Monday, September 27, 2010

Blog Candy Link!

Do you love reading new blogs?

Do you love to see pretty new things?

Do you have a slight tingle at the mention of Tim Holtz?

Do you now want to know who the heck Tim Holtz is?!

If you answered yes to any of these, you may want to check out a new blog I've recently discovered. I'm just beginning to peruse her creativity, but there's plenty of it AND she's being SUPER Generous in sharing a ton of goodies by the ever-loved Tim Holtz!

Go on, check out Scrap With Stacy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weight Loss and Focus Gain

I just want to take a few moments to relish this little tidbit. Normally, there are specific numbers that I believe a lady has no need to disclose to the world at large, but I'm digging this one, so...


Progress; partially by accident.

Toward the end of June, I went from 204.x to 200.x; thereby putting my body just on the teetering edge of being a bajillion miles closer to where I wanted to be. Then, my body waged war on itself. There was intense pain and so much confusion that the last thing I wanted to do was eat. I lost another four pounds; down to 196.8. I managed to stay there, even after getting my eating (slowly) back on track and that was okay.

In January, I made three resolutions. One was to lose 40 lbs. With those two incidents; I reached that goal and then some. I've been coasting and happily hanging at 196.8 for about 3 months now. Normally, that would piss me off, but I haven't bee able to afford Weight Watchers meetings in the exact same amount of time. For me, holding steading rocks right about now because it means I'm not gaining anything back.

Recently, I tried to get back on the weight-loss wagon. More than anything, it was an attempt to create continued success in my life overall. If I can't do one thing, I know I can do the other. So I started, then I got distracted for a few days and am working to get back on track. In the mean time, I hopped on the scale to see the damages.

194.2!!!! That's a loss of -- what? -- 2.6 pounds, right? Not too shabby, by my book. I'll take some time to enjoy this and use it to get my head straight again.

My new goal for now: Get to 190.0 I was 189 when my son was conceived over four years ago.... and 220 just after he was born...and 240 when I rejoined WW December, 2009

Then, 180.0

Then, I'll have to hold steady until I'm in the mood to knock out the last 20 pounds which didn't bother me a whole lot when they crept back in about five years ago.

194.2.... I can dig that today.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Yep! I'm back! The sun is shining. The grass is green. I was productive and feel worthwhile. Today, I smiled. I laughed. I played and had silly fun.

I was a Dorkfish, and I blame Bill Engvall.

Seriously, I adore this man. If I weren't married with a child, I'd be his groupie. He's funny. In a way he's grounded. He thinks of the most unusual things and makes them funny.... Like Dorkfish. It's one of his routines to talk about a fish, known as the dorkfish, and what it must have sounded/ acted like... if fish could talk.

Certainly, there have been a number of times in my life which I felt like a dorkfish. One of the most recent times I felt this way was on the way to Georgia with my good friend, Mel. Out of nowhere, while she was trying to tell me about X, Y or Z, I just clapped my hands together and excaimed, "I'm a dorkfish!" She laughed. I laughed. Life was good.

Eventually, I had done this enough times during the trip that my son started to do it spontaneously, too. It became our group tagline; so naturally, while we dined at the Whistle Stop Cafe, near Macon, it just kinda happened and Mel just kinda took our picture in the process.

Originally, I made this page to submit in a challenge at -- Weekly Old Page Maps. This is pretty true to the sketch. I added a couple layers of paper and the branch and flowers because I wanted to. It is from the Cricut cartridge, Winter Woodland The Prima flowers were just something fun. The birds are stamped images -- stamped with crackle paint -- that I cut out, then attached with foam dots to add dimension.

I also stamped (Sassafras Lass), then Stickled a deer at the base for kicks and giggles. I know the embellishments don't really seem to echo the theme of the page, but to me they are something fun, that also makes me smile. I think, if dorkfish were real, they'd probably smile...and then say, "I don' get it."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Needs More Bagpipe

Happy Sunday! Yes, it's even a happy Sunday for me. It was a rough week, and I'm glad it's over. The sun is shining. The grass is green. Somehow, I have hope in my heart. See, I try very hard to be a realaxed person...but I'm really a whole lotta control freak. In many details of my life, that's actually okay. It means I get the job done and I can find satisfaction within myself at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, there are other details of my life that seem (to me, anyhow) that I can only do so much. Then, the next step is in the power of someone else. I apply for work; have been applying for jobs and seeking work solidly for over two years now. Other than making sure my resume and whatnots are in prime order, it's up to a Hiring Manager to decide if I will be called in for an interview. I don't know many things (including IF anyone else reads this, let alone feels this), but I do know for certain that seeking work for this long does a fantastic amount of damage to one's ability to hope and hold self-esteem.

