Thursday, May 31, 2012

June's Stamp of the Month Blog Hop..."Life is Tweet"

Welcome to the CTMH Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!
June 2012's Stamp of the Month is called.....
****Life is Tweet****

The blog hop makes a circle so if you are starting here just continue until you make your way back and you will have made it through them all.  If you have already started and are coming from Dawn Ross's blog, "I Am A Happy Stamper"then you are on the right track.

This is just the cutest stamp set and I had a million ideas running through my head, but with school just ending and numerous other deadlines fast approaching, I just settled for one project...for now. ;)

Supplies used (all CTMH unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Stella B&TColonial White CSCocoa CS
Stamps Used: Life is Tweet
Inks: CocoaLagoon
Other: Liquid GlassCircle Punch, Micro-tip ScissorsPaper Trimmer, Scoring Board (Martha Stewart), ATG Adhesive (Scotch), staples

Here's a look at the entire stamp set.


I used this Viva La Verve Sketch for inspiration.



Remember, if you love what you've seen so far along your SOTM Blog Hop journey, and you want your own "Life is Tweet" stamp set or want to get it for the amazingly low price of $5, be sure to contact your Close To My Heart Independent Consultant.  If you don't already have a consultant, I'd love to be yours.  You can find details on the "Stamp of the Month" by clicking on the "Promotions" tab at the top of the page or purchase your SOTM here.  Of course, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

If you have time, take a moment or two to check out the rest of my blog.  If you enjoy your visit, then please consider "Following Me", signing up to receive blog updates, and/or leaving a comment (we all love comments...the nice ones anyway), then be sure to continue along on the hop by heading over to  Wanda Riley's blog, "Creating with Wanda" and check out her project.

If for some reason you get lost along the way, you can always find a list of all this month's CTMH SOTM Blog Hop participants on Kathleen's blog.

Happy hopping!

Monday, May 21, 2012

DiSTRESSED Out!

Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, it's a stressful time of year for me with the school year coming to a close.  In fact, this is my last week and I cannot wait!  I'm so ready for the break.  But in the meantime, what better way to relieve some stress than to take it out in your creativity?  It's a technique challenge this week at the Heart 2 Heart. One of my favorite techniques...distressing.
It's funny, though.  Distressing is one of my favorite things to do.  In fact, I use some form of distressing on most of my projects.  Yet, whenever I "have" to do something, it takes me a while to get going.  This challenge was no different (plus the event I mentioned yesterday really zapped me emotionally and creatively).  So I went through some card magazines and looked up distressing techniques online, just to get my creative juices flowing.  Here are some of the distressing techniques I considered: sanding, edge distressing, tearing, inking and crumpling.  I decided to go with edge distressing, inking and crumpling (love this...talk about stress relief!) and here's what I came up with.
I sponged bamboo ink onto the edges of the card base and then edge-distressed the pattern paper and hand-stitched it to the card base.  Once done, I went back and used my fingers to pull up the edges and tear the paper slightly.
I saw an idea in a magazine (Paper Crafts, Jan/Feb 2011, pg. 44) where the center piece kind of looked like a file folder, so I created a version of that.  First, I stamped the background and sponged the edges in bamboo ink.  I then stamped the flowers in first and second generation, bending the stamp to give the flowers a different direction (love that about acrylic stamps!).  Afterwards, I spritzed the paper with water and crumbled the paper a few times.  I used my heat tool to speed up the drying time.  I personally loved how the ink runs.  If I was to redo this card, I would probably spritz it with some bamboo or desert sand ink.
Close-up of the edges.
CTMH Supplies Used:
Non-CTMH Supplies Used:
ATG Adhesive (Scotch), Gypsy (Provo Craft), Stitching Guide (Lasting Impressions)

To play along, all you have to do is 1) use mostly CTMH products and use some form of distressing, 2) link your project back to Heart 2 Heart from your blog post or online gallery.  If you are linking from a blog, you must link directly to the actual post, not your entire blog.  You also need to mention H2H in your blog post.  Finally, we do ask that you consider turning off word verification, as it does make it easier for the design team to leave comments, as well as visitors to your blog. ;) 

Don't have any CTMH products?  That's an easy fix!  Simply contact your local CTMH consultant (or go here to find one near you) or you can place an order by going to my website.

Now it's your turn.  I can't wait to what you come up with.

Until next time...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

MIA...and sad, sad news

Well, it's been almost two weeks since my last post.  Another school year is coming to close and I always forget how busy and stressed I get.  However, this week was beyond just the ordinary busy school week.  It's a week that I will never forget.  A week that pulled the rug from under me.  A week that makes crafting seem so unimportant.  A week that makes me question if I can continue to teach, to continue to give a little bit of my heart away to each and every kid.  This week something incredibly tragic happened...something unimaginable.  You probably have already heard the story, but I feel the need to share the story from my perspective.  If you are someone who just doesn't want to hear bad news, stop here.  I don't blame you.  Sometimes, it just seems like that's all there is anymore and that the events these days are just so "hard to deal with".  So if you don't want to continue, I hope you will come back Monday morning, as I will be posting my creation for this week's upcoming Heart 2 Heart challenge (a happier post).  I wasn't sure I could even do the project, as the event from this past week really has me feeling depressed and has zapped me of my desire to create.  Thankfully though, I was able to meet my obligation and finish it and is ready to go Monday morning.

