Getting Ready...


One of my Layouts...


is featured as the layout of the day for 10/23 (yesterday) on the Creating Keepsakes website!!! SO excited as this was a layout that I had originally submitted to them for publishing as one of Becky's sketches and it didn't get picked up. Was a bit bummed because I had really liked this one, but now it's getting some CK love!! Check it out here if you want!.

Another Share...


A thanksgiving card made by dry-embossing a leaf and adding stickles, haven't really done much embossing and am looking forward to doing a bit more now that I've played around a bit.

Just a simple one made mostly with papers and goodies from my October Cocoa Daisy kit.

Having a lot of fun going through old baby pictures of Zoesie and scrapping them. Here she is with Grandma Sue (my mom)!

And, while I was working on my projects, Zoey was right beside me working on hers. This last week it pretty much rained every day so there was lots of time to be creative indoors. Looking forward to getting out a bit more this week (weather allowing).

Some Layouts...


I think that this is my all time new favorite one of Zoey when she was a little bambino. Love the little die-cut girl. I added some buttons and a paper posie on the hat. And lately I have been loving using my scalloped paper punch as well. Those Doodlebug paper frills are pretty darn cute too!

Just a simple one here of Zoesie showing off her dancing moves!

This one just serves as a reminder to myself. I like all the layers that I have on this one and I like how the photo of me looking in the mirror turned out too.

Really had fun with this one too. All the messy stitching and the journaling on the entire background was easy as well as fun. I like the colors of the scraps that I used too. I've been enjoying having little pockets of time to create again after working this summer. Now, today I am off to put the finishing touches on the project for MOP'S. Still have to write up some instructions for the project, must go now so that it's ready for tomorrow!

Another thing that I am excited about is landing a guest designer spot for the month of January at I am a Scrapaholic. Such a creative and supportive place and their scrapbooking kits are just awesome! I am so excited about this opportunity and now am counting the days til January! Well, for one reason anyway!

Zoo Boo!


Yesterday we went to the First Annual Zoo Boo. What a treat that was! So much fun, we all had a blast and it was even cooler because it was Ethan's birthday too. Saw some of Zoesie's buddies there too, so cool to see her light up whenever she sees them. We all had fun checking out the animals, Zoesie got to pet a skunk, a huge rabbit, and a weasel to mention a few things, we saw goats, deer, numerous birds, bears, jaguars, a red fox, a tiger and many other animals. All of this in addition to the many walking zombies, ghosts, witches and trolls....yes trolls, in the water as we were walking out. And candy, how could I forget, lots of candy of course! Pretty darn cool! I cannot wait for Halloween! (If you want to view the individual thumbnails at a bigger size you can click on a picture to enlarge!)

32 Reasons...


1. He's made forts with me in the woods 2. When living in a cabin with no running water, he would go pump water with me on a neighboring farm and helped to carry the water jugs back 3. He appreciates good jazz and blues 4. He used to be a disc jockey for the college radio station 5. He appreciates art 6. He appreciates my art 7. He loves my family 8. He slips and falls on the ice (sometimes just to make me laugh) 9. He supported my decision to do whatever it took to aid in the health of my dog Gypsy when she was really, really sick because he knew just how much she meant to me 10. He shares my love of reading 11. He listens to Public Radio 12. He's a nerd and okay with it 13. He proposed to me with an imaginary ring near the place where I grew up as a girl 14. He loves romantic movies (he really does!!) 15. He writes poetry 16. He's lived in less than perfect places just to be with me 17. He listens to me when I am hurting 18. He supports my dreams 19. He is always proud of me 20. He is a fantastic father 21. He offers the gift of time to me 22. He enjoys hiking with his family 23. He's in it for the long haul 24. He admits his mistakes (after awhile) 25. He likes to drink tea (with me!) 26. He loves to eat good food 27. He appreciates and nurtures the importance of education and learning 28. He picks me wildflowers 29. When reading stories to Zoey he makes the voices of all the different characters 30. He can still see me after all this time we've been together 31. He looks forward to our future together and our growing family 32. He wants to see the movie Transformers (told ya he is a nerd!)

Happy Birthday Ethan! Love you and look forward to spending many more birthdays with you!

Reflecting on a Life Being Lived


My grandma isn't doing so well. She went in to the hospital due to trouble breathing, feeling weak, etc. and ended up having a heart attack while in the emergency room. She is now out of intensive care, but she is having to stay closely monitored due to fluid in her lungs, her weakened state and well, she just had a heart attack. I am really hoping that she pulls through this. I really wish that I could be there, but know that in reality I couldn't really do anything. I've been told that having visitors is exhausting for her right now.

It's funny, I was really doing alright until I started writing this and now I find myself tearing up. This woman is the coolest woman that I have ever known. The. Coolest. Woman. Her work ethic is incredible, she has taught me so much about life and the rewards of working hard and supporting your family as well as the importance of spending time and taking care of yourself. Something that I get the feeling she learned along the way. She had six children that she raised on her farm as well as housing and caring for farm-hands that came and went throughout the years. I only know the stories that have been passed down over the years to me by my mom or her siblings or by my grandma herself, but often it seems that I was there because the stories are so rich and full of color. Sometimes stories of hardship, struggle, sometimes of sacrifice, sometimes they were stories of children doing foolish yet, shall I say, interesting things, teenagers testing boundaries, boys getting into trouble (my uncles' lives will be passed down as legend one day I swear), sometimes of bounty and success, but most of the time what I felt that was shared in those stories was love. In it's truest form. The nitty gritty kind.

