Monday, January 30, 2012

Rest and Relax

Rest and relaxation is the best medicine, don't you think?

My poor dear husband had surgery last week to repair his separated shoulder incurred while biking in the fall (pun intended!) of 2010. He tried to let it heal, he tried exercises, he tried cortisone shots. In the end, he knew that he would either have to deal with the pain for the rest of his life or get the surgery to repair the injury.

The ortho doctor performed the two hour surgery, stapled up the five inch incision, wrapped him in bandages and sent him home. Yes, outpatient surgery. It was pretty overwhelming, to say the least. My husband has been off work ever since, and I have taken on the role of caregiver, helping him bathe and dress and eat and get comfortable. Ed had it in his mind that he'd be doing a lot of reading and movie watching, when in truth he has not had the wherewithal to entertain himself. Instead, he has been napping. And let me tell you, my husband is not normally a napper!

I have been doing my best to keep the house calm and quiet. I follow his lead. Some mornings, I can tell that he's antsy and needs a short trip out of the house. Other days, like today, I can tell that he just needs to stay home and recuperate, which is fine by me. In between my nursing duties, I can read and stitch and craft and cook. My husband is so thankful for the care, and I am so thankful that I am not working outside the home. God provides, and this week, He is providing us with patience for the day and rest for some weary bones.

When I visited Cath's blog at Moxie Fab World, I was so surprised to here that she was not going to CHA, the Craft and Hobby Association's big trade show in Anaheim, California. Poor Cath is recovering from a rotator cuff injury and is also nursing a sore shoulder. Cath, you have my sympathies! I hope the doctors can get you on the road to recovery soon!

I made this card to cheer her up today. This stamp from Lockhart Stamp Company seemed like it was just the medicine the doctor ordered. Sit back, relax, and enjoy all of the wonderful photos of new product lines that are being posted every day!

Happy healing, Cath!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So Dog-gone Cute!

Things have been a little crazy at our house. Earlier this week, my husband had surgery (more on that later!) and has been home from work, resting and recuperating. Unfortunately, Maggie, our lab, is used to her daily routines with Mama, and now these routines have been interrupted. To make matters worse, Dad has claimed her favorite napping spot, the big lumpy sofa under the windows that looks out over the backyard and the birds and trees.

I had to laugh when I saw her on the second best option, the lumpy loveseat, with her head tucked under the pillows.

Awww, she's so dog-gone cute! I made a fun little Valentine today that was inspired by Maggie!

This card uses the stamp set "Dog-gone Cute" from Pure Innocence (My Favorite Things stamps). I paired soft stone cardstock (PTI) with papers from October Afternoon (Schoolhouse collection).

I colored the dog with Prisma markers and drew a little dog collar so that I could add this twinkle heart from Amuse.

Inside, more stamps from PTI and a fun strip of paper from the same OA pack.

Blessings on your weekend, friends!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dearest Jane

When Papertrey Ink released the new Dearest Jane line of stamps and papers inspired by Jane Austen, I thought they made it just for me. I could hear Nichole saying "You know, it's Mary Rose's birthday next month. Let's make stamps and paper just for her." Yeah, I'm that special. :)

When I opened this book of patterned paper, I nearly swooned. Chapter One, Vintage Script!

And Chapter Two, Book Print!

Don't you love it? I'm thrilled with the new format of PTI's papers. It will be so wonderful to easily add this to my bookshelf. I love storage made simple!

I used my new goodies to make this sweet little book organizer today. I had these mini composition books in my stash. They measure 4 1/2 by 3 1/4 inches. First, I cut the papers to size. Then I stamped on the front using chocolate ink. I used my Mono Multi glue to adhere, adding a little strip of chocolate and kraft paper (Webster's Pages) for the binding. To embellish, I added a strip of velvet ribbon, then made a sweet little bouquet using a florist's sprig, some taffeta ribbon, Papertrey Ink's Rustic Twine and a PTI Vintage button.

Super easy and oh so sweet! I'm using this little mini book to record the books I've read this year, along with the books I hope to read. I'm the kind of person that can spend hours in a bookstore with a cup of coffee in one hand and a piece of paper and pen in the other. I'm always making notes about authors and books I'd like to read. If I don't have to own the book, I will take my list to the library and try to find the titles there. (If I can save money on books, then I can spend it on crafting. There are only so many hobby dollars to spend in any given month!)

