Monday, April 30, 2012

SURPRISE! Baby Shower honoring Shawnee's new baby, Felicity!

SURPRISE, Shawnee!!

Welcome to "...and Felicity makes 10!," a surprise baby shower for our mutual friend, Shawnee, who is known in the blogging world as the blogger behind "Blessed on the Bright Side." 

In her real world, though, Shawnee is known best as "Mom" -- to a precious brood of soon-to-be TEN beautiful children!  What a great family and what a blessing.

Today we are having a surprise baby shower for Shawnee as our gift to celebrate her precious new arrival, a little girl who Shawnee and family have named Felicity.

Each of the blog hoppers here knows Shawnee in many ways. I came to know Shawnee best when she lovingly and generously made banners for special needs kids, in the Banner Hops I've sponsored for Pediatric Specialty Care.
Even though (and maybe because) Shawnee clearly has her own challenges in raising children like Brighton, her precious little guy with Mitochondrial Disorder, she still finds time to give of herself to other children with special needs.  Sometimes she's worked on her banners while sitting bedside in a hospital, but still, she cared enough to reach out to "my" young kids at PSC (where I am Admissions Coordinator), as if they were her own.


Thank you Shawnee, for that love!

We have each made a two (2)-page 12x12" layout for Shawnee to post baby's new adventures, to help Shawnee get started on a scrapbook just for Felicity!

Here is my "Perfect 10 (diva)" Layout I designed and made for the newest  (and only the second!) girl in Shawnee's family:




Admittedly, I'm not much of a scrapbooker, so this was a bit of a challenge for me. (I'm a cardmaker!) To make this layout, I used Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker paper in her new "Audrey" line that honors Nikki's late grandmother. The cute baby peeking over the upper right corner was taken from a vintage (1960!) baby book I found at a consignment store. To use it, I scanned it into my computer and used it as clip art.
The dictionary definition of diva was also taken from a vintage dictionary found at the same store ... can you believe they had "divas" back then!?  I guess that's an age-old term! 

Now that you've seen my layout, don't forget to get a peek at all of the other sweetness that has been (and will be) sent to Shawnee for her baby's scrapbook. The "....and Felicity Makes 10" hop started at Lynne at Her Craftiness.   Your next stop along the way is with Anita at Anita and Bugs.

But wait ... before you go ... what is a Hop without Blog Candy? 


I'd love it if you left a comment here during this Hop, and become a follower here too.  If you do and are selected at random of the winner of my blog candy, I have an adorable stamp you'll win, honoring your every crafty day:


Remember: to be eligible to win this stamp, you must be a follower of my blog, and leave a comment on this post. In your comment, please do leave a way for me to reach you, should you be the lucky winner! 

And for eligibility for the overall Hop Blog Candy, don't miss leaving a comment at Lynne's Her Craftiness blog. Lynne's giving away some wonderful goodies from her stash.  There are other blogs that are having blog candy too, so don't forget to hop on through.  Here's the entire blog hop order, in case you're lost:

  1. Lynne ~ http://slasewcraftiness.blogspot.com/ (baby shoesies)
  2. Kimberly ~ http://scrappingrookie.blogspot.com (babies first pictures)
  3. Colleen ~ http://www.cbcscrapbooking.blogspot.com (bath time)
  4. Tina ~ http://craftyandgreen.blogspot.com
  5. Rachelle~http://creationsbyrachelle.blogspot.com (Bloom & Grow)
  6. Lisa ~ http://handmadewithlove-lisa.blogspot.com/ (Sugar and Spice)
  7. Beth ~ http://motherandaughterdesigns.blogspot.com/ ~ (Babies Wardrobe)
  8. Michelle ~ http://michellesdesignsforyou.blogspot.ca/ Hello world ,my name is Felicity
  9. Ellen ~ http://cardmonkey-business.blogspot.com/ A "Perfect 10" - Diva page!  YOU ARE HERE!
  10. Anita ~http://www.anitaandbugs.blogspot.com New Arrival  -- This is your next stop!
  11. Melissa~ http://pinkpolkadotscrapping.blogspot.com (my mommy and daddy page)
  12. Brenda ~ http://www.friendscraftinwithfriends.blogspot.com/ (sweet pea)
  13. Suzanne-http://www.cricutcraftingrammy.blogspot.com (sleeping page)
  14. Lisa W.-http://mycraftyspaces.blogspot.com (Peas in a Pod)
  15. Carolyn http://messmuddleandfun.blogspot.co.uk/ Hand and Footprints

Again, congratulations to Shawnee and Jason, and all 9 of their beautiful children, as they welcome their tenth baby: precious baby girl, Felicity.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lined envelope technique - Easy, peasy!

