Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hello Handsome Card

Hopefully by the time this posts, I'll be back from my flying trip to Pennsylvania safe and sound.

I always hate traveling through the snow belt during the winter.

Thought I'd made THE MAN a quick card to say hey while I was gone from a few scraps left over from my last scrapbook page.

It's hard being a single parent! But sometimes jobs require a bit of travel.

I always make the best of it when THE MAN is gone. I sleep in the middle of the bed, spend more time scrapbooking, eat easy food, and go to bed early. Makes up for having to feed the wood stove late at night, early in the morning, and letting the dogs out.

I imagine he missed having a to-go cup of cofee, his lunch made, and dinner ready!

Of course the biggest part of what we'll both miss is each other!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Joe and the End to the Mother Tree

The other day we were driving home from Lowes. I was thinking about at least four things. It was a multi-tasking moment for my brain. I was bitterly disappointed that Lowes did not have the huge totes I was looking for, sad because my Dad had texted me that my Grandmother's boyfriend from 30ty years ago had passed away, and thinking about the cheese cake I wanted to make when we got back home. There was also a craft project in there lurking.

I am pretty sure that most women multi-task like that! We are either blessed or cursed. Not entirely sure on all that. I can't imagine thinking or doing one thing at a time like some guys I know, but it does seem like it would be a wee bit more orderly.

I could have been talking to THE MAN who was calmly driving, but was hanging out in the whirlwind of my brain until we crested our hill and saw the atocity.

Joe our neighbor had cut down Mother Tree. Well, it may NOT have been Joe. But days later I saw him over there with Fox and Trot, the heifers he's training so he got blamed. And yes, pretty sure he's growing a squirrel on his face. Sorry for the snotty comment if you were not holding the chain saw Joe! (I did ask THE MAN if it was appropriate I call Joe names but he said due to my grief stricken state I might be forgiven. We all know anyhow that I think our neighbors are top notch)

So anyhow, back to cresting the hill....

I started yelling TODAY IS A BAD BAD DAY!

I have been sad about this tree since this past summer as it was clear it was slowly dying. Still I wasn't ready for it to be cut down.

Thankfully there was cheesecake to eat later as a small memorial to Mother Tree.  Here she is all sideways and ready for cutting up & a wood stove. ;-(

And this is why scrappers scrap of course. I am so happy I have a page to remind myself of happier days for Mother Tree!

Hope your Hump Day is moving along! Jeeze I almost wrote Stump Day....

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pig Nut Layout for Orange Paperie & Co. Challenge

My youngest is a good eater. When he was little he earned the nickname of Trashcan. After eating his own dinner and while we were clearing the table, he'd climb up on a chair and clean up what was left on someone's plate! If we let him, he'd go all the way around the table via the chairs!

He is also sticks and bones, so he must have a very high metabolism!

While we were in Florida, we started calling him Pig Nut after a tree we read about in the Hillsborough State Park. Later in the trip when he ate half a rack of ribs himself at a BBQ place, the nickname became a bit more real!

Thought I'd make a funny page of him chowing down!

I used my Valentine's Day paper and lots of hearts for the challenge over at Orange Paperie & Co! They asked for hearts and journaling to complete their challenge.

I have to play there anyhow, 'cause the famous Rock Star Blogger & Scrapper Lizzy Crust is over there making a guest appearance!

And here is a side view of the amazing flowers sent to me from Lisa from You Made Me Ink. Another ROCK STAR in my book!

Lisa used a new file that Regina at THE CUTTING CAFE has recently released that looks like so much fun!

It's called Paper Flowers and there is a easy video with step by step instruction by Tmika that walks you through making them.

Hope your Tuesday is fabulous!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stove Pipe Trim Rim Mirror with Lisa's THE CUTTING CAFE Roses

Last weekend I started messing around with this stove pipe trim rim. First I painted it a cream color and added a few sprays of different colors of mist. After it was dry, I sanded it quite a lot as I wanted some of the black to peek through.

