Friday, December 31, 2010


I've chosen my one little word for the new year: grace: thoughtfulness toward others; goodwill; seemingly effortless charm of movement.  Firstly, those who know me well know that I don't come by physical grace naturally.  It's an effort and one I intend to continue working toward with my yoga practice.  I'm working on a new project for 2011 called Hearts of Orange, Crafting for the Common Good.   It's a year long effort of crafting for others that starts tomorrow.  

Have you chosen a word for 2011, yet?  I've found that my word takes on new dimension as the year rolls on and brings new things into my life I hadn't expected.  I can't wait to see what grace brings in 2011.  Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thank you for all the wonderful anniversary wishes.  It was an amazing beautiful getaway.  We spent time in the Denver/Boulder area of Colorado.  The last time we were there was on a cross country trip before we had our son, so about 16 years ago.  It was just as lovely as we remembered and we even ate at the same microbrewery that we hit the last time we were in Boulder.  So many fond memories of that trip flooded back.  We created lots of new memories and it definitely won't be our last trip there.  We already have a list of things we'd like to do and see.  A long weekend just wasn't enough time.

Sorry to have been away from the blog for so long.  We got home from the trip and it was Thanksgiving and then all of the Christmas preparation began.  Such a busy and fun time of year.  We are so thankful that everyone is healthy and happy for the holidays.  Looking forward to lots of yummy cookies and laughter.  I  hope you have a beautiful holiday season.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Twenty years ago today I married my best friend.  He's still my best friend and I can't wait to see what wonderful new adventures the next twenty years bring.  We're getting on a plane in the morning to run away for a few days of quiet celebration.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy 49th Anniversary Mom and Dad.  Hugs and Kisses and wishes for many more!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I've been busy working and playing.  I went to a sewing weekend with my mom, aunt, and cousin last weekend.  We giggled and sewed and ate and visited for two days.  Then when we came home, my cousin stayed with me for two nights and we crafted and giggled and visited and ate some more.  I don't know that we accomplished tons, but we had lots of girl time fun.  I spend so much time on the computer lately, that I haven't crafted much.  It was wonderful to just play and get messy and create.  Then, yesterday I went to a scrapbook expo with a couple of my stamping friends and played all day looking at all the goodies and make and takes.  We even stopped at In and Out Burger for lunch.  What a treat!  Hubby and I went to see the movie Red (funny with action, good date movie) this afternoon while the kiddo went to a Halloween party dressed in a toga.  I'm afraid he's already looking ahead to fraternity parties.  Curtis is happy about that, hoping for a legacy :)

I made this little card as a thank you for the Fiskateers who took on a blind color challenge last week.  Take a peek at this video if you'd like to see the amazing things they created.  

Thank You Card Supplies Used:  Cupcake Squeeze Punch, Paper Crimper, In Stitches Border Punch, Postage Stamp Border Punch, Latte Love Stamps, Swirls of Fun Stamps, Colorbok Paper, Ranger Distress Ink, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder and Die Cut Awareness Ribbon, orange tulle, cardstock.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I made a huge mess making this little boo cameo pin to wear on our Halloween Disney trip.  I can hardly wait for all the spooky disney fun! You can enter to win the punch I used to make the bat by sharing a Halloween memory or tradition on the Fiskateer blog.  

Supplies used: Fiskars batty for you squeeze punch; Fiskars cameo appearance squeeze punch; Fiskars grass border punch; Fiskars paper crimper; Graphic 45 papers; Tombow markers; Ranger stickles; Judikins glass beads; fabric trim scraps; pinback.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I've been busy tearing up old wool sweaters to make new flowers this week.  Since it's October,  I want to share a pink one with you today.  It's the month to remember those touched by breast cancer.  I actually find myself thinking of those touched by any type of cancer, not just breast cancer.  Touched isn't the correct word, body slammed is more like it.  

I'm a melanoma survivor.  It's been seven years since I first heard that dreaded malignant word.  Honestly, it's taken me this long to be able to write about it.  I can't begin to describe the range of emotions attached to such a diagnosis.  I'm one of the very lucky ones.  I noticed this little mole on my knee change shape over the course of a two week long car trip.  I was sitting there in the passenger seat for long stretches of time and noticed what used to be a light colored circular mole had turned into a little heart shaped mole.  I actually thought it was kind of cute at first.  Then it developed a third little round up between the two halves of the heart shape.  It was definitely asymmetrical, but had none of the other warning signs of skin cancer.  The speed with which it changed scared me.  When we got home from our vacation I called to schedule an appointment with the dermatologist.

He honestly didn't think it was anything.  He actually showed me photos of what to look for, what skin cancer is supposed to look like.  I told him I didn't care, that I wanted it removed.  It worried me.  I really think he removed it to humor me.  In just a few days time I got a phone call from a surgeon's office asking to schedule me for surgery to remove a malignant melanoma.  That's how I found out.  My doctor was on vacation and the doc on call didn't follow up.  It was such a body slam.  I had no idea what to expect.  

