Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Without Even Trying

Hello again!

 I have another page to share; this time it's inspired by the White With 1 Challenge blog. The May challenge is White with Gold. This was perfect for me because I recently decided that I needed a lot of gold schtuff. Sure, I see it's quite fashionable right now, but also my son has taken a liking to all things gold. Not even my crafty stash is safe! Here is my submission:

Much of the embellishment on this page is thanks to the recent acquisition of gold embossing powder.  I've known for months that I wanted some, so I finally broke down and got some.  Yeah, I think I like it. 

Other details were on a whim:
  • I used a brick stencil (my favorite) to spray a nearly-invisible layer onto the white cardstock.  It helped me focus.
  • Around the photo, I painted some of the bricks with a layer of gold glitter glue, like an extended frame.
  • I added water to some gold acrylic paint for splatters.
  • I then used the too-much leftover to paint the frame...that also has random leftover glitter glue.
  • From the hexagon matting -- which was originally a whim of just playing with the embossing powder -- I cut a random arrangement to add to the bottom corner.
  • To highlight the matting, I ran my embossing dauber along the edges, dipped in powder and embossed for a distressed edge.
  • The nautical stars were cut, using the Indie Cartridge (Cricut); and I couldn't help but use the negative space for a variation with the stars.

I think that sums it up.  Again, thank you for looking.  I'm excited to see what the color combination will be for June.

My New Favorite Photo

Good Wednesday morning! I have some time to sit still, but my brain wants to keep going. Why not use both to share a page with you? I  have a submission for the May challeng at Scrap the Boys?  Hmm, my technology is challenged today, so here is the direct address: I've actually loved this site for a long time, even when I've been quiet in blogging land. The challenge to get grungy and messy was the perfect inspiration for my new favorite photo.

While I have dabbled in grungy techniques before, this was definitely a challenge for me, and it took weeks to decide what I would do and when it felt done. I think I used nearly every technique possible, but I'm willing to be schooled to learn more. On this page, I:
  •  tore, masked (with paint and spray) and generally misted the corrugated paper. 
  • distressed and inked every paper edge visible, even the vellum matting.
  •  used my favorite brick stencil to emboss the rocket ship paper, then fill in the spaces with orange ink.
  •  The orange and teal arrows below the photo started as orange and white ribbon, inked with teal, misted brown and I shredded the end of each.
I probably could have sanded something,  but I finally feel like I met the challenge, and have a starting point to get grungy again. It felt good to get dirty and just play.

Thank you for looking. I look forward to trying the June challenge, soon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

As random as a bumble bee!

Good Monday morning!

 I just wanted to take a moment to say hello to anyone who might be reading my schtuff. Last week was one of those weeks from which I'm still recovering today. Most of the recovery is physical, some mental. Since I am a creature of habit, it's all messing with me, regardless.

I am also trying to decide how much of my schtuff should remain in a personal diary, versus a very public blog. I have to decide what I will/won't post from now on. I have to decide what exactly I want to do with this thing.

I have to get more protein in my system STAT because I feel a lot of confused babbling coming on. So, that's all you get for now. You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Good Wednesday Morning!

I finished a page last night and wanted to share it with you.  It's based off of Sketch 268, from Creative ScrappersSketch 268, from Creative Scrappers:

And here is my take:

Really, I did start off looking a lot like the sketch; until my loose circles fell to one side as I lifted the cardstock from the table.  As you can see, I really liked it.  Still, to be sure, I slept on it; put the circles back; turned the sketch on it's side and wound up putting it back the way The Powers That Be intended for it to be.  I really do like this sketch enough that I intend to keep playing with the general design. It might become my go-to sketch when I'm stuck.

