Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Swimming for Katie

A few weeks ago, I {heart} Papers released some very special stamps trying to raise money for a fellow stamping friend, Katie Renz, who was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer and is battling this nasty disease. Katie used to sell CTMH a while back while I was also selling it so I'd known her (or at least her name) for a while. Katie has 3 small boys and her story is truly heartbreaking!!! You can read her story on her blog. All proceeds from the sale of these stamps go directly to Katie and her family so how could you NOT buy it? I know I couldn't resist! Another stamping friend, Ashley Nguyen Newell, decided to have a giveaway through her own blog so the card I made is being entered for that and also to send to Katie directly. Jenny Suchin (love her!!!) was also kind enough to collect donations for flowers to send to Katie and I was happy to pitch in. It's really nice to know that people you've never even met truly care and will do what they can even from afar. I've been a part of some great and generous things lately and it makes me so very happy. You never know what you can do to brighten someone's day and I sure hope we've done that for Katie, even for just a moment. {{{Hugs}}}

It's *almost* Halloween!

I hope everyone's enjoying my favorite season... FALL!!! It seems the leaves just barely start changing and then it's over!!! I actually heard a rumor that NH might actually see snowflakes later this week. I'm not quite ready for THAT yet!

My hubby and I actually got to go to a Halloween party this past weekend. Thanks again to mom for watching the little ones. I was out at Walmart with the kids and tried on this mask, but Andrew didn't approve! LOL

We ended up dressing up as pirates which we did about 5 or 6 years ago. I couldn't think of anything clever and I didn't want to spend a lot of money to wear something once. As it turns out, we didn't take any pictures so it worked out ok! HAHA Now I'm onto my NEXT costume dilemma. My 3 year old wanted to be Buzz Lightyear and I had friend who kindly lent me the costume, but now he's changed his mind and INSISTS {persistently} that he is being the Big Bad Wolf. I have bid (and LOST) two auctions on ebay and his school party is the day after tomorrow. I've convinced him to be Buzz for his class party and will hopefully pull off a small miracle and get the wolf costume by Monday. I'm just not sure HOW I'm gonna make that happen. Cross your fingers for me!!!

So I made these cards a few weeks ago, but figured I'd wait until closer to Halloween to post them. Hope you like 'em!!!

For this card I used some Halloween papers by American Crafts. I used the stars for the "sky", the pumpkins for the "ground" and stamped the fence in grey along the border to further separate them. I LOVE this tree from the CTMH set which I cannot think of the name of right now. :P I'll have to insert that later. LOL Those little ghosts are by Making Memories and I love those little guys.

I was really pleased with how this one came out for it being so "simple" to make. I embossed some kraft cardstock with an embossing folder. The brushed some black chalk over the embossed image, colored the skeletons in with a with a white gel pen, the crowns with a dark purple gelly roll pen and stamped the sentiment in the middle. DONE! :)

I hope everyone has a HAPPY HALLOWEEN and you get way more TREATS than tricks!!! Though I really need to lay off the treats. HAHAHA

Happy Anniversary to me!!! Ok and to my hubby, too! ;)

Me and my husband celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary on the 14th. My mom came over to babysit for two nights so we could get away for a much needed mini vacation.

We started by getting TATTOOS!!!

We didn't get matching ones per se, but we did both get tattoos that represent the kids. I got 3 roses to cover up an older tattoo that I wasn't in love with anymore and I also got three BUTTERFLIES to represent my three children!!!

My hubby got our little ones' footprints and names.

After the tattoos, we went out to dinner and drove the 2+ hours to the Mountain View Grand Hotel in Whitefield, NH. We arrived late so it was dark, but we got to take a better look around the following day. Beautiful, huh?

Friday morning we went on a zipline canopy tour at Bretton Woods. That was such an AMAZING experience. I am afraid of heights, but it was so awesome, I can't even describe it.

We did 10 ziplines... YUP, I came across THAT! Wooo hooooo!!!

Two repels...

