yesterday (!!) so as soon as I get it set up, I'll be good to go for picture lighting! And, my Copics are on their way too. I think they should be here today, or tomorrow at the latest. Woot!

Enjoy the day, and while you're at it, check out the blog candy over at Going Buggy and Pink Piggy!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Bird Day Party!

We are hosting a small (very small) get together for my grandma's birthday. It's mainly just for immediate family (mom, dh, the boys, and me) but we wanted to invite one woman that grandma has known for ages, so I thought I'd whip up a quick invite to send to her (to any Aunts and Uncles who may be reading this in WA or TN, note: that part is a surprise for grandma so don't spill the beans!). Because really, who doesn't like getting happy mail?! This is the end of my beloved Tempting Turquoise paper. *sniff* I sooo need to get an order in! The picture was taken in full sun... almost too much sun. Live and learn. The diagonal lines you see at the top are a reflection from the window. Oh, and the sentiment is hand written.

Stamps: Tickled Pink
Paper: Pretty in Pink, Gable Green, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Pretty in Pink
Other: Non-SU Gingham Ribbon, Prismacolors, Gamsol

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Heart Full of Lies

by Ann Rule

I haven't had time to stamp as much lately because I decided to pick up a book last weekend. Ann Rule's Heart Full of Lies has thoroughly enthralled me ever since. I find myself reading at every opportunity - sometimes a paragraph at a time - in an effort to finish the book a.s.a.p.

Here is a brief synopsis of the book:

An idyllic Hawaiian wedding held the promise of a wonderful future for handsome, athletic Chris Northon, an airline pilot, a confirmed bachelor-turned-devoted family man; and Liysa, an acclaimed surf photographer, loving mother, and aspiring Hollywood screenwriter. But few, including Chris, had seen Liysa's other side -- her controlling behavior and dark moods, her insatiable hunger for money and property. And no one anticipated the fatal outcome of a family camping trip in an Oregon forest. Liysa soon revealed herself as a victim of domestic abuse that culminated at the campsite, where she shot Chris in self-defense. But crime scene evidence led detectives to wonder if Liysa was a killer, not a victim. Her controversial trial stunned all who thought they knew her. A lifetime of sociopathic manipulations and lies had been expertly hidden behind her fa├žade of perfection -- as was her rage to destroy any obstacle to her ultimate happiness, even if it was the man she vowed to love forever.

I'm happy to report that I finished the book this evening. It's the second book I've read by Rule, and can say I will definitely read more. I found myself drawn into the book from the beginning, and thoroughly enjoy her well written research. Without going into too much detail (so as not to ruin it for anyone) let me just say that it is amazing what lengths some people will go to to get what they want in life. And it is equally amazing to see how easily people can be duped, or at the very least ruled by their heartstrings.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a mystery, or true crime story.

Now I can get back to stamping... until I start the next book!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Did everyone have a good Memorial Day? Our day started with a trip to Algoma Blvd. to watch the Memorial Day parade. There is something about standing to watch veterans pass by with the American flag that just brings me to tears. And that marching band beating out any number of patriotic tunes certainly doesn't help. I was wiping tears away through the entire procession. I don't know many veterans, but I thank God they exist. Where would we be without them?

Of course, when I got the parade and reached for my trusty Canon SureShot to take a picture, the batteries were dead. *sigh* So, in the absense of photos, I will share this awesome card I found in today's SCS gallery additions. The card is by Lisa Somerville, and you will find the rest of her amazing gallery here.

God Bless,

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

That's Me!

A friend recently asked me to create a 4x6" contact card for her. The front of the card was supposed to represent who I am, and the back would contain all of my contact information (isn't that a fun idea?). I thought about this for awhile, and came up with different ideas. When I was up nightly with Jack at 3am *grrrr*, I was certain I'd be using the Grumpabella image, but ultimately I decided on this House Mouse stamp instead. There I am... the Mama Hen, taking care of all three of my boys (Henry, Jack, and hubby ;o) ).