Good morning!

Isn't this just the sweetest image?  It's a rubber stamp from the UK company, Lili of the Valley.


I colored it with Copic Markers, added a computer-generated sentiment and a sweet gingham bow onto this custom card size (4"w x 4.25"h) with a top fold.  I'm adding this card to a boxed set I'm making for a friend ...

...LOL, a friend who would be unhappy to find mice in her kitchen!  I hope she likes the card anyway.

Update:  Envelope technique

I confess I was dreading making an envelope for this odd shape, and I want to share with you an interesting technique to have a colored interior to match your cardstock, while leaving the exterior postal-friendly white.

I created a template on hot pink scrap paper, then went to my color copier (inkjet) and copied the template onto white cardstock, like this:

They're actually the same size ... the photo distorts it,
though my color registry is off on the copier. I like the lighter pink
for this card, so that's okay.
Cut and folded, with adhesive strips added for the end-user, here is how it looks with the card. Don't you love it?!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Altered Candy Tin using Jillibean Soup papers

It's high time for some tea! Today and tomorrow, I am going to be showing you some handcrafted gifts I plan to bring to Sunday's High Tea at the home of my friend, Barbara.
Barbara was once my boss (1989-1995) and our department head. As testament to the cohesive type of public relations/marketing department we had at The Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr, PA) all of the women who once worked in the department remain friends, and see each other at least quarterly, even though most of us (including myself) have moved on or retired. This weekend, Marge (our former Admin Assistant) is traveling in from the Boston area, where she retired.

For this altered candy tin, I used a fabulous new line of paper from Jillibean Soup called "Coconut Lime Soup".  I got this paper when I purchased the April card kit called "The Card Kitchen."  I'd never bought a kit before, and I must say, this one was well worth it for the ideas, packaged embellishments and easy-to-follow instructions. I highly recommend it! (That's a clickable link on the name, so DO check it out!)

There are plenty of leftover pieces of paper once you're done making the eight cards in the kit, and you can get more ideas by checking out the Jillibean blog at http://jillibeansoup.typepad.com/thecardkitchen/blog_index.html.  This month's guest designer was Nichol Magouirk, one of my favorite card designers. 


I decided to stretch my creativity a bit further away from cards with the inspiration from the Coconut Lime Soup papers. 

I took some small (3.75" x 5") bits of leftover card stock and scanned it into my computer.  I played with the size of the paper images a bit, reducing them and printing on regular paper to make adorable labels for Hershey's nuggets.


Then I scanned and reduced the pretty "Cumin" paper in that line (the yellow with the cute multicolored flowers) and printed it on cardstock to cut the rolled flower die (from Cheery Lynn Designs).  This method works best to make the rolled flowers, I've found, since the white backing to the 2-sided papers is a bit more versatile. (Hint: I've also printed solid green on the backs of papers that I'm planning on making into flowers, or more of the floral pattern).

I added a small piece of the "Fancy Flourish" Cheery Lynn Design die for the leaves, and another Cheery Lynn Design die for the complimenting burgundy butterfly.  The belly band is just light blue Bazzill stock. The stamp is from Waltzingmouse, colored with Copics and Stickled. The tin, by the way, is from Papertrey Ink (PTI).


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Card for Mother's Day - Silhouette file

Mothers' Day is coming in just 2 weeks. Have you started your card yet?

Here is one that I made and will be sending to my beautiful mother.
To make it, I used my Silhouette Cameo. I purchased the card file, ($0.99) which included the beautiful floral image, sentiment and card -- everything.
 