I am so lucky to have gotten to pick apples off the tree that was in the front yard of my grandma's home. The home that she raised all of her children in. I am lucky to have gotten to run and play in the fields on that farm, to get to play in the hay mow. To have gotten to bring my first ever boyfriend there. To have gotten to pick flowers from my grandma's garden. Flowers that she so lovingly planted and tended to. I recall sitting at her kitchen table and listening to the grown-ups talking and laughing (and the men cussing, yes cussing!) while my mother would be rolling my hair in rollers giving me yet another home permanent. I remember sneaking off to go in her bathroom, pretending to have to go only to spend my time looking over her many decorative Avon bottles of perfumes, sometimes I would even carefully take off the tops and take a sniff. I loved looking at her photo albums. I would look at those old photos, some of women in dresses of a style that I had never before seen and lots of men in suits and suspenders leaning against old cars and would wonder about their lives, about who they were and what their stories were. I remember her canning in the kitchen, making jams and jellies, pickles and my very favorite - pickled beets. She always made sure that I was sent some pickled beets...even when in college and in my first years of being married and away from home, I always had some of grandma's pickled beets on hand. Funny how seeing those beets in that mason jar could make me feel close to her.

What an incredible woman she is. I've always had a special connection with her, beyond even what I have experienced with my own mother I think. Perhaps that is just the way it is with one generation removed, but I've always felt that we've shared a special something, a special understanding. How many grandchildren can say that their grandma has chased buffalo? Across the street from her farm the neighbors had buffalo and they, the buffalo (more often than not) escaped and my grandma would end up going over and would get them back in their designated pens. And she would always just laugh it off like it was nothing! This is the same woman that has made hundreds of beautiful and intricate quilts, each with it's own story and with many of the pieces hand cut and sewn. These quilts to me are like my scrapbook pages. Each one has been carefully cared for and created to tell a story and to serve a purpose. She has sewn, quilted, done ceramics, made dolls, mulled wine, baked wedding cakes, and so much more. I can't even recall all that it is that she has endeavored in this lifetime. I am so proud that she is my family, that she is a part of where I came from, my roots.

*ETA* My grandma is now home with my Aunt Sharon. She is still quite weak but is wanting to get back to her old self and that is always a good thing. Thanks to those that left messages and sent emails expressing concern. Really means a lot and I thank you!

A Busy Week...


Last weekend Ethan surprised me by getting me the Zutter Bind-It-All machine. Holy smokes, is that ever fun! My first book was this one that I made for my little sister Bailey. Just a blank book for all those teenager thoughts and experiences that need recording! For this one I just used some chipboard for the cover, which I painted with two colors of acrylic paint, adhered some rub-ons, the flower and the painted chipboard letter with some little stickers for the center of the flower. I am loving this little machine so much and my brain is busy thinking of all the other things that I can make using it in the future. Yay! Thanks so much Ethan!
I've actually had the chance to start reading a book and am enjoying it quite a bit. A bit dark in some parts, but a good read thus far. It's titled A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans. I also have checked out from the library Lisa See's new book, Peony in Love. I loved her first book and thought I'd give her second one a chance as well.
Last week Ethan and I celebrated our four year anniversary. Lots of thinking back to our special day and lots of thought on our moving forward together in this crazy journey. Among other things we watched the movie Sweet Land last weekend. Wow! I can't remember the last time that I watched a movie and felt this good afterwards (Ethan was impressed with the movie as well). Reminded me of what is important in life, what it feels like to do the right thing and live a life that is full of honor for ourselves as well as for our neighbors. Beauty just resonated throughout the entire movie. There was a point in the movie where one of the main character's does something for the love of another that made absolutely no sense if thinking about logic and self and it was at that point that I had the strongest pull at my heart telling me (shouting at me rather) that that is how I want to live my life. From the heart. If you think about it, it's really the only thing that should make sense. This movie is one that I want to one day own and have in our personal video collection here at home and was absolutely perfect for watching together on our anniversary. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it!

This morning we had MOP'S, a pretty relaxed meeting with the local librarian (whose husband works with Ethan) speaking. Always so nice to get together with this group of ladies for two hours in the morning. Zoey had a blast as usual, she's been wearing her back-pack (thanks cousin Michelle!) every morning to the MOPPETS nursery and of course is so very important and official looking! Today they made beautiful necklaces out of noodles that they had colored last month and went out leaf collecting and made beautiful window decorations by pressing them in waxed paper and attaching colored yarn for hanging. So happy that she is getting this interaction with kids and is doing so well at it. Really helps that she has some special buddies in her group.

This afternoon is for errands and if I'm lucky, a bit of playing with Zoey in the craft room!
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