Stamps: Flannel Plaid BG, House Mouse
Paper: Always Artichoke, Really Rust, Barely Banana, Ruby Red, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Black, Really Rust
Other: Raffia, Weathered Brads (non-SU), Prismacolors, Gamsol

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Thoughts

I created this card for my Stampin' Friend Sara (SCS:Chicagogirl), in honor of her upcoming birthday. I just love that Pick A Petal set, and I know now that I don't use it nearly enough! The center of the flower is stamped in Barely Banana, then coated in the Doodlebugs Sugar Coating yellow glitter that I talked about in this thread. I stamped it on scrap paper, cut it out, and mounted it with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Stamps: Pick A Petal, Non-SU Sentiment
Paper: Positively Pink, Basic Black, Whisper White, Barely Banana
Ink: Positively Pink, Basic Black, Barely Banana
Other: Sugar Coating Yellow Glitter, Non-SU Ribbon


1.) JustRite Stampers - Five random winners will receive the Large Monogram Stamper plus all three accessory kits that go with the Large Monogram Stamper!

Stamps, Paper, Scissors, and Donkey Smiles - Bunches of fun images, flowers, etc. Good stuff!

Lil' Deb's Happy Place - AMAZING assortment of candy!

Inspiration Blooms - Another HUGE assortment of goodies!

Heidi's Papir Verden - Super cute images and a stamp from Hanglar & Stanglar.

Big thanks to Mary Dawn and her
My Pink Mexico blog for all of those links! I'm entering everything, and you should too (just make sure you let me win ;o))!

And here's a bonus:

Carla's Blog - Seriously, she's giving away the MOTHERLOAD!! Check it out!

7.) All That Glitter - Pretty papers, fun images, take a look!

8.) Charlie's Blog - More of those adorable Hanglar & Stanglar stamps!

Happy Stamping (& Blurfing!),

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Friday, May 23, 2008

My Friend Max

Isn't this just the cutest stamp of a little boy? It's by Me & My Big Ideas, and it's titled "Max". I just love it. It was a fun little birthday surprise that my friend Lorie stuck inside of her Kid-swap envie for me. As soon as I saw it I knew it would work well with the stamps from SU!'s Smarty Pants set. To create this card, I used the Cuttlebug "Traffic Jam" Embossing Folder, and cut the squares out. Then I mounted them over the ribbon using Stampin' Dimensionals. It is difficult to see the dimension in the photo, but it's pretty cute IRL!

Stamps: Smarty Pants, "Max" by Me & My Big Ideas
Paper: Bliss Blue, Ballet Blue
Ink: Ballet Blue, Basic Black
Other: Traffic Jam Embossing Folder, White Grosgrain Ribbon, Ballet Blue SU Marker, Paper Piercing, Prismacolors, Gamsol

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birthday Pics

Here are the pictures from my birthday on Sunday. We started the day out by getting Henry's hair fixed by a professional stylist (see Papa's First Haircut post below for "before" pics). From there we went to the Paine Art Center and took some pictures of Henry with all of the gorgeous flowers that are blooming on the grounds (hoping to go back again this weekend for more - stay tuned). And finally, we had my "party" at my Mom's house. It was a good day!


Click to play Birthday Pics

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Copic Marker Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, I am ready do dive into the world of the COPIC coloring system, but for weeks have been debating about a number of things: Which set do I get? Do I get a pre-boxed set or a designer set? Do I need a set at all? How many markers do I need to do decent coloring? Should I join a marker club? Would it be cheaper to just buy on Ebay? Is cheaper necessarily better?

You get the picture.

I'm happy to share the fact that I figured it out. FINALLY. I looked at five major retailers of the COPIC markers: Dick Blick, Oozak, Ellen Hutson,, and Carpe Diem Store. Ellen Hutson stands out from the group because she offers "designer sets" of markers, meaning you actually get a bunch of useful colors as opposed to the pre-boxed sets that offer quite a few grey shades. Even with the designer sets, you'll notice that there aren't a lot of colors that are similar to be used for good blending (according to the guidelines posted on the Copic site). Although you can get some dimension from just one marker (by coloring more at the spots you would like to be darker) it won't be the same as if you were to use more than one marker... meaning even the designer sets aren't perfect. You'd still have to buy more individual markers to get the desired results.

I've been told Ellen Hutson's sets are slightly more expensive because of the time and thought she took to decide which colors to group together. I mean no offense to her or any other retailers who have put a lot of time and thought into their sets - I think that is a great resource for people who want a fast buy that works - but personally I'd rather put my own time and thought into it and pay less. That's just me. And believe me, there has been A LOT of thought going into this!

