Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sometimes thankful is not as easy as you might think...

**Warning-This post is not crafty or artsy at all, just some ramblings of a happy crafter**

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans celebrating this wonderful day of family, food, and gratitude!

Every year after Halloween, I start mentally counting the days  until my favorite of all holidays arrives.  As much as this day is about the fantastic food, that we eat way too much of, and the happiness of having most of my family together, this is not why Thanksgiving has such a special place in my heart.

When I was younger, I LOVED Christmas.  Couldn't wait for the excitement of opening gifts and seeing if I got what I wanted.  Thanksgiving was not quite as special.  I actually volunteered to work on Thanksgiving when I was in high school...  But at some point I realized that while I still loved the spirit of Christmas and the religious celebration, most of December had become a crazy, stressed out time for me, and I actually found myself one year, wishing Christmas was over.  I think that next year started my love of Thanksgiving.  There really aren't a lot of requirements and expectations for this day.  Yes, the food can be important, but really, I don't ever remember a year that I thought "If only Aunt Sally (pseudo aunt) had made a few more pies...", or " I can't believe Cousin Bob (pseudo cousin) brought green beans. I wanted corn..."  It just seems to be a day that we all do our part and then just hang out and really take some time to 'be'.

As I add more Thanksgivings to my memory banks, I find it interesting that the things I'm thankful for have also changed over the years.  I will always be thankful for my family and their health, having a home and plenty of food, and knowing that I am blessed with wonderful friends and family to support me, but I seem to find a new little something to add to that general list each year.

This year's thankful thought struck me in somewhat of an unusual place-the parking lot of the school.  My girls have to be at school half an hour before I do, so I often sit in my car in the parking lot and read, pray, meditate, or just enjoy the silence.  I had been contemplating my recent job change and how I still kind of feel like I'm finding my way.  I enjoy my job and like my co-workers, but I keep thinking I should have this whole feeling of contentment and idea of being happily settled, that just isn't there yet.  During this musing, a person got out of his vehicle and walked into the building.  This is a person who I try to avoid, not because of a personal dislike, but because this person complains... a lot... like every time I can count on hearing about how bad this is, or that is, or the government did this, or so-and-so wastes money on that..., he should be paid more to do his job while others should be paid less to do theirs...  I really don't hate him, but I dislike how 'down' I feel after I talk with him.  But I digress.

 My gut reaction to seeing this person was an eye roll and wondering what was going to be the complaint of the day.  Yes, I am far from perfect... But, this was immediately followed by the thought that I was quite blessed to be as happy as I am.  Now this where it gets a bit ironic because this guy's home is much nicer and larger than mine, his vehicle is more expensive and newer, and I know their family has more money as well.  But there I sat in my 'finally' paid off used car thinking how much luckier I am than that person because I can see the joy in my life.

I like my job and all of those moments when I feel like I'm contributing something of value, even if my paycheck would make most people laugh.  I may not get paid what I'm 'worth', but I really do feel that the rewards are as good as money most days, and my job allows me time with my girls (who will be grown and gone before I know it).  I enjoy those moments when a student who has been struggling finally 'gets it' and wants to rush to me for a high five, or puffs out his chest in pride over an improved grade.  I even love the times when my own kids are shrieking and squealing when I'm trying to focus or relax.  They are my reminders of why I'm here and sometimes being in that moment is more important that any other time in the world.  I can also be thankful that even though our country is far from ideal, it is still a pretty awesome place, and I can be a part of trying to make it better for myself, my children, and my children's children.

So while my morning had started out wondering if I was still on the right path, the sight of one grumpy person made me realize that I have a lot to be thankful for and that while my life might not be all that I expected, it's still a really good life, and I have a grouch to thank for that!  Quite fitting somehow...

Whether you are celebrating  today with me or just popping by, I hope your day is filled with happiness and thankful thoughts for all of your blessings!  Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Shower Invitation

Just popping in to share one of my major projects that I've been working on.  This is the shower invitation for my nephew's fiance. My sister and I spent two hard core work sessions (translated: mostly talk, with some crafting) to get all of them done.  I didn't want to share the photo until the invites were mailed and since this is the one that I received in the mail, I'm assuming it's safe!

We went with something simple since we were making quite a few of these, but also wanted them to be elegant.  The embossing folder made this so easy!  We even resorted to child labor and made my girls add the dazzling details to the centers!!  While I really like this design, I am glad they are finished.  I'm really not cut out for the whole mass production business!

Thanks so much for stopping by and happy crafting!

Card Recipe: Paper-elegant eggplant, whisper white, Ink-elegant eggplant, Accessories-silver dazzling details, non SU stamp, elegant bouquet embossing folder

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenges #29-Fall into Fall

Hello! It's my turn to share a project for our current theme, Fall into Fall, at Anything But a Card Challenges.  I decided to make a scrapbook page holding photos of my favorite girls playing in the leaves.

I used an old Page Maps sketch for my inspiration.  I wanted to use brown as my primary color, but didn't want the whole page to blend in too much, so I chose an orange base and worked in a few accent colors too.  After I added the punched lace ribbon border, I thought it needed a little something to make it stand out a bit more.  So I colored some basic rhinestones with a pretty blue sharpie and voila!  I really like how the page turned out and I even managed to squeeze a ribbon flower on there! The leaves were some spares that were left from a different project, so I added more mustard ink to them so the colors worked with the page.

the ribbon flower (love making these)

the sharpie colored rhinestones-they really are shiny in person...

I hope you enjoyed my page and I would love to see you link up with us!  There are some wonderful projects to be view too!  Have a wonderful week!

Page Recipe:  Paper- orange base from stash, Orchard Harvest DSP (ret), early espresso, more mustard (ret), daffodil delight, Ink-crumb cake, early espresso, more mustard (ret), blue sharpie, Accessories-autumn accents die, woodgrain embossing folder, jumbo sticky rounds, island indigo ruffled ribbon (ret), lace ribbon border punch, orange alphabet stickers from stash

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flashback Friday- More Christmas Cards!!

I'm baaaaack! With another Christmas card!!! Shut the front door!  I also used lots of retired goodies- the only current items are some of the inks, and the chocolate chip and whisper white paper! Woo! Hoo!

Because the striped paper was pretty busy, I decided to keep the design simple.  It went together so quickly, I made four of them! Now I have four more cards to add to my stash!!

I'm surprised I didn't have to blow some dust from the stamp set!  I haven't used it in ages, but I really love it!  Such a simple image to work with.

Well, I'm trying to get my laundry done so I can go to a local arts and crafts festival tomorrow.  This is our traditional girls day with my mom and sisters, but one of my sisters won't be with us.  She somehow got this crazy idea that it would be more fun to take a cruise to the Bahamas with her husband instead of shopping with her favorite little sister... What was she thinking???  I'm hoping to score some fabulous crafting goodies and old postcards so I can rub her nose in it show her my purchases. Wish me luck!!

I hope your weekend is super fabulous and filled with inky, crafty, goodness too!

Card Recipe: Paper-Holiday Treasures DSP (ret), ruby red (ret), chocolate chip, whisper white, Stamp Set-Sidekick Sayings, Ink- stazon black, chocolate chip, old olive, ruby red (ret), summer starfruit, Accessories-chocolate chip ribbon (ret)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Girls Night Out with the Dishing Divas

Hi! I am so glad you stopped by and hope that your week is going wonderfully so far!  I don't know about you, but I'm counting the days until Thanksgiving!  I love getting together with my family and oh... the FOOD!!  I am so blessed to belong to two families of wonderful cooks!  Now if only I was blessed with a lot of willpower to keep from eating too much!

While I'm on the yummy food trail, I thought I would share a fun new group I've joined.  My Stampin' Up upline, Tiffany, started a food and crafting club called the Dishing Divas.  Every month, we sample four different one dish meals and make a few crafty things.  At the end of the club meetings, we will receive a hard bound cookbook containing all of our yummy recipes.  We had our first meeting two weeks ago and the food was fabulous! We had taco soup, pasta salad, lasagne, and enchiladas. Next month, I will be in charge of two dishes and I have no idea what I will be making... Any suggestions??

Our craft projects were pretty simple since several of the ladies don't normally do paper crafting, but sometimes simple is a great thing!  We made a cute gift tag to attach to the bow on one of Stampin' UPs kraft boxes (perfect for a little gift), and I love the CAS elegance of the one layer card!


It was a wonderful evening and I met some new people who share the love of good food.  I hope my meals measure up!

I'm sorry that I don't have a 'recipe' for the projects, but we used a new acrylic stamp set, whose name has escaped me, and the gift tag is from a kit in the Holiday catalog.

Have a great day and happy crafting!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Flashback Friday (on a Saturday night) -Still trying to get a jump start...

Hello! I am so glad you stopped by and I'm even happier that I actually had a little time to get online and post something for you to see!  I am amazed at how quickly time can pass lately.  Normally, I'm online every evening and catching up on things, but it has been several days since I've even gone online!  Things are going well with my job and our lives aren't overly crazy right now, but I still find that between work, family, and housework, there is very little time at the end of the day!  Not complaining though!!  I am however missing out on visiting my blog buddies and really want to squeeze in some time to visit everyone again!  So if I haven't been around lately, I promise I will be soon!

Many of you know that I am a true blue procrastinator and always seem to be doing everything at the last minute.  You may also remember that last year I actually had my Christmas cards completed early and was quite shocked at the extra craft time it gave me.  I also decided last year that I would make Christmas cards throughout the year so I could be finished earlier this year too. Well... let's just say that I started out with the best of intentions and then it all just kind of went out the window!  But I recently was inspired again to dig into some of my older papers and decided I REALLY needed to make a few (ha!) more Christmas cards before Dec. 25th!  So I pulled out some retired paper and ribbon, combined it with several current materials and knocked out 4 more cards!  They are all the same so I'm only sharing a photo of one.


On a noncrafty note, I've recently started doing a major overhaul of my entire home.  We are hoping to build within a year and I really want the actual move to be as painless as possible.  Our current little home is so crowded with stuff that we 'needed' when we moved here and I'm really trying to look at everything with a new perspective.  I think I've finally hit the point where I've realized that all of this stuff is not necessary and it will be so much easier to move if there is less to pack.  I even got the girls on board this week and they have gone through their closet and dresser to pull out any clothes they know they won't wear.  Now I need to make a trip to our local charity thrift store to give all of our 'stuff' a new home!  If you are looking for a great site to motivate you to organize and clean your home, Fly Lady is awesome!  She even sends you emails to remind you that you're supposed to be cleaning instead of playing on pinterest (not that I would EVER waste time on pinterest when there was housekeeping to be done...) Nope, sorry...couldn't keep a straight face through that one!!  She has a great sense of humor too which helps when you're facing a messy house!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend and find some time to be crafty too!  Thanks so much for visiting!

Card Recipe:  Paper-Holiday Treasures DSP (ret), old olive, Baja breeze, ruby red, whisper white, Stamp Sets-Four Frames, That's the Ticket, Ink-chocolate chip, ruby red, Accessories-old olive scallop dots ribbon (ret), ticket duo builder punch, decorative label punch

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A new challenge at ABAC!

It's time for a new challenge at Anything But a Card Challenges!!

School is in Full Swing and Indian Summer has faded - this challenge is open theme - Please share any current project you have created, and if it's FALL themed that's perfectly OK, too! JUST REMEMBER... create anything EXCEPT a card for this challenge. ALSO - Please new projects only {no-backlinking}. :)

**A REMINDER** This Challenge will go through midnight Nov. 23rd... giving you 3 weeks to play along and ENJOY the creative process! We will share more of our Design Team's creations each Sunday to keep you inspired.

I won't be sharing until the end of the month, but don't let that stop you from checking out the fun inspiration from the team and the wonderful projects that are being linked up!  Hope you find time to play along with us!!