I've been reading A LOT this month. I think I'm on to my fifth book for the month of January. I am now reading "Death Comes to Pemberley" by P.D. James. My sweet mother bought me this book for Christmas. Are you sensing a theme? I think it may be time for a BBC Austen movie marathon. Perhaps during Super Bowl weekend?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

PTI January Blog Hop

Hello, friends! Today is the January Blog Hop at Papertrey Ink. Our challenge: take one of your favorite projects from last year and use it as an inspiration for a new creation.

I made this card for my mom for mother's day last year. My mom is also a papercrafter, and she gushed over this card. She kept asking me "How did you get the colors so vibrant?" What can I say? Good quality stamps make all the difference! (And it doesn't hurt to keep your pads well inked, too!) I made this card using Blooming Button Bits and a bright and cheery springtime color palette.

This card measures 4 X 9 1/4, making it the perfect fit for a business sized envelope. I needed the card to be long so that it would fit this fun little gift inside...a car freshener from A Cheerful Giver candle company. I also stamped inside of the card, which I often forget to do.

Are you ready for today's card? Here it is:

I used the same layout, but changed a few elements. For starters, I wanted a soft pastel color palette for this card (October Afternoon Thrift Shop Collection), which I think is very appropriate for Valentine's Day. I also switched out the stamp sets. This time, I used Friendship Jar and Flower Fusion 6. I replaced the scalloped edge with a pink lace edge. The card base is one of my favorites: Rustic Cream card stock from Papertrey Ink!

I also stamped a little flower inside of this card, but I haven't included a "gift" to go inside just yet. After all, my mom reads my blog, and I can't spoil the surprise completely!

Thanks for stopping by the cafe today!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Cup of Tea

Is there anything more exciting than the beginning of a new bible study? I love diving into God's Word. As I've begun this new study from Beth Moore called "James: Mercy Triumphs", I have this feeling that God has picked exactly the Word He wants me to hear.

I could have done a bible study with the folks at my little church, but the topics just didn't call to me. And then I remembered that I could easily do a study at home. Buy the book, download the weekly videos, and do the homework. It was as if God was whispering "Let's just do this study together, you and me."

And right there, on day one, the very thoughts that I've been pondering for the last six weeks. Joseph, a simple carpenter who becomes a man of dreams. Mary, chosen to be the mother of a savior. Simeon, and his prophetic words.

It gives me goosebumps.

I love it when the pastor's sermons, with no planning, preach the very words I've been reading in my daily study. Just yesterday, I leaned over to my husband during the sermon and whispered in his ear "This is right out of my new study!"

Isn't God wonderful? It reminds me of the words of Jeremiah 29:13-14: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you."

I love God's Word. It's just my cup of tea!

And here's a little square card that is also my cup of tea! This stamp is from Amuse Studio, and I've paired it with some papers (SU DSP) and stitched grosgrain ribbon (Amuse) for a little clean and simple card ready for Valentine's Day or any day!

Blessings on your week ahead, friends!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tea For Two, Me and Luke

Hello! I'd like to feature my first born son, Luke, today. Or Irish Luke, as I often call him. And for obvious reasons. The red hair, the fair skin, the freckles. And yes, ladies, he is single! :)

Over Christmas break, when Luke was home from college, he was so happy to grow this red beard. He doesn't like shaving, as he has sensitive skin. I took this photo of Luke right before he went back to college and back to his job in food service that would require him to shave his beard. He's actively looking for a job on campus that will allow him to keep his facial hair. Too funny.

Luke and I both hold the opinion that everyone should have to work a job in food service and a job in retail once in their lifetime. If you do, you'll be kind and patient to wait staff, and you'll always make an effort to put things back in their proper places in the store rather than plunking them on any ole shelf. Trust me, we've learned from experience.

When Irish Luke is home, we drink a lot of tea. In the warm months, it is iced tea, and on the chilly months, it is hot tea. No on else in my family shares my appreciation for tea as much as Luke. ( I'm trying to make at least one of my sons a coffee lover, but it hasn't happened yet!) Luke and I went out to lunch one day and ordered hot tea. The waitress brought us a box full of exotic herbals. We looked at her and said "Don't you have any regular tea?" In the end, we settled on Earl Grey.

We have favorite blends at home. Luke loves Lipton's, a classic orange pekoe. I also enjoy Constant Comment for its spiciness. If we're making a pot of tea, it has to be Yorkshire Gold. The British know a thing or two about good tea!

I think it's important for everyone to take time for tea! I made this card for today's sketch challenge at SCS using the PTI stamp set Tea For Two and papers from Crate Paper Farmhouse collection.