I started a thread about this on Splitcoast, and had a number of private messages requesting the list of markers I came up with so I thought I'd post it here and explain things a bit more in the process. Hopefully I can help a few people out who are trying to figure things out as well.

The bottom line is that Carpe Diem Store still has the best prices out there. If you buy the 36 pen set, it is $139.23, or $3.87 per pen. If you buy the 72 pen set, it is $278.46, which is still $3.87 per pen. So there is no real benefit to buying the bigger set over the smaller set. The problem with buying a set is that you still have the dilemma of the set having a ton of grey's in it (for instance 13 of the 36 markers in that pre-boxed set are grey or black - who needs that?!). SO, I checked and the price for each individual pen is $3.95... You only save $0.08 per pen by buying the set, which really isn't much in the grand scheme of things.

I went through the entire color chart and picked out all of the colors I like and the colors that would blend well with them where applicable. According to my research, the key to good blending is to use markers that have the same letter(s) and first number, and be within 2-3 digits of each other in the last number. I came up with 53 pens, which comes to $209.35 before S/H.

This set includes the colorless blender, but it does not include any grey or black markers. After revisiting the list I think I would add one cool grey (starts with C), one warm grey (starts with W), and their black (100, not 110 which is not a true black). About those greys... the cool greys have a bluish tint to them. In my mind, they would work well for shadows along or beside images as well as for coloring. The warm (W) greys have a brownish tint to them, and seem like they would work well for coloring as well. The toner (T) greys are neutral with no tint to them, and to me just seem kind of blah, which is why I am avoiding them.

The letters in each marker number refer to the color family. E=Earth, B=Blue, BG=Blue Green, BV=Blue Violet, R=Red, RV=Red Violet, V=Violet, Y=Yellow, YR=Yellow Red, G=Green, and YG=Yellow Green.

Note: I already own 2 Copic markers, and both are flesh tones so there are no flesh tones in this set. I also chose not to include any of the flourescent colored markers as I don't think I would get much use out of them.

Edited to add: This set could easily be broken down into smaller sets bought at certain intervals. Just make sure to keep similar colors together. For instance, BV00 Mauve Shadow is what I would call a "stand alone" color, meaning that no other colors in the set would necessarily blend with it. There are more colors like that - colors that just stood out to me, despite the fact that they were "loners" as it were. A person could start with just the colors that blend, and then get the stand alone colors later, or come up with some other system. Personally, I'm all about instant gratification ;o) so I'll be buying all at once (can you say Economic Stimulus Check? LOL)

Here is my self-made set:

  1. E55 Light Camel
  2. E57 Light Walnut
  3. B02 Robin's Egg Blue
  4. B05 Process Blue
  5. B18 Lapis
  6. B21 Baby Blue
  7. B24 Sky
  8. BG15 Aqua
  9. BG18 Teal Blue
  10. BV00 Mauve Shadow
  11. BV08 Blue Violet
  12. R05 Salmon Red
  13. R08 Vermillion
  14. R24 Prawn
  15. R27 Cadmium Red
  16. R29 Lipstick Red
  17. RV14 Begonia Pink
  18. RV17 Deep Magenta
  19. RV29 Crimson
  20. RV32 Shadow Pink
  21. RV34 Dark Pink
  22. V04 Lilac
  23. V06 Lavendar
  24. V09 Violet
  25. V12 Pale Lilac
  26. Y06 Yellow
  27. Y08 Acid Yellow
  28. Y13 Lemon Yellow
  29. Y15 Cadmium Yellow
  30. Y17 Golden Yellow
  31. Y19 Napoi Yellow
  32. Y26 Mustard
  33. Y38 Honey
  34. YR04 Chrome Orange
  35. YR07 Cadmium Orange
  36. YR09 Chinese Orange
  37. YR14 Caramel
  38. YR16 Apricot
  39. YR18 Sanguine
  40. YR24 Pale Sepia
  41. G05 Emerald Green
  42. G07 Nile Green
  43. G09 Veronese Green
  44. G14 Apple Green
  45. G16 Malachite
  46. G19 Bright Parrot Green
  47. G24 Willow
  48. G28 Ocean Green
  49. G29 Pine Tree Green
  50. G99 Olive
  51. YG07 Acid Green
  52. YG17 Grass Green
  53. 00 Colorless Blender

Click HERE to view a (easier to see) .pdf chart of all colors Copic offers. You can use the chart to see the shade of the colors I have selected, or to select your own.

