Monday, March 28, 2011

Chillin layout

And again I am back with a layout inspired by Sassy Lil' Sketches. This one is from the March 21st sketch, found here.

everything is from MME, except the AC Thickers. :)

Be back soon with some cards. :)

Pretty in Green layout and a card- SLS inspired

Good Morning! :) It's a bit cool here, it was snowing when I woke up, but that has quickly turned to rain now that we have warmed up a bit. I am sitting here drinking coffee and listening to the birds sing their beautiful morning melodies. This is one of the things I always miss in the Winter, and yet never seem to realize until the Spring. Their songs make my heart happy and that is a beautiful way to start any day. :)

Here is a layout and a card I created using the March 14 sketches over at the Sassy Li'l Sketches (and Sassy Li'l Card Sketches) blog. I know I have said it before, and will probably continue to say it, but I just adore these sketches. I am working on some more now, I am a week "behind", two sketches back, but I find that they are such a great guide, especially when you are just moving things around on paper looking for that aha! moment that doesn't come.

layout sketch here.
CS: Bazzill; PP and chipboard accents: Crate Paper, AC Thickers, Pink Paislee stickers, white paint and black pen

card sketch here.
supplies: card: Bazzill; PP: Basic Grey; chipboard: MM and K&Co.; ribbon, sticker: DCWV and bling

I hope to be back tomorrow with some more projects to share.
Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meghan swearing in layout and update on Ashlyn

Finally got around to scrapping these pics of Meghan officially swearing in to the Navy. She's been in about 8 months now. lol Even sadder is that I have yet to get to Kara's, which was 13 months ago. I really need to get on that!

supplies: I dug into my stash for a lot of the patterned paper on this one.
cs: Bazzill
pp: MME, Jenni Bowlin Studio, and Fancy Pants Designs
stickers: AC Thickers and LYB

Last week was a busy week for Ashlyn and I. She had 5 scheduled Dr. appointments. One of those being skin allergy testing. Ever since she had a violent reaction to peanut butter back in early January, her little body has gone haywire. We now know that she is officially allergic to peanuts, almonds, and navy beans. We were also advised that she just stay away from other nuts as well, just in case.

She wasn't having a very good week pain wise, and that really presented itself late Thursday night. I will not go into detail, however she has had some weird things going on with her GI tract. She had an x-ray done Friday and the results showed that there was some "other gastrointestinal findings" which could mean anything. Of course this was the 11th hour on Friday, and her regular Dr. she has weekly appt's with is on vacation for the next two weeks, so tomrorow when I go in to have her weight checked will be interesting. I am sure there are some orders for more testing, and a visit with the GI dr. is sure to be included. And I was looking forward to a quiet week with only 3 appointments. *sigh* I am tired. I am worn out from this. I know Ashlyn's patience is worn out as well. She is snappy and irritable and has no livliness. I am hopeful for some answers soon, but as time as proven, I will not be surprised to be left patiently waiting. It just breaks my heart to see her suffering, because that is what it is. Constant pain and tears and just curled up in a ball because that is the only way she get a managable level of comfort. I wish I could take it all away from her. Right this moment.

Have a beautiful day and a wonderful week!

Monday, March 21, 2011

a layout and a card inspired by sketches

Once again, I was inspired by the sketches over at Sassy Lil' Sketches for this card and layout. 

Here is my card:
(link to sketch)
The patterned paper is all My Minds Eye and I used a darling sticker from the stickerz collection at EAD Designs. It's been awhile since I have used one and I had forgotten how great and cute they are!

My layout took a path of it's own, but it is still based off the sketch. Those darn butterflies were calling me. It might be a little much, but the girls love it and that's what truly matters. :)
(sketch link)
I used MME paper and stickers for most of it (LOVE their new collections!) and Pink Pasislee for the background. I also used some Maya Road Mist.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kara, the USS Barry and Libya

You have probably seen the images on TV of the first strikes against Libya. Well, our daughter, Kara, is aboard the USS Barry, which has been one of the iconic images you might have seen. Here it is:

It's an amazing photo, and I have to be honest here. When my parents called me to tell me that the USS Barry was being shown on TV after they fired the first missle on Libya, my first reaction was to be excited. My girl is on that ship! The pride came first- quick and easy. I think my mom was shocked at my initial reaction. To me the thrill of the moment overcame all other emotions. It was the closest I have been to "seeing" my girl in a long time, and to see the ship on television makes her seem not so far away. Like I could just reach out and touch her.
It was only minutes later that the reality of the situation set in. Oh my gosh! My GIRL is there. On that ship. That just fired that missle. At Libya. She could have been one to have been on duty and have had to turn the key. What does this mean?! Is she OK. Not physically, but emotionally. I was worried about her state of mind, after all, my reaction was so vivid and I am not even physcially there. I could only imagine that she was experiencing some extremely mixed emotions. So the first thing I did was send her a quick email. I was relieved to have heard from her earlier this afternoon with this reply:

"Yeah, im fine. I watched them all launch last night. I have pictures and video. Its weird, because we were sitting there cheering it on and what not, but look at what we are really doing? You know? It was so weird. Exciting and at the same time terrifying. I cried here and there, not like bawling, but my eyes were watering at some points. Its scary. But so exciting. I don't know? But im fine."

