Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!!

Wouldn't today be the COOLEST day to have a birthday??? Seriously ... it would take you FOREVER to get old!! (Although, that would ALSO mean that you would be a teenager for a very, VERY long time!!) In all actuality, my dear friend, Kim Smith is having a birthday today and she hasn't EVEN reached her teens "officially" ... yet ... Happy Birthday, Girl!!

Learned to make these little paper-punch flowers from my cute friend, Emilee, during a shoebox swap we did at Convention last summer ... aren't they fun??? They are made from four scallop circles fiolded into fourths and placed on a large glue dot with the tips of the folded pieces touching in the center ... kapisch?? (That word just makes me smile ... my Dad used to use it all the time!)

Stamps: Elements of Style
Paper: Real Red, Night of Navy, Whisper White, Night of Navy Patterned DSP
Ink: Night of Navy, Real Red
Accessories: Scallop Circle Punch, Whisper White Satin/Organza Ribbon, Eyelet Border Punch, Polka Dot Brads (retired)

My mother-in-law tells me that the physical therapists have introduced "pain" into her daily exercises ... a fact that she laments, but also relishes because she knows she is healing. Her stamina and optimism amaze me ...

My mom is struggling to maintain a decent blood pressure ... she is having a hard time being weaned off of the dopamine that is keeping her pressure up. Her sense of humor is still intact, though ... while we were watching a little tv the other night, a news promo came on touting the upcoming Republican primary elections in Michigan. I asked my mom what she thought about them ... she said, "Who?" I said, "Romney and Santorum ... the guys running for the Republican side." A dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, my mom responded quickly and without skipping a beat, "I don't think they should have ANYbody running on the Republican side!" 'Nuf said ... Smiley from

And I am heading into outpatient surgery this morning at 6:00 a.m. to cheer up my cranky foot ... (as if my life didn't have ENOUGH drama/hospitals at the moment!). I will get a day or two "off" from my crazy schedule of running back and forth to visit my mom, run errands and trying to squeeze a little work in there somewhere (good thing we are self employed!). I am sooo blessed that my big brother, Kenny, arrived from Colorado Springs last night to help out with my mom ... the extremes I go to in order to get some R&R ... Sheesh!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stamp Club Cards

Smiley from millan.netBelieve it or not, a week ago last Saturday I actually squeezed in some time to make a few card samples and have some good times with my Stamp Club Girls (an escape I DESPERATELY needed!!). Thanks to some inspiration from my BFF Cheryl (love you, Girl! Thanks sooo much!), these are the cards that we made (to be fair, I almost made exact copies of the cards Cheryl had done for her own Stamp Club ... with a few slight modifications ... because I have had NO time to be creative lately!).

This first one is so easy it's scary!! LOVE the new Hearts Framelits dies!! I hafta admit I added the Baker's Twine AFTER I had already had the class ... I kept thinking it was "missing" something ... and I remedied it, at least for the sample in this photo ...

Stamps: Sprinkled Expressions
Paper: Wisteria Wonder, Concord Crush, Whisper White, Sweet Shop DSP
Ink: Concord Crush
Accessories: Hearts Framelets Dies, Wisteria Wonder Baker's Twine

And this is a variation on the Valentine's Day card I did for my hubby (the idea also was inspired by Cheryl). I cheated and used a not-to-be-mentioned-non-SU diecut for the "windows" ... something you could also achieve with a square punch ... I was just in too much of a hurry to go there, so I did this instead.

Stamps: Kindness Matters
Paper: Calypso Coral, Soft Suede, Whisper White, Everyday Enchantment DSP
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessoires: Large Oval Punch, Everyday Enchantment Ribbon, Adorning Accents Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (Heart Border), Itty Bitty Heart Punch, Pearl Basics

One more ... I totally LOVE the combination of the Crumb Cake and Pool Party cardstocks ... I think they look great together, don't you??