Edited (again) to add: The Carpe Diem Store also sells storage containers for a very reasonable price. For instance, a 72 piece storage container is only $7.96. I was going to get one with my order, but then I saw this post on my friend Lorie's blog and decided I will wait and find a cute little container to stash them in instead. :o) Thanks Lorie!

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions (via a comment) and I will do my best to answer them.

Edit #3: I did get a question on SCS via PM and thought I'd answer it here as well to add to the info.

Q: What are the flesh tone colored markers that you have?

A: I have E00 Skin White and E02 Fruit Pink. I bought them this weekend at Hobby Lobby when they were 25% off (Reg. $5.99, sale $4.49). They blend together well (I tried on scrap paper at the store ;o)). Hobby Lobby is another retailer to watch. They do not sell the sets in any of their stores (per store manager) and don't have a huge selection (maybe 30? colors?) but they do have sales, and occasionally a percentage off coupon on their website as well. I have a link to their weekly ad and coupon in my Favorite Links on the right.

And in response to Mary Dawn's comment:

Hey Mary Dawn! I just checked Eclectic Paperie, and it looks like their prices are up there with Ellen and everyone else at $174.99 for the 36 pen set. Hannastamps, on the other hand has even lower prices than Carpe Diem!! Yikes! Hurray for a close out, eh?! When I go to order tonight I might get what I can off my list from her and then get the rest at CDS. Thanks for the tip!

Edit #4: The sale markers at Hanna Stamps are all Ciao markers, not the Sketch markers. I just got an email from Kristi Ferro confirming this. ;o)

Edit #5: Lisa, it looks like the info you can get an idea of which SU colors match which Copic colors on this SCS thread. HTH!

Happy Stamping!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Birthday Cards

Sunday was my 32nd birthday. Seriously, how is that possible? Is it just me, or does it seem like we just graduated high school yesterday to everyone? It's amazing how fast the years fly by.

Yesterday the mailman brought me more happy mail, so I wanted to share. First we have this super cute "Happy Bird-day" card from my friend Merry (SCS: Merrymoo2). I am on a major bold brights kick lately, so the colors are perfect, and I *LOVE* that DP. The base of the card and of the main image is SU shimmer paper. Very nice!

And here we have a card from my slightly more twisted (in a totally good way!) friend Noelle (SCS: Jocelyn1224). Isn't that sentiment hilarious? I was literally ROFL when I opened it. (Edited to add: I later found out the sentiment is from the Twisted Sentiments set by My Favorite Things. I love it!) The leafy paper has a velvet-y texture too it, and the gifts/pants on the bella are all paper pieced with DP. It's gorgeous! She really outdid herself with this one!

Thanks for thinking of me girls! I appreciate it!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Papa's First Haircut

Well, I guess it was bound to happen some time. Last night I left Henry with hubby so I could go to a Choraliers party, and look what happened:

Click to play

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And so it begins...

I know I should have mentioned this a week ago so more of you could be enabled, BUT Hobby Lobby had a 40% off coupon on their website this week. You could use one per day, so I went twice. I would have gone more, but didn't notice the coupon until Thursday. You can bet I'm going to be stalking the site now so I know right away when the next coupon is available. My original thought was to use the coupon on a set of those ungodly expensive, COPIC markers that I need like a hole in the head, but will collect nonetheless, but as it were they only sold them individually (at $6 a marker no less, but 25% off this week). So, I ended up coming home Friday with a few fun new spools of ribbon (50% off) and used my coupon on this set of ultrafine glitter instead:

I love me some glitter and ribbon on my cards, so I can't wait to use this stuff. And how cute are those little jars? I wish I had the space to display them all in my stampin' area, but no such luck - they're destined for a drawer... Although the upside of that is I will never have to dust them.

We went back again today so hubby could get his airbrush tool at 40% off (he got the compressor with the discount yesterday), so I found myself in yet another position to splurge. I contemplated getting an OTT-lite, but was overwhelmed by the selection and wanted to do a little more research before investing in one. Do you have one? Which one? Do you love it? Post a comment so I know for next time.