I am sure this is going to affect her. I, myself, have broken into tears off and on. I am worried about her. And I am proud of her. She is doing her job. A very important job. She has never had to experience anything like this. I cannot even begin to imagine what it's like. As a mother, my heart aches for her. I want her to be home where she will be safe, and I can give her a huge hug, like I am sure she is in great need of. I almost feel guilty of enjoying the little things that she is not able to. She is living a big moment in history that will forever change life over there. She is a part of something huge. My GIRL is a part of this. I hope I am not trying to sound as if I am glorifying this tragic situation, because I am not. But as a mother I am proud and happy and excited about this experience for her.  I am also fearful, and sad, and terribly worried for her and her safety. If you are the praying type, please say a prayer for all the service members over in the Mediterranean Sea. It's going to be a long haul and they need all the support they can get.

I will leave this with a photo of my sweet girl- or should I say my beautiful young woman.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

one set of photos, two very different layouts

I really like these photos of Ashlyn in her Halloween costume. They are fun and full of personality, yet at the same time show how pretty she is. So what is a scrapper to do? Of course you've gotta scrap them all! I also had two different ideas on how I wanted to create the "perfect" layout and so I ran with both of them.

Here is pretty traditional "me" style. I used a mix of papers from Crate Paper, MME and Echo Park.

And I wanted to create something a little more edgy to play off the fun in these pics, so I pulled out the white cardstock, glimmer mist and circle punches and went to town. I think this is my new favorite!
I used some paper scraps from Scenic Route, Pink Paislee, Echo Park, and Crate Paper.

I think I may have to do this more often. It's fun to mix it up, so to speak, and get extra creative. :)

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Butterfly Crafts- March sketch challenge reveal

The March sketch reveal at Butterfly Crafts is up. Head on over there to check out the beautiful layouts the team members created and to give the sketch a try. :)

My layout features supplies from Best Creations. The warm and subtle colors were perfect for this pretty picture of Emily in her Halloween costume. The colors are so pretty irl.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Proud momma post - and prayers for Japan

I am at a loss for words with the tragedy in Japan. My heart hurts for all the poor people who are suffering, who have lost loved ones, who have lost everything, who are now living in fear. Words are not enough for them.

Our second oldest daughter Meghan, is currently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, just south of Tokyo. She is in the Navy on the USS Blue Ridge, an amphibious supply ship. Fortunately she was not on the island when they experienced the earthquake. She was safe and sound in Singapore where her ship had docked the day before. I knew not to be afraid for her when I heard about the earthquake, but I sure had a lot of people calling me to check on her. (My heart is carrying enough right now, I think God knew that.)

Here is the proud momma moment: Their ship has been sent to deliver much needed aid and supplies to the suffering of Nortern Japan. She may or may not directly have an impact, but she is going to be experiencing something that will alter her way of thinking. She is going to be doing something that most of us can only think about doing. She is going to see people who are truly suffering. She is going to see the anguish, the despair, the ultimate of destruction, and she is going to be able to say that she was a part of the healing process. That is pretty incredible, and I imagine that there are going to be moments that she will never be able to forget. The face of a stranger. The site of a building lying in ruin. Splinters of homes lying in a field. A jumble of nonsense. I pray this will be a moment of maturity for her. I don't want this to scare her, but I want it to awaken her. I want her to truly realize that she is witnessing something that is so horrific and to be able to appreciate the magnitude of the situation. (no pun intended) I want her to grow from this and become a better person- I hope she learns to care more, to love more, to find the good, to make every moment count. Things that one cannot fully teach their child.

May God bless Japan, and all those who come to her aid.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

God Bless Our Home wall plaque

This was originally going to be a gift for one of my Sister-in-Laws, however it's not really her style and I am going to attempt another for her. When I told her this, she told me it was fine for her, but I convinced her that she doesn't have pink or shabby in her home. She couldn't argue with that. :) I am going to list it on ebay and hopefully make a bit of money on it... anything will help with all the medical expenses we are racking up.

