Saturday, December 27, 2014

fancy folds-the paper plunge #14

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

i hope you all had a wonderful holiday~ whether a very merry christmas or a very happy hanukkah!

i was pouring over my christmas gifts from my wonderful husband...MANY new stamp sets and accessories from the new stampin' up! spring occasions catalog...when it dawned on me that i needed to create a fancy fold card for this week's challenge at the paper plunge.  i have to say, i haven't created a fancy fold card in years so i decided to keep it simple!

here is what i created...

this upright z card is so easy to create, has endless possibilities and will now be a go-to favorite of mine.  the template may be found here with a wonderful set of directions and pictures included.  i'm still in the christmas spirit so the theme was easy...and easier yet because, well...did the front look familiar?  i just plopped on a little nugget from the card candy i made a few weeks ago, and viola!  a really cute card! the fun part is, the tree is in the spirit of a fancy fold, too!

stamp set:  good greetings
ink:  stazon black, crumb cake
cardstock:  cherry cobbler, crumb cake, always artichoke, under the tree specialty dsp
extras:  polka dot ef, some other embossing folder (but i have no idea since i just grabbed that already embossed piece of paper out of my scrap drawer!), pearls, gold glitter, glue stick, gold buttons, gold cord (retired), banner punch, petite petals punch, sponge

i love this holiday season...i live for this holiday season!  christmas eve is just my favorite.  there are so many childhood memories of going to my great grandparent's home for pierogies...the cream soda from the porch, the ribbon candy in the candy dish, the ride home peering out the window for a glimpse of santa on his sleigh and the voice over the radio giving us his exact's all so wonderful.  i try desperately to continue the tradition of our very polish meal...and of course with a new time comes new traditions...but every year is truly rooted in a time i hope i never forget.

the author, jose clemente once wrote, "tradition is a joyful memory of a people".  that is for sure.  cooking that meal, sharing it with family and friends and laughing about stories of long ago brings me great joy.  i am blessed to have such traditions and wonderful, fond memories.

i hope you find peace,  joy and the warmth of family and friends surrounding you this holiday!

peace be with you-

Friday, December 19, 2014

a pop of color-the paper plunge#13

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

thanks for taking time out of your very busy life to stop by and check out my blog!  it means the world to me!  This week at the paper plunge we are looking to use white with a pop of color.  just like on a wonderful snowy is all white outside, when all of a sudden, a cardinal flies by and gives you a little glimpse of color!

here is what i decided to create:

although i am totally in the christmas spirit, right away i thought of beautiful blue butterflies!  i love the way they just pop off the white page!

stamps:  papillon potpourri 
ink:  pacific point, stazon black
cardstock:  white, pacific point
extras:  white satin ribbon, beautiful baroque ef, sponge dauber

again, thank you for taking the time to visit!  i once read, "time is precious...waste it wisely"!  do something this weekend that brings you joy!

peace be with you-

Friday, December 12, 2014

merry christmas to you!...the paper plunge #12

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

today, the paper plunge is celebrating the holidays.  so for me and mine, that means CHRISTMAS!

(and in case you are wondering, there are 12 more days left for shopping!)

here is my card for the week:

stamp sets:  ornament keepsakes (retired-gah!), bright & beautiful
ink:  cherry cobbler, crumb cake, old olive, momento tuxedo black
cardstock:  cherry cobbler, naturals vanilla, old olive, under the tree specialty designer paper
extras:  cherry cobbler seam binding ribbon, gold cord (retired-double gah!), stripes ef, chalktalk framelits, sponge

the best best part about this card is, i designed it with my friend, laura, last weekend.  not only did i enjoy making some christmas cards while listening to christmas music, drinking diet pepsi and eating mega m&ms with the card came together, we both squealed with delight and, i think, we may have even high-fived each other!  i just love those kinds of moments!  it felt like know what i mean?  

as the grinch once said, "maybe christmas doesn't come from a store.  maybe christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more."  that's what i believe, too.  christmas is a feeling. yup, that's it precisely... 

thank you for stopping by!
i appreciate you

until next time-
peace be with you

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

christmas card candy...the paper plunge #11

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

with thanksgiving, cooking with carlo, cookie swaps and everything else i do, my post is waaaay late! at the paper plunge, we were looking for a bit of card candy...those little bits of stickable love that you can use on a card, gift or scrapbook page.  this is what i came up with...