Stamps: You're My Type
Paper: Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Whisper White, PInk Pirouette
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Pool Party Seam Binding, Fashionable Hearts Embosslits Die, Rhinestone Basics

I am still more or less "living" at the hospital with my mom. She had a setback on Saturday ... a TIA ... which is a medical abbreviation for a transient stroke. Very scary stuff, but it appears that she has regained most of her previous abilities (although it is kinda hard to tell since she is so incredibly exhausted after all she has been through). We are hoping that she can make the move out of ICU very soon and start regaining some of her strength. I cannot thank you all enough ... again ... for your outpouring of love and support.

My mother-in-law continues to do well ... we are hoping that she does not have to spend much longer in the rehab facility. She is making wonderful progress!

I am having a little outpatient foot surgery tomorrow (when it rains, it pours, right??). Should be kinda uneventful, and hope to be back to "normal" (whatever THAT means!) in no time!! At least I will have some time to watch the second season of Downton Abbey ... again ... soooo totally addicted to that show!!

I think I seriously need another trip to Disneyland ... or a CRUISE ... better yet, a DISNEY cruise!!! Oh man, that would be the BEST!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hello Kitty!

In between running to and fro the past couple of weeks I have actually been able to squeeze in a card or two ... and this is one. I'm still without my computer, too ... sigh ... I should have it back by Saturday and then I won't hafta "steal" the computer from work to do what I need (such a good thing we are self employed, so I can actually get away with it!!)

I made this for my little cousin, Emma. I made her a Hello Kitty card last year for her birthday and she loved it so much that I decided to do another ... AND I used it for the sample for the F4A Challenge over on SCS since it was my turn to be hostess. I called the challenge "Cards With Character" ... the basic idea was to add something that could smile at ya to your card ... a critter, a person ... whatever fits!!

Stamps: Party This Way
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight, Bashful Blue, Pink Pirouette, Perfect Plum, Peach Parfait, Nursery Nest DSP
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Cricut Hello Kitty Greetings, Designer Label Punch, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder,Whisper White Satin Organza Ribbon, Dew Drops

A bit of an update ... my mother in law continues to make daily progress. She has such a wonderful, sunny outlook. Though her injuries are severe and her recovery is going to be long, we are all confident that she is going to heal and get back to her usual self.

My mom is on day 12 of being in the hospital. She has had two surgeries and another one scheduled. We are hopeful that this last surgery is going to restore her to health and that she will be on the road to recovery. Thanks again for all of your happy thoughts and notes of encouragement ... they help soooo soooo much!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oh What a Freakiful World!!

Do you have ANY idea how DIFFICULT it is to do a Blog Tour without a COMPUTER?? Sheesh!! My computer really bit the dust (again!!) ... BIG TIME!! Long story ... but, suffice it to say, I had to steal a computer in order to bring you the projects I created for this month's Control Freak's Blog Tour - the Cutting Edge - Projects Created Using Big Shot Dies. You should have just hopped over from the fanTAStic blog of my fellow Freaky-Friend, LeeAnn Greff. That woman is a WIZARD!! (and her little card bag is ADORABLE!!)

Onward and upward ... First off, I created this simple and elegant card using my Movers and Shapers Die. Haven't pulled that baby out in EONS. I decided it was time to dust it off. I don't know why I don't use it more often ... I really do LIKE the thing!! And, of course, using the Elegant Bouquet Textured Impressions Folder is always fun, as it is a fave of mine, too!!

Stamps: Elementary Elegance
Paper: Whisper White, Very Vanilla
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Movers and Shapers Die, Elegant Bouquet Textured Impressions Folder, Curly Label Punch, Boho Blossom Punch, Crumb Cake Seam Binding, Pearl Basics

Big Ol' Freaky Flower ... that's what this card is!! I've been envisioning a card using the Paper Doily as a "faux flap" at the top of the card for a looonnnng time ... finally decided to do something about it!! This flower just kinda "grew" itself!! C'mon SPRING!!

