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.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Addicted to challenges??? NOT me...

I participated in my first papercraft challenge earlier this week at Cricut Cardz Challenge and it was FUN!! I got comments!! I got a FOLLOWER!! However, I was surprised by the suggestion that such an activity could possibly be "addicting." I mean, really! I can't imagine such a thing... BUT OMG!! Who knew there were sooooo many challenges out there?? When you browse the creative cards and layouts that are posted on one challenge, you end up on an unscheduled blog hop!! As you go jumping from blog to blog, you discover one challenge after another, one topic after another, card after scrapbook page after home dec item and GOODNESS GRACIOUS!! Just blog-stalking takes hours... and then you get some inspiration... and then some motivation and then next thing you know...

Wellllll... here is my entry into the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge #42. The challenge is called Winter Warmies and the process is to create using some type of winter clothing on your project.

Mine couldn't be simpler. I used the Mittens cut and the actual card feature on Joys of the Season. I cut the card at 6 1/2 inches and cut the mittens and snowball layers at 2 inches. I used BoBunny dotted paper in gray and The Paper Company Ivory Diamond Filigre to back the opening and for the snowballs at the bottom. The snowball by the mittens is stickled with silver. The edging was done with a Fiskars punch. The sentiment won't make any sense at all to you if you are not a fan of The Office, but I actually know some people I could send this type of a "Good Luck / Don't Worry" card!! (Two challenges in one week doesn't mean you are addicted!!)

One Little Word

I am finally caught up on my One Little Word class with Ali Edwards. I didn't get any of this done while I was at Mother's, so Friday I watched the video and did the title page. I actually did 2 title pages and then chose this one:
I really liked the blue Vintage Shabby paper line by Tim Holtz and since I decided to use the album from Janet Hopkin's Family Matter's class, it was really a very nice fit.

Yesterday morning I decided to tackle the self-portrait and (after 38 photos) I actually got a picture that I liked!! The next step was to use Photoshop Elements and apply the overlay to the photograph. This was more difficult than I expected... I didn't get it on the first try... BUT I finally made it work. Wheeeee!! (I did stay FOCUSed!)

Finally, I downloaded the instructions and the .png file for the January prompt and started on the actual jounaling, which meant doing some Internet research and real thinking. I was pleased with what I came up with, though I think my words were rather shallow. There is more to my need for this "one little word" than I wrote on a 2 x 3 card.

And I really like the look of the layered page sizes using the Pink Paislee page protectors.

So now that I am caught up with the creative part of the journey, I need to do a little better job with the real application of my word. I have made lists the last few days but still find that I have strayed frequently and substantially by the end of the day. Making plans really does not help if you ignore them!

Friday, January 14, 2011

photos of 2010 Review Album

While I was taking pictures of my Humpty Dumpty card I decided to get some photos of the Review album as well. Here are a few of the monthly spreads:

These following layouts show a few of my favorite photos (of me!) and the journaling is inspired by the You Tube of little Jessica's morning affirmation.

I've already posted the layouts about the books I read during 2010 below. The final spread was just a collage of some of the projects I completed in 2010.

I used SEI's Pastiche line for most of the pages, with some of their Kris Kringle on my Jan, Feb and Dec pages. I am a fan of SEI and a member of their monthly kit club. Neither of these lines was among my favorites as a whole, although there were a couple of individual papers in each group that I really liked. However, they were perfect for layouts such as these where the photos really overshadow the papers.

Cricut Cardz Challenge #57...

...BUT it is #1 for me!! That's right -- this is the first time I have ever entered / posted / attempted an Internet challenge of any kind. And this was one of my main incentives for setting up a blog! Soooo here goes:

Challenge: Make a card using any cartridge or theme you'd like, BUT using the colors red, black and white ONLY!

and TA DA:

This is a 4.25 x 5.5 Get Well card with Humpty Dumpty cut from Nursery Rhymes at 3.5 in both white and red and then handcut and pieced. The sentiment was computer printed in FontLeroyBrown and it says,
"I called the King's Horses and all the King's Men
And I asked them to put you together again!"

