Friday, March 23, 2012

Hello, Spring!

Good Friday Morning! Happy Spring! Are you having fun, yet? Zee boy and I made the most of the glorious sunshine yesterday. Outdoor play has been long-awaited in our home. Healing from surgery aside, I finally got some workable answers regarding a cough that just won't go away. The current theory is that it's allergies. At first, I was relieved, but not 100% convinced. Then, I waited in a large grassy field to wait for my son to finish his school day. I couldn't stop coughing and my nose turned into freaking Niagara Falls. Okay, I'm convinced! Hand me the Claritin...and my snazzy new (expensive) inhaler.... and the equally expensive nose spray. It's time to play!

Besides, now that the weather is nice, I get bored doing nothing while he's at school. Why not tour the royal gardens with a camera?

Yay! The tulips popped when I wasn't looking! Alas, I needed a rest after that monumental hike (that's really about fifty feet from the house and WHEN will I have my energy back?!).

Later in the day, a little magic happened. My son -- not even five years old -- LOVES to play with the (older) young ladies that live around us. He's been asking for over a week; but their schedules are so crazy that they don't get out until it's time for him to go to bed. Not fair, I know. Magic did happen yesterday. Two of the young ladies came home early and a little bit of play ensued. I can only share the chalk drawings, though, because I certainly haven't asked parental permission to post their faces online and I'm not about to make any parents mad. On purpose, anyhow.

Okay, so I will show my own child. That's Mr. Potato Head. This is actually a HUGE improvement in his drawing skills.

That's some of my handy work.

The neighborhood girls would think something was wrong if I didn't draw a coffee cup -- kind of a tradition now.

Compliments of one of the girls -- a rainbow peace sign that got a little carried away and kinda morphed into a bug.

Happy graffiti.

This was the first time I've seen Zee Boy write out numbers. I was too freaking happy! When he also called it his hop scotch board, I about flew to the moon.

Does it get any better than hopscotch and popsicles?

I think I want to scrap this, but I haven't decided yet. I'm all a flutter, waiting to head out for the bowling field trip.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Inspired by Creative Scrappers


You may recall a recent post that had funny-faced fruit. Recently, my son decided to explore the family tree of Mr. Potato Head. Evidently, the tree had a wild branch. On that branch, there's a third cousin twice-removed. Mr. Chinese Container Head. He's a fun guy!

Family trees aside, I've been wanting to make a page. This seemed the perfect opportunity. I used this sketch from Creative Scrappers:

And came up with this:

All paper and alphas are part of the Echo Park "About A Boy" collection.... Yeah, it still feels weird to list my supplies. I still have to tell myself it's akin to siting my source, if I were writing a paper. Plus, I think the red piece has a lot of potential in a variety of projects; I know others might feel the same. Happy shopping if that's you!

Unrelated to the page above, I'm really hoping I'll be able to share another page or two in the weeks ahead. DS has a field trip to the bowling alley. It may not sound like much, but watching 24 tiny tots push balls slowly down the isles is something I don't want to miss. Luckily, my initial blood work looked really positive, so bring on the petri dish! I'll have my camera ready.

Every Monday Is A New Beginning

Good Monday Morning! Yep, I'm still obnoxiously grateful to have another Monday morning on this rock. I know, a lot of people hate Mondays. It's hard to get back into the routine after a relaxing weekend. Those who work outside of the home have to return to jobs that they might not necessarily enjoy; going from a place of love and laughter to frustration and maybe fear. Yeah, I get that. If I could hug them, I would. All the same, I love Mondays.

One of the reasons I love Monday so much leads to a bit of a confession. Ready?

Cancer or not -- surgery or not -- I'm vain. I can't lie about it. I might forget to leave the home wearing Molly (or at least a hat) sometimes. I might forget most mornings to figure out correct makeup application. I might wear the same clothes a couple days in a row. Regardless, I'm still vain.

And that wasn't even the confession!

Because of vanity, I do try to eat and act as healthfully as possible. I also kinda sorta try to shed a set number of pounds that I relocated on my cancer journey.

See, early readers may (or may not) remember that, just before finding out I had cancer, I had gotten my keester back in gear to lose a ton of weight -- about eighty pounds. I was successful at losing that weight. In the month prior to my diagnosis I was REALLY good at losing that weight -- about three to six pounds a week -- but I later learned, that's because of the cancer. Consequently, I lost too much weight.

I wanted to maintain around 160 lbs -- my happy place, size Medium, etc. Yeah, I dropped down to the 140's even during the first couple/few rounds of chemo. Not being able to eat will do that t'ya. On me, 140 looks bad. It feels weird when you sit on the floor, too. Even my skinny jeans had room to move.

I decided that this was an opportunity to eat whatever I could, whenever I could. Medical professionals and The DH pretty much agreed with me. In retrospect, Pop Tarts, cookies, cakes, pies and my Mom's awesome cooking were probably not my best choice. They were tasty, but not my best choice. Either way, as the months ticked on, all those choices helped me regain the fifteen-ish pounds I didn't want to lose....and then, eventually, ten extra that I didn't want back.


So, I talked to my oncologist. Mostly, I wanted to get back to eating healthfully; but I knew that I would need my happy little crutch -- Weight Watchers. I even brought it up at three different appointments to be sure that he was okay with it. He was; so I rejoined.

Now, ask me. Have I lost those unwanted ten pounds? No. I still want to. I've gotten better at eating healthfully, but using the Points Plus number to know when I'm "done" eating has been a challenge. In part, I think it's because I'm still trying to make the mental transition from processed crappy carbs to the better choices. Mentally, I still feel like I've earned the right to a giant chocolate muffin half way through the week. It's faulty thinking, and I'm working on it.

So, what does all this rambling have to do with Mondays and new beginnings?

Monday is my day to "weigh in." It's my day to restart; recommit. It's when I dust myself off and try again. Monday is my day to remind myself that all things are possible when I want them badly enough. Right now, there are a few things I want badly enough.

If you read all of this, thank you for taking the time. Here are the magic beans that will give you back your time.

Do you have a "reboot" day?
Do you believe it's possible to try again? Or do you decide, once you're down you'll always be out?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our produce will never be safe again....

Good Sunday Morning! The sun isn't even up yet, but I've got the urge to type.

I've also had the urge to make a few scrappy pages. Alas, one of my favorite subjects spends a good part of his week in school; thereby slowing down my crafty production. And yet, he continues to find ways to amuse me. Case in point, his love for Mr. Potato Head. It's now expanded past the actual toy. Friday and Saturday, he became curious and creative; using the Potato Head face pieces to re-purpose the fruits and veggies hanging in the fridge.

And one more, just to prove that I occasionally relinquish control of the camera to the DH....

Yeah, I'm a fashion plate. Good thing zee boy is so cute. Go ahead, ignore me and just look at him.

Now to edit photos and have some paper fun!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Upid-Head Pinterest won't cooperate....

Good Saturday Morning! I've been dinking around the internet while trying to keep my passion for shopping under control. I gave myself a budget this year, broken down by quarter. So far, I notice it helps keep me focused on what I actually need; and a little bit of what I just plain old want. Since I'm working hard on NOT shopping again until May, I'm trying to figure out what will be most useful in the Summer months ahead -- paper, embellies, tools.... The only thing I will let myself be loosey goosey in spending is adhesive. Since I seem to craft in fits and spurts, I'm not worried about it. Well, that, and I recently learned my husband owns a glue gun and ginormous sticks. We've had a couple laughs about that last part; but I've fallen for his adhesive stash.

Anyway, there is a point to this post. One of the spendy decisions I've committed to is the acquirement of one cartridge each quarter. My original thought was to create a Pinterest board to keep them all organized. Okay, my REAL original thought was to create a list in my planner; only I have no reminder pics to go with that list....and I forgot that I pull the daily notes out for the month once it has ended. Not terribly useful on the go, is it? So, I made a board; only I can't get the hornswaggled images to POST to the hornswaggled board!!!!!!!!

Tell me, what do you think of these?

It's a little bit of everything. Practical for sure.

I just like food.

My son is becoming a B-O-Y BOY. Monsters and aliens are starting to creep out of the wood work.

Another general Summer cartridge.

This has a ton more monsters than the previous one; plus dimensional bags, cartooney jack-o-lanterns, etc.

I think I have an irrational need for robots.

We go to at least two carnivals each Summer.

It just has loads of adorable little fellars doing a lot of adorable little things.

I think there were ten others calling my name, but they were more Autumnal or just plain ol' cute. What would you lean toward?

Also, I've started thinking. It's a dangerous thing, for sure, but I've done it all the same.

When I started this blog, it was with the intent of improving my crafty skills and occasionally wishing to be part of specific Design Teams. While I still love improving my skills, I no longer wish to be part of a DT... at least not right now. I'd like to make this a more general blog. I'll still make crafty posts, but I'd like to write about my cancer journey. I'd like to share my thoughts and adventures toward a more healthy lifestyle. I used to dabble in poetry and fiction; maybe I could try that again. Maybe. I'd also like to ramble about the adventures of raising this child. He's a hoot and three-quarters! If you're willing to hang through that much random reflecting and pontificating, then I'd love to have you here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Okay, so I can't get away from sketches that easily.

However, it IS so much more fun when I don't feel like I'm making myself use a sketch. This morning, everything just clicked. I found this cute card sketch at Frosted Designs (an old fave):

And this is what I came up with:

It's a birthday card for my son. He turns 5 in April, and I figure I'll be worn out from the restart of chemo and radiation, then. One more thing crossed off my to-do list!

The red base cardstock is Bazzil.
The blue and green chipboard circles are from Technique Tuesday;
Coated in Glimmer Mist.
The paper, robot and rocket are Fancy Pants, To The Moon (I'm currently in love with this one; making a door sign for DS with it, too).
The little 5 card is from Sasafrass Lass.

So, again, if you stopped by, I thank you for doing so. I still welcome any helpful critiques in card making; as I'm new and easily over-judge what I make. On the upshot, I'm still having fun and am currently proud of this one.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Promised Card

Good Sunday Morning!

I kept my promise and snapped a pic of this card. Wanna see it? Cuz, you know, it's like a quarter of an inch below all this typing so there's really no way to avoid it.

This next part is a tiny bit of the reason why I haven't shared or blogged lately; the supply list. To be honest, I feel like I'm trying to be on some design team when I write it all down. What I've made myself realize is the create of "the list" is also like siting one's sources when writing a paper -- a very important thing. With that in mind....

Base: Kraft card, bought at Hobby Lobby
Pretty: Grunge Paper scrap, painted green.
I used a Crafter's Workshop stencil and Glimmer Mist to create the bricks.
More grunge paper and Cricut (Indie) for the skull -- base is Glimmer Mist (dragonfly); top is painted with Crackle Paint. Small turquoise gems are Prima E-line.
The lime flower is actually from the Prima tube -- that huge one with white flowers -- misted with Glimmer Mist/chalkboard. I poked a small Prima (the new Frenchy line) through the center and used the remaining wire to let Prima crystals "drip" from it.
"Beautiful" is an alpha rub on set.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this card was deciding which of my friends would get it... and "get" it. In the past, the hardest part was starting a card for fear that it would turn out "dorky." This was a nice change of pace.

I've got another "tamer" card made up and ready to send to another friend. I'll have to try getting a pic of that before I seal the envelope. I think it's easy to see which style I prefer.

Thanks for stopping by! If you're a card maker, I'd like your input on what you see. I'm really new to it but think it's becoming fun. Advice on enhancing that would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

GOOOOOOOOD News! And, I'm going to try again.


I don't know if anyone actually still opens my blog when they see a new post on the roll. More than likely, you all wonder, "And who was this again? Why am I subscribed?" Chances are good we connected on some other spot and that's why we're both subscribers.

Anyway, I thought I'd try coming 'round again. I have good news. I have a whole lot less cancer than I did the last time I posted. I'm that much closer to being "me" again -- writing, crafting, photographing, etc. I have about a month before I start back in on chemo and radiation. I have a love for my crafty things. Earlier in the week, I started creating a little piece that I'd like to put on a card. I have a lot of thank you cards to create and send out. I also have several scrappy pages that need to be made. I have a love for paint, ink, stencils, daily planners, coffee, blueberries and exercise.

I may not always create something amazing, but when I started playing with my goodies this week, I started to feel that special brand of "alive." It felt good to let go and create -- no sketches, no rules, no attempts at seeking approval from anyone but myself. I rather like how it's turning out. I'd like to share, too.

So, I'm going to try. Today, I'm going to try finishing up that little piece with whatever I have and take a picture of it. I'm going to ask one of my friends for her address. I'm going to send it, as a card; then make another one.

After nearly two years of suffering and fear, it's time to have some fun again.

Spring is just around the bend. Let's see what comes.

Oh, P.S., for those of you who were linked to it: What happened to my beloved Bella Creations? I'm trying to root through old blogs for some answers.