That's Mom in the center, me on the right. My daughter
Emily on the left, and Charlotte in the center.
I then modified the file slightly to re-cut just the flowers in ice pink, the stamens in yellow, and the card background in blue.

First I cut the main card in sage green Core'dinations card stock. The background is pale blue, also Core'dinations. I adhered the cut file front to the front of the blue paper. Then I added the re-cut flowers to the card.

Prior to assembling, I inked the edges of the flowers in Versamark light pink ink, and used a new-for-2012 color "Tuscan Orange" (E27) Copic marker to mark the petals' notches, giving them a more realistic look. For the stamens, I also colored the centers with the E27, as well as Maize (Y35), and dotted with a fine line Sharpie in the true center. I then burnished the flowers and stamens using my Paper Bunch flower kit, to soften and give dimension to them. A circle of glue (I like Martha Stewart's fine line glue applicator) at the petals' center edges and stamen root, and I'm done!


Cameo Update: In case you're wondering, I haven't had a whole lot of time to play with my Cameo yet, but my early assessment is that it's wonderful!!!!  I love how smooth and detailed the tiniest cuts are, and the files are plentiful and easy to search and use.  The mat has just the right amount of sticky -- holds the paper snuggly yet allows for safe and easy removal of those small cuts.  Two thumbs up!!!

Thank you for brightening my day!

I owe a thank you to many fellow paper crafters, but today this shout out is going to JAMIE FITZGERALD, whose adorable blog is called "Glitter Stamps and Paper Oh My."  Click the name to be taken over for a visit.

When Jamie saw on Facebook that my precious granddaughter Charlotte loves all things "Streeeeeeeeet" (aka, Sesame Street), she generously offered to send me two bow holders that she had made for her daughter. Adrianna had outgrown the cute crafts -- Bert and Ernie on one, and Abby Cadaby on the other. 

They're adorable. I'd show you a picture, but Charlotte already has them before I was able to photograph.

So Jamie, this card is for you.

The recipe: I used a Lawn Fawn floral paper from a 6x6" stack ... I'm loving these smaller stacks for cardmaking!  I mounted the floral paper atop a warm purple Bazzill paper. Next, I computer-generated the sentiment, printed and rounded the corners, and inked the edges. It's popped for dimension. I added two butterflies cut with Cheery Lynn Designs dies; I inked and glimmer misted the butterflies too. A strip of knotted grosgrain ribbon, accented with a CardMonkey Embellie stick pin, and I'm done.

Thank you again, Jamie, for your thoughtfulness. I'm mailing this card to you (as soon as I find your address!!!). I hope my blog followers will hop over to see your pretty altered candle for Mother's Day, and comment, as I know you're feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. Know you're loved!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Now THIS is accomplishment!!

I promise to post more crafty goodness, particularly some of the work I got done at yesterday's fantastic crop. I actually was productive! 

But in the meantime, I just wanted to post two things that were awe-inspiring that I saw on various websites today. These remind me of the power and beauty of nature:

A newborn fawn:


And a link to a website, where you'll be amazed at the grandeur of the scale of our universe:

http://htwins.net/scale2/

When I see each, and think of these real accomplishments by the Higher Power in the blink of His eye, it's hard at the moment to boast that I got some cards done this weekend, and still didn't finish folding the laundry!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Organizing your supplies to take to a crop: Copics

Hello, Bloggie Friends!

I have been making some fun cards this week, but most of my attention has been paid toward getting ready for the first Scrapbooking/CardMaking Crop I've ever hosted! 

I'm expecting 12 croppers to an all-day event near my home in Warminster, PA. I've rented space at the 263 Marketplace (www.263marketplace.com), rented tables and chairs, and I'm bringing my machines, cartridges, dies, etc.  Woot-woot!! {Pictures to follow this weekend -- if I remember my camera!!}

I am SO looking forward to seeing some of my Central NJ gals again, and also meeting some crafters I only know through this blog or Facebook!!  Gosh, I'm SO excited to meet local paper crafters!!!!!

Of course, this means I have to pack up a good bit of my stuff for the Crop, which means a different level (e.g., portable and safe!) for my organization.  It may mean I keep some of the organization like this when I bring the crafting materials back to the PaperJungle. So I figured I'd show you some of the ways I've found to store/transport my stuff to the Crop.

