How Does Your Garden Grow?

Being an avid gardener, and a huge (almost literally) fan of Doughnuts, I was so pleased to find these amazing seeds in my Family Fun magazine this month:
grow wholesome, all-natural doughnuts in your own backyard!
plant by April 1

Simply amazing, and I can't wait for mine to grow and bloom! I hope they are Chocolate with Sprinkles!

I got a whole bunch to share with the kids in the Garden Club at Bubs school. I handed them out today at our weekly meeting, with instructions to be SURE to plant them on April 1. The instructions read to plant them in a pile in a bowl, covered by 1-2 inches of milk.

The kids seemed to get a kick out of them!

If you know a gardener, or want to spread a little springtime cheer, get some of these to pass out to Your friends! Plant some Laughs with these easy & delicious seeds.

some Assembly Required
Hope you have a Fun Friday!!
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A Swarm of Sweetness

I declared the evening a Crafty CASE event... and after the kids were in bed I went off into my lofty laboratory of layers and found myself surrounded by the sweet serenity of


I saw a card posted by Shelly May over on Facebook yesterday, and I was inspired. I -love- my butterfly die! Perfect to craft up a few cards to send off to Operation Write Home. I don't think they are too "Mom" themed, but I probably won't get my cards out in time for the deadline on Thursday anyhow... will just add them to a box of Spring cards.

Swarm of Sweet Butterflies
So here is how I spent my evening de-stressing from a kind of rough day:

raided my scrap drawer for some flora/botanical type paper,
picked my color schemes,
Die Cut my butterflies on the Big Shot,
cut and layered my card bases and stamped them for OWH,
(you're welcome Sandy :-)
stamped my tags using the Tiny Tags set,
punched them out, and punched out a hole,
layered my butterflies using adhesive and/or dimensionals,
de-stashed the ribbon bin and used twine to tie the tags onto the center of the die-cuts,
adhered the butterflies using dimensionals and adhesive...

Retired paper, with Marina Mist and Basic Grey butterflies
 ...and realized my camera is missing.
My newly borrowed camera, to use since my old faithful camera went missing last fall. *big sad face here*
I think the universe is telling me to get a really nice new camera. :-D
So I pulled out my ever-so-poor-substitute, my stupid phone, and snapped a few pics to share.

Card Recipe:
5.5 x 8.5" base, folded to 4.25x5.5" solid card stock
5x3.75" solid card stock for layer
4.75x3.5" Pattern Paper
5.5x8.5" card stock folded, to use with Butterfly Die
5.5x8.5" card stock folded to use with Butterfly Die (2nd color)
white scraps for stamping
Tiny Tags stamp set (#118091)
ink coordinating with your paper
Jewelry Tag Punch  (#117190)
hemp twine (#100982), Linen thread (#104199), or fine ribbon or embroidery floss
Big Shot die cutting machine
Bigz Beautiful Butterflies Stampin' Up! exclusive die (item#114507 $21.95; page 206 of catalog)

Some Designer Series Papers that would be fun with the butterflies:
Woodland Walk - brown & green butterflies,
Greenhouse Gala - lovely color palate
Sunny Garden - red, yellow, green, orange butterflies
Blueberry Crisp - blue & white, or blue & brown butterflies
Play Date (used above) - red & yellow, or blue & yellow butterflies

But the butterfly could look nice against some NON-flowery paper, its a darling little thing on its own!

Happy Crafting!
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Let me count the ways...

So in my blog class I am only up to Day 3's Lesson, Surprise!  I know you'll be shocked. {that I even made it to Day 3!} But here I am, and I'm looking forward to lesson four! In the interest of time, and the hope that I will be current sometime before the tenth lesson, I am using the "Little to No Time" approach here:

I really spread my attention over way too many things, but currently five things I really enjoy are:

Kelly, Kristin, & me : At the Scrapbook Expo

My Crafty Gal Pals - Kristin and Kelly. When I don't have time or energy to craft, there they are with some new adventure or creation to keep my creative thoughts percolating. They have different styles than me, know different techniques, and try different crafts, but we share a love of crafting and enjoy eachothers company.