Here is what I started with:

It was around $8 at Lowes. Paired up with a piece of round mirror for around the same price, it was fairly inexpensive. I was pretty pleased with how nicely it turned out once it was sanded but thought it would be even prettier with embossing power! Wanted it to look similar to the inside of a shell!

Kept dumping embossing power & heating it until I got a nice shimmer! 

I then procceded to stare at it for a week on my scrapbook table!

Thankfully a box of AMAZING FLOWERS showed up on my door step that inspired me to get it finished!

I had already planned on using some coral and shells we brought back from Florida, but wasn't sure what else I wanted to use until I got Lisa's package!

A HUGE MASSIVE THANKS goes to Lisa over at You Made Me Ink for sending me these lovely roses. In fact I'm overwhelmed with the whole package! Take a peek at the PILES of flowers she made over on her blog. 

I am beyond excited on how nicely this mirror turned out! 

Lisa used a new file that Regina at THE CUTTING CAFE has recently released that looks like so much fun!

It's called Paper Flowers and there is a easy video with step by step instruction by Tmika that walks you through making them. 

One more photo so you can enjoy them almost as much as I am!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hillsborough State Park Layout for THE CUTTING CAFE

Oh double pager! How I have missed you! Love matching between the two pages so they "jive" yet look different.

Of course the key to this is similar elements. I cut quite a few of these Layered Flowers from THE CUTTING CAFE to help with the look. Bright and sunny to contrast against my photos! I actually cut them out of cream colored paper so I could ink them up any which way I wanted. These got a yellow and pink swipe from a stamp pad and a quick spritz of some clear spray.

Really really really enjoyed this park in Florida! I saw a few things there that I have never experienced in real life!

You might be able to see the roots growing up on the bank of the river from the trees in the big photo I used on this layout. I think they are cypress trees and those are called their knees! I think they pop up like that to get a little breath of air! ;-)

Here is a side view so you can see that these flowers are pretty flat and nice to use for layouts. Sometimes I get a wee bit crazy and I can't actually fit my pages into a scrapbook due to their depth!

And one more close up so you can see how I slide in some of the tickets and whatnot we had from the day into the side. For one thing, it uses up a ticket that normally would get tossed AND, I don't have to write down a date!

I don't have any journalling on this page, but there is another one I intend to do that will follow in my book that will cover that.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Sharks Layout for SATW and Sketchabilities

Oh I love my peeps so! They are just crazy enough to pose for funny photos in the name of amusing me! Hat was kindly borrowed from the Florida Aquarium Gift store. ;-)

Had a FANTASTIC mood board to work with from SATW.

I will say I had cake cravings while I made this page though. I do wonder why....

I was inpired by colors and the contrasts in this photo so made my background muted with some soft shimmery white paint. I added splashes of Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Mists (Bougainvillea & Yellow Road of Texas), and some 13 Arts Ayeeda Matte Turquoise paint. The Prima flowers reminded me quite of the cake. Of course a few scattered hearts in there to match the pretty chocolates!

I also used that super awesome cloths pin sketch that is running around Blog Land at the moment from Sketchabilities. Those little clothes pins made me so happy when I stained them up with some of the same mist!

And one last photo of my page looking at a side view. I do want to make a special shout out to Miss Helen who hooked me up with those mists. I have an order coming now because I AM IN LOVE with them. 

Happy HUMP Day Friend!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Merger Of Sorts

I have been wanting a new jewelry armoire since the dog chewed the base of the last one I had. Since I can't remember which dog and neither of my pooches are pups that do such things anymore, it's been a while.

I recently spent a fair amount of time shopping for one on-line and my favorite was something with pearl inlay and looked antique. The price tag was hefty, around $700. 

Could not stomach that price tag so I started looking at used armoires and thinking about building/redoing my own out of a card catalog. (Still want a card catalog, but have no idea why!!!)

