Sunday, November 9, 2014

Life Assurance

Nope, not a typo...I meant to write Assurance, not insurance. There is a difference...

assurance
  1. a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise
  2. confidence or certainty in one's own abilities

insurance

  1. a practice or arrangement by which a company or government agency provides a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a premium
  2. a thing providing protection against a possible eventuality
Years ago, my mother joked about her unfinished project. She said they were her life insurance policy-just too many unfinished projects to die. Sadly, life insurance does not prevent death-it just provides benefits to your survivors when you do, in fact, die...and, we ALL do. I am the grateful beneficiary of so many of her completed projects as well as a number of her "works in progress."

Now, my mother was not a wasteful woman. She was an extraordinarily creative, talented and totally engaged woman. She never suffered from boredom. There was always a project in the works. Over the years, she made and completed so many, many things: hooked rugs, crewel pieces, needlepoint, cross stitch, quilts, clothes...on and on and on. But there were was those unfinished projects, the ones she set aside when she wasn't sure where to go with them or the ones she lost interest in because something else caught her eye and attention. 

In her final days, our parish priests came to call. She talked to them about her death, sure that it was close at hand. I sat in the corner of the room, heart breaking, eyes streaming listening to my mother tell the priests that she hoped to make it through Christmas.  I heard her tell the priests she wasn't afraid to die. She had a near death experience when she was a child, and I knew the story well. Once again, she recounted the story-a garden, her grandmother, beautiful fragrances, and being told it wasn't time. She was only 4 at the time, and when she came out of her fever induced coma, she described this to my grandmother, her mother, in great detail. So, she wasn't afraid, but up until that point, she wasn't ready. Constant pain and diminished quality of life prepared her. 

In addition to her story, she told the priests she had "No regrets." She paused, and said, "Oh, wait. I have one. I regret not having finished that one crewel piece. I was afraid of the silk and then I misplaced the directions. I'm trying to decide if I should tell Ann to get someone to finish it or just frame it as is." This, my friends, was a life well lived-her only regret was an unfinished crewel sampler.







She died on Epiphany. I had the sampler framed-unfinished. If you look closely, you'll see that she started the man, but left the woman undone. Somehow, this seems fitting.



I am about the age my mother was when she first started joking about her life insurance policy. Well, I have a life ASSURANCE thing going on here. It seems I am the Queen of unfinished projects (though I have friends who claim the title as well!)  Clearly, I have too many interests! Because I am no longer employed, I do have time, but apparently I do not manage it as well as I could. Then, my husband does not hesitate to interrupt or change my plans, because, well, none of my projects are as "important" to our lifestyle as my work once was. And, the dealings-well, simply not as many and the consequences for missing many is nothing more than a shoulder shrug.


This last week, I started a simple baby quilt. It wasn't my first quilting project, but I am pretty much a novice. The fabric was here. The pattern was here. Even the batting was here. once I started , I realized I needed a solid length for the backing as well as a half yard for the binding. The fabric has been in my stash for so long, it is no longer manufactured! What to do...well, I had enough 10x10 pieces to piece the back! And, now, a reversible quilt! I have to admit, at times during production, I wanted to walk away, to color, to play with paper, to read, but I MADE myself continue.  The binding was an entirely different problem so off I went to the "local" (a 25 minute drive each way) fabric shop to find an acceptable fabric. Before I publish this post, I plan to put that binding on!!! 

I DID IT...it's finished! WHOO HOO!



























It seems as I've gotten older, I have (to borrow a former colleagues expression
developed the attention span of a nat! 

I wonder, is this... 

  • from years of multi-tasking? 
  • because I am totally engrossed in technology where every piece of information comes in abbreviated bursts with bright lights and dazzling colors? 
  • a natural part of aging? 
  • because I am a closet anxiety-ridden, frantic person? 


My granddaughter is coming up on two and a half. In my pile of unfinished projects, now long since outgrown-a baby quilt, two smocked dresses, a little pair of overalls, a fleece jacket, a diaper bag...not to mention the projects that sit neatly folded and stacked, never even started.

I have reams of scrap booking pads and papers, half finished layouts, unfinished books... There are stacks of card fronts-yup, fronts, and piles of colored images with no place to go.


Now, I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone---the crafter's lament! I struggle with the guilt, the guilt of sheer waste, the guilt of money spent on materials that aren't used. My word for (Ali Edwards'-In A Word) was/is "ENOUGH"-fail! So, perhaps my word for 2015 should be FINISH or PERSEVERE, or maybe I try ENOUGH, again. 


Here's a thought---maybe, just maybe, all of these unfinished projects are "life assurance"---the promise of life, the idea that there is still time to finish them. Or maybe looking at them says to me,

" Yes, I CAN do all of these things. 
I've started them- I just need to finish them."

And, so this weekend, a little assurance-I did it! I finished a project or two. I can do it. I did do it. 




Monday, October 27, 2014

Blurred Lines-Gammie's Version

I reference a current song title here, though I think, but I'm not certain, this post is completely unrelated to the song. I'm talking about a cultural phenomenon, one I find puzzling if not deeply disturbing.

So, we've established that I am "slightly" beyond what is considered middle age. Anne Morrow Lindburgh labeled this time of life, "the youth of my old age." Youth, I like that! It is really something the first time you can recall your mother at your current age---but wasn't she old?! But hold on, wait until you can recall your GRANDmother at your current age. WHAT? Seriously, she was old!

And, then, all of those things you noticed about "old' people start happening to your once, young, and far less flawed, though you thought you were flawed back then-just wait-body! If you're a woman of a certain age, you know what I'm talking about. "Features" of your person that were once firm, neatly stretched over your frame and perky, well, not so much. Veins that once hid from view now form squishy blue hills on top of your once smooth hands. Your face begins to resemble a road map, lines deeply etched revealing much about the life you've lived to date. Toes begin to gnarl ever so slightly. The fear of the "old age" of old age becomes ever more real-you know where this is going. You've seen it before and now, you're living it. The good news is, you are LIVING it---could be worse! I keep telling myself that. No matter how old I think I look now, my daughter reminds me, 10 years from now, I'll look back and marvel at how I looked in 2014!

I tell you, somewhat modestly, I am not as "old" as my grandmother was when she was my age. However, both of my grandmothers looked younger, in my eyes, than their contemporaries.  And my mother's fashion choices, no doubt dictated by the decade of her 60's were, shall we say, aging. So, part of this illusion of my youth (I like to think I'm just cresting 50* though we all know better) is due to the blurred lines of fashion! (Finally, she's getting to the heart of the matter!)

My wardrobe is not terribly different than the wardrobes of my daughters who are, by anyone's standards, still young. Naturally, I do have some apparel that is too mature for them, too conservative, but nothing (correct me if I'm wrong, kids) that screams, Gammie (except the shoes-yes, it's the shoes---You WILL understand when your toes begin to gnarl and your back aches and your knees hurt...) This blurring of lines sort of works for me though I fear I may carry it too far, for too long. I hope my children will do me a favor and say, "Uh, Mom, time to move on."

I am "Gammie" now, a grandmother! How did this happen? My kids were little just...alright, alright, it's been a while. I relish this new role and am just sad that I don't live around the corner or just downstairs...instead of hundreds of miles away from this precious little munchkin. It is after spending some concentrated quality time with her that I realize, this old gal "ain't what she used to be"!  I marvel at what I used to do. I've lived long enough now to appreciate who I once was-that's a gift because, sadly, I didn't think much about it back then, let alone appreciate it. My 5 kids were born in a span of seven years, the youngest twins. When the twins were five, my oldest 13, I found myself a single parent, and while I was blessed to have my parents close by, I was raising them by myself...but I digress (I do that a lot-you will, too, someday!)

"Well, anyway..." (my mother's famous turn of phrase I'm now adopting as my own), as a Gammie, I am once, again, seriously involved in the world of children's apparel. Baby clothes-Lord, they're cute! Here's the troubling thing...just since my children were small, there has been a huge shift in apparel for little girls, I mean HUGE! Who, is responsible for this, and why do folks support this industry?! My "Little Kiddle" (cute little collectible dolls from my childhood, and what I now use as a tag line for small, adorable children) is two and has outgrown baby clothes. She's tall-gasp- I know. Who would think it since Gammie is (once was) 5'11"-though her Momma is the shortest of my girls measuring a mere 5'8"?  She's thin-kind of a genetic thing, too. She wears a 3T.