What I ended up getting with my coupon was a new paper trimmer. I love my old school Fiskars trimmer, but I have used it so much that I have worn all of the numbers and measuring marks off the clear bar up to the 4" mark. I debated between all of the options and ended up with this Cutterpede rotary blade trimmer. I may get something bigger and better in the future, but for now it will do the trick. I picked up the scoring and perforation blade while I was at it, along with some other goodies pictured below. The Pac Man-like pink thing is an edge distresser. I heard a woman raving about it to another woman in the craft aisle, so I am such a sucker that I picked one up too. And looky there at the bottom... My first two COPIC's!! I picked up two flesh tones that would blend together well for use on Bella faces, etc. Now I just have to buy a set of "real" colors somewhere. I'm thinking about waiting for another one of Gina K's marker clubs to start up, where (from what I understand) you get 6 markers a month for six months at $25 per month... but let's face it - I am all about instant gratification so I honestly don't know if I'd have the patience for that. I might just have to bite the bullet and buy a set outright one of these days. Meanwhile I'll just keep blending fleshtones...

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sugar & Snips

One of my "Stampin' Friends" is expecting twins any minute now, and I made this card to send off to Kentucky with her gift. The strawberry represents the "Sugar" of what little girls are made of, and of course the puppy dog to help represent what little boys are made of. There's a whole lot going on in this card, but if you think about it 5.5x4.25" isn't a whole lot of space to welcome two new lives into the world!

Stamps: Word on Word, Oh So Sweet, CTMH Puppy Love
Paper: Whisper White, Close to Cocoa, Ruby Red, Ballet Blue
Ink: Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, Ballet Blue
Other: Stampin' Markers, Dazzling Diamonds, Stampin' Dimensionals, Crystal Effects, Blue Grosgrain Ribbon, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, scallop punch, circle punch, chalks, Sakura gelly roll pen

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Tinkerbella Birthday Wishes

Isn't this a super cute card? My friend Lorie stuck it in with the swaps she sent me - such a nice surprise! She also sent me a stamp of a little boy that I can't wait to put to good use! I love all of the sparkly glitter on this card. In case you haven't noticed, I am severely addicted to glitter and/or ribbon, so it is perfect for me. I also love the rhinestone on the magic wand (another great idea that probably would have never come to me. Go figure). And the kicker of it all, is that I actually have this stamp. I've had it for over a year now, and have never used it once. Thanks for the inspiration, Lorie!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

My First Smilebox!

Click to play Mother's Day 2008
Create your own free ecard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox free ecard

I just love this Smilebox stuff! You can make such cute slide shows, and isn't it so much nicer than looking at all of my pictures lined up in a row? I think so!

These photo's were taken at our house on Mother's Day. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

From me to You

Here is the second set of cards for my kid-themed card swap. The picture didn't turn out very well, but you get the gist. The ice cream is pink, matching the torn pink cardstock to the left of the image. It is accented with dazzling diamonds, and the dish is covered in crystal effects for a little added dimension. The sentiment at the bottom is "from me to you" from the So Many Sayings set.

Stamps: Sweet Treats, So Many Sayings
Paper: Ruby Red, Whisper White, Pretty in Pink (? can't remember for sure)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Basic Black
Other: Prismacolors, Gamsol, Crystal Effects, Paper Piercing, Dazzling Diamonds, non-SU! Ribbon

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome Home, Jenn!

One of my bff's, Jenn, moved back to the area this weekend after completing the majority of her Master's degree work at UW Milwaukee. It will be nice to have her nearby again.

I found this God awful picture while I was looking for a Mother's day pic to post on Sunday and thought I would post it in her honor. That's her there on the left, my great-grandma in the middle, and my Mom on the right (thank goodness Mom doesn't have a computer, or she'd KILL me!). Doesn't everyone look thrilled?? LOL!

The pic was taken about twelve years ago. The four of us had decided to go for a ride to "look for Amish people" (seriously, who does that?). On the way back home, when we were about 20 miles out, the car broke down. So there we were, stranded on the side of the (state) highway, waiting for my grandparents to come and rescue us.

And as I'm typing this, I'm recalling another time that Jenn and I were stranded on the side of the highway out of gas.... I'm looking forward to our good times not having to be so few and far between in the future.

