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.

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