Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cricut Cardz Challenge #64

WOW! I made it before the midnight deadline!! The challenge for Cricut Cardz this week was to use any cartridge to made a bookmark. The Indie Art cartridge has been retired but it has some amazing cuts on it. I LOVE the "pop art look" of the rose... and the guitar was just fun and "Reading Rocks" is a great sentiment for a tween. I used my new EK border punch.

M. A. G. Challenge #16

This week's M.A.G. Challenge was from the Pooh and Friends cartridge, page 43. This page features Rabbit, my very favorite Pooh character! (I love his dry, bossy attitude.) The other item on the page is a basket of apples. I am really not quite ready to think about Easter... and apples seem like fall to me... so I was a little bit "stuck" as to where to take this card. I googled quotations from Pooh's Rabbit and one thing lead to another until I found the quote I used on this card (NOT from Pooh!!) Hooooray! Rabbit and a basket on a St. Paddy's Day card.

I have to admit, this is the first time I have used such detailed layering (like on Rabbit.) Maybe it is time for a new blade because I just am not really pleased with the way it looks -- not real "sharp."

Friday, February 4, 2011

a different kind of challenge...

I haven't posted in a week and a half... Haven't entered a Cricut challenge or done a LYM layout or even opened my February prompt for the OLW class. However, I think I may be kicking butt in the New 52 Challenge!!

On January 26 I headed out early for Austin. My precious daughter-in-law was having some complications with her pregnancy and was put on bedrest so I was on my way to stay a bit and help out. However, before I even reached the interstate, I got a text from my son that they were on their way to the hospital where Cara would be treated for pre-term labor. I got to Austin about noon, dropped my things at the house and headed to the hospital. The next 3 days were a bit of a roller coaster as they gave Cara meds to stop the contractions and at the same time, injected steroids that would begin immediately to make our baby girl's lungs start to develop as rapidly as possible -- just in case.

On Friday evening about 10:00 I was here at their house doing a little laundry and trying to straighten a bit when I got a text from Mickey... It was the real deal. The epidural was being started... and our baby was coming. I headed up to the hospital with Cara's sister and in about an hour my daughter arrived from San Antonio. We were able to see Cara and Mickey and then we went to the waiting room. At 3:47 AM, January 29th, having JUST reached her 26th week of gestation, Zoe Felicity Hanna was born. She weighed 1 lb 14.6 oz and she was 13 1/4 inches long. And today, almost one week later, she is doing GREAT!

Zoe won't be able to come home for about 3 more months. The neonatalist doctors have been very open and honest about all the battles and obsticles she still may have ahead of her. However, every report so far has been very promising and positive. Each occurance of something that was a "concern" was something that was completely expected and anticipated by the NICU staff and we have been reassured that Zoe is quite amazing. She has never been on the ventilator and breathes on her own. She has been under the blue light to combat the jaundice, but that occurs in full-term babies as well.

Yesterday was a really big day as Cara and Mickey each changed a diaper. And last night, for the first time, Cara was able to hold her baby daughter. This skin-to-skin time, or kangaroo time, is as important for Zoe as it is for Cara.

Cara and Mick have a room at the hospital that they have been spending the nights in... a nesting room. Mick goies in to work as he needs to and is working on the laptop from the hospital as he can. Cara spends her days with Zoe and then comes home for dinner and a short while in the evening to re-pack and catch up with bills and paper work. Cara can also start driving tomorrow so I will probably head back to Houston this week-end.

Our family and Baby Zoe have had so much support from our friends and family... so many prayers... and obviously those prayers are working! Thank you every one!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

M. A. G. Challenge #11

This week's challenge on the M.A.G. Challenge by the Page site is from the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge. I have had this cartridge since it first came out -- and it was the main reason I switched from an original Baby Bug to the Expression. The challenge requires you to only use cuts from a single assigned page in the handbook and with this particular cartridge, you are severely limited with what you can do on one page. The really fun aspect of this cut was using items other than my Cricut to embellish very plain little nut cups.

First of all, I used the "fit to page" button to see what size to make the little favors. The largest size on a 12 x 12 piece of paper is a 5 3/4" cut. If you rotate your paper, you can get 2 cuts out of a single sheet of paper. The second step of my learning curve occurred when I tried to use a patterned paper with a specific top and bottom. The cut-out is curved in such a way that the pattern of the paper will not be up-and-down on each side, but instead will slant across the side of the cup. Soooo after deciding on paper with a very random pattern of little flowers or polka dots, I was set!

