Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A tribute to my Grandmother

Well, today is the day when my Grandmother Helen Leslie was born.  She passed a few years back, but if she had lived, today would have been her 102th birthday.   I always teased her that she would be on the Today show for people who were celebrating their 100th birthday.  That didn't happen, but I'm sure Jesus is celebrating her life in a much better way.  Since it's her birthday, to honor her, below is a tribute to my Grandmother. 

Helen Leslie was the most wonderful, ordinary person you would ever meet.  I hope you don't think I'm being insulting by calling her ordinary.  Quite the opposite.  I found this one of her most appealing qualities.  My grandmother was not a trend setter or someone who was going to change the world, but she cared about me and that made her ultra special.

So let me introduce to you to my grandmother.  She was the youngest of 13 children.  She was born and raised in Brooklyn New York and I loved hearing her stories of growing up.  She described her mother as a kind of 'proverbs 23' kind of women - hard working - frugal - independent and successful.  She described how her mother would wake at dawn and bake several loafs of bread.  She would put together the grocery order and send my grandmother to the market to hand it to the grocer.  The grocer would pick all the grocery items off the shelves and a delivery boy would bring the order to my great grandmothers home at a later time.  If the grocer sent anything less than the best of his inventory, my great grandmother would transfer her business to another market.  As a family of 15, the grocer did not want to lose their family as a customer.  Smart woman.

So, back to my grandmother...... My grandmother was kind and gentle and humble.  She was excellent at needle-crafting, loved to do jigsaw puzzles and read.  She played card games with us kids all the time.  My favorite game with Grandma was Canasta.  She taught me to play and I won - often - most likely thanks to her humble, gentle personality.

She lived at a beautiful home near a lake when I was really little.  They had a pool with a slide that my sister and I spent many hours in every summer.  When I was older (maybe 10 or so) they moved to a new house that was about a mile from my home.  When they lived at their Hanover Street house, I would very often walk to my grandma's house on a Saturday or after school.  I would go there at least once a week as a pre-teen and I wouldn't call ahead or anything, but my Grandma was always home.  She would have Sara-lee brand pound cake or those tins of butter cookies for me.  Grandma wasn't much of a baker, but boy could she buy some yummy sweet treats.    She did make one wonderful dessert.  It was lemon meringue pie.   I loved that and whenever I eat it (not often) I think of her.

When I was sick and had to stay home from school I went to Grandma's house.  One story goes that I was taken to grandma's when I was like 4 years old and I was crying when I arrived.  After my mom went to school (she was a teacher), my grandma asked me what I wanted and I said I didn't like the outfit I was wearing.  My grandma then drove me home, let me change into my favorite outfit and then took me back to her house.  Yup - grandma spoiled me big time.  Usually when I went to Grandma's house when I was sick, she would take me to Caldor's.  Caldor's was the Walmart of her generation. I would usually get a coloring book or candy bar or both.   My grandma knew I was really sick if I couldn't muster the energy to go to Caldor's.

My grandmother took great care of her older sister Gertrude.  Aunt Gert was quite a bit older than my grandmother - probably 15 or 20 years older.   That's her in the picture in the blue shirt. All growing up I remember Aunt Gertrude living with my grandmother.  In her generation, single woman didn't live alone so it was very kind of my grandmother to take her in.  I have heard that Aunt Gert was very generous to my grandmother and grandfather also, but I can't imagine having someone (almost old enough to be my mother) living with me all during my married life and Aunt Gert was a little particular and controlling.   She was my first experience with death.  I think I was about 12 or so when she died.

I remember often going to Grandma's house after church.  We would stop at the local German Deli/Bakery and pick up crumb cake, jelly donuts and hard rolls.  I hated jelly donuts (I have no idea why) but loved the crumb cake or even just a hard roll with butter on it.  Some other funny memories about my grandmothers 'Hanover Street' house.  She had an intercom.  Boy was that cool.  I loved buzzing the intercom, just to see if it worked.  She had a big turtle candy jar that my grandfather made in his ceramic kiln.  In the candy jar were hard candies, mary janes and/or black licorice.  Behind her house was a HUGE area of woods.  We tried to build a little tree-house out back. It was mainly just a board of wood wedged between a tree with split trunks but I spent hours back there imagining all kinds of cool princess scenes.

