Monday, March 31, 2014

April Shower Banner

(Click on any photo to see enlarged)

Hello everyone, happy Monday and welcome to this week's Bitten by the Bug 2 challenge.  My sweet design team sister, Sharon is hosting this week's Cricut challenge.  Sharon asked us to create an April Showers project:  baby shower, bridal shower, rain showers, etc.  And as Bethany is having bridal showers in April, I crafted a bridal shower banner!

Bethany's first shower is being hosted by my next door neighbor, Penny.  Penny asked if I could assist her in planning her shower.  Her theme is Southern Belle Afternoon Tea.   Using my on-line digital program, I created the invitations above (info redacted) for the shower.  Penny really liked the pinks and the roses.  

I promised Penny that I would also craft a banner for the shower.  Using two Cricut cartridges - Sophia and Pretty Pennants - I created this seven pennant banner.  I used card stock from Close to My Heart, Heartfelt Creations, and Bazzill.  I embossed each banner section with an Anna Griffin embossing folder using my vagabond.

The middle section of the banner defines a Southern Belle.  It features the wedding bells cut from Pretty Pennants, which I cut in two different card stocks. Using scissors, I cut the bow from the pink cut, embossed the bow, and glued it over the bow on the white bells.

In keeping with my Bridal Shower theme, I added two pennant sections that contain this pretty umbrella cut out.   I embossed the top pink layer and, using a dauber, I added color with Red 3D Stempel Farbe Stamp Paint.

I added four sections that contain Southern Belle Secrets.  Each of the Southern Belle Secrets was printed onto white card stock and cut out using Spellbinders dies.  I finished each of the Southern Belle pennant sections with a rose from the Sophia cartridge.  I embossed the top layer of each rose and added Red stamp paint with a dauber.  See below for a detailed look at the rose.

Be sure to head over to the Bitten by the Bug 2 blog and check out the fabulous projects the Design Team created this week.  They rocked the April Showers challenge!!

I will be back tomorrow (insert shocked look) with the April Close To My Heart news and a new technique to share that I learned last weekend.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pretty Baby Shoes with Flowers

Hello everyone. It is Monday and that means it is time for another Bitten by the Bug 2 Cricut challenge.  This week's challenge is being hosted my my sweet Design Team sister, Pam.  Pam has challenged us to use Spring Flowers on a project this week.  With the lingering winter in many parts of the US, I think the sight of spring flowers would brighten everyone's day!  I know I love flower, but especially those first blooms of spring.  

I had planned to make a spring flower embellished "purse", but the more I looked at this darling baby shoe cut on the CTMH Cricut Artiste cartridge, I just couldn't resist crafting a set of sweet pink, flower embellished baby shoes!  I used two cartridges to make the shoes, CTMH Artiste and CTMH Art Philosophy.

I cut the top layer of the shoe four times - two cuts in pink Close To My Heart solid Sorbet card stock, and two times in CTMH print card stock.  I did this for two reasons: 1. to reinforce the shoe upper after embossing, and 2. to create some contrast inside the shoe.

I used one of those beautiful Anna Griffin embossing folders to emboss the baby shoes - this folder is called Pirouette and I purchased it at HSN.  

 In addition to the solid color CTMH card stock, I also used print CTMH card stock from the Ariana set to create the flowers on the front of the shoes.  I cut the flower in three sections - the small green print centers, the bold floral middle section, and the pink chevron print background section.  I used glue to hold the flowers together and apply the flowers to the shoes.

I finished the shoes with pink organza ribbon bows.  Wouldn't these little shoes be adorable at a baby shower?  

Be sure to go by Bitten By The Bug 2 and check out the fabulous Spring Flower projects my Design Team sisters created!  This is such a fun challenge, especially at this time of year, I hope that you will make time this week to join us in the challenge!!

 You will not want to miss March's Stamp of the Month, HAPPY PLACE!  I love the stamps of these darling nesting dolls!  Just look at a couple of the fun things you can create!!!

The Stamp of the Month set retails for $17.95, or with a $50 order, the stamp set can be added to your cart during check out for only $5.00!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Life Up-date! Or - A lot of Hard Work for Nothing!