Welcome home Jenn, and congrats on your degree & job!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Life's Little Pleasures

Mother's Day kind of snuck up on me this year for some reason. I ended up having to buy (*gasp*) almost all of my MD cards... I refused to buy all of them though, so I took the time to make one. This was the card Henry sent to his Godmother. The inside reads "Take Time to Enjoy Life's Little Pleasures". It's such a simple card, but I'm really pleased with the outcome.

As I was coloring the pink flowers, all I kept hearing in my head was Shelby Eatenton saying, "Mah colors are blush and bashful." and her mother replying with, "Her colors are pink and pink!" ;o) Now who (besides Deb!) knows what movie that is from?

Stamps: Great Impressions Flower Pot, SU! Scatter Kindness jumbo wheel
Paper: Whisper White, Barely Banana, Gable Green, Green Galore
Ink: Basic Black, Green Galore
Other: Bee brad, SU! Markers, White Grosgrain Ribbon

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

To two of the three most influential women in my life... Mom (left) and Grandma (center). The third woman would be my great-grandma, but I was unable to find a pic of all of us together in the short time frame I had. I don't know where I'd be without all of them. Unfortunately, great-grandma passed a few years ago but I know she is still with me in spirit.

This picture was taken about six years ago when the three of us decided to take a two week road trip to the East coast. We're standing on the look out deck at Niagra Falls, and have just come of the Maid(en?) of the Mist tour (which explains Grandma's wet tee-shirt look). We had a great time - we always do.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!!

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cheers to You

Looky what the mailman surprised me with yesterday! This beautiful BRAK (Birthday Random Act of Kindness) is from SCS'r SilentRN (for those who are curious, the big day is May 18th). I just love the look of the partial Cuttlebug technique (find more samples of the technique in Heart Prints Cuttlebug Gallery), and totally need to get me some of those fire and ice brads on my next order! I wonder if Terri has any idea how much she is enabling me?

The picture doesn't really do the card justice at all. There are six layers total, including the base. Five of the layers are held together with the brad. Every piece of paper is embossed with either the Cuttlebug or what I assume must be the Scor-Pal. The cranberry colored square is also lifted off the paper with dimensionals.

This is just what I needed at the end of that crazy day!

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Mama said...

Jack woke me up this morning at 8:20 (good news, being that normal wake up is 7-7:30). As I sat there (in what could easily be the most uncomfortable rocking chair in the world) nursing him, I thought I could hear Henry crying. I stopped nursing half way through, and laid Jack in his crib to investigate...

Sure enough, Henry was crying... hysterically. I went into his room, scooped him up, and started rocking him (in the good chair). I noticed he had been laying with a good sized wet spot around his head in the crib, but figured it was drool and that he was cutting molars. He has been chewing on EVERYTHING this week, drooling, etc. Classic signs of teething. So we're rocking and he seemed to be settling down when Jack started crying (probably still hungry) again.

I set Henry down, and he starts to cry (any why wouldn't he? *sigh*). I go get Jack from his room and bring him to Henry's room to finish nursing, while simultaneously trying to soothe Henry as he stood next to me sobbing on the floor. No luck. So, Jack went to the bed and Henry got back on my lap. That worked for all of 40 seconds, and then Jack was crying again. Fantastic. Now what?

I scooped Jack up, took Henry by the hand and shuffled the lot of us to our master bedroom. Jack went in the middle of the bed, with Henry on one side of him and me on the other in the hopes of finally finishing that nursing session. Mercifully, it worked. Jack was content, Henry was restless. Jack finished up and fell asleep in the process (God bless him).

30 minutes has now passed, and Henry is still crying.

I grabbed the phone and took it and Henry into his room to call my husband in hopes of some explanation (maybe Henry was up during the night? That's his watch, not mine...). I started dialing as I entered the bedroom and the phone died (who left it off the hook? Oh yeah... me. Grrr.). Back to the master bedroom to hang it up and get the other phone. Aaaaaand then Henry vomited. Thankfully he waited until we were on the hard wood floor. I clean up the mess, get the phone, call hubby (baffled), call grandma (helpless). And Henry vomited again - this time on carpet. Fabulous. I need help, and I need it quick... but who to call? As I sat and contemplated how weird it would be for me to call the retired parents of various friends (Cathy, Dave, and Martha were all at risk) and the daughter of the man next door who is in town for a funeral I realized there was only one option.

If grandma couldn't come to me (she doesn't drive), I needed to go to her.

Wait? What's that sound? Oh! Jack's crying! Hurray!