Anyway, here's the story...
Last Tuesday, I had just walked my students to the cafeteria and was heading up the stairs to the teacher's lounge to eat my lunch, when a teacher said to me, "Have you heard?"
"Heard what?", I asked.
"The kids are saying that it was some of our kids that were involved in the shooting this morning in Pt. St. John", she replied.
"What shooting?", I asked in shock.
"A mom killed all of her kids and then killed herself", she said with disbelief.
"Who?!" I asked, feeling tears coming to my eyes and my heart beginning to race.
"Jaxs and Pebbles."
I grabbed her hands and told her, "That's not true.  That can't be true.  Not Jaxs and Pebbles.  That  just can't be true.  I've got to find Officer _____.  He should know for sure."
We both turned and headed for the cafeteria where the SRO watches the kids.  However, once we entered the cafeteria and headed in his direction, he got called to the courtyard area outside the cafeteria, so the other teacher and I followed him and started to call out his name, when the assistant principal stopped us and just looked at us and nodded her head.  We both said, "So it's true?!"  She told us that it was and had wanted to catch us before we got too far into the crowd of students, knowing that we would both break down.

You may have heard the story on the news about the mother that killed all four of her kids and then shot herself.  Well, I taught two of those kids....Pebbles and Jaxs.  I taught Jaxs just last year and Pebbles three years ago.  It's just so hard to believe and I'm still crying.  I wanted to share this story with you because I feel like screaming at the TV every time I hear a reporter make some negative comment about this family.  It's such a shock, because the woman I knew, loved her kids.  Expected her kids to do their best in school, to be polite, to be good people.  She was supportive of them and was an involved parent.  I don't know what happened in her life this past year to drive her to do what she did and I'm not going to do what the media does and speculate.  The other thing that makes me want to scream is the negative light that the media has portrayed Jaxs.  The Jaxs I knew was a typical kid his age.  Loved his friends. Loved the girls.  Loved sports.  He did well in school, too.  He could have a little bit of a temper if provoked, but heck, so do many people.  The media has taken one incident between him and his mom and turned him into a problem child.  Again, I don't know what has happened in the last year, as a lot can happen (and change) in a year's time.  But I want you to know that the Jaxs I knew was a good boy.  And where Jaxs was a good boy, Pebbles was a near perfect young lady.  I absolutely adored her.  She was smart, polite and such a lady.  She was one of my favorite students.  She had been to our school numerous times in the last year or so to volunteer.  It truly breaks my heart to know she is gone.  The world lost some really wonderful young people last Tuesday.  Kids that could have been anything they wanted.

I'm asking you to not believe everything you hear on the news or over the internet, because from my experience, it's not all true.  In fact, very little of it is.  Another thing to avoid...comment sections of news websites, discussion boards and blogs that include hundreds of people spreading more hate and making judgments on people they never knew.  It doesn't change anything.  I want to remember the kids, and even Tonya, in the ways that I knew them...as great kids and a loving mother.  I know "loving mother" may set some people off, but I do know that she loved her kids.  And because of this, I'm not angry at her.  I'm just sad....very, very sad.

Until next time...and under better circumstances...

Monday, May 07, 2012

It's another H2H Challenge

This week over at the Heart 2 Heart, the challenge is to create something for Mother's Day.  

This challenge is both a difficult challenge and an easy one for me.  Let me explain.  First, due to my spiritual beliefs, I don't celebrate holidays.  However, it's also a little difficult, because I've always had a very tumultuous relationship with my (birth) mother.  To keep a very long story short, she disappeared from my life for about 18 years.  After coming back into my life for a period of time, I made the decision to forgo any relationship with her.  It was a matter of asking myself the question, "What does she add to my life?"  When I answered, "Tears, hurt and pain.", I knew what decision I needed to make.  The woman that I consider my mother is my paternal grandmother.  She raised my brother and I, and thanks to her (and my Papa), we had a wonderful life.  Unfortunately, she passed away in 2006 and I still miss her terribly.  

Despite these things, God blessed me with a wonderful mother figure.  My mother-in-law.  She's a special, special woman and I am so grateful that she is in my life.  I know a lot of women who complain about their mother-in-laws, but you won't hear me complain...ever...other than she needs to rest more often.  Put it this way.  I told my husband that if something was to happen to his dad, that I would welcome his mother to come live with us.  You don't do that if you don't like your mother-in-law. ;) 

At any rate, for this challenge, I thought of her.  She loves pictures of her grandkids and often complains that I don't give her enough (and she's right).  Last week, I went to a crop and one of the vendors was selling wood cubes with essentially a large paper clip sticking out of the center.  I decided to alter it and create a gift for my mother-in-law to put on her night stand.

Here is my altered creation, in honor of my mother-in-law.  What do you think?

 
CTMH Supplies Used:
Paper: Fluorentine B&T
Embellishments: Sparkles FlourishesBohemian Assortment, Stardust Glitz Glitter GelColor-ready Seam Binding, Designer Ribbon Green Collection, Creme Brulee Ribbon  Rounds (retired), Polka Dot Sheer Ribbon (unknown)
Non-CTMH Supplies Used:
ATG Adhesive (Scotch)

To play along, all you have to do is 1) use mostly CTMH products and 2) link your project back to Heart 2 Heart from your blog post or online gallery.  If you are linking from a blog, you must link directly to the actual post, not your entire blog.  You also need to mention H2H in your blog post.  Finally, we do ask that you consider turning off word verification, as it does make it easier for the design team to leave comments, as well as visitors to your blog. ;) 

Don't have any CTMH products?  That's an easy fix!  Simply contact your local CTMH consultant (or go here to find one near you) or you can place an order by going to my website.

Now it's your turn.  I can't wait to what you come up with.

Until next time...

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