i never made card candy before, and was hesitant to even participate.  however, i found this was a lot of fun!  once i decided on a style/theme for them, i enjoyed how quickly they went together.   i will love sticking these little pieces of artwork on gifts this year.  

lucille ball once said, "if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.  the more things you do, the more you can do."  i'm that busy person...can i do something for you while i'm at it? haha

thanks for stopping by...i appreciate you-

peace be with you-

Friday, November 21, 2014

the paper plunge #9 and the card concept #23-visions of santa

hi there tracey, momma, friends old and new!

this week at the paper plunge, we are keeping it simple!  our theme is clean and simple...and as you know, i think this is a hard style for me!  here is what i came up with:

stamp set:  visions of santa
ink:  momento tuxedo black, real red, crumb cake
cardstock:  crumb cake, real red and santa & co. dsp
extras:  (retired)red satin ribbon, sponge

i also entered this card at the card concept for their #23 challenge using this theme.  i consider this a layered clean and simple card.

i know these dancing santas from the stamp set visions of santa are a little creepy to some, but i love them! these weird little dancing men bring a smile to my face every time!

i guess maybe my fussy cutting happened anyway while i wasn't looking...i used the technique of paper piecing to give this guy fancy pajamas and a 3-d beard.  so, although this is a simple card, i had to go and complicate it a bit anyway!  

i once read, "the most simple things can bring the most happiness".  i am going to remember that as we approach the holidays head on.  i am going to use those words as an anchor for enjoying the hustle and bustle of the season ahead.  baking cookies, making cards, cooking pierogies, buying/wrapping gifts...all of these things are simple joys for me, however, will sometimes cause stress...not this year!  they are all things that bring me happiness...i'm going to remember that!

thank you for stopping by today!
i appreciate you-

until next time,
peace be with you

Thursday, November 13, 2014

the paper plunge #8...we are grateful for you!

hi tracey, momma and friends old and new!

at the paper plunge we are expressing our gratitude to those of you who have joined us for our first seven challenges...and are looking forward to what you will create this week-#8!

the theme for this week's challenge is 'giving thanks'...creating a card that shows gratitude.  whether it is a thanksgiving card or a thank you card is up to you.  here is what i created:

ink:  chocolate chip
stamp set:  lots of thanks, hardwood
cardstock:  chocolate chip, crushed curry, pear pizzazz, very vanilla, crumb cake
extras:  perfect polka dots ef, flower frenzy bigz, autumn designer washi tape, burlap, banners framelits, motley monster designer paper, crimper

pretty self explanatory, i guess.  

i also added this to the challenge at the paper players #222 for their challenge of gratitude as well!

when i began this blog, i promised i would be positive always...i lied-but bear with me. 

it was a really hard, emotional day...just some parenting junk that comes with having a learning disabled young man in the house.  boy, was i having a huge pity party for myself! as i was writing this post, i thought it would be appropriate for my quote to be one of gratitude, since that is the theme.  as i was searching for just the perfect one, i came across this quote from buddah...

"let us rise up and be grateful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we did get sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."  

that just made me chuckle.

although i am glad today is over, i am reminded quite simply, other people have it much worse than me.  i'll be fine.  dan will be fine.  i need to remember my life is good...everyday.

thank you for stopping by today-
i appreciate you.

peace be with you

p.s.  as a special education teacher, i have often shared a particular essay, written by emily pearl kingsley, a parent of a special needs child, with the parents in my class.  i thought it was time i read it again...

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

Friday, October 31, 2014

the paper plunge #6

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!...and happy halloween to all!

this week at the paper plunge, we are challenging you to create anything but a card!  the design team out did themselves so please pop on over there to take a look and be inspired!

i decided i was not going to break my cardinal rule of 'christmas after halloween' (although the hallmark channel is airing the first christmas movie of the season tonight!  woo hoo!) so decided on this adorable triangle box.  i thought it would be fun to have this little cutie at each place setting for thanksgiving dinner...serving as a name plate and a take home treat!  directions for this little holder of goodies can be found at splitcoast stampers.  directions for the wonderful treats inside the box are found in this're welcome!

stamp set:  for all things
ink:  versamark
cardstock:  under the tree specialty designer series paper, gold foil sheets, rich razzleberry
extras:  retired organdy ribbon and gold cord, gold basic metal buttons, autumn accents bigs, gold embossing powder

turtle treats:  lay small pretzels (twist or waffle shape) on a cookie sheet.  top each with a rolo candy.  place treat in preheated oven for about 2 minutes.  take out of the oven and press a pecan on top of the rolo.  these are super easy and oh so yummy!  it's a holiday staple in my house!  shirley, my sisters mother in law, loves these little babies and it's the tradition of giving her a separate little baggie of take home turtles that prompted this treat holder!

today is halloween...i have a love/hate relationship with the day.  i have always loved it as a mother, but as a teacher, not so much.  i am excited for the kids and the parade...however, the rest of the day is like herding cats!  they have trick or treating on their minds!  this year our staff is sticking to our year long theme of super heroes.  yes, i will dress up...but it got me thinking...we all possess some sort of super powers...maybe not those that move mountains, allow you to leap tall buildings or even save the world.  just simple powers that make us super in ordinary ways.  i promise to tap into those powers and make today super, because like spiderman's uncle said, "with great power comes great responsibility."

thank you for stopping by-
i appreciate you

until next time,
peace be with you-

Friday, October 24, 2014

it was a dark and stormy night-the paper plunge #5

hey momma, tracey, friends old and new!

today is a new challenge at the paper plunge.  the theme is a dark and stormy night.  we wanted to create dark or halloweenie kinds of cards.  this one was tricky for me...i don't have a lot of halloween stuff to play with these days.  i needed to get creative!  i have truly enjoyed what other crafters have done with stampin' up!'s white christmas stamp set so i thought i would give it a go.  this is what i came up with...

yes, i agree!  quite different for me!  this, however, was inspired by nature... it was about a week ago when the blood moon made its appearance.  i was in awe at its beauty.  what made it particularly cool were the sparse-leafed trees in the foreground i saw while walking my dog, ruby, in the neighborhood.  so naturally, when i knew this card needed to be created, i used the memory of that beautiful and dark night.

stamp set:  white christmas
cardstock:  crumb cake, black, pumpkin pie
ink:  olive green, early espresso
extras:  sponges, blendabilities markers, hand-made cloud template

if you are reading this post, can you do me a favor?  could you, would you play along with us at the paper plunge?  it doesn't matter what your skill level is...we just want you to join us!  my sister reluctantly agreed to begin to challenge herself just recently by putting herself out there.  we were laughing the other day when i asked her how it was going...if she was enjoying the experience.  she replied, "it's awesome!  i feel like i have a lot of friends i didn't know about each time someone comments on my card!"

i think this quote, by an unknown, is perfect:  "it's impossible," said pride.  "it's risky," said experience.  "it's pointless," said reason.  "give it a try," whispered the heart.

like my sister, i cherish your comments and look forward to reading them each day!  thank you for taking the time to leave me some love!

thank you for stopping by-
i appreciate you

until next time,
peace be with you-

Monday, October 20, 2014

the paper plunge #4 and a creative blog hop

hi momma, tracey and friends old and new!

last week was a crazy one-fun, but crazy...and although i never got to post my card on the paper plunge for the tag-you're it! challenge...i thought i'd show you what i did...i have to say, i love this card!  it is a bit more simple than my usual flair, and i really love it!

stamp sets:  flower patch, good greetings
ink: elegant eggplant, old olive, cherry cobbler, crushed curry, stazon black
cardstock:  very vanilla, elegant eggplant cherry cobbler, under the tree specialty designer series 
extras:  polka dots embossing folder, flower fair framelits, pearls, cherry cobbler seam-binding ribbon, retired red organza ribbon and gold cord

so there you have it...the card that never made it to 'press'!

last week, amanda frankle from our crafty playdate nominated me to participate in the creative blog hop.  i was tickled pink, to say the least.  i have never met amanda, however, i consider her a dear friend.  she asked me to join her as a designer for the paper plunge and i have been connected to her ever since!  i enjoy her blog and her amazing talents...especially when it comes to 3-d projects!  

1.  What am I working on right now?  this one is kinda next submission for the paper plunge!  here is a little sneak peak:

i'm sure you can guess the challenge for next week, huh?  in addition to creating for the paper plunge, i am holding a club this friday with six wonderfully amazing ladies!  i am in the middle of deciding what our theme will be so that is on my brain and all over my table.  one thing is for sure, i like to put a little treat at their spots for when they arrive.  i just recently saw this candy bar holder and thought everyone would love it...

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?  when it comes to card making, the trend is clean and simple.  it is also pretty eclectic...with washi tape, gorgeous grunge and splashes of color here and there.  i love the new look.  i, however, am a traditional butterfly and flower kinda girl.  i LOVE lots of layers and fussy cutting!  simple cards are the hardest for me to make...i can't help it!  here are a couple of my favorites..

3.  Why do I create what I do?  plain and makes me happy.  working in my lady cave is pure joy for me, especially when i am coloring and cutting.  i also find myself thinking about whether or not my crafty ladies would like a project...they tend to dictate some of what i do.  their successes and pure joy in what they can do also makes me happy!

4.  How does my creative process work?  most of the time, i am inspired by a challenge, another card i have seen, a color combination or by something i saw (one of my favorite inspirations came from a blouse a woman was wearing in front of me at church!).  from there, an idea/design will pop into my head...usually as i'm trying to fall asleep! gah!  then it's down to the lady cave and i let the magic happen.  some cards come to me quickly and some may take me hours to make...all the same, it's time i love!

i hope you have enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me as much as i have loved sharing with you!  i am humbled by amanda asking me to participate in this hop.  be sure to back track beginning with amanda's blog to get your creative juices flowing and for some incredible inspiration!  

now...i get to nominate someone to share their creativity with you! helen burnley at blue dahlia designs is a lovely lady i met at this past summer's stampin' up! convention.  we actually met on the plane on the way to utah.  she reached out her hand without hesitation and i have enjoyed our connection on the paper plunge ever since.  it was actually helen that told amanda about me in the first place.  i have her to thank for giving me this opportunity!  helen is, quite simply, very talented!  she has such an eye for colors, layering and textures...i know you will enjoy her work if you have not had the pleasure of seeing it already!  check out her blog next week to see what drives her creativity and talents!

there is a german proverb that says, "what flatterers say, try to make true."  i hope i continue to inspire anyone, anyone at all, in their quest in making beautiful things!  craft on, my friends!

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you-

peace be with you,

Friday, October 10, 2014

bloom with hope again-the paper plunge #3...watercolor

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

my friends over at the paper plunge decided to give watercoloring  a whirl for this week's challenge.  there are so many lovely ways to use watercoloring when creating beautiful papercrafts...and i am still in the process of learning them all!  i am not master of any so i decided to stick with what i know this week...using my aqua painters to color in flowers!  bloom with hope is the perfect set...

stamp sets:  bloom with hope, good greetings, gorgeous grunge
ink:  black stazon, old olive, cherry cobbler, brown sugar, crushed curry
cardstock:  black, brown sugar, cherry cobbler, the times dsp, very vanilla
extras:  aqua painters, sponges, fancy fan embossing folder, black satin ribbon, punches

boy, it was a tough day today...i think that's when i learn the most about myself.  i try to reflect at the end of the day-about my thoughts, words, actions.  on a day like today, i have to remind myself i am human, and as john says, "you can't be on top of the mountain all the time!"  in my position at school, i often think of this quote from joel osteen..."you were created to make somebody else's life better.  somebody needs your smile.  they need your love, your encouragement and your gifts."  hmmmmm...sounds like i have to dig deep for the henry in me to come out!  (see previous post to learn about henry!)

having said all of that...COME PLAY WITH US AT THE PAPER PLUNGE!  we cherish your contributions and look forward to seeing how you interpret the week's challenge.  take a chance and dive right in!  

thank you for stopping by!
i appreciate you-

until next time,
peace be with you

Sunday, October 5, 2014

bokeh...retro sketch #135 and cas #94

hi tracey, momma and friends old and new!

over at the paper plunge, this week's challenge is circles.  yes, i already designed my card, however, you did not see the card that didn't make the cut!

a few weeks ago, i saw this technique called bokeh.  i just loved the look, and knowing that i needed to make a card with circles, i thought i would give it a try.  well, many pieces of paper later, i think i achieved the look i wanted...but then i had no idea what to do with it!  i mean it.  nothing.  until tonight!  i managed to make it work for two challenges:  clean & simple colours & sketches #94 and retro sketch #135.

c.a.s. is a color challenge:

retro sketch challenge:  this week you could choose any sketch from their archive, hence the two sketches:


this is what i came up with:

the color is a little weird here...and you certainly cannot see how pretty the shimmery white paper is...but i really like the way this came out.

stamp sets:  papillon potpourri, oh my goodies
cardstock:  bermuda bay, shimmery white, crumb cake 
ink:  stazon cotton white, bermuda bay, crumb cake, soft sky, chocolate chip
extras:  sponges, sponge daubers, circle punches of various sizes, butterfly punch, envelope punchboard, pearls, deco label framelits

i really love the saying on this card...a nice mantra to live by-don't you think?  the only thing missing is, 'eat lots'!  ...which of course, i did quite a bit of this weekend.  all i can say is, "no regrets!" and besides, julia childs once said, "people who love to eat are the best people."  surround yourself with them!

thank you for stopping by-i appreciate you!

peace be with you-

Friday, October 3, 2014

bloom with hope...the paper plunge #2

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

the first week at the paper plunge was a huge success with nine entries and over 700 views!  i'm pretty proud of us!  the second week is off and running...the challenge-round.  we have asked for crafters to create art that incorporates circles in some way.  here is what i came up with-

ink:  tuxedo black momento, crumb cake
cardstock:  black, crumb cake, typeset and watercolor 
misc:  blendabilities (old olive, pumpkin pie, cherry cobbler, daffodil delight, and bronze), cherry cobbler seam binding ribbon, black candy dots, sponge

the new blog-the paper plunge- has given me a new zest for my crafting/personal pursuit of happiness.  however, i have found, when you keep happiness to yourself, it's not that awesome.  spreading some sunshine is what it is all about.

a nice woman, jodi mckinney, commented on my blog just recently, so i decided to check out her blog in return...Life in Between.  i came across a post entitled, "the world needs more henrys".  it's about a man that jodi and her friend came upon at the strip districts meat, in pittsburg, pa.  she wrote about walking into this wonderful butcher, when all of a sudden, "enter delight.  enter zest for life, passion for his job, expertise, dedication, knowledge.  enter warmth and kindness."  after reading the whole  character study of henry, i was speechless.  i had goosebumps that told me that i, too, should be a henry.  yes. the world needed more henrys!  i went to school the next day, pretended to be henry, and loved my job and the children i teach.  it was no longer about common core or standardized was about loving my job and helping my students love being in our room.  i felt different.  they attended differently.  it was wonderful.  

by being a henry, i was reminded to enjoy something in every day...whether it was the way my students hung on my every word, a kind comment on my blog i will cherish, or just knowing that i made someone smile.  

i am so grateful i have this outlet...this time i can spend making pretty things, that maybe someone may copy and actually put in the mail to make someone else happy.  believe me when i say, i am not happy 24/7.  a smile that lasts all day just makes you looks like a psycho...but finding joy in the everyday moments that are not spectacular-just regular-is a gift.  choose happiness.

thanks for stopping by-
i appreciate you.

until next time,
peace be with you-

Thursday, September 25, 2014

i have wonderful news...

hello tracey, momma, friends old and new!

i have been sitting on a little nugget for awhile...a little bit of news that i have just wanted to scream from the mountain tops in excitement!

a couple months ago, shortly after convention, i got a call from a stamper near chicago named amanda.  she proceeded to tell me how much she admired my work and wanted to know if i would be part of the design team for a new challenge blog called 'the paper plunge'.  if you've read the first post of this blog, you'd know it is a dream of mine to be on a design team, so 'heck yeah'!

wait for it...

taaa daaa!  my first ever card as an artisan designer for the paper plunge blog:

our very first challenge is themed 'fall'...a card, scrapbook page, or a 3D project is what we are looking for.  

i used the following:

stamp sets:  for all things, dictionary, gorgeous grunge
ink:  early espresso, cajun craze, cherry cobbler, crushed curry, old olive, versamark
cardstock:  early espresso, cherry cobbler, very vanilla, vellum
misc:  burlap strands, very vanilla seam binding ribbon (dyed with reinkers and water), blendabilities (to color the back of the vellum) and autumn accents bigz, clear embossing powder

soooo...if you are reading this post and would like to take 'the plunge', please visit our blog, which debuts tonight at midnight, and play along with us...tell your friends about us...come and be inspired by us!  we would be humbled to have you check us out!

"when you wake up in the morning, pooh," said piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"what's for breakfast?" said pooh.  "what do you say, piglet?"

"i say, i wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said piglet.

pooh nodded thoughtful.  "it's the same thing," he said.

my face hurts from smiling at the possibilities this new adventure holds for me...i hope you find something exciting about today...even if it IS just your breakfast!

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you.

peace be with you-

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lovely as a Tree-the paper players #214

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

i'm tellin ya...the school thing is really getting in the way of stamping!!!  GAH!  i come down to the lady cave with wonderful intentions and then i'm dead-dog-tired and my creative mojo is gone!  i promised myself i would get a card up today no matter here goes...

this card i made for the paper players #214...a masculine clean and simple birthday card.  as i post this, however, it dawns on me that i am not a clean and simple kinda girl.  it's that simple.  my sister tracey always reminds me to stay true to who i am and layered and fussy is me!  (however, i'm going to work on that!...just once in awhile, anyway!)

stamp sets:  lovely as a tree, itty bitty banners
ink:  momento tuxedo black, espresso
cardstock:  espresso, cherry cobbler, very vanilla
misc:  cherry cobbler seam binding, blendabilities markers, sizzix framelits dies, nuetral candy dots, glue dots

as dr. seuss once wrote, "today you are you, that is truer than true.  there is no one alive who is youer than you."

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you.

peace be with you

Sunday, August 17, 2014

bloom with hope-mojo monday 358

hello tracey, momma, friends old and new!

i can't believe the computer has won again!  i wanted to link this card to the mojo monday challenge-#358 and found it impossible to 'find' in my picture library or any other 'album' i saw it in.  the picture was mocking me all night long.  it was there, in several places, until i tried to upload it...GAH!  so what does one do when a computer is not cooperating?  turn it off and try again.  so i did.  and it worked. and the link was closed.  i cannot believe it.  :(

i decided to share this very pretty card with you anyway.  the sketch was so easy to create with and the gallery has many beautiful cards.  i hope you like what i did!


stamp set:  bloom with hope
ink:  momento tuxedo black
card stock:  very vanilla, old olive, old olive designer paper (last years)
ribbon:  very vanilla seam binding
blendabilities markers:  wisteria wonder and old olive
extra:  stampin' dimensionals and chalk marker

chalk marker, you might say?  yes!  use a little stroke to highlight the petals and leaves.  love this look!!!  again, i layered some of the petals, not the whole flower.

and yes, tracey, there was a whole lot of fussy cutting going on!

i leave you with this:  "frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success".  through my frustration and tears, i solved my problem with uploading pictures.  i am ready now.  i learned what i have to do.  bring on the next challenge!

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you.

peace be with you

Sunday, August 10, 2014

just a little catching up with you...

hi tracey, momma and friends old and new!

i had an open house on was fabulous!  the girlies got to play with and create a few things, including a beautiful CASE(d) card from  thank you sandi for sharing such a lovely card...i truly appreciate it!

this particular card has been all over pinterest and i just had to make it.  sandi used the new in color colors from stampin' up!...which i do not own.  therefore, i improvised!

stamp sets:  work of art and everything eleanore
ink:  bermuda bay, crushed curry and memento's tuxedo black

i also took some time to discuss my ideas for inspiring, creating and sharing in the upcoming year.  i'm so excited to be able to play with my friends through technique clubs, fun nights, stamp-a-stacks, paper pumpkin and workshops.  some friends who do not like the whole notion of paper crafting are eager to begin using project life by stampin' up!...a memory keeping system...during a once a month crop night!  haha, amy!  i knew i could make you come join me in one way, shape or form!

i think it is only fitting, after using sandi's card above, to leave you with this quote by the emperor, marcus aurelius: "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".  now don't just sit there...go forth and CASE something!

oh more thing...

i have lots of stamp sets that i bought because i saw A card-meaning 1-that i just to make...and then i put the set away, never to use it again-GAH!  such is the case with mosaic madness!

...and another thing!  i am not very good at 'clean and simple'.  i tend to overdo the layers and sponging and fussy get the idea!  

so- i created my own challenge:  mosaic madness made simple.  this is what i came up with:

stamp sets:  mosaic madness and sassy salutations
ink:  old olive, cherry cobbler, cajun craze, crushed curry and chocolate chip
a few gold sequins finished the look

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you!

peace be with you-

Monday, July 28, 2014

back from stampin' up!'s annual convention

hi tracey, momma, friends old and new!

it has been at least ten years since i attended stampin' up!'s annual convention, and boy, was i glad i went!

first of all, the excitement of being surrounded by 4,500 people with a common interest is overwhelming to say the least!  the stories, advice, classes, motivational speeches...all make me want to continue building a business to share what i love!

another wonderful piece of the convention are the swapping of cards.  i brought with me fifty each of three card fronts, as well as 60 full cards for an organized swap.  These were my creations...

although i have been home for a few days now, not a day goes by that i don't pour over my treasures, trying to decide which card i will use as my inspiration for the day!  here are a few of my favorites...



along with the knowledge i gained and the swaps i traded, the friends i made were truly my favorite part of convention.  believe it or not, i met the best people right on the plane out of philly!  megan, helen, jessica and jill adopted me right off the bat and invited me to go on a tour of the salt lake with them.  i found myself in their wonderful company a great part of the time...talking about stamping, actually stamping, eating and hanging out at the pool.  the time, or should i say therapy, with megan was wonderful.  she was so easy to talk to and we had so much in common.  God certainly places people in your life when you need them the most!  i look forward to meeting up with those great ladies soon!

speaking of friends...there were so many people i will always call friends, even though they are nameless.  you know the old saying, 'it takes a village...'?  well i found out it takes a village to complete a time for an organized swap.  so many wonderful people cared enough about me, a total stranger, to help me complete my shell card, get on a bus, and off the bus in time for my swap.  i didn't ask them, they just wanted to help!...and i suppose the frantic speed at which i was working while sitting in stampin' up!'s home office quiet area spoke volumes!  paige from orlando, i am forever in your debt!  this is me, stamping at stampin' up!

now here is the crazy spontaneous, romantic, wonderful husband, john, drove all the way to utah (from nj!) so that we may drive home together and experience the amazing sights (or sometimes lack there of...thank you western kansas) of this great nation of ours, on the 2,200 mile trek home!  it was a great i will hold dear for a very long time!

stampin' up!'s a company i am very proud to be a part of...great product, leadership and ideals.  i used to say, when i am retired from teaching, i wanted to organize bras in walmart.  i change my mind...i want to move to utah and be a picker in stampin' up!'s warehouse!

i leave you with this quote by the author anthony j. d'angelo-"without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community."

thank you for stopping by.

peace be with you

Monday, June 30, 2014

bloom with hope-seize the sketch #23

hey tracey, momma and friends old and new!

boy do i love being home for the summer!  i have spent some wonderful time in the woman cave just creating, thinking about creating, wondering what i'll create next...just being!  i should be working on my swaps for convention, however, lee ann's sketch for seize the sketch #23 caught my eye.  i have wanted to used the bloom with hope stamp set...and this is what i came up with:


i'm really digging the blendabilities!  i think i'm getting the hang of them, thanks to all of the great tutorials out there!  this card was pretty straight forward to make...again-gah-i had to fussy cut!...but only a little bit this time.  a little side note here-when the edges of my cutting are not perfect, i take a regular stampin' write black marker, and using the brush end, run it along the edge of the not so perfect cut to 'finish' the look.  i think this is a must to making your cutting look close to perfect!  also, this great tutorial from linda coughlin at the funkie junkie will show you how i made this great bow without wasting ribbon.

stamp sets:  bloom with hope, blooming with kindness
inks:  memento tuxedo black, crumb cake
blendabilities:  cherry cobbler, old olive, pumpkin pie
cardstock:  crumb cake, black, vanilla, cherry cobbler
embossing folder:  beautifully baroque
framelits:  labels collection
edgelits:  finishing touches
ribbon:  cherry cobbler seam binding

my dear friend laura, a stamping newbie, was here this evening getting some tips and techniques on cutting paper.  after i showed her a few other tidbits, she asked, "you're going to start up the stamping clubs, right?"  that simple question nudged me into i ready to take a leap of faith with my stampin' up business?  i think i have been afraid to go past the hobbiest that i am because i'm afraid of failing.  i was really good at this ten years ago...and now for some reason or another, wonder if it will be different.  so i sit here tonight reminding myself that a leap of faith is a personal willingness to take a chance.  i have to trust my own strength and ability to handle whatever that leap may bring.  it may be different this time around, but maybe a better different and not a different i should be afraid of!  so i proclaim here and now, i am ready to take a chance at letting my dreams become my realities.  (whew!  that's exciting to say out loud!)  i'm excited to watch my business soon as i get back from convention, that is!

the academic author and professor at the university of south alabama, louise e. boone, wrote:  "don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things.  the saddest summary of life contains three descriptions:  could have, might have and should have."

