Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years Later

It's hard to believe the attacks of 9-11 took place 11 years ago. At times it seems so far in the past and other times it feels like just last week. Somewhere, I have a journal that I began to write my feelings those first few weeks. In the move, it has gotten set aside to who knows where. It's not complete though. I got to a point where I felt it was too sad to continue writing. I realized today that I have not yet recorded my thoughts. For now, I will share my "Where I was" story from memory.

At the time, I worked at the Seymour Johnson AFB Base Chapel (in North Carolina) as the Religious Education Coordinator. Hubby was working mid shift on the flightline. He got home around 7 and I went to work after taking our son to school. I was in my office when my coworker Beth told me to come to the break room to see what was on the news. I thought she was joking when she said a plane hit the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, "They are huge towers, how can you miss them." As we are watching, the second plane hit the second tower. We know for sure, this was no accident. We both get on the phones to call our husbands. I know mine will have to wake up after not much sleep and head into work. If those F-15s are to get in the air, he'll need to be there. No answer. He must be sleeping very soundly. I call the neighbor to ask her to bang on the door and wake him up. She had no clue what was happening either. They called from the main Chapel to tell us we were to secure the building and head home until further notice. My office was right by the flightline. Every single time those Fighters took off I felt proud. That feeling intensified that day. I knew that they were up there patrolling the skies to keep our country from further harm.

My neighbor woke up my husband and just told him to call me. She didn't tell him what was going on. As I was telling him what had happened, the Pentagon was hit. I have never felt so scared in my life. We lived on a very active military base. Was there a chance we would be hit? Would the entire base soon we on lock down and we wouldn't be able to go anywhere? Our son's school was 20 minutes away. I called to tell them I was on the way to pick him up. The receptionist said, "Yes ma'am you can come pick up your child but we are not closing school today." I said, "You didn't get what I was saying. I am coming to get him no matter what. Please have him ready. I live on base and am not risking him not being able to get home after school." No way was I having my 10 year old be at school, possibly scared and not able to get to him. When we arrived at the school, some of the teachers were in the lounge watching the news. A friend of ours said they only told the kids that something happened that they needed to find out more information. They wanted to allow the parents to inform their children. When our son asked, "Daddy, what happened?" I remember looking up at the sky and seeing what a beautiful, clear blue sky it was. Such a beautiful day marked by such tragedy. My husband said, "Some very bad people did some horrible things today to a lot of people." Today, eleven years later, the sky was just as blue and beautiful.

My mom finally got in touch with me later that afternoon. She wanted to know what the Air Force was doing about this. Don't laugh. OK, go ahead, I did and I still do. She often asks me what the Air Force is doing in certain situations. My standard reply is, "Ya know mom, they just keep forgetting to call and clear everything with me. I have no idea what their plans are." However, on that day I told her that they were making sure we were safe. She asked if she should drive from Texas to North Carolina to stay with us in case anything else happened. I remember saying, "Mom, you are safer where you are than here with us. This base has F-15s and C-130s. We might just be a target. We are "Fourth but First" meaning if anything bad happens, these jets go take care of business. They are already in the air."

When we got home, we had the kids go play in their rooms so we could watch the news. So much devastation. So much pain. So much sadness. So much anger caused this tragedy. How could anyone do this? Why would anyone do this? What sick twisted mind could things of something so horrific as to target innocent citizens? All I could do was cry.

Those next few days, we as a country pulled together. We all agreed this was not right. We would not let them get us down. We would not let terrorists win. We came together as a unified country. Living on base, you are used to neighbors having flags displayed. What was new now was all the homes off base proudly displaying flags. The local newspaper even printed a full page, full color flag. Many businesses and homes put those paper flags in their windows as well as actual flags. If only people were still that patriotic. If only they still supported our military who are only doing the jobs they are told to do. If only our troops did not have to go to foreign lands and give their lives. If only terrorists never came to our country with the sole intent to do us harm. If only....

