Monday, December 31, 2007

GPP Crusade #15... the last possible moment. As usual. Hey, I work better under pressure, ya know?

So, this month's crusade was a simple one. Tell where you are from.

For me, it's good 'ol Southern Illinois. Smack dab in the middle of Nowhereville. At first glance, anyway.

I'm only a couple of hours from St. Louis. Yes, I have seen the Arch. Lots of times. It really is fantastic. I remember getting so excited as a child coming ver the bridge & seeing the grand silver work of art coming in over the skyline.

The other way, it is just a couple of hours to the Ohio River. Beauty. Sheer beauty.

And while I take the local scenery for granted, they say it is some of the most beautfiful in the country. I could maybe believe that...sometimes. Like when we take a daytrip down south to the Bald Knob Cross. Nothing like it. Seriously.

And who can talk about Southern Illinois without mentioning the World's Largest Ketchup Bottle??? When traveling to visit family, this always meant we were "almost there."

So, while my little hometown doesn't have much to offer, there is much more to this part of the world than first meets the eye.

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

God Bless Us Every One...

This past week, I had the honor of visiting the fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis along with my daughter, Madison's 6th grade class. We saw Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol."

Not only was the production quite magical, so was the atmosphere. The Fox Theatre has been beautifully preserved in all it's ornate splendor!!

I had never had the opportunity to go see a show there before, but you can bet I will make an effort to attend again soon!

We all felt like princesses at a ball in the stately dressing area that adjoins the powder room at the bottom of a winding guilded staircase in the wings of the lobby. Wow!

Let me just tell you - If you ever get a chance to see this musical, take it! You won't be sorry!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Playing Catch Up...

... with GPP Street Team Crusades.
Crusade 12 - Crush on You

As of late, I have taken on an infatuation with a vampire. Yep. You read that right. A vampire. His name is Edward and he is the oh, so sexy hero from Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight."

I am obsessed. Seriously. I sometimes forget that Edward isn't really real. Oh, but I wish he were.

Isn't he dreamy?!?!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


... Taylor's friend came through surgery well this week. She will have a long road to recovery, but the paralysis is not permanent. We were so happy to get this good report.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tragedy in our town

Two of my oldest daughters classmates were killed in a car accident last night. Another of her friends is in critical condition. Right now it is touch and go. She is currently paralyzed from the waist down & it is unknown whether it is temporary from her crushed pelvis or if it will be permanent.

Our tiny city is in shock. In all, 9 of her friends were involved in the accident. Taylor was up most of the night talking with her friends and trying to sort through the reports coming in. They arranged to meet at the park today & all gathered together to remember the ones who died & try to help each other deal with the loss of friends. It was overwhelming to see literally hundreds of people gathered together.

Please be praying for the families involved - those who lost children and those whose children were involved in the accident. I will probably not be around much in the next few days, as I will be trying to help Taylor & her friends deal with things.

As a parent, it makes me stop and re-organize my priorities. I need to take care of the things that are essential, like letting my girls know how much I love them. Never let them leave angry, hug them, kiss them and tell them "I love you" more than once every day.

This song has been running through my mind all day.

"Wish You Were Here"

I wanted to tell you how closely I've kept
The memories of you in my heart
And all of the lifetimes that we had to share
Live even though we're apart
But don't cry for me
'Cause I'm finally free
To run with the angels
On streets made of gold
To listen to stories of saints new and old
To worship our Maker
That's where I'll be
When you finally find me

No don't you be weary cause waiting for you
Are wonders that you've never known
Just hold on to Jesus, reach out for his hands
And one day They'll welcome you home
And that's when you'll be
Finally free
Finally free

I wish you were here, I wish you were here

And all of the dreams that you treasure
Will soon come together
And that's when your sorrow will find tomorrow
And you will rise again


We'll run with the angels on streets made of gold
We'll listen to stories of saints new and old
We'll worship our maker that's where we'll be
When you finally find me

I wish you were here

Monday, October 22, 2007


I just won an iPhone from our local Christian Radio Station!!! Seriously! And 1 Full Year's service paid for AND the ENTIRE Mercy Me music library!!!