I only took a couple close-ups but I want to mention several things about this page:

  • The plain cardstock in the back was NOT making me happy.  Still, I knew I needed a large chunk of "white space" for the journaling that I'm adding, now that the pictures have been taken.  A bottle of Ranger mist has been sitting unloved for a couple years, so I combined that with my favorite stencil to create the slightest hint of interest in the background.  That was apparently my premission to have some fun.
  • While I spent about 24 hours trying to decide on where I was going to put my circles, I fussed with each of them to start the layers as seen in the sketch above.  I managed to distress and ink the edges of the two navy circles before I left for a crazy-long appointment.  By the time I got home, I was tired and had forgotten to finishe the rest.  I'm telling myself that the outlining I did on two other circles AND the heart (also before the appointment) made that okay.
  • Several days ago, I was finally brave enough to stop "loving" my foil paper and start cutting some of it up.  The bajillion gold and red stars are in a container, waiting for their turn, but I wasn't about to throw out the left overs.  Ergo, the red foil strip behind the circles.
  • Sprinkled ink and sequins are slowly making their way into the "I Freaking Love This" category.

  • What do you think about the paper airplanes?  I have been inspired by one of the sheets that Crate Paper released recently.  Then, I remembered that a couple other crafters used handmade paper airplanes on their pages within the last year.  I'm absolutely doing that again.

  • Did you recognize the Dr. Seuss quote?  I LOVE that man, and about flipped my lid when I saw that Fancy Pants had a stencil with this quote.  Problem:  I only have the one stencil and am not yet prepared to attach IT to a single page.  Solution:  I popped out the letters inside the stencil for a furture page (that's one use).  I traced the inside of the stencil for this layout (that's 2 uses; but I can really do this as many times as I want).  When I start to get tired of looking at the thing, I can give myself permission to get the stencil messy by dabbing out the quote with inks, paint, etc (that's three/more uses).  Finally, when I'm REALLY done looking at the thing, I can just paint it; embellish it, do whatever I want with it and add the stencil itself to the page (that's four uses; and kills the stencil).  OH!  But check this!  I've still got the letters that I popped out, so I can pretty them up and use them as well (five/more uses to make that buck stretch.  Score!).
  • That last (pretty empty) third of the page will be used for the lengthy journaling.  When The Boy starts to act overcome with energy, he will often ask me if he is crazy, or weird.  In that moment, I easily answer yes.  He quickly tells me, "Wrong answer."  My mom thinks I'm putting negative thoughts in his head.  I don't see it that way; so I want to explain to him how being crazy, or weird, is a VERY GOOD thing; that the world needs more weird people who aren't afraid to be creative, energetic, genuine, and true.  He's not "normal," and I love that about him.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

The quote in the top left is a stamp from Jillibean Soup.  It was the reason I bought the set.  It was time to start using it.  Oh, and the circles of stars are part of that same set.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why Momma Needs Her Coffee

Good Tuesday Morning!  I started my day THUPER DEE DUPER early; like 2:30 AM early.  I'm having my twelfth or thirteenth scan today.  I'm thuper dee duper thpecial, so I also get extra steps in the preparation process. I am telling you, at this rate, I need a punch card or something.  I should get the next one free!

I digress, this wasn't my focus this morning.  Nor were the teleporting ants that are trying to take over my living spaces.  Seriously, I was JUST staring at that hugs blank wall and nothing was there.  HOW did an ant show up smack in the middle of it?!  If I stop blogging again, assume that those lil buggers carted me off to the looney bin for good.

Smell the flower (inhale)
Blow out the candle (exhale)
Repeat until the heebie jeebies stop.

Hi!  Howareya?  Welcome to my world!  Anyone care to talk about the Tooth Fairy?  Maybe pet rocks with their very own "robot" bodies?  Pet rocks might be a good idea.  The Tooth Fairy is still letting her story unfold.  These rocks, however, are living the dream, compared to the rocks I kept as a kid.  Seriously!  Check it!

So, yes.  The Boy still thinks there is a treasure map hiding somewhere within this rock.  Still, it needed a face.  Actually, it needed two faces.  It's an emotionally complex creature, as you can see.