I'm going to make this a dynamic post ... that is, I'll be adding to it throughout the course of today's packing day. 

Here's my first entry:  Copics!

The last time I went to a crop, all of my Copics fit into a clear paint bucket ... not much on "organization", but it was certainly portable.

And here is how I usually have my Copics stored ready for use in the PaperJungle (not at all portable):

(BEFORE)


For this weekend's crop, I've found that my Copics fit nicely into an Iris "Card Keeper" that comes with six dividers:

(AFTER)

I subdivided most of the sections by cutting pieces of corrugated cardboard to fit, 5.5" high by 10" wide. I organized the markers by color group and by Copic Color Number.  If I didn't have enough in that group to fill one whole row, I put removable/changeable cardboard "fill" so that the markers would stand up when in use.

Now as most Copic users know, you really should store these babies laying flat, so both nibs (top and bottom, broad and fine) stay juicy and ready to use. The nice part about this storage system is that it can stand on its end, and the cover is removable for easy use, like this:


Note that the Copic chart is now folded and is on the top of the case.

Incidentally, I created a Copic color chart that includes all of the new-for-2012 colors. If you'd like me to send a .pdf of the file to you electronically for your own use, leave me a comment here with your e-mail address and a note that you'd like me to send it along.

...back to packing!

Monday, April 16, 2012

KISS in cardmaking (Keep It Simple, Stupid)...

Sometimes, simpler is so much better, I think ...

Here is the original card I made, using cuts (top/bottom)
from my new Cricut SOPHIE cartridge,
and a banner with text in the middle, with ribbon:


and here is Version Two ...

Same cuts, but without that fussy banner in the middle.
I simply set the greeting on the computer and printed.
It also could be stamped, if you have something
that works:



Since I was going for kind of an "Amish" look,
I think the bottom one works much better.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thanks Sew Much ... Using my new Cameo AND my Cricut

On Friday evening, I had an opportunity to unpack, set up and download the files to set up my new Silhouette Cameo. It was easy, and a delight! 


I've written a more complete review and history ... maybe some details as to why you may want to add a Cameo to your craft room if you're a Cricut-only kinda gal.  Rather than clutter this main page up with too much text, I posted the whole review on its own page; you can find it by scrolling over to the right side bar ("Pages"), or go there, by clicking this link: http://cardmonkey-business.blogspot.com/p/thinking-of-silhouette-cameo.html


Here is the card I made to feature in this review:

More details on the card:  The background is a vintage pattern I got from Vicki Chrisman on her Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/VickiC). It wrapped a vintage mini-mold that held the tiny spools of thread (at left, front of the photo) as well as the vintage buttons and S&H green stamp.  For the images of the tops of the spools, I simply sat the two spools of thread on my copier and created my own vintage embellishments from the cut-outs. The pearls around the Sophie doily are from Mei Flowers. I set the sentiment on my computer and after cutting it with a Spellbinder's label die, I sponge-tinted the background of the label using Copic markers (pink and cool grey) and a blender (00) marker.  The "stick pin" is an old embroidery needle. Pink thread by Coats & Clark. Faux stitching using a Gelly pen.


I purchased and downloaded the vintage sewing machine image from the Silhouette shop, downloaded it to my Cameo and cut it at 3.5” on Core’dinations cardstock, using the default settings to cut. I was amazed at how finely cut the paper is (see the top bit representing thread on the machine, which is only slightly wider than the actual thread I wrapped around the spool). A downside: the new mat is so sticky that one fine swirl of“thread” to the left got stuck/left on the mat when I removed the image.

To contrast, the doily behind the sewing machine was also cut on Core’dinations cardstock, but I used my Cricut and the new “Sophie” cartridge, an exclusive to Cricut Circle members. (Yay!! I won this cartridge from Erica at http://mycricutcraftroom.blogspot.com. Thank you, Erica -- I LOVE the cartridge, and as a non-member of the Cricut Circle, I would not have an opportunity to get this cartridge otherwise.) 