Stamps: Petitie Pairs
Paper: Pool Party, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Calypso Coral
Ink: Early Espresso, Lucky Limeade, Soft Suede
Accessories: Blossom Party Bigz Die, Paper Doily Die, Stripes Textured Impressions Folder, Large Oval Punch, Chantilly and Victorial Crochet Trim, Pearl Basics - Large, Pearl Basics

And this is something I made for my mom to cheer her up. She is still in the hospital (looks like we will be here until at least Wednesday!). What could be more cheerful that a Pic-a-nic Basket (eat your heart out, Yogi Bear!!)!! Isn't this fun?? It's filled with Milano cookies (ya-UMMM!!) and some chocolate-covered nuts. Wanted to give me mom some goodies from the "outside world"!!

(BTW, she LOVED it!!)

I'll be posting a little tutorial on how to make this after I can get my own computer back!! (Hopefully I'll have it by the end of the week!)

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Domestic Goddess DSP, Calypso Coral, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Blossom Party Bigz Die, Square Lattice Textured Impressions Folder, 1" Circle Punch, Word Window Punch, Pearl Basics, Neutrals Buttons (Whisper White), Everyday Enchantment Brad, Calypso Coral Baker's Twine, Cello Bag (Milano Cookie and Chocolate-Covered Nuts!!)

On a side note ... a VERY SPECIAL thank you to my BFF, Kim Smith!! She came and "rescued" me this morning when I was feeling creatively exhausted and craftily bankrupt!! She was a GREAT help and INSPIRATION!! Love you, Girlie!!

Next up??? The ever-fabulous Jason Casper!! (I still am a little chagrined that a DUDE has this much paper-crafty genius!! Go, Jason!!)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Expressions of Love

Smiley from millan.netHappy Valentine's Day!! It seems that the holidays roll around faster and faster as the years just zip on by ... holy smokes!!

I figured it was about time for me to crank out an honest-to-goodness Valentine ... gonna give it to my amazingly-wonderful husband ... he is my rock and my best friend! Don't know WHAT I'd do without him!!

Stamps: Filled With Love
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Riding Hood Red, Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Red Glimmer Paper
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Sizzix Hearts Textured Impressions Folder (from Valentine Set #2), Riding Hood Red Pleated Satin Ribbon, Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Small Oval Punch, Corner Rounder Punch, Heart to Heart Punch, Pearl Basics, Papertrey Alpha Blocks Die, Pearl Basics

And I could NOT let this special day go by without a very sincere and heartfelt thanks to so many of you who have left comments and sent emails and messages giving love, support, and prayers for my two wonderful mothers ... a bit of an update on each ... my mother-in-law will be moving to an extended care facility today. Her spirits are good, and her body, although broken, is on its way to recovery. My own dear mother is also making progress, albeit slowly. She will be having an angiogram either today or tomorrow to make sure that there isn't any blockage ... then they will schedule her for a pacemaker replacement as soon as her kidneys are strong enough. Prayers are answered ... thanks so much for your amazing outpouring of support. It is appreciated more than you will EVER know!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Believing in Miracles ...

Sooo much has happened in my corner of the universe this week. Not quite sure where to begin ...

First of all, here is a card I made for my cousin's birthday. Masculine cards ... sigh ... you KNOW how we all struggle with those!! (Well, maybe not ALL y'all ... but they are a brain blocker for me FOR SURE!!) Was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest (LOVELOVELOVE that site!), so this is what I came up with!! Lots of square punches were dragged out of the depths of my drawer for this one ...

Stamps: You're My Type
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Nautical Expedition (retired)
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Stripes Textured Impressions Folder, Silver Brads, Neutrals (Basic Black) Button, Whisper White Baker's Twine, 1 3/8" Square Punch, 1 1/4" Square Punch, 1" Square Punch, 3/4" Square Punch, Word Window Punch

Second ... my Computer Geeky Dude (aka Brian Allred) RETRIEVED MY LOST DATA from my now-defunct hard drive!! The Dude is a Freakin' JEENYUS!!! I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!!! Soooo happy that there are people out there who know how to do this kinda stuff ... if you need help, I would definitely get in touch with him:

In Home Answers

And if he can't retrieve anything you've lost (not counting your car keys or the dog!), Smiley from the home office in California and CAN find it!!

Data Recovery Services

Love it ...