Craig's List kept coming up short and it started to seem more and more complicated with having to line the drawers and build something to hang necklaces. 

So, I went back to shopping on line and gave myself a limit to what I could spend. Found the black jewelry armoire for around $100, which is almost half price to similar ones I've seen in stores.

It was way shorter than my old one, which by the way looks ten times nicer in this photo than it is in real life. Careful placement does not allow you to see the base that was chewed or that it's extremely wobbly!

THE MAN as always came to the rescue with some sage advice. Hand him a problem he can solve with tools and he's on it. I was not big on the new one being a lot shorter but was cool with the actual storage part of the new box. 

So, we went shopping again for something that would work to make it taller. 

Found this end table for super cheap on-line.
And we married the two! It was actually a whole lot easier than I thought. THE MAN being good at that sort of thing. I also have four nice left over wooden legs ready for the next crazy project. 

It makes me happy everytime I walk by it! The only thing I'd change? I want to distress some of those little details so it looks older. I decided to just let it age by itself for now. I'm also on the look out for something pretty to put on the bottom shelf. It seems to need something.....that I'm sure to turn up at some point out junkin!

Happy Tuesday! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fairy Garden Fun With Blocks: THE CUTTING CAFE

This project was inspired by a really cool cutting file, a little fairy and some mushrooms I picked up at the local gift shop as well as a great digital file.

Regina has a cutting file called FUN WITH BLOCKS at the Cutting Cafe that created the structure for this piece. They are really cute for a lot of things, but I really wanted a fairy garden and a nice way to display my small fairy and the mushrooms.

Here is a close up of some of the images I used. They went along nicely with my fairy & reminde me of SPRING!

I am in desperate need of some Spring...can you tell? All that white stuff in the background giving you a hint?

These images are from Ignacia's store Nicecrane Designs and are called Colorful Nature. So pretty and vibrant!

And I'll leave you with one last photo taken looking down on this project so you can see the pretty flowers on the top and that crazy mossy glitter I used to cover where I backed these blocks with cardboard. Just ran a quick line of hot glue and dumped glitter all over. Yes, it was a bit of a messy venture, but I am now in LOVE with that glitter! 

Hope your Monday is amazing! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hoodie Time Layout for Another Freaking Scrappy

I have some fantastic news peeps!

Another Freaking Scrappy is back up and running! Whoohhoooo happy dance! Glad to be back there on the design team! If you happen to wander over, I have a new bio there!

Which of course is why there is a page with ME in it! ;-) We'd like you to focus on YOU! I mean, who else will tell that story!

Of course, that isn't a stead-fast rule, but just a fun guideline or even an excuse to pull photos out of you!

Easy peasy sketch to use for this challenge. I chose to interpret the paint lines as embellishments which made a good reason to make some accordion blooms!

Here is a close up of all the goodies I used. THE MAN took the photo of us at the Florida Aquarium in front of the Sting Ray tank. I thought it was a cool photo as we were all wearing our hoodies! It was a bit nippy in Florida, but certainly not as cold and snowy as HOME!

In fact, you are catching a rare glimpse of my new purse! That is the new one I bought after I accidentally dropped my other purse in a toilet in Kinny's. You also might notice that my oldest just may be taller then me. Yeah, it's true. ;-(

One more photo of my layout, this time a side view.

You can see all the tags I tucked in. I was determined to use lots of things we got on our trip on my page! Sure beats having to throw it away, plus the date is usually on the receipt!

Hope you get a chance to wander over to play along with us!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day: Dry Ridge Cemetery Story By Bruce Mero

Grandma Ireland and Third Husband Irving

Last year for Valentine's Day I published one of my Dad's stories about his Mother In Law called The Contest. I always get a kick out of that story. This year, I've got another great story about my Grandma. I think I think of her at Valentine's Day because she managed to find love three times. And nothing says love more like a hand made urn. 

