Wednesday, July 28, 2010

C * E * L * E * B * R * A * T * E

Remodeling at work - two trips to softball games out of town - remodeling at home.......getting college girl ready to send her off - softball princess ready for back to school. Getting me ready for the first follow up rounds of medical testing post cancer surgery. crazy times.

Therefore, I may not get back here this week, so I am posting this today. MaryAnn and I are destashing. Working on personal reasons for hoarding stuff. We have a monthly challenge going on with one another. I picked the word for JULY and since it is the month for my birthday I picked CELEBRATE as our word.

Self imposed rules - no purchase allowed. We don't send these to each other - got plenty of stash of our own. We can keep what we make - give it away - sell it - trash it. The idea is to use stuff up. Yes - EVEN THE GOOD STUFF. I am even using this to accomplish things off my WIP - UFO - and wish lists. Word begins on first of month and should be represented by end of month.

Funny the accountibility of a challenge keeps me much better focused.

Here is my CELEBRATE Project.

Hanging on the side of my big barn. Yay - my shadow has a waistline and it goes the "right" direction.

I love the rough siding of the barn.

Detail shots.....

January - frosty snowman - look carefully and you can see the January in sparkly embroidery.

February - I used some red buttons that I only had one of - yes!!!! The month name is sealed in the little red ribbon at the top right corner.

March - the gold flowers on the string are all used up now. I crocheted the clover and had it in my stash.

April - April Fools Day. Every thing in the illustration was the only one like it in my stash. Sparkly purple felt. The letters are dimensional magic on flats - I glued a snap on the back and then sewed the match to the felt.

May - Memorial Day - the little plastic soldier in the middle is my favorite detail here.

June - Beach Month - Lighthouse stamped on muslin - think this may be my favorite of all of them.

Seashell Detail from june. All shells we gathered. Pearl beads.

July - Independence Day. The firework in the middle is made from curled up metallic pipe cleaners.

August - no major holiday - so this represents friendship - all of the buttons on the heart were in gifties - yes I am that bad, I have a jar where I put gifted buttons from people. I simply dumped the jar and started sewing.

September - Back to School - Although we do that in August. Ticket stubs are from various ballgames we have attended. No telling how long I have stashed that ruler in the drawer.

October - Boooooooooooo.

November - each leaf is stamped with the word "thankful"

December - Love the little packages from some confetti and the Santa beneath the tree. It had some confetti candy canes, but my adhesive didn't cooperate - so I ditched them.
There you go - my Celebrate Banner - mixed media - fun -
Thank you MaryAnn for playing along with me.
Oh and she picked the word for August ---- her word ------ CHANGE. Project one for me, I'll be "changing" a ceiling fan in the softball princess room from white and polished brass to either silver and black or black and white. Update next week.
Challenge yourself --- it is a growing experience.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

just busy......

I didn't die.

I didn't run away.

I am just living life wide open.

be back soon.

much love

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Kinda hard to get here today. There are entities trying to be between me and my HAPPILY TODAY. Like financial aid, the Department of Education Student Loan people, and insurance. Yes all that and a bad attitude open displayed in my building (not me, someone else). Trying to take it away.

Oh well - I promised a reveal of my birthday giftie. I got this from the man for my day last week.

A CRICUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Big Lots had them on sale and I was arguing with myself about it. It was a want, not a need. He bought it for me.

I immediately went into learn this baby mode. Using blank patterned note cards from the college girl, I added the word and then made these.

Cute thank you notes.

Basic shapes and a font are in the package. Going to be fun. I also used a gift card to buy another cartridge. More on that to come.

OKAY!!!! get ready ladies. The next reveal is simply breathtaking. Yesterday, my friend, flea market Fred, came by. He had bought something over the weekend with me in mind. (Nothing like having your own professional picker) He was willing to let me have it for 5.00. Yup, five whole dollars.
So out to his vehicle we go.

It a box - a metal box - those who know me are fully aware of my "thing" for boxes. Yes siree, I'll give you 5.00 for a cool metal box.

Then he opened it. There was intake of breath and hyperventilating.

Look --- just look what I scored for FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS......

A vintage sign set in a cool metal box.
So I blew off the spending freeze and gave him his FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS.

See that happily today at the top. I did it just for this post.

Not planning on using this in art to sell. This will be mine to play with. Combined with scrabble tiles. I'll be adding words to my tree at Christmas. Various other fun things for me. Gonna be possessive about these. They rank up there with my good kitchen knife and cutting board.

Yes - it is okay if you are jealous.

No - I will not reveal the full identity of flea market fred.

I hope your happily today is easier to find than mine has been.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Didn't mean to disappear.......