I am still in shock!!
So here's the story. I've been feeling horrible today. My throat hurts & I just feel icky. So I didn't plan on doing anything but crashing on the couch until bedtime. Anyway, The phone rang & was closest to it, so I went ahead & begrudgingly answered it. I sounded horrible when I answered the phone. All croaky & hoarse. The announcer introduced himself and said he was from WIBI. I thought he was calling about a donation pledge I had made. Then he asked how my Monday was going. I told him I didn't feel really wonderful, but my day was OK. Then he told me he might be able to make me feel better & asked if I had signed up to win an iPhone. I went ballistic. All of the sudden , I forgot that I didn't feel so well. LOL! He proceeded to tell me that I had indeed won the iPhone! I am not sure what exactly came out of my mouth between squeals. So Happy!

I had signed up at the last possible minute just today at 2 minutes before 3 pm, which was the cut-off. I had heard the DJ say that if you hadn't signed up to call right now, because the drawing was today. I thought, why not? You can't win if you don't try. So I did. NEVER thought I would actually win.

Holy Cow! I am so excited I can't see straight! A couple of friends of mine said they heard the phone call live on the air. Oh, gee! I know I sounded like a total dork! (Just like all of the other people who win stuff on the radio) LOL! I wish I could hear the actual phone call so I'd know just how ridiculous I sounded.

ummm... you might be able to hear my dorkiness if you go to the Listen Now link at WIBI It is a live stream that plays through iTunes. They actually just said my name and congratulated me again just now. Last Year, the winning phone call was played over & over for more than a week. So I know I'll get to hear it eventually.

Now, I'm off to go to the couch until bedtime. I don't wanna be sick. I wanna be able to go to work tomorrow & share my good news!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Woo Hoo!!!

I was chosen for the Design team at e.b.b scrapbooking!
I just finished my first assignments. Here's a peek...

First, we had to create a LO for the DT Bio page. I had fun with it!

I was also assigned a kit to create with. Here's what I came up with for the Making Memories 5x7 album

I am so excited to be a part of this team! I love hanging out at e.b.b. andcan't wait to work with the other awesome ladies who earned a DT spot.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Creative space genius!!!

I found the most wonderful ideas for storing scrap/art supplies. And very inexpensive, too! I just love the recycled, repurposed, trash-to-treasure look and Katie Watson's ideas are right up my alley! Old shutters, old windows & found by the side of the road junk made into perfect studio treasures. Lovin it!

Oh, and in case you want to check our her blog, here's the link! She's Scrappy

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Found a very cool blog...

If you haven't checked out This Is Me Journal then you are missing out. 2 Very cool, arty, scrappy chicks are doing a challenge blog to spur on your personal journal. So go take a look-see at what Holly and Maureen are up to. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some projects...

... as I promised. These are some of the things I've been working on lately. Most of them were to give as gifts or in swaps.

Little Bird Danglie
I made this piece for a Birdie swap with the fabulous Delsie Chambon. I totally felt out of my league when she suggested a swap with me. Her work is so gorgeous. But, this is one of the things I came up with.

Birdie Wall Art
Another piece I made for a Birdie swap with the fabulous Delsie Chambon. I hope she likes him as much as I do.
I made him from paper mache, cardboard and chipboard with a little bit of craft wire. Oh, and paint.

My First Ugly Doll
I finally made my very first Ugly Doll!! Now, keep in mind that I am a terrible seamstress. This was fairly easy to make. I had a blast designing the little critter. He went to my youngest daughter's best friend as a birthday gift . I really have to make some more. So fun!

My First "Tinnie"
I finally got around to trying my hand at making a tinnie. I'd seen them about the art blogs and knew I had to make some. Here's my first one. I just love how it turned out, and it made the perfect "gift bag" for a friend of Taylor's who is moving away. I placed a braclet Taylor made and a small B&B Works lotion inside and filled it with shredded tissue.

Heartfelt Sympathy Card
Created with SU's Heartfelt thanks set. The card is a simple design, but I like it. I chose to make this card in a different size than usual. It fits in a business size envelope. And since I have tons of these envelopes, it helps to put them to good use.

"H" Composition Journal
Made these really fast for DD's friend's spur of the moment B-day party. Altered a composition book to become a monogramed journal & made a matching pen using scrapbook paper. Spruced up a photo album with letter stickers & filled it with photos of the girls together.

Mail Art
I did a littl Mail art for Michelle's GPP Crusade #10. this is the envie I mailed my swap in. Not super arty, but still fun!

Hello Birdie Card
Don'tcha just love birdies? I can't seem to get enough of them lately! This is another card I made using the Paisley set from Gelatins. The background was made using an unmounted stamp from HL found in the polymer clay section (super cheap!). I did a bunch of them for the monthly card swap I participate in.

Lullaby Bird Danglie
I am just not really happy with this one. I originally created it for a swap, but changed my mind. So now it's hanging in my studio until I can figure out what it still needs. Perhaps something on the edges? Ribbon or trim or something? Maybe more? Sometimes my brain just goes on hiatus and I am stumped for what to do. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!

Oh, I did go to Holiday World yesterday with Dad & the girls. We spent the whole day in the waterpark and had a great time. We were plenty worn out when we got home last night. Glad I went. Hadn't been able to spend much time with Dad for a while. It was really nice to see him having fun with the girls.

DH is still feeling pretty rough. He was doing better yesterday, but today is back to aching all over.

That's all for now. I am off to work on a handmade journal and a banner for my Mom's birthday (It's today) Oh, my. Why do I always wait 'til the last minute to start projects.? It's not like I haven't known her birthday was coming. Geez. I really must get my act together!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

You say it's your birthday...

... nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. Well, it's my birthday, too! Yeah! For some reason, that tune always goes through my head on my birthday. Funny, I know. But it's true.

I woke up this morning to a wonderful handmade card from my hubby along with a Strawberry cheese danish (complete with a pink candle)and an extra large bottle of Mocha Frappaccino. Now, this may not sound like a huge deal to you, but considering the poor guy has been ill for 3 days, it made my morning. So awesome that he would drag himself out of the house to buy a couple of my favorite things. He made my card because he didn't want to get his germs on the ones at Hallmark. tee hee! Gotta love him.

So, I had a really big post planned for today complete with lots of pics of projects I've been working on. However, between taking care of DH and having DD monopolizing the main computer (the one with all of my photos on it) I didn't exactly get that done. I did upload some to Flickr if you'd like to go have a look-see. Otherwise, I'll try to post them here on Saturday.

Tomorrow, my Dad is taking the girls to Holiday World. He has invited me to tag along, but I'm still not sure if I will go or not. Might need to stay home with DH. Guess I'll decide in the morning when I see how he feels. I'm sure they would have loads of fun without me. LOL! But I do love the waterpark!

Had loads of fun last night and today checking out all the Artsy blogs that participated in Kari's Blog Party. Lots of new places to visit. I'm sure I will be visiting a lot of them again. I was late in joining in, so I didn't get to link to my blog and do anything special. Next time, perhaps. If you missed it, the links are still up. Hop on over and enjoy!

Well, it is super late & I've got to try to get some sleep.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You must go find Ben!!!

He resides and if you go looking, you will find the most awesome, fabulous photography and Photoshop effects! Seriously. Go. Now. You won't regret it.

And while you're at it, if you wanna create some of those fab effects on your own photos, go visit Leah Snider King and check out her all too awesome and very well done tutorials. I'm all in a tizzy thinking of the oh-so-cool things I can do with my not-so-fabulous photos. I just love Photoshop!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lots of randomness....

...and a bit of art, too.

Gee. It's been a long time since I have psted anything. Sorry 'bout that.
So here's a huge post of some stuff I've been working on.

First, these are three pieces I did in an Expressive Visual Journal exercise by Juliana Coles found in Kaleidoscope. In this exercise, you are timed and aren't allowed to "think" about what you are creating. Working on all three pieces at once and just going quickly through the process. Ripping images and cutting out words randomly and applying them willy nilly. Totally not my style, since I seem to overthink everything. LOL!

I really disliked the process, it was so frustrating for me and felt like a complete waste of time. She actually says that's how she wants it to feel. Umm, yeah, sure, whatever! I totally didn't get it and I did not like the outcome at all... first. Now, when I look at them, I see little things that tie together to form a story of sorts. Interesting how that works. Maybe she's on to something after all.

By the way, If you haven't read Kaleidoscope, it is an awesome book. Written like a zine by Suzanne Simanaitis. Lots of inspiration in there. Go get a copy. Seriously.

Participated in an ATC color swap over at ebbcreations Mine was pink. I made 12 of these for the swap. I made an extra to have on hand for trade as well.

Been spending a lot of time reorganizing my studio space. No pics yet of the entire space, but I'll share some soon, OK. Using lots of stuff I got at an auction and stuff I tore out of a house slated for demolition. That was NOT fun. 120 degrees in the upstairs - I think I sweated off 10 pounds. Easily. But, it was worth it, 'cuz I got some old woodwork, some drawers out of a built-in that I used for this make-shift bookcase, some oak flooring and a newel post from the staircase.

Oooh! I scored big time at the auction in the old books category! And almost all of them were free. Left behind after the sale to go to the dumpster. Oh, yeah! I snatched them babies right up. People thought I was nuts wanting all this discraded "junk." Didn't really care, though. This "junk" is fabulous!
Look closely - although it is in very rough shape, there's an extremely old version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Can anyone say "EXCITED!" The suitcase also came from the auction. Bought a whole pallet of stuff for $2 just to get the suitcase.

Some more of the books - can't wait to use these!

Here's some of the goodies I snagged for FREE after the auction. A whole box of old trims and lace and fabrics. Yum! Some vintage wooden clothes hangers. One is from a business that was here way back in the dirt road days. So fun. And some misc. paper ephemera the vintage picture was found at the thrift store for $2.

Got this shelf and a corner kitchen cabinet for only $5! (Haven't found a use for the corner cabinet yet.) I just knew the white shelf would work perfectly in my studio. So Happy!!! And the shelves are removable, too. Yay!

Here are some close-ups of some sweet spots in the studio. See those awesome red corbals on the white shelf? Yep, you guessed it! More freebies I snatched up after the auction.

The old sewing drawers were found at a booth in the street vendor fair for only $1 each.

Lots more work to do and lots more stuff to sort out, but I am happy with how it is turning out so far. Maybe it just might be possible to have a spot for everything in here.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Oh, my heavenly days!!!!

Have you seen this store yet???
Tracy Keith's By Design Scrapbook Boutique Pure Heaven.

Seriously. I wish I could hop on a plane and fly to Houston just to spend the day mezmerised by the beauty that is this shoppe.
I love this artwork from her blog:

Way to live your dream, girly!!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

No fireworks here. They were cancelled because of storms. But, we had a nice evening playing games together as a family ~ Fun stuff.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Warning!!! A HUGE Mommie brag to follow...

... Introducing the Jr. Miss County Pageant 4th Runner Up!!!!

This was her first pageant ever. She has begged to be in it for 4 years and this year, we let her do it. Now, let me say, she was one of the 2 youngest in the group of 13 girls, being 11 in an age group of 11-14. Most of the girls were much more mature.

So proud of my little sweetheart! If you ask me, it takes a lot of confidence to get up on stage in front of a huge crowd. She did it with poise. She practiced her walk every day for 2 weeks at home. And trust me, she was quite a sight on high heels at first! LOL! So stiff & unsure of herself during practices. But you would have never know it last night. She was her wonderful lovely self on stage, not caring if she would win or not, just having fun and letting her personality shine. I couldn't even tell she was nervous - she says she wasn't at all. Just graceful. I was beaming with pride backstage and just had to hug her huge when she stepped off the stage after doing her walks.

I had talked with her over and over about how she shouldn't expect to win, because she was young & this was her first pageant, blah, blah, blah. And not to worry with the "proper way" of doing things. telling her to just be herself, because that is what peole are attracted to. When they announced her name, it didn't register with her. She stood there waiting for someone to step up & then all of the sudden, it registered with her & she pointed to herself & asked, "Who, me?" I wish I could have captured the look of surprise on her face. Priceless! Funny thing is, I did the same thing. I thought, "Oh, my goodness!!! Did they just announce Madison?! They did! They did!!!" I don't remember exactly, but I think I might have jumped out of my seat & squealed with delight. I know people probably looked at me funny. Probably thinking, Geez, lady, it's not like she won the crown! But I really didn't care. I was just so stinkin' proud I couldn't stand it! So, she wasn't crowned Queen, but she is my Princess & that's all that really matters, anyway!

Oh, yeah. She wants to do it again next year. So fun!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday's Finds...

... Oh, what fun I had today!

Madi and I were headed out to the mall to find a pair of clip-on earrings for her pageant tomorrow when we decided to take a detour to a moving sale. I just happened to remember that I had seen an older gentleman putting up signs last evening.

Anyhoo... I found LOTS of treasures for almost nothing!

First, a box of material for $3 including some nice vintage pieces! Then, old books. 10¢ each. I nearly fell over with glee!! A late 1890s German book, 5 volumes of a series from 1907 with wonderful embossing on the covers (see close-up), 3 of the same book on the life of Napoleon somebody, and the most wonderful and huge antique book (20 volumes in one, accoring to the title)on health and anatomy complete with full color fold-out of the head, lungs and body - I did close ups of a couple of them - and it was only 75¢! No cover, but with these kinds of treasures on the pages, who cares?!

Next, there were the mini little treasures I found scattered around with no prices on them. a couple of vintage boxes of staples in excellent condition (I just love vintage packaging!), An old Anacin tin filled with sewing notions, hook & eyes, snaps, etc., A doll made of tiny spools, a little skater figurine, an old metal button and a mini little Bible scripture book measureing about 1" by 1.5" that I though would be wonderful for altering along with a small bottle of Claire Burke Original home fragrance spray and a nearly new bottle of Aveno face lotion (which is a tad pricey at the store) All for 10¢. Not each. ALL of it for only 10¢ Seriously! How cool is that!?!

Then, Madi found a cool old bottle filled with green mints and an old Chinese Ginseng box complete with little vials inside. Yep, you guessed it, 10¢ each!

And finally, after we paid for all that, Madi spied a couple of old manual typewriters, the kind in their own suitcase. At only $5 including 2 brand new replacement ribbons, I took one of those as well!!!

Excellent sale, I must say!

Then, we were off to the mall. Madi found a piece of paper in the car and played with the typewriter the entire way there. She thinks it is the most fun toy ever! Hate to tell her, that baby will get some use from me as well! It'll be great to type on labels for artwork!

After finding earrings, we had to stop at Wally World for a coule of things then headed over to B&N to peruse the art books and the latest Somerset. Love that mag. Don't know why I don't just buy myself a subscription!!
On the way home, I decided to stop by the Thrift Shop. There, I found some vintage sheet music - all for $2. A roll of heavy weight vintage wallpaper that has fabric strands embeded in it(hard to explain). Can anyone say journal covers? Or collage texture! Yay!!! A huge cork board to make into an inspiration board to hang in my creative space for only 1.99 and a few magazines for 10¢ each as well as a couple of copies of National Geographic for 25¢ each so I can try making turpentine paper. I also found a Brand new tote from the Company Store for $1 and a couple of vintage sewing patterns for 25¢ each. And last, but not least, an old Book of Remembrances album for $2. This thing is super heavy duty and will be fabulous for creating a colage book. I'm guessing it will hold about 20 or so pages full embellished.

I just love junking days when I find lots of fun treasures! So fun, indeed!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Let Me Introduce You...

to Fifi Lapin I came across this stinkin' cute little art blog via Free People as I was hopping around the internet today. Happy little art. So fun!

OK, It's Official....

... I have Vintage Wallpaper Envy! Seriously! I am seeing so many beautiful things made using gorgeous wallpapers.
Just take a look at some of the lovelies I have found...
Tammy Gilley's Tag Swap Goodness

Charlotte Lyons' Mother's Day Frame

Jennifer Paginelli's favorite things

Memmu's Lonely Bird ATC

Jenny's Tag for Rosanna

And there are sooo many more that I could add. I've seen some fabulous creations on blogs, too! Just click around on the many links over at the side & be inspired! So much eye candy!!!

