Welcome to my world...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Grow in Grace

The second I saw the Basic Grey sketch for this week, I knew I wanted to play along.  The problem was getting the time amist traveling and various Christmas celebrations.  I managed to take an hour or so today for myself to play with my "toys"  :) while the girls were occupied with their new goodies to work with the few remaining scraps I have of one of my FAVORITE BG lines ever...Lemonade.  I love how the colors and patterns are still as fresh today as they were the two or three years ago when this line first came out.  This is a picture of my Paige from this summer.  I made my layout simpler than the one on the BG blog mostly because I am running out of Lemonade goodness, and I didn't want to stray from that line.  I apologize for the subpar picture.  Perhaps I need to spend my Christmas gift money on a 12x12 scanner!  :)

I hope you have all had a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday to Jesus today!
~ Wendy

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just for Fun!

Lime Rickey Bath Erin!  :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two Year Old Erin and a Basic Grey Sketch

Believe it or not...
I actually have been doing some crafting recently (very little, much to my sadness), but as usual the school year has run me over like a freight train.  Today I put my foot down and declared some scrappy time.  Here's the result of this week's sketch challenge at Basic Grey.  You can see the post here
I still have plenty of Lime Rickey left over from a little buying spree when it first came out, and I knew I wanted a playful feel to this layout given the state of Erin's hands!
This is my Erin back in the days when she was still a sweet two year old.  Maybe it's convenient memory lapse, but I really don't remember terrible two's with her.  Five years old, on the other hand, had some bumpy moments when she started kindergarten and tried to copy some of the behaviors she saw there.  :)  But that's another story.  Not much to the journaling here...so I made the title spread into both blocks. 

Supply List:  Papers are: Lime Rickey and Wisteria
                    Embellishments are: Lime Rickey Chipboard and Elements Stickers
                   Alphabets are: Obscure alphas, Eskimo Kisses, Life of the Party and Sugar Rush

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm hoping to upload the 5-6 other layouts I've managed to create this fall but haven't posted yet soon!  :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Basic Grey Sketch #1

The Basic Grey blog is up and running (yay!!!), and they are giving us an opportunity to play with a new sketch challenge every Monday.  I used this sketch from the first challenge:
to scrap some of the pictures I still had of my girls and hubby from this past Easter. 
I seldom do double page layouts, so this was a great workout for me!  Here is the final result...

With a few detail shots for good measure...just because I can!  :)

I primarily worked with Basic Grey's "Green at Heart" line including the journaling paper, the flowers, the decorative clips, the element stickers and the purple paper called "grass".  I also included chipboards from Sugar Rush and the "candy hearts" paper and a strip of paper from Kioshi--"yuriko".

My summer break is rapidly coming to an end (only ONE day left, ack!)...hopefully these sketch challenges will keep me creating at least one time a week during the school year!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!!!!   ~Wendy

Friday, August 26, 2011

To Honor You

First, I want to thank those of you who commented on my "Fix You" layout about our Alex.  Many promised to pray for him, and we really appreciate it.  Some people won't understand, but Alex truly was a member of our family.  Jon and I adopted him when we had been married for less than a year, so he was deeply woven into the fabric of our lives.  He was our "baby" for the four years before we had Paige, and of course he continued to be our baby up until the end.

We made the decision to put Alex to sleep on Wednesday.  It was and continues to be a gutwrenching, agonizing decision.  There is so much guilt connected to the idea of calling the vet and arranging for your child to be put to sleep.  The grief and anguish comes in waves.  In those times, I try to remind myself of how much pain he really was in.  It would have been selfish to keep him alive just because we didn't want to let him go.  It had gotten to be a terrible struggle for Alex to have to go up and down the stairs to our yard for bathroom breaks.  We had to help him lift his back legs to get up off the floor.  His eyes were sad most of the time.  We had run to the end of all medical options and prescriptions, and he was getting worse.

Thankfully, the girls are taking it much easier than Jon and I are.  Alex wouldn't have wanted them to be sad.  He hated it when any of us were crying or upset.  He's feeling better now, up in heaven...but we keep looking for him here.  We keep thinking we hear the sound of his collars jingling.  It's hard.  So hard.  And so sad.  He is everywhere in our house, in our yard, in our hearts. 

I woke up early this morning working through the idea I'd had last night.  Humans have obituaries when they die.  I wanted our Alex to have one too.  I wanted to preserve those memories and quirky things that made Alex everything he was to us.  It's hard to understand now, but I know there will come a time where seeing this layout framed on our wall will only bring smiles and not more tears.

