Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who's Up For A Challenge?

So as y'all know I haven't had time for crafting in quite sometime and BFF Carmen and I were talking about how fun our challenges were when we use to do them and how much crafting we got done and we have decided to start doing a few again and I thought it would be nice to post the challenge in case anyone else wants to play along. Another reason for the challenge is because BFF Carmen has decided she is a fraud, meaning she has all that craft chit but never uses it, and by doing the challenge she can vindicate her fraud status. 

I asked Carmen if there was a specific theme she wanted and she said she didn't want a theme but more of a general card and I came up with this bee card. I figure you can add what ever sentiment you want to the card. 

The file is available Make the Cut and SVG formats so it doesn't matter what machine or program you use you can take part if you can use either of those file types. The only rule is that you have to use the honeycomb and at least one bee, more can be used if you want and use the general layout of the card, meaning the square in the middle and the half circle at the top. Other elements can be added if desired but use the basic elements there. 

Cards will need to be completed by midnight Sunday November 1st. If anyone would like to send a picture of their card for me to post next week just shoot me an EMAIL and I'll be glad to post your project. 

SVG users if you are importing into Cricut Design Space you will need to select all and resize to 4.25" x 5.5" to keep ratio that is show in the picture. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

3 Funerals and A Wedding...CONTINUED

Sorry for the delay in finishing the where did I leave off? *okie goes back to see how her previous post ended*. Oh yes! So BFF Carmen and I had grand crafting plans and they got interrupted on Monday October 12th with some news that would send us scrambling around the rest of the week like chickens with their heads cut off. 

Carmen arrived on Sunday and we were all kinds a chillin and hanging out. On Monday when I got home from work my daughter came over and informed us that she and Chuck would be getting married on Saturday, a mere 5 days, and would be doing this little ceremony on my deck...if that was okay with me of course. Now in all fairness I knew she and Chuck were going to get married and they had planned on going to the court house but found out that the court house no longer performs marriage ceremonies and I also knew she wanted to have the ceremony at my house. She had said it would be them, their roommate, me and the officiant. She had informed me of this a week or two before hand but then had changed her mind and said a few more people would be invited. Now when you think of a few more people you think like 5 or 6, right? In this case the few more turned out to be about 25!

Carmen and I got right to work trying to figure out how to decorate the deck and decided that we would try to enclose the deck to make it a little more private. In a few trips we cleaned out Goodwill of all their white sheets and some sheers. We went to another thrift store and found a few more sheers. At Walmart we purchased some rope lights so there would be more light on the deck and picked up some laundry line rope and eye hooks to run the line through so the sheers and sheets could hang from the line. We also got some tulle with the idea of making swags somehow and picked up some burlap *okie wonders what her daughters fascination is with burlap*. Shiane joined us for a trip to the Dollar Tree and flowers, plates, forks, vases and ribbon were found that we felt would work well for decorating and making Shiane a bouquet. I think the best thing about the short time span was there was really no time to stress. Shiane was grateful for everything we were doing and seemed quite proud that Dollar Tree was the source of decorations.

The exact time of the ceremony changed about 3 times before a time was settled on and then it was an hour later that it actually started. I was concerned about where everyone was going to sit but somehow we scrounged up enough seating for everyone *okie thinks it probably helped that about 5 people were standing so they could take pictures*.

So now for the pictures!

This was taken before the wedding. Chuck and his friends hung out in the back yard while Shiane finished getting ready and waiting for guests to arrive. We weren't too concerned about how the outside of the deck looked since the inside is what was important.

Oh and don't worry, we didn't light the tiki torches! *okie cracks up laughing*

This was the table for the cake and punch. The flowers, vases,leaves, ribbon, plates, candles and shot glasses all came from Dollar Tree. It might be hard to see in the picture but the shot glasses have "Ramsey 2015" on them. Shiane wanted her guests to have a little something to take home with them. It didn't take long at all to get the vinyl cut and put on the glasses. I don't have a better picture of the sign in the back that has the large ampersand on it, it was a gift from her maid of honor. Shiane printed off pictures of her and Chuck and we punched holes in the corners and strung them up for a nice little banner.

I had ordered the cake before I knew there were so many people coming and it was a little small but it worked great. The cake was 8" diameter and fed everyone, the trick is knowing how to cut it! I cut the banner out of adhesive backed fabric on the Explore and then cut the lettering in vinyl. Carmen and I decided chopsticks would work just fine for stringing the banner and they were perfect.

If you look behind the cake you can see the candles. We turned wine glasses upside down and covered the goblet part with burlap and tied it with ribbon and added a few leaves.

This is a view looking toward the front of the deck. The sheers worked great for allowing some nice light in but still allowing for a great deal of privacy. We picked up some mums at Walmart and put them in the concrete pots I have. I had purchased 20 yards of tulle and we used every bit of it. The leaves in the middle swag are just placed loosely in the tulle and the ones on the draped tulle were pinned to keep them in place.

I'm not sure who smiled the most during the ceremony, Shiane or Chuck and they both looked so happy during the whole evening. The empty chair there was mine but I couldn't sit there and take pictures so I ended up standing at the back so I could get pictures. I'm hoping one of the girls got some good pictures as well. I know there were a lot of phone camera's going off during the ceremony and afterwards so there is no telling how many pictures were taken.