Now, I love to buy her clothes. My preference would be little smocked dresses, pinafores, and overalls, but Momma is a modern Boston Mom, and the smocked dresses and pinafores are, I guess, in today's world, a Southern thing (this Momma/Gammie loves Southern style!) She reminds me that they are indeed, impractical and ill suited to my granddaughter's lifestyle, and I try (mind you, TRY) not to impose my will on them.  So, I compromise. We both love OshKosh, not the stuff with Toile or sparkles, but bordering on traditional-a throw back to my children's youth. Thank goodness for Hannah Anderson, (we do, after all, have Scandinavian roots) though, for goodness sakes, why does good taste have to demand a high price tag?! So, Hannah, we limit ourselves to an outfit or two a season, and only when a sale rolls around. Carter's actually tries to cover all audiences-moderate prices with frequent, super sales, cute clothes of the play clothes, functional variety in addition to some garish, loud, but not yet vampy, clothes.

Fortunately, my daughter has good taste (naturally, right?) so she does not like miniature, seductive, teenager clothing. It gets harder and harder to find little girl's clothing that doesn't look like revealing, over-the-top, teenage apparel. Who thinks this is a good idea?! Really!!! Talk about blurred lines. Our girls, as young as two, are being sexualized by the fashion industry, and hey, folks, they couldn't do it if we didn't support it, at least not for long.

A two year old is not a small teenager. A teenager is not a (hmmm, politically correct term here---thinking, thinking...) vamp (definition 2) or shouldn't be encouraged to be one (showing my age, am I ?!) Why aren't all the women who fought so hard to overcome stereotypes in an uproar over this? (Oh, and while we're on the subject female warriors-what's up with stilettos? Really?!) Why are parents surprised when their young children are involved in clearly not age-appropriate behavior? How is this cute?

I think we need to get out the permanent markers and draw a few lines-oh, and wait until they dry so they do not blur. No, it certainly won't solve the world's troubles, but children are not tiny teens and teens are not adults, and old women aren't young women (we'll draw that line in pencil---so we can move it!)

*Author's note.

  • You can trust folks over the age of 30, at least some of them. I'm pretty sure, however that politicians are not to be trusted at ANY age.
  • Be skeptical of those under 30. They have absolutely no clue and many of them, once they hit about 26 will admit that.
  • 40 is young in today's world-actually, one of my favorite decades, the reason I opted to remain in my 40's just adding years of experience to my resume. At one time, most folks were finished with child rearing at 40. Now a days, many are just starting. (P.S. Good luck at 60!)
  • 50 is NOT old either...you're just coming into your own.
  • 60s-not much experience here, yet. I'll keep you posted





Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hello, Blogger my Old Friend

Hello "blogger", my old friend


I've come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted

In my brain still remains

Within the sound of silence



Yes, I'm old-
Simon and Garfunkel parody, here. If you don't know it, Google it!

But, you know, that's often how ideas come to us, isn't it? I think my brain is more active when I'm sleeping than when I'm awake and may explain why I'm so tired some days! Oh, and the dreams...where DO they come from? Some are pretty obvious, but others? Like where the heck did that octopus/jellyfish come from?! I'm look out to sea at this strange creature and suddenly it flies out of the water! It's coming right at me and BAM, I'm awake-what the what?!

I digress...or perhaps I'm just having random Sunday afternoon, after a busy week, thoughts and can't really organize them. Hmmm...

Project Life was calling my name this week. I have a summer's worth of pictures and now a bunch of fall pictures. Up until this week, I had only touched June---other projects filled my days. Things are a bit slower for the moment so I had the opportunity to do some "PL"-ing.  The nice thing about PL is you can just slip in your fave photos, add a few embellishments (or not) and do a little journaling to jog the memory and call it a day. The great thing about PL is you can then go back, when you're either more inspired or have a bit more time and embellish away! I attended to "nice", not "great" this week :)





Then, there were the cards.

"Y'all know I love me some Sassy Cheryl!" 
I really do---we're friends, now. Thank you Paper Craft Planet---you're gone now (head bowed, a moment of silence---respect), but you introduced me to some mighty wonderful folks. Cheryl's fabulous images reflect her "all about Sassy" attitude! You only have to look at them to know that she's about as tender-hearted as they come (sorry, Cheryl, you're "outed")



I'm really "bad" about finish work---generally leave the inside blank because, honestly, I want to get onto the "business" of coloring. I love to color---am I repeating myself here? Oh, sorry---comes free with being "mature". This was made for a special friend who lives many miles away. I'll put it in the mail on Monday!


One more---Clean and Simple...that's how I roll! I actually did write a little sentiment inside but nothing that begs a photo!  

Then, of course, there's Mo...who doesn't love Mo's illustrations?! I have many (oh, so many) of her little girl images and with the birth of my grand daughter, over two years ago, it made my addiction worse. Thanks, Mo---seriously, thanks. Lately, I've needed a few cards for little boys-these images are equally as cute!



Just in case you're wondering---these little guys have watermarks running right across their cute little tummies! It's a shame we have to do that, isn't it? I'm not going to get all preachy on you, here (well, may be a little), but I just taught a Sunday School lesson on the second most important Commandment---it's actually the foundation of many world religions though people are terribly bad at following it: 
"Love thy neighbor as thy self."  

The Golden Rule is a derivative of this-Do on to others...you know this one, people! 

Not a religious person? I'm sorry---really, I am, but I respect everyone's right to decide for him/herself. This Commandment though-it's about human decency, R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Yes, Aretha! Google it. Thankfully, the recent FB rumor about Ms. Franklin is false)! If you were the artist, would you be okay with people stealing your work? (oops, another Commandment reference and secular law backs me up on this one!)  I think not. 

If you've stuck with me through this entire post, you're either my family so you know who and what I am, a friend (again, you know me), someone who is totally okay with what I have written-agree with it or not, or someone who is livid that I posted a Commandment---if that's the case, well, like I said, you are entitled to feel what you feel. You should not, in my opinion, always act on you're feelings when it means hurting or harming another...there are a lot of secular laws that back me up on that one, too. So if you want to vent, call a friend, okay?


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Poor, Poor, Sad, Lonely Blog....

Poor, poor, sad, lonely blog!  Oh, I've been creating, even photographing some of my creations, but posting, well, mostly on FaceBook. I'm not alone. Today, I spent about an hour looking through bookmarks and found many blogs I once frequented, no longer exist.

Soooo, should I just let it go? I just don't know. This blog isn't a busy one, that's for sure. I'm no longer on design teams and am not even applying to any. I create because I love to create. I used to love to share my creations. Actually, in my earliest blogging years, I had a Typepad account. I posted my scrapbook pages, my journaling. I actually thought I might be able to generate some interest, perhaps a small business creating scrapbooks for others. Life changed pretty dramatically as it so often does and I found myself caring for my aging mother in her home. I had few crafting materials and limited space and time. This is when I discovered card making and learned a new term-"Digi." And, oh, my, did I ever love to color! There were design teams and Paper Craft Planet and groups to join and friends to make. I loved my new world. 

Life got busy, circumstances and priorities changed, the crafting world changed ...FaceBook took hold. Design teams began to fold. Suddenly, it seemed, everything was a competition, a comparison. What once made me happy, made me feel a little proud, started to make me feel inadequate. I didn't feel good enough. I struggled with this and really questioned my reasons for even posting. Was it about how many visitors I attracted (because, man, that was oh, so disappointing!) So, did that mean I wasn't any good at what i was creating or did it mean I wasn't any good at self promoting? In any case, it didn't make me feel good. I did finally decided that I would continue to post just in case a friend or one of my kids wanted to see what I was up to, but even they stopped dropping by. There are just so many blogs out there, so much social media, so many things that take our time and attention. I stopped blogging, but I didn't stop creating.

Over the last few months, I've given most of my creative time and energy to a charity.  I'm a member of a committee that hosts a charity event for St. Martin's Ministries. This year's theme was a 1920's Speakeasy. Here are just a few of the things I made for this amazing event...


I signed up for the Kit and Clowder coloring classes, too. It meant giving up some other fall activities...life's all about choices. Because of the way these classes are designed and set up, I can go at my own pace which in this case, has been a snail's pace! I practice... 

And then, sometimes, I even make some cards! 



Here are a couple of Sassy Cheryl's cutie-patooties.  Sassy Cheryl has a FaceBook page now-Sassy Cheryl's Neighborhood. I can't write this without Fred Rodgers signature song playing in my head! You can head on over to see all kinds of sassy goodness. There's a monthly challenge, too-anything goes with a Sassy Cheryl's image.