Poca Dog loves being out on her run. She is between two barns here. She can run and dig to her hearts content. She has dugg herself a cool spot under the barn on each end. Loves it. But she also loves her time inside with us in the AC too. Our yard is not fenced and she tends to run cars at the road - so a run and long lead were in order. The man put it together in a way that makes it vitually impossible to tangle herself. Plus she has sun, shade, and shelter.

Now for some weekend peeks.

Many many years ago - I hand painted this border for two little girls in their shared bedroom. It is a big room. 17 by 15. Took forever.

Oops. Cart before horse. Pretend you didn't see this.

Then College Girl got this doll that looked just like her. I made the doll this cute little swinging wreath display.

Well Softball Princess no longer shares this room with College Girl all the time, so a redo was in order. Kinda has been for a long time, but this weekend the stars aligned and there was music and a fairy godmother....
Wait wrong story.

We cleaned out the cute little closet area. See that big st Bernard. It was mine. His name is Henry. He is old. But my girls wallowed all over him when they were small. The tigger was a six flags prize from when Abby was a toddler. She beat out her big sister playing basketball to win him. Mom had to drag him around all day.

Dad worked in swim trunks and no shirt all weekend. I know TMI, but I thought I would explain.
Softball Princess worked hard - best spackling job I have seen. She is patient unlike me.

In addition to paint, there was flooring. Long ago, we put down cheap vinyl flooring. This old house sucked up much more time, energy, and money than we planned. Then we had children and their activities. Now it is time to get my house and life in order. Soul searching - posts ahead. Maybe a result of that "suprise you have kidney cancer side trip".

She painted. She put down floor tiles. Money is still tight. Hardwood would be awesome, but not now.

These are better quality floor tiles. But still a DIY project. She and I crawled on the floor and put this down. Working by moving all the crap around the room. No - hell no - this was not fun.
But it looks good.

The walls are a glidden color called Indigo Night. With Ultra White at chair rail and below. There will be plain white curtains at the closet builtins -- Old houses never had closets. Dad built these and they have worked out nicely.

I promise a full room reveal when we get a little further along.
Have a great Monday.
PS - wait til you see what I got for my birthday. AND WHAT CAUSED ME TO HYPERVENTILATE AND SPEND MONEY. Tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet Jennifer G.

Ok. Jennifer Grenko is my friend. We were table mates at my first art event. She is smart and funny and beautiful and all that. Now she has added another decription to her title --- blogger.

Jen's new place is here. Go do what we bloggers do, please welcome her with open arms.

I dreamed about bootcamp last night. Thinking that might be my sign that its time to get back on track with my eating and exercise again. More on that to come.
More pictures from Sunday. I loved working with Lane. She was spontaneous and always watching for those shots that caught "abby" at her real self.

The one below is a favorite - there are several "hair shots". I want to scrapbook those all on one layout.

Brick wall - soft pretty girl --- mama likes this one too.

Oh so relaxed looking. This one may go to the coach for her end of season cd that he puts together. The seniors get extra stuff in the cd.

Lane travels too. If you would like her information just comment here or email me. Such a great experience, we are going to have college girl do a session too.

Yesterday was my 45 birthday. Today is my neices birthday. Lots of "crabby" folks in my circle of friends.

I have a beautiful life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Senior Pictures

I have known Lane for a long time. Lane's Photography - look for her on facebook. Our kids played ball together at the rec department many years ago.

She is doing more and more photography and I asked her to do Softball Princess' senior casual pictures. We met yesterday at the softball field (abby's second home). Some 300 shots later - three locations in the county - and 5 outfit changes - we finished.

Lane did some preliminary editing and posted a preview for me last night. Here are my favorites so far.

She's 17.
All grown up. Am I biased or she stunning? Picture above at Watson Mill Bridge State Park.

She even wore a dress for several shots. (Picture above at MCHS softball field)

I can see her getting ready to move on to the next phase of her life. (Picture above at Watson Mill Bridge State Park)

All full of excitement and enthusiasm for whatever that next stage is. (photo above at MCHS softball field.)

Ready for moving on down where the road ahead leads (photo above at Watson Mill Bridge State Park) ***** this is my favorite so far ******

Why am I sure that empty nest might just feel like being hit by that oncoming train? (photo above on the tracks at Colbert Depot) Love the dress pattern reflected but distorted in the polished top of the rail.

Okay - I'm her mom, so I am quite bound to be excited about these. But of the ones posted, do you guys have a favorite one?

I will tell you that working with Lane was relaxed and easy. She is all about some spontaneous shots but she did do a few poses and backdrops that I asked for. Turns out my favorite is one of the spontaneous ones. We were walking up to the covered bridge at the park and she turned to Abby and said "sit down - right there on the yellow line". BING - beautiful picture.

Yes, it was nearly a hundred degrees, but she loves that jeans and long sleeve shirt enough to endure the heat for the pictures. She also wore her letter jacket for some shots. There were many references to "man sweat".