To read the obituary, click on the layout, and it will be made bigger and easier to see.

Thank you all for taking the time to remember our Alex with us. 
I know there are plenty of other pressing sorrows in this world, but thank you for helping to share ours.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Creative Sketches blog (For Me)

Hi All!  Jillibean Soup and I have made a layout of my Erin's beautiful beaming face.  She had found a small blossom in a park we were hanging out at, and she ran full speed to give it to me.  Aww...cue heartmelting swell of love...

I made this to participate in the first sketch challenge at My Creative Sketches blog. . .
I stayed very true to their sketch, and when I saw all of those circles the first thing that came to my mind was the Jillibean journaling sprouts.  Perfection!
I hope someone gives you wildflowers today, or at least brightens your day with a smile like this!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cards for Olivia and the My Mind's Eye Challenge

This month for the My Mind's Eye challenge, I did both a layout and a card.  First up, the girls on Sunday, July 3rd in their annual themed dresses.  At church that day, the children sang "God Bless America" and, of course, "Happy Birthday" to America.  Both of my girls had little speaking parts in front of "God Bless America," and they remembered them and did great.  Every single thing on this layout is from My Mind's Eye other than the adhesive (ha!) and the circular brads.  The sketch looked like this...

Then, I read on Stacy Rodriguez' blog about her cousin's daughter, Olivia.  I was planning on trying the card challenge this month, using the adorable playing cards that are geared toward a child.  This seemed like a perfect opportunity to take that 1/2 hour and make a card to brighten Olivia's hospital room.  Read more here: Cards for Olivia drive . 
Here's the card...

Thanks for stopping in...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Sassafras Challenge!

Hello all!  Long time, no see!  This past month has been very hectic, and now I'm back in my classroom preparing for my 26 angelic second graders who will come to be my students very soon.  In the midst of it all though, I needed a little crafty break for myself so I took up the August Sassafras Lass challenge.  If you remember, I posted about entering the June challenge and told you I'd let you know if I made it into the top ten....   Well, they actually choose a top sixteen that month, but MY layout was the fourth one shown on the page!  YAY!!!  :)  I didn't get the July challenge done, but here's August:

For this challenge, all we had to do was use three different Sassafras Lass alphabets.  Well, that was a snap because I think I have at least 12 different Sass alphabets at my disposal!  :)  These were the first professional pictures we'd had taken of the girls for two years, and I saved a few wallets.  They just forced me to make a griddy layout.  I love grids!  :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Here's a quickie layout of my girl Paige again.  We were at a local park on Tuesday night, and I managed to catch some pretty sweet pictures of the girls there.  This was a nice contemplative picture of Paige looking at some wildflowers she'd found.  Journaling reads:  "Over the course of this summer, I’ve noticed Paige being more thoughtful.. She’s been a bigger help around the house. One night while I was busy doing the “important business” of updating my blog, she even cleaned the whole kitchen for me! When I’ve asked her to do something, her attitude has been better too. What a wonderful change! I’m so proud of her!
July 12, 2011

This collection is Basic Grey's "Out of Print" line.  There are some really great patterns in that line!

 Have a great Thursday!  :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fix You. . .

We've gone through a recent health crisis with our beloved 12 1/2 year old German Springer Spaniel, Alex.  It was literally overnight that he went from his usual happy self (albeit stiff, as a 12 1/2 year old with arthritis will be) to a dog we couldn't even recognize as ours.  He couldn't get up off the floor without help.  He completely stopped eating.  He went from drinking 3-4 bowls of water a day to maybe 2/3 of a bowl.  He stopped following us around, and even stopped wagging his tail when we came into the room.  We thought the end had come.  We prepared our daughters, as best we could, to say good-bye, and we took him to the vet. 

What we didn't know, was that our regular vet was on vacation, and we had a guest vet.  This vet didn't seem overally worried at what was catastrophic to us.  Of course, it didn't help that Alex got pumped up with adrenaline over the car ride and the vet office and started acting a little more spunky.  He did blood work and decided to give Alex a joint medication and some pain meds and sent us home.  This was on Thursday.

By Saturday morning, Alex was not improving and was continuing to decline, so we took him to another local veternarian.  This doctor did a chest x-ray, more blood work (another $100 for the same thing done only 2 days before!), and recommended we admit Alex to their hospital over Fourth of July weekend.  The money was really adding up.  We didn't feel like we could leave him there, so they gave him an i.v. of fluids and antibiotics and recommended we do further testing.