Have you seen any sneak peeks for what CHA has in store? The Craft and Hobby Association will be putting on their big trade show soon, where all of the major manufacturers will showcase their upcoming lines. I was so tickled to see that Cosmo Cricket will have a new line featuring tea called Tea For Two! It looks yummy!

Take time for yourself today, friends! And thank you for your kind comments and thoughtful words. I treasure them!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Smashing Great Day

Today is the day...the first official day of my unemployment. And I have to be honest, I sat in my comfy chair, under my comfy blanket, with a warm cup of coffee in my hand and thought "Well, now what?"

I haven't found my daily groove yet, but I know that it will come. I decided to make a list of what I hope to accomplish with my days. And what better place to put it than in my SMASH book?

I started with my inspiration piece. This magnet from Curly Girl Designs was a gift from my sister, Tina, and I just love it. It says "She requires a steady diet of Faith and Fancy with a little mischief here and there for good measure." And in little word strips on the side, it says "She made a great effort to balance all the wild and wonderful things that make up life." And that is exactly what I want to do with my days!

As I reflected on the celebration of life, this fun little party theme popped into my head, and I knew what stamps I wanted to use (Hero Arts Bicycle stamps/die set). I think of life as a party, and I had a great party, but then had to leave that party. So we moved to a new party, and I came to love that party, too, but then we had to leave that party...again. This new party is not at all what I thought it would be, and truthfully, I've been more of a wallflower than a festive party girl. That needs to change.

This page will serve as my reminder to get out there and enjoy the party. I know the things I need to do, and now I need to get busy doing them. For starters, I was totally underwhelmed by my church's offerings for bible studies this month. Well, that's no excuse not to be in the Word. So tomorrow, I'm going to my local Lifeway store and I'm picking up the new Beth Moore study on the book of James called "Mercy Triumphs". Did you know that you can even download the video portions of the bible study to view at home? I can't wait to get started! Want to join me? I'd love to discuss this study with you! Drop me a line!

Hope you are having a smashing good day, friends! And if it's not so good, can I make a suggestion? A warm cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa can do wonders! Stir, sip, and enjoy!

{SMASH book recipe: pink SMASH book, Crate Paper Portrait Collection, Hero Arts bicycle stamps/dies, birds from PTI Bird Watching, paper doily, SMASH stickies, Blank SMASH pad, mini alphabet set}

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fun With Color

As I've been sorting through my craft stash and purging unused and rarely used items, I've also been finding some hidden gems. I recently discovered a big stash of retired inkpads and reinkers from Stampin' Up. I thought I'd sold these off in my last garage sale, but apparently I still had quite a few left.

I was pleasantly surprised to find some old discontinued purples and nearly full reinkers. SU doesn't have a very wide range of purples, and these old colors suddenly look fresh and new again! Lovely lilac, almost amethyst, and today's beauty, orchid opulence.

For today's card, I made rectangle masks, laying them at varying angles on the card. Then I used sponge daubers to ink around the mask. I chose basic gray ink for the flower and sentiment. It's a nice, soft alternative to the harsher and more dramatic black. I used my Sharpie marker to color some clear twinkles, and then placed them in the corner. I like the fact that every rectangle has something interesting going on inside. It makes the eye travel over the entire card, I think.

This "previously loved" stamp set is called Wildflower Garden, and I acquired it on the PTI forums last week. Thanks, Marlo!

Peace and love, friends!

Friday, January 13, 2012

January Clean Up! LOTS for sale!

January and its arctic weather is finally here. What better time is there to clean out house than when you're indoors where it's warm and cozy! I'm still purging my craft supplies, selling off a lot of wood mounted stamps and accessories that are no longer being used. I've lowered the prices on lots of items to move them from my house to yours! Ink pads, wheels, dies, storage, and of course, stamps! Take a look at my list and email me! Buyer pays shipping. I'll make deals for anyone who's buying multiple items. Thanks for looking today!