Last Monday I posted about the major life changes happening in my life:  Doug's new job schedule, Bethany's wedding planning, my Mom's Alzheimer's and move, and the rearranging that was underway in our house in order to make my mother more comfortable after the move.  Well, on Wednesday I received another major shock:  my brother went to my mother and convinced her not to move to SC and live with Doug and I, but rather to move in with him!  Of course he did this without discussing it with me so I was completely shocked when my mom told me on Wednesday that she was not going to move here.

I had discussed my mother's situation and move previously with my brother, who told me that he did not want my mom living with him because he did not want his young son exposed to my mother's decline.  He had actually mentioned putting her in a nursing home, so imagine my surprise when she told me she was going to live with him!  My brother actually never did tell me that he wants my mom there, rather my mom told me that his partner, the mother of his son, wants my mom there.  He also knew that my mom preferred to stay closer to his son and her home area.  But still, I found his behavior rather high handed and I was left with may questions and trust issues.

I spent the first 18-24 hours in shock.  I spent the second 24 hours attempting to understand my brother's motives.  I do not think he has a real understanding of what they are in for as he was absent through much of our grandmother's Alzheimer's.  I know I should view this decision by my brother to move my mom to his house as a blessing for me, but I cannot help but have reservations and distrust his motives.  Finally the third day I decided that while there was nothing I could do about the change of plans, I could implement a few watch dog safety measures and hope for the best.  Hopefully I will relax if I see that she is indeed happy there and that everything is as it should be.

Yesterday was my 54th birthday and the day I finally made peace (as much as possible) with the new situation.  I spent the day relaxing and being pampered by my husband.  (Have I mentioned recently how wonderful Doug is and how much I love him?  He is such a good man!!).  I began the long process of putting my scraproom back together and preparing the guest room for painting.  As of tonight, my scraproom is almost returned to normal - though with a less cluttered closet and more organization and without the planned bed move, and the guest room is ready to be painted.  Of course then my daughter and her fiance backed out of painting this weekend after they found out that my mom would not need the room right away.  Grrrr.  I just want my house back to normal.  After the painting I plan to move a lot of the wedding boxes to the guestroom closet.

Doug spent a big part of the day working in the yard and I spent a big part of the day working in my scraproom.  We think a nice dinner from Ruby Tuesday's and leftover cake and ice cream will be a perfect end to our mutually long day.

With my scraproom almost back to normal, I will be back on Monday with a new Bitten by the Bug 2 project to share.  In the meantime, I am posting photos of the flowers Doug gave to me for my birthday (I could not think of one thing I wanted other than flowers!) and the birthday cake he surprised me with last night!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Where, Oh Where, Am I Hiding?

Hello Friends.... I have missed you!  In all of the years that I have been blogging, I have NEVER before gone two weeks without a new post.  I am ashamed of myself for this lapse, but honestly, I just needed a break from one area of my life.  Sadly, I unintentionally chose a fun part!

There are so many stress-filled things going on in my life that for the most part, I have handled well.  However, I finally reached a point where I had to let go of somethings and ask family for help in other areas.

The last 18 months have brought major changes to our lives.  Some of you know that my husband returned to work last summer after a 10.5 month layoff.  We were thrilled that Doug rejoined the work force, but we were concerned with the location of his new job.  Doug works out of town three to four days each week.  One of many things we discovered while Doug was laid off was that we enjoyed being home together!  We were looking forward to eventual retirement and spending our days together.  After almost of year of day to day togetherness, Doug's new schedule, our "new normal" has taken quite an adjustment.  And my biggest fear with the new normal is that we will adjust to being apart and may not enjoy our time together down the road.

All of you are aware that my only daughter, Bethany, is getting married to a wonderful man this summer.  The wedding prep has been a mixture of fun and stress.  There are still many things to do, though we actually have a good handle on everything for the most part.

We met with the wedding cake designer last week and I must tell you that it was the most fun thing we have done recently.  Bethany and John were so organized and enjoyed the experience so much.  I was so impressed with the cake they designed.  Three flavors, four layers, and a perfect representation of Vintage-Rustic, their theme.

In addition to cakes, we have also been looking at cupcakes.  How pretty are the cupcakes in the photo below?  Ours will not be quite this detailed, but I do love this photo.