Dry Ridge Cemetery
by Bruce H. Mero

          To this day I still do not know why Allegra had the cremated ashes of her late husband sent to our house. The box appeared, unceremoniously in our mail box one morning, addressed to Gretchen. It was about half the size of a shoebox, plain brown and the only clue to the contents was the return address of a downstate crematorium. Undecided as to where to ship Paul's remains, Gretchen's mom sent them to our address. Why not a funeral home somewhere, I questioned my spouse, to which I got shrugged shoulders. She had no clue either. Only vaguely she remembered a conversation on the subject with her mother some time ago and that the ashes were being sent to us.  

          Paul died several months earlier. I don't recall calling hours or a memorial service for him at the time. He had been ill for a long while before his death. In declining health, he sold his New York City apartment and Paul and Allegra moved to a house she bought in a town nearby her Lake George summer cottage.

          The box arrived. Several telephone conversations between Gretchen and her mom ensued. Allegra agreed to make arrangements for internment if Gretchen agreed to procure a proper container for Paul's ashes. The burial urns that Allegra had seen at Funeral homes were too extravagant and expensive. She asked Gretchen to find a suitable container. That endeavor eventually landed us at the studio of a local potter where she looked over his inventory and decided on a particularly nice pot with a lid. The potter was not delighted when told the eventual use for his creation, however Gretchen paid his asking price and took her purchase home. I thought, at the time, that she'd paid way too much for the pot, though ultimately learned that the cost of the pot was about a quarter of the going price for urns at local funeral parlors.  

          It seemed to take a lot longer that it should have taken, eventually though Allegra made arrangements to have Paul's ashes interred. Ultimately, she was able to ascertain that Paul's deceased first wife was buried in a  cemetery near New York City and that it had been Paul's intention to be buried alongside. We agreed to meet Allegra at the cemetery at a specific date and time. We were to bring Paul's ashes and the pot. Allegra had spoken to a funeral director in a town near the cemetery who would meet us there. We would pass off the box of ashes and the pot, he agreed to take care of the rest.

          The day arrived and Gretchen and I drove four hours downstate to the Dry Ridge Cemetery, just north of the city limits. We wandered around a bit and found the memorial stone atop the plot where Paul's first wife was buried. Paul's name had been carved into the stone, next to his wife's.

          It was still an hour or so before the internment was to take place however, several of Paul's kin were already gathered. We introduced ourselves, chatted briefly, then begged off with the excuse that we were meeting Gretchen's mom in a parking lot nearby the cemetery gate.

          An eternity seemed to Allegra nor Funeral Director. More relatives arrived. The designated time arrived. Still no sign of Allegra or the Funeral Director. Gretchen and I then decided that we might buy a little time if I was to find an appropriate tool and dig the hole for the burial. I had noticed the caretaker's shed on our search for Paul's stone, returned there and found the door unlocked. Inside I located a post hole digger, which I took to where the dozen or so of relatives were gathered.  In front of the stone I dug a hole large enough to hold the pot we had brought with us. When I was finished, I leaned the post hole digger behind a nearby tree and returned to the car where Gretchen was waiting. Still, neither Allegra nor the Funeral Director had arrived.