It was a very long weekend of researching what I could online.  My biggest fear was not being here to raise my son.  He was only in 3rd grade at the time, just a little guy.  The statistics for melanoma are quite frightening.  It's in the handful of types of cancer you never want to have.  You can't get rid of your skin; it's everywhere.  The phrase "comfortable in her own skin" no longer applied to me.  

My mom drove me in for the surgery day.  It was an outpatient surgery and I was awake for the whole thing.  They gave me a local anesthetic and did a wide excision to remove all the tissue around the area.  The goal is clean margins.  I referred to it as my knee lift.  That knee used to be a little thinner than the other one.  They look about the same now.  That was my whole treatment plan because the melanoma was in situ, which means it was on top and hadn't grown large enough to have a stage or put me at big risk of it going other places in the body.  I lived for a long time in fear that they missed one little cell.  Rational or not, that scared me silly.  

I am forever tied to my dermatologist.  We get together twice a year, I take off my clothes and he inspects me from head to toe.  I'm a bit of a patchwork of small scars where he's removed other suspicious looking moles over the years.  We talk about our family vacations, music, our kids, etc.  His nurse and I share stories about our hair color which has changed over the years for both of us.  Once a year I also get to have blood drawn and go to the room with all the disney posters so the radiologist can take a photo of my lungs.  I just did all of this last week again.  I also had a mammogram on the same day.  

I'm walking proof that early detection is the key to surviving.  You also have to be your own advocate.  If something isn't right with your body, keep talking until somebody listens to you.  If I hadn't insisted, I may not be here today to share my story.  I'm very lucky indeed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and took the time to leave a comment on the orange blog hop post.  So sorry I didn't get back sooner to announce the RAK winner.  I've been sick the past week with bronchitis which is no fun at all.  I'm feeling much better now, though.  The winner of the stamp set is Laura Bray.  Shoot me an email with your mailing address when you get a moment, Laura.

I just finished a new video tutorial using some of my fave fiska-tools.  Click on the video to view full screen.

I hope you'll find time to make a few fall cards.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome to the Orange Blog Hop.  If you happened by not knowing about the hop, we're having a Fiskateer hop today celebrating all things orange a la the orange handled scissors I love so much.  If you aren't yet a Fiskateer, I hope you'll consider joining in.  All you need to do to get started is send me an email at and let me know about your craft interests.

I had loads of fun playing around with my new favorite Fiskars punches and stamp set to come up with this orange tag for you.  It's a bit on the yellow side of orange, but it does look more orange in real life.  I used some of my old favorites here, too.  The base is an Avery tag covered with sewing pattern paper.  It's pretty delicate, so a glue stick on the tag is about all it takes.  I wrinkled up the pattern paper first for texture and then used a brayer after I got it glued down to get it to stick good and get out the air bubbles.  I then stamped over the paper using Versafine Ink and the stamp set called For the Birds.  The border punch is called In Stitches.  The flowers are by Hero Arts with a sewing snap through the middle.  I painted Radiant Pearls over the top of the tag and on the top flower.  The sentiment is stamped onto a scrap with the same Versafine ink and then punched out with a new squeeze punch called Postage Stamp.  That's a piece of old measuring tape tied up on the top.

I have an extra set of the For the Birds stamps to give away to one lucky hopper who leaves a comment here.  Be sure you sign in with enough info so I can find you after the hop if you win.  Next stop on the hop: Kate Blue #4529

Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CHA photobooth silliness

I can't believe it's September already. I'm two months into my Lead Fiskateer gig and I think I have my sea legs back now. It's been a wild ride so far and I'm loving every minute of it. It seems like summer just flew by in a flash this year. Kyle is back in school as a sophomore with a very heavy load of classes. He seems happy with his classes and is studying every night already. That's a good sign. He comes home speaking french to me every day and I love that. It's been a long time since my high school french class, but it's coming back quickly. Maybe we'll have to take a trip to France or Quebec next year and try out our skills. I'm enjoying my weekly yoga classes and spending way too much time on the computer lately. I have plans of making a new video tutorial soon, hopefully this weekend. I'm carving out a little time to read The Help, and I'm loving it so far.  Curtis and I have weekend travel plans for later this fall to celebrate our 20th anniversary. It feels like we just got married yesterday.  I hope you're having a good start to your fall season.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm off to the windy city.  If you'll be at CHA this week, stop by to see me at one of the many places I'll be hanging out.  You can't miss me, I'll be one of the crazy girls dressed in orange from head to toe.  Here's a link to my schedule.  I'm so excited about this trip.  I hardly slept at all.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I love the giant slide.  We took a break yesterday and ran away to the fair.  The weather cooled off just enough to make it a beautiful day out.  The baby pigs were born yesterday morning, so we got to see them on their birth day.  They were adorable and a bit wobbly in the legs.  I had to go back later to check on them because the little runts weren't getting food and I worried about those little cuties.  The volunteer  assured me she takes them home to bottle feed at night until they can get in there with the others.  I feel much better about those sweet little piglets.  So, about the food.  I had a giant cinnamon roll that was just as good as it was when I was a kid.  We also ate hot dogs at Pinks.  It's a hollywood landmark and they have a mini Pinks at the fair.  The best ever hotdogs.  We bought things we didn't need at the vendor market.  We oohed and aahed at all the amazing artwork and quilts and flowers and quirky collections that people submitted.  We marveled at the abundant garden displays.  We enjoyed all the FHA animals with the kids who raised them lounging in the pens with their charges.  Kyle and his friend ate every disgusting deep fried thing they could find and rode all the crazy rides.  We finished the day at the Train concert which rocked my world.  They were so engaged with the audience and the music was top notch.    It was a great day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I came home from my amazing vacation to a package from Fiskars. It's the new Everywhere Window Punch System. I tried punching everything in the house with it while I came up with a new video tutorial for you. I'm happy to report that it punches through cardstock, patterned paper, shipping tags, and those thin metal sheets used for papercrafting. It's shipping, but I can't find it online anywhere except as a pre-order.  A little bird told me that it can be found in some Joanne's stores. Here's the youtube video:

Thanks for watching. Now, I really do need to pack my bags. I leave before the sun comes up tomorrow morning for a visit to Fiskars headquarters for a planning and training extravaganza with my co-fiskateer leads. I'm going to try hard not to make a fool of myself, but I'm sure the excitement of it all will find me jumping for joy and giggling like a crazed fan of the orange handled scissors.  I'm now blogging in two places, so if you don't see me around and wonder what the heck I'm up to, you can also find me at the Fiskateers Blog here.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The finale.  We drove up into Oregon and stayed in Medford for the night.  The next morning we drove into Ashland which is a place we've dreamed about for 15 years now.  I must digress to tell you that my husband was offered a job there and we almost took it, but decided to stay where we are.  I never regretted our decision, and then we drove into Ashland.  Oh my goodness, what a pretty little town.  It started with a stop at a groovy little coffee house and a walk through the downtown.  Curtis visited the fly fishing shop and Kyle and I went into the independent book store.  People were walking and biking all over town. The houses had lush gardens and there's a beautiful university in town.  It's also home to the Shakespeare Festival and has gorgeous architecture.  It just felt like home.  We have put it at the top of the list of places to retire to, now.

So, then we pushed on to visit Lassen NP which was quite different from Volcanoe's NP, but still full of amazing geography.  The mud pots and really cool stuff were still covered with snow, so go in August if you go there to see that part.  Curtis fished in a lake there and was happy.  We then drove on to Redding for the night and pushed on home the next day for a 10 hour drive. It was good to get away and it's good to be home.  I think we go on vacation just so we can appreciate our own bed when we get back.  Thanks for reading the saga of the vacation.  It wasn't the vacation we planned, but it held some wonderful surprises along the way.  Oh, and I did score some coconut m&ms here and there.  Have you found any yet?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Part 2 of the vacation saga.  Andi was right, we picked up the boy and continued on our vacation.  We went farther north.  First I have to go on a little about rugby camp, though.  It was such a treat to be able to visit Cal Berkley and see the tournament the kids put on for the parents.  There were high school kids from all over the world at the camp, a total of 190 boys who were all focused on the game and not a single one was texting or playing a video game.  They were all watching the matches even if they weren't in that particular game.  It was so inspiring.  Kyle plays the lock position, which means you can only see his socks when the play begins.  He's in this huddle of guys called the scrum.  I'm learning all sorts of new things, but I think Kyle learned more.  It helped that he was wearing yellow socks.  I tried to get photos, but I don't know if any of them turned out.  I'll be downloading photos soon as soon as I deal with laundry.  Oh, and Kyle's team made it to the final match.  He's still chatting about things he learned in those few days.  I think rugby is a very solid part of him now.

So, we got in the car, fed him a huge pastrami sandwich and drove while he slept.  We visited the giant redwoods and stayed the night in a tiny little community called Fortuna.  I was grateful for the microbrewery across the parking lot from our motel after my little fall earlier in the day.  I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I'm not very graceful.  (stop laughing Mom)  We kept trying to get a place to stop to look at the Eel River.  They guys are fishermen and are all about water that contains things with scales.  So, I said there was no way I could get out at the first place we stopped.  Too much rock scrambling.  The second place had a small dirt slope down to the water.  No problem.  I slipped on my sneakers and trucked on down the hill.  I made it about 5 steps before I slipped and went down on a tree limb.  My poor shin looks like I've been in a really good bike accident.  Maybe I should tell a wicked mountain biking crash story if anyone asks.  It was a rocky or splintery start to our northern trek, and my dignity was injured as much as my skin.