And finally the other HUGE thing going on in my life concerns my mother.  My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a year ago. In that time we have witness losses in many areas of her life.  Her health is great, but she has reached a point where she does not need to live alone, though she is not ready for assisted living.

Last December, after a visit with us, my mom decided to move in with Doug and I.  I think she thought that since I was alone part of the week, this would work well for both of us.  And in many ways she is right.  The bottom line for me is she needs me to be there for her and I want for her to feel cared about.

I am finding my mom's move to be very overwhelming.   I am making several huge changes in the layout of our home to accommodate the move and increase living areas.  I am having to remove all of the furniture from our guest room, because my mom naturally wants her own bedroom furniture.   And while we are moving furniture around, we have decided to switch our office and dinning room areas, which will allow our great room to expand.

I want to keep the antique bed that is currently in the guest room, with a new mattress set that has only been slept on 5 nights(!).  SO, (gulp!) I am giving up half of my scrapbook room in order to keep the bed.  THAT is going to be a huge undertaking.  My scrap room is over-flowing. And ALL of this is happening in the next three weeks in the midst bridal shower planning, Easter, spring break, etc.

So, I apologize for checking out of blog land on you and for being a horrid team leader at BBTB2, but life has gotten in the way of my paper crafting joy!  I look forward to the day when the house is settled, mom is here, and life returns to a new version of our "new normal" and stops throwing stress my way!

I will try to keep you up to date on the changes, but in the meantime, I hope you will forgive my sketchy blogging habits!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Favorite Cartridges - Wedding Sneak Peek

(click any photo to see large)

Hey-o everyone!  It's Monday and that means it is time for the weekly Bitten by the Bug 2 challenge post.  Our challenge this week was selected by our talented Design Team sister, Mayra, who's challenge is a bit.... CHALLENGING!  Mayra asked the DT members to select their favorite Cricut cartridge or Cricut cut and create a project.  Wow!  She really thought I could select only one cartridge??  Well I tried....

You know how I always say that Art Philosophy is my favorite cartridge?  Well it is one of my top favorites!  But I also LOVE Pretty Pennants and the font on CM Divine Wedding.  So I combined three of my favorites and created this banner for Bethany's wedding to use on the cake table.

I do not recall if I have shared, but Bethany's colors are pink and brown - with three shades/tints of each hue.  With her colors in mind, I designed this seven pennant banner - there are three photo pennant elements, two word element pennants, and two wedding cake pennant elements.

I used Bazzill wedding card stock for the white/ivory cuts.  I also used Close To My Heart Champagne color card stock, and Bazzill pink and brown card stock.

I love the photos that I was able to add to the photo pennants.  I chose two fun photos and one posed "couple" shot to use in the brown wrought iron cut outs.

I love the fun photos above and below.  I used three layers on these pennants - pink scalloped background, wedding ivory middle layer, and the brown iron cut on top.

You may have noticed that all of the pennant sections are trimmed in flowers.  I used CTMH Champagne card stock, white American Craft card stock and pink Bazzill card stock to cut twenty-four Art Philosophy roses.  I used the CTMH quilling tool and glue to assemble the roses.  Once dry, I glued the roses, in various combinations and colors, to the corners of the pennant sections.

I added brackets to the back of the pennant sections to run ribbon through.  I used ivory silk-like seam binding to attach the sections together.  I also used champagne colored silk-like seam binding and chocolate brown CTMH ribbon strips to embellish each corner of the pennant sections.  

I really like how the pennant came together and I think it is going to look great on the front edge of Bethany wedding cake display.

Be sure to go by Bitten By The Bug 2 and check out the fabulous projects my Design Team sisters created using their favorite cartridges/cuts!  This is such a fun challenge, the most difficult part is picking a favorite cartridge or cut, I hope that you will make time this week to join us in the challenge!!

 You will not want to miss March's Stamp of the Month, HAPPY PLACE!  I love the stamps of these darling nesting dolls!  Just look at a couple of the fun things you can create!!!

The Stamp of the Month set retails for $17.95, or with a $50 order, the stamp set can be added to your cart during check out for only $5.00!