My grandmother always cleaned the kitchen top to bottom after the meal was served.  She had two kinds of placemats.  Plastic ones that we would use when we ate and fancy knit ones for decoration.  After every meal, the fancy placemats would go on the kitchen table along with a bowl of fake fruit.  And Grandma always served tomato juice in a fancy cut juice glass on Thanksgiving.

After my grandfather passed away (in his 60's) my grandmother moved to a senior condo development.  She lived alone there for many years.  At that time, I was married and living in Florida.  I would visit her, sometimes alone, sometimes with my husband.  Her pace of life was so much slower than mine at that time, but I really enjoyed visiting her, bringing take out chinese food and showing her pictures of our home.   She had trouble hearing later in life so she didn't enjoy noisy places, so we would accomodate her and bring food in and enjoy it in her kitchen.   Later when I had Sarah, we would both visit and Grandma was content just holding baby Sarah in her big comfy lap.    Then, her health started to deteriorate.  My father was living in Arizona, my aunt in Vermont and she was alone.   Even though she was kind and gentle, she was also stubborn.  Both my dad and aunt tried everything to get her to move closer to them, but she wouldn't consider it.  It became obvious that she needed to move to an assisted living center.  My father and Aunt did all the pre-work of the move, but I was there at one of the visits to finalize the move.  At this point everyone knew it was best for her to go there and I think I took her to the facility to look at the apartment she would get.  She was very pragmatic about the whole thing.  She really didn't want to move from her home, but knew there was no other alternative.  She didn't cry.  She didn't complain and we talked about her new life in the 'semi' assisted living area.  When she first moved there she had her own apartment (1 bedroom) and they provided dinner in the dining hall.  Eric always talked about her as 'the grandma that lives in the hotel' because with the lobby and restaurant it looked just like a Holiday Inn.  One thing I found very funny about that place was that they had this BIG room that was a bar.  I don't remember ever seeing anyone sitting at the bar drinking, but my grandmother thought that was a big plus.   Funny!  Senior citizens in assisted living hanging out at the bar.

Another thing about my grandmother is she never had any 'stuff.'  Whenever she moved she had no problem downsizing.   The only things she ever kept were her hummels and her framed needlework.  It made moving and cleaning very easy.

When she moved to Goshen (upstate NY) I was living in Boston and was 4 hours away.  I tried so hard to visit her several times a year, but working and raising a family made it hard.  Often I would drive on a Friday afternoon, spend the night and visit her Saturday, then head home.  Later when I was working 30 hours, I would sometimes drive on a Tuesday, visit on a Wednesday and again head home.  It was brutal to drive 8 hours for a 2-3 hour visit, but now in hindsight I don't regret it one minute.

She had some ups and downs with her health in her last years and I had a really nice visit with her the summer before she passed.  At that point she was in the nursing home part of the facility and they had a day to 'make a shadow box' with your family.  Well, since I'm the paper-crafter of the family, they offered me the option to go.  It was really inconvenient to go.  Isn't it always?  There was another thing going on (a party with Bob's family) but I knew I wouldn't have too many opportunities with my grandmother, so I skipped the other event and went.  We had a nice day.  The whole family cracked up at what we put in the shadow box.  Grandma, remember she was quiet and humble, didn't say a word when I found a great picture of 'the boat' that her and grandpa had when they were younger.  We put the boat picture front and center of her shadow box.  Later everyone said 'grandma hated that boat.'  But that was my grandma.