The next day was filled with wondrous sights.  We began with breakfast at the Samoa Cookhouse that served loggers back in the day.  That was followed by a trek out to the sand dunes and a windswept beach.  The beaches in northern CA are so different from here.  First of all we didn't see another living soul and secondly there was driftwood all over the beach along with rocks and crab remains.  It was gorgeous.  We then drove further north and admired many herds of elk along the way in amongst towering redwoods.  It's hard to describe the grandeur of giant redwoods.  The world becomes a much bigger place under a redwood.  Oh, and banana slugs.  Those are some wild looking dudes.  We thought we were going to stay in Crescent City and had dinner there, but decided it was a little rough.  So, we went to a place we've only dreamed of until now.  We pushed on into Oregon.  We stopped at the Smith River for a little fishing and frog catching on the way.  Whew, ok, more to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where in the world am I? It all started a week ago with a road trip to Cal Berkley to drop Kyle off for rugby camp. After getting him checked in we headed back south a bit to the Montery Bay area to stay with my cousin, but not before we ate the best ice cream ever at a little shop in Berkley called Ici. As we were walking down the sidewalk I noticed a woman with a stroller waiting outside the shop. When I asked her about the shop, she told me to get in line even if I hadn't had lunch yet. So of course I got in line and read the chalkboard menu while we waited for the shop to open. I tasted the apricot which was a bit tart, so opted for gingersnap. Oh, my goodness, it was divine. It was a candied ginger flavor in vanilla ice cream with cruahed up gingersnaps in a homemade cone. Heaven!

We stayed a few days with my cousin and had a wonderful visit. We ate at the wharf twice, shopped at our favorite craft store and thrift shop, canned 24 jars of apricot jam from her tree, stamped a pile of cards, went to a craft show, joined the inlaws and outlaws for a rocking barbecue, enjoyed the sea lions, and ate at the Giant Artichoke where we feasted on fried artichoke hearts, steamed artichokes, artichoke bread, and artichoke soup. It was a ton of fun and we're still on the road. More on our travels coming in the next post. Any guesses where we went next or where we are now?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Have you seen these yet?  I stumbled on them at a convenience mart on our road trip home this weekend.  I've been obsessed with coconut lately and these seemed like a good car snack.  Oh my goodness.  They're thicker than a regular m & m and so unbelievably yummy.  I looked online to get this photo to share with you and found out that they're a limited edition only in stores for a short time.  I think I need to get a case or two while the getting's good. There are so few coconut candies out there; Almond Joy, Mounds, and See's are the only ones I know about.  Maybe we should start a campaign to keep them around indefinitely. If you need me tomorrow I'll be out buying up as many bags of these as I can find before we go on vacation again.  I've got room in the freezer just waiting to be filled up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

School's out for summer! I love summer vacation.  We took off as soon as Kyle finished his last final of Thursday for a nice long weekend in the Eastern Sierras. Mom and Dad joined us again this year for what is now a tradition since this makes two years in a row.  We even stayed in the same condo.  I was surprised that there was still snow on the ground up at Lake George.  I read a whole book while we were there, Water for Elephants.  It was a great read and a highly entertaining account of a 90 year old man looking back on his life focusing on his time working at the circus.  Of course we did some sightseeing, hiking, shopping, and lots of eating out and visiting.  It was a great getaway.  We're home just long enough to do the laundry and pack the bags again.  Next stop- rugby camp for Kyle at Cal Berkley.  I hope you're having a great start to the summer.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Just Peachy Supplies Cardstock: Die Cuts With A View; Tag: Avery; Stamp: PSX; Ink: Tsukineko; Markers: Copic; Pencils: Prisma; Punch: Fiskars; Other: Lace

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"GenevieveSupplies Cardstock: Stampin Up; Rubons: Fiskars; Pearl: Kaiser Craft; Stamp: Buzz n Bloom; Ink: Ranger; Markers: Tombow; Vintage Pattern: Vogue; Other: Dictionary definition, vintage button.

Here's a little ATC for you on this fine Sunday.  I used a couple of vintage pattern images and a button from our dear neighbor's estate. Genevieve was my parent's neighbor for more years than I care to count.  I say she was my neighbor, because she was my neighbor while I still lived at home as a teen and young adult.  She was a fine seamstress and grew beautiful flowers and vegetables in her yard and always had a smile on her sweet face.  It feels odd to eat dinner at my parents and not take a plate of food next door to her now.  She was such a kind soul, and shared her kindness with my son, too.  In fact he's the age now that I was when I first met her.  So, this little ATC is sitting in my display board to remind me to smile often and offer a kind word to my neighbors.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The cutest orange shoes ever!  I've been running all over the net and to bunches of stores searching for orange things to wear for my new gig as a Lead Fiskateer.  I've got orange eagle eyes now and can spot it quickly when I walk into a place.  Hubby spied these at the outlet mall this weekend.  They were the only pair in the store and my size and on clearance.  It was meant to be.  They're so comfortable, too.  Just in case you get to an outlet mall that has a Clark's store, these are from the Privo line and are not this year's style.  I was meant to have orange shoes and let me tell you there are lots of orange shoes out there, but these are by far the most comfortable ones I put on my feet.