The booklet that comes with the newer cartridges recommends minimum setting sizes for each image – and this one was 5”. While the image is cut cleanly (and I used a new blade for a fair comparison), it is far less smooth than the image cut with the Cameo. The curves are a bit jagged, and some of the smaller connections were more fragile than the Cameo’s tiniest cuts.

The bottom line:



For crafters who like the simplicity and guidance of images in a collection on a cartridge, a Cricut is for you. I have the Cricut Expression and a Cricut Cake. There are also a Cricut Expression 2, the smaller Cricut personal, the original Cricut Create, and the smallest Cricut Mini. ProvoCraft also sells a Cricut Imagine, which combines color inkjet printing and cutting together, for enhanced print/cut capabilities.


On the downside, if you limit yourself to a Cricut, you will not be able to use the vast array of millions of images created worldwide in the SVG format. However, ProvoCraft now releases dozens of new cartridges weekly (announced on “Hello Thursdays”).


ProvoCraft has expanded into a broader per-image market with the introduction of its new Cricut Craft Room (accessed at http://www.cricut.com/craftroom/default.html). If you have some computer knowledge (PC or Mac-based) and want to add to your capabilities beyond the cartridges but don’t want to (or can’t) invest in a new cutting machine, adding Cricut Craft Room (CCR) to your mix might be the next logical step.


But if you are comfortable with your computer and want to move into the world of SVG files, and creating your own files from JPEG images, then you'll need to move to an electronic cutter and its software that supports that endeavor. There are many companies that sell SVG files (and have freebies, too). Here are My Top Dozen favorites:
  1. SVG Cuts (http://www.svgcuts.com/)
  2. SVG Attic (http://www.svgattic.com/)
  3. My Grafico (http://www.mygrafico.com/)
  4. Lettering Delights (http://www.letteringdelights.com/)
  5. Two Peas In a Bucket (http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/)
  6. Little Scraps of Heaven Designs (http://littlescrapsofheavendesigns.com/)
  7. Treasure Box Designs (http://www.treasureboxdesigns.com/)
  8. Visual Designs by Chris (http://www.visualdesignsbychris.com/)
  9. Paper Piecings by Nikki (http://www.paperpiecingsbynikki.com/)
  10. Designs on Cloud 9 (http://www.designsoncloud9.com/)


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Those were the days.... How did we ever survive?

This has been going around the Internet and is posted on a few blogs I know. I enjoyed the memories so much (and added a few of my own ... I'll add those in red italics) that I decided it was too fun not to share!

Do you remember having to use scissors to cut out intricate designs, I mean, before the age of personal digital, electronic cutting machines? How about these memories ....

Black and White
(Under age 40? You won't understand.)You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
'Good Night, David.
Good Night, Chet.'

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too.
(I'm very certain I didn't eat raw meat. My mom was a Critical Care Nurse -- she definitely would not let us do this. BUT she did defrost meat on the kitchen counter. AND our turkey always had stuffing cooked in it, without fear of salmonella!)  Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting E-coli.  (Then again, every one of my school sandwiches was a peanut butter and jelly -- my choice. I still can't stand the smell of peanut butter caked knife that's in a glass of water.)


Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then. (And we didn't wear "safety wings". At our local swim club, there was a high dive then -- I mean, REALLY high dive. We all took swim lessons to get "certified" and face the fear.)
The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school Public Announcement (PA) system.
("Beepers" were the guys who drove on Main Street, honking their horns at pretty girls. "Tweet" is what birds do in an early spring morning. "Twitter" -- well, we didn't have that -- but I guess that is the flurry of your heart when you saw your crush and {OMG} made eye contact!!  Voice mail was what was left on the answering machine that you hoped your little brother didn't get to {and erase!} before you got home -- on the school bus.

A "text message" was a ripped-out piece of loose leaf paper that your girlfriend {or PLEEEASE God, my crush!!} would slip to you in the hallway, or pass over the aisles in class. {PLEEEASE don't let it be seen and taken by the teacher, or intercepted by the guy who was teasing me ... and we didn't call it "bullying" then. Bullies were the ones who beat the crap out of some kids, including other bullies. Yeah, I still remember the psychological bullying I endured in junior high and high school -- but I'm not in counseling, and yes, John Graves, I still am a "fat cow."  And THANK GOD there was no place like Facebook or a BLOG to post my rant about John Graves. By the way, John apologized at our 5th year high school reunion. I forgive you, John. Jean Gorecki, you really treated me miserably as a new kid in 7th grade when my family moved into the area. I forgive you, too -- but hope somebody treated you as you did me, in college or in life. We knew about karma then, as now.)