And, of course, I love Mo's Digital Pencil---
her FaceBook page is called Bella and Bronte's Playhouse.


Perhaps I'll start posting, again. Maybe not...time will tell. 
Oh, but I do love to color (and cut, and paste, and play with paper and fabric and photos and pencils and...)





Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's Neighborhood

Here we go...another "Anything Goes" challenge in the neighborhood! 

If you haven't requested to join over at FB, well, what are you waiting for

...all kinds of creative goodness going on over there :)


JUST HANGIN' AROUND

I decided to use an "older" digi...here's Ms. Sally and Bella doing what they do best---just hang in' around and getting into mischief! 


I recently stumbled upon on coloring blog via Pinterest...Just4FunCrafts.blogspot.com. Jennifer Dove, the creator, has posted a "Color of the Day" cards since 2013...when I last checked, some 188 color combos for Copics. I spent way too much time, but rather happily, clicking on each one, resizing and then printing out each and everyone of these combos. Now, some of them, I needn't have bothered because they were combos I already used, but I don't like to do stuff half way---I'm ALL in! I'm tickled pink with my new flip book of color combos---teehee!

I used "baby pink" for her shirt and bubble gun for her skirt...don't you love the way this little skirt defies gravity! Her skin is advanced skin tone 1. her hair is red hair 3-never would have come up with this one!

I used a Technique Tuesday Ali Edwards stamp for the sentiment...not too happy that this partnership has ended :( and a Spellbinders die to cut out the sentiment. MY DP is a fairly new pad from Michael's-got it on sale...Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party by American Crafts. There you have it!

You can enter over at FaceBook and you have 'til the end of the month! Come on and join us!

Other challenges I plan to enter:


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's Neighborhood on FaceBook!

Time for a change. 

Sassy Cheryl packed up the whole gang and moved her challenges to FaceBook.

She has a page, of course and then a group you can ask to join---Sassy Cheryl's Neighborhood. We'd love to have you join us over there. It's much like our old group at Paper Craft Planet. If you liked it there, you'll love it here!


This little gal is a nod, perhaps a tribute to our dear, old friend, Fred Rodgers. He was a wise man and a friend to many preschoolers through the decades. He is missed. I can't help but hum his theme song when I see this little cutie...
"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...
won't you be,
won't you be,
please won't you be my neighbor." 

I colored this image in Copics and fussy cut her. The fence is a Memory Box die. My DP is Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party by American Crafts.

I hope you'll join us in the neighborhood for all kinds of Sassy goodness. There are challenges to be played and prizes to be won, and just a good, old-fashioned, warm, friendly, neighborhood feeling!



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's: A Sketch

Here it is, the final challenge...so sad. I've been a part of the Sassy Cheryl's Design Team since it started. I've made friends, really good friends, among them the Sassy Boss Lady herself, Cheryl.

The craft world is forever changing---just like life! Paper Craft Planet, my haven for a number of years and the place where I first connected with Cheryl and my "Sassy Sistahs", closed. Our tight knit group nearly wept, but we managed to soldier on and found another forum where we connect on nearly a daily basis.

Challenges and blogs, once so very popular and oh, so active seem to be closing down---people move on, circumstances change, and new interests or trends emerge. And, so it is.

BUT, here's the GREAT news, the silver lining, as it were...Sassy Cheryl will continue to draw her fabulous images. You'll still be able to shop at her online store and the Sassy DT, though no longer a "formal" group, will continue to share creations on Facebook and Splitcoast---and you, too, can share your creations on these venues. In fact, look for information regarding a new Facebook Group...I guarantee you'll have fun sharing your creations and getting inspired!



Maddie's Blue Hat


This one's for you, Sassy Boos Lady. Cheryl and I learned early on that we both have an affinity for RED shoes so naturally, I gave Maddie red shoes! Oh, and polka dots, Cheryl loves polka dots!

I used a new pad of paper appropriately named "Cut & Paste" by Amy Tangerine.  I picked up at Michael's on a recent expedition---shopping is no small feat around these parts. I have to travel! I colored with Copics and used Technique Tuesday, Nestabilities, and Taylored Expressions die cuts.

Do join us for our last challenge! Be sure to use the sketch (open to artistic interpretation) and a Sassy Cheryl's image!  This week's challenge will last only one week so get those entries in early!

I'll still be here so come by and visit from time to time!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's: Doodle it Up


CHARLIE'S NEW DO

Week two of the Doodle challenge at Sassy Cheryl's! This week, I did a much less fussy doodle. I used buttons as the heads of flowers and doodled up the stems and leaves.

Come on out and play...doodle up a storm with Sassy Cheryl!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's -Doodle It Up!

Clearly, I am a creature of habit and when I break from routine for a bit-as I have having had quite a time with bronchitis, well, I FORGET! Now, you'd think, since I made the card Sunday for this up coming challenge, I'd remember to post it, but NOOOO. For whatever reason, this morning as Im sipping my morning coffee, I remembered. So, without further ado...


HANDSOME MAX & MADDIE'S BLUE HAT

It's challenge time at Sassy Cheryl's!

I went a little crazy! It's been well over a week since I've felt well enough to play in my studio. I was so happy to join the realm of the living and oh, how I love to mindlessly doodle! As a kid, every notebook was adorned with doodles. If I have a pad of paper handy when I'm on the phone, I'm doodling-nothing clever or artistic mind you, just doodling. 

Now, you have to admit, there are some pretty remarkable doodlers on this design team and when the first cards began rolling out, I was intimidated as I so often am by this group of super stars. My idea of card doodling was pretty limited. I decided to think a bit outside of the box and just flat-out doodle! 

I am a fan of Zentangles though am not terribly skilled at creating them, but I used Zentangle elements on this card. When I was done, I hesitated to share this with my team-was it too much? I honestly don't know! But, here you have it with cute little Max and Maddie as my featured players. I love these little guys-aren't they two, too cute?!



Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Angel

It's been 37 years since his birth and nearly 9 since his death. He was my first born, the child I had wished for as long as I could remember. He was everything I dreamed of with a twist, and ever so much more. He would bring challenges I was unprepared for, heartache I could never have imagined and filled my heart with more love and joy than I thought possible.  No one has taught me more about life, about people, about potential, about what matters, about gratitude. While his life was short and his physical abilities limited, his measurable intelligence low, he made a difference in all those whose lives he touched, and there was/is a ripple effect as those lives move forward because life does go on, and we remember.


At the nearly nine year mark of Erik's death, the intensity of my grief has lessened, but as a mother, I expect Grief to always walk with me. Most days now, Grief  walks slightly behind me, lurking in the shadows. Very few catch a glimpse of my companion. Some days, Grief walks with me. Those closest to me recognize him, but there are days, most notably Erik's birthday and the day he got his wings, when Grief  pushes me back and charges ahead of me. We struggle on those days, and I am often defeated but Love, Gratitude, Hope and Faith rally round with the help of family and friends until Grief once again retreats to the shadows...but he lurks, waiting for the opportunity to overcome, again.



This has been yet another life lesson. Erik continues to be my best teacher. Honestly, I really didn't fully understand grief. Consequently, though I thought of myself as compassionate and empathetic, perhaps I was not. Oh, I had lost loved ones. Every loss brings Grief along for the ride, but Grief never took me down before. My father died just six months before Erik did, and it seemed the worst possible pain until it wasn't. When Erik died, he left more than a hole in my heart. He took a part of me, a very big, important part of me with him. I am so blessed to have four surviving children all of whom mean every bit as much to me as Erik, and it was for them I found the courage to go on.


The first year following Erik's death was without a doubt, the hardest. Life as I had come to know it died right along with Erik. My husband was transferred. In order to join him, preserve our marriage, I had to give up my job which, it turns out cost me my hard worked for career. We moved hundreds of miles away from our four surviving children and our friends. Conventional wisdom would tell us, this was a very bad idea...bad, in deed.

Nearly, nine years out, I survived it all. My husband and I are still married- this, I understand is no small feat given what we've been through. We've moved twice, lost both of our mothers-his mother after a short illness just 4 months short of her 100th birthday, mine after a lengthy illness. My mother was my rock, my anchor. Grief, damn Grief, nearly swallowed me whole, again. My husband had open heart surgery shortly after receiving the "golden hand shake" from his employer. Our children have had successes and set backs. One of our daughters married and is now a Momma. I am a Grammie-proof positive that life goes on. Joy may be overshadowed by Grief, nearly smothered. Joy is resilient and will, given time and opportunity, triumph.