If you wonder where I am these days just imagine me shopping for all things orange.  Only just a bit over 3 weeks until I start wearing all orange all the time.  I can hardly wait. Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Supplies Cardstock: Stampin Up; Patterned Paper: Graphic 45; Tag: Avery; Stamp: Serendipity Stamps; Ink: Tsukineko, Ranger; Other: Seam Binding.

Hey everyone.  I'm still here, just not spending much time in the fun room or at the computer these days. The weather is gorgeous and the blue skies keep calling me.  I'm still subbing bunches; every day this week.  Only two more weeks until school's out for summer!

Our class is scheduled for the CHA Super Show on Friday, July 30th.  Here's a link to all the Super Show classes.  We'll make 4 different pendants using 4 different Fiskars tools with a whole bunch of fun along the way. If you're in Chicago, you don't want to miss it.  I've already heard from a few friends who are signed up.  I can hardly wait.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I love days that hold a little surprise.  I agreed to take a job today at the elementary school for a friend.  I knew I'd be moving from class to class covering for teachers who had meetings to attend.  It's fun to travel around to different classrooms all day hanging out with the little people.  I like the little people best of all, they have a special place in my heart.  So, today I got to attend an assembly with the little people.    The local arts association provided a very interesting Korean dance group for the little people.  They performed a beautiful fan dance and used drums in interesting ways.  It was a real treat. I'm thankful for days with little surprises.

I hope your day holds a special surprise, too.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The time is flying by me faster than I can count.  This is the card I made for our last card swap of the year with my stamping group.  We meet during the school year and take time off in the summer.  We'll get back to it in September.  The theme was sympathy and this single layer card was a personal challenge for me.  I'm trying to get back to a simpler way of stamping.  The grey block behind the image is direct to paper with a grey inkpad.  It didn't cover completely which was a happy accident.  I stamped the silhouette over it with versafine ink and the same ink with the butterfly which is fussy cut out and the sentiment.  A few gems finish off this simple design.  I think it works for sympathy or even for illness or other losses.  

In other news around here.  One month left of the school year.  I'm teaching bunches.  I was at the high school all week and even taught a couple of Kyle's classes this week and we both survived.

I've been having a blast making plans for CHA and creating class samples.  So many exciting things happening this summer.  I'll share my schedule when it's complete.  I hope to meet up with lots of artsy  friends while I'm in Chicago.  It's my first time there and I'm hoping to sneak in a few fun Chicago snacks and sites before all the CHA fun begins.  If you have any suggestions or tips, please share them.  

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day.  Mom and I celebrated our mother's day by going out for a proper tea.  I'd love to show you the photos, but they're so blurry they made me dizzy.  Darn it all.  I didn't have my regular camera and took a newer one that I don't know how to use well.  I couldn't figure out how to review the photos that we asked the girl at the next table over to take.  Just imagine that we were smiling, happy, and wearing the most adorable flowered hats.  Our server, Lady Betty, brought out the tea leaf blends of the day for us to smell as she explained each one.  I chose a lavender earl grey and Mom chose a peach ginger.  We each got our own little pot of delicious tea.  The plates of food seemed to go on and on and each bite was even better than the last one.  If you're in Temecula, call the Truffles and Lace Tea Parlor for a reservation. You don't even have to bring a hat, she has a wonderful selection for you to put on when you get there.  It was a real treat.

We stopped in an adorable quilt shop and stamp shop after our tea and oohed and aahed over all the pretty fabrics and stamps before heading back home.  It was a grand girls' day out and we had the best time.  It feels like it's been forever since we've gone on adventures together.  The best mother's day gift of all is that my mom is finally getting well after being sick for over 2 years.  We found out last week that the disease is finally waning and that the surgery and medications are working.