We all took gym, not PE...and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

 (I never mastered the rope climb, which had us required to scale to the TOP of the gymnasium to touch the ceiling. There were no safety harnesses or nets ... if we fell, we fell. And got up and were so embarassed about it, we didn't tell our parents, much less a lawyer. If we broke a bone, we got a plaster cast which was really cool because you could have all your friends sign it in ink, and you got out of gym classes for a while with an Excused Absence. If we forgot our gym uniform, we had demerits and extra demerits earned you more laps around the school yard. After gym, we were handed a towel by the gym teacher who sat at the exit to the showers marking off anyone who skipped a shower. We'd cheat it by sprinkling water on our shoulders and hide our boobs and "privates" with the towel that we wore into the shower. We didn't have to shower if we had our period -- but be careful of timing if you're lying to avoid a shower. Any extra 'periods' or missed ones, and you were reported to the School Nurse, and your parents. There were no opportunities for hidden pregnancies in my school!)  

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything. (Our school nurse also wore a white dress and white support stockings and wore her nursing school pin on her uniform. I was a volunteer in my school nurse's office. I got certified in first aid, and she taught me the right way to change a pillow case so I didn't get germs on me, and the new pillow case didn't touch the floor. I still use that technique.)
 

Brother Ed, I still remember when you fell asleep watching TV ...
Mom and Dad woke you to tell you to go upstairs to bed.
"And make sure you go to the bathroom before going to bed."
You were so groggy you peed right onto the TV screen.
I've been traumatized (from laughing so hard!) all my life.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.  I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations. (When the new TV schedule came out in the fall -- thank you, TV Guide! -- we'd circle the shows we wanted to watch and who had first dibs on the black-and-white. We had one TV, and it was in the family room. It was a big deal when we got an antenna on the top of our house, and a rotor system that Dad could adjust it for better reception. It was a major big deal if there was too much grinding on American Bandstand. We weren't allowed to watch Soul Train.

We didn't have much time to watch TV anyway -- there was always band practice, after-school activities that were FREE, the late "athletic" bus and walking home when you missed it, color guard with tassled boots and a rifle to twirl. If we got home before it was too dark, we'd go outside and play with our friends -- Kick the Can, Rover Red Rover, Dodge Ball, and all sorts of other street games. Having a large red rubber ball like from gym class made you popular. And an EYE-PAD was something you wore when you accidentally ran into a tree and nearly poked out your eye. Yeah, we had flashlights back then, but only dorks used them. I wouldn't know what an Internet was back then, other than maybe it was the net for the badminton court on the inside? 


I DID know what a hairnet was, though. Mom put it over her pincurls at night so they'd set as she slept. If they were still wet when she woke up, she sat under a hair dryer -- we all had the big cone-shaped things! Then they finally came up with a "portable" hair dryer ... it had a stretchy cap with holes in it to let the hot air come in through a tube that was attached to the hot air blower. You could buy longer hoses if you needed to be able to reach the phone, which was corded and attached to the wall, and used a dial. Sometimes you couldn't get an outgoing line because the party line was being used by your neighbors.)

Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!  (There actually was one time when the doctor had to come -- {HOUSE CALLS!} -- when my friends and I played "Follow the Leader" over a bee's nest. Who knew that my brother's waving his arms and acting crazy {as usual} was because he got stung? I fell on the nest and had five stings on my right knee. The doctor injected the antihistimine into my butt. I remember it distinctly! And then I went to sleep, and nobody worried that I would be anything but well in the morning. By the way, I didn't know one kid who was diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, or Autism, and judging from my days as a volunteer in the nurses' office, I can tell you there were no kids who came in to get daily medications. I did have a third-grade boyfriend who died from cardiac disease, but otherwise -- and even though my class sizes were very large (700+) -- I didn't know one kid with cancer or diabetes, although my best friend in 6th grade had asthma.)