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you!

peace be with you

Friday, June 27, 2014

choose happiness-the paper players 201

hi tracey, momma and friends old and new!

my dear husband treated me to a box of goodies from stampin' up for my birthday...boy, have i been having fun!  i feel like a child at christmas, finding it difficult to decide what to play with first.  I think it is no surprise i chose my new blendabilities...stampin' up's new alcohol markers.  well, needless to say, it has been a process in learning.  i have watched many tutorials and have gone through a great many flowers trying to find my style/technique...and...i'm still working on it!  i will not give up!

i had fun creating this card using a sketch by nance from the paper players.  if i told you how many marigold's i colored in and have only one card to show for it, you may actually feel sorry for me!  however, it was fun just relaxing in the woman cave, with some country music playing! (i swore a long time ago you would never catch me listening to that genre, but boy oh boy, i am hooked!)

ink:  chocolate chip, crumb cake
cardstock:  old olive, chocolate chip, pumpkin pie, naturals ivory, crumb cake
stamp sets:  choose happiness, hardwood, flower patch
misc:  blendabilities pumpkin pie and old olive, burlap, naturals candy dots

for the 'fence', i stamped hardwood in chocolate chip on crumb cake and then cut the pieces apart.  i sponged the edges to give it the weathered look.  i reassembled the parts to get this really neat effect.

*this card was chosen by ann from the paper players' design team as her top pick!  i'm am giddy with excitement!

my sister always says, "fussy cutting' again, are we?"  i can't help it...i need an intervention!

today is the first day of summer for me.  my beach bag is already packed and i'm hitting the road with my book and iPod as soon as i press 'post'.  it has been a wonderful school year and one i will hold in my heart for years to come.  the students were wonderful...full of character, wonder, insight, humor...and i loved mostly every minute of it.  this past week, i received so many lovely gifts from my class, but believe me when i say, it's the notes that the students and parents write that i love.  their words of gratitude and love remind me of why i do what i do. 

on the flip side...a couple of dear friends are leaving my building.  raylene is moving back to kansas to be with her family and alejandro is going to a different school district.  these are truly two of the happiest, kindest people i know.  they were such a presence in our school...and their absence will be felt throughout the school come september.  it is said that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  i'm truly blessed to have worked with both of these amazing people i can call friends.

I leave you with this...

“I think if I've learned anything about friendship, it's to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don't walk away, don't be distracted, don't be too busy or tired, don't take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” 
― Jon Katz

thank you for stopping by...i appreciate you!

peace be with you

Saturday, May 24, 2014

peaceful petals-ppa 205...and more

hi tracey, mom and other friends old and new!

i decided pals paper arts sketch challenge #205 would be the inspiration for the wedding card my friend alli wanted me to make for her.  for some odd reason, i struggled with this a little, just wondering what to do with the top and bottom strips...i liked the way it worked (hope alli does, too!)

set:  peaceful petals, one in a million
ink:  crisp cantaloupe, pear pizzaz, stazon black
cardstock:  crisp cantaloupe, very vanilla
embossing folder:  beautiful baroque
die cuts:  spellbinders's nestabilities lacey circles and standard circles
misc:  stampin' up large and small pearls, aqua painters and sponge daubers

*Note:  i am so excited to card featured above was the ppa design team 2's pick of the week!  i am so humbled and honored to be chosen among such incredible talent!  thank you ppa!

believe it or not, i've been quite busy stampin for friends...everyone needs a card this time of, graduation, mother's day, father's day, etc.  i am overwhelmed and very grateful for everyone who wants to share my artwork with loved ones!  here are a few things i've been putting together...

some of these are the ideas of others...with a little tweaking.  i'd like to give credit where credit is do, but i do not know who should get the credit.  thank you to all for sharing your talents with the really helps break through the mental non-creative walls that sometimes creep into your mind!

today is my father's birthday...he loves to read his kindle, listen to music, take naps and go out for breakfast!  more than that, he loves my mother more than one can measure and truly believes his family is the most important thing in life.  he is a wonderful man with such a great sense of humor and a tender heart.  he has always been my measuring stick when it came to men in my life...

i have many wonderful memories of time with my father, too many to share, but one stands out that defined my dad's love for me...i was in high school track-i did the hurdles.  my parents didn't come to many meets, with work and all, but unbeknowngst to me, he did come to a regional meet one saturday.  i was on a relay team with the most incredible athletes and we should have gotten first place.  i, however, blew it when i went around one of the hurdles.  we were disqualified because of me.  with my chin on my chest and crocodile tears streaming down the front of my shirt, there wasn't a person in the world who could take away my hurt...until the moment i reached the locker room and heard my dad voice behind me. "hey-you want a lifesaver?" he asked. (if you are really young, you won't understand the line) meant the world to me that my dad was there, at that moment on that day.  he made it all ok, without saying another word.  

i love you dad, today and forever, more than you know...

honor your father...

thank you so much for stopping by...i appreciate you!  until next time...

peace be with you