It was also very interesting to meet the other people in the nursing home.  They all had very exciting lives.  One woman was a performer from NYC.  Another man was one of the first commercial pilots.  When I met them they were all very old and very feeble.  The shadow box gave all of us a chance to see who they were in their prime.  That was pretty cool.  Another fun thing about those visits was that I would always bring my dogs.  Tank was just a puppy then and I had him in his crate and all the residents loved him.  Of course, yes, I brought Joey too.  The residents loved them both.  I found out later that they had a 'nursing home' dog and that a therapist woman would bring the trained dog to the nursing home every week.  I thought that was great.  It was good therapy for the seniors - especially the dog lovers.

When it became clear that Grandma's days were numbered, I drove down to be with her.  I arrived on September 9th and just sat in her room with her.  She was only slightly coherent during my visit - more aware at first - and much less aware later.  I held her hand.  I talked to her (not sure how much she heard) and I crafted.  I had some stamp projects and set up a little work table next to her bed.  She slept and I whiled the hours away coloring and creating.  As she came in and out of consciousness I would stop my crafting, hold her hand and talk to her.  My dad had booked his flight to come in when he heard she wasn't well.  I took an extra day off from work to stay another night, but planned to leave on September 11th to get home to my family and responsibilities.  No-one really knows how long someone has at the end so it could have been a few more days or a few more hours.  I knew we would need to get the whole family together for the funeral.  We all knew her time was coming, it was just a question of when.  My only regret that day was that I left before she passed.  I left about 4pm.  My Dad was scheduled to arrive at 7pm  She passed sometime in between.  I don't think she was conscious during her last minutes but I do wish I had been there when she breathed her last.  But, I am so glad I went to visit her those last years and I was so glad to be with her during her last days.  I treasure those times.

I hope today's post wasn't too somber for you.  I like my post to reflect the reality of life and like it or not, death is a reality of life.  I love reflecting on the life of my grandmother and reflecting on those last days with her brings me joy.  It was a surprisingly joyful time - being there with her during her last days.  Of course that is because she lived a full life and died of natural causes.  It's quite different when it's the sharp stab of pain from a short life, but her situation wasn't like that at all.

Does death bother you?  Well, of course it bothers us, but does it bother you more than it should?  If it does, is it because you are not right with God?  I really encourage you to click the link below and  discover how easy it is to become right with God.  I feel confident (from my opening paragraph) that my grandma is with Jesus in heaven, but really it is a very personal matter and frankly only you and God know where you stand.  Get right with God and thank you for joining me as I remembered the wonderful person that my Grandma was.

get right with god 

If you knew my grandmother and have your own memories of her, please leave them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I'll have something crafty for you later this week.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cards for Soldiers - Easter

Good morning bloggers,

I hope you are doing well on this last Monday in February.  I don't know about you, but even though it was a mild winter, I'll still be glad to be done with February and onto March.   It's nice to have spring on it's way and longer days.

Yesterday afternoon several ladies came over and we made Easter cards for Cards for Soldiers.

Here we are, above, busy working on the cards.  Below is each of us with one of our creations.  Notice my Papertrey Ink Butterfly T-Shirt.  I figure I have to wear my stamping t-shirt while I'm stamping.  Good thing I didn't get any ink on it!!
Below is shot of all the cards lined up and finished.  Next I boxed them up with envelopes and got them ready to mail to my Cards for Soldiers lady in NH.

There were kits for 10 ladies to make 4 cards each.  Even though there weren't 10 of us, we managed to finish most of the kits by having some ladies make 2 of one card and then I finished the rest up after dinner.  It goes so fast when all the card stock is cut and the die cuts done.  When it's just stamping and gluing it goes super fast.  Of course for the card making to go fast, that meant that I spent the last week cutting and organizing.  It's several hours of preparation, but it's nice to see the ladies happy with their creations and I know the soldiers and loved ones appreciate it.

I like hosting cards for soldiers for several reasons.  Mainly I like to use my craft and supplies to give back to the community.  I also like to get together with other ladies and make cards.  It's kind of a win-win.  Sadly, I don't think I can do another workshop until June.  It looks like I'll be doing some business trips and personal trips in March/April and May so I won't have much free time. 