This was the first time I used the Nursery Rhymes cartridge and I am looking forward to lots of opportunities to use various cuts for the granddaughter-to-be. To be honest, I am not really super thrilled with the card but the hardest part was definitely taking the picture to display. I tried scanning, photographing indoors and outside, with a variety of backdrops and with none at all. I am NOT the photographer of my family... My darling daughter and precious daughter-in-law both beat me hands down. AND my sister is amazing and really can see the composition whereas I often have plants growing out of people's heads and never pay attention to the spacing or shadows. However, I finally got a print that I was willing to post so I am kinda proud of myself... and ready to show it off! (Now I gotta go see if I can figure out that Mr. Linky thingy....)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Review Album -- Completed!

Hooray! I finished all of the monthly journaling this morning and printed it on cardstock. I brought it over to Mom's today and this afternoon I cut the strips apart, inked and distressed the edges and glued them down. YAY!! I will add some photos of the finished album at the end of the week when I am at home.

Plans tomorrow are to jump into Ali's class on One Little Word with both feet. I want to complete the challenge for Log Your Memories this week and a layout on my OLW would qualify. I will be at Mother's all day so I have access to my computer but not to my scapping goodies. Therefore it will be the perfect time to watch Ali's video and even do the downloads and printouts!! Looook at ME!! Planning is definitely a big part of FOCUS!

Monday, January 10, 2011

She's FOCUSed!

I am so proud of me!! I didn't start Ali's class yet for One Little Word. (It's ongoing and there will be a project each month to emphasize or bring attention to your word and allow it to inspire you.) I didn't do the Bitten by the Bug challenge. I didn't do Emma's Throwback Thursday challenge either! So why am I feeling good about NOT trying these new things that I was looking forward to and setting up a blog so I could participate? Because I am sticking to the project at hand, my 2010 Review Mini Album, and NOT starting something else until I finish the current task. I am FOCUSing! AND further more, I am enjoying the process -- not just rushing to get it done so I can play with something new.

The 2010 Review album is something I have never done, but I can definitely see it becoming an annual project. I am using an 8x8 album and I chose 4 3x3 photos for each month. I am doing a 1.5 x 6 strip of journaling for each month that may (or may not!) co-ordinate with the 4 photos. In addition to the 12 monthly pages, I did a 2 page spread of the books I read in 2010,
a two page spread of some of my favorite crafting projects, and a two page spread of my favorite photos of ME!! I even tried something new (for me) on that layout by using the strips of journaling that Debbie Hodge talked about on her blog last week. So now I am through with all of the pages EXCEPT for the monthly journaling strips. It would be sooooo easy to put it aside and explore a new project, but I know I would never get back to it and never complete the "words." It is those "stories" that make scrapbooking different from filling photo albums with pictures and pretty papers. And unfortunately it is those stories that I tend to neglect. (That is what card-making is for -- getting to play with pretty papers and my cricut and pretty embellies without any journaling!)

Anyway, the point of today's entry is that I really have stayed on track... I have avoided the temptation to just dabble in an assortment of endeavors and am actually finishing something. This sounds like I NEVER complete a project and that is certainly not true. However, completing a project for ME (not a gift!) that doesn't even have a DEADLINE,,, Yeah, it is a big deal. FOCUS!

Some of my favorite 2010 projects:

Fall Decor

calendars for Catherine and Mary

favors for Mandy's shower

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thanks, Cara!

Hooray!! After talking to my precious daughter-in-law and getting a blog tutorial on the phone I was able to move the photos of my Log Your Memory list Challenge layouts that I uploaded on yesterday's entry to the proper location instead of at the top of the entry. S L O W L Y I will learn this thing!!

