Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday 3/31/11

Just a quick thought for today...being grateful for something I take for granted...

So I have not been at my best "thankful" self this week. Sick kids, doctors for them, doctors for me...what a way to spend Spring Break.

But what if I were among the millions of people without health insurance? Would I hesitate to take my sick children to the doctor? Not be able to afford the medications that keep my Relapsing Polychondritis at bay?

So I'm taking a moment to give thanks for our family's health insurance, and my job that provides it.

What do you take for granted?

You can link up with The Bug!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great Grandparents- A Layout

This picture was taken at my daughter's 8th birthday party this past December. With her are her GREAT grandparents!

Paper- October Afternoon, Fancy Pants
Flowers- Prima
Misc. ribbon and eyelets

Sketch from Pencil Lines:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Achieving Calm, One Decision at a Time

I thought it was time for an update on how I'm doing with my "calm" resolution. As my One Little Word for 2011, I sometimes struggle to keep that thought at the front of my mind. Reflecting on the past couple of weeks, I am realizing more and more that calm is not something to be achieved by a life-altering change or major overhaul of anything. It comes in the day to day moments and little decisions that I consciously make. I am in charge of my behavior and reactions. Here's a few examples:

  • My youngest daughter came home with a huge pile of stories and pictures she had done at school over the past few months. She scattered them all over the coffee table. I left them there for about a week, intending to go through each one and decide on a couple to keep for her scrapbook. The mess was getting to me, and the pending task was sounding less and less fun. I ended up throwing the whole lot into the recycle bin. I already have some of her work saved, and I'm sure she'll be bringing home more. Such a little thing that I let add to my stress. No more! Done.
  • This past weekend I let the dinner dishes sit and played a board game with my family instead. Now, leaving a dirty kitchen is nothing new here, but this time I honestly let it go, guilt and obsession-free. I made a conscious decision to spend time with my family versus cleaning, and let myself feel good about that decision.
  • I stayed out of a conversation on FaceBook that really had me riled up. The discussion was not appropriate for FaceBook, so I let it go.
  • The hubs and I had tickets to go to a hockey game. We had an overnight babysitter for the kids, and people were expecting us. When it came down to it, neither of us really felt like going. Normally I would have insisted we go anyway, out of some sort of sense of duty or obligation. After a brief discussion, we spent the evening together, just us, instead. Went out to dinner and watched a movie at home. We even held hands! Definitely worth it, and it built up my "calm" stores.
  • One morning last week we were rushing around as usual to get to the bus on time. My youngest daughter had put on a very interesting outfit, one I normally would in NO way let her wear to school. Normally I would freak a little and insist she change, making us even later and more stressed. But it was clean and weather-appropriate, so I took and deep breath and said, "Whatever. It's fine". And meant it. 

Image source: Found by Google Image search. URL
    How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions?
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    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Project 365: Week 12

     Sunday- Time to change the front door decorations!

    Monday- My daffodils have been up for about a week now. I'm wondering where this guy came from though, because all my other ones are all yellow!

    Tuesday- No time for a lunch break today, so I'm eating in the car.

    Wednesday- Another co-worker celebrating a birthday. These are Key-Lime cupcakes!

    Thursday- Morgan showing off her "published" book at her school's Literacy Night.

    Friday- Viv was concentrating so hard on this writing workbook. The funny thing is, she's doing it for FUN.

    Saturday- An unexpected, but appreciated, visit from my nephew!

    There's a sampling of the 35 shots I took this week. Enjoy your day, and thanks for visiting!

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Winter Park- A Layout

    In "honor" of snow returning to my area after a few days of 70 degree weather, I'm posting this layout of a winter trip to the park!

    Paper- My Mind's Eye
    Transparency- Hambly
    Doily strips- Basic Grey
    Notecard- Prima
    Alpha- Sizzix die cuts
    Glimmer Mist- Coffee Shop, Spun Silver, Old Lace

    I used this sketch from Sketchy Thursdays as a starting point:

    I hope your weekend will be warmer than mine! Thanks for stopping by.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Thankful Thursday 3/24/11

    This week I've been proud of my kids, and proud of the job my husband and I are doing as parents.

