Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.

My Chloe Beth turns 4 today - at exactly 8:01 pm - and I really cannot believe that it's possible. Seven years ago we were in the throes of pain and frustration as we struggled through our infertility issues. Chloe is the result of the miracle of medicine and fervent prayer. On top of the difficulty in conceiving her, I developed severe pre-ecclampsia when I was pregnant with her and she had to be induced nearly 6 weeks early. She was such a teeny little thing.
She was only 4 pounds 11 ounces at birth, and she quickly dropped under the 4 pound mark as she struggled to eat and hold her body temperature. She had a NICU stay and was able to come home once she weighed 5 pounds. Here she is at home, in preemie clothes, with a perspective object. My poor darling was just a bit bigger than a banana!!

Luckily, she did start growing and eating and thriving! Although she is still small for her age, she has gotten a bit bigger than a banana!

Happy Birthday, Chloe. I love you from here to the moon and back!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yesterday was Chloe's dance recital and she did beautifully! She was excited this year (last year, not so much!) and didn't cry or fuss! She's only 3, but she's now had 2 full years and one summer's worth of dance classes. She can shuffle-step with the best of them. :) I'll post some pictures later on this week.

In stamping news, I've been really busy trying to get things done around my house, so I haven't gotten a lot of crafting done yet this summer. Chloe's birthday is next weekend and boy do I have an ever-growing list of things to get done! Once her party is done I'll only have a few more weeks left to work and then I'll get back to my routine of trying to stamp one thing every day! Especially with the new SU! catalog coming out soon - I need to use up all my retiring In-Color papers. You know, I have only 2 precious packages of Cool Caribbean left from last year? I still love that color and just hate to part with it. But, I AM using it for the recipe swap I'm doing for Courtney. I can't hold on to it forever.

I'm so bad about that - do you hoard anything? It's really ridiculous! I need to do some donating. I am going to be helping out with the nursing home ministry at my church - I plan to have simple cards that the women can stamp for their loved ones. It should be a good way to use all my excess supplies and not feel sad about parting with them!

In addition to the recipe cards, I've been working on my stash of "cards ready to send." This is one of the stamped images Kristine sent me as part her PIF game. (I still need one more person to PIF to, by the way!) I don't know who the image is by, though, but I just love him! I used a ton of Crystal Effects on his cap, boots, and umbrella. I added some touches of Dazzling Diamonds to his wings, just to give them a little shimmer. Isn't he adorable?!

Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Yo Yo Yellow

Stamps: Unknown - Kristine, let me know! :)
Ink: Staz On Black, Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise
Designer Paper: Cutie Pie (altered with ink and CS)
Other: SU! Markers, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Diamonds, Watercolor Pencils, Blender Pen, sponge, sponge daubers, 2-way glue, White Signo gel pen, 3/4" Circle Punch, 1/2" Circle Punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Turquoise dew drops, Red Button (unknown), Flowers (Prima), Black Floss (Designs for the Needle)

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Scrap Affair

Have you checked out the new scrapbook supply store in our South West Houston area??

A Scrap Affair is located in Sugar Land quite close to Austin High School, an easy drive from Katy, Missouri City, Sugar Land, and Richmond. You HAVE to go visit! Not only do they carry a wide range of products - from papers, tools, stamps, inks, embellishments, and more - the customer service is outstanding!

I'm undertaking a pretty big project as a gift for someone and Meredith Watassek, store owner and Design Team member, took the time to show me around the store and help me pick out some great embellishments. She offered some cute ideas, and I even got a First Time Buyer discount! {!!} Pretty cool, huh?

While I was busy shopping she was helping another customer design her wedding invitations. Meredith was so sweet, explaining layout and such to this girl who was excited about the project, but a VERY new crafter. She even offered to order some things directly from the distributor so that the customer wouldn't have to spend so much money buying the embellishments individually. How's that for service?!

Even though I live 15.5 miles away from the store (which is about a 30 minute drive with traffic), I am totally going to be a regular there! Check out their website and blog and be sure to go visit!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun with fuzzies

A few weeks ago I was going through my blogroll and someone (I hate that I can't remember who!) had a post about Crushed Velvet Flock by Doodlebug Design Inc. The card was super cute, although now I can't even really tell you what it was. I'm pretty sure it was a baby card. Anyway, this stuff is like glitter, only soft and fluffity, and just adorable.

So, I had to get some. And I did. I played with it over the weekend and OH MY GOSH! Such fun!

Here are the two cards I made with the flock (and you can see some of the flowers courtesy of Kristine on the little girl version).

I made the top one first and by the time I started working on the second one it was LATE and I was sleepy. So, I have a few mistakes (can you find them?!), but I think they are still pretty cute. I used the Crushed Velvet Flock on the little elephants and they are so much fun to touch! I used crystal effects on the ears, but I don't like the way there was some bleeding on the 2nd card. Not sure why. I still like the way they turned out, though. :)

The flock, by the way, is really easy to apply. You just sprinkle it over your choice of adhesive - I used my trusty SU! two-way glue. You need to apply it liberally and then press it down to make sure it all sticks. Then, just shake it off. I dusted it into a clean cupcake paper and then funneled it back into the bitty jar it came in. I used white flock over colored ink on both cards.

The flock comes in single bottles and a sampler set with 12 colors, which is what I bought. Has anyone used this on things other than paper? What have YOU flocked? :)

Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Tempting Turquoise, Rose Red, Lovely Lilac

Stamps: Nursery Necessities
Ink: Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Lovely Lilac, Craft Ink: Certainly Celery
Designer Paper: Flowers for You
Other: Crafter's Tool Kit (paper piercing), sponge, 2-way glue, White Signo gel pen, On Board chipboard (Lots of Letters), 1/16" circle punch, Crystal Effects, Ticket Corner Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Hodgepodge Hardware, Certainly Celery Button, Black Ribbon (unknown craft), Crushed Velvet Flock (Doodlebug Design Inc.), Flowers (unknown), Black Floss (unknown craft)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pay It Forward!

Over at Kristine's blog she is doing a Pay It Forward experiment. You can read about it on her original post here. I was one of the fast responders to join the fun, and this is what I found in my mailbox today...

So, now it's *my* turn to pay it forward. The first three commenters will get a little treat in the mail from me - as long as they promise to pay it forward as well!


In the mail today I also received this darling invitation to a 1st birthday party for a 4th of July baby. It's from my friend, Lynette, and her daughter, Erica. They worked extremely hard making like 50 of these for Erica's baby girl's birthday. They used mostly SU! products, because I've taught them well! ;)

It's Brilliant Blue, Basic Black, Whisper White and Real Red CS. They stamped the one on the "wick" with craft ink and then added Dazzling Diamonds to it. The stars are pre-glittered foam craft stars, and the waves were cut with a CM cutter. Isn't it the cutest thing?!

See ya!

It's that time of year (didn't this JUST happen??)....the Retiring List for the Spring-Summer 2008 Catalog is out. You can check it out HERE.

Remember that although the accessories list won't be posted until mid-July, this year's In-Colors will also be leaving us forever. Along with them will go any of the designer papers which featured them. Be sure to also keep in mind that the accessories always seem to FLY right out of availability, so if there is a stamp set that is retiring, the matching Designer Paper, Wheels, etc, will more than likely be gone, too.

So, don't despair! Do some shopping and get yourself ready for the new catalog, which won't be here until AUGUST! YIKES!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

And they all played games...

Do you remember the Ladybug Picnic song from Sesame Street? You can check it out on YouTube HERE. I used to love those bugs. And I'm not really a fan of the many-legged.

My daughter, on the other hand, LOVES BUGS. I mean, she really really loves bugs. All bugs. Spiders. Flies. Ants. Worms. She is not afraid of any of them. Now, she knows that some bite and sting, but she still won't allow for the mindless slaughter of any creature while she is around. It's catch and release (and squish or spray when her back is turned!) at our house.

So, when it came time to chose a birthday party theme for Chloe's 4th birthday her choices pretty much surrounded creepy crawlies. When she suggested ladybugs - I immediately thought we could have a Ladybug Picnic. And so we are...

The ladybugs are purple because Chloe is red/green color blind and she wanted them to be in a color she likes. :)

These were actually pretty easy to make now that I have my very own Coluzzle. The are Lovely Lilac and Basic Black CS, BB brads, and some 3/4" punched circles. I highlighted the circles with Crystal Effects so they are nice and shiny. I printed the inside on my printer, so these didn't see ink nor stamp....I had to make a bunch, mind you!

Now I have to make the thank you cards!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

No more classes! No more books!

And *I'm* the teacher! lol (and I absolutely never (almost) give dirty looks!)

School's out for the summer and before the last day I had to make some little gifts for some co-workers who actually took the time to get to know my students this year. Since I teach a self-contained class for kiddos with severe autism we don't often have a lot of help. But, for those few people who helped teach my boys, and who truly became part of their circles of support - I am deeply appreciative.

And while they deserve much more, this is what they each got:

And, of course, lots of Thank Yous and Hugs and such. :)

I am actually still working a bit this summer - I'm teaching a school readiness program for 3-5 year-olds with autism. It will just be 4 days per week and only 3 hours per day, and only for 6 weeks - so I'll still get lots of time with my own dynamic duo.

Speaking of my dazzlingly cute kids....

We are going to have so much fun this summer! :)

Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Rose Red, Garden Green, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White

Stamps: Tart & Tangy, Tagger's Dozen (sentiment)
Ink: Basic Black

Other: SU! markers, Scallop Circle Punch, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, 1 1/4" Circle Punch, Pretty in Pink Brads, Crafters Tool Kit, 2-way Glue, Market Pantry Water (Target), Crystal Light
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