Thursday, February 25, 2010

Busy Blog Hopping

How difficult it is to write on my own blog when I am so busy looking at all the other wonderful blogs out there.

I think that I shall soon have to make a list of them to share. 

But not until after my JMSM project #9 is done.  I refuse to be late on it this time.

I hope it's as cute as I think it will be.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yay, I Did It!!!

(JMSM #8 - Just look at my lovely new header)

Oh my goodness, that was painful, but I finally did it!!

Several hours of my life used in the relentless pursuit of success!

I like the way it turned out.  I'd better.

I think it may be awhile before I try that again.  There's got to be a better way.

If you'd like to know how I did it here's the link.  It still took me some time to figure out, but I'm just a little challenged like that.

The only thing I'm not totally crazy about is the size of the header and the color of the background.
I can live with both.  I tried several different background colors, but white seemed to work the best.

What do you think?

( it really 2 am?)

Monday, February 22, 2010

May I Vent?

Good grief!!!  I have just spent far too many hours trying to create a header for my blog.

I really want this to be a happy place, but right now I am not very happy.

I thought it would be much easier.

I created something that will be satisfactory for awhile, but I CAN NOT figure out how to get it where I want it.

It's just ignorance really.  I'm sure there is an easier way to do it, I just don't know what it is.

I so wanted to get this done today.  It was my JMSM project.  This will be the third week in a row. 

Well, I'm off to find my happy place.....while I do the bills.

Maybe I'll find a happy place tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For the Hubster

The Official Just Make Something Monday #7 (on Wednesday)

Almost 23 years ago I married my best friend.  I love him now more than ever.

  At the time we were very young (only 19) with limited money so we honeymooned at the local beach.  It was still lots of fun for us because we had only moved to Florida from Texas 7 days earlier.  During our honeymoon we collected quite a few shells and we purchased the one in the frame above at a shell shop.  I loved how it consisted of two pieces that fit so perfectly together.  I thought it was the perfect representation of the  commitment that we had just made.  And we did, and still do, fit so perfectly together.

So, for almost 23 years this little shell has been sitting in a box waiting for the day when I would finally get around to doing something with it.  Over time it has held up very well and only has a few small chips to mar its surface.  I'm happy to say that our marriage has also managed to make it to today with only a few tiny rough spots itself.  Now our little shell has found a permanent home.  A place to be displayed where we can see it often and be reminded of the wonderful beginning of the love we are still living.  It makes me happy to see it. 

I've wanted to stitch on paper for a while and I thought it would be a nice understated way to add depth to the finished product without taking away from the shell and the quote.  I think I was a bit hesitant to add too much and mess it up, but I'm learning.  I think it still needs something, but I couldn't decide what.  Hopefully, I will stretch a bit more with my next project.  I hope you can tell that the shell is supposed to be under water and it's surrounded by seaweed and bubbles. 

I was inspired by Rebecca Sower's style and wanted to add lots of dimension and texture.  I started with a nice colored piece of scrapbook paper, sewed on it with the sewing machine, and handstitched the beads on.

  I hand stamped the quote on a piece of muslin.  I wanted to add color to the white fibers I used for seaweed so I used watercolors and dried them with a heat gun.  I wasn't sure it would work, but I like it.  I added some plain white ones to break up the monotony of the blue.  I had wondered how I was going to attach the heart and in the end I just hot glued it on. 
The frame was what actually kept me from posting this on Monday.  It is a Martha Stewart frame that started its life in black satin fabric.  I wanted it to look like driftwood so I painted on two coats of gesso.  Once that was dry I painted it with tan paint and followed that with brown that I painted on then wiped off with a paper towel.  Voila, driftwood.  Or at least something that resembles it close enough for me.

(dark color before completely wiped off on bottom portion)

(after wiping off)

I'm giving it to my love when he gets home late this evening.  I know the shell means more to me than it does to him, but I also know that he loves it when I take time to celebrate our love.  He'll give me that smile that he has whenever something I do makes him feel special.  That smile that makes me feel special too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hello Card

Well, this is not what I intended to post today.  For one thing I'm supposed to make something  new every week to post on Monday, but alas I cannot today.  I'm learning you can't make something for Monday by starting it on Sunday.  Who'd-a-thunk!  Especially if it involves paint, sewing, stamping and other stuff.  I'm trying something new, (Oooh, I do love trying new things) but it won't be done until Wednesday.  Barring, of course, any unforseen hurricanes and since I have three children and live in never knows.  To make it up to you (that is if there are any of you) I'm going to post a card I made not too long ago.  Then I'll post my project on Wednesday and I'll try to do it earlier in the day.  I don't like to make people wait.  Even if they might just be imaginary people in my head.

I think it's cute.  My inspiration was my desire to use some $1 stickers I bought at Target a while back.  It's hard to see in the picture, but they have sparkly dots on them.  I love like, a whole lot, (had to change that for my father-in-law since he's so fond of reminding us that one can only love people, not things) (Love yah, Dad!) the dollar bins at Target.  There's always something fun to play with there.

By-the-way, yesterday's Stuffed French Toast was amazing!!!  Everyone loved it.  You must try!