We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat. (We also played in the pile of "topsoil" that Dad had delivered to the backyard to spread over the lawn. I just learned last year that it was really sewage sludge. My brother and I played with his Tonka Trucks in it, and dug in the dirt with Mom's sterling silver spoons. She didn't know -- we didn't know they were "for good."  Yes, Ed and I replaced them for my parents' 25th (silver) anniversary.  We also played in haystacks at construction sites, on the huge (15' tall) rock in my backyard, in the nature preserve down the street, ran and sledded in the woods, and went tobagganing on the hill at the elementary school. If we didn't come home when the dinner bell or the "triangle" rang or the boat horn sounded, we were in deep trouble. We rode our bikes through fields and on busy streets -- gasp, no helmets!!  Nobody I knew got a head injury from falling off a bike, though we did get pretty scraped up. It was not unusual for us kids to sit on the open back "door" of the station wagon, while Dad was driving over the bumps, and he was never seen as abusive or neglectful for allowing it.)

And what ever happened to REAL circuses?? That came to your
neighborhood's empty lot with a tent?  Or at least nearby?!
OMG -- what happened to all the empty lots??!
We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home. (And we'd get our mouths washed out with soap if we were caught bad-mouthing, cursing or talking back to our parents. I preferred Ivory Soap, in terms of taste.)
I recall Scott Galloway from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck. (We climbed in trees too -- really high -- and dug out snow tunnels in between our house and the Galloway's. In the summer, all the kids and families from our neighborhood got together in our conjoined backyards -- no fences then -- and had a picnic with pie-eating contests, three-legged sack races, and a bonfire. We ran carnivals benefiting Jerry Lewis's Muscular Dystrophy Telethon or just benefiting us. Some of the money we earned paid for visits to the ice cream truck -- the best was Mr. Softee. By the way, Jimmy Jenkins got his hand blown off when he threw a soup can full of gasoline into the leaf-burning pile. And my cousin Brian caught his pants on fire playing with matches -- it burned his leg really bad but skin grafting saved it. He went on to run track at Villanova University and now sells insurance. Hi, Brian!!)


To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes. We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!  (By the way, one year at Thanksgiving, my older sister -- who always has, and always will, marched to her own drum -- announced that we had the most dysfunctional family in the world. We all sat around the family dinner table kinda looking at each other, sensing the irony that we were all together with knives in our hands and there was no blood or tears shed, and wondered where she got this "New Age" term. Now we've grown up, and the most of our disagreements focus on politics. I've now given up on speaking about politics an even thinking about politics, so you all are on your own to disagree.  For me, I've made the choice. I answered the question: "Would you rather be right or happy?"  Me, I'm sticking with the joys of papercrafting and being happy.)


How did we ever survive?

(P.S. -- All of these images were "Googled".  In my younger years, if I "googled" anything, it meant I was staring at it and making funny eye-rolling gestures with my face. I guess that's the same look I give to my computer, from time to time!  Computer?  What's a computer?)

Chance to win a $100 GC at "Kristin Wilson Handmade" Blog



Now here's a clever way to gain followers to a blog ... offer up a splendid prize like this one that Kristin Wilson Handmade has up on her blog.  Hop on over to her new blog {CLICK THIS LINK} and follow her rules for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Scrapbook.com.  GOOD LUCK!! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Springtime greetings




Charlotte's stopping by
to remind us all to
stop to smell the flowers ...

and that when life
doesn't hand you roses,
dandelions are
good enough.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ahh .... Spring. Celebrating Life, with Louis Armstrong. AND blog candy winner announced!



Celeste: Feel free to pick up this button!
Also, hearty congratulations to CELESTE for being picked at random by Random.Org to win the cute bumble bee die from my "April Showers Brings May Flowers" blog posts. Celeste, please send me your mailing address, via e-mail to cardmonkey@comcast.net, or by using the Kontacr form below. 

Thank you again for all of those who visit, follow, and comment on my blog posts. All of your comments are very dear to me!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Believe In Yourself" card -- Believe in Spring!! Day #2 of the April Showers/May Flowers Blog Hop

It's Easter .... Is there a more glorious time to honor God's precious gifts to us: His flowers?