Last week was among my lowest points. Last week, I was filled with more emotional pain, despair and hatred than I have felt in a very long time. None of those sit well with me. They are not how I want to live my life. They are not what I want to teach my very young son. But last week, it was all I had and all I knew.

This week, however.... This week, I going to remember something. I'm going to try hard to hold it close and dear. This week, I want to know every minute of life is worth living. It may suck right now, but I've still got this gift. I still wake in the morning. My legs still swing out of bed shortly after I hear, "Mama!" yelled across the hall. I still have a 41", 39lb miracle that calls me "Mama" and asks for hard-boiled eggs in the morning. I still have eggs and heat to hard boil. He's still trying to be "six foot tall by the morning." I still have a six-foot-tall version of this little boy that tries to help me stand when all I want to do is fall. I may not always have an answer on how I'm going to care and be there for both of them from one day to the next, but...I still have at least that.

Oddly enough, I also have bagpipes. Not my own, mind you, because I can't imagine ever wanting to learn to play them. In fact, only in the last couple/few years have I found bagpipes to be somehow soothing to the soul. Go figure! Bagpipes! I know! Perhaps it's because of the experiences -- painful and beautiful -- that I've had in the same amount of time (two years) that has given me any sort of understanding for the potentially abusive instrument.

Yes, they are high pitched....and loud.

Yes, they can be incessant and drone on forever.

Yes, they can be as strange as a yodeling farm cat in heat.

But, pair them with the right set of drums and all of a sudden, I'm prepared to dance. All of a sudden, I find joy. All of a sudden, even for just a little while, problems and fears melt away and nothing can possibly go wrong because you are here... in this moment... dancing and celebrating the strangest and potentially painful things in life.

On September 11, 2010, one of the most pain-ridden days in American history, I was able to dance (though mostly in my heart) with bagpipes. The name of the group is Tartanic.

They were playing at the local Renaissance Festival; and called to my heart while my son was winding down his adventures on Ye Old Playground not 20 feet away. I tried dancing with my son, but he was more interested in alternately plugging his ears and munching on colorful goldfish crackers.

Since I've been playing their music repeatedly for a few days now, I thought I'd use the inspiration, combined with a sketch from Let's Scrap to create this page as a reminder:

I struggled a bit on the embellishments. Usually, I don't think in terms of musical tributes, but I REALLY wanted to try to convey how their music made me feel.

This rockstar flower is one I learned to make by hand, thanks to a blog tutorial by Mandy (aka Crafty Sprinkles). It will take some time to dig it up, but I'll come back and post a link as soon as I can.

I got some great advice from a number of members at on other embellishment ideas. As a result, I pulled out my Tim Holtz Grungeboard elements and painted, then sanded (the heart, anyhow) to look leathery. I also like how it brought out the patter. I then used a few small flourishes to give it an airy/winged kind of feel behind the skull -- which I painted with Distress Crackle paint and swiped Distress ink over to highlight the cracks. They are small, but the inking really helped when you can get that close!

If you read all this, I thank you. You may be the silent type, but know that I appreciate at least feeling like I've been heard....or knowing there's a brick wall somewhere out there that I can yell at every now and then.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Pause for the Cause

Good Thursday Morning! Was anyone else greeted with a considerable sprinkling of rain this morning? It has given me a chance to be thankful for a strong roof overhead; as it seems we're going to be getting a good share of precipitation today.

Gratitude... A sense of humor... These are things I'm working overtime to keep in mind this morning. I find it all too easy to be angry and in the depths of despair lately. If I were to let myself wallow, my life would only get worse. While I work on fighting it off, it's certainly making it difficult to do the things I love.

With two due dates looming for other groups, this is going to be extra important.

Then, I can at least calm down about *those* responsibilities and try like hell to figure out how I'm going to meet the others that are far more important...

Like feeding and clothing my child.

Like hitting up hard that, while he's been spoiled for nearly three-and-a-half years, THINGS don't matter like he may want them to.

Like understanding and KNOWING that I somehow must have some sort of skill set that makes me attractive to some sort of employer out there. I can't possibly be as useless as two years of unemployment are leading me to believe.

Like finding an answer to that so I don't have to spend more on tissues to dab the tears.... or meds to combat the number I've done to my stomach.

So, that's my life...

That's why I throw myself into scrapbooking and other paper crafting. That's why I try to throw myself into 104 different challenges because, anymore, I don't know what else to do.

Truly, right now, I don't know what else to do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Happy Summer Memory

Hello! Happy Monday Afternoon! I've had another scrappy adventure come to a close and thought I'd share.

In August, my son had a very new (and potentially negative) experience. Of course, I only add the "potentially negative" part because it's something I can't do and makes me more than a little nervous myself. In August, my son had his very first "real" pool experience at my MIL's house. It was an exciting and happy memory for him. For the next two weeks that followed, he asked DAILY if he could go back and spend more time in her pool. Since then, other adventures, weather and goals have intervened. I'd like to get him back in the pool one last time before it gets emptied for Fall. He'll have to wait quite a while before he can do it again.

Anyway, here are a few of the 150 photos I took that day.

It is a lift of this August, 2010 Page Map:

It also includes a LOAD of inspiration from the Tags & Things group at Pages In Time. Helene, shared a great idea to create prize ribbons. I tried my best to create one in the upper left; with the help of the Fan Flower tutorial, by Helen Croft....and more than a couple staples...and a little murmuring under my breath.

I also decided to give the title spot some dimension:

Annnnnd, that's all I have for today. Dinner prep calls, and I'm still waiting for the glitter to dry on another project. I hope to have more for you soon!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Croppy Fun!

Happy Sunday!

Hey, did you know today is Grandparents' Day? I didn't until my parents came home with my son from a special pancake breakfast. They learned it was a special day during the announcements there. It's also apparently how my son and my father are going to conspire to get zee child a new set of Lego soon. Either way, I enjoyed a moment to put some memories on paper and have fun with paint, glue and extra scrappy goodies.

I present, another page inspired by the Online Crop going on at Pages In Time.

My two sources of inspiration from the crop were challenges put for by Carla. One challenge was to incorporate a bow into your page.

A second challege was to use sewing:

I added some more fun by using up some of the rub-ons that coordinate with the Basic Grey paper line, Oscar (my current FAVE):

And the last detail to share is that this is also a lift of the talented scrapper, MelissaW. I am participating in a challenge at that asks me to lift a LO of her choosing (primarily because she is listed first in the random groups). Here's a link to the page she submitted:

MelissaW's Gallery: puddle jumpers

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Heavy-Hearted Day Shall Be Spent Remembering the Light

Good Morning! Did anyone else feel that thud in their hearts when they awoke to realize that the numbers on the calendar will be rather potent today?

September 11, 2010....

I was -- and am -- a fortunate American, in that I did not lose any loved ones on that day, nine years ago. Still, it was a profound day because I'm an American.

I should add at this moment that, if you're looking to read a memorial blog, this is not one for you. I don't want you to waste your chosen goal here today. I'll be looking for those blogs later in the day, but I....cannot write one at this time. It's because of the choices I make.

Today, when part of me still seeks to open the wound and feel the shock and horror again, I will want to read. I will want to grieve. I will want to participate. But a grand chunk of my day will not be set aside for all that. A grand chunk of my day will be spent communing at the local Renaissance Festival. There will be laughter and games in my day. I will choose to seek the joy that I have been gifted because I am still alive and I do still live in a country with -- more or less -- the same liberties I have always treasured.

Today, I will do what I (and my family) do at any funeral. I will celebrate life more loudly than I will weep for it's end.

On that note, I'll also be participating in an online crop at Pages In Time. If you're so inclined and you have time in this major weekend, I invite you to join the fun.

Already, I've been able to create a couple fun pages because of this crop and would like to share them with you:

This was created for Barbara's 2 Page Layout Challenge. It was based from a sketch design by a woman who goes by the name SuperAllyFan at I had a bit of fun removing the centers from the Prima flowers and adding blingy centers. The title was created with the help of the Cricut Winter Wonderland cart. The branch behind it is from the same cartridge, cut on grunge paper (one of my new little obsessions!).

I also finished up this page for a separate challenge, since the mojo was going so well.

The blue lace flower was inspired by a tutorial from an incredible crafter, Beverly. I will need to come back and share the link to her super-easy fabric flowers later in the day. My "me time" is about to come to an end.

As I'm starting to feel crunched for time, I'll just thank you for taking the time to look and read, if you did. It's my hope that you are able to find some measure of joy and peace today.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rock Solid Learning Opportunity

Okay, so I thought I was all clever with the title. Short story long, upon arriving to our final destination in Georgia, we spent the first two hours learning about the beautiful quartz collection my friend an open-air glass shelving unit...that doesn't take kindly to bouncing children...

So, lesson one: Don't jump in the living room. The penalty would be a ballistic Mommy. Check!

Lesson two: Those pretty rocks that DS was immediately drawn to, by some invisible force, were called Quartz. There are many different kinds of quartz. There are also so many shiny rocks that he would have never known existed had he stayed home.

Lesson three: The quartz needs to be handled with great respect and care. ONLY touch the quartz when Mommy or her Friend are right beside you AND give you permission to do so.

Lesson four: This one was for Mommy and Friend. Zee child is purty durn bright if we don't say so ourselves. When asked why he supposed the blood quartz was named such he replied, "Umm, probably because it is red and it has blood in it." Not too shabby!