Tuesday morning, we called our regular vet who was thankfully back from his vacation, and after looking over all of the results, he recommended we do that same test.  So, Wednesday, we took Alex in for yet more blood work and waited for the results.  Of course, they came back negative.

We are now down a substantial amount of money, and we still have absolutely no idea what is wrong with Alex.  They now want to do a stomach x-ray and more blood work to see if he has a tick disease....

Only a few days before this whole nightmare started, I downloaded Coldplay's song "Fix You" onto my ipod.  Through the tears, this song spoke to me.  The lyrics felt so right for where we are right now.  We honestly do not know how to fix him.  In the meantime, it is so hard to watch him be so different from his normal self.  He's currently on prednisone, which has spunked him up a little bit.  But our fur baby's future just feels so unclear...

If you've stuck with me through this long novel, thank you.  If you're a pet owner, or ever have been, you probably understand what we are going through.  A few days into this, I took this picture of Alex as he laid on our floor, basically unresponsive, one day. 
I had to use this picture to make a layout.  My hope was it would help me process the feelings...

The tag underneath has hidden journaling, and the lyrics are the ones from the song, "Fix You", that really hit me every time I listen to it.  Thanks for reading...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Sassafras Lass Sketch Challenge...and Children With Hair Loss!

Hello all!  I'm thrilled to be able to say my last month entry to the Sassafras Lass sketch contest was selected to be in the Top 20!!  I was so thrilled when I found out, I did a happy dance right there in the parking lot at the Chinese Buffet.  :)  It's really a wonder sometimes that my family takes me anywhere with them.

So...the ante has been upped this month.  There will be only 10 entries featured on the Sass blog, and I loved the sketch for June which looked a little something like this. . .

My Paigey girl (and Erin, but we'll get to her later), has been waiting forEVer to get her hair cut.  In fact, she's waited so long she had enough hair to donate to a Michigan organization called "Children With Hair Loss."  This is much like "Locks of Love", but they are willing to accept fewer inches of hair, and they also offer their wigs and other products to all of the children who need them free of any charge.  Paige was worried she wouldn't have enough hair for the donation, but she definitely had the required 8 inches, so a ponytail was formed.......and then.....chopped off! 
Paige loves her new hair AND the fact that she could help other children.  Here's my layout....

Remember, you can click on the layout to get a larger view of that beautiful new haircut.  The stylist told Paige she thought she made her look at least TWO years older!  lol
And a little sneaky peek at the hidden journaling....

I will certainly let you know if I reach the top ten for this month.  In fact, you might be able to hear my scream of joy right from your living room.  :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Her Wish (When You Wish Upon a Star)

My Mind's Eye is running a sketch challenge on their blog, and the theme of your layout also has to include song lyrics.  Here is the sketch by Anam Stubbington...

When I participate with a sketch challenge, I really like to print the sketch out.  That way, I can rotate it around and see it from different view points.  When I turned this sketch upside down, I found my inspiration!

I used the song, "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinnochio because my daughter, Erin, had been wishing for months on every star she could find.  She REALLY wanted to lose a tooth.  She felt like the kindergarten world was leaving her behind!  At the dentist in February, they told her that her bottom two teeth were loose.  For the next two and a half months, she worked those teeth like crazy!

Finally, on May 3rd at 8:07 (one hour after I put her to bed), we heard footsteps thundering towards us. "I lost it!" she triumphantly announced. She'd laid in bed for the past hour wiggling that tooth! The funny thing was, her other bottom tooth came out only three days later while she was at school.
 Her wish finally came true!

I was so excited on my birthday weekend to find a new scrapbook store that carries My Mind's Eye and more specifically the Alphabet Soup collection.  Love it! 
Thanks for stopping in!!  :)  Wendy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ooh, how SWEET it is!

For my first design duties in a long time, I was given the awesome assignment of working with Basic Grey's new line "Sweet Threads".  I haven't been this excited about a BG line since Lemonade!  I had printed some older pictures of Erin and had been saving them for over a month just waiting for the shipment to come to my LSS.  And then, when it finally came...I had to do a gift baby album first.  Bah!  So, I got myself through doing the baby album with the promise that when I finished it I could finally play.  And today, I did play!!!!

First up, "The Little Things"...

I adore these pictures of Erin taken three years ago this month.  The frames stickers worked perfectly for bringing a little bit of motion between the photos.  I wanted to add some embellishments, but the layout told me it was done.  So, I let it be.

Then, I played with the greener side of the line.  This picture is Paige on Easter this year.

I had a grand time with my sewing machine adding edges around the papers.  The design is a lift from one of my friends on scrapbook.com.  The flower is another one made with my heart punch.  I think I finally figured out how it's supposed to look on this layout!  :)  My journaling is hidden on the tag underneath Paige's picture.  She's growing up so fast!!

