Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy Cards ...

My last post was all about sad cards.
Today's post is about happy cards.
Thank you cards, actually.

My #6 for twenty sixteen was to
send more thank you cards
(a lost art, you know.)

Three people are extremely deserving of these cards.

Kendra went above and beyond for me.
I asked and she went to bat for me.
Even though I asked, I never expected!
Monica and John,
thank you once again for your hospitality.

 Rhonda, thank you again for the sweet gifts!

Have YOU sent out a thank you card recently?
I'm sure there's somebody deserving of one.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sad Cards ...

Never before have I had to create so many sympathy cards.
in such a short time.
And I hope not for a long, long time, if ever.
One or two, but not five at a time.
 Our mechanic's father ...
My friend's mother ...
My cousin ...

My friend's father ...
My friend's neighbor's 21-year old nephew ...
True to my tradition - they all have butterflies.
Did you see them?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you ...

Getting to know ME.
Just the other day, I had a Facebook Friend ask me to send her a picture of myself.
That got me to thinking ...
Not only do my readers now know what I look like,
they probably don't know a lot about me.
I'm gonna fix that.
Right here
and right now:
I have lived in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky,
back to Ohio, New Mexico and back to Texas
where I hope to live forever and ever.
December marked 22 years being married to The Runner.
In the ninth grade he was my boyfriend and my prom date.
Lots of years separated junior high and wedding day.
I have two adult children – a daughter in Illinois and a son in Ohio.
I love to read murder mysteries.
I volunteer a lot with the fire department.
I love to dance.
I am extremely organized and know where everything is at any given moment.
I don’t especially like to talk on the phone.
I detest mushrooms – it’s a texture thing.
I only have one sibling - a sister, eight years younger than me
and she lives in Florida with her family.
Our parents are no longer with us.
The Babe died in 2006 and Daggett died in 2009.
I am scared to death to fly.
I do not like to be cold and I don't like to drive.
I can talk, sing and sneeze like Donald Duck!
I was a majorette in junior and senior high school.
I was in the concert band and the clarinet was my instrument of chance,
however, I never played one single note.
I used the same reed for six years – and I still have it!
I just barely meet the height requirement for not riding in a booster seat.

And for those of you that don't know me,
here I am ...
I would be absolutely lost without my crafts.
I can't imagine what I would do with my time if I didn't craft.
Over the years, I've dabbled in decoupaging, macramé,
Dip 'N Drape dolls and crocheting
but my true love is paper crafting.
The possibilities are endless.
I don’t consider myself a scrapbooker per se
but I use all the techniques and use the same products a scrapbooker does.
I’ve done so much with paper over the years.
I’ve covered books, clip boards,
gift bags, letters, coat hangers, candles, door hangers, frames,
recipe boxes, shadowboxes, bottles and cans and jars, journals,
 birdhouses, candy bars, shoes, tags, furniture, binder clips, canvasses,
 clothespins, bulletin boards, ornaments, picnic baskets, shoes
and cards, of course.
It's what I am most passionate about.
I have made approximately 7,000 cards since 2003.
The best part?  I never duplicate.  EVER.
People have asked me how I come up with so many ideas.
Where do I find my inspiration?
I find that a giant dose of craft supplies shopping helps me a lot.
There’s nothing like new product in the house to get back in the groove.
While making cards, I try to visualize what a person likes:
what is their favorite color – muted or bright,
are they flower lovers, do they like birds,
do they appreciate vintage or modern or are they “outdoors-y?”
A couple of years ago I started using images on my cards as a focal point.
I search for the perfect image and then choose coordinating colors.
 Once I “go shopping” in my way-too-large stash,
I pull everything out and work on placement.
Once I am happy with that, I glue it down.
People have also said, "Oh, I bet your craft room is huge."
Nope - don't have one.
But I would love to have a dedicated craft room.
One room for everything.
As it stands now,
I have stuff in every room and closet in the house.
Even in the garage.
But THIS is my actual playground.
Here is where I create my magic.
There is a short hallway from the living room to the guest bedroom
and along the wall is this alcove.
The counter is five feet long by three feet deep.
As you can see, I have crammed a lot on the shelves
as well as under the counter.
Are you surprised?