The guys spoiled me yesterday with breakfast, flowers, a massage certificate and the most beautiful letter from my sweet taller than me teenager.  We rounded out the day with a trip to see Iron Man 2, which was so much fun.  Of course with a teen boy, I had to go see an action flick.  Having a boy has been an adventure that I never imagined.  Being his mom is one of the greatest joys of my life.  It was a beautiful mother's day and I'm thankful in so many ways.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's teacher appreciation week.  Please take the time to thank your children's teachers sincerely.  A kind note or kind word is as appreciated as any gift you could make or give.  This year we have the ability to make a difference with our voices, and it doesn't cost a dime. Across the nation our teachers are receiving pink slips in record numbers.  You can sign a petition with pink hearts not pink slips online.   The goal is 300,000 signatures; one for each teacher getting a pink slip.  It's not only the teachers receiving pink slips who are suffering, it's the teachers who don't receive pink slips.  They're being asked to do more work, and teach more students while giving up pay and benefits.  I'm a substitute teacher.  Each day I work I hear the stories of these dedicated teachers and how hard they're working to maintain quality education with such little funds, time, and appreciation.  It's taking a toll on them. Something has to give, and this is a simple act we can do to help.

supplies: large shipping tag, distress ink, fiskars my funny valentine punch, stampin up sentiment stamp, penny black background stamp, dictionary page, button, satin ribbon.  Video tutorial link for the flower is over there on the right, called punch crazy flower.

Thanks for stopping by today.  And a huge huge thank you for all the kind words of support for my new role as Lead Fiskateer.  July can't come soon enough for me!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm honored to be hosting the gothic arch challenge this week.  Our theme is Mona Lisa.  I have a funny story to share about the first time I ever saw the actual painting almost 25 years ago.  I was in Europe with three friends and a backpack, staying in hostels and riding trains to get around.  We were in a dimly lit room at the Louvre for our viewing of the Mona Lisa.  She really is much larger than I imagined with a richness of color beyond my dreams.  I was enjoying the splendor of it all when a flash of light nearly blinded us.  Somebody in the crowd took a flash photograph of the painting.  Pow, the lights all went off and it was totally dark in the room and they covered the painting.  That was it, our moment was over.  No more Mona Lisa for us.  We had to move along.  Life is like that, you have to enjoy the moments as they happen.  I'm glad I got to see her.  I hope to see her again someday.  Thanks for stopping by today.

supplies: glossy cardstock; ink potion #9; distress ink; stampers anonymous mona lisa stamp; wordsworth quote stamp; vintage postage stamps; bingo marker.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Oh, it's a happy day!  I'm beyond excited to share with you that I've accepted my dream job with Fiskars.  I'll be one of four Lead Fiskateers for the next two years.  I get to travel to trade shows and other crafty events, teach online and in person, and spend lots of time online with The Fiskateer Community.  I can't imagine a better job in the whole world.

I've adored Fiskars orange handled scissors since I was a little girl.  Mom used her orange handled Fiskars scissors to cut out the fabric for all of the clothes she sewed for us.  They were referred to as "the good scissors" as in "don't touch my good scissors".  Now I can touch all the orange handled scissors I want.  I'm actually a part of the good scissors company.  It doesn't get any better.

Here's the video announcing the Lead Fiskateers.  I'm the only new one, so I'm at the end of the video.  The other three leads are such inspiring role models.  I'm honored to be in this group of talented women.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The stamp girls came over to play this morning.  We stamped tile coasters and trivets and swapped spring cards. Nine years ago I was invited to go on the stamp girls' annual field trip to a stamp store and out to lunch. It was such a fun day that I joined the group. I'd always been artsy crafty, but had never stamped before.  I had no idea what I was getting into.

I bought my first stamp that day. I wasn't very good at it, but they didn't kick me out of the group.  The girls shared their stamps and knowledge with me at every turn in the road.  It wasn't long before I jumped into stamping with all my heart. Playing in the ink, paint, rubber stamps, and messy techniques makes me happy.  It's taken me places I never imagined.

No matter where my stamping passion takes me, it's mornings like today that get to the heart of what makes creating such an important part of my life.  It's getting together with girlfriends and sharing our lives, our laughter, our stamps, and our ideas.  It's inviting new friends to join us, missing old friends whose lives are too busy to stamp, and then hugging them when they find time to come back.  It's taking a break from chores, kids, and responsibilities to spend time with the girls and play. It keeps us whole and sane so we can go back to chores, kids, and responsibilities with a smile knowing that we get playtime again with our girlfriends next month.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's sunny and warm and I'm so happy the weekend's here.  We're going to a BBQ and softball game this afternoon.  What a fun way to spend the day.  I hope you're having a beautiful weekend and that spring has finally arrived for you, too.