    This past Saturday the girls asked if we could go on a "Trash Walk"- picking up garbage in our neighborhood. They said they wanted to help keep our Earth clean!

    I am thankful to be raising sweet, thoughtful, environmentally-conscious kids.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Making Valentines- A Layout

    This year, filling out Valentines for classmates was quite the production. Each card was inspected and read carefully in order to choose just the right one for each person. My girls were careful to not send the wrong message to certain boys. Less than friendly girls did not get cards that said "BFF". And on and on and on. It was exhausting, but made for a cute layout!

    I started with this sketch from PencilLines:

    Paper- Basic Grey
    Cardstock- CM
    Die Cuts- Girls' Paperie
    Flowers- Prima
    Heart punches- CM
    Viva Pink Glimmer Mist
    Vellum title- CM
    Adhesives- Helmar Adhesive Runner and 450 Quick Dry

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Project 365: Week 11

    Busy week at our house, as usual. Did you get a chance to enjoy the sunshine this week?

    Sunday- Counting out the savings in piggy banks with Daddy!

    Monday- First day of jazz/hip hop dance lessons.

    Tuesday- Worn out from yesterday's dance class and playing outside after school.

    Wednesday- Coworkers and I went for a walk to enjoy the nice weather!

    Thursday- "No reason" flowers from hubs. There are opening up nicely and smell so good!

    Friday- Finally. another tooth lost! She fell asleep on the couch in hopes of actually meeting the Tooth Fairy.

    Saturday- My girls came up with idea to go on a "trash walk" up and down our street. It is so gratifying to see my kids taking care of their neighborhood and environment.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Backyard Bonfire- A Layout

    This past fall I hosted a S'mores night in my backyard.
    Friends and good food deserve a layout!
    Paper- Hyperactive and Lala from Urban Lily Mooch collection
    Alphabet from Urban Lily Urban Cuts collection
    Rub-ons- Boys will be Boys from Scenic Route (March Scrap-tastic kit)
    Distress Ink- Antique Linen by Tim Holtz
    Adhesives- Helmar Adhesive Runner and 450 Quick Dry

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Friday Faves 3/18/11

    A few things that made me smile this week:

    Mama Kat is always funny. She talks about how she incessantly bugs her husband while he's at work.

    Free St. Patrick's Day label/scrapbook page title from Creating Keepsakes.

    Oh my! Have you ever had to explain the facts of life to a younger family member? The Housewife Blogger has!

    My blog buddy Jenn made these fab little shamrock pins from velvet tubing. I'm thinking they would be cute with shapes for other holidays, too!

    Love this sweet baby layout by Becky on the Magistical Memories blog.

    And one more layout- Love the misting and dewdrops on this creation by Heidi.

    Enjoy and have a great weekend!

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Thankful Thursday 3/17/11

    My gratitudes this week seem pale in comparison to those of the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My thoughts have been with that country constantly, and especially with my friend Takako, who did not hear from her family for two days. Thankfully, although their city was hit hard, her parents and brother are safe.

    My thoughts have also been on my husband as he celebrated his birthday this week. I am now, and always will be, thankful that he survived his traumatic accident at work six months ago. Although his recovery has slowed and we are beginning to accept that he may never get back to “normal”, I still have a husband and my children still have a father. That is enough.

    Take time today to recognize the gifts and blessings in your life!