And the robot suit!  I LOVE this suit.  He spent an hour carefully crafting it....after we tried to use oversized pipe cleaners with pitiful results.  This, however, he thought about and made completely independent of the DH and I.

Then, things got interesting.  Rocky needed a friend.  Meet Raquelle..  Her robot suit is in progress because I can't focus for longer than twenty minutes when building with Lego.  She might get hair before she gets a body.  Still, she and Rocky are getting along quite nicely.  I look forward to learning about (or participating in) their adventures for weeks (or months) to come.

As for my own adventures, I've got a couple of scrappy pages in progress right now.  One is a submission for Scrap the Boys.  The other has been inspired by the most recent sketch by Creative Scrappers.  With paper, I'm a happy camper.  Otherwise, I'm now officially tired and looking forward to a post-scan nap.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting My Groove Back

Good Monday Morning!

Happy Day After Mother's Day!

A Glorious Four Weeks Before Summer Vacation!  It's really glorious, either way you slice it.  For some, there are four glorious weeks of peace at home, before the wee ones hunker down and take over.  For others, there are ONLY four weeks standing between them and more time with their little angels.  No matter which camp you fall in with, enjoy them!

Want to know a secret?  It's really Friday.  I'm doing one of those pre-writes because a few technical ramblings are trying to become real thoughts.

1)  Woohoo!  I'm doing it!  I'm actually managing to post *something* each week.  This is awesome.  I just might be able to pull off a reasonable return afterall.

2)  Wow, I've got a lot of learning to do!  This one actually comes with sub-ramblings.  Yes, I said that.
**I have been cleaning up my blog subscriptions slowly but surely over the past few weeks.

**Some of my favorites stopped blogging approximately when I did.

**Some are still blogging strong, but my style and tastes have changed.

**I see that there are a few new ways to connect with readers -- subscription preferences.  I've added options to follow by email and have begun to explore Bloglovin.  Both options are to the right, if you prefer them more than the old Google subscription.

**I ditched Disqus.  I just felt like it.  As a result, I lost the only two comments I've received in the past few weeks.  That sucked.

** I REALLY want to learn how some people worked out those handy tabs at the top of their blogs.  I crave organization and blog tabs would make me ever so happy.

3)  It appears that I still love a good challenge, but it's harder for me to keep deadlines straight, so I'm working on adding a calendar to the right.  In this moment, it's a green tab that one can click, see what challenges piqued my interest, and perhaps join the fun.  If you are inspired by any you see on the list, you're welcome.  For now, understand that I know it looks unfinished.  I *just* started working on it today.  I haven't even added links to the challenge pages.

4) Periodically, I'm going to add a post about parenting.  I just like writing my thoughts in essay form.  If I think it might be worthwhile to share; or spark a conversation, I'm going to do so.

5)  Apparently, towels don't fold themselves, no matter how many times you train them.  How sad!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Talk About Rocks and Hard Places!

I can't decide if I'm:

A) The meanest mom ever, OR

B) A very loving mother who wants her child to feel inspired by possibility every single day.

See, there's this rock.

Much like his Momma, The Boy has a thing for collecting rocks.  Yesterday, he acquired this beauty somewhere at school.  He shared it with a classmate during recess and she returned it safely to him at the end of that break.  Cute, sweet, he's sharing and learning to trust others.  But the story doesn't end there.

The Boy and Classmate share some passion for adventure and possibility.  Upon her suggestion, he has been trying to find the treasure map secretly encoded on the surface of this rock for the past fifteen minutes.  He's carefully breathed on it.  He's given it a good bath.  He's held it up to the morning light.  I only see some really cool lines, but he thinks it might be part of the path for the treasure map.

At my core, I'm melting right now.  This is a magical age when anything can happen.  If you just believe hard enough, your dreams can come true.  It's wide-eyed wonder because everything clicks and there's SO much to learn and I just want him to be happy and optimistic and amazing forever.  It breaks my heart a little to know that at some point, solid realities will intervene and the magic won't be awe-inspiring.  He'll have to grow up; and worse, so will I.

That's not to say that I'm not mostly a grown up now.  I get the bills paid.  I get the people fed.  I keep CPS from knocking on our door.  I still seek out magic at every turn.  I pray for miracles and am truly thankful for ALL of my blessings.  Still, there's this one thing that NO ONE ever told me about parenting.  As he grows, I grow.  He has to learn how to survive and thrive as a human being -- the good and the bad -- and I have to let him.  I have to learn how to sit on my hands and watch the heartache develop and crush him.  I have to let him learn how to deal with it.  I can be there as support; to let him know that he's not alone, but he has to discover and develop the skills himself.

In this moment, I see that I have two options:

A) Start verbalizing (repeatedly, because he LOVES magic as much as I do) that it's just a rock; but we can find scientific reasons to love it, still. OR

B) While he's sleeping, I can try to paint a treasure map on this bugger and see what happens next.  Maybe we'll hunt for treasure in the backyard, because the map just happens to match it.  Maybe we find something amazing and have a memory of love to keep him going when he's a parent someday far from now.

I haven't decided, but it's going to be weighing heavy on my head and heart; even after I decide.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Finds -- For Really Reals!

Good Friday Morning!

Confession:  I am flailing for a fun intro because I've got a few tabs open to some new loves.  I just can't concentrate long enough to make words pretty.  One part of my brain just keeps repeating, "Here!  Take all my money!"  The other part is struggling to keep to the task at hand.  But seriously, Ahmahgah!

Maybe I should just get to it?

I'm going to try something new with this post, and try to do the picture/link thing.  Fingers crossed (and woohoo that it's technically Tuesday so I have three days to figure it out, huh?)!

Da Pretties, in no particular order of I WANT:

Pinkfresh Studio

Just clicking on their shop link should be enough to inspire joy.  I'm craving the foil printed alphas; the colorblock veneers; and the ombre washi.  Mine, I tell you!  Mine!

Creative Embellishments

I love using wood and chipboard shapes whenever I can.  Usually, I also love painting them, etc.  Basically, if you can think of a theme or shape, they've got it.  I even noticed today that they have flair.  So much delight!  I'll take six of these; four of those, and all you have of the rest.

Paper Issues

Okay, really, I've known about, loved and shopped at Paper Issues in the past.  They aren't new to me, but I love them all the same.SO!  Much! Awesome!

My Scraps And More

What I'm digging about this site is that they seem to get some of the new stuff faster than the mega websites that I also love.  SO, if I've really wanted something, but can't find it at the biggies, it looks like I might be able to find it here first.

This is all I have today.  It should be enough to make a shopper happy.  For now.  Beyond all this delight, I have a question.  Is it just me, or is metalic/foil gold HUGE this Spring and Summer?  I am seeing it everywhere and that's becoming a good thing.  I'll have to tell you about The Boy's current interest in all things gold; even when it's in my crafty stash.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Party Animal

Happy Thursday! How does this day find you?  I have to admit, I'm pre-writing again, so I'm just going to say it's beautiful here and hope I'm right. Really, it's supposed to be hot and sunny. This could be a great day.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was trying something new (to me) this past week -- the splatters.  I tried it again on another layout.  It's less daring and just "okay" in my opinion, but I'd really like to read your thoughts, if you'd care to share them.

This page was inspired by another Birthday Sketch at Creative Scrappers.  More specifically, it's this sketch here:

It is such an unexpected design that I at least had to try it.  There are two strips of paper in the background.  The rest are, what I'm calling, washi tapes of the world.  Translation:  I don't remember what company made which tape.  I just have them and use them.  The red vellum behind the photos was exactly what my eyes needed to focus on the pictures of the day.

I kinda jerry-rigged my journal spot.  I wanted something red.  I wanted to use some of my new love -- corrugated paper.  I wanted to be able to keep some part of the incline created in the background.  Solution:  1 Fancy Pants journal card + home-made photo frame overlay = content Momma.  Again, story told and in the books.  If you're curious here are a few of the (easier to read) details.

  • The Boy has learned to be creative with cake design.  He actually dictated about three or four different cake design ideas.  One, was going to involve me crafting a treasure chest out of Rice Krispy treats and Kit Kats, then filling the chest with fondant-laden dragon eggs.  Yeah, he knows about Nerdy Nummies.  We settled on SpongeBob with a Terminator eye.
  • He's a typical gaming boy; so he was happy with his haul.
  • The crown on his head!  He designed that crown on copy paper, cut it out and had me staple the back so he could have his very own birthday crown.  He even wore it to school on his birthday. Yep!  That's my boy!

Beyond this, I'm eyeballing colors for another project.  I'm staring at a printed photo for one more; and trying to  pick a direction with a third -- shall I go one page or two?  I'm also trying to reorganize my space ans stash.  I've done the annual shopping spree and haven't exactly put it away yet.  It's just so pretty; but I'm left with almost nowhere to scrap!  Ah well, I'll figure it out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Egg-cellent Decorating

Hello!  Happy Wednesday!

It turns out that I get a week off from my usually ickiness; and I've been lucky enough to play with my crafty crap.  Yay, me!  I've even got two pages done so far; so I'll have at least that many posts to keep things going.  That's good, right?  I thought so.

In both cases, I decided to try something new (to me); that inky splattery thing that has been all the rage.  I resisted it for so long because, well, I didn't "get it."  Fun fact about me:  I'm a literal person, EVEN when I'm feeling creative.  Most of the time, I have to figure out a logical theme that matches the story. Everything has to be connected; somehow someway.  When people sprinkle their mists or paints, it does look REALLY cute.  I enjoy watching people splatter in videos.  I like seeing it in the galleries.  I just couldn't convince myself to try.  Mists come with spray pumps for a reason; and apparently that reason is to cover the spread of a stencil on my paper.....  Yeah, I know.  I'm getting better; especially with the help of patient acquaintances in a scrappy group I joined last year.  I asked them why they sprinkle and splatter, and they had some really good reasons.

  • It can help tie the colors in a page together; so you don't have to rely on just the paper.
  • It helps spruce up white space.
  • It adds a layer.
  • You can create a visual line for the viewer.
  • It's funky.

So, I sucked up the buttercup and I tried it.

AND, since I decided to add some fun and funk, I gave myself permission to play a little more:

Ever found yourself completely without the perfect color of thread, floss or twine?  I did; so I used an old, but well loved, stash of Glimmer Mist (color) to dye some twine and fake it.

THIS was a learning experience.  I'm going to have to keep practicing it.  Well over a year ago, I read a magazine article about adding Liquid Pearls to your project.  One woman added drops to her page, waited until they were almost dry and pressed down to crack the finish.  Hers looked A-May-Zing!  Mine...Well, maybe you can see why I kept thinking I was really popping really fabulous zits. For me, it will take a minimum of three hours drying time before I can even consider crushing them again.

OH!  OH!  Also, the green tags upon which I globbed placed my pearls is actually (at the base) a 4x6 card from the Fancy Pants/ Be Different line; green with cream polka dots.  I used a navy embossing powder with a label stamp on the card; cut out three; cut the largest into 2 pieces to place on the left and right of my photo block, and tucked the other two.

Now, the overall design is thanks to Sketch 267 from Creative Scrappers.


I took a few liberties.  It's a great sketch; and I love seeing what everyone is doing with it.  Unfortunately, I am currently lacking in single-photo stories.  HOWEVER, I liked the big square of background paper and decided to use this 8x8 collage of photos in it's place.  On this one, I can now relax.  Story told and in the books.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Summer Wish List

Hello! Hi! Howareya?