Here is southeastern Pennsylvania -- among many other portions of the country -- we have been blessed with unseasonably warm temperatures so far in 2012. Our winter was very mild, and as a result, our growing season has already begun. Magnolia trees are in bloom, azaleas are coming, daffodils are up, as are tulips and hyacinth. My lilac bush has budded, and trees are verdant!

First, let me share two beautiful Easter pictures I saw today on Facebook:


Can you imagine how long it took the Easter Bunny to Egg this tree??!



He is Risen.  Isn't this an amazing homage?

Now, on to the "April Showers Bring May Flowers" Blog Hop ... I found this picture on Photobucket, and though I'd share it to get you in the mood for what's about to come in gardens everywhere  ...



I have to laugh, because around these parts, "April Showers bring MUD!" first. Oh well, with "black thumbs" (I have "WANTED" posters with my picture up in many plant stores!), I'm better off creating my own flowers, like this one, below...

Here is the card I made for Day #2 of this hop:


The flower itself was cut using a new Spellbinders die that has the crafter "cut, fold and tuck" the petals to give it a bit more interest. I laid the flower atop a Cheery Lynn Designs die called "Flourish".  I inked a fussy-cut banner that I stamped with the Believe in Yourself sentiment.  The papers are from the Petite Paper Pack from Lawn Fawn.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog posting today. I do have a wee bit of BLOG CANDY available, and it's just in time for spring:

This sweet Sizzix die is one of my favorites.
I use it several times a year -- "Bee Mine" at
Valentine's Day, or a general "You're Bee-Ootiful" card.
I attach it to an Action Wobble for extra fun!

To be eligible to win it, there are two steps:
1. You must be a follower of the CardMonkey blog.
2. Leave a comment on this blog about the card shown above.


Now, zip on over to the next stop on the April Showers Bring May Flowers Blog Hop, which belongs to ZENITA ("Z").


Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The "April Showers Bring May Flowers Blog Hop", April 7-8

Welcome to the "April Showers Brings May Flowers" Blog Hop! This hop will showcase things that are all about Spring, so please sit back and relax and let this hop put you in a springtime mood.

Here, the sweet smelling cool rain gently wets the ground so the seeds poke their heads out and become beautiful flowers.

If you happened to stumble upon the hop here by chance, and want to start from the beginning, it all starts with Lissa at www.somanycrafts.com.  Starting here will take you through the entire hop of inspiration.

Here is the sweet card I made for this Hop:


For this card, I used a sweet digi-image that I colored using
Prisma colored pencils (with turpentine for softening) and
Copic markers.  I added Stickles to represent the rain and
water. The clouds were cut using dies; they were embossed
with Cuttlebug swirls folder. I wrapped the card in Honeydew-
colored twine from The Twinery (purchased from Ginger Snap
Scraps, a new* online store by my friend Cori), and I made the
Cutie wrapped flower having cut it using a Cheery Lynn Designs
die I purchased from Happy Scrappy.  The banner was hand-cut
and stamped with a sentiment from Pink By Design's "Enjoy
the Journey" set.  The lilac background paper is from a 6x6"
stack by Lawn Fawn (from Ginger Snap Scraps, as well).

*P.S. Ginger Snap Scraps is having a Grand Opening special
through April 8 -- Free shipping on orders over $25, anywhere in the U.S. and Canada!  
Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog posting today. I do have a wee bit of BLOG CANDY available, and it's just in time for spring:

This sweet Sizzix die is one of my favorites.
I use it several times a year -- "Bee Mine" at
Valentine's Day, or a general "You're Bee-Ootiful" card.
I attach it to an Action Wobble for extra fun!

To be eligible to win it, there are two steps:
1. You must be a follower of the CardMonkey blog.
2. Leave a comment on this blog about the card shown above.

Now, zip on over to the next stop on the April Showers Bring May Flowers Blog Hop, which belongs to ZENITA ("Z").

Happy Spring!

Long Time, No See!

Hello, Friends and Followers! Gosh, I didn't realize how long it's been since I last posted on my blog. Let me catch you up...