Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grief musings

I saw this quote from another bereaved Mom and it touched me.

"There is a big hole in my heart that will never ever ever go away, and this I know for a fact. I can learn to live with the hole, but the hole is now a part of who I am. And that really pisses me off. I didn't want the hole, I didn't ask for the hole, I want the hole to go away and it never goes away. Every morning I wake up and there is the hole, some days it is a big unmanageable hole, other days it is a smaller more manageable hole, but the hole is always present. I HATE THE HOLE."

I could so relate to this comment. She went on to talk about the anger associated with grief. I responded with some thoughts of my own...

"Losing a child isn't fair and we all have a right to be angry. We don't have answers and that is difficult. Why are drug abusers, child abusers, etc allowed to have healthy children while ours die? Why do some people have intact sets of higher order multiples that aren't supposed to be "safe" and yet our statistically "safe" children are dead? Why did some of us have to spend all of our money only to have a child (or children) taken away? Why do we have to make the hard decisions (decisions to end a child's life support, decisions on making funeral plans, etc) while others get the easy decisions of picking out a nursery theme? Why do we (often) have medically fragile survivors to deal with IN ADDITION to the grief of losing a child? Why, why, why? I could go on and on and on. We have a right to be angry. As long as you don't get bitter about everything. I think as long as you can still appreciate the things you DO have...then it's ok to be angry about the things you DON'T have."

I am almost 12 years out from my losses and still not a day goes by that I don't feel that empty hole of something missing. I still experience a melancholy moment every time I see cute little girls. I am so SO thankful for my (mostly) healthy boys but still grieve the chance to raise a daughter. My Mom was very masculine and I never had a typical mother/daughter relationship with her where she taught me girly things. I wanted to do that with my daughters.

I guess I'm just thinking about them more as I'm approaching their birth/death dates in the month(s) ahead.

To my friends who have stuck by me through all of this...I appreciate you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finished Quilt!

I am SO excited! This "easy" baby quilt is finally completely and totally FINISHED! Whew. What an effort. Sad to say...but the front of it was the easiest part!

So...for those beginners out there (like me) are the basic steps.

1) Make the quilt front (this is the pretty part). This is called "piecing".
2) Quilt the darn thing. You have to lay down the back fabric of the quilt, the batting and then the front of the quilt on top. Then safety pin (I think this is also called basting?) every few inches. I used the width of my hand. Once it is all pinned so the three layers are held together you then use your sewing machine to sew through all the layers to keep your "sandwich" together. Mostly I used "stich in the ditch" which is just sewing in my existing seams. Some people use patterns but I'm nowhere near ready for that. The batting I chose said you had to quilt every 2-4 inches (OMG, next time make sure I buy batting that doesn't require it to be quilted so close!) So, in addition to "stitching in the ditch"...I also quilted within each rectangle on my quilt...mimicking the pattern.
3) Once you are done quilting you will have all these loose threads hanging from the quilt. These need to be tied off so they don't come unraveled. I've heard you don't have to do this...but it makes sense to me that I don't want to do all that work for nothing. place your thread from the front onto a needled and feed it to the back of the quilt. Your other thread (from the bobbin) should be there. Tie the two together into a knot. Then put both threads onto a needle and feed them under the fabric and the clip the thread when it comes back up (so it is buried and not as noticable).
4) Final step...binding. The first part is machine sewed on the front. Then you have to hand stitch the whole thing on the back side. Whew.
5) HAVE A BIG ALCOHOLIC DRINK...way away from the quilt! LOL.

Here's the front:

Here's the back: (see the pretty quilting?)

Well, no cards to share for this week. Was busy all weekend finishing this quilt. Now I do NOT want to give it away! LOL.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Graduation Cap Card

I made this adorable card for my bosses daughter for graduation. I eventually added a tassel as well...but it's MIA in the picture. I had to wait till I went to Michael's to get embroidery floss to finish it...and by then I didn't have my camera. So...just imagine it with a tassel! :-O

Also, this was designed as a gift card holder. The gift card was supposed to tuck into the was supposed to be attached to the piece of white paper and the paper was supposed to be attached to the top of the card. So...when you opened the card the gift card 'popped out' of the pocket. I don't know her well enough (or have the excess cash) lying around for a gift I stuck with just using it as a pocket card and put my note in there.

Gotta run...going to be late for work!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CAS Challenge

This card was based off of a CAS (Clean and Simple) sketch challenge on Splitcoaststampers. I don't love it as much as some of the others I saw...but overall I'm happy with it. What do YOU think?

On another note, someone ran into our mailbox today. We are in a rural area where there are four mail boxes per metal post/base. The post is set in concrete. Whoever hit it this time did a really good job. All four mailboxes were sheared off the base. Two were savable but the other two (including ours) was not. They actually ran over ours (you could see the tire print on it). I thought it was really funny...just because how often do you see a FLAT mailbox? I asked hubby if that meant we can only receive FLAT rate postal items now. :-P He didn't find it as humourous as I did. LOL.

My hubby dug out the hole and replanted the metal base. We got a couple older ones and replaced ours and the neighbors next to ours. So now all is relatively well with the world. The pole itself is crooked so it looks like the leaning tower of mailboxes but at least we can get mail again tomorrow!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Neigh-borly Horse :-)

I received this image from my SBS4 sister for a spring swap (along with some other images). I'm not sure who makes the image...anyone care to tell me?

I colored the horse with light umber brown (prismacolor pencil) all over. Blended with mineral spirits. Then went back and added dark umber brown where it had shade marks on the image and blended again. The fact that it had shade marks made it very easy to color!

