Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh I've Gone And Done It Now!!

A few years back a friend of mine told me I should sign up for Plenty Of Fish, an online dating website, so I could see some guy that had contacted her. I made a profile but never really did anything with it. I did try Yahoo Dating and met someone there, that didn't work out in the long run, so I am familiar with such things. Well last night in my boredom I went into POF and updated my profile, made it searchable and just wondered what I might end up catching *okie crosses fingers it's not a disease*.

It's odd trying to write a profile that might be appealing and get someone to pay attention. What do you really write about yourself? Well I came up with some things and then I decided I should write a disclaimer about my website here and how I do post stuff about my life. Well long story short here is what is in my profile.

About Me

I am single and never married, one child who is grown and not living with me. I do have my dog Lucy that lives with me, but she thinks I live with her. I have a professional career that will never make me rich but fulfills my life so much more than money ever could. I honestly don't know how my friends would describe me because I never ask them to do such a thing. I am a happy person who loves to smile and laugh and I deal with most issues with a touch of humor. I prefer to look on the brighter side of situations. I am at a good point in my life where I am wanting someone (ie, possible relationship) who can be my companion, partner and most importantly FRIEND. I honestly do believe you have to be friends in order to have a successful friendship.

Now to address some of the generic topics that seem to be always included on this site -

Music: What's playing on the radio at the time.

Hobbies: I have had numerous hobbies in my life, everything from gardening, crocehting, fishing, woodworking, painting, camping and papercrafting. The latter being my focus now and I have been able to come in contact with people all over the world through my hobby.

Aspirations: Some goals are not attainable and we should let go of them. I have started being honest with myself and realize I will never marry Sean Connery or Denzel Washington. So for now my goal is to just enjoy the life I have and the people around me. When I get to retire I want to go on an Alaskan cruise, camp at Yellowstone for a month, travel across country in an RV, go on an archaeological dig, learn to make furniture...and many more things.

Type of person I would like to meet...
One who can tell the truth, hasn't been to prison, doesn't do drugs, doesn't think it is rude for a woman to burp out loud (in private company of course). Umm...showers or bathes at least once a day, has his own vehicle, doesn't live with is parents, isn't a con artist, understands that guy time and girl time is a must (him with the guys and me with the girls), isn't afraid of an independent woman, likes a woman who is half Arapaho and half French and knows the art of being a woman is when to act like a lady and when not too. (Am I being too picky yet?) Oh what else can I think of? Let's see...knows friendship is important in life, knows family is important in life, knows that I am truly a Goddess (okay I think I just hurt myself from laughing on that one).

Random information about me:

I do have a relationship with God but I don't go to church. A lady came to my door one day asked me once how often I prayed and my response to her was "My relationship with God is more faithful, binding and scared than your marriage or any marriage could ever be. I don't ask you how often you have sex with your husband so don't ask me how often I pray". I am a very spiritual person and my relationship with God is important to me.

I don't go to bars as I did that years ago. I do like to have a drink every now and then, either one or two while out to eat or having drinks at home. One of my favorite things to do is have the little patio fireplace going and sit out there while having a couple of drinks. I should say now that I can't drink wine. Well I can drink it, I just shouldn't.....don't ask....ever....

A man being a sports nut, hunter, biker (riding clubs not like gangs) etc will not bother me. Hobbies are an essential part of being able to be happy and I have been know to enjoy a game or two, use to go riding with my cousins when I was younger...and I do want to get my concealed weapons license so I am not anti-gun or anti-hunting, especially if you are gonna bring me some deer sausage or jerky.

Vegetarians scare the bee geebies out of me...there is just something wrong with folks that cannot enjoy a nice big hunk of meat, preferably beef and preferably medium rare.

I have not and will not read 50 Shades of Grey. So don't worry I am not looking for what most women are dreaming of right now...that Christian Grey guy from those books.

I am a blogger and while my website is suppose to be crafting I do post stuff that is going on in my life. If you are against being written about it is probably important you do not contact me and sure don't go on a date with me. And here are the terms...