Next, I grabbed Henry (still crying, by the way) and get his diaper and jammies changed (both were wet) and go back to the master bedroom to get Jack. I set Henry down to carry Jack and he SCREAMED. Hmph. So, I stood him up on the bed, pick up Jack, then pick up Henry, and schlumped down the stairs with their combined 45 pounds in tow. Five minutes later, we're in the van. And in case you're wondering, oh yeah... I had to carry Henry AND Jack (in the carrier) AND my purse AND the diaper bag to the van all at once. There really was no way around it. And to add injury to insult, Henry vomited a third time on the porch.

I called the Ped's office on the way to Grandma's house and asked to speak to a nurse. "Sure, I'll have her call you back." Umm, no, you won't. "No, I need to talk to someone NOW." I get the nurse on the line, and she wanted me to bring Henry in. Two hours later, we found out it's a double ear infection and a virus. His ear drums have so much fluid behind them they are buldging (poor baby :o( ). They gave him a dose of Ibuprofen in the Dr's office and sent us to the Pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for Amoxicillian and Lydicane drops to numb the ears. Aaaand, Henry vomited the Ibuprofen in the Pharmacy. *sigh*

Thankfully, by the time we left and got back to Grandma's he was feeling a little better so some of the medicine must have stuck. We spent the afternoon over there, and then my Mom watched him so I could take Jack to the Dr. at 4pm for his 6-week check-up (which of course included shots/screaming/etc.). When I left that appt., the girls at the Dr's office chuckled as they wished me a Happy Mothers Day. Nice.

I left the appt., went back to Mom's, picked up Henry, and came home. Hubby was able to leave work early and was there waiting for me. I gave Henry a light supper, a Motrin/Amoxicillian/Lydicane cocktail, and took him up to bed at 6:20. He was out like a light (no nap today and lots of drama, so no surprise there) and is still sleeping.

Mama said there'd be days like this...

The silver lining is that Jack was an angel today. I'm so thankful for my two good babies, and I really can't complain too much because this is Henry's first major illness in all of his 22 months. But man!! I'm glad every day isn't like this!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Celebrate Life

I recently found out that one of our neighbors is expecting their first child in August. They aren't finding out the gender of the baby which, for the record, drives me crazy (I don't have that kind of patience!) but I guess it's not really my call to make in this situation. lol! At any rate, I made this card for them using the Pregabella stamp by Stamping Bella. I think these Bella's are adorable (note to self: must buy more!), don't you? The idea to make the bella "pop past her layer point" came from Lauren Meader and her recent "Paws Down FAST" card.

Stamps: Pregabella, So Many Sayings
Paper: Bliss Blue, Ruby Red, Whisper White, Non-SU scrapbook paper
Ink: Basic Black, Chocolate Chip
Other: 1/4" circle punch, brads, dazzling diamonds, prismacolors, gamsol

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Party Thanks

I was looking through the archives last night (a.k.a. my SCS gallery ;)) and found a few cards that I had never shared here. I'll post them here and there when I run out of other, more current, things to talk about. :o)

This is the thank you card I mass produced for Henry's first birthday party last June. I love this Let's Party set, and I think the bold bright's suit it perfectly.

I also made my first watermark last night and added it to the picture. It's still a work in progress though - I think I need to download some new fonts and images. The butterfly just isn't me (why can't I find a bee anywhere?!), but it'll do for a first run. Big thanks to Stampin' Kub and his online tutorial for walking me through the watermark process!

Stamps: Let's Party, Many Thanks
Paper: Lovely Lilac, Whisper White
Ink: Lovely Lilac, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, Basic Black
Other: Non-SU! Gingham Ribbon, Marvy Scalloped Circle Mega Punch, Marvy Giga Circle Punch

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My First Digi-Page!

After acclimating myself to my PhotoShop Elements software, I started playing around with some digital scrapbooking sites. I downloaded a (free!) kit from the Shabby Princess (link at right) site and created this page with it. The jury is still out regarding whether or not this will become my primary scrapbooking medium or not. I like the convenience of it - I can do everything right on my laptop. But I feel like I need to get more pictures on a page, and I'm having a hard time visualizing the proportions of this tiny square as a 12x12 page. I'll have to do a few and print them and see what I think. My pages are generally pretty photo-heavy, but then you don't have space for all of the fun embellishments.... Decisions, decisions!

