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Just Look at This Mess

I wish I knew what happened to my blog.  One day, I make a post, and every previous post is in bold, the formatting is screw-y, reloading a previously saved template didn't help.  I guess I'll just have to do what I do at home.....
Come on in.  You're more than welcome.  Make yourself at home and

please excuse the mess.

Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli-lolli-lolli, Lollipop Flowers . . .

If you’re a stamper, card-maker, or dabble in other forms of paper-art, you’ve probably heard of .  If you hadn’t heard of it before, well, let me introduce you to a wonderful and  EXTENSIVE stamping, card-making, paper-arts community:

Finally!

Don’t misunderstand me, I like projects.  I like dreaming them up.  I like working on them.  But more than anything, I like FINISHING them!  Unfortunately, I habitually add to my projects as time goes by, making them more complicated or more extensive, and it seems that they drag on and on and on and…..by the time I realize that I’ve bitten off more than I want to chew, I’m just over the hump, coming out the other side.  Many times, this is the point at which I take a break…..
sometimes it’s a very LONG break…..
like 10 years on a piece of embroidery…..
But I couldn’t do that for this project, because this is a very special gift for a very special lady.

Number One (nicknamed for Lt. Riker on Star Trek, not because he’s our favorite.  We would leave the house and say, “You have the bridge, Number One.”  Yes, I really am that geeky.) is our oldest son, now 22 years old and attending college far, far away from home and Mom (that’s me--sniff).  He is engaged to a lovely, classy young woman who graduated from that same college this past spring.  This is her graduation present. 
Yes, I know that spring’s graduation is looooong past. 
Yes, I know that I am late,
AGAIN.
Have I mentioned that I have a problem?
In my defense, I asked Number One for gift ideas BEFORE graduation, and he didn’t come up with this idea until NEARLY graduation. 
In his defense, he was writing a paper having something to do with Jesus, Paul, and proving the lack of contradiction in the New Testament based on the ideas of natural and eternal law as laid out by Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica.  Got that?  Oh,  and still pass his other classes while making a good impression on Fiancée’s visiting parents. 
But it’s all good.
On with the show……
I began with a simple goal: make a few note cards for Fiancée. 
Simple.  Right?
Yeah, right!
I needed a terrific paper, unique but classy, traditional and sophisticated with a little twist of youth, charm, and exuberance. “Eureka,” said Archimedes!  But, really, his discovery had little if anything to do with my craft project, even thought I WAS quite pleased to find this perfect paper pack by Making Memories sitting in my bathtub—I mean, stash.  The black and white houndstooth pattern grounds the collection in classic style, while chartreuse, slate blue, and icy turquoise add a fresh twist.  I added a couple of additional patterns for more mix-and-match options and chose a simple design: two coordinating papers with a “belt,” topped with a scallop-edged monogram.
Okay, so I thought it was a simple design.  In the beginning, I had trouble making it happen, getting in the zone.  Once I got IN the zone, I couldn’t seem to get OUT.  Somehow the entire project morphed from something simple and streamlined and get-it-done-quick-cuz-you’re-already-late to a time-consuming, guilt-excreting monster of ginormous complexity.  In the end, there were:
26 note cards in eight different styles,
006 009010011012007013014
12 monthly perpetual-calendar dividers,
018020
and a custom-made coordinating container.
016
Really, what was I thinking?!!
And, darn!  I can see a mistake already.  There’s a piece of white ribbon that wraps around the box over the houndstooth band.  I wasn’t sold on the ribbon—it needed something more--so i removed it, deciding to wait until I had all other components completed before tackling that finishing touch.  Guess I’d better tie it back on and make sure it remains there.  Then I can pop this baby in the mail and send it on it’s merry way.
Finally!

Stamping Bella’s LuLu Blog Hop

I’m not the Bella-da-Ball tonight, but my lil’SIS sure is.  She’s one of 31 creative crafters participating in Stamping Bella’s LuLu Blog Hop.  If you’ve never seen bellas, fellas, kettos, or lulus, and you think I’m speaking some hallucinogenic gobbledy-gook (or French), hop, pop, skip, or walk to lil’SIS’ blog, inkling 2 stamp, and check out her bee-YOU!!!-tee-ful Henrietta LuLu.  She so sweetly shy in all her candy-licious colors, you just want to eat her up and lick your fingers clean.  But, when you’re done admiring lil’Sis’ creative coloring talent, be sure to check out all the adorable LuLus along the blog-hop trail. 

But, seriously folks, hers IS the bestest (luv ya, SIS).

Sick Inspiration

I’ve been sick in bed for days with sinusitis, double ear-infections, a sore throat, and bronchitis.  I’m on my second round of antibiotics, but I seem to FINALLY be coming out of it.  Laid up in bed is not much fun, but it leaves me lots of time to surf the web.  So, today, while continuing my search for a digital scrapping kit that I could use for this holiday gift idea twirling around in my brain (I’ll probably write about that later), I came across the coolio blog of Thrifty Decor Chick.

I read a couple of posts, then just bounced over to her Archive and started at the beginning.  Well, truthfully, I bounced to the projects first, then to the entire Archive.  That’s where I found what is, so far, my favorite post: the Goodwill Party.  Man, I wish I’d been blogging when she hosted that party.  I've got a few thrift-store finds in my house.  Okay, so maybe more than a few.

I’m not NEARLY close to making my way through the neat-o-fabulous links, but I wil read them, every one.  I’m with ya Thrifty Decor Chick.  I luuuuuuuv me some Goodwill!  You should luuuuuuuv you some Goodwill, too, and check out Thrifty Decor Chick for some sick inspiration.

Thinking Inking

Jennifer Mcguire is one of the amazing artists and generous educators throughout the web who share their talents, making the internet an indispensible, affordable art education resource.  Through June & July, Jennifer shared her talent at Two Peas in a Bucket, one of my favorite paper-arts communities, teaching a free online class Thinking Inking.  Aaaand, since the class was FREE (I do love free), I played right along, hoping to win one of the prize packages generously donated by Hero Arts and Ranger.  As it turned out, no winnings came my way :o(, but I dabbled in new techniques, played around with new media, used old media in new ways, and had a good ol’ time creating.   

Once Upon A Time

Isn't that how all good stories begin? Well, they did...you know...once upon a time. Seems like I've outgrown that beginning, long since. Besides, I don't know if this will be a good story. I don't know if this will be a story at all. But there will be words. Yes, I think I can manage words. And there will probably be pictures. I'm sure there will be pictures. I'll show you pictures of things I make, use words to describe the things that I do, the events that happen, and the life in my...well, LIFE. But, I'll warn you now: You'd better be prepared. My life can be crazy. If you're wondering why it's crazy, you didn't read my profile. At certain times, it can be blessedly silent, but that doesn't usually last for long. On occasion, it's melancholy, melodramatic, or melodious, and sometimes it's all of these things at the same time. I can say, most definitely, though, that my life is RARELY boring. So, if you think you'd like to come along for the ride, for the beautiful confusion in all its raucous glory, then plop right down beside me, potential friend, and I will show you my pictures and tell you my story.

Once upon a time . . .