    You can find out more about Thankful Thursday here.
    You can link up your own post here.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Helmar USA Design Guest Designer Submission

    I was recently introduced to Helmar Adhesives through the awesome chicks at Scrap-Tastic. It was love at first sight! Here are some projects I have created using some of their great products:

    Project 1: Button Storage Bottle
    What I used:
    Glass bottle
    Paper- Prima and Creative Memories
    Rock Candy Crackle Paint from Ranger
    Worn Lipstick Distress Ink from Tim Holtz
    Misc. ribbon
    Acrylic sealer
    Border punch- Martha Stewart
    Adhesive- Helmar 450 Quick Dry (works like a dream on slick surfaces like glass and plastic)

    What I did:
    1. Wash bottle thoroughly, removing label and old adhesive
    2. Cut paper strips. Here I used one 2 1/2 inches wide and one that was 1 inch wide.
    3. Punch border on thinner strip and ink edges.
    4. Adhere paper with Helmar 450.
    5. Cover entire bottle with crackle paint and let dry.
    6. Sponge bottle in random places with ink.
    7. Apply a light spray of acrylic sealer and let dry.
    8. Tie ribbon around neck of bottle.

    Project 2: Flower Headband
     This project began life as an old headband my kids didn't wear anymore, a large plastic bead, and a broken flower pin. Here's my daughter modeling the finished product:
    What I used:
    old headband
    fabric flower
    Adhesives: Helmar 450 Quick Dry and Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots

    What I did:
     1. Remove existing bow and residual adhesive from headband.
    2. Remove center from flower.
    3. Adhere large button to flower center. The flower was deep, so I needed a thick, dimensional adhesive. Scrap Dots to the rescue! Let dry.
    4. Adhere flower to headband in desired location with Helmar 450 Quick Dry.

    Project 3: "8 Years Old" Layout
     What I used:
    Paper- Mooch collection from Urban Lily  (#1- Hyperactive; #2- Sugarhigh) and Bazzil cardstock
    Alphas- AC Thickers and Creative Memories
    Glimmer Mist- Electric Blue, Red Velvet, and Tiger Lily
    Adhesives-Helmar Adhesive Runner and ZapDots

    What I did:
    1. Cut small circle from patterned paper #1 and spray with Glimmer Mist. Let dry.
    2. Position and adhere large square of patterned paper #1 in upper left corner of base cardstock. 
    3. Place small circle back in original position and adhere with dimensional ZapDots.
    4. Cut large circles from second patterned paper #2. Distress edges and spray with Glimmer Mist. Let dry, then adhere on page.
    5. Crop and mat photos.
    6. Adhere photos on page. Add dimension to one with ZapDots.
    7. Adhere alpha stickers to create title.

    Here are some photos that show off the dimension a little better:

    Project 4: "Happy" Card
     What I used:
    black, white and orange cardstock
    Patterned paper- Urban Cuts by Urban Lily
    Tiger Lily Glimmer Mist
    All About U stamps- Stampin Up
    Ink- Staz On Jet Black
    Slot punch from Provo Craft
    Misc. ribbon
    Adhesives- Helmar Adhesive Runner and ZapDots

    What I did:
    1. Cut black and white cardstock to size.
    2. Cut out "h" from Urban Cuts Alphabet paper.
    3. Adhere "h" to orange cardstock.
    4. Spray white cardstock with Tiger Lily Glimmer Mist and let dry.
    5. Punch 2 slots in white cardstock and thread ribbon through.
    6. Adhere orange block with the "h" to the white cardstock.
    7. Stamp "happy" with black ink.
    8. Adhere white cardstock to the black base with ZapDots. The dimension allows for the bulk of the ribbon under the white cardstock.

    I hope you enjoyed a sampling of the various uses for Helmar Adhesives. Check out their blog here. My preferred distributor is Scrap-Tastic. Friendly and speedy service!

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Project 365: Week 10

    Sunday- The girls found my wedding veil and had to try it on!

    Monday- Hubs on the phone with his mom. Hi mom!
    Tuesday- Finally got our Girl Scout cookies. Wonder how long they will last?
    Wednesday- Celebrating my birthday at work. One of my coworkers made a dirt cake- yummy!
    Thursday- You can't really tell in this photo, but it's snowing pretty hard.
    Friday- The snow from yesterday turned into black ice on the parking lot at work. I slid right off! Pete, our head of maintenance, had to come pull me out!
    Saturday- My brother, nieces, and daughters taking a ride in my grandparent's new Gator. Good ole farm fun!    