Lesson five: Zee child WILL in fact, teach anyone who will listen the lessons he learned that night. It was an early highlight of the trip.

Lesson six: Mommy will (and did) scrap this:

The design was inspired by the August Boy Oh Boy Challenge at Pages In Time. This challenge is hosted by Victoria and I've enjoyed starting them for the past three months....This was the first one I managed to finish!

I loved the details so much, I thought I'd share...

I painted all four layers to the large flower. They are actually the white Primas that come in a tube but the challenge called for a monochromatic scheme I then smeared Diamond Stickles over the top of all three finished yellow flowers for a little something extra.

I decided to stitch over the yellow circle (a Technique Tuesday tile I also pained yellow) for a little texture. I usually have this thing for something soft on my pages.

The title was the hardest thing to accomplish. I couldn't decide on a font for nearly the entire month. THEN I took a look at my Cricut cart, Winter (something or other that I can't get up and look for right now). Score that it had a hidden alphabet. Double score that it was beautiful!

Again, I thank you for taking the time to read and look.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thoughts On God -- more scrappy than religious!

Good afternoon! I'd think of a more clever opening, but my three-year-old is also telling me (from ten feet away) that he's hammering in Mr. Potato Head's eyes with his toy hammer. Since we're trying to teach him (again)that it IS okay to play independently every now and then, I'm betting I'm going to be fairly well distracted while trying to put this blog together. Since I've been putting off this blog all week due to teaching him that he can play alone, I can't keep putting it off for another day. What I find most entertaining about the whole scenario is that he plays a large role in today's post. In order to write about him, I have to get him to do something else.

Am I the only one scratching their head over this?

I digress. I had a point today; and that was to share a short story, some thoughts and a scrappy page about my son and Higher Powers.

It all started with an early morning walk in the neighborhood. Since he's been able to walk well, we've taken many walks like this; even when temps have hit above 90. From birth until he could walk well, we would go for at least one stroll everyday that I wasn't called into work. When he cut teeth, we spent as much time outside of the house as possible. He finds some sort of comfort and peace outdoors as do I; and it's usually the best way to get us both happy when he gets crazy and I get tense. Last week, he and I had another one of "those" moments around 8:00 AM. I quickly chucked him out the door and strapped on his shoes to help us both calm down. It was a nice morning; full of blue skies and cool breezes. Out of nowhere, he started asking me about God.

Where is God?

Where does he live?

Is he really in that tree?

What about that acorn?

Why is he in the acorn?

Is he in the sidewalk?

Mom, my feet hurt. It's time to go home.

I think the big inspiration behind his questions came from the many conversations I had with my friend, Mel, in Georgia. She is Baptist (although, at one time I thought she was Methodist). I am Catholic. Despite the finite details that allowed for the sectioning off in Christianity, we both share many key beliefs. Though neither of us can claim frequent attendance to weekly services, we both still believe in God. We both believe that God is an entity with whom we can discuss our hopes, failings and means toward improvement. We both believe it's important to thank God early and often for all the blessings we have received. Because we share these details, we talked frequently and openly about them. It's an experience my son has rarely witnessed at home.

...........Only now does this strike me as odd and something new to reflect upon. Huh...

Well, since one string of conversations had led to another, between my son and I, I couldn't help but do two things. The first was to take a less-than-spectacular photo of our shadows with my camera phone.

The other was to immediately recall the song, Counting Blue Cars, by Dishwalla.

I also spent a few hours settling into the inspiration for a page to add to my son's three-year-old album:

Putting the page together was inspired by a few August Challenges at Pages In Time.

*First and foremost, the Pile It On Challenge, as posed by 2amscrapper. For this I needed to combine two other challenges and a special twist into my design.

*I needed to follow the rules for the Fantasy Challenge, as posed by Maggie White, in which I needed to:
The title of you LO should be a movie title or a song title -- Counting Blue Cars.

I would like to see some layers on the page and flowers and bling. To do this I used the July 30 Thursday Sketch, which allowed for plenty of layers (all Cosmo Cricket). I also chose to break back into my beloved Prima stash for two of the flowers, while making the large flower by hand. The stems on the three flowers were made with Prima E-Line bling.

*I also needed to follow the guidelines for Barbara Lochridge's Pretty Punch Challenge: use at least 2 punches. The photo corners and the top layer of the hand-made flower were created from two of the three punches that I own. I never got into collecting punches for all the space they take up, but I was happy I had at least enough for this.

*The twist was to create a flower from one of two tutorials in the Handmade embellishment group. I chose the pinwheel tutorial. It's pretty obvious that it's my first attempt at this kind of flower, but I had fun dolling it up with glimmer mist and a few drops of Glossy Accents. I read on a blog by Scraplicious that I could use the medium to create water-droplets.

It took me some time to get this posted, so.... If you were able to read, thank you!