Ugh!  My photos are so unfabulous.  I'm working on it though.  I simply can't embarass my amazingly talented photographer sister with these sub-par photos.  She deserves better. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Heart Day Everyone

Looking forward to a lazy day just hanging out with my family.
Anxious to spoil them with Raspberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast, from here, for breakfast,
Spicy Alaskan Cod with asparagus for dinner and
Crock Pot Chocolate Cake, from here, for dessert.

Well, maybe I'm spoiling myself too.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baby's First Year Album

Tah-dah!  Just Make Something Monday #6

Whew!  This was a lot of work.  Looking at the finished product I think it looks deceptively simple and easy, but no.

All that really matters is whether or not my neighbor likes it. 

As soon as Doris told me she was pregnant I knew I wanted to do something special for her.  You see, this baby was a long time in coming.  Her husband and I share a birthday month and we are the same age year-wise.  I remember very well the year we turned 35.  He had previously told me that he didn't want to have any children if they didn't have them by the time he was 35.  I disagreed, but kept quiet.  I was turning 35 that year too and I knew I didn't want to get pregnant then because the risks increase for women.  Doris was younger though and I knew she wanted a baby. 

The year we turned 35 Doris' husband bought her a new car.  Nice, but not a baby. 

I found out that I was going to have a baby in April the following year (a precious gift that we could not imagine being without).

Late last year I saw her in one of those shirts that makes you wonder if someone is pregnant or is it just the shirt.  I took a chance and YES she was.  My kids and I were so excited.  I even called the hub to tell him and he was excited too.  We had already planned to have them over if we needed to do our own little shower since we weren't sure they'd include me in any shower guest lists.  We've lived next door for almost ten years now, but we haven't socialized much due to the different lifestyle that comes with three kiddos and the constantly messy home that comes with them.  I was thrilled  to receive an invitation to her shower.  I hope my gift is just the right thing to help us beome closer and not let the next ten years be as pleasantly distant as the previous ones have been.   Either the gift will bring us closer or the 12 year old daughter I have that is anxious to babysit will.

By the way, Doris' husband, Scott, and I turn 42 this year.  God's timing is always perfect.  Seven years.  Interesting.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Okay, so I'm not done, but I'm so close.  I could show the layouts that I've done so far, but I think it would be much nicer to see it all together. 



I mean it.

I started this blog for fun, family, friends and accountability (that's why I mean it above).  I decided to make something once a week as a challenge to see if I really do like making stuff or if I just think I would like to.  I have a friend who once told me that I just like the idea of scrapbooking more than the actual scrapbooking.  That is somewhat true.  I love the products available.  The stickers, paper and other embellishments are like candy to my eyes.  I can't help but collect them whenever something inspires me.  With money being tight now it's gotten much easier to resist temptation, but I still see a lot of beautiful things.   Fortunately, I like to make a wide variety of things and all my goodies can be used in a variety of crafty endeavors.  So... back to my friends comment, I wanted to find out if what she said was true and test myself this year.  Do I like making things or do I just like collecting?  And I wanted to see if I think I have any talent.  Am I good at what I do?  Do others like it?  Should I have not let Rose's talent deter me from working on my own all these years? 

Finally, even if no one else particularly admires what I make, do I still want to create things for my own pleasure?
My first-child, perfectionist tendencies tell me probably not, but that's what Just Make Something Mondays are all about helping me discover. 

[Here's a shout-out to the one person whom I know will read this, my sweet sister Kymberly.  Thanks, it really means a lot to me.]
I'll have to tell you about her later.  She's pretty awesome.

I'm Working on It

Please come back later to see the Just Make Something Monday project.  It really is a project.  I have been working for the past several days (because I'm really slow...and I'm a perfectionist...a deadly combination) on a scrapbook as a gift for my neighbor who will be having a baby soon. 

Lots and lots of cutting out letters for every page. 

I WILL (that's not me yelling, it's me talking to myself with authority) finish and post the whole album today.

I'm just not sure how late it will be because I'm also taking my daughter to an orthopedic specialist to see what's going on with her ACL.  It may have a tear and she may also have a fracture of the tibia.  Fun.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hand-Cut Silhouettes

Just Make Something Monday #5

Whew!  I was worried I wouldn't get these finished in time for my JMSM. 
When my nieces were here at Christmas time I took profile pictures of them as a part of my plan to make silhouettes for their parents for Valentine's Day.  I think they turned out rather good.  I tried to do them in Photoshop with a lasso tool, but I didn't have enough time to figure out how to do it that way.  I may try again in the future.  Instead I re-sized my photos and printed them onto a heavier paper to use as a template.  After I cut the girls out I traced the cut-out design onto black paper with a white pencil and cut that out.  I haven't gotten frames for them yet so the edges of the silhouettes are a bit fuzzy where they aren't flat on the white paper.  I had intended to use 5x7 frames, but I think I may have to go with oval frames since the ponytail on my youngest niece pokes out pretty far.  All-in-all I'm happy.  It was a quick project with great results.

These are the photos I used for the silhouettes:

I suppose I could have made things easier by having them pose in front of a solid wall, but I was trying to be inconspicuous.  Nevertheless, I know my brother and sister-in-law will pleased.  Valentine's Day can't get here fast enough.