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Monday, May 5, 2008

One May Day

Jack is over a month old now. It's hard to even comprehend how quickly the time has gone. He has started holding his head up quite a bit and I will get an occasional smile if I tickle in the right place. I just love this picture. He has my chins. ;o) ROFL. And obviously his eye muscles are still developing. He's still sleeping quite a bit during the day, but not nearly as much as he was (which is a good thing!).

I think we are going to retire the bassinet this week (thanks for the loan Julie!). He is getting so big that he hits the sides with his hands when he stirs and that makes him stir even more. I'll have to make a spot (ha!) for the pack n' play and we can use the bassinet feature on there for a few months more. I had been using that as a co-sleeper of sorts (next to the bed), but have put him in the crib the last three nights and he does just fine in there so I don't think a permenent change will be a problem. We have his six week check up on Friday, and I'm looking forward to seeing what his latest measurements are. He seems so much bigger now than when he was born!

Look at that shirt. Isn't that the dang truth? Thankfully I have my Mom trained enough that she will ask me before going ahead with *most* of her bright ideas. Henry is growing into his role of big brother more and more each day. When Jack cries, Henry will go and get a diaper and wipes and point to the spot on the couch where I change him as if to say, "Well? What are you waiting for?" LOL! Then after the diaper change, he's in charge of putting the wipes away and throwing the diaper out. He loves to help, which is great. I need all the help I can get. It blows my mind that he does so much and isn't even two yet.

His next big adventure will be a haircut - his third. We had great success with #1, and #2 was a screaming, crying, fiasco. I wonder what #3 will bring?

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Little Sparkle

I started a Kid-Themed Card Swap on Splitcoast last month, and promptly signed up for two spots. It was a 5+1 requirement, and I just finished my first set last night so I thought I'd share. This card was heavily inspired by a card I made at a Stamp-a-Stack held by my (now) up-upline, Renee Kohnke. I changed the color combo, ribbon, used a Cuttlebug instead of a bg stamp, and added a second fish to the mix.

This is one of my favorite cards ever, and the original was what inspired me to buy the set in the first place! What do you think?

Stamps: Fishy Friends, Warm Words (? - can't remember for sure)
Paper: Green Galore, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black
Other: White Grosgrain Ribbon, Non-SU Pattered Ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds, 3/4 Circle Punch, Prismacolors, Gamsol. Cuttlebug Embossing Folder

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Healing

Remember how I said I had to make cards in a hurry lately? If memory serves me, I believe I had about four minutes flat for this one. And any stamper knows four minutes is less time than it takes to think up a design much less execute it. BUT, I got something done... and hope the recipient remembers that old adage that it truly is the "thought that counts" ;o) lol! He's only two years old, so hopefully it will all be lost on him. This is my favorite SU! set EVER, and I so rarely get a chance to use it (or think to use it anyhow). I'll have to break it out again in the near future. I should start building a stock of cards as time permits anyhow so I don't have these last minute fiascos.

Stamps: Happy Healing
Paper: Only Orange, Whisper White
Ink: Night of Navy
Other: Night of Navy SU! Narrow Organdy Ribbon

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All I Have Seen

I'm working on improving my card photos (among others). What do you think? I think I need to scrap the flash. The sentiment on this card reads "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. - Ralph Waldo Emerson" I had to make this card in a hurry (as EVERY card is made these days, *sigh*) for the funeral of a friend's husband. The hardest card for me to make is a masculine card. Second place goes to a sympathy card. This makes a masculine sympathy card my worst stamping nightmare. I'm absolutely in love with this poly-twill ribbon from the Occasions Mini though! I'm going to need to order the chocolate chip before that mini catalog is retired...

Stamps: All I Have Seen
Paper: Old Olive, Really Rust, Very Vanilla
Ink: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip
Other: Poly-twill Old Olive Ribbon

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy (1 month) Birthday Jack!

It's hard to believe Jack is already a month old (photos taken 4/27/08). Time sure passes quickly with these little ones. He's getting so big - I can't wait for his 6wk check-up next Friday so I can see how much he's gained. I'm certain he's well over 10 lbs by now. Maybe even over 11. His eyes are starting to lighten. For a few weeks they were just black. We couldn't even see a color. Now they're a very dark blue.

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