Below are close-up shots of each of the cards.  Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you have a great day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ivan & Butterfly Cards

Hi bloggers,

Well, it's happened.  My beautiful daughter who is teaching in Ukraine with the peace corp has met a Ukranian man.  Yikes!  They have been spending time together and developing a friendship. Based on the way she talks, it seems only a matter of time before the friendship turns romantic.  And he is a soldier.  He works for the government on border patrol to prevent smuggling.  I saw his picture on facebook and if I met him at night at the border I would be afraid.  She says he is very sweet and has a nice smile.  I hope she is right.  Talk about a time where you have to trust God, this is a big one for me.  I don't know this man.  I don't know his family.  What are his intentions for my sweet girl?  So, what do I do?  I pray.  I am praying that if he is at all misleading with her, it will be revealed.  If he has any false motives, they would be thwarted.  And mostly I pray for my daughter to have good judgement.  I also count on the prayers I've laid down for all these years for her .

I am optimistic that he is a nice man and Sarah has given us no reason ever to question her judgement.  She is careful and not impulsive, but it's still very unnerving listening to my little girl describe how she is spending time with a man I don't know!   I will feel much better after I meet this man in person and THANKFULLY, we are scheduled to visit her in April and if they are more than friends, I will insist on getting a chance to meet him.  Sarah insists it's only a friendship, but if you believe in the power of prayer, will you pray for my daughter too?

So, for today's crafty moment, below are two cards I made with my new papertrey butterfly set.  I am loving playing with this set and doing colorful cards.  Which is your favorite?

Have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Papertrey January Blog Hop Challenge

Hello Bloggers,

Today's post is an interactive card for papertrey's challenge.  So what is an interactive card?  Well, I think it's any card where the person who receives it has to do something - open a flap, pull a tab.  It could also be a card with three dimensions like a pop-up card.

I just my new papertrey items from my UPS man Thursday night so I was eager to try out the zipper die.  I paired it with the leaf stamp set for a nice clean and simple design with action.

I think I'm going to love this leaf stamp set.  It's so simple and serene, but I think it will be useful for so many occasions.  I intentionally left it super simple to let the gorgeous and calming color scheme take center stage.

So let me tell you how this card 'works.'  To start with I stamped a sentiment on the green layer.  Then I stamped a white card that is just slightly smaller than an A4 card with the leaves.  Then I put the zipper die
on it and ran it through the cuttlebug (my die cut machine.)  Then I glued the cut out piece back on the green card making sure to line up the zipper area directly over the sentiment.

I like the effect of the frame so I saved the remnant from the die and glued it onto my card base. 

Then I glued my top layer on top of that and voila - my interactive - zipper card.  The recipient will zip the tab off and see their sentiment. After it was all put together I added some pearl accents to the branch berries to add a tad of texture. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today and learning about interactive cards and zipper dies!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bloggers Challenge - Black/White/Red

Hi Bloggers,

How was your week?  Are you glad it's Friday?  Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?  I had a good week.  We had a holiday on Monday so it was a nice short work week and I started my new running program on Monday and I'm surviving!  I am actually loving it.  I'm on a gradual program where I do some interval training with rest days mixed in.  I trust that these people know what they are doing and so far I've been challenged but not overwhelmed.  The only thing that I've noticed is that since I run early in the morning, I have a lot of energy for a while, but I get sleepy about 10:00am.  Once I get over that sleepy time, I'm fine the rest of the day, but boy it sure would be nice to have the option to take a 20 minute snooze at that time!  Instead I go get a green tea and wait for the caffeine to kick in.  Are any of you runners?  If so, tell me your song playlist!  I have a 'running playlist' on my iphone but I'll be looking for some new upbeat fast tempo songs to add in so it doesn't get stale.