Eventually, everyone went back to working normal hours. There were still big changes on base. Security coming into the base was stronger. There were now cement barricades we had to swerve around every time we drove in and out of the gates. Parking was moved away from the buildings. More cement barricades were installed. The Chapel was open 24/7 for anyone of any faith to come in to talk, pray or just contemplate. Our Chaplains and Assistants that went to provide aid at the Pentagon came home. We got to hear their stories and how this event moved and changed them. More active duty were sent on deployments. This was nothing new to us. The reason why they were going was new. My husband was one who went. At one of our weekly meetings, I told the Chaplains, "Do not come to my door." They looked confused and asked what I meant. I said, "If something happens and you have to inform me, do not come to my home. Wait until I come to work. Home is our safe happy place and I don't want my kids seeing that happen." They assured me where my husband was going that chances were slim anything would happen. I'm sure those families of everyone in the Towers that day thought they worked in a safe place too. I am thankful they never had to come to my door. I am proud of the job my husband did. I am proud of the job we all did. I am proud to have worked on base during that time. I am proud to be an Air Force wife. I am proud to be an American.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I did it!!

Today was a big milestone for me. I ran my first 5k! A year ago, I would have never been able to accomplish this. I would have had to walk a good part of it and on flat ground. This race was through hills. It was awesome! I didn't finish anywhere near the top. That's not important though. What is important, is that I finished! I DID finish ahead of the walkers so that's good. ;) I might have done better if I was more accustomed to the 38 degree temperature. That was a tad rough on the lungs.
This is me in 2008, about 60 pounds heavier than I am now. Walking, running and eating healthier have helped me drop the pounds. No magical formula. No magical pills. Just determination and sticking to it.
This is me today, after running my 5k. I had a jacket on when I started. After about a mile I took it off and tossed it to my hubby as I ran by. He was taking pics from the side of the path. So happy he was there. ;) If it weren't for my inner ear issues, I wouldn't have had the beanie cap on. It was just enough to keep the wind off my ear. Cold wind makes for a very painful ear for me. BTW, the hat was handmade by a very nice lady in Japan.

I recently met another big goal. See, my friend Vanessa posted on Facebook that she was doing this challenge. The goal was to complete 100 miles in March. It wasn't about being fast or even finishing the miles quickly. The challenge was to get up and move. I decided to give it a go. Ya know what? I did it! I had to take a week off for medical issues and I still finished! That final day was my longest run ever. I completed 10 miles that day! I felt amazing after I finished. Not just because it was a good run but because I was proud of myself. I set a goal and I met it! Now to meet my goal of losing this weight and getting healthier. I'm not focusing on the pounds so much. I am focusing on feeling healthier and being in better shape. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend wherever you are. Stay safe if you are in those tornado areas. Remember to take some time for yourself. If the weather is nice, take a walk, work in the yard, go for a run. Just get active! ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

I love playing with paper. (and inks and glitter and stamps and and and lol) I started this canvas several months ago. I put letter stickers down for my phrase. I used inks and paints to cover the entire canvas. After the paint dried, I peeled off the letter stickers so my phrase would show in white. Pretty cool looking, right? Well, I wasn't happy with that. I added the silver Glitter Glass for my "pixie dust". Next, I added green glitter glue for more pixie dust. I still wasn't happy. I decided to set it aside and wait for inspiration. Well, inspiration finally hit last week when I was sick. Yes, while I was sick. lol This happens to me, a lot. I decided what this canvas needed was flowers.
The Brights Collection Pattern Designer Series Paper Stack was perfect for what I envisioned. I used the Blossom Party die to cut out several flowers using my Big Shot. Then I started wrinkling the paper. Yes, wrinkle it all up! The more you work with it, the softer the paper becomes. It will eventually feel like fabric. I did not want it quite that flexible and soft though. I wanted it to stand up off the canvas. I thought of distressing the paper before cutting the flowers but I worried the Big Shot would flatten out some of those marvelous wrinkles when it cut out the flowers. Next, I added tons of pixie dust aka glitter glue aka Dazzling Details. :) Remember, you can always add ink to your Dazzling Details to come up with any color you would like. After a long wait, the pixie dust was dry and the flowers were ready to assemble. As you can see, I mixed the colors on some and just mixed the patterns on others. I love that the Designer Series Pattern Paper is double sided like that. I used gold brads to hold the flowers together. I punched the brad through the canvas to hold the flower in place.
The tiny flowers are made using the Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack and Boho Blossoms punch. This is one of my favorite projects so far. I love how it brightens things up on a dreary winter day. :) I hope you are having a wonderful week. Be sure and get your crafting on this week! You deserve that "me" time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

So much going on.....