Jumbo Wheels $3 each:
Busy Blocks
Sweet Stars
Standard Wheels $2 each:
Double Line Stitch Plaid
Star Spangled
Watercolor Joy
Boho Friend

Background Stamps, $8 each:
Stipple Plaid
Print Pattern
Wild Hearts
Soft Swirls
Polka Dot
Paisley 1 and 2
Just Jeans
Big Blossom

SU Ink Pads, $2 each:
Cranberry Crisp
Vintage Violet
True Thyme
Dusty Durango

SU reinkers, $2 each:
pixie pink
blush blossom
barely banana
only orange
pink passion
bordering blue
buckaroo blue (pending)
apricot appeal
handsome hunter
ballet blue
green galore
brocade blue
Cranberry Crisp $2(pending)
Going Grey $2(pending)
Black ink cartridge refill $2

SU Rub Ons, $2 each:
A Perfect Day
Eastern Elegance
Love and Happiness

Stampin' Pastels, original colors, used: $10

SU divided alphabet cases, new never used: 7 available, $2 each

SU Stampin' Stack and Store(old style, not spinning, one stack with 6 containers) $5

SU current, for trade:
Jumbo wheel storage, 2 for $3
standard wheel storage (pending)

SU Stamp Sets:
> > > > A:
> > > >
> > > > Alphahearts rare $15
> > > > B:
> > > > Big Deal Alphabet $10
> > > > Blooming With Happiness $5
> > > > Big Blooms $10
> > > > Bug Builders $5
> > > > C:
> > > > Carved and Candlelit $5
> > > > Carte Postale $10
> > > > Congrats $5
> > > > Country Pleasures $10
> > > >
> > > > Close As a Memory $5
> > > > Collage Numbers $5
> > > > Classic Alphabet $10
> > > > Collage Alphabet $10
> > > > Classic Caps $10
> > > > Country Morning $5
> > > > D:
> > > > Doodle This $10
> > > > Doodle Alphabet $10
> > > > E:
> > > > Espress Yourself $10
> > > > F:
> > > > Fabulous Flowers $10
> > > > Friendships Grow $5
> > > > Fly Fishing rare $20
> > > > Friend to Friend $5
> > > > Fresh Fillers $3
> > > >
> > > > Fashion Statements $10
> > > > H:

> > > > Happy Harmony $5
> > > >

> > > > I:

> > > >
> > > > J:
> > > > Journalling Fun $5
> > > > Just Journalling 1 w/ template $5
> > > > Just Journalling 2 w/ template $5
> > > > L:
> > > > Little By Little $10
> > > > Little Pieces $5
> > > > M:
> > > > Mixed Bouquet $10
> > > > Memory of the Heart $5
> > > > Many Thanks $5
> > > > Mon Ami $3
> > > > N:
> > > > Noteworthy $5
> > > > O:
> > > > On Angel Wings $10
> > > >
> > > > Oh So Lovely $5
> > > > Old Glory $10
> > > > Occasionally $5
> > > > P:
> > > > Priceless $10
> > > > Party Punch $5
> > > > Phrase Starters $5
> > > > Q:
> > > > Quirky Alphabet $10
> > > > R:
> > > > Reason To Smile $5
> > > > Riveting $5
> > > > S:
> > > > Simple Wishes $3
> > > > Serene Sunflower $10
> > > > So Very $5
> > > > Spring Fling $3
> > > > Short Order Alphabet $10
> > > > Sweet Spot $3
> > > >
> > > > Sketch An Event $5
> > > > T:
> > > > True Friend $15
> > > > Tag Alphabet rare $10

> > > > W:
> > > > Whimsical Alphabet $10
> > > > Wonderful Wishes $5

My Favorite Things, new, never used:
Dienamics Rolled Flower die $8
Dienamics Oval Open Scallop doily die $16
Flapper Doodle Get A Wiggle On $3
Flapper Doodle Goofy For You $3
Flapper Doodle Hotsy Totsy Birthday $3
Flapper Doodle Flappers in a Vespa $3 __________________
mary rose

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stitching Together A Little Happiness

Before I even opened my eyes in bed this morning, I had a happy thought: I don't have to go to work today!

This happy elective unemployment is leaving me lots of time to do the things I love. I'm moving right along on my coffee cup stitching project...

...and I don't have to go to work anymore!

I have more time to read a good book! I'm enjoying a new Monica Ferris needle art-themed mystery because...

...I don't have to go to work anymore!

I had all kinds of free time to make a card this morning because...

...I don't have to go to work anymore!

So, have you noticed some themes today? Everything is needle-art related, AND I don't have to go to work anymore!

Yeah, I'm just a little bit happy about that!

Today's Ways To Use It challenge: incorporate stickers into a card project. I don't have a big stash of stickers, but I did find a sticker sheet from Cosmo Cricket's Material Girl line in my stash. It seemed to fit the theme of the day because I am feeling "sew happy"!

I used a kraft card base (PTI), added some paper (Cosmo Cricket Material Girl), layered on a doily (MFT die), tied a stitched grosgrain ribbon (Amuse Studio), slapped on the sticker, then finished it off with a button and some linen thread (PTI). Super easy, with just a taste of vintage.