Birthday Girl Blog - I love all things Party. The favors, the food, the decorations, the wrapping paper... just the ideas and creativity that go into planning an event. The possibilties. This blog is SO awesome, and if I could I would have a party every weekend (and honestly, most weeknights! - some may dream of vacations, I dream of centerpieces) just to be able to try out the ideas posted...

Twitter - I do seem to be one of the very very few in my real life circle that took to twitter. (techie nerd in me) I love the characters, the ideas, the mundane and momentous events I can connect with. I set up my phone to get text message posts from quite a few folks that I follow. Even if I am doing laundry, grocery shopping, or waiting at the school for Bub, I can see whats tweetin' and feel linked to a world so much larger than my own. I usually post links to card challenges, or catch up on the crafty goodness shared by my tweethearts.

Pistachio cheesecake was the best!

Photos - I've always had a love affair with taking pictures. It started just after high school, I liked to document the shenanigans my friends and I pulled off. I am not a great photographer, and I haven't studied style or composition, but I can take pictures upside down, around corners, or on the fly like nobodys business! I love looking at beautiful pictures, but I enjoy reviewing the little snaps I take of my life. Remembering that delicious sandwich, the silly grin on Bubettes face on the swings, or the way the sunshine filtered through the trees onto the grocery store parking lot. I like to carry my point & shoot with me everywhere, make people pose for silly pictures, and take pictures of almost everything. My kids first words were almost literally "cheese!" My middle name could be Paparazzi.  I lost my camera last fall, right in the midst of my life changing move. I had only my (not so) "smart phone" camera - and it is a POOR substitute. It felt like I had lost a limb. Now that I have a camera again, I hope I can get back to my daily life pictures - but maybe not so paparazzi-ish.

Card MakingI started making cards when I was introduced to Stampin' Up! by a friend. It was so fun! I already adored Hallmark, and the thought of making my cards more personal was enticing. I only dabbled in it, work and school and marriage and life kept me busy... but after my son was born, well, then I got bitten by the bug! Card making parties were my best and only chance to get out and have some Me time. Making cards with my friends guaranteed good times and great cards. Plus, it went well with my paper obsession, and coordinated with scrapbooks - which I desperately needed to organize my growing photo collection... I really enjoy making cards for Operation Write Home, and need to get a box sent off soon actually. If you haven't heard of them, check out their website. Inspiring.

And there you have it... Five things. I could go on and on, but maybe I will save that for a few more (couple hundred) blog posts.

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Festive Fridays Season of Joy

Ah, another Festive Friday jaunt through Christmas cards! Are you feeling the Christmas Spirit? The weather certainly is in the winter spirit, we're enjoying crazy rain and windstorms, floods and power outages... it would be nice to get Spring underway!
I joined in the Festive Fridays so that I will keep Christmas prep in front of me throughout the year, and we all know keeping Christmas in our hearts always is a Good Thing!

Festive Fridays is a Blog Hop happening every other Friday, showcasing Christmas card projects. These creative gals have been hopping since January, so when you visit their blogs, you do have a few more Festive Friday posts to inspire you - check them out!

You may be arriving from Brenda's blog,
or if you are joining me directly you may want to
start at the beginning of the Hop with Terri's blog.

Today I share with you a card made using the Season of Joy set, and some snazzy paper roses I learned how to make over the weekend. I used Old Olive and Certainly Celery card stock, and Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper. The edges of all the layers are rounded, and I did a bit of disterssing on the Designer Paper to coordinate better with my roses. The ink for the stamp is Cherry Cobbler, and the ribbon is Old Olive.  These paper flowers are a bit tricky with paper, I think I prefer felt or ribbon, but can add a nice element. I punched a 2 3/8" scallop out of the Jolly Holiday paper, and then free-cut a spiral. I then mashed and crimped and crumpled the heck out of them to break the paper fibers down and make them pliable enough for the twisting required to make the rosette. As my teacher in the class said: Twist and Smile, undo and twist again - with a smile!  They are a bit on the shabby-chic side with all the distressing, but I love roses at Christmas!

Enjoy your hopping, and be sure to come back soon for some more Merry!
Please continue on, and give a warm welcome to
Here is a list of participants if you get lost along the way.

1) Terri Sproul
2) Chris Hurley
3) Cheryl Lindsey
4)  Laura Davidson
5) Amanda Marks
6) Debbie Buckland
7) Brenda Lee Burfeind
8) Angela Bodas *here you are*
9) Becky Conley
10) Yolonda Anthony

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Memory Lane - Pink or Blue, Who Knew?

When we got pregnant with our second child in 2007, I was just all up in the air about finding out the gender. I wanted to, I didn't want to. Everyone else wanted me to, except for those that thought it would be best to let it be a surprise. But you can't prepare for the baby. But this is one of life's greatest surprises. But... You know how when you're pregnant, advice and opinions come out of the woodwork? It was such a decision!

My husband, however, had no such dilemmas. He was finding out.
p e r i o d
So, adding another layer, if he knew and I didn't - how long would it be before one of us "broke"?

At 20 weeks, we went in for the routine sonogram, and it was decided. He would find out, and I wouldn't....yet. We thought it would be fun to share the news with ALL the people who wanted to know at a baby shower. They wouldn't know until the invite arrived, and I wouldn't know until I walked in the door. Pink or Blue. And who exactly knew? Did my friend at work get her invitation already, is that why she made that comment about boys? Or does my Aunt Rhonda know and that why shes pushing for girls names?

It was a looooonnnnnggg four more months of not knowing. I don't know if I could actually go a whole 9 months. It was almost excruciating. Along with being pregnant. And sick. I didn't know what kind of bedding to get, I didn't know how to prepare the baby announcements. I didn't know if I needed those adorable sweet pink hairbows, or some dandy little blue sneakers. I didn't know how I would react when I DID find out - happy, sad. That's alot of time to think about what you want your family to be like. I loved the idea of two boys: bunk-beds, Boy Scouts, dirt and football. But I longed for a girl to shop with, paint nails, and pretty-up with all the dresses and hair things. I wanted twins, a boy AND a girl. But the Doctor assured us there was only one baby. Darnit.

So finally the day arrived. It was a gorgeous day, and we arrived right on time. I was so nervous I was shaking. Getting out of the car, I said a little prayer for strength. Boy or Girl, I wanted a healthy baby to love and cherish...

They had me close my eyes, and Jay led me through the door. Bub ran ahead. It was hushed.
"OK, open your eyes!" and I did.

To a World of Pink.

photo: 2007 Layout: 2011 from Shimelle Sketch-of-the-Week 
papers & embelishment : Stampin' Up! Sweet Pea
~ My Digital Studio software ~
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Trying Something New

I know, the last six months its been all about trying something new - and not about blogging or crafting or getting creative... So now I might be ready to say the something "New" is actually getting back to something Old and getting some crafty goodness going again.

Have you heard about Shimelle? I signed up for this class, Blogging for Scrapbookers, because I've heard so much about Shimelle, and I've really enjoyed her site. And I am difficulty, shall we say, in the blogging AND scrapbooking areas.

I want to bring new energy into my blog, and it just so happens I want to get my scrapbooking higher on my priorities list. So for Day One, here is my Intent:

When my kids look back 20 years from now, I want them to have stories and laughter and understanding to go along with the 200,000 photos...You probably think I am joking, but if you know me then you know two things: I never joke about photos, and 200,000 is probably a very low-ball estimate of how many pics I would have of the kids by that time. Back to the story at hand though: And I want to focus on those photos that really illustrate my love, joy, and pride in their growing and discovering the world. I want THEM to focus on how they have grown and changed. Its hard to do that with photo collages, quickly printed photo-books, or an overwhelming collection of DVDs chock full to the brim of photos from almost every day of your life. I want to distill those bajillion images into the ones that can really link us together, that they will be proud to share, that they will cherish.
And yes, they are only ages 5 and almost-4. Who knows what they will be proud of and cherish when they are 20-something. It may just be, that crazy Mama is embarking on a futile endeavor. But so be it. I love them, I love my photos of them, and maybe someday someone will want to see what I was up to...

Until then, its just you and me. I intend to share more scrapbooking efforts, and I intend to blog more often. So be kind and stop by to see how its going, leave comments when you feel the need, and I officially declare the Blogging for Scrapbookers task to be on the To Do list.
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Festive Fridays Snow Swirled Snowflakes

We always -PLAN- to be ready for Christmas... but really, if you're like me, life gets too exciting and the Christmas to-dos stay pretty low on the list until, say, November! But NOT this year!!
I joined in the Festive Fridays so that I will keep Christmas prep in front of me throughout the year, and we all know keeping Christmas in our hearts always is a Good Thing!  Festive Fridays is a Blog Hop happening every other Friday, showcasing Christmas card projects. These creative gals have been hopping since January, so when you visit their blogs, you do have a few more Festive Friday posts to inspire you - check them out!