OK, so I told myself that I would blog more in the new year. Thats not working out so well so far. lol Life has just been crazy to say the least. We were notified that hubby's JROTC unit would be closed as of June 30th due to low enrollment. Students pick their courses in the Spring, he started this position in August and numbers are turned in to the Air Force in October. He did not have much influence over their low numbers. He has been working on recruiting for the 2012-2013 school year. Anyway, after the school officials speaking with the powers that be back at headquarters, the Air Force decided to put our unit on probabtion through the 2012 - 2013 school year. So, we went from thinking we were jobless as of June 30, 2012 to knowing we have a job until at least 2013. Now everyone in the program is working hard to meet the minimum enrollment. That being said, this is still a nervous time for me. I keep telling myself to not worry about "What if they STILL have low numbers this October and are closed next June?" There is nothing I can do about that. If we are meant to stay here in Virginia, it will work out. If we are meant to go elsewhere, that will work out too. It felt so odd to be back in the position we were last year at this time, not knowing where we would live and work come July. Now we have a clue. :) I've been dealing with many other issues and things but I won't bore you with that. I am trying my best to stay positive. Winter will not get me down! I won't let all this stress bring me down.
Now, onto my business and my art. I have started selling my art in a local store called The Charmed Butterfly. It is amazing! Artists can rent out space to sell their wares as well as rent out the space next to the retail store to work on their crafts, teach class, have a party, etc. I've sold canvases, cards and the paper tree I made. Remember, I showed it during the last Llama Blog Hop. ~Hello my Llama sisters! I promise I haven't forgotten you. I'll come bcak soon. Miss y'all!!!!!! ;)~ I have my Technique Tuesday class there every week. Well, now that I'm over bronchitis and the winter icky sickness I seem to get yearly. lol Saturday, January 28th I will hostess a fundraiser for The Lennon Project: Celebrate Hope there. I can't wait! I will be donating my commission from Stampin' Up! Sales. Attendees will make either a card or a 3D project. I haven't yet narrowed down what those projects will be. I'll work on that as soon as I finish organizing my art studio today.
Organizing is another thing that has kept me busy. I have accumulated so much "stuff". I have to decide what to keep and what to donate. The items I decide don't need to take up space in my studio anymore are being donated to the Art Center at the Charmed Butterfly. I've already sent over ink pads, wrapping paper and magazines. Many of their fabulous kids classes are crafts most of us grew up on. You know, those cool things you make using whatever is around the house. What a great way to upcycle!
I will be posting some creative goodies in the coming days. (I hope!) I have not yet been able to order new Stampin' Up! goodies from the current mini catalog. Oh the joys of living on a teacher salary. ;) I hope to get those at the end of the month. For now, I'll focus on what I have from the big catalog.
I hope your year is off to a good start and the weather is treating you well. Here, its been crazy. Its 15 one day and 65 the next. Stay safe & get crafty!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Boy does time fly! The holidays, from Halloween to New Year's Day, have just flown by at our hours. Again we have been dealing with illnesses. Guess this is just an unhealthy time of year for our family. (mainly daughter and me) didn't come here for that now did you? ;) I hope your year is starting off well. I am catching up on my art. I am trying to finish the 12 Tags of Christmas that Tim Holtz has done. I'll add the pictures to this blog post until I have all 12 up. When I do these tags, I always use what I have around my studio. No sense in going out and buying something new. Its a good way to use up this stash of random things I have around just taking up space.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Welcome to another Llama Blog Hop!