With a space as tiny as this, the ticket (for me) is organization.

Putting stuff away.

A place for everything
and everything in its place.
Once I finish with a card,
EVERYTHING goes back to where it belongs.
Every.  Single.  Time.
It’s non-productive to have to search for those scissors or the tape runner.
When I stop for the day, I clean up everything as well.
If I don’t – and yes, there ARE a few times where I don’t clean up after myself,
(but those times are rare)
then I don’t feel like getting back at it.
The beginning of the year is when everybody is on a cleaning up,
purging and organizing mode.
Me, too.
My tips for organizing supplies is to keep like items together if at all possible.
Sorted by color and stored in 12 plastic shoe boxes
are ribbons and laces.
I have all of my flowers in plastic containers as well.
I have containers for tissue paper and coffee filter flowers.
Two for embroidery fiber flowers.
One for embroidery floss flowers.
Several for store-bought flowers.
Several for fabric flowers I've made.
These, too, are sorted by color
by putting them in poly bags
found at Hobby Lobby in the jewelry department.
NOTHING is cozy or beautiful or inspiring about my space.

It’s purely functional.
No bells.  No whistles.
I’m all about organization and what works best for me right now.
Some day I may (or may not) have a room dedicated just for crafting.
 Until then ...
My absolute favorite "must have" for crafting,
something I just cannot live without
would be FLOWERS.
I also love using tags, seed beads,
stencils, molding paste and glitter.
The best piece of advice I can give
regarding paper crafting is this:
There’s no such thing as a mistake.
If something didn’t turn out the way you expected,
it’s just an opportunity to work around it – or cover it with a flower!!!
Worse case scenario?
Throw it away and start all over.
It’s ONLY paper!
I've messed up a few projects
and have always been pleasantly surprised at the "fix."

Also, remember that there are no rules in crafting - just go with the flow.
Do what makes you happy.
If you’re happy just buying product and hoarding it, then do it.
If it makes you happy to put photos in a scrapbook
and journal all around them, then do it.
If it makes you happy to make stuff for other people, then do it.
Just do what makes YOU happy.
When it’s not fun any more, then don’t do it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

My 16 for Twenty Sixteen

This is a bonus year - leap year.
We get an extra day.
A gift.
Aren't we fortunate?
I don't know about you, but I love gifts.
And the best part?
It's a MONDAY, that extra day.
My favorite day of the week.
Just like today - the beginning.
Don't you just love new beginnings?
A chance to start over?
I know I do.
Are you prepared to try something new?
Or are you going to try to perfect something old?
Are you planning to take a new path?
Old path, new path - either way - put yourself out there and go for it.
Reach for the stars.
Last year I had a heart-to-heart talk with myself
and came up with my 15 for twenty fifteen.
 Some things to make me a better person.
Some things to make others happy.
They weren't resolutions/goals, just something to focus on.
In reviewing these items, I realized I was successful in most areas.
But not so successful that I could just eliminate them.
Instead, I am going to keep on focusing on them.
Allow me to review them with you:
1.  laugh: make someone, at myself, more, out loud

  2.  friends: make more, be a better one, reconnect with a lost one, nurture them all

  3.  blogging: post more often, increase readership, visit more, comment/follow more

  4.  don't stay home so much - get out there and blow the stink off

  5.  my art: step it up!

  6.  send more thank you cards (a lost art, you know!)

  7.  participate in more RAK (random acts of kindness)

  8.  my heart: give from it, open it, love more

  9.  stay up later than 9pm a little more often

10.  be "in the moment" when it matters most

11.  want/need: learn how to differentiate

12.  time management: watch out for those time-eaters

13.  challenge myself more

14.  volunteer more

15.  be gentle with myself ... I'm doing the best I can
I'll add one this year - my 16 for twenty sixteen.
16.  tackle: every day tackle one thing that I've been neglecting

As you move forward this year,
let go of something significant in your life.
A bad habit.
A fear.
Someone that has hurt you.
A label.
As we go forward, The Runner and I would like to wish you: