Monday, March 26, 2012

Creative Lettering

I had great plans for my Friday-Saturday.  And you know what they say about what happens when you make plans?  God laughs!  Well, he seemed to laugh in a big way for some reason.  It wasn't even as though my plans were to really do anyTHING.  Quite the opposite really, I had planned to do a lot of nothing.  But as luck would have it, I did not sleep at all on Friday.  I can't truthfully say that I didn't sleep a wink because I did fall asleep, but I started to talk in my sleep and soke myself up and couldn't fall back to sleep.  So, I spent the night watching Hallmark movies and before I knew it Mr. W. was getting up to go to work! 

Needless to say, my energy level was not up to par.  I didn't feel tired, but I just didn't have a lot of vim and vigor!  There was an Estate Sale that had been heavily advertised in my neighborhood that I had been planning on going to so I got dressed and headed out to check it out..  Unfortunately, I got there too early and it hadn't started yet, so turned around and went back home and headed into my craft room.  I had gotten some wooden letters for Aiden's bedroom and wanted to alter them to go with his room.  Right now his room has all white walls with Ravens bedding and curtains, so it was pretty obvious where I would go with my choice of decor.  I started with black and purple paint and some NFL Ravens paper and went from there.  Here are the results: 

(I have decided that the picture quality is so poor becaise of this computer!   They look better on my other computer-go figure.)

I just love being able to get back in my room and getting my hands dirty and being crafty again.  It feels good.  Little by little, I feel like I'm coming back.  I just wish that I could spend more time in there.

Later on I even made dinner,  For those of you who know me, you know that that is an accomplishment too.  Not that I don't know how to cook, I do.  I just don't particularly like to cook.  I don't mind cooking once in a while and I don't mind cooking if I know what I am going to cook and have the ingredients.  Mostly, it's the whole planning and shopping thing.  Anyway, I made pork chops with a dijon-apricot glaze, with roasted red potatoes and carrots.  It was a very nice dinner and I must say Mr. Wonderful was quite surprised.

That's all for now!  Hope you all have a great Monday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Funny Girl

This little girl just cracks me up!

She is seven going on seventeen-at least.  My niece said to me at the wedding that when she saw Isabella walking down the aisle, she thought to herself that she was a little girl but an old soul. It's very true.  In so many ways she is so much older and deeper than most kids her age.  I'm not sure why that is, but she it just is. She takes things very seriously and is quite emotional, she is her very hard on herself and despite her parents and our best efforts, she pushes herself.  As a matter of fact, last week she was asking her Granddad about colleges!  She's seven!  The girl likes to plan ahead.

Speaking of planning ahead, the day after her birthday party last year she started asking me about her birthday party for this year.  What are we going to do?  So, now that the wedding is over and her birthday is a mere three months away, we are in full planning mode.  After much discussion, I believe that we have finally decided upon a theme for the big bash.  Bella has had a lot of input on this aspect of the party this year, wheras in past years I have been able to just suggest a theme and she readily agrees to it.  This year she really wanted to do something with animals because she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.  We had done a safari themed birthday for her 5th birthday and we are not cat so it was kind of natural to go for a dog theme.  She liked that and I could work with that and thought we were set.  Then she got to thinking and well, that can be dangerous.  The child has dreams.  She wants to travel too, she dreams of going to Egypt and seeing mummies and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Great Wall in China, a safari in Africa.  I can only hope that her career pays her well and gives her a lot of time off!  While most little girls dream of going to Disney World, Bella dreams of traveling the world! Anyway, now she thinks she might like to do a Parisian Poodle themed party.  Her mom will just die.  Ha!  So girly and fun, I can see it now - lots of pink and black, tulle and rinestones.  Yippee! What fun.  Oh the possibilities....
Better start working, I've already been Pinning my little fingers off! 

 So, if you see anything or have any ideas for me-feel free to share.  Till then-Hobby Lobby, here I come! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Quick Share

Just wanted to share with you all something else I had the chance to do over the weekend and that was to spend some time in my studio myself.  What a rare opportunity that has been these days!  I felt like a real newbie I tell you, it took me quite a while just to acclimate myself to my surroundings and figure things out again.  But before long that old feeling came back and I was loosing myself in my work and loosing all track of time.  Ha!  I loved it!
Anyway, that's not to say that I got a whole lot accomplished.  But I was able to make three cards.  One I put in it's envelope and mailed off before taking a picture of it, don't know what I was thinking.  Except that I was ashamed of myself for taking so long in getting it out to its recipient!  So you won't be seeing that one.
Here's one for you though:
(Remember you can click on the picture to make it larger.)
All elements are from Papertrey Ink.  Hawaiin Shores blue cardstock and the patterned paper is from their Funky Town collection-love that one!   The stamp set is Fly Away it's a mini stamp set-just $5 what a bargain!  The co-ordinating die I got to go with it wasn't much either and I really like the PTI dies, they are so easy to use and they work with any die cut machine.  The sentiment is from one of the Button Bit sets, the plane is draggin some bakers twine behind it and it carries through on the inside of the card and and it's attached to a banner that says Happy Birthday.  That is part of the Fly Away set too. 
Next up is from another mini stamp set Boy Basice Mini Frog Hop.  I got this set just 'cuz I loved the frog.
Patterned paper from Green Boutique, cardstock is Green Leaf both Papertrey.  Wish the pictures were clearer, don't know what was going on with my photo skills that day.  Anyway, love the little frog.  After I stamped him on the die cut image I added google eyes for instant personality!  Added the tongue and flies on the paper, plopped him on a couple of layered lilly pads and voila!  The sentiment is from this same set too.
I just wanted to use this set because I hadn't inked it up once since purchasing it and it was just crying out to me to be used.  I am ashamed to admit that I have several like that, but I will be rectifying that soon.  Promise.
I've also got to work on a good way to photograph my crafty things so they look good in pictures!
That's all for now.  Happy Hump Day!
*Updated to add-I LOVE to see some Bloggy like, so please leave me a comment and let me know that you were here.  And if you really like me, or even if you are just mildly interested why not follow me and see what I'm up to from time to time?  Who knows, you might even get to know me and like me or at the very least you could see something you might like.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Roundup

Things are finally getting back to normal around here-whatever 'normal' is for us.  The hubub of the wedding has died down, the mess has been put away, and the flowers have all died and the vases have been cleaned and stored away for another time.  So what's new around here?

Well, first up I had my checkup at Kennedy Kreiger Institute on Friday.  I always have somewhat mixed emotions about going in for that appointment, but I have to say that when I arrive there and I am able to walk in on my own without any assistance and I get to the waiting room to see others who are not as fortunate as I, I take the time to count my blessings once again and realize just how lucky I am!  It was a long appointment though, about three hours or so and it started with a breating test.  Easy enough and totally non-invasive, just a measurement of lung capacity.  Followed by vitals, stats, all the norms then a strength test (she said that I had great strength!), talk and meds review, wrap up with the doctor, phlebotomy, pt, check out.  So the crux of the matter is this, not a whole lot to do about the pain at this point.  She wants me to go for physical therapy again on a regular basis and to try it with a different therapist or a different group.  Studies have shown that it does help over time, the problem is that it is so time consuming and I have so little spare time as it it, but I suppose that I will need to find the time to fit it in.  Overall, my meds have remained fairly consistent with one slight change, I can up my dosage of the stimulant that I currantly take, so I am hoping for positive results there.

Next up-Jim noticed earlier in the week when he went to let the dogs on one morning that we had an early morning visitor to our pond.  A somewhat unwelcome visitor-a heron, who was  helping himself to a lovely breakfast buffet of our fantail fish, frogs and other fish.  I guess they were too tempting for him to resist.  So Jim had asked if Bella could come over after Saturday afternoon to go shopping with him for a few new fish.  She came over but before we went shopping, she discovered that a little leprechaun had been here and had been somewhat mischeveous!  See for yourself:

Who knew that they peed green?
What a mess!
After she gathered up the coins that he had left lying around, we went out and got a few new fish for our pond.  Six to be exact.  We are hoping that they will last long enough to grow and thrive and not become an appetizer for a bird!  We also got a few new tadpoles.  Jim staked out the pond and put string from stake to stake surrounding the pond.  Herons can't land on the water, the have to land on the land and walk into the water and the string will keep them from the water and the fish.

Releasing the new fish into the pond.
Then we were lucky enough to keep Bella overnight.  Michelle and Shawn got to have a night alone and went to dinner, only to become sick during the night.    So, we had Bella a little longer than we might may have otherwise this morning.  She is such a delight though, so much fun to have around we don't mind at all.
We played and I helped her make a couple of cards-one for her cousin and one for  birthday party she is going to over the weekend.  She's a good student and love's to work with my stamps and punches and such. 
Then we went outside and I noticed that the funniest thing happened.  As I looked around me I saw flowers, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, my cherry trees were in bloom as were my royal star magnolia.  The aroma in my yard was so fragrant it was almost heady.  Spring seemed to have sprung!

The  cherry trees in our backyard
Daffodils and azzalia in the front garden.

Royal Star Magnolia

Weeping Cherry in the Front
The Cherry Blossoms in Washington were supposed to be in full bloom at the end of the month, but that has been ammended.  The Festival is still scheduled for the end of the month as per usual, but they weather should be a little warmer throughout the day.  So, Cheers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sharing Memories

As of now the build up, the work, the anticipation and the dream of the wedding day of Michelle and Shawn is now just a memory.  But what a sweet, beautiful memory it is. It is one that I for one will never forget and will forever hold dear to me. Now that I have had a few days to process it all, I'd like to share a bit of it with you.

The day started out sunny and cool and I met Michelle and Isabella at the hair salon at 9:30 AM. Michelle and her bridesmaids were all scheduled to have their hair done for the big day, and Michelle had asked that I be there. It was a busy salon, with a lot of chatter and excitement.  I was shooting lots of photos and Nichole, our photographer was ther to shadow Michelle for the majority of the day as well.  From chair to chair the girls were hopping, one after another.
Bella was finished first and Michelle just about the last one to go.  I had to be given a tutorial on how to put her veil on,nd had a back up!

Here's the bride    !

After everyone's hair was done, Michelle, Bella, Brooke and I went back to our house and the plan was to meet up at the church at two.  We had some time so we made sure to get some food in our bellies and then we set about applying makeup and seeing to the little details.  My father and Marlena had stopped by and Mar had presented Michelle with a beautiful Swarkofski crystal bracelet to wear on her special day and then one day to pass along to Bella on her special day as well.  What a special gift.  My mom also came by with a gift of something borrowed, another bracelet of gold and diamonds that my grandad had given to her.  Michelle work one on each wrist-one old and one borrowed.  I bought her new Swarkofski crystal and silver earrings and a pendant that went so well with her dress, they're orchids with a drystal drop:
An Etsy find that I was tickled to find-all the way from Israel!  The picture doesn't do them justice. We had also taken part of my wedding dress (the cuff of the sleeve) and used it to wrap the stems of her bridal bouquet.  She and I both liked the symbolism that it represented.  Her garter was another Etsy find, and special to her and Shawn.  Since they are both baseball fans but root for different teams, she had the garter made with a logo for the Orioles on one side (his team) and the Yankees on the other side (her team), and it incorporated the needed blue as well!

Here is my beautiful girl:

And her with her beautiful girl!
Michelle gets a hug from her brother before the ceremony.

A quiet moment...
Love that look on her face!
The happy couple!
Not a great picture, but me and my girl.
It was a wonderful day and the best part of all is seeing the both of them so happy.  Wouldn't miss it for the world! 
That's about it for now.  I'll share more soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Countdown is On!

Five days and counting! 

As you can well imagine, my weekend continued at a rather busy pace.  I decided though that I could only get done what I could get done and I was not going to stress about the rest.  So, as I mentioned I finished all of the escort cards on Saturday after the aforementioned flood. This is how they turned out:
I stamped above and below the names and put a little jewel in the bottom part of the stamping.  I know it's hard to see in the picture, but it's there-in all of them.  Nothing fancy, just simple -but nice and something for the guests to take away too. 

Then I also made these for the doors of the church:
Here is a close up of the 'S' so you can see a little more of the detail.
Again, it's simple, but nice.  Michelle had seen these at her friends' wedding and liked them, though they had no flowers on them.  I added the flowers as I thought it would be nice for the church.  Though I am not certain that that is where they are going, but even if they go to the reception hall it will still be nice.  The flowers are of such a quality, that they don't look too fake if you know what I mean.  They are not silk but they're not dried either.  (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)
But boy, working with this moss sure did make a royal mess of me and my studio!  Had it been warmer I would have opted to move the whole operation outdoors, but we actually had snow flurries on Sunday!
After I cleaned up from that mess, Michelle, Shawn and Isabella stopped by after picking up Bella's dress from being altered.  Michelle had brought it to one of our neighbors to do the alterations, she had also done the alterations of the dress that Michelle wore in Brooke's wedding.  Alice does great work and is a woman of many diverse talents and had readily agreed to do it when Michelle asked her.  She did a great job and when Michelle went to pay her for it she declined payment and said that it was a wedding gift!  What a sweet and unexpected gesture!  Michelle was really touched, as was I.
Bella had to be at her dance studio for pictures, so I did her makeup for her and they took off and then it was on to my next project.  Michelle had purchased gifts for her Bridesmaids, but wanted to give them a little something else.  I had seen something on Pinterest and so I suggested a survival kit and she agreed.  We purchased the items and I put it together and this is what I came up with:

They are little black quilte make up bags!  I found the bags at Hobby Lobby and then purchased the iron on letters and added them to each bag.  I typed up the poem and put it on a tag, attached it to the bag with a monogramed brad and orange ribbon.  The poem reads:
"This survival kit was made just to say, I'm thrilled you're beside me on my wedding day!
There's chocolate to give you that sugar high and a packet of tissues in case you should cry.
Lip gloss to help you care for your smile, If a nail should break I've included a file.
There's Shout if you should spill on your dress, and Lifesavers to keep your breath minty fresh.
There's Aleve and Tums if it's ill that you feel, and Baind-Aids to help you tackle high heels.
I've put everything in this handy pack, so you know that this bride has got your back!
This kit was created so that you can see how much you mean to this bride to be!"
I had fun putting it together, found tissues at HL that are monogramed with a black letter and have a damask pattern on the tissues and mints in a little tin with a maid holding a bouquet that says "Mint to Be" on the front.  I could only find three of the little make up pouches though but they had a little purse so I got that for Bella, thought that was okay since she is only 7 and doesn't really need a makup bag.  Yet!
Then I was trying to figure out what to do about food, munchies between the wedding and the reception because there is a couple hour gap and we have a lot of out of town guests.  Then the best thing happened.
My bestie Durinda called and said that she would take care of it!  I was to make meatballs and other than that, she was going to do the rest.  From soup to nuts, so to speak.  How is that for a friend-and a saviour! 
I'm telling you it takes a whole lot of weight off of my back and allows me to breathe a lot easier this week.
And all I can say is a big Thank You! 
There is nothing better than a true Friend!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

1 Week To Go!

Just a week from today and Michelle and Shawn will be married.  This morning I ran up to Chambersburg and picked up her wedding dress and veil.  The altertions are complete aand they had pressed it and made it ready for the bride to step right ito it.  It is good  to go!  I hung it up in our spare room from the frame of the closet door and shut the bedroom door to keep the dogs out of that room and far away from the dress.

The truth be told though, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed today.  A lot still left for me to do, including the escot cards, the table numbers, getting everything ready to take to the venue and finishing up the "S" and "M" that I am making for the receptio hall.  In addition to that I will be having quite a bit of company here at the house over the weekend and I'd like to be able to welcome guests and have photos taken without being totally embarassed by the condition of my home!  I'd also like to be able to offer said guests something to eat and/or drink.  But I am pretty much the only one who seems to be feeling any of the stress.  Michelle is pretty much calm as a cucumber, as is Shawn.  Jim, well what's he got to worry about except the bill?  I stress over the details and that is my job I suppose.  Truth is, if anything goes wrong or some detail was overlooked,  no one blames the bride or groom, they say that the MOB should have taken care of that for them.  So, I guess it is up to me to worry.  So in reality, I'm just doing my job. 

Anyway, I am upstairs fighting with my die cut machine and loosing I might add, when Mr.(not so)Wonderful, truth be told right now I could kick his butt from here to the other side of the moon and not miss him, comes running upstairs saying something about water.  Not one to get easily alarmed or pay much attention to him, I didn't move.  Soon enough though he yells that he needs my help. So I go find him and he is in our bathroom and the toilet is running, all over the floor and has been for some time now.  As a matter of fact, it is running into the second floor bathroom and into the laundry room in the basement two floors below!!  Did I mention that I was kinda busy today?  Had one or two things on my mind?  Yeah, well I did and I didn't need to add sopping up an inch and a half of water in the bathrooms and cleaning all the towels and throw rugs in the house!  OMG! 

So the moral of the story?  I can't do anything about it.  The wedding will still be wonderful so I am not going to sweat the small stuff.  Right?  Right.  I am going to enjoy this time and not worry if the house isn't clean or if everything doesn't get done.  Just relax and enjoy it.  How am I going to accomplish this you may ask?

A handful of valium washed down with a big ole glass of wine!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Silence is Golden

Unless you are following my blog and looking for updates that is.  Suffice it to say, my life has been a bit on the hectic side lately.  I've been working lots of hours, getting part of our building ready finished and ready to be moved into, working towards our yearly security inspection which is a huge job because we have to re-vamp all of our files, and of course getting ready for the wedding. 
We are now down to W Minus 9, for anyone who is counting!  That's right, just nine days to go!  When this is all said and done and the month of March is over, I'll be about ready for a brief coma.  Nothing life threatening mind you, just enough to allow me to rest up for a while.  A rest where no one would expect me to answer my phone, or my blackberry or my email, or clean the house, or do laundry, or show up at work, or get dressed or move for that matter.  Ha!  I'm talking catheter here. I'm really not terribly high maintenance.  Some women need beautiful beaches and warm climates, room service and Tiki Bars.  Me, I don't require all that.  Don't get me wrong here, I wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me.  I'd just like someone to turn my lights out for a few days here.  Give me a legitimate excuse to take a break from some of my obligations for a short while.  Just a brief respite. 
In the meantime, I'll keep plugging along and getting it all done the best way that I know how.  One thing at a time.  I was in our Stafford office again this week.  Went  down yesterday and was lucky enough to get there before the rain started-arrived at abuot 7:30 AM.  Worked until after 5:00 then checked into the hotel, did a little shopping, got dinner, went back to my room searched the internet for shoes for Bella to wear to the wedding, worked on a report, watched Survivor and went to bed.  Went to the office at 6:30 this morning and left there about noon to go back to the Germantown office, was there until 4:30.   By the time I got home I had missed Jim & Bella as they had left for the Earth,Space & Science Center.  I took the opportunity to unpack, vaccum and then lie down for a brief nap.  When Jim came home we had dinner and after I cleaned up from that I sewed-that's right, I sewed Bella's dance bag.  Only for her do I pull out a needle and thread!  Her bag had ripped and Michelle told her to ask me if I could fix it.  Bella said she didn't think I knew how, so I had to prove a point-to a 7 year old.  This is what my life has been reduced to?!  Hsa!  It's been a long week already and tomorrow is shaping up to be another busy day at work.  I think I need some wine... or valium....heck, I'd even take a jellybean!
So that's about it for now.  My eyes are drooping and I'm in danger of forgetting my way to my bedroom.  Before I totally embarras myself, I'll say goodnight and I'll check in with you when I can.