I'm taking my advice and writing what I can, when I can. It's currently a sunny Sunday (late) afternoon and I just enjoyed a sneaky ice cream sandwich. It was good enough to make me think about Summer. We've still got five more weeks in the school year, but Summer is coming. Mixed emotions run high.

 Naturally, The Boy is living for Summer Vacation. He's becoming less cooperative each morning. Aside from seeing his friends and participating in the few favorite activities, he sees no good reason to get dressed and leave home. Having been a teacher in the past, I understand this feeling well. Truthfully, I see many advantages to the more relaxed routine that Summer brings.

* Neither of us have to leave our cozy beds before six in the morning.
* No dress code.

 Yep! That's a short list. His school participates in reading and math practice during vacation, so I will still have the daily joy of making him read, add, subtract, tell time, count money, consider place value, etc. He's good at both reading and math, he just doesn't like to think about them. That's our battle. Almost every day.

 Maybe this year the battle won't be so bad. The practice will only take 20-60 minutes each day (depending on the struggle). That still leaves several hours each day for the kind of fun that would make Phineas and Ferb proud.

So that brings me back to the ice cream sandwich and my dreams. What do I want to accomplish this Summer? It's probably a standard list....

1. Local Church festival -- We used to go each year.
2. Local City Festival -- We only went twice, but it was also fun.
3. Farmers Market -- every weekend, please?
4. Drive In theater --  I just want to check off of my parenting list that my kid fell asleep in the back seat.
5. Fourth of July fireworks-- We managed to attend a big family event last year, but didn't stay long (totally my fault).
6. Camping -- Aside from setting up the tent in the back yard for kicks and giggles, I would like to camp for three to five nights this year.
7. Fishing -- mainly I want to watch others fish, snap a few pics and maybe eat the cooked deliciousness.

These are just the activities I can pull off the top of my head. I've started a board on Pinterest, full of ideas to keep The Boy and I occupied daily. I'll probably flip through those in my yucky times and expand this list with potentially great tthings. That alone can improve my mood.  That is the secret wish, afterall.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Checking In

Happy Sunday!

I thought it might be smart to check in. It would be easy for anyone just starting to read my ramblings to think that I have stopped writing again. In the past week, I have worked on cleaning up my subscription list. I have noticed that it's very easy to say One is going to start blogging again, only to take another year or three off. I am at a point where I really want to try to stay active. I have already learned a couple strategies that will be important for me to do so.

1) Write A LOT of posts in advance. Write on my good days. Write about whatever I want. Polish them and schedule their release.

2) Put expected breaks in writing. I know when I have run out of things to say. I can tell when my blog will be quiet and for how long. Letting others know what to expect from me makes my life easier.

Beyond that, I have very little to share right now. This past chemo week actually went a bit better than past weeks. I was able to stay off of the couch, but I wasn't really interested in being creative. It was a week dedicated to caring for my family with the little things -- laundry, light cleaning, thinking ahead. I was optimistic on Saturday, International Scrapbook Day, but side effects kicked in hard. I managed to watch A LOT of videos, but that was it. Upshot, I now have three ideas for upcoming Friday finds. So there's that. I almost feel crafty today, so I might even have something to share later in the week.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Finds

Okay, this video is just going to have to be the start of my Friday Finds revival.  It has nothing to do with crafting, but it has brought me joy all week long. To help you understand why I love the octopus so much, you've got to know that I refer to my weekly chemotherapy treatments as "releasing the kraken. " I have also been known to say "getting Kracky wit it, " like the song,  "Gettin Jiggy Wit It."  Anyway, I like to pretend that the chemo drugs are like the giant monster (that I picture as a giant octopus) destroying the Good Ship Cancer Pop. So I have grown to love the real creatures. Watch. Learn. Laugh. Love.