Nearly nine years out---life goes on. Life has changed. I have changed, but missing Erik, that doesn't change. Remembering his smile, has laugh, the funny things he said, the way he made us all feel...that doesn't change.



Today is Erik's birthday. He was born on this day 37 years ago and for that I am eternally grateful. He lived-for that I am grateful. Happy Birthday, sweet angel of mine. You live forever in my heart.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Day for Daisies...

This is one of my "go to" digi companies. I have a few! These images are different...they touch my heart in a way that few others do. Tammy may draw with her hands and her eyes,but her artistry clearly comes from her heart. You can feel it, can't you?

A few weeks ago, she released these images for Mother's Day, and, well, I had to have them as they make me feel warm and happy and tender in the very best way. There is nothing I've enjoyed more or felt more accomplished in than mothering my children.  These tender moments are like no others and now, I get to relive those moments through my daughter who is mothering her precious little girl.











Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's Challenge: At least 2 Dies and a Shade of Purple!

JOEY'S GOT SPUNK!

She does, indeed! So, this week's challenge at Sassy Cheryl's is to use at least two dies and a shade of purple! The dies part-easy peasy! I have a gracious plenty of dies from which to select. The "purple", well, that was a bit more of a challenge for me. Don't get me wrong, I like purple, but it's just one of those colors I don't really have on hand-not a "go to" color for me so I had to do some digging in the old stash!

I've used4 Spellbinder's dies, a Marianne Design's die, and a Technique Tuesday die. I colored this little miss with Copics and then, just for fun, added this pair of sparkle sunglasses as they "fit" her in all ways possible!


Do join us for this challenge. You have two weeks. Remember to use a Sassy Cheryl's image.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's: Week 2 CAS

TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN PACE

It's week two of the Sassy Cheryl's Challenge, Clean and Simple using a Sassy Cheryl's image. It doesn't get any "cleaner" or "simpler" than this-all one layer! I love, love, love this little digi of Sally so couldn't wait to color her up. She's colored in Copics. I did the clouds using a template and ink daubers. I'm a bit rusty.

I think I saw the sentiment on FaceBook and wrote it down as it really resonates with me. I'm working on an attitude of gratitude. Everything requires practice!

I hope you'll join us for this fun and simple challenge.

Other challenges I plan to enter:
Emergency Crafters - M, P1, 1E, C10  Polka Dot
Flat Friends Challenge M, P1, Cards, E1, SIO  Include a sentiment
Ladybug Crafts - M, P1, 3E  Here comes spring


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's Challenge #208 Clean and Simple



A new challenge at Sassy Cheryl's-whoo hoo! This one is Clean and Simple (aka CAS). now, originally, I was told one layer. I'm all about CAS, but one layer was just a teeny bit more challenging, but I did it! Really, though, very simple-just print and color with my Copics :-)

The front of the card is actually narrower than the back. I colored the edge in red and wrote the Happy Birthday sentiment. I printed the sentiment on the front (used the title for inspiration) 
but drew the boarder. 

You have two weeks to join in the fun! Clean and simple-easy peasy, oh, and be sure to use a Sassy Cheryl's image. There is always something on sale and often something new, and oh, my, so stink in' cute! 

Other challenges I plan to enter:
Challenges 4 Everybody - M, 3E - April - Anything Goes
One Stitch At A Time - W, SIO - #210 Anything Goes
Sentimental Sundays - W, must include Sentiment - #204 Clean & Simple



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sassy Cheryl's Challenge: April Showers...week 2!

A GIFT OF A FLOWER STAMP SET

Just a bit less than a week to enter the Sassy Cheryl's challenge. Here's my mid challenge card. This is an "oldie goldie", and are you in luck-if you have to have her, and I'm sure you do, she is available in a set-two other darling images AND the set is on sale this week, so 3, count 'em, THREE images for $2.00. Seriously, you can't get anything any more for two dollars-not anything you'd want, really. 

I colored this darling little girl with Copics and used scarps and a few dies. Easy peasy!

Here's hoping you'll join us for this challenge---flowers and a Sassy Cheryl's image. Couldn't be easier---or more fun!

Speaking of fun, I recently had dinner with the Sassy lady herself on our way home from vacation! My dear husband ordered us each a glass of wine, and the name of the wine: "Attitude"! I'm not making this up! Perfect, don't you agree?!
Other challenges I plan to enter with this card: