Monday, February 9, 2015

I'm Back!!

Hello dear friends!
I could write about 50 pages about where I have been and what I have been doing since my last blog post, 5 months ago, but I have lots of fun things to share and it's time to move forward!
I participated in two Swaps this month and I have pictures to sort through and a post to write about them. We had a small trip to Maryland to visit our Grandsons and also to see and old friend from Pittsburgh who now lives in Virginia (more pictures of that) The most exciting thing was meeting a dear blog friend, IN PERSON, for the first time! (pictures about that, too!) 
Right now I'm dealing with some kind of wretched cold...or whatever is going around and my energy level is zero! Give me a few days...oh right, you've already given me 5 months, and I'll be back!
In the meantime...here are a few birthday cards that went out this month...

For my friend, Mimi, who has an Etsy Shop named Dandelion Wishes...


For my best friend, Nancy, who wanted to be a cowgirl when she was little...


and for another blogging friend, Sandy McClay, who I had the pleasure of meeting several years ago in Arizona...


So many birthdays in February! 

I'll be back soon with more pictures and stories! 
I've missed you all!

xoxo
Joyce

Thursday, September 11, 2014

We Are Connected! A Swap For All Seasons...September...Halloween

This past weekend, our son Eric, DIL Jane and our two Grandsons came for a visit to see the new house. Eric did so much to help his Dad! He was up and down the ladder, putting things away in high places...carrying heavy items from one place to another, connecting the computer and TVs, and then even mowed the lawn!!! So much was accomplished that would have taken us weeks to do. We have gotten a lot done but there is still much to do. I want to show you some pictures of the house...soon.
For right now, I want to say that the September swap at A Swap For All Seasons is a wrap...for the month, and, actually, for the year. We started last October and every month I have had so much fun with the different themes and color schemes that our fearless leader and Swap Hostess Extraordinaire, Linda Smith, has challenged us with. I have met a bunch of new blog friends and have swapped with some dear old friends as well. Thank you, Linda, for the energy and creativity you have presented us with...I have enjoyed every minute!
This month we had a Halloween theme and the color for the destash was orange. We were given our assignment and our partner's name at the beginning of August and in spite of getting ready for our big move, I was determined to participate. Halloween is such a fun topic to create for and I was happy to have a little creative fun in between sorting and packing. My partner was Marti of 
Artful Curiosities . This was the second time I created for Marti, the first being in February. Marti was my "donor" in May and you might recall this gorgeous piece of art she made for me...

So, for the Halloween tag, I made a small hanging piece...


This image has made the rounds on Pinterest and I just loved this gal's flair for the dramatic! I am not a fan of really scary Halloween things...I like the sweet or the funny...I thought she was kind of funny.
I made a pocket card filled with Halloween Bingo cards.


The destash also fit nicely into the pocket...


Leaves, stickers, more images, vintage seam binding, washi tape and 2 orange polka dot note cards.

I also made the envelope for the card using scrapbook paper that looked rumpled...it's so cute and I know I've had it forever.
I liked the way this turned out.


Now that our computer is back up and running, i hope to be back posting on a more regular basis and of course, visiting my fellow blogging friends!

Until next time...
xoxo
Joyce

Monday, September 1, 2014

What is Normal?

As I've mentioned many times, our summer has been consumed with activities surrounding moving from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanis to Millsboro, Delaware....8 Miles from Rehoboth Beach. We are happy. We are excited. We are looking forward to decorating and foofifying our new home.  But mostly.....
WE ARE EXHAUSTED!!!!

Since June, we have been working hard to get our PA home ready to sell....did I tell you it sold in 8 hours? Yup! The first couple who saw it, loved it, and offered our full asking price. No one was more shocked than we were. After the house sold, we had to hustle to Delaware to BUY A HOUSE, which we did, in 24 hours. The very hardest part was the actual packing up the house. We had a huge moving sale in May and got rid of a ton of stuff and I was delusional in thinking that the packing of what was left would be easy but it was not! As you might guess, the most difficult packing was my craft room. Soooo many boxes, heavy, heavy boxes of paper. The movers came on Friday, August 22, at 8:30 in the morning. They finished loading the truck at 7:30 that night. We closed on our house on Monday the 25th and closed on our new home on Wednesday, the 27th of August. Our furniture has not arrived and won't until this Friday, September 5th. We needed a new mattress and box spring which we bought immediately and had them delivered the next day so we have a place to rest our heads. We also bought a sofa and love seat from the previous owners so we have a place to sit. There are also a few small lamps, the coffee maker ( of course) and a few dishes to hold us over. We are trying to look at it like an adventure. This time has given us a chance to catch our breath and also do some work at the new house. In the past 2 days David has painted the Master Bedroom and we will also paint my craft room before the furniture comes. We are also having the carpet ripped out of my craft room and solid surface flooring installed. So much to do, but I'm hoping we'll still get a chance to spend some time at the beach in September, our favorite month!
I was hoping to include some pictures on this post but I only have my iPad with me and I don't know when I'll have access to the computer again. I can't figure out how to upload pictures from my iPad to a blog post. If you have any suggestions, I will be happy to hear them.
In the meantime, know that I've missed reading your posts....hopefully I'll be fully operational in the not too distant future!

xoxo
Joyce 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Swap For All Seasons-August-Just My Style!