So, do you want to see my card for today?  Of course you do.  Our challenge this week was to use Black/White and Red.  I had picked up some 'my minds eye' patterned paper in January and thought this was the perfect time to use it.  I added in some bright red and colored in this Lockhart stamp image with my copics.

I hope you have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by and come back tomorrow to see my interactive card for papertrey ink's blog hop.  I got my PTI order last night and have a fun card to share with you using my new 'zipper' die and my new leaf stamp set.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Make it Monday - Glitter Buttons

Good morning bloggers,

This weeks Make It Monday challenge was to make glitter buttons.  I used the easy method and put stickles (glue glitter) on my die cut buttons to get the effect.  I'm not a big fan of glitter buttons, but I now have a new favorite color combination.  Bright Pink, Black and Ivory.  Stunning.  I also love this fancy thank you image.  I'll be playing with this color and stamp set again.  Very elegant don't you think?
Well today is Tuesday, but it feels like a Monday.  We had a holiday yesterday, presidents day.  It was a wonderful, lazy day with no real agenda.  I love that.  The only thing I really wanted to do was start my running program and go to my evening yoga class.

So, with nothing to do, hubby and I headed to the Natick Collection to buy me a new pair of running shoes and get some lunch.  Natick Collection is our really cool, expanded mall that is about 30 minutes away.  They have everything there.  There is a very nice American Girl store, although I've never been and every other store imaginable.  There are also several strip malls nearby.  I got my running shoes at DSW on the clearance rack.  For lunch, I have been dying to try this new Japanese restaurant.  How cool is this place.  The sushi comes around the tables and booths on a conveyer belt.  Everything is priced by the color of the plate and the waiter brings you drinks and hot items.  It was very fun and not too expensive.  It's fun because it is 'cafe' style, meaning it is not in a storefront but in the middle of the mall with the skylights.  Lots of people watching.
The photo on the left is the view from our table.  The items come by on that belt with a label and you just take down the dish you want.
The photo on the right shows the busy sushi chefs preparing the dishes to go on the belt.  

Yum, I hope to go back sometime.  Well, enjoy your day.  I hope you get to do something crafty!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My husband - the newest church elder & a pack of cards for the hostess

Several months ago, one of the church elders approached my husband Bob and arranged to meet for breakfast to discuss his willingness to be considered for the job of church elder at our church.  My husband was very surprised, humbled and agreed to meet.  Tim explained the elder job responsibilities and the qualifications and then they proceeded to begin the process of consideration.  My husband prayed and carefully considered the commitment.  This is a good season of life for my husband to take on this responsibility.  Eric will be on his own at college next year, Bob's job is secure and manageable and he can invest the time and energy into this role.  It may impact his golfing time, but otherwise he has the time to give now.

At our church, we are an elder led congregation.  What that means is we are not part of a denomination like Catholic or Methodist where we have a large organization setting the vision and plans for our local church.  Our church, Faith Community Church of Hopkinton is an elder led, staff run church and we are independent - meaning we have no direct ties to any other church or denomination.  We are a large church by New England standards but small by US or world wide standards.  We have about 800 people come to worship services each Sunday and the church directory has over 1,000 names. 

As an independent church, and based on our churches organization, we have a group of church members (elders) set the direction and vision for the church and the staff is given autonomy to execute that direction.  So the elders make the plans and the staff does the work to make it happen.  It's a lot like a board of directors.  For our church, all the elders are church members and 'lay people.'  That means they didn't go to seminary nor are they paid to do the job.   From what I can tell, it is a big job.  There are 5 elders and they make many of the decisions including reviewing the performance and giving direction to our senior pastor. 

So, this is a big thing for Bob to be asked to do.  It's a four year assignment and includes regular meetings, yearly retreats and a whole bunch of other stuff.    The church votes on the elders and my husband was whole-heartedly affirmed in this role last Sunday at the church meeting.  This past Thursday he went to his first elder meeting.  He came home with his head spinning.  As he said, there is a whole lot of stuff the elders do and go through, behind the scenes.  Llast night we had a nice evening with all the elders (out-going and in-coming) and their families.  As a 4 year assignment, there were several elders that had finished their term and Bob coming in new to the term so the elder chairman and his wife hosted a lovely dinner for us all.  There were probably 18 of us in their lovely home.

