Sunday, March 25, 2012

Altered Art

I was cleaning out the pantry and there were just a few cashews left in the can. As I started to dump them into the trash (can't eat them due to the continued weight loss), I contemplated whether or not to add the empty can to my goodie stash. I decided this can deserved to be much more than just a cashew can and rather than just add it to the stock pile I altered it immediately. Right now I have no idea what I am going to use it for, but I am sure it will come in handy some day ( my motto for never throwing anything away). Maybe it would make a nice birthday package with a little something inside.

The butterfly and roses are pre-made. The butterfly was a " I can't find anything else to buy with my 40% off coupon" and the manufacturer is Ashland- Classic Traditions.  The roses were from a dollar store. I think Dollar Circus and they are made by TRICO. I must have too much if I wonder around Michaels with a coupon and can't find anything I want- let alone need. The DS paper is Making Memories Navy Stripe Brocade and the white is pearl card stock from JoAnns. The punch I used is a MS deep edge called Embroidery and I believe it is one of her newer ones. The navy card stock was punched with EK Success Acanthus Leaf. A few pearls and rhinestones for the added bling.

We received some rather upsetting news this week. My oldest son was just diagnosed with a rare form or cancer called Synovial Sarcoma involving his shoulder. The high grade stage 3 mass is entangled around the nerves and connective tissue in the shoulder and they have already told him to start learning to do everything with his left arm because after they do surgery he will be disabled with his right arm. This is a young 31 year old who does construction as a living and is a single father. His wife passed away 4 1/2 years ago from breast cancer. The prognosis is very poor- only a 30% chance of making it past 5 years. If it spreads the prognosis is typically 1 to 1 1/2 years. He will have a port put in tomorrow and then chemo two days a week for 3 months to try and keep it from spreading. After that is it surgery and then radiation. It just tears me apart when I hear him say "mom, it's not IF it spreads, it's When it spreads" is highly likely.

It still hasn't sunk in and I feel like someone is just telling me these things. As all bad news we usually can't believe it is real and it certainly isn't happening to us. I wish I could bury myself in my work to keep from thinking about it, but in my line of work I am around it all day long. I may not be up to posting every week as time goes on but then again that may just be what gets me through this. I came across a quote the other day that seems so fitting.

"You never know how strong you are until Strong is the only choice you have"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tattered Floral Flowers

 Mother Nature is teasing us here in Michigan this past week. It has been in the 70's which is unseasonably wrong. I'm not saying I don't enjoy it but I am fearing she is playing with us and will slap us upside the head with our usual weather. You all know how much I love the sun and warm weather so this would be the perfect way to "get my goat". LOL like she is only out to get me.

To play along with her, I thought I would make a card that represents summer. I used Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals to make my flowers with my Big Shot. Then I sprayed them with Turquoise Blue and Suede Glimmer Mist. I have the older bottles and I keep my fingers crossed every time I use them, hoping that they aren't plugged up.

I used Stampin' Up Soft Suede card stock and for the life of me I don't remember who makes the DS paper I used because it was a scrap piece. The border was created with the MS deep edge punch called Floral Vine. The verse is from River City Rubber Works on a Spellbinders Label Eleven. The butterflies are from a MS punch as well. The leaves were created from with a Sizzix Sizzlits and then some Peacock seam binding and teal rhinestones tied it all together.

Below is a close up of the flowers so you can get a better view of the metallic in the Glimmer Mist. The flowers are very easy to make. I used two layers of each size. On the large flower the outer  petals were curled under with a wooden skewer after they were sprayed. The spray really firms up the petals

I am getting ready to make my flight reservations for my trip to Florida the end of April. This warm weather is certainly getting me excited. I just hope it is still nice when I get back. I really don't want to come back to cold weather. Every time I talk to Carol she tells me how nice it is sitting by the pool in 85 degree sunshine- I can't wait!

~Have fun and enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A pretty lamp

Today I wanted to show you a lamp that is in my stamp studio. I actually have two of them- one is at the die cutting area and the other one is at my Cricut area. These were really cheap bedside/dresser lamps that I got at Walmart a year ago on clearance for $4 each. Of course I couldn't use them just as they were so I had to fancy them up to fit the Paris Chic theme I have going on in the room. They were just plain cream lamps so I added the black braid around the top and bottom with hot glue. The velvet ribbon has a rhinestone buckle and then I added the black rose.

The rhinestone circle really glistens in the light. I wish it would have photographed better so you could appreciate it's bling factor. I just love the soft light they put off. It makes it so cozy in the evenings especially when it is raining.

Have you heard of Pineterest? I am hooked on it, but the images of all the desserts are really putting my diet to the test. I have learned not to go there until after dinner. I was amazed when I saw that someone had pinned my studio as a room on their "dream home" board. Maybe they will like my lamps well enough to pin those also.

My baby who is 22, had his tonsils out this week. I was expecting the worse but he has done wonderful. I think the pain he has been in with all the sore throats since September was much worse than this. The first night he steamed carrots and mashed them up to eat. He isn't one for sweets so he was having a hard time with all the Popsicles, ice cream, jello and pudding. The second night he ate macaroni and cheese and then some meatloaf. When this kid is hungry nothing is going to stop him, not even surgery. I love having him home, even if it is under these circumstances.

~Have fun and enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fit for a Queen

My stamping friends know how much I love crowns almost as much I as love the Eiffel Tower. I used the frame technique for this 6" square card and the SU set Artistic Etchings. The colors are all from Stampin' Up- White, Positively Pink, Pink Pirouette and Certainly Celery. I used Spellbinders Square dies to create the frame. This can be done with any shape as long as you use two different sizes and some pop dots. I also used the Spellbinders Fleur De Lis as the top frame. The flowers were made with three different punches and I punched two of each. Notice the dimension that is created by using a different punch for each layer. The largest petals were made using the SU 5 Petal Flower punch . The next layer was made with an EK Success 6 petal punch and the smallest layer was made with a retired punch from SU called Punch Artwork. I added more texture by running the paper through my Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dot embossing folder before I punched the flowers. The leaves were created with Sizzix Branch with Leaves. You can click on the image above for a more detailed look or check out the image below.

I encourage you all to try making these flowers with any combination of punches that you currently own. They do not have to look exactly like mine. Many of the manufacturers have some form of flower that has 5 or 6 petals. If your punch is more of a scallop, then use your scissors and cut in between each petal toward the center but don't cut all the way. Remember- it is only paper.

We had some wicked weather last night. It was unbelievable that the high winds continued until this morning. I swear I dreamt of flying monkeys all night and when I got up my ruby slippers were gone. But seriously, we were very fortunate that there was no damage like some suffered down south. I can't even imagine what they woke up to this morning.

~Have fun and enjoy!