We llamas are celebrating the holidays with a fun Holiday Blog Hop! I'm sure by now you have gotten several fabulous ideas. Did you enjoy what Martha showcased? These gals are amazing, aren't they?!
 My projects for this hop are 2 luminaries using the Fancy Favor die, a Christmas card and a Christmas tree. Yes, a tree. ;) The luminaries are pretty simple, cut your Fancy Favor using your preferred cardstock. Choose any punch that fits the front of the favor. I used the 1 3/4" Scallop Circle punch and the Decorative Label punch. Yes, I know, you can not tell I used the scallop circle. I punched the hole before I knew what I wanted to do to decorate the front. I covered the punched opening with a piece of our paper vellum. Be sure you cut the vellum a tad bigger than your opening so you have room for adhesive. I punched the wreath from Warmest Wishes twice. I inked over the image very lightly with Soft Suede using a sponge. I then cut both wreaths out. The bottom wreath is cut apart to spread the leaves out more. I glued that over the scallop circle whole. I used just the "Be Thankful" phrase from the turkey stamp in the Gift Givers set. I cut that like a banner and glued it to the top.

The Christmas tree luminary is stamped using Holiday Happiness. I stamped the tree using Staz On since I was stamping on vellum. I stamped after I glued the vellum on and before I folded the Fancy Favor. I cut out the ornaments and attached them to the tree using our Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue. LOVE that stuff!
I found battery operated LED flameless tea lights at Sam's Club. They were in a pack of 24 for around $12. What a great price!

Now the tree. You've probably seen this done before. I just wanted to do one featuring SU's gorgeous printed papers! This beauty took me a few days. My muse seemed to keep wandering off. I started with a styrofoam tree. I cut Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper (DSP) into 1 1/2" strips. I ended up using 1 1/2 sheets of 12x12 paper. I inked the edges of each strip, front and back. I then cut each piece about every 1/4" to make fringe. Next, I curled the edges up over a chopstick. Yes, a chopstick. A marker was way too big, a pencil a tad to big but the chopstick was just right. Next was the tedious part. I hot glued each strip to the tree. You have to manipulate the paper to get it to go around the tree. It takes a bit of patience. Yes, I did burn my fingers a few times. That's what I get for only having a high temp hot glue gun around. I know I have a low temp somewhere. For some reason, it didn't get packed with my craft goodies. That's another reason to finish unpacking after our big move. lol I'm not one for exact measurements. I just kept gluing the strips around the tree. I put the next layer on top of the previous one wherever it looked good. Once I got to the top, I covered the top of the tree with a square of paper. I slit the edges so they would glue down flat. (I might do another blog post with step by step instructions for this tree later.) The topper is made with 15 scallop circles. Punch them out, fold them in half, glue together but only at the top half of each circle. I stretched that over the top of the cone and glued it down with hot glue. I then decorated the entire tree with glitter glue. Did you know you can make your own colored Dazzling Details? If you are a llama follower than you knew this already! Our gals showed previously how to use reinkers to add color to your DD.

Finally, my hop Christmas card. I had so many things in my head for this one. I like to use non-traditional colors in holiday cards. This one features Marina Mist, Perfect Plum and Old Olive. Cool combo if I must say so myself. ;) I ran a piece of paper vellum through the Snow Burst Embossing Folder. Next, I cut out 2 top note die cuts. One in Old Olive, the other in white. I trimmed the edge off the white so I could layer the pieces. I stamped the trees from Lovely as a Tree, Christmas Lodge and Scenic Season on the white for my background. (Do this before you attach the white to the olive.) I used post it notes to keep the trees from stamping where I did not want them. I added old olive and marina mist ink to the background using a sponge. Next I stamped my lodge from Christmas Lodge onto white using Staz On. I colored the lodge using old olive ink on a sponge and watercolor pencils. Dazzling Details makes gorgeous snow.  After the lodge dried, I cut it out. I glued together the stamped top not and the olive top note base. Next, I added the lodge using Stampin' Dimensionals. Curling the edges of the piece adds even more dimension. I embossed the "Merry Christmas" from Christmas Lodge using our Pewter Embossing Powder. After cutting it out, I glued it to my card. All done! A lot of work but well worth it. I hope you have enjoyed your stop here on the Llama Blog Hop. Now, head on over to Stacey's blog and see what she's got in store for you today. :) I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what or how you celebrate. Be sure and stop back often.

Here's a recap of all the llama blogs in case you missed one along the way.
Home hop page

April -

Buffy -

Christine G –

Darrah -

Debbie M -

Diane -

Heather -

Holly -

Jackers -

Jean -

Kathe D -

Kathryn R -

Linda W -

Marsha -

Martha -

My stop here on the hop! ;)

Stacey -

Stephanie O -

Friday, October 7, 2011

Join me in Fiji

 Yes, that's right. I said join me in Fiji. What better way to catch someone's attention and tell them about a free trip to a tropical location than with this adorable bikini card! I found the template at this blog. Yes, its years old but it is still adorable! I used Very Vanilla cardstock for the base. The pattern paper is from Sale A Bration. Sorry, its no longer available. I inked the edges of the bikini in Melon Mambo. I used the Scallop Edge Border Punch. The bling is Stampin' Up! Jewel Basic Rhinestones. A girl can never have too much bling, right?!

If you have been on the fence about joining Stampin' Up! then now is the time to hop over that fence! During the month of October you will receive a FREE Big Shot or $100 shopping spree in addition to all the other fabulous goodies in your paid kit. I would LOVE to have you on my team. The info is posted on my Stampin' Up! site. Contact me today for more details on this wonderful promotion and the trip to Fiji.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hello Friend

I wish you could see this card in person. It is so much cuter than the picture shows!!! I used the new, adorable Gift Givers set from page 39 in the Holiday Mini Catalog. I first stamped in Black Staz On ink. I then used the Aqua Painter (empty, no water just the dry brush) to paint this little girl's outift. The colors I chose were Melon Mambo and Tangerine Tango. Her face is Crumb Cake with Blushing Bride for the cheeks. The hill she is standing on is painted first with Moonlight Smooch Ink. I then covered the hill and the snowflakes with glitter glue. The "thinking of you" banner is hand cut. The sentiment is from Three Little Words.  The cut out on the envelope is made with the 1 3/4" Scallop Circle Punch. I tied a pice of Melon Mambo Scallop Dots Ribbon around the envelope for the finishing touch. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do the Llama Hop

Welcome to my little stop along the llama hop! If you just came to my blog and have no idea what I am talking about, hop on over to the llama home blog.
My projects for this hop showcase the Ribbon of Hope stamp and Elizabeth stamp, both from a la carte page 20 in the Idea Book & Catalog.

The first card, I kept clean and crisp. I embossed the ribbon in white, then inked over it using a sponge and  Melon Mambo ink. Supplies used: Basic Black cardstock, Heat Tool, White Embossing powder, Versamark ink, White Craft ink, Melon Mambo cardstock, Whisper White cardstock, Occassions Alphabet, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch and Basic Rhinestones.
The second card, featuring Elizabeth is very grungy and distressed. I wrinkled the pattern paper until it felt like fabric. I used the wheel to stamp flowers onto the ribbon. I frayed the edge of the card using the side of my scissors. Supplies used: Early Espresso paper and ink, Very Vanilla paper, Elizabeth stamp, white ribbon, Brights DSP. (designer series paper)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a busy busy week!

I'm busy getting ready for the 2nd Annual Midtown Street Fair. I can't wait! Today, I made a few Halloween items. Yes, I know, its 54 days away. However, if I want to show people the fabulous holiday goodies they can make, I have to get started! Tomorrow, I will finish Halloween and move on the Christmas. wwooohhoooo One of the goodies I made today is a treat cone. I will put candy in these and give them out to my daughter's friends on Halloween. Supplies used are Basic Black cardstock, Whisper White Craft ink, Big Shot, Petal Cone Bigz Die and Sticky Strip.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another year on Blogger!

Wow, I can't believe its my blogoversary again. :) I had planned on a give away but just havent had time to gather everything. Stay tuned for the news later.  My goal for my blog is to update more often now. Of course, we all know life gets in the way sometimes. I took time off yesterday to spend quality time with my daughter. Today, I have been dealing with a migraine. Its eased a bit. I thought I would post real quick while I can. :) I made this card last week. I will have a artist booth at the Midtown Street Fair so I've been busy making samples.
This card's base is Pear Pizzazz. I made the background using the dots stamp from For All You Do and Wild Wasabi Ink. I stamped the flower image from the same set, in Wild Wasabi onto Whisper White. I then stamped over the image using clear Versamark ink. I sprinkled clear embossing powder on the image and heat set the powder using my heating tool. I colored in the flowers with my markers. I inked around the Whisper White using the Wild Wasabi, applying it directly to the paper from the ink pad.
I will have to add the links to the products later. If you are interested in the items for this, or any of my products, let me know or head to my Stampin' Up! site. Now to figure out why Blogger is dating my posts in the future. I hope you all have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Time to get really inky!

I love love love to make things really inky. I decided today to make a tag. I love working with tags. The size makes it easier for me to just let loose. This one didnt quite turn out the way I planned. I still think its not bad. I used Bravo Burgundy and Always Artichoke inks. The base stamp on the tag is Christmas Collage.  I used Black Staz On ink to add the crown stamps from Artistic Etchings and Clearly for You. I painted Gold Lame Smooch ink on the bird from Noteably Ornate using a Stampin Sponge. I then stamped that onto Very Vanilla cardstock. I cut the bird out and layered it onto the tag using Stampin' Dimensionals. I don't have any ribbon to match so I decided to make my own "ribbon" for the top. I inked Bravo Burgundy and Always Artichoke onto Very Vanilla cardstock. I tore that into strips and inked again. I threaded those through the hole in the tag and attached with a staple. The entire tag has been edged in Gold Lame Smooch Ink. I hope your weekend is off to a fun start! Have a safe & happy Labor Day Weekend! My blogoversary is in 2 days so be on the lookout. There just might be something fun happening around here. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wooohhoooo Holiday Mini time!!!

First I want to say welcome to everyone from
I don't have a sample to post today. I had migraine & shoulder muscle issues. So, on to the goodies.....
Christmas is my favorite time of year! I am so excited that the Holiday Mini Catalog sale has started. You can either shop through that link or download your mini  here. I will be posting examples from this new catalog next week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Only a few more hours left!!!!

What?? You haven't shopped the Buy 3 get 1 FREE DSP sale at Stampin' Up!? Well, you had better hurry on over there! The sale ends today!! While you are over there, don't forget today is also the last day to buy from the Summer Mini Catalog!
Now, on to the craftiness. :) Remember I said I would show you projects with our fabu Designer Series Paper? Well this is just the beginning! This planner is made with a file folder (just snag one out of your filing cabinet, this is a much better use! lol), Paisley Petals DSP, Always Artichoke cardstock and ink, Bravo Burgundy cardstock and ink, Christmas Collage stamp, Stamping Sponges, Petals a Plenty Embossing Folder and Whisper White cardstock.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Get them while you can!

You have just 2 days left to order from the Stampin' Up! Summer Mini catalog!!! My favorite set from the Summer Mini is Strength & Hope. Yes, I used this one in my post yesterday. I want to share as many ideas with y'all about this fabulous set while I can. Don't forget, $2 goes to BCRF from the sale of this set as well as the digi set. I was inspired by a card on another blog for this one. For the life of me I can't find it in my saved links. (note to self, organize favorites) I used Early Espresso cardstock and ink, Blushing Bride cardstock and ink, Very Vanilla cardstock, Stampin' Dimensionals, 1 3/8" Circle Punch and 1 3/4" Scallop Punch. I inked all over this one using one of our Stamping Sponges. LOVE the way those sponges help with the distressed look.
A little hint about the sponges.....Cut them into wedges! I have wedges of different sizes. I use one per color family. Cut the sponge in half, then in half again, then in half, etc, until you get the size wedge you prefer. I hope your week is off to a fabulous start! Its a gorgeous day today here in Virginia! I will be in my studio most of the day creating for an upcoming fair. Of course I will have the windows open to enjoy the sunny day, the fabulous view and light breeze.