Thank you Lane for a wonderful experience. I can't wait to see the rest.

My name is mom and my life is beautiful.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy Birthday

Blogger will not upload any pictures right now.

My softball princess is 17 today.

Happy Birthday - Abby Victoria

Love Mom and Dad

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Soldier comes home.

July is Celebration month. Finding little things to celebrate each day is really fun. Today's thing is not so little.

Sgt. Kevin Lucas is home. Kevin is married to my beautiful niece Brooke. I blatantly stole this picture from her facebook. So today I am celebrating a soldier's safe return. Also celebrating all of our military personnel and their service to our country. Also recognizing the sacrifice the entire family makes when a soldier is deployed. Welcome home Kevin.

MaggieGrace goodies - well glimpses of them.

MaryAnn and I are working on a word collaboration. I chose Celebrate as our word for the month of July. I am making a banner with a tab for each month. Here is a glimpse of the June layout. I am planning all of them, then will pack a travel kit to do the handwork and attachments. The Letters are cut from an old day planner and I adhered them to the shells with matte ModPodge.

Last night I needed time in the studio for many reasons. A friend is having a stressful time at work. Another is struggling with finances (who isn't). Softball Princess and Barefoot boy were visiting in the house and I was giving them a little space. Plus, sometimes I just need mental health time. I gathered some recycled things, some thrifted things, and started a project just for me.

I have just started the whole coupon thing. In looking at the tracking on coupons, bonus cards, rebates, etc, for the first six months, I discovered that I have saved approximately 1000.00. Worth making myself a coupon organizer, I think, that looks like my kind of organizer. I have been using a cheap purse sized photo album.

Little flat pieces of coverstock weight cardboard. (I save these out of our forms boxes at work. Molly does too at her on campus job.) Two bristol board weight pieces of cardboard from somewhere. Punch holes using my crop-o-dile (love that tool). I took my organizer and made tabs from the scrap paper box. Library pockets (I got a whole box of these somewhere). Stamps and embossing powder. Then black and white pictures that I cut out of a book from the thrift store. I love the pictures, but I have hoarding issues, so I had not cut into this book. I thought about this last night, I will now see these pictures several times each week, instead of when I occasionally remember to look at the book. Now, this book was already missing pages so it was not heart wrenching to destroy it.

Those items form the basis of each page. Not glued yet, that will be tonight's fun and games. Each page will have a place for notes on the back. Things like website log in information for normal products purchased - random things I forget (Molly likes the cereal with the almonds, not the cashews) etc. I'll post the finished product when I finish.

I know it is a lot of work to put this together when I could just buy a binder and some trading card pages, but this is just my kind of thing. Isn't living happily today, and surrounding yourself with things that add to that, worth the extra effort?

This last picture is one of my stamp secrets. These are big stamps. I looked at the clear acrylic stamp mounting blocks and decided NOT to spend the money. These are the "clingy" stamps so I store them in their original package and then use a CD case as a mounting block. I got these cases all over the place. Free mounting block. For smaller stamps I often use the lid off the stamp pad as my block. I also have several clear plastic boxes that I have saved for this purpose. I can set up an entire 8-1/2 x 11 page with a clear candy box that a gift came in.

Here's to finding small things to celebrate everyday. The "surprise you have kidney cancer" road detour has brought me through a very scenic byway. There have been blessings and gifts that I would have never had (or really appreciated) without the slow down and detour.

I have a quote written down from somewhere - Everything changes when you change. So very right. I am not the same as I was 3 months ago. I am more blessed and things are more beautiful.

Living happily today. I have a beautiful life.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

MaggieGrace created......

I got a little studio time in over the long weekend. By a little, I do mean a little. However, I did make about 8 rows of progress on the stripey blanket. Dang, am I ever gonna finish that one?

I have these tiny little bottles. I added them to the stash at some point. Last year I made one or two pendant charms from them. I decided that despite the adrenal fatigue that is driving me nuts, this was something I could accomplish.

I added a tiny bead detail to the corks. Just a touch more "oomph".

This one has glass glitter and the word "love". It has a tiny pink bead at the top.

Crystal bead on a flat bulb bottle. "Love" snipped from a damaged hymnal that I thrifted. I adore the bright blue glitter.

Again - words snipped from a thrifted book. This has black volcanic sand in it and a pearl detail.

Tiny green bead and another word. The green is a Martha Stewart glitter. Gotta find some more of this - it is obviously my favorite glitter and I only have a tiny bit left.

I pix messaged these last night to MaryAnn and she had the idea to do these with a tiny bit of sand and a curled up "message in a bottle. That's tonight's project.

Feedback please.

I have a beautiful life. You bless me.