Friday, April 28, 2006

For my best friend

This was a fun project for my best friend. He's the one who knows how ugly I can be and still calls me a friend. It is my way of saying thanks for all that you do.
How many little boys had cowboy dreams? How many little boys wanted a cap gun? How many little boys said "stick um up" to their Daddy?

I have had this box for a while. and I knew I wanted to do something as a thank you for all the times he listened and didn't have the time. Then I found the cap gun and I remember his stories about wanting a gun and playing cowboy.
Phone call to "sis" and I have the rest of the surprise.

She found the pictures. I scanned and printed them then embellished the whole project.

Thanks for your help Christie - don't tell him. I want it to be a surprise.

"a friend is that person who makes you laugh your ass off
without laughing at your ass."


Cancer is so limited ...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendships.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the Spirit.
I know that all of the above statements are true. I am a cancer survivor. almost 10 years now. I know what happened to me when I heard the "C" word come out of Dr. Abney's mouth.
Condensed version of the story. I was 31 years old, with 2 girls aged 3 and 6. My name is mommy and I don't have time to be sick. But there it was. A lump. I found it in the shower on Sunday morning. By Monday afternoon a biopsy is planned. Needles into your breast tissue - and it's probably nothing - then well there is cellular change - this needs to come out - then in the recovery room - we got it - contained lump - no follow up treatment required.
I was lucky. I found mine early, but I knew how to check myself. See, I have lost family members to cancer. Breast Self Exam is one way to be proactive in my health care. I was taught to be my own advocate. I had wonderful medical care. I had an incredible support network.
Cancer has no barriers. Not race, gender, social, economic, age.
Tonite is Relay for Life in my community. We will meet at our local rec department to celebrate and honor survivors, thank family and friends for their support, and remember those who lost their battle. Among all of this will be fun and games while we raise money for research against this disease.
If you know someone who has been affected by cancer, take a moment at dusk tonite to remember, to honor, to thank. We will be lighting candles for a silent lap at this time - one of the most moving times in the event.
As for me, I am slowly getting over the fear. I am strong, I am courageous, I am important to me and my loved ones, and I can - with my story - be an inspriation to someone else. I am no longer angry at it all. I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR.
For more information on Cancer, Cancer Research, or Relay for Life, go to the American Cancer Society website

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Swap Goodies Going Out

I am so excited about the swaps. I have mailed my books, my postcard and my ATC's.

The two set of ATCs really were a challenge for me. My first and I wasn't sure how to start. I tend to collect words phrases and quotes. So I wanted to reflect that in my work. I do hope the ladies who receive these are pleased.

The postcard was to illustrate something about me. As a longtime cancer survivor, I have struggled and fought back fear. I am finally arriving at the place of no fear. And after years of trying to force changes in my family and friends, have reached a place of acceptance of them, faults and all. I have "fired" any deadwood types and surrounded myself as much as possible with positive influences. Thus I AM - FREE OF STRUGGLE and FULL OF JOY.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!


Thanks M.A.A for my goodies. I love earrings and the little bird is adorable.

I love getting lots of little packages as well.

When I came home from Chicago I had lots of mail. So fun.

Also my swap partner included information on the AnySoldier organization. If you are are looking for a way to support our troops, this organization can help.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My Friend Robyn

Sent me these ATC from the swap.

Robyn - I tried to rate these on swap bot but apparently you are not still listed as my partner and I really want to thank you for these.

Robyn and I were partnered in one of my earliest swaps and have been partnered in several since.

This is one of the greatest rewards in swaps - when you find those that you would like to meet face to face and spend time with.

I know that a risk is there when you sign up in a swap, but so far I have been very lucky.

Robyn is a photographer and studying for graphic design. Good luck girl.

Bookmarks Galore

Thanks so much for the bookmarks ladies. And for the really nice notes that were with them.

April sent pressed flowers. Reminders that it really is spring.

Robin sent lino prints of Catholic/Christian images. They are beautiful.

I can't wait to use these.

I really enjoy the surprise of these packages.

Thanks to swap buddy Karla

This is her interpretation of the 1st Treasure Hunt Mystery Craft - Fun Fun Fun. I put the bunny case in my purse with pens in it. Karla - that may not be the actual use you intendedbut this works perfectly for me.

Thank you so much.


I got all these goodies from her for the souvenier swap. Candy, cards (my youngest daughter quickly claimed) post cards, and a really cute tray. Thank you so much. I have so far had really good luck with swaps. Packages like this make it even better.

Chicago - a wonderful place to visit, stroll, shop, eat and enjoy. The Artists Cafe right on Michigan Ave across from the fountain in the park. The food was incredible, the service was some of the best I've had and the atmosphere was that artsy boho attitide that I enjoy so much. The lofts upstairs are artists studios and galleries and the coffee menu is to die for. Worthy of a side trip.

CLOUD GATE (right photo) - As we approached I wasn't sure what I thought of this. The latest major art installation in Millenium Park requires close up study to appreciate. Polished stainless steel with mulitple reflective qualities, I was so impressed and spent quite a while taking photos and contemplating where I am in my art as well as in my life. By all means see this if you go.

There are many art viewing opportunities in this city. Every block has some sort of inspiration. The piece shown in the photo on the bottom stopped me in my tracks. Trying to forget was the title. And the description was ... letters from loved ones strewn about after the disaster. This was created from wire fencing, Old letters, fibers, etc. Although the artist was depicting Hiroshima - I could not help but think of Katrina devastation and how everyone must have disasters they would like to forget.