You may be arriving from Brenda's blog, or if you are joining me directly you may want to start at the beginning of the Hop with Terri's blog.

For my first entry into Festive Fridays, I have for you a simple layered card with pearl accents. I used the dynamic duo of Marina Mist and Bashful Blue, with Whisper White.

The base is a 5.5x4.25" card stock in Marina Mist. Next, I added a layer of Whisper White I ran through my Big Shot in the Square Lattice embossing folder. The Designer Series Pattern Paper is a Retired design, but I loved the transition from square, to squared circles, to swirls... The Bashful Blue layer has Basic Pearls, which I also used to accent the tree stamped onto Whisper White from the Snow Swirled stamp set. The sentiment (stamped in Marina Mist) and snowflakes (stamped in Bashful Blue) are from the same set. Finishing off, there is a Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon tied up in a bow.

I like this layout, it would be easy enough to make a giant batch of cards, and the kids could help. It can be used to showcase a number of Holiday stamps like the tree from Holiday Happiness or the ornate door in Home for Christmas, and could be done in various color combinations so that you had a nice variety of cards while keeping it easy enough to do alone or in a group. (maybe your friends would like to get their Christmas Cards done too, I see a Party Idea here :-)

I hoped you enjoyed my card, and that you will come back to visit for the following Festive Fridays!
Head on over to Yolanda's blog and see what she has been up to! Enjoy!!

For project supplies information please look HERE.
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Cards with the Kids - Sharing

So as I was looking through the OWH Blog Hop, I came across Expressions of a Craftaholic: Playing Catch Up: a blog by Samantha, and my son (looking at cards with me :-) saw a star card.
He Loved It!!
 So our craft today was making our version of the cute birthday card, thank you Samantha!
He and his sister both made one, and they learned a new crafty move with the folded paper circles. Good times! :-)

Bubs card, left; Bubettes card right
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For Some-Bunny Special - Operation Write Home

I hope you are enjoying Operation Write Home's "Bunny Hop" and that your visits inspire you to get some "Spring" in your step and send in a few (dozen) cards!

If you are joining my blog directly and would like to start where it all starts: its just a hop, skip, and a jump over to the Stars & Stamps blog beginning. There are over 100 blogs participating today, Enjoy!!

Operation Write Home is a patriotic non-profit organization, one you can be proud to support.
Need a reason to make cards for our troops? Want to read first-hand accounts of the impact your time and effort has on a real military family? Read some of the inspiring letters from deployed service members posted on the Hero Blog.
OWH offers many resources to help and inspire your card making - from beginner to master crafter. Check out their website where you can see photos from heroes receiving your hand made cards, and find out how you can help cover postage costs or host a card-making event in your area. They also are on Facebook, where a daily inspiration card is posted and messages from the heroes are shared, and crafters connect to inspire, challenge, and encourage each other. The Stars & Stamps blog offers a collection of sketches to get your mojo a makin' and has a new FREE feature - the Saturday Seminar covering the topic of card design, taught by professional designers! Check it out!

I hope you find some great inspiration as you Hop today! Want to get busy making cards that our service members can send home to Some-Bunny Special for the holidays, birthdays, or just to send a heartfelt Hello? The deadlines for sending the troops our EASTER and MOTHERS DAY cards fast approach! For Easter, your cards need to leave your post office by
MARCH 18th;
and for Mothers Day cards they have to be on their way to a shipper by MARCH 31st. For more information on deadlines for major holidays check Here, for guidelines on special requirements for cards going to our deployed heroes (NO GLITTER!!!) please be sure to look Here.

As you continue hopping, jump on over to Caroles Blog: Ramblings of a Fibre Junky for some more Spring Inspiration!
Have a Great Weekend!

Card made from all Stampin' Up! materials:
card stock, ribbon, Ice Cream Parlor Designer Series Paper, Punch Bunch stamp set
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