Wednesday, August 26, 2009

At the Playground

I just completed this little mini-book featuring the photos I took at the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Memorial Peace Garden playground in Rockville, MD. We had such a wonderful time with Charlie that day. He had fun running from swings to slide to jungle gym and of course numerous trips to the water fountain. Papa did all of the chasing while I took all of the pictures. The little book is made using only cardstock and two A2 sized envelopes (for the covers). The pages are stamped with various tree stamps. My friend, the clever and inventive Carolyn Dewey, shared a little book with me that she had made , and I couldn't wait to make one for us. I printed the photographs from my computer in wallet size which is the perfect size for a small mini-book project. I've decided that a basket or wooden box on the coffee table filled with "one event" little scrapbooks is the way to go.

NOTE: Mattie J.T. Stepanek was a remarkable boy. He suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy. In the course of his life, a mere 14 years, he was able to accomplish many things in the name of peace. He wanted to be remembered as "a poet, a peacemaker and a philosopher who played". If you had a chance to see any of the interviews with Mattie, or read any of his books of poetry, you couldn't help but have your heart touched by this remarkable young man. You can hear about the Peace Garden here and there is much more information to be found by Googling Mattie's name. Every bench surrounding the playground area is inscribed with one of Mattie's inspiring quotes. After we finished playing, we walked over to the display which included an audio presentation in Mattie's own voice. It made both of us cry to hear his voice again. I'm so glad we had a chance to visit here and we thank God for our healthy little Charlie!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Stamps

PaperTrey Ink is one of my favorite stamp companies. Two weeks ago I bought this stamp set...

It is so cute. OK, I admit it....I also had to have the add-on set........Seriously, aren't they the most clever stamps? I chair-ish your friendship....that cracks me up!

I have been cleaning and reorganizing my scrapbook room/craft space/studio all week. (I have too much stuff!) Today, I needed to make an Anniversary card for my sister and brother-in-law. I put down the duster and vacuum cleaner and whipped this card out. Ahhhhhhhhh! It felt good to create something! (If you want to see amazingly cute cards made with this set go to the PaperTrey Ink website and look in the gallery.)

Now ,the On My Couch set has the cutest phrases and images but none for an Anniversary so I had to print my own phrase for the inside of the card...
If you need some cute over to PaperTrey Ink! I have to get back to my cleaning!
Oh, but first, one more thing since we're talking about decorating (you know, couches?...) a new magazine is coming next Spring
WOOHOO! The co-editors are Matthew Mead and Ki Nassauer. WOOHOO! Until it comes out in print, we can follow along on their new blog
OK, I'm finished now.....until next time!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I've gotten lots done....but there's lots more to do.....

I did something this week I haven't done in a very long time. I worked 3 days instead of my usual 1 day. Doing this reminded me about why I don't still work 3 days on a regular basis....I am tired! Now I know many of you work full-time jobs and I admire you for that. I did it for years too...many as a single Mom. That being said, it did get me moving and out the door and I was more productive at home and in my craft room, too.
I finished making and mailing the invitations to our cookout for the Book Group next week (they always have ants on them somewhere. I have a collection of "ant" stamps. Is that strange? :D).....
Delivered a travel journal to my friend Pam to take to the Sr. Olympics in California where her Mom competed and won the gold medal in shuffleboard at 80+. Way to go Ruth! Almost all of the siblings, from around the country, went to cheer on their Mom. Pam wanted a journal to record the details about the events.... places they visited.... and their thoughts about the trip....with pockets for maps and brochures....
I also had time to alter a small journal to take to a friend's home as a hostess gift.......

Busy, busy, busy.....but loving every minute! I still have a few more projects to complete and then I have to get busy for 2 Craft Fairs in November! (And my swap....don't forget about that! More about that at the beginning of September!)