Shiane and Chuck had agreed not to smash cake in each other's faces but then BFF Carmen yelled out she would give them a certain dollar amount if they would smash the cake and so ya know what happened....and you can tell from the picture that Shiane got Chuck a lot better than he got her! I think it took him a good 10 minutes to get the cake off his face. He was laughing about how he couldn't get the icing off his skin.

After having cake and punch the adults left and that left the kids friends to have a bit of a celebration. I was so thrilled that they did invite their friends and that so many were able to make it on such short notice and a few more who couldn't make it for the ceremony showed up afterwards. The kids all drank, danced, laughed, smoked cigars, told stories, played cards and just helped Shiane and Chuck celebrate starting their life together as Mr. & Mrs. Ramsey.

While I have suffered some losses over the last few weeks I can sit with a smile on my face right now and see how I am blessed as well. Not only did God know that BFF Carmen would need to be here to keep me from getting into a depressive state, He knew she would need to be here to help me with planning my daughters wedding. I even told Carmen "God seems to know when we will need to be there for each other in person". God has also blessed me with a wonderful son-in-law. While I have considered Chuck my son for quite some time I can now address him as my daughters husband. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3 Funerals and A Wedding...

My life the last 3 weeks has felt like something out of a movie and about the only movie I can think of to compare it to is 4 Weddings and A Funeral but in my life it has been 3 Funerals and A Wedding.

First,on September 23, was the death of a wonderful lady I had the pleasure of working with at the ICF/MR where I see clients. She had been employed at McCalls Chapel for 49 years and every resident there knew her and she knew them. It was very difficult for some of the residents, especially those that worked with everyday on the yard crew. The day after the news of her death I had to do 3 groups, one included the boys from the yard crew and it was a very emotionally draining day. During those times I always have to set my own feelings aside so I can help others cope with the feelings they are having and I don't always have time to attend to my own grief and process it. I had just started trying to process my own grief when I got news of a dear college friend of mine being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Calvin - October 1992
On September 27th I got word that my friend Calvin had been in a motorcycle accident and I being the optimist I am thought he would be fine. Later in the day I found out that he had succumbed to his injuries and was no longer with us. Calvin was one of "my boys" as I have always called them and this hit me hard. Back in the days of college there were a group of us that were close. I had 2-3 roommates and the boys were at our house all the time, especially on Sundays when I would cook dinner. Luckily I was able to go with my friend Bryant and his wife Stephanie down to Wichita Falls Texas for the funeral on October 2nd, so I didn't have to ride by myself. To be honest I don't know how I would have handled the drive back home alone. Since Calvin was a police officer in Wichita Falls there was standing room only for the services. He was laid to rest in Oklahoma City and we decided to go to the interment because we were worried about Stavie and how he was holding up. Stavie and Calvin were roommates in college and were best friends ever since then. After that we went to Calvin's mom's house and visited with the family for a few hours. I know I had a harder time dealing with the death of Calvin than Jan for many reasons and I still feel myself asking all the why's and if's that occur when we lose people we love. 

A few days after Calvin's funeral I was talking to a friend and I told her "death seems to come in 3's and I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop". When I said that I did mean it but I was also hoping it would not be true but then....the shoe dropped.

Larry, Wendy and I in Las Vegas - Aug 2001
On October 8th I got a phone call from my friend Amy, which was odd since she knew it was the middle of the work day, and she said she had noticed I hadn't been on Facebook and I told her I had been busy. She proceeded to say "I didn't want you to open Facebook and find out about this like I did so I thought it was better that you heard this from a friend" and tells me that my friend Larry had passed away on October 6th. I was glad I was sitting down when she told me because I literally felt myself feel faint and I think I would have went down to the ground. I had tried to call Larry the previous week and he didn't answer his phone and I kept meaning to try again but something would pop up and then I would remember when it was too late to call. I first met Larry in Yahoo Chat back in 1998 and there were a group of us that loved to chat together. We moved on to Yahoo Messenger and our group dwindled down to 4...Larry, Joani, Wendy and I, and we would chat almost every night even if was just for a few minutes. We used the voice chat feature, well they did, I did the typing because I could type faster than talk. We exchanged Christmas presents a few years and I always made them ornaments. I always sent Larry cards I made and he always fawned over them. I have never known anyone who loved getting mail as much as Larry did. Anytime I went on vacation I always sent him post cards, whether it be from somewhere in the Caribbean or even just Houston Larry always knew he could be expecting a postcard. I always knew when it was the Christmas season because for the last 10 years Larry has had a loaf of Stollen sent to me from Dinkels Bakery in Chicago. It was a tradition in his family and he wanted to share that tradition with me. It meant so much to me I even did a "Stollen, not stolen" layout that was posted back in 2011. There is so much I could tell you about Larry but right now I don't think I can type anymore about the sorrows that have happened in the last few weeks. 

BFF Carmen had been planning on coming to visit in October and I just knew I needed her to visit more than ever and was hoping she would be able to make it...I needed something to distract me and keep me from sitting home alone and slumping into a depressed mood. Luckily things worked out and she let me know she would be arriving on Sunday October 11th!! We had grand plans to make our Christmas cards, make some t-shirts and other projects with the heat press and any other great crafting project we could think of...notice I said "had".

On Monday October 12th we got some news that would change any and all plans that we had....and right now I have some other things to do so I'll shall have to post that story tomorrow!