This was definitely the simplest. I used an old (2007) sheet of Heidi Grace paper called Mushroom Dots. I just punched out a circle from the reverse side of the paper and stuck it to the polka dots.

The next two are reverse sides of the same paper -- a 2008 line from October Afternoon.

This one is embellished with a 6-petal flower that has been cut and folded so that it is dimensional. Orange stickles are in the flower center.

And this one is my favorite, with the pleated lolly-flower. This type of embellishment is my current favorite and I am getting quite good at a very quick score and fan-fold!

I really had not planned on any challenges at all this week, what with some family responsibilities and obligations. However, in the middle of the day yesterday, I found myself rifling through pretty papers and sifting through flowers and bling and the next thing I knew, the Cricut was humming. It really didn't take long at all and I was in a much better frame of mind after "filling my bucket!"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Log Your Memory

I am still keeping up with a daily journal for 2011. I haven't missed a day, although several days are just lists of ToDo's and TaDa's. And after 3 weeks, I have also kept up with the weekly Log Your Memory layout challenges. The challenge theme for the year is This is Your Life. Each challenge will follow one of these six formats: a Journaling challenge, a Copycat Challenge, a One Word Challenge, a Picture Perfect Challenge, Reflection Challenge, and a Real Life Challenge.

The month of January is Find Your Focus: Goals, Challenge, Projects and Dreams. The first week was a journaling challenge to create a list. I met the challenge in my 2010 Review Album and then followed up with an additional layout on the challenge. I built this layout from a class taught by Timi Forrest at By Design Scrapbook Boutique.

The second week was to choose a single word as your focus for the year. This was easy since it repeats the class and project I am following with Ali Edwards and at first I thought I would just consider the challenge met with the 9-pocket project I did earlier. However, I have an assortment of half-finished pages that I have done a various classes so I took a layout that Jessica Colby taught (also at By Design!) and turned it into my "One Word" LYM layout.

Because both of these layouts were built with materials from a workshop, I do not know who the manufacturers are.

This 3rd week was the hardest so far... "Share a Dream." Yeah, when these things get too personal it gets hard!! However, the word dream to me is not the same as a goal. A dream is more of a wish or an unrealistic attainment -- not really something that you have control over. So, I did a layout about the Texas Lotto. We have played the lottery twice a week, every week, since it started in 1992 with the SAME 6 NUMBERS!! That kinda means we can't stop! We KNOW those numbers. If we didn't play and they hit -- OMG. Don't even want to think about it! And we have a great time talking to each other about how we will spend our millions when those numbers hit. And the best part is that it is a dream... and we are truly aware that the fun and the pleasure is in the dream itself... in the pretend and the 'what if'. We are so blessed that our dream can be just an extravagant fantasy.

These papers are from Quick Quotes "By the Bay" collection. The ship is Cricut Life is a Beach cartridge.

Next week's challenge is to pick a project and figure out how to complete it. And hey! I'm on a roll! What's one more thing to complete???

Thursday, January 20, 2011

M. A. G. Challenge #10

I discovered a new challenge, because of a comment left on my very first challenge. Thanks, Girlia!! This is really fun because you are required to limit your Cricut cuts to one page of one cartridge. Challenge #10 was page 69 of the Storybook cartridge. This was really hard for me. I started last Saturday and I had an idea of what I wanted to convey... the cut of the word "EVER" and the numeral 4 in front of it. I even thought about having 5 cuts of EVER and an ampersand between the 4th and last one (as in "4-ever & ever")I wasn't happy mixing stickers with the cuts or my own handwriting or even a computer generated font. Somehow, I ended up with a card that shows my indecision -- I used all three medias! So, yeah -- not my favorite. I debated whether to even post it and then I decided I could probably encourage A LOT of newbies to join in if they saw that perfection was NOT required!!

The aqua dot is a Heidi Swapp paper called "sing song". The white is from the SEI Poppy line. The pinks are Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby. The computer font is Storybook and it very closely matches the Cricut cartridge.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cricut Cardz Challenge #58

This week's challenge is to make a snowman using any cartridge. I used The Pooh and Friends cartridge and made a card with the snowbear... I think that counts!!! The card is 4x8 and I used paper from my scrap basket -- I think it is from a 2007 8x8 Christmas stack from Hobby Lobby. BUT the coolest thing about this card is the sentiment! I Googled "snowman quotations" and found several that I really liked. This site was my favorite.