I used some cardstock given to me by my friend, Concetta. And then the patterned paper is from a mat pack given to me by a different secret sister. Pretty muchly I just used what I happened to have out on the table...and luckily it all came together pretty well.

Hope you like it!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Cow's favorite lunch meat?

I didn't manage to get as much stamping as I hoped done yesterday but I did get one card made and I'm quite happy with how it turned out! The finished size is 4 1/4 x 4 1/4.

Some people ask me how I come up with ideas - so let me expound on my thought processes on this card and how it came to be. First I saw a sketch online I wanted to try (this was a weekly sketch challenge on Splitcoaststampers). Next I went to my stamp drawers and tried to find an image that would fit the approximate shape of the focal image on the sketch. I was lazy yesterday and literally decided I had to pick SOMETHING in the first drawer I opened. The sketch is really a taller image...but figured the cow would work. Then I grabbed a coordinating stamp (the cow spot stamp from High Hopes) and sat at my table. I stamped the cow. I started with the thought in my head that I was going to do a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 card...with a black base and a white spotted background. But when I tried that...the image got lost and didn't stand out. First off...too big of a card...too little of a background. So I cut it down to 4 1/4 x 4 1/4. Still didn't like the cow spotted area as the big background. So I went in search of some other paper. I love red/black/white as a color combo...and I found the red patterned paper in some stuff my Secret Sister sent me a while back. So...back to the table with it. Ultimately, I tried several variations of the red/black/spotted/white color layouts until I decided I liked this best. Next, I needed a saying or something to go on the upper right (per the card sketch). I went online and searched "cow quotes" and ended up with a lot of choices. I tried to print in an oval (the shape on the sketch) but didn't have much luck. So, instead I opted for a circle (using wordart). I printed it out and then punched it out. Layered with a scalloped punched circle. It still needed something so I added the big brad to the center (a gift from another Secret Sister from a couple years ago) Also, as a side note...none of this is actually attached to the card base yet. I always save that for last. I pierced my holes. Used dimensional adhesives to pop up the saying and then the front was complete. I still needed to do the inside (the answer). I printed it on a piece of paper. Then attached my card base to the piece of paper with temporary adhesive so that the answer would print where I want. I put the piece of paper back in the printer and printed. Once I had that completed...THEN I attached the card front to the base...and the card was done. Whew! :-) you want to know what a cow's favorite lunch meat is?????

Bull-ogna! :-)

Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teachabella Bag

I don't have a lot to share this week. I didn't manage to stamp at all over this past weekend. But I do still have the Teachabella gift bags that I made to hold the card sets for Teacher Appreciation last week. So...I'll go ahead and share that today. Tomorrow is my work from home maybe I'll find time to do some simple stamping tomorrow. For now, this will have to do!

Well, I gotta go get ready for work (whether I WANT to get ready for work is another story! LOL.) I read till after 1a.m. That makes 6:30a.m. come awful early! Ugh.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Just wanted to send out a 'Happy Mother's Day' to all the ladies out there who have children (whether children on earth or children in heaven). Also, wanted to send my thoughts out to those who may find this day difficult...maybe the loss of a child or the loss of your Mom.

For me, this day is mixed. I still feel it is mostly about MY Mom and my mom has been gone for 11 years now. So, that makes me sad. But my boys are getting older and I love the cards they make for me and the things they write in them are too funny. So, that makes me happy. But my girls are in heaven. So, that makes me sad. And thus, you see, my mixed feelings. It does seem, as the years pass it becomes more happy feelings and less sad feelings. So that is good.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Simple Roses In Winter Card

I made this card a couple weekends ago but don't think I posted it yet. We have two boys and my husband has a friend (who has two boys). They were over hanging out a couple weekends ago and I decided I was going to stamp. It wasn't long before I had 3 (of the 4) "helping" me stamp. I gave up and this was the only card I got finished that day! LOL.

I didn't get any stamping done today. I was lazy. :-) I did a couple hours of work, I went to a new 'used book store' where the books are all .25 and I got me 16 books (that'll last me about a month), and then I came home and read for a couple hours before falling asleep and napping. bum!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

ShoutOut to Sheetloads

I won this stamp as part of some blog candy a while back. I haven't had the urge to use her before...but this is Teacher Appreciation Week and I needed to make something for the boys' teachers...thus Teachabella and Sheetloads to the rescue to make sets of cards! :-)

What is Sheetloads?

Each month they publish a new issue and each issue holds a sample card layout and directions for mass producing cards with that layout. (Cutting diagrams, etc). All of the old issues are archived and able to be downloaded as well. Here is a link to the May issue.

As always, I'm running late and now still trying to make gift bags to put the cards in (and tomorrow is Friday...yikes!) My oldest son has two teachers and my youngest son has one...but the youngest son's teacher is one of my stamping friends. So instead of giving her cards she already can make herself...I'm going to do something different for her.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Hambo Stamps is offering this Cool Cat as a free digi image! To get your own just click on HERE.

I wanted to keep the card pretty simple. It is colored in with prismacolor pencils. I used minimal embellishments...relying on the paper piercing for that little extra 'oomph'.

Hope you like it!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hoppy Days are Here Again!

Hoppy days are here again because I'm sharing artwork again! :-) This weekend I made two sets of 4 cards each of teacher cards plus two more cards made with digital images just for the heck of it. So there should be plenty to share this week! I thought I'd start with my favorite...

This image was a free digital image from Victoria Case Art Designs. I downloaded the image and was then able to resize and flip the second froggie. My original plan was for a "Hoppy Mother's Day" card but realized that'd be a waste since my Mom is no longer here to give a card to. So...instead I changed it to "Hoppy Days are Here Again". I printed the saying just using the computer.

Hope you like it!