I was up past 2:30 AM reading Hunger Games. Really enjoyed it and finished it this afternoon. My love for reading has never wavered, but my enjoyment has been lagging the last couple of years. It seems that I seldom just sit down to read unless I am sitting at the table eating alone (usually lunch) or waiting for something or someone (like at Mom's hair appointment or a doctor's appointment.) And so this is one of those areas I want to remember to FOCUS... to actually make some time just for reading. I want to stop and enjoy the story, the words, the emotions that are evoked... and I want to be aware of what I am feeling and learning and savor that experience. However, I think I "savored" a little later than I should have last night, so I am bringing very little to this table tonight.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One day at a time...

I didn't delete yesterday's post!!! (I didn't tell anyone about it either, but I didn't delete it!)

Okay, first of all I want to explain the REAL reason I was finally inspired to set up this site. I alluded to the idea in yesterday's post. It's the NEW 52!

I was stalking some blogs about digi scrapping and came across List Girl (Christine Newman). Her suggestion about trying something new every week during 2011 sounded like a lot of fun... and a challenge! And so, my new endeavor for Week One is this very website!! Yep, yep!! She's Showing Off!! (Note the link for the List Girl blog!! YAY ME!!)

Another reason for wanting a blog is to post my LYM challenge layouts. ( I also mentioned this yesterday but I think I said Log MY Memories instead of Log YOUR Memories. ) The challenge for the first week for Log Your Memories was to use a list of some sort on your layout. Most of the layouts in the gallery had to do with goals and resolutions and plans for the new year. Since I am still feeling behind, I decided to take advantage of that mindset and do a layout for the 2010 Review mini album I am working on. I chose to list all of the books I read during 2010 and emphasize my 5 favorites.

And finally, instead of resolutions or setting out a list of goals for 2011, I am joining a large group in the scrapbook community who follow Ali Edwards "One Little Word" philosophy. For the last 4 years, Ali has started each January with one specific word to be her inspiration for the year... the word that she can focus on, meditate on, and grow with. She has a very large following and I have even chosen my own word the last 3 years... and pretty much forgotten it by MLK day! This year my word is FOCUS. This is actually a fairly popular word chosen by many. However, most of the things I have read by those who plan to FOCUS in the coming year explain a list of things the person wishes to focus on: health, family, work, budgets... etc, etc, etc. My own thought is much more basic... to simply FOCUS -- to live in the moment -- to pay attention -- to realize that multi-tasking has gotten a lot more difficult with each passing year. And to also admit that FOCUS is especially difficult when I am tired!! Therefore, I will touch more on THIS at another time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OK... Just Breathe...

I've been stalking blogs since before I knew they were called "blogs." I think I first discovered Live Journal in 2001 or 2002 and became quite addicted to reading real-life soap operas of people I didn't know. I continued to follow several blogs regularly, adding a variety of celebrity blogs to the list of everyday people. Plain people blogs spilled over into other social medias and I started following people I actually knew on MySpace and then Facebook. My blog-reading didn't stop, though. However, the blogs I currently read are mostly related to scrapbooking in one way or another -- either paper crafts of all kinds or digi-scrapping or crafts that are specifically Cricut related. However, through all the years of following blogs (sometimes as many as 25 on a regular daily basis!) I have never had one of my own. Welllll, actually I have HAD a blog -- or 2 -- or 10... but I have never ever posted an entry!!!

I think the biggest reason I have held back is because I have never been able to decide on a purpose for my personal blog. Would it be for the purpose of personal journaling? It would be a pleasure and a benefit to have records of things I did / saw / accomplished / felt / thought / wondered -- especially as my memory is not very sharp. Or do I just want a place to display my crafts and upload photos and share ideas and inspirations for papercrafts and scrapbooking? Too, there are many opportunities in the scrapbooking community for contests that require the participants to have a website or blog. It is difficult to just jump into this without a plan or a guideline but I am going to give it a bit of a try.

So here, on January 6, 2011, I am going to take the actual plunge!! For one thing, I need to accomplish something for week one of New52. And a place to be accountable for my OLW. OH... and a place to upload and display the Log My Memories challenges. And yes, I will explain all of those things in future posts. But until then, I am going to see if I can actually hit the Post button and let it go live without deleting it within the next half hour!