We are heavily into the work of packing up our house to move.
The movers come on August 22nd.
We close on our house here on August 25th.
We move into our new home in Delaware on August 27th....although our belongings may not arrive until the beginning of September, depending on how many stops our truck has to make.
To offset the stress and manual labor of the move, I have continued to participate in the monthly swaps at A Swap For All Seasons. How could I not? This year of themed monthly swaps has been great fun!! Our hostess, Linda, is the Queen of Swapping and has made our lives more creative and fun every month. I have had some partners I've never swapped with before and have, therefore, made new friends. I've also swapped with very treasured women that I've known for years! Next month is our last month in this year-long project and I am hoping that Linda will have something up her sleeve for another year of creative play.
August's theme for our card and tag was, Just My Style. We could create in our own unique way and the destash that we sent was not limited to one particular color. This couldn't be any easier!
Sherry, of Creatology, was my "donor: this month. Sherry is one of the friendliest, generous people on the planet! She is always gracious and kind and I don't think she ever sleeps because the lovely things that come out of her craft room seem to be never-ending! She swaps in several groups, sends surprises to friends and also makes things for charitable organizations. She is a dynamo!
Sherry showered me with a variety of wonderful gifts this month. 
First is the card and tag...

The tag is filled with lots of embellishments and old vintage papers. Kind of an international travel theme.
The card was made using a stamp of one of my favorite artists, D. Morgan.
I love all of the sea and beach themed art pieces she does and we already have one of her prints in our bedroom. I am planning on framing Sherry's card to hang up also. I wanted you to see the detail...


The treasures that Sherry included in my package were many and clever...
little pouches of paper and fabric, a notebook, handmade papers, washi tape, ribbon and lace


 and the prettiest and classiest bubble wand I have ever seen...

Did you know that blowing bubbles is a great stress reliever? I guess it's all that "blowing out" that you do! 

My person to send to this month was Lorraine Beaumont of 
Over the Rainbeau. Lorraine is a very accomplished artist. If you visit her blog, and you should (by clicking on her blog name), you will see some of her creations. It was a tiny bit (OK a Big Bit) intimidating to be creating for her but after all, it was Just My Style. Those who know me, know that I have kind of a quirky sense of humor. I love creating cards to send to friends for no particular reason except to bring a chuckle...a milk-snorting-out-the-nose laugh would be even better but I'll be happy if you chuckle. Anyway, the image for the card I made just begged for the quote...

When I saw the image of this little roller skater, I immediately loved her determination to skate and not get hurt! I thought the bow on the tag mimicked the bow in her hair.


Lorraine loves vintage images so I pulled a bunch out of my stash. along with some lace to play with in her crafting.

Another fabulous and fun month!
Next month is our last in the year long swap and the theme is Halloween...always a fun topic. My fingers are crossed that Linda has some plans for more fun swaps in the near future!

xoxo
Joyce

Sunday, July 13, 2014

About the Mary Engelbreit, Trash To Treasure Chair.

I have been looking through photos stored on my computer, making sure that I have pictures of all of the rooms of our home before it all gets dismantled in preparation of the MOVE.
I came across pictures of a project I have never shared here before and I thought you might like to see it.  The Trash to Treasure Chair. A number of years ago I took a furniture painting class. We were to take a chair found in someone's trash and transform it with paint. As hard as I tried, I could not find a chair curbside, so I resorted to buying a chair, a pair actually, for $10 at a yard sale. I was going to paint one for myself and the other for my sister. It was a super fun class...remember, this was well before the repurposing trend started. I decided to paint my chair in the style of my idol, Mary Engelbreit! Bright colors and a cute theme were my guidelines.I used acrylic paint and stencils to create my chair.


Each rung of the ladderback chair is painted in a different way and you can see that Bugs! were my theme.
Ladybugs winding their way across fried egg flowers...

a jaunty checkerboard pattern...

I cannot explain my attraction to the bug motif but I have one!

A finial on just one side of the chair..

Polka dots, stripes and some bees...

The seat of this chair is an antique white, distressed...hard to see that in this shot. I must confess, while I hate to see real ones in the house, I love stenciled ants. I used to have them stenciled along the baseboard in the kitchen. It gave people quite a start when they saw them!

So, I painted this chair for me and then didn't get around to painting the other one for my sister in time for her birthday so I gave her this one, intending to paint the second one for me. It never got done and in May, I sold the partially painted chair at our moving sale. Maybe I'll find one in the trash somewhere in Delaware to finally paint for me!

xoxo
Joyce

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Swap For All Seasons...July...Share a Smile!