And to think, I didn't save any of the scraps when we tore the stuff off all the walls in this huge house 5-10 years ago. I could kick myself right in the shinbone!

I had found a couple of rolls in the attic when we were putting in insulation a couple of years ago. I saved them, but they were quite dry-rotted on the outside, but I just knew I could find something salvagable inside. I pulled them down a couple of months ago with the intention of trying to save some of it. Apparently my husband didn't think they were worth saving, though, because when I went to look for them a week or 2 later, all I found were crumbs in the spot where I'd put them. He won't admit to having thrown them away. He just gave me this shrewd little grin & said, gee, honey, I haven't seen them. Now, I know he disposed of them, 'cuz he does that kind of thing often. grrrr! I must find a better hiding sopt for my treasures. Trust me, he's NOT going to live this one down. I've been chiding him about it every chance I get. I figure that if I give him enough grief about it, perhaps he will think twice next time he thinks of getting rid of my treasures! Maybe.

Anyway, the more wonderful little gems I see made with vintage wallpaper, the more worked up I become about it. I simply must have some. But I'll have to wait until fall when school is back in session & I am working again. It really stinks that we aides don't get paid through the summer. Makes it really hard to buy things...err, I mean budget.

So, in the meantime, I will live vicariously through those who are creating beautiful art with it and sharing online. And I will probably be green with envy. But please, don't hold it against me, OK?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dreaming of an Art Party....

... Lately I've been fantasizing about holding some sort of an art party. It seems my inner critic is trying to run rampant on the idea giving me all kinds of reasons why it wouldn't work. So I am listing the criticisms & my responses to them...

C: I don't even know where to begin. How does one even go about such a thing?
Me: Ask for advice from others who have put something like this together.

C: I am not qualified to teach anyone art. I am still learning myself.
Me: Perhaps I can still encourage others to create even if I have limited experience and knowledge. Or perhaps I don't give myself enough credit & what I do know would be helpful to someone else.

C: I don't know enough "arty people" to invite. I seriously only know 2 other people in my town who might even remotely be interested. I don't have any arty friends. Stamping friends, but not arty friends.
Me: I could possible put out a "feeler" type brochure or flyer around town and see how many people might be interested.

C: I have nowhere to host such a thing and no budget to rent anywhere.
Me: Who knows, the place might open up if I put myself out there & just go for it. Gotta have faith, baby!!!

My ideal would be to form an art group that would meet either monthly or quarterly and possible have different members of the group take turns sharing techniques and ideas at each get together. But I want to include newbies, too. Or maybe I should just start an art journal group and we could get together to work on our journals together.

So, if anyone has any bits of advice or encouragement for me, please leave a comment. I would totally be going out on a limb here with this thing, but it has been in theback of my mind for a long time. I have been telling myself it is just a pipe dream and no one would come anyway. I've finally decided that it is time to stop that horrible way of thinking & take chances.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

If Wishes Were Horses....

...beggars would ride. And I would be going toSilver Bella. Just look at all the wonderful classes available. It would be a dream! There's only 7 spots left. Some very blessed individuals will fill those spots for sure. Ahhh... I suppose I shall start a little nest egg and hopefully will be able to save up and go within the next couple of years.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Artist date...

... just me, myself and I. Decided to take the afternoon and treat myself to a date. Went to Bath & Body Works for their huge sale and bought myself some yummy shower gels and lotions and home fragrances. Delightful.

then a trip to Barnes & Noble to peruse through a huge stack of art books and mags while enjoying a lovely Dulce de Leche latte - with whipped cream, of course. Simply divine!

After a couple of inspirational hours, I meandered over to Hobby Lobby, where I stumbled upon quite a few bargains, including some new stamps and papers at 1/2 price!. Oh, what joy!!!

All in all, it was a very wonderful day. I just wish I'd had a few more hours before I had to be home. But, hey. I'll take what I can get, right?