I am excited about Bob's new role.  I know he will do very well.  He is very careful and wise in considering issues and he is eager to seek God's will for our church congregation.  I pray that he will be confident in his role and serve with excellence.

In my usual tradition, I put together a pack of hand-made cards to give to the hostess.  Below are a few of the cards in her pack that you haven't seen before.

I went with a yellow theme which is so bright and cheerful for the beginning of spring.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Senior Night and two sympathy cards

Hi bloggers,

First up are my card projects.  A co-worker of mine lost his mother in law this past week to cancer.  I couldn't decide which way to go with the card so I made two.  I figure sympathy cards are great to have around because you often need them quickly so I knew the second card would be good to keep around.

I decided to send him the purple tulip card, but I like both of them.  The top one is a classic SU card using all SU products.  The tulip card is from a papertrey ink stamp and copic coloring.

We had a fun night at the Whitinsville Christian School Basketball game Friday night.  As is the WCS tradition, the last home game of the season includes a tribute to the seniors.  They call each of the seniors out to the floor and give them a rose.  Then the senior presents the rose to their parents.  It's sweet.  Funny, but some people never knew until that night that I was Eric's mom.  I work at the school thrift store one Saturday a month and one of the ladies I worked with today said 'oh are you Eric's mom?  I never realized that till last night.'

The coach also started all 5 seniors for the game, which was really nice, since only 2 of the seniors usually start.  The all got in for about 2 minutes.  Eric hurt his ankle in warm-ups but he did play those first minutes before sitting down and icing up his ankle.

The game was a good one.  Our opponent, Holy Name is a division 1 school and we are division 3.  The first 3 quarters of the game Holy Name dominated, but we really made a come back and we ended the game just 3 points down.

I have three videos from the game and I tried really hard to splice them all together into one, but failed miserably, so if you are interested, you'll have to click through all 3.  The first is the start of the game with the starting seniors.  Eric is #4.  The next video is in the last two minutes of the game when our boys really had a chance at winning.  The last video is a fun shot of the fans.  We don't have cheerleaders, but the school kids started a tradition of bringing paint buckets and drum sticks.  During time outs and breaks they drum a fast beat and get the crowd going.  It's loud and fun!

So the regular season is now over and we are on to some post season play.  Let's hope we get pretty far in the play-offs.

Below are the top 5 things I'll miss about WCS basketball games.

1) The pep band.  They have gotten so much better over the season.  In December they had just a few songs and there were quite a few missed notes, but by now, they are pretty darn good (especially since 1/2 of them are middle schoolers.)
2) The national anthem.  Usually we have a live performer for the national anthem.  We've had the choral group, a wind ensemble, a solo artist and some quartets.  Each brings their own unique musicality to the song and it's always fresh and interesting.
3) Cow tails.  We have a concession stand and I like to treat myself to one cowtail per basketball game.
They are a candy with caramel and cream mixed together and many people don't like them, but I love them.
4) Somewhere to go on Friday night and an excuse to not cook dinner.   WCS almost always has basketball games on Friday nights.  It's been a tradition in our family to go to basketball every Friday night from Dec-Feb for the last 4 years at least.
5) Seeing familiar and friendly faces and cheering our boys on.  Eric has been playing basketball with WCS since 3rd grade.  We've gotten to know the boys and the families pretty well.  We've welcomed new families in and said goodbye to others, but overall we can sit anywhere in the stands and be next to a friendly familiar face. And it's fun to know every boy on the team by name and cheer for them.

The post season will be great, but we'll probably only have one more game in our gym - the rest will be away or at bigger venues.  It's been a great time and we've really enjoyed it.  Maybe we'll be back to cheer on some grandchildren some day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Two Challenges

Hi everyone,

I hope I didn't pester you all too much last week with my quick posts with just cards.  Sadly, I did not win any of the awesome prizes during papertrey ink's anniversary week, but I did have fun playing along.  I also placed a nice order for some of their new goodies AND I've earned some reward points.  Reward points are kind of interesting.  On one hand I love getting a discount or things for free.  But on the other hand, I am often surprised by how many points I've earned.  That means I've spent some bucks!

I do try to keep my card making hobby on a budget.  Really, I do, and generally I'm pretty good about it.  So I set aside a certain amount every month - I think of this as my 'hallmark replacement allowance.' Then my husband and I have a cash allowance system.  Every two weeks we each get our cash allowance.  We use that for lunches, coffee, admission to basketball games, car washes, manicures... well you get the idea.  So, I often supplement my card making allowance with my cash allowance.  I pack my lunch almost every day and make coffee at home.  That allows me to stash up my allowance for other stuff.  It's a good system and I feel thankful that I have any allowance at all for my fun hobby.  I meet a lot of people who are really struggling financially, so to have any disposal income in today's economy is a really good thing.

So, anyway, back to today's post.  It really didn't start out being about budgeting, but it was a fun side-note.

Today's card is for two challenges.  First, it's for the Friday Blogger's Challenge.  Our challenge this week was 'the seashore.'  I thought this was a mean challenge.  Why?  Because I love the ocean and I haven't been to a beach since August.  I miss having my toes in the water and my butt in the sand.  And it's February so I won't be enjoying the seashore for quite a while.  But it was fun to remember the fun days at the beach last summer when I made this card.

And this card is also part of Impression Obsessions Challenge for a Hello card.  I added the little tag sentiment on the lower left corner that says 'hello friend.'

My inspiration for today's card is Bermuda.  Bermuda has the most beautiful pink sand beaches, so I added a hint of coral-pink to the card to bring out that sand color.  Sigh..... I so want to be sitting in that beach chair with a good book and a cool glass of lemonade......  You two?  Well, spring will come soon.  I hope!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Come back this weekend.  Friday night is senior night at the WCS basketball game so I'll probably have some photos for you as they honor the seniors during the last home basketball game.  Oh, and I have some crafty things planned too.  See you then.

Oh and in case you want to hear a fun song about 'toes in the water' at the beach, check out this video of the Zach Brown Band.... love this song...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Papertrey interactive challenge # 3

And here is my third attempt at an interactive card for papertrey. 

I'm glad I tried these.  They are actually really easy, much easier than I thought.  Maybe I'll include this technique in my future card making.  It is fun to add an interactive level for a children's card.

Interactive Card for PTI #2

Here is my second submission for papertrey's challenge.  This is a 'moving' card.  The car moves across the card.

Interactive Card for Papertrey Challenge

Hi all,

Just a quick post to include this fun interactive card for papertrey ink's challenge.  the prize is a $500.00 gift certificate so I didn't want to miss this contest.

The door opens to the nice coral background.  the door looks crooked in the picture but it's not.  It's just slightly ajar.  Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great night and wish me luck in the contest.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Butterflies and leaves

Here is my second attempt at butterflies and leaves for papertrey ink.  I had this patterned paper from PTI and realized that the matching set had papers with both the themes needed for the challenge.  This is a quick and easy card and it will be handy to have for my 'card stash.'  You never know when you need a nice thank you card.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Butterflies and leaves post 1

Hi everyone,

Did you have a good Monday?  I hope so.  When I got home from work and yoga I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed to the craft room to make a creation for papertrey's anniversary challenge.  The challenge was to make a card with butterflies and leaves on it.  I didn't think i had any papertrey stamps that met that criteria but then I found these images on bookmarked and had fun making a card using them.

I actually love how this turned out.  I was forced to use a wide/short card base to fit the three images, but I love the pink and brown together.  Look closely, there is text all over the background using an old make it Monday technique from 2011.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Another post is coming up momentarily.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Denami blog hop - chickies

Hi everyone,

Are you here for the Denami Blog Hop?  Welcome!  I'm so glad you are here.

Now don't forget to leave a comment to be eligible to win one of the prizes. Denami is giving away two gift certificates to two people who comment along the hop.    I love to hear from you.  Thanks for commenting.

If you are following the hop, you came from Wendy's Blog.

So about my card.  I have recently acquired a fun chickie set of sports guys.  Since it's basketball season, I decided to ink up Mr. Basketball Chickie on an inchy card.  What is an inchy card?  Well, you cut up little 1" squares and stamp your image onto the square.  You can do all kinds of fun inchy cards and the Denami chicks work awesome.  It is no coincidence that you need 5 BB players to start a game, so I put 5 inchies on my card.  I hope you can see it but in the blue area is a sentiment that says Thank You.  I figure this will make a nice thank you card for a coach.    My son is a little old for this card, but the school hosts a charity auction and I have agreed to give them some cards to auction.  I thought this would be perfect for some of the elementary kids.  As for my sons team, well, they are having an awesome season.  He is a senior at Whitinsville Christian School and so far they are 12-1.  They are a division 3 school, but we are excited for some post season play-off games.  Go 'Saders!

If you want to continue along, your next stop is Nickies Blog

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Another Heart Card for PTI challenge (and a surprise in the mailbox)

Hi everyone,

I did get down to the craft room tonight and made a card that fits the papertrey ink anniversary challenge and the make it Monday challenge.

The make it  Monday challenge was to do a fold-over so my tulips above have a fold-over effect on the top left tulip bloom.

The card also features a little heart so it's eligible for the anniversary challenges as well.  Let's hope I'm lucky and one of these challenges makes me a winner.  I figure I win either way since I now have a beautiful card to send to my daughter Sarah.

Also, I had a nice surprise in the mailbox. My dear cousin Caroline (who is very crafty) sent me this BEAUTIFUL valentine.  How artistic is this???

Thanks for stopping by today.

Papertrey Ink

Hi everyone,

Happy Saturday.  I woke up and saw some beautiful white fluffy stuff outside.  It has been so mild this winter we have only had a handful of mornings with snow on the ground.  It was a pretty sight, but I'm not really disappointed that it has now melted off and is gone.

So today's post is a card with a heart on it for the papertrey anniversary challenge.

Oh and Papertrey just launched their new web store.  If you've never visited their on-line store, check it out.  It's not 100% perfect yet (working out a few bugs still) but it's very pretty and showcases all their gorgeous products.


You can also link from the store to Nichole's blog where all the anniversary contests are being listed.

I realized as I made my card today that I have very few heart stamps from papertrey.  So I went with the tag-it's heart die cut and added it to my airplane.

I don't normally use blue and red together but I thought this was fun for valentines day.  This card will be for my son Eric.  Shhh, don't tell.  Maybe I'll get him some sour patch kids and charleston chews and put in a decorative bag.  If I give him candy he won't be so awkward about receiving a valentine from his mom now that he's 18.  When you include food, you can get away with a lot with teenage boys.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I may have another post with hearts if we get back from the basketball game early and I find some energy and mojo for crafting.  If not, stop back on Sunday for my Denami Blog Hop submission. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

pti anniversary card 3

And lastly (for tonight), here is my card using sketch 2 and 'on ice.'

Thanks for stopping by today.  Enjoy the start of the weekend.

PTI anniversary challenge - sketch card 2

Here is another card, this time using sketch 5 and Signature Greetings.

Papertrey Ink Anniversary Challenge

Hi all,

Just a quick post to get my card into the PTI contest.  Nichole posted 5 beautiful sketches, we were 'challenged' to make a card using any of the sketches.  Loved each of them.  The challenge was choosing which sketch to use!  I have three cards (all separate posts) and this is the first one.

This is a clean and simple card using Sketch #4 and papertrey ink gracious vases set.