We continue through the year with our monthly swaps at A Swap For All Seasons.
July's theme was Share a Smile and the color for the destash was purple. Even though our card and tag do not have to be the color of the month, I find that I tend to use that monthly color in my creating. These swaps have enabled me to expand my color palette.....some of the colors we use are not ones I would naturally choose but I'm liking the challenge of it.
I am a great believer in the practice of laughing every day....it is good for my mental and emotional health. I have to say that being married to David provides me with a lot of comic relief. He is one of the funniest people I know and he can always say or do something that keeps me chuckling!
Over the years, I have enjoyed creating cards for women to send to their friends for no reason other than to share some mirth. I chose one of these cards to send to my new friend, Pam, of Virginia Retro. Pam loves vintage things and has an amazing collection of tablecloths from the 50's and 60's as well as other vintage goodies she finds at estate and yard sales. I swoon over some of the treasures she finds! Anyway, I thought Pam might enjoy a funny card featuring a pair of the cutest "mature" ladies whose image I found on-line years ago. I saw a funny quote once that said, "Old age is always 20 years older than the age you are." Don't we all remember when we were younger and thought that 65 was about the end of the line? Well, when you turn 65, it's suddenly not so old after all!
(I apologize for the quality of these photos. I continue to have computer issues ((insert REALLY sad face here!)) and the photos are not transferring properly)

Inside of card...


The tag was made using an image from Paper Whimsy. When I first saw this little girl I was struck with the thought that she resembled photos I have of my mother at a young age. She has the start of a sweet smile, don't you think?
Along with the card and tag, I pulled out some purple treats from my stash. Doilies, ribbon, rick-rack, letter stickers, embellishments and a funny magnet. It was a fun month!



My "donor" this month was Wendy of The Frog Palace. I had the opportunity to create for Wendy several months ago and now it was her turn to make a card and tag for me. I am glad that Wendy is not afraid to use color in her crafting. Her card and tag made me smile as soon as I saw them. The card, especially has a very funny sentiment inside. Great job Wendi...you certainly made me smile!


Inside of Wendy's card...

 She also sent me a huge number of stash items...WOOHOO! Lots to craft with!


For August, we are to create in our own style and we can use any color we'd like. This is going to be fun!!!!!!
On the HOME front, we traveled to Delaware last week and bought a new home in 36 hours. We have been wasting no time here! We have a date of August 25th to close here in Pittsburgh and August 27th to close in Millsboro, Delaware. Next up are home inspections here and there and find a mover.
I hope to be able to post some pictures of the new place, soon.
xoxo
Joyce

Monday, June 30, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Dear Friends,
If you have been following my blog for any length of time, (and at this point I'm sure a lot of people have given up on me because of lack of any posts here) you know that my word for 2014 has been
DECIDE
I mentioned in January that this would be a year of decisions.
We (David and I) decided, at the beginning of the year, to sell our house in Pittsburgh and relocate to Delaware...somewhere near the ocean. We know no one in Delaware but it is a place we have vacationed for years (Rehoboth Beach) and it is actually closer to our kids who are in Maryland, New Jersey and Long Island, NY. 
In order to make this move possible, we had to go through and clean out the accumulation of 24 years of "stuff", give away or sell a ton of it and then, when that was done, put the house on the market. It was a bigger job than we ever realized and we did 6 months of work in about 8 weeks. We had a huge Moving Sale on Memorial Day weekend, which has always been a good weekend for me to have a garage/yard/moving sale. We were crazy busy for 6 hours and did very well, selling about 80% of what we offered. The remaining things were either donated or given away. Every closet and drawer, the basement, garage...every corner was gone through to weed out and pare down. We worked hard for long hours at a time to get it done. A word of advice for you though...if you are contemplating a move, allow yourself a year to do what we did in 8 weeks. It will be easier on your nerves and your aching muscles.

Here are some before the Moving Sale photos.
Every room, every closet, every drawer, every cupboard...
 Don't be afraid...you will see that it  looks worlds different now!

The basement....







Ready for the sale...

An original acrylic painting of Amish quilters by my sister and a lap quilt that looks similar. 
Neither of these sold.


All of the small, quilted pieces sold but not the wall hang/lap quilts.

Handmade Amish rocker



Some, but not all of the bears found new homes.


All of the Bennington Pottery went to one person. I am so
 happy that it will be used and loved by a newly married couple.

Very extensive Santa collection..many were handmade.

This was the first chance I got to take a picture from the deck...this was about an hour before the sale ended. We moved a lot of things. (The garage was filled, too, I just didn't get a picture after the sale.

Today, this morning in fact, our house was officially listed for sale. We have loved our house and our neighborhood, but it's time for a new family to live here. We hope, whoever they might be, they'll be as happy as we are.

NOTE: I started this post on Tuesday, June 24. The house was, indeed, listed that afternoon and the first couple who came through the house bought it that very night. We are still in shock!
David had to travel to Chicago this weekend and our youngest son and his wife are here to pick up some things. We will leave as soon as we can to go to Delaware and buy a house. The closing on this house is August 25! Yikes!
OK-enough for one post! Now you know why I haven't been visiting or blogging. Please keep us in your prayers...we need all the strength we can muster for this adventure.

XOXO
Joyce



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