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do can and will be held against you, or for you, on my website.
Do you understand these rights you have just read?

Names will be changed to protect the innocent...or guilty, whichever the case may be.
So either some brave soul might contact me or men will be too chicken to send me a message! LOL I figured I should be honest though and let them know they could be written about, and I honestly would change their names and such, just because it is the right thing to do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MAJOR STRESS!! I Can't Use A Freaking Cricut!

So I was minding my own business *okie I always do* and working on a layout for this week's Old Cricut Community scrapbook layout challenge and when I went to cut the title it wouldn't work! I was trying to use Celebrate With A Flourish and it just wouldn't register for some reason. I was using my jukebox and I pushed the button and it showed up on the screen of the Expression as if it was reading it but....NOTHING.

I turned off the Cricut, took the cartridge out of the jukebox and put it in the slot in the E and tried it that way....NOTHING.

I shut down Design Studio, turned of the E, took the cart out. I put the cart back in, turned Design Studio back on, wait for it to boot up...took Lucy out to potty....came back in and waited for Design Studio to finish booting up, turned on the E. Opened my design. Hit cut and....NOTHING!!

By this time I was major stressing because I had tried everything I knew to try and it just wouldn't register. I wondered if the cartridge was bad and decided to try and cut the title without Design Studio. I quickly learned that I have no idea what the hell all those buttons were on the dang Expression! I dug out my overlay from my storage boxes and put it on the E and then still couldn't find the dang cut. I finally clicked on "show cartridge" in Design Studio and found out what button I needed to push.

I pushed the wrong button and then found the correct buttons to push and then hit cut. I'll be dang it started cutting...but one thing was wrong! It started cutting the other image I had pushed previously. I was in a panic and didn't know what to do so I just let it cut. I was really scared what was going to happen as I cut the other layers so I turned off the Cricut each time to make sure the previous cut was gone and out of the memory.

I did finally get all the layers cut, even though some of the colors are a little different than what I originally wanted but there is no way I am going to go back and try to do that dang thing again.

Sadly I must admit, which I have admitted before, but I am totally serious this time....I CAN'T USE THE FREAKING CRICUT WITHOUT DESIGN STUDIO!! If I had to use those buttons again I swear I could go on mental disability for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder!! *okie decides she needs to go lay down and maybe call the doctor tomorrow about getting a prescription of valium to calm her nerves*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Been A Little Busy

It's was quite a roller coaster in my life last week and I apologize for not posting much last week. I was a little busy. Started the week with a bang by losing a former client and dealing with grief issues. Then school started as well, which is always stressful simply due to the constant paperwork of new students. By the way I am very grateful for that stress because that means God has blessed me with not only employment, but employment with something I love to do.

During the week I got some very upsetting news from a dear friend who is handling her own stressful situations and it sadness me that there is nothing I can do to help her right now and I would love to be there in person with her to just give her a big hug and let her know I love her.

It seems I went 90 to nothing all week and it was after 6pm on Friday before I settled down for the day...make that the week. I spent about 5-6 hours over the weekend doing paperwork and I was still able to get in a little crafting time.

On Friday evening I got a call from a very dear friend that picked up my spirits. He knows me like a book and somehow he always seems to call out of the blue when I need that little bit of  pick me up to know that I have done things right in certain areas of my life.

Our conversations always flow so easy and comfortable and I guess after almost 20 years they should. I have been having a lot of self doubts lately and as I was telling him everything that has been going on he said  "you are salt of the earth, always have been" and of course I think he might be a bit biased. Toward the end of our conversation he told me "I tell ya what, I will pray for you and you and you can pray for me. We all need some help from time to time and if there is anything I can do you just give me a call and I'll be there". It just gave me another reminder of how lucky I am to have such fabulous, loving, caring relationships in my life!

I will be posting a two cards and a layout that I got done over the weekend. One card is pretty darn ugly but I made 6 of them in 30 minutes so don't judge! HA HA HA The other card is using the Artiste cartridge and the layout was for the Old Cricut Community challenge