I have thoughts in mind for at least one more layout with this line, but that will have to wait for another day.  Now it's time to gear up for the week ahead.  I hope you have a great week!  :)  Wendy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sassafras Lass, Basic Grey and Echo Park projects

Over the past two weekends, I've managed to complete three more projects.  The first is for a sketch challenge over at the Sassafras Lass blog.  The sketch given is a design from Marcy Penner, and it looks a little something like this:
Normally when I'm going off a sketch, I tend to stay fairly true to the exact components and placement of the elements.  This time I challenged myself to mix it up a little!  I kept the three stars, but I masked and misted them and scattered them about.  I also liked the boxes, but I moved them about as well.  And so the finished result was...

This is a little more free-flowing than my usual style, but I have to admit, I'm pretty happy with it!  :)

I also had some time to paw through my stash and pull out an oldie but goodie, Basic Grey's Sugar Rush.  When it first released, I got the whole paper pack and sticker elements and chipboards.  Then...it sat and sat.  I donated some of the wilder papers I knew I'd never be able to work with.  The rest continued to sit and sit.  Then, beautiful inspiration struck!  I used some pictures from Paige last August waiting for the fireworks at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and voila!

I'm particularly proud of the die cuts, chips and border embellishment cluster here. 
Embellishment clusters and I don't always get along so well.  :)

Last, but not least, I took some pictures of Paige recently in an outfit of her own creation.  She *really* loves to have girly clothes, and I'm just a throw-on-what-I-can-find-to-wear kind of girl, so her fascination with "style" is a little foreign to me. But fun too!
Looking at the colors in her outfit, Echo Park's "For the Record" collection spoke to me.  Off to my local scrapbook dealer (thank you, Vanessa!) I went, and away I came with the beautiful reds, yellows and greens of this collection.
The design is a scraplift of a layout I clipped from one of my scrapbooking magazines several years ago.  I don't even know who to give credit to, but I knew I really wanted to use the three pictures on a double page layout so I could give them some space to breathe and be seen properly.  I got a little punchy on here too, as you can see.  That adorable little flower came from a heart punch tutorial on October Afternoon's blog
Yes, I actually went out and bought one heart punch (okay, okay, it was two)
so I could make this flower.  I loved the results!!
Happy Mother's Day to all of you women who make such a difference in children's lives--
whether or not you are their physical mom!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Like I mentioned in my last post, I still had pictures from LAST Easter I hadn't scrapped yet, so last night while "watching" the original Tron movie and the new Tron movie with my husband, I pawed through my stash and came up with a little something like this:

One for Erin, talking about the changes I've seen in her over the past year...

A mirrored layout for Paige doing the same thing...

And if you want to, you can even enjoy them together!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Security

Hello everyone!
I'm constantly posting layouts I've done of my daughters, and today I wanted to show you their Daddy.  My husband, Jon, and I have been married for over 12 years now, and when I think about all of the great things about Jon, the number one thing that comes to my mind is how trustworthy he is.  I can trust him with my heart, and I always know that he has my back.  He's my security.
I have the hardest time getting my photos of my layouts to be straight, but I promise you, the layout is straight and balanced!  For this project, I used primarily Basic Grey papers--an old one from "Offbeat" for the background, and a couple of new papers from "Life of the Party."  I used one of my O alphabet stamps to circle the numbers on the ruler paper to show how many years we've been married.  The heart is from Kaisercraft, and the envelope is Maya Rd.  On the reverse of the ruler paper in the envelope is my journaling...a little love note to my hubby about how much he means to me. 

I still have pictures left from last year's Easter that I haven't scrapped yet, so I'm off to do that now.  :)
Happy, blessed, joyous Easter! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Will Christmas Ever End?

Apparently not, because I keep working on a backlog of Christmas pictures from this Christmas AND last!  Here's the story of how Erin Grace wound up with a giant stuffed frog for this Christmas.  She had neglected to mention to Santa that she wanted one until we went to see Jolly Old St. Nick on the Santa train in our hometown.  It was there, just a short time before Christmas, that she shared with him her dearest wish for a stuffed frog.  Luckily, that Santa, he's a smart guy and he managed to still get her one on such short notice!  I included the news story that ran in our local paper with the girls' pictures and their wishes.  They were on the front page!  Santa ~had~ to come through!

Okay, this next layout isn't Christmas, but it FINALLY happened the day after Christmas.  We had planned on letting Paige get her ears pierced on her sixth birthday as she had been asking for them to be done.  So, we drove to our friendly local Walmart, and took her in.  I'll spare you the gory details, so I'll just say it was a NO GO at that time.  Fast forward nearly two years later, and at only one month shy of eight years old, Paige finally felt ready for this life changing event.  It really did change my life--I still have the scars from holding her while they did the piercing.  (kidding!).

Not to be outdone, Valentine's Day wants its share of the holiday glory.  I used a line I bought last year, and some close-ups I'd saved of the girls to make these two layouts.  The Little Yellow Bicycle 10 Things I Love About You pockets were fun to use!

Craving just a little bit of sunshine and summer on this April 17th day when it snowed (yes, I am not kidding this time!) and accumulated on the ground, I have a picture of the girls from last summer.  I used Echo Park's "A Walk in the Park" line and my trusty sewing machine.  (Oh, how I love you sewing machine!)

For you Echo Park purists, yes, the color is a little off here.  Like I said.  Snow.  Clouds. 
No good natural light to take the picture.

My poor friend who was visiting me this from Ohio said, "There's snow on the ground." 
 (Imagine that spoken in a horror-filled voice)
"That's not snow," I told her.
"What is it then?" she asked.
"Dandruff." was my reply. 
 I think it works.  They're both yucky--especially at this time of year!

:)  Thanks for stopping!!  ~Wendy

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Mind's Eye: April Showers!

At My Mind's Eye blog, they are running another sketch challenge.  The theme is April showers...
Here is the sketch, created by Anam Stubbington:

Here is my take on it:  "The Dance of the Spring Shower"!  I took my pictures of Paige playing in a sudden downpour in our backyard. It was a remarkably warm spring day, so we let the girls put on their swimsuits and enjoy splashing, belly flopping, and swimming through the puddles!
Paige was hilarious with those puddles, and it is one of the best memories I have of that spring.  It was a moment I was proud of myself as a Mom because I let go a little, and let them swamp around even though it wasn't summer yet. 

Creating this layout gave me my first opportunity to play with the Stella and Rose line, and it made me wish I lived closer to the store where I bought these papers so I could go get more. :) If I win the challenge, my dream might come true!  The prize is three complete collections of My Mind's Eye!!

Thanks for dropping by!  Don't forget to play in the puddles this spring!!  :)

A Sassafras Lass Challenge!

I'm a big fan of Sassafras Lass products with my two little imps for my inspiration.  Their papers and embellishments often have a whimsical, playful feel.  For the month of April, the good people of Sassafras Lass are running a sketch challenge.  Here was the sketch created by Valerie Salmon, owner of the "Got Sketch" blog for the inspiration:

This was my take on it using some photos of Erin from when she was two years old.  We had a sudden downpour on an uncommonly warm day in May, and we let the girls put on their swimsuits and party!  Our backyard (with clay soil) turned into a swimming pool.  They had a blast!

And just for the fun of it, here are a few more primarily Sassafras Lass layouts I've made in the past. 

We had a beautiful spring day here in Michigan.  I hope life is treating you well where you are!!
:)  Wendy

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Way Too Soon!

I've loved this picture of Erin since the day I took it.  She was on top of the bathroom counter, staring at her own reflection, and just grinning at herself.  As soon as I saw KaiserCraft's Bubblegum Hill collection, I knew I wanted to use the 6.5x6.5 pad to make a quilted heart, and I knew this picture was the one to use with it.  Plus, I got to play with my favorite new scrapbooking toy--my sewing machine!  (Which then ate my paper when the bobbin threw a temper tantrum, but I covered it up with a triangle of leftover paper, and it looks like I meant to do that, right??!  Right.)

I put the last finishing touches on this LO tonight as the girls were eating cereal for dinner (yes, it's one of THOSE nights), and I overheard them talking about the nutritional values of their cereals.  Erin exclaimed, "Mine has fat!"  And then I heard her saying more quietly, "I am getting fat."  Oh, the heartbreak!!  People, she is FIVE years old.  She is beautiful.  But someone important in her life recently told her she was getting chunky.  (Yes, I wanted to wring his neck!), and the last time we were at the pediatrician's, her doctor mentioned she had gone up on percentiles, and we needed to be concerned about that.

Soon spring will come, the snow will melt, and it will be easier to get out and about for more exercise.  We are encouraging her to stop eating when she is full--I am NOT a proponent of the clean plate club.  And certainly, I need to set a better example with my own eating habits. 

But she is perfect and beautiful, and I'm not going to let her start feeling like anything else at age five.