I don't have photos but Tender Buttons On the 900 block of north rush is worth a side trip too. More about this place and my money there in a later post.


I will have several posts for today. Staring with - WOW what a trip. There is so much to see at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. 50,000 people were there to see it too. So all day Friday and all day Saturday we were walking and meeting with vendors. Watch for the show stoppers on HGTV later in the year.

Enough about work. We stayed at Congress Plaza Hotel - NEVER AGAIN. This place was and expensive stay for a mediocre place. It is a historic building, but they are doing renovations everywhere leaving it dirty, uneven floors, almost war zone like. I work in the construction industry and this was not a well run renovation. I did get some photos of the stair railings which were interesting but that was the only part that was.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I visited Tattered Edge and was randomly tagged by being one of the first 5 to read her list. So Here goes.

Five Minutes to Yourself - craft of some sort. I always have something with me to work on. A few stitches at a time.

Five bucks to spend right now - how would you spend it? craft supplies. Oh but I have to save the money because I am participating in the Simple Sparrow USE WHAT YOU HAVE CHALLENGE FOR APRIL.

Five items in your house you could part with right now -
1. that pile of yard sale stuff out of the girls room
2. the piano - antique, requiring tons of work, we don't play. Free to a good home
you come get it.
3. Bar stools too high for the counter so we never sit there.
4. The junk drawer contents in the kitchen.
5. Why do I have a drawer full of pens that don't write.

Five items you absolutely positively could never parts with in your house.
1. The photos
2. The videos
3. My dad's neck tie
4. My grandmother's pearls
5. The cover bridge cross stitch pictures. (one of the few things I have done for ME.)

Five Words You Love
1. Love
2. Hope
3. Laugh
4. Mom
5. Grace

Tagging the first five readers of this post. If you have already been tagged just leave a comment and be excused.


I'm off to Chicago for my real job. Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. This is one of the shows that HGTV features. Everyone seem to think this is a fun trip, but walking miles through McKormick Place looking at bathtubs and toilets is no longer my idea of lots of fun. I have 26 vendor meetings scheduled and after hours activities as well. Does that sound like fun? I will say that I get to see some beautiful kitchen and bath products.

Hilary from Wee Wonderfuls has been a wonderful source of information for me. I am planning at least a few hours of shopping on Thursday afternoon before all the work activity starts. She asked for referrals for places on her blog and I got a ton of info. Tender Buttons and Discount Fabrics for sure. Paper Source if I have time. I also am going to try and see some of the art installations around town.

Will check back in on Monday when my life gets back to normal.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


This should probably be a top 10 list of addictions to hobby supplies

1. Fabric - especially toile and quilting cottons. We have access to a wholesale fabric warehouse once a month and mom and I make pretty regular trips to feed this fetish.
2. Paper - wrapping paper, tissue paper, scrapbook paper, anything paper.
3. Trims - lace, ribbons, medallions,
4. Buttons and beads.
5. Specialty yarns
6. Floss and evenweave fabrics. Love the over dyes and other specialty threads.
7. Paints, brushes, glitters.
8. Glue - I have multiples of many bottles, sticks and guns.
9. My sizzix die cutter and my xyron sticker creator. So much fun.
10. My printer. Especially for creating memory books. Will describe a favorite method in a futer post.

I have tons of other stash. This use what you have thing has caused me to really dig and start organizing all this. I really never faced how much money I have invested in my hobbies.

Of course, I am the save the day mom when it comes to school projects. Kids can come to my house and work, and I know what my girls are doing. Win -Win situation for me.

I'm in for May in the USE WHAT YOU HAVE challenge.

Have a wonderful day!!

Moments of Gratitude

1. A walk with a friend who is very supportive of me .

2. Having a special place to share with a special friend.

3. Two beautiful girls who are growing into very loving and special young ladies.

4. I am a cancer survivor.

5. I have been blessed in my life to have experiences that I can learn from.

Because of You - I know I am loved
Because of You - I know I am strong
Because of You - I have hope for the future
Because of You - I can face anything life throws at me

The photo is from our church's Family Life Center. The winter sunset is absolutley gorgeous.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My swap friend Karen received this surprise from me. This was my creation from the Treasure Hunt Mystery Craft Challenge . Karen is hosting a second swap of this type and I was immediately in. You can join too - just click on the link.

I am participating in the Use What You Have Challenge for the month of April and all of the materials for this piece were on hand at my house.

Seems I have way too much stash. I need to use what I have every other month this year. I tend to collect not only stash - but ideas as well. I have tons of clippings, patterns. sketches, etc. Any other junkies out there.

A few notes about Karen's piece. The challenge items were
1. a piece of felt
2. ribbon
3. yarn
4. flower
5. paper
6. words/fonts
7. staple
8. something purple
9. ribbon
10. something dug out of your purse.

I used the felt for the heart and couched the specialty yarn around the heart. The flower motif was from some trim I have had for a while. Ribbon and vintage buttons are sewn together with purple floss. Wall paper samples were used for the backing. I stapled the quote onto the backing and mounted everything into a cd case that I had stuck into my purse pocket.

I do hope Karen enjoys this.
my first post - testing - seems like this is flaky at best.