On a more personal note ... my dear, sweet mother-in-law took a terrible spill down her stairs earlier in the week. She is hospitalized with a broken eye socket, fractured vertebrae (in her neck), shattered humerus (which required surgery and a LOT of pins), and a crack in her pelvis. Sooo glad it wasn't worse (I know what you are thinking, but if you had seen her after we found her and all, it is a miracle she is still here ... angels on her shoulder for sure!!) Smiley from Sooo grateful for so much family ... everyone is taking hospital shifts. It's sooo nice to have so much support.

And when it rains, it pours ... my own kind and wonderful mother is headed to the hospital tomorrow ... they need to replace her single-lead pacemaker (put in last October) with a double-lead one. Seems her heart is not happy with the pacemaker she has ... her feet are HUGE and her kidneys are NOT liking the water pills! Congestive Heart Failure ... it's gonna be a long week! But, as I said before, I DO believe in miracles, and know that the power of prayer and the love of family will help us get through it all.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

There's a PUNCH for That??!!???

Seriously??!? When I first saw this set in the new Stampin' Up catalog last summer I HAD to have it. This was actually the first card I made with it way-back-when... I was so proud of this little flower, even though there was a bit of "fussy cutting" involved to create the layers...

Imagine my embarrassment...and chagrin...when I realized that the flower itself, the main image, can be punched with the scallop circle punch!!! What??!!? Well, DUH!!!! I felt soooo lame, as I cut all of the layers out BY HAND with my scissors....SHEESH!! Lesson learned...

Good news on the computer far. I was able to restore the backup I did on December 22...and my Computer Geeky Dude told me yesterday that things are looking good about retrieving most of the data I lost from the now-defunct hard drive! I will know for sure today just how much was save-able and will keep you posted...thanks for all the sympathy, encouraging emails and offers of help...I really do appreciate it!

And I really do NOT like blogging from my iPad...not as easy as it would seem!

Stamps: Button Buddies, Family Reunion
Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White, Polka Dot patterned paper (unknown)
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Perfect Pennant Bigz Die, Word Window Punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Brights Buttons, Polka Dot Ribbon (unknown), Scallop Trim Border Punch, Scallop Circle Punch (DUH!), Dimensionals

Monday, February 6, 2012


The sound of a hard drive dying ... okay, well maybe not LITERALLY! But, on Friday as I was sitting listening to a book on my computer while I was prepping for my Saturday morning class, the computer just plain ol' STOPPED!! No warning ... no NOTHING!! It just quit! I called my neighbor and friend, who just happens to be a Mac GENIUS (he has literally worked at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store). He advised me to RUN with it to the store before they closed. Which I did ...

Smiley from millan.netSadly, they had no more "Genius" dudes who were still available to help me (it was after 8:00 p.m.). So, I left the computer with them and skulked back home. Sniff, sniff, sniff ...

Went back on Saturday to find out that not even the GENIUS DUDES could resurrect life into my now-defunct hard drive. Could not even get their arsenal of tools to even RECOGNIZE the thing!! AAaaaaack!!!! Good news? I did a Time Machine backup of my hard drive on December 22 ... Bad news? That means all of my photos and documents since then ... Christmas, New Year's, CHA AND all the stuff that Jan and I have been doing for our Digital Scrapbooking Club ... are gone. Toast. Extinct. Needless to say, I am sick about it!! I do have a connection with a Data Retrieval Dude (so glad I know so many geeky Dudes!). He is going to take a look at the hard drive today to see if he can get it to produce a pulse ... sigh ... he is betting he can get something off of it, but it's probably gonna cost me MEGA bucks ... sigh ...

Which brings me to this card. Which has absolutely NOTHING to do with my crashed hard drive. But I DO like the little punched flowers in the bouquet ... at least THEY are adding a little bright spot to an otherwise DARK weekend!!

Stamps: Precious Butterflies
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Pink Pirouette
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Large Oval Punch, Boho Blossoms Punch, 5-Petal Flower Punch, Paper Crimper, Black Polka Dot Ribbon, Dimensionals, Pearl Basics (colored with a Daffodil Delight marker)