The snow is gently falling, and I have nowhere that I have to be but right here snug in my home. Hope your day is sew happy, too!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Be Strong

Are you a quitter or a stick-to-it kind of person? I'll confess, quitting is hard for me. Remember last September when I decided to quit paper crafting? Yeah, that lasted for about a month. LOL!

I quit my job this week. And for some silly reason, I agonized over the decision and had to talk it out with everyone who would listen. I gave my husband a long list of reasons why I was quitting, until he finally looked at me and said "You don't need a reason to quit. You're miserable, you don't like the work, the pay stinks, so quit."

Well, when you put it that way!

I just feel as though I'm at a funny transitional point in my life right now where I'm having a hard time focusing on anything. I'm not currently in a bible study, I'm not exercising, and I have no clear goals. Partly cloudy, with a chance of fog. New Year's Resolutions? I can't wrap my brain around one, let alone a list.

There's one thing that I do know. I feel a strong desire to be home right now. I've been missing the daily rhythms that I've always found comforting...a good walk, a deep dive into the Word, a little stitching, a good book with a cup of coffee, a card sent to a friend. One day I will find a way to parlay my dabbling talents into a paying gig that helps to fund two college tuitions. In the meantime, I'm going to just try to be still and wait upon the Lord for a change.

Today's card features some new stamps that have been begging to get a little inky. This set is from Unity Stamp Co. I've wanted to purchase from them for a long time, and when they had Black Friday sales, I couldn't resist!

I wish I could stop buying new craft supplies, but I'm no quitter!

Blessings on your day, friends!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stitch The Things You Love

I decided to begin a new stitching project last night. But what to choose. Snowmen? Nope. There's nary a snowflake to be seen. Spring? Too soon. Coffee? Now you're talkin'! Coffee knows no season! It's perfect all year long!

I'm stitching this Lizzie Kate pattern on 28 count hand-dyed linen from Sassy's Fabrics. The color is called "Cocoa Bean". How perfect is that?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thankful For Sisters

Last Friday, we decided to head home to Michigan to ring in the New Year with family. Our jobs prevented us from celebrating Christmas with the folks back home, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

My husband, who was recovering from a cold, was regaling my sisters with a funny story when he began coughing, stood up, and passed out...face first. OUCH! There was much bleeding and much cause for concern. An ambulance was called, and my poor husband was rushed to the hospital. Turns out he broke his nose from the fall, and bruised his poor face considerably. It could have been much worse, and we were thankful for the care he received.

My sister, Sue, calmly called 911 and cleaned the bloody carpet like a professional. Thank you, Sue!

My sister, Jenny, has often professed that sick people make her sick. And yet, in the midst of the panic, she provided the comic relief. "Ed, can I get you anything?" she asked my prostrate husband. "A shrimp tray?" he laughingly answered. Needless to say, she brought the shrimp tray the next day. Thank you, Jenny!

My sister, Nurse Tina, offered to drive me to the hospital. She knew all the right questions to ask, and didn't care that we were filling prescriptions at two in the morning. The plush ride in her new Cadillac was quite a treat! Thank you, Tina!

I made these thank you cards for my big sisters...where would I be without them? If my husband had to faint, I'm glad he did it in my mom's living room in Michigan, surrounded by family. What a blessing you all are to me!

Each card was made with the same elements...heart twinkles and stamp from Amuse Studios (Love Conquers All), papers from Crate Paper Farmhouse collection, PTI rustic cream cardstock, ink and scallop edge punch from SU.

Thanks again, ladies! Love you all!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Power of the Sun

Wow, what a beautiful sunrise this morning. I bundled up to admire the view from the deck on this frosty dawn. As I snapped away, I heard a cardinal singing its morning praise song. It made me want to sing, too. Way to go, God! Here's how the dawn unfolded:

Isn't it amazing how sunshine can make even the chilliest days better? My sisters in Michigan purchased happy lights last week. These lights are supposed to mimic natural sunlight for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder during the dark winter months. Today, God is supplying the happy light, and I am soooo thankful!

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My mom always supplies the happy light, too. I made this card for her today. We had a brief visit with Mom last weekend, and it was far from relaxing! But Mom always supplies the sunshine, even on the dark days.

I made this card using two stamp sets (Scattered Showers and Scattered Showers Additions from Papertrey Ink), a slice of Tangerine from Crate Paper (Farmhouse), and all the colors of the sunrise. I tried my hand at a framing technique from PTI's Make It Monday. Not bad!

Hope your day is sunny, too!
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