          Ten minutes passed, then twenty. It was now thirty minutes after the appointed time. Desperate, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Out of sight behind our car, we opened the box. Inside was a plastic bag stuffed with ashes. Stapled to the bag was a large yellow tag which I tore off and shoved into my pocket, in the process, ripping open the plastic bag. Some of the ashes spilled onto the ground. Carefully, Gretchen tore the bag a little more. I held the pot while she dumped the contents of the plastic bag into the potter's jar she had purchased.  Now, in life, Paul was a very large man and very quickly we found that the pot she'd purchased was too small to contain all of his overflowed onto my hands and shoes and onto the ground. Half a coffee can of Paul now lay in the parking lot. A slight breeze sent ashes swirling around our shoes. At that moment we heard voices and looked up to see several of Paul's relatives approaching our car. Gretchen put the lid on the pot and blew ashes off the side of the urn as she stood up. I patted the dust from my hands and shuffled my feet to spread the spilled ashes into the gravel and also stood up.  Gretchen kicked the box and plastic bag under the car as a gentleman approached, stuck out his hand to shake hands with me and introduced himself as Paul's nephew. Several of the other folks had previous commitments that morning, he explained, and everyone was wondering when we expected Allegra and the Funeral Director to arrive so we could get started. Gretchen held up the pot containing the ashes (most of them anyways) and told the man that we need not wait any longer, we had Paul's remains with us and could start the proceedings right now. 

          She walked ceremoniously toward the memorial stone carrying the pot in her outstretched hands. She bent down and placed the urn into the hole I'd dug earlier, then took a handful of dirt and let it slip slowly through her fingers and onto the pot. She stood up and paused for a long moment in front of the stone, then stepped aside. I stepped forward and did exactly the same thing. Paul's relatives all followed suit. By the time the last of his kin had placed their handful of dirt and paid his respects, the pot was covered. I used the post hole digger to shovel the remaining dirt into the hole and gently patted the top with my palm.

          It was over in minutes.  As the folks that were gathered began to walk to their cars, a hearse drove into the parking lot. Allegra and the Funeral Director had arrived, finally.  He explained that Allegra had confused the name of the cemetery and they had been waiting for us at the Dry Hill Cemetery in the next town. Realizing the error, they sped here.

          Gretchen recounted what we had done. Allegra greeted several of the remaining relatives, explaining her confusion with the name of the cemetery. The Funeral Director asked to see the box in which the ashes had been sent.  He was looking to find the yellow tag that I had ripped from the plastic bag and shoved into my pocket...apparently it was a burial certificate that needed to be filed with the state affirming that the ashes had been properly buried. He needed to sign it and mail it back. He then had the gall to ask Allegra to pay him the fee they'd previously agreed upon for his services.    

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Iron Man and his Fiends

Marriage is a long haul on the best of days.

THE MAN and I celebrate 16 years tomorrow. Can you imagine?

We were just wee babies when we got married. Now we have them. They are a little twisted and crazy...fiend like if you will, but we will blame genetics for that. 

Made this card for THE MAN. Had to throw that funny Lover banner on the front. It sounded naughty! 

I cut it out of a little project life image I had that said GAME LOVER least you think I have a stash of X rated scrapbook supplies. 

The flower is is from Regina's Cutting Cafe and is called Layered Flower. She has a trillion different examples. Love that it's stitched!

I threw that little map sticker of Venezuela on a Finnabair Vintage trinket to pick on THE MAN a wee bit. He claims we are touring the US in a camper when we are old. I say we tour South America too. ;-) 

And while we are picking on THE MAN, let me tell you what he came home to the other night. 

GLITTER all over his 4-Wheeler Seat! I know, the nerve!

He built himself a little rack for the back and my oldest kept saying it needed stenciled letters. Since I had already thought of that myself I chuckled a bit.

She enticed me to cut out nice letters and glitter them up for her prank! Extra glitter got placed on the seat of the 4-Wheeler. The letters were stuck on gently with double sided mounting squares. 

We call him IT MAN because he works in Information Technology. And IT MAN reminds us of the Black Sabbath Iron Man song that we hum every now and again under our breath because it annoys him. 

And there you have it, a little humor goes a long way as does glitter! 

Happy Early Anniversary to THE MAN! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Air Plant Box for Shirley from THE CUTTING CAFE

We are in the midst of winter and plants & cold air really do not go well together.

So, I made a little box for my neighbor Shirley's air plant! Any excuse to get crafty! ;-)

I blogged about my air plant project on Friday and the paper bead cutting file that came from Regina's Cutting Cafe.

This awesome box is sold there too as a cutting file! It's the TALL BOX set and is super easy to make.

Threw a couple of quick flowers on my box and inked up the edges and added modge podge. It's got a slightly gold hint so added a bit of shimmer to my box.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Here Fishy Fishy Layout for Purple Pumpkin

We are pretty fond of the Thug Bird we met in Florida.

They look like they are resting, but really they were keeping a hairy eye ball on everyone, especially the fishermen on the wharf.

I had a really fantastic sketch to use from Purple Pumpkin that I spotted on Lizzy Hill's blog. I am a PP fan from way back and actually do not have any stash left to use! Anything I got, I used up quick! Love their fabric buttons the best!

Tried to replicate that look with a bottle cap and some flair! Love that little shell embellishment! So fun! 

Just a little side view of my page!

Take a quick hop over to PP and play along if you get a chance. LOTS of time left in the Month!

Hugs & Happy Monday!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Air Plants & Bead Banners

While we were walking around Florida, I noticed something really cool.

Air plants! I noticed them laying on the ground first and decided a storm had knocked them out of the trees. They were ALL OVER!

Since we have no such thing here in Upstate New York, I collected a few and brought them home carefully with the sea shells we found.

I found these lovely glass ornaments for displaying them on Amazon and actually ordered them the night before we left so I wouldn't have to wait long! 

Since air plants only require a good dunking once a week in a glass of water and no dirt, it was pretty easy to incorporate them into a little seascape with some sand, beautiful shells we found and some coral. I also found the plants for sale on Amazon too, so you don't even have to take a trip to Florida!

I loved the rough  twine they sent to hang these and decided I was going to jazz it up a bit with some beads.

Lucky for me, we have this great paper bead cutting file to use from THE CUTTING CAFE. 

I chose not to wrap mine all the way and went reverse of how you would normally roll these beads making them banner beads!

I rolled them around a skewer and realized that I could also make a plant stick! Love these beads!

The key to making the bead stay together is good glue. All of these banners were brushed with shimmer modge podge. 

And one last photo of my hanging terrariums. Do you see that HUGE shell in the bigger one? A bit proud of that. Spotted that on the beach and yelled MINE real loud and pushed my kids out of the way! Mostly kidding on that!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Mail for the LESSology Challenge

I have a confession to make. I love Valentine's Day. It's my favorite holiday of all time. In fact, nearly 16 years ago I got married on Valentine's Day.

You have to keep in mind, we are in the midst of deep winter here in New York. The holidays are long since over and the snow is getting old. So, any small occasion to celebrate and one that involves chocolate and hearts? I'm on it like white on snow.

My second confession is that I cannot say no to Valentine's Day paper. Last year I bought two kits and although I made good use of most of it, I still had a huge pile of scraps I was hoarding. The best use for that kind of thing? Cards!

Here is what I started with! I actually picked out similar scraps and piled them up for each card.

I printed out some awesome images from Nicecrane Designs from his Vintage Flower Post Card series which I fussy cut.

I also grabbed some playing cards I had received at the casino for my birthday. You notice they have a hole in you can't reuse them AT the casino. They gave me two sets, so I figured I could use one up scrapping!

Also in the pile are small vellum envelopes and some pink crinkled ribbon I made up for the project.

The little envelopes fit in nicely with the challenge over at LESSology this month! Clear ones work nicely as well because you can add little items inside that you can still see! Also helps with stash busting. I have had those clear envelopes for at least five years. ;-)

You might also notice some red foil snowflakes and gold cupids. Those are German stickers sent to me from my Aunt Coco. They are super thick and come in a huge sheet. They actually aren't sticky at all. I have them tied gently to the ribbon in hopes that the people I'm sending these cards to will reuse the sticker and perhaps even the ribbon!

Hope you get a chance to hang with us over at LESSology and play along! Hugs!