In my next visit, I'll post some pictures of several new art pieces I've acquired in the past few weeks. I love Etsy and eBay!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Block Swap

The amazing Elizabeth, of Creative Breathing, invited her readers to participate in a block swap. If we would each decorate a 5-inch cardstock block in our style, and send it to her, she would, in turn, decorate a block for each of us. What fun! She has been posting the blocks she has made and sent so far and they are so adorable. Mine came yesterday and I love it! I have borrowed this photo from Elizabeth because it is so much better than mine, but as nice as this picture is, it doesn't do the original justice. It is much prettier in person.....and the back is just as cute!It will be hanging in my studio soon as I reorganize in there. I've been working on it off and on all week and it's like rabbits...the stuff keeps multiplying. I'm sure I'm not the only person who buys too much (come on now, fess up!) but I've put myself on a diet from spending any more on art supplies (for a while...not forever). I have enough scrapbook paper to wallpaper a house!
Anyway...I've gotten off the track...I couldn't decide on my style at first. There are so many things I like to work with. I could do a vintagy, shabby kind of block using ephemera and sheet music and maybe a fairy image, or a block featuring one of my favorite dress form stamps...hmmmmm. I finally decided to do my block in a style to honor my original inspiration, Mary Engelbreit. I guess reading the magazine article in Where Women Create about her studio and her history made me want to create something simple in design, using primary colors.

This is my block.....I am so glad I participated in this swap and I thank you, Elizabeth, for your inspiration to all of us who read your blog. You certainly do create joy!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Tag Swap and other ramblings....

I just finished making and sending off 20 tags for a Christmas in July tag swap. Each of the 20 paticipants was to make 20 tags and send them to Mary Ann, the hostess of our swap. They could all be the same or all different, it was our choice. She is going to use her binding machine and make each of us a little tag booklet with the 20 tags included. These kinds of swaps are always fun because you get lots of inspiration from the other artists. I made three different tags. A classic, origami tree tag....
A sweet little vintage image tag in pinks and greens. I used dimensional paint around her hood and cuffs that puffs up when you use a heat gun on it.....and of course glitter!I also added glittered snowflakes that my friend Viv sent me....I had to make a comical tag because that's my true love-the offbeat humor theme!I hope my swapmates like them. This is a new group for me so I'm a little nervous. It was fun to pull out Chrsitmas papers and stamps and trims. Never too early, right?I'm also participating in a really fun Block Party swap hosted by my sweet friend Elizabeth! She has said that anyone who sends her a 5-inch block made in their style will receive a 5-inch block made by Elizabeth in her style. I couldn't pass this one up! She will use all of the blocks we send to her to make a giant banner to hang in her craft room as a reminder of all of her readers. I thought that was a wonderful idea, for her and for us too! Anything created by Elizabeth is a treasure! The hardest thing was deciding which of my styles to use......colorful? shabby vintage? black & white? I'll show you what I decided on in my next post!

I got a wonderful package in the mail this week. My friend Marie had posted some things she wanted to giveaway to the first responders and I was lucky enough to win this cute little pillow. I was going to use it in a guest bedroom but it looks so cute in the family room on my favorite chair so that's where it will stay. Thanks Marie! Tell Bill that the big smile on my face when I opened it was worth the price of postage. Wink!

Have you seen this magazine yet? It just came out today and I have waiting for months with breathless anticipation because my favorite crafting artist of all time, Mary Englebreit, is featured with pictures of her studio. Who wouldn't love to create things here.....

She was my first inspiration for the crafting I've done over the years. I have followed her for over 25 years and was broken-hearted when the publisher stopped production of her Home Comapnion magazine. I keep hoping that some day it will return, if only as a quarterly publication.

This past week, 5 crafting friends got together at our local Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We had torrential rain as we all hurried to get to the restaurant but our soggy shoes and damp, limp hair were soon forgotten as we talked, ate and laughed our way through a fun evening. It's important to get out with friends once in a while, it's good for the soul and of course we all bring "show and tell" things we're working on. One of the gals, Michele (sorry, no blog) made these cute paper dolls.She stamped the body parts with a paper doll rubber stamp and then assembled punched out circles for the dolls dress. She's also wearing a jaunty flower in her, bald head. She came tucked in the little brown paper sack trimmed out with ribbon and pennants. Cute, huh?

THIS POST IS MY 91st POST. Of course I will plan a huge celebration of my 100th....but I need to tell you that it's taken me (over) 2 years to get to this point so I'm not sure when I'll get there. We're at one for one in August. Maybe I'll be diligent and hit it this month. Stay tuned!


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