This is a card I made quite a while back, but it fits for today.  The image was given to me by a stamping friend, so I'm not sure who made it.  I colored it with various markers and used the Fiskars threading water punch on the bottom. There's a bit of sparkle on the flowers, too. Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How about a new video tutorial?  We recently indulged in slightly used HD video camera and updated our imovie software.  This is the first of a new crop of videos.  I'm so happy that I can finally produce videos like a dreamed about in the beginning.  If you don't want music turn down the volume before you click on it.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, April 12, 2010

It was a lovely getaway!  We swam, shopped, ate out, went to see a big hole in the ground, watched movies, oh and I gambled a bit.  Mostly, we enjoyed the sunshine and spring flowers and time to hang out together and laugh and play.  It was a long winter and we really needed to run away for a while.  Of course, it snowed last night after we came home and has been raining, snowing, and hailing today.  Hurry up spring, we need you.  Here's a short clip that hubby shot of the big hole in the ground.  I love rocks and geology and this place has it all.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We're running away for a few days of fun in the sun to finish off our spring break in style.  This little cutie is the luggage tag I made a while back.  So happy I get to use it.  See ya next week!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Happy Chocolate Eggs!  We're heading off to my folks for a yummy ham dinner followed by boston cream pie.  I think the food is my favorite part of holiday traditions. Of course there's all the part around preparing the food that I love, too.  The laughter and sharing of recipes and carrying on. I hope you're having a fine day with your loved ones.  Thanks for stopping by.

Supplies: glossy cardstock; Staz-On ink; Ink Potion #9; Stampin Up, Inkadinkado, and PSX stamps; feathers; metal epoxy words.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the reveal

So here's the big secret project from my Graphic 45 tryout.  I had a wonderful time altering this purse with their lovely papers, a copic marker, a handful of swarovski crystals, a few of my vintage supplies, and a ton of modge podge.  Best of luck to those who made the design team.  There's got to be a window opening somewhere, since this door didn't open.  Now I need to make a purse like this for me.  I loved making it.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Supplies: Canson Acrylic Paper; Golden Fluid Acrylic Paints; Versamark Ink; Stampin Up Embossing Powder; Sharpie Paint Pen; Stamps by Darkroom Door, Impression Obsession, Stampin Up; Ranger Paint Dabber; Metallic RubOns; Fiskars Corner Punch; Vintage Buttons.

I got messy this weekend with these ATCs and a few projects for the magazine.  These are for a swap with a wing theme I'm hosting.  I made the backgrounds with a palette knife and leftover paint smeared around.  It mixed and messed while I was working on it, then I set it aside for about a month.  This weekend when I wanted to get my ATCs going I cut it apart and got to work.  I love making backgrounds like this when I'm cleaning up.  I always have a little pile of clean up backgrounds.  They usually work better than a background that I try to make for a project.

We had a wonderful time at Disney last week and I'm still working tons and tons.  I took today off to go meet a friend for tea and go to yoga.  It's been 2 weeks since I went and I really need to go get centered and balanced and strong.  Yoga isn't for sissies, it works muscles I never knew I had and the peaceful feeling at the end is better than chocolate.  Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Supplies: PSX Image Stamp; Rubber Stampede Sentiment Stamp; Memento Ink; Distress Ink; Copic Markers; Fiskars Edge Tearing Tool; Topographic Map; S&H Green Stamp.

First I've got to say a huge, monstrous thank you for all the love from the blog hop.  Wow, I didn't even offer any blog candy and I still got lots of love.  I read each and every comment and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share in the hop.

I've been working like a maniac lately.  This happens every spring.  The retired teachers who got a golden handshake deal for subbing have put in their hours and the teachers are tired and going to lots of trainings and meetings. I've been subbing almost everyday.  I've taught elementary school, middle school science, wood shop and PE, and high school foods this past week.  I'm really enjoying all this time out of the house and the extra money for summer fun is always good.  Hopping around to different schools and grade levels is a challenge and keeps me on my toes.  I just need to sneak in a little yoga and all will be good.

Today is a teacher inservice day; no school for me or the young man.  We're running away to the happiest place on earth.  I need to go wake him up so we can ride Space Mountain!  Hope your having a beautiful spring day.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome Spring

Supplies: Graphic 45 Patterned Paper; Stampin Up and Hampton Arts Stamps; StazOn and Ranger Distress Inks; Vintage Sheet Music; Grosgrain Ribbon and Pin; Button and Waxed Thread.

Happy first day of Spring.  I'm participating in the OWH blog hop today. I love this organization that was started by a dear online stamping friend who has the most giving heart. OWH spreads a bit of cheer and love to those who give so much to us.  I send in cards a couple of times a year from my stash of ever growing stamped cards that get sent out to soldiers overseas who then send them back home to their loved ones.  My cousin's son and our dear friends' son are both currently serving overseas.  I hope they can send a beautiful card from OWH to their lovely wives.  

If you'd like to get involved with sending cards, here is the link with all the information you need to get started along with shipping addresses and important do's and don'ts to make it all run smoothly. Here's a link to the top of the hop, if you started in the middle.   