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Friday Faves 3/11/11

    Friday Faves from around the web...

    Love these "Around Here" posts by Ali Edwards.

    Yummy one-pan cabbage casserole recipe. I used sausage instead of the ground beef.

    Gorgeous creations using Glimmer Mist on fabric.

    Easy-peasy sparkly shamrock tutorial from A Fanciful Twist. Printable template included!

    A real-life family (yep, I know the mom) is intentionally downsizing their home in this gotta-have-it-bigger-and-better world to create the life they want. Cool stuff.

    Got a fave to share? Let us know in the comment section!

    And stop back by tomorrow for my compilation post from my "Tip Week" Facebook questions!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Thankful Thursday 3/10/11

    Yesterday I turned 35. I was NOT looking forward to it. But then, I had a great day. My co-workers showered me with food and balloons. My family sang and took care of me all evening. I received well wishes via text and Facebook all day long. My youngest daughter swore I didn't look any older than 34! How lucky am I?

    Very. My very smart husband reminded me of an important fact. When I was diagnosed with Relapsing Polychondritis in January 2000, the average life expectancy after diagnosis was 10 years. Through awareness, research, better medications, the Grace of God, and a little luck, I have beaten those odds. Thirty-five is to be celebrated! I am thankful to be here, living a life full of love.

    Learn more about Thankful Thursday here.
    You can link up here.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Project 365: Week 9

    Total shots taken this week- 59. Much fewer kid pics for those of you who are just tired of them!

    Sunday- Bird nest in my backyard. I was so excited to see the sun!

    Monday- A little twist to our Monday night pancake routine.

    Tuesday- I frequently pass by Kings Island, a local amusement park. I am anxious for warmer weather so we can enjoy our season passes!

    Wednesday- Here is the new building my department moved into on Monday. It doesn't look like much, but we have a golf course/wooded area view from my office in the back of the building. Kinda nice.
    Thursday- Morgan's school program, an adaptation of Dr. Seusss's "Daisy-Head Mayzie".

    Friday- Here is my work "nook". I feel pretty much organized and settled in now.

    Saturday- Today was the season-end celebration. No more cheerleading pics, I promise! Next is soccer- we signed my oldest up today.

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    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Friday Faves 3/4/11

    You'll find my selections to be more random than usual this week. You're sure to find something that interests you!

    Wow. Such a powerful story about leaving an abusive relationship.

    I am soooo in love with these cupcake toppers that feature vintage cameras.

    Erin O'Brien reminds us that SEXY is more about intimacy and less about just getting naked.

    Here are some simple tips to organizing your genealogy search.

    Here's an easy tutorial for using border punches to make your own paper flowers!

    Some good tips on interacting with someone with chronic pain.
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    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Thankful Thursday 3/3/11

    Today I'll keep this short and sweet...

    • I am thankful that my daughter has such a great teacher. My oldest is going through a rough patch and her teacher has been great about keeping me informed and brainstorming solutions with me.
    • I am thankful that we have seen the sun the past couple of days. Gloom be gone!
    • I am thankful for a great haircut that I received from a former school mate.
    • I am thankful for my coworkers. I learn from them everyday.
    What are you thankful for?

      Tuesday, March 1, 2011

      Joyful Girl- A Layout

      As a scrapbooker, I am so lucky to have two little girls who just love the camera! Here's a little photo shoot I had with my oldest. She has such a loving and sweet nature that I hope she never loses...

      Here's the sketch I used from Sketchy Thursdays...

      Paper: My Mind's Eye
      Journaling Block: Prima
      Chipboard: Me and My Big Ideas
      Ribbon: OTC
      Alphas: Creative Memories
      Coffee Shop Glimmer Mist: Tattered Angels
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