The Great news is that Ashlyn is gaining weight. She is 67 pounds now and on the 20th percentile on the growth chart. Higher than she has been in over two years. The goal is to get her up to the 25th and have her maintain it then they will remove the ng tube once this can happen. For now we have cut her nightly feeds down to about 11.5 hours. She is getting about 1750 calories via the tube feeds at night and we are trying the best we can to get her about 1000 calories in food intake daily. Not so easy when you have to avoid peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds. This places limits on snacks and we have to read labels for everything. It's shocking what actually contains peanuts, or is produced in a facility that uses nuts.
She started PT this week and begins counseling in about a week and a half. Still waiting for OT and ST. Baby steps.
We're doing aobut 3-4 hours of school each day now and slowly making progress there. Another bonus to doing virtual school- she is not losing anything by not attending school- she will still get to do all the work required for the grade level, as this is a 100% completion program. She will not complete 5th grade this year, We aren't even at the semester mark for many subjects, but we have until July 31st to complete as much as we can, so that is what we will do. She will have to start next year at 5th grade, then work a little harder to complete all of 6th as well. By then she'll be feeling stronger, and she is a determined and hard working young lady. I have faith that things will all work out. :) Extra patience will be needed on my part. lol

It's been raining here the past few days with a lot more in the forecast. Perfect weather to hunker down and scrap- which I have been doing slowly. Priorities first. ;)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

two layouts

I had some time to scrap this week so I made a couple of layouts. I haven't made a layout in months and as simple as these two layouts are, I found it difficult to put them together... I spent way too much time pushing paper, but once I just let go and did not overthink them, I found they came together quite nicely. :) I love it when that happens!

The first is a layout of Kara and Meghan and some pics from Chicago. This was the day after Meghan's graduation from boot camp and Kara was still in training at Great Lakes, so I got to spend the day with both of them (lucky me!). It was a special day for us because it was the first time in 5 months that the 3 of us had been together, and even more so it was one of the last days we were together... not sure when that will happen again... probaby years. :( At least we had a good time that weekend and I am thankful for this time together as brief as it was.

supplies: everything Crate Paper

This one is of Skylar- in her Bee costume. She's soooo darn cute and her personality really shines through in these photos. This girl has the gift to always bring a smile to my face. :) She is truly a blessing to me.

cardstock: Bazzill
pp: Sass Lass, WRMK, and Love Elsie
chipboard: AC Thickers
flowers: Petaloo
bee cdie cut: October Afternoon

Saturday, March 5, 2011

many thanks card

I found this cute little card sketch site this morning, Sassy Lil' Card Sketches. The sketches are really cute and I was definitely hit with some inspiration when I saw this weeks sketch. And, with a prize pack from Cosmo Cricket up for grabs... even more motivation! :)

Here is the sketch:
 and here is my take on it:

cardstock: Bazzill
pp: Crate Paper
ribbon and fabric strips from my stash
rubon: DCWV
chipboard flower: Lily Bee

I am drawn to the color yellow lately... it really makes my heart happy. The pink and blue on this are also among my favs. I am thrilled with how this turned out- thanks for the great sketch inspiration! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some Valentine's Day projects- and more

March already! I am finally getting around to posting these projects I made for Ashlyn, Skylar, and Emily for Valentine's Day. The last few weeks have been crazy and it's taken me a few days to settle down.
I used some frosting containers and papers from WRMK. Also used are stickers from Pink Paislee, Momenta, Bees from Petaloo, brads and ribbon.

Ashlyn's set:

                                                                         Skylar's set:

Emily's set:

As some of you know, Ashlyn has been ill off and on for years now. Many of her doctors have suspected something autoimmune, but nothing has really presented itself, and it could take years to diagnose this if indeed she truly has something autoimmune. She had a REALLY GOOD streak of feeling well back in the end of September through November, only to take a decline a few weeks before Christmas. She was just getting one viral thing after another and just feeling, and looking horrible. Then toward the end of January she started to bounce back, only to be knocked down by a terrible allergic reaction to peanut butter. This sent her body over the edge and she slowly began to decline dramatically. It got to the point where in a 3 week period she lost 5 pounds, and being that she is 11 and was down to 53 pounds and was unable to walk, had a fever a rash and all over pain, this prompted emergency action. She was admitted to our local children't hospital on Thursday morning, Feb. 17, was given an NG tube and kept there for 9 days. They figure the fever and rash were caused by a virus and everything else because her body wasn't receiving enough nutrients, although fortunately her levels were still in great shape. They were unable to pinpoint exactly what happened, but they did rule out anything cancerous or neurological. We finally made it out Friday the 25th in the late evening. She was sent home with the NG tube and has had nothing but formula feeding via the feeding tube since. They are calling it "failure to thrive" something typically seen in infants and toddlers. She hasn't had much growth the past 2 years and this is a concern. She is doing wonderfully now! She's had a lot of PT and has been working hard and progressing quickly. She is up and walking, able to sit and do play games and work on school, things she hasn't been able to do for numerous weeks. She has a smile on her face and oh to hear her sweet laughter! What a blessing!  Our girl is back and it's beautiful! She still has a recovery period, but she's strong and determined and will be successful.
the day after she was admited:

the day before she was dischared. HUGE difference!

Life is good! I'll be back soon- take care!
blessings, Rae