Next stop on the hop: Kelly's beautiful blog.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Almost Spring!  These ladybugs are warming themselves down at the bottom of our property before their flight off to other places.  I've seen them other years in the woods, but this is the first year that they are right here in the backyard.  It's so exciting to see them all clumped up like this.  There must be many many thousands of them.  Makes me happy that they chose our place to hang out before they take off.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The package was delivered this afternoon.  ahhhhh, now I can relax.
Update on the package: it's back in Portland, OR.  Anybody want to take a guess where it goes today?  Thanks everyone for sharing your stories; misery loves company.  The absolute deadline for it to arrive there is Friday.  I'm still hopeful that it will get there on time, not convinced or certain, but hopeful.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The post office makes me crazy.  Seriously.  I packaged up my beautiful finished Graphic 45 project with loads of bubble wrap, paid over $10 to get it there super speedy with delivery confirmation.  I mailed it first thing on Friday morning.  I've been checking everyday to see where it is.  It was in Portland, OR yesterday morning and that's where it's supposed to be delivered.  So, I'm thinking good it will be delivered today.  I check this afternoon and guess where it is?  You'll never guess.  It's been sent to Vancouver, WA and this is the message they give me:  

"Your item was misrouted.  the error has been corrected and every effort is being made to deliver it as soon as possible.  Information if available, is updated periodically throughout the day.  Please check again later."

They had it in the right city and then sent it to a whole other state. And they wonder why the post office is losing money.  I knew I should've used UPS or Fed Ex.  Dang.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm still in a flurry of scissors, glue, ink, and collage here working away on my Graphic 45 project. I wish I could show it to you, but I need to wait a bit. I'm taking pictures to share later. I feel like a spy. "I could show you, but then I'd have to kill you."  I'm driving my family crazy with what do you think about this and that. The kitchen table is completely out of commission. It's been a labor of love, though. I can tell you I've used papers from 4 different lines together. That's one of the things I love about this company, everything goes together beautifully.  Of course I've raided my stash of vintage stuff as well as a stamp or two.  Ok, that's probably too much info already.  Thanks so much for all the support on this exciting opportunity.

This is one of the cards I submitted in round one of the submissions to Graphic 45.  I think the butterfly is Lost Coast Designs, but I'm not completely certain.  It's colored with Copics and of course the patterned papers are Graphic 45.  The ribbon is May Arts.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just a silly card for you today.  It's been a rough winter here and I'm thinking this sentiment could apply to any of us by now.  We got a tiny little nothing storm last night according to the weather guessing people.  Well, it looks like a danged winter wonderland this morning.  Probably a foot of new white stuff on the ground.  I really want more sand in my life not more snow.  The good news is hubby and I ran away to orange county on Friday to have our taxes done and I made him take me to the ocean so I could drink it all in to sustain me through the rest of the winter. We even had lunch right on the pier at Dukes.  I don't think we stayed long enough.

Thank you for all the well wishes on round 2 of the Graphic 45 design team application. I'm over the moon excited.  The kitchen table is covered with paper and bits and baubles for my final project.  I had it planned out, but was afraid to jinx myself by starting on it early. I'm planning to crank up the music while I'm cutting and gluing and basically making a happy mess.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Supplies: Graphic 45 Patterned Paper, Club Scrap Image Stamp, Hampton Art Sentiment Stamp, Mango Lemonade Memories Mist, Versafine Ink, Postage Stamp, Brads.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm doing a little happy dance this morning.  I can't believe it, somebody pinch me. Go take a peek at this, that's me on the list. Seriously.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm playing in a new to me challenge today.  Over at Think Monday-Think ATC this week it's an orange challenge, the perfect color for this dreary winter weather.  I hope they don't mind that I'm playing on Wednesday. I used a whole bunch of scraps from prior projects still on the table for this one. The focal image is a Cat's Life Press Stamp.

 I hope you're having some sunny days. Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I've been playing around with ideas for upcoming classes.  The last classes I did were tag books and were so much fun that I want to go there again in a new way.  This is the naked uninked version of what I want to use for the new classes.  Just about everything you see here is a vintage find from my large stash or goodies.  I actually have enough to sell extra kits this time.  I'll list them here first if I have any leftover from the classes.  The next class I'm scheduling will be a spray ink class, I'm just waiting for confirmation on the date. Can you imagine this little book all sprayed up and sparkly or would you rather see it distressed and grungy?  Maybe a combo of the two.  I'm excited about teaching this one.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I made this card last night to send to a friend.  I started with a handmade paper base that has flower petals in the paper.  I stamped the main image by Hero Arts with imperial purple versafine ink.  The sentiment by Stampin Up is stamped with shabby shutters distress ink.  I used the same shabby shutters to stamp the Hero Arts butterfly on a scrap of basic grey and cut it out.  I then added in more shabby shutters and milled lavender around the edges with cut and dry foam.  

In other news: I'm sorry I haven't shared an update about Kyle.  He went back to school last week for partial days and is in school for full days this week.  He's still tired and dizzy occasionally, so I'm driving him both ways. He's working hard to make up for lost time in his classes.  Thanks so much for stopping by today.