...and two suspension bridges!!!

There was also a rainbow out from the time we were getting on our gear for almost the whole time we were out there in the treetops. I have a "thing" for rainbows and one of the songs surrounding our wedding was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" so it was really cool to see this on the day of our anniversary! :)

On the last day before we came home, we went on the Aerial Tram up Cannon Mountain. When we were living up "north" about 10 minutes from here, we never went so it was fun to finally do it.

It was pretty overcast and grey when we went, but still so amazing. On a clear day you can see into 3 states (NH, ME, VT) and Canada. How cool is that???

Happy Anniversary, Honey! {Not that he reads my blog! LOL} I LOVE YOU!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Operation Julie's Smile!!! :)

The creative blogging community is coming together this weekend to help one of our friends, Julie Ranae. You may know her as the Design Team Coordinator for many wonderful companies from bakers twine, die cuts, rubber stamps and more. What many people don’t know about Julie Ranae is that she has had some pretty major dental surgeries in her lifetime due to medication she had to take as a child. It was in her plans to think about having all of her teeth replaced at some point in the next 5 years, a decision that was pretty easy to plan out. But then it happened... she chipped her front teeth on a weekend a month ago. The dentist told her there was no way to save them and that it was his recommendation that she give in and have all her teeth removed soon, but for that day, they needed to get her front teeth done so her gums could begin to heal. He said he would 'work out payments' with her to have ALL this work done, but when she called to make her appointment for the first step of impressions, they told her the amount of money that was needed and that the 'payments' applied only to the two teeth that were extracted that day. Her husband Paul was with her and that was his understanding as well. So this is how she has found herself in this situation... needing at least $4000 to get started and another $3000 to finish the process. A total of $7000!

Nicole Rixon, owner of Sweet Stamp Shop put together this benefit after finding out about this situation and before Julie Ranae knew it, it took flight! Because she is an event organizer by trade, she has taken on the job of organizing all of the blogs in this hop as her way of ‘working overtime’ for what she needs, the same as if she were able to work overtime at an outside job to pay for the work to be done. It is the goal of all of these generous friends & sponsors to help make this situation more do-able for our friend so that she can share a brand new smile with all of us soon.

If there is anything you can do to help with a financial donation, there is a donation button ready for you to click. Any amount is appreciated and ALL DONATIONS will be eligible for prizes from our sponsor pool of over $2500.

This past weekend was World Card Making Day and I had a good friend down visiting as mentioned in my previous post. On Sunday, my hubby was off so I made him keep an eye on the kids so her and I could play up in my scrap area for a while. Semi uninterrupted anyways!!! I had made a card using the same technique the day before, but had an idea for using the new mini pinwheel die I bought from Lil' Inker Designs thanks to my friend (and enabler), Julie Ranae!!! LOL What a cutie that thing is, let me tell you!!! I was giggling as I separated each little petal. ADORABLE!!! The stamp set that you can get along with the die has some really great sentiments as well. I chose to use the "I miss having you 'round" and "You mean the whirl to me" ones for my cards. I used papers from Fancy Pants' "It's the Little Things" line and made two cards because one of these simply wouldn't be enough... and it's also WAY easier to make two at once. hehe What CUTE paper this is, I really wish I had bought the full kit. I still might. ;)

I am so glad that you joined us on this amazing blog hop for Operation Julie’s Smile. If you came here from Avocado Arts blog, then you are in the right spot. If not, you may want to start from the beginning at the Sweet Stamp Shop’s blog and take your time. You have ALL WEEKEND to hop with us and win prizes!!!

I was super shocked to be asked to join in on this as this is my very FIRST blog hop I was actually a part of. So thank you to Julie Ranae and Nicole for thinking of me to be included. I am happy to be here and help in any way I can! I donated a few prizes and am also making a financial donation. I hope it helps Julie get to the place she needs to be. If everyone can make a donation in any denomination, it would be kindly appreciated. It could be $1, it could be $10, it could be $100... whatever you're comfortable with. The donation button is located just to the right. ;)

I hope you enjoyed your stop here on the hop! The next stop is Lynn Miller's blog. Make sure you leave a comment HERE on my blog before you go so that you can have a chance at the amazing prizes up for grabs and if you can, please make a donation so we can help bring back a new smile for our friend. REMEMBER, there are over $2500 in prizes donated by very generous companies and us crafters, too. Prize winners will be drawn from the following: blog comments left, PayPal donations and blog hop hosts. A complete list of sponsors is listed on the Sweet Stamp Shop blog as well as the FULL list of 120+ blogs participating this weekend so if you get lost along the way, head on back over there!!!

THANKS SO MUCH for being with us. Grab a cup of coffee, tea... or MANY! Enjoy the rest of the hop and the rest of your weekend!!! :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

World Card Making Day

As some of you may know, my family and I relocated last year. We stayed in state (NH), but about 2 hours away from "home" and in doing that, it separated me from one of my very best friends who lives in Vermont. The last time we saw each other was in January so imagine how excited I was when she finally made the trip down to visit this past weekend. I literally ran down the driveway barefoot when she got here. Well, I guess that's not completely true... I had socks on. :P I had made dinner to be ready when she and her son got here so we ate, I gave her a tour of the house and we just hung out the rest of the night. It just so happened to be World Card Making Day when she was here as well which was super cool because we used to scrapbook and stamp together. I have to tell the story of how we met simply because it's what made me love her *almost* at first sight. I might've shared this before, but here I go again.

When my hubby got promoted, we relocated about 2 hours north of where I lived and town I actually grew up in. It was a welcome change, but I had my reservations. I was moving from my parents and friends, my son (then 10) from his school and further from his dad and also leaving a job I really did like and had been at the longest of any job I'd had. The day we moved, my hubby drove the UHaul truck and I drove my car up with my son who was looking out the window very upset most of the ride. We were going to be renting a house and not unloading the truck until the next day so I stopped at Walmart to pick up a few necessities to get us through the night and the next couple of days. While there, I was telling my son to just be himself and he'd make friends in no time. I brought him into the video game section to kill some time and make him happy even if for a few minutes. There happened a boy who looked to be about his age and me being me, I approached him and asked how old he was. Turned out he was the same age and in the same grade as my son, BUT he lived in Vermont. BUMMER! When the boys mother came over, we chatted for a bit and I told her I wasn't some psycho, but we were new to the area. After saying goodbye, a few minutes later she came back and asked me... "DO YOU SCRAPBOOK?" OMG. LOVE. Instantly!!! I hugged her and actually might've actually said I loved her or you're my new best friend or something along those lines. Luckily I didn't scare her away and we got together for coffee one morning very shortly after and the rest is pretty much history. We became great friends and I just love her to death. I can't imagine never meeting her or having her in my life. I do believe I was in the right place at the right time and things happen for a reason!!!

At any rate, my kids were running me ragged all day on Saturday and I was busy cooking, but we did find *some* time to play and I made a couple of cards. The first one is using My Mind's Eye papers from their Love Me Do line. My friend, Melanie, was actually the one who taught me how to make this style card so it was pretty appropriate for me to make a card using this technique. I used some foam stickers to put "Up Up" on the outside and stamped "& Away!" in the inside. The clouds I applied to the top are made using by My Favorite Things Cloud Trio die and I added a couple of buttons in the corner and tied them with some twine by The Twinery.

The second card was SUPER simple to make, but I totally love it. I used a Woodgrain embossing folder made by The Paper Company to emboss the kraft cardstock and stamped the sentiment which is one of Unity Stamp Co.'s Itty Bitty stamps, Direction of Happy, directly onto it. LOVE these stamps!!! I layered that on a piece of polka dot paper and adhered it to my card base. Then I added a piece of the floral ribbon trim along the bottom which I am totally in LOVE with also!!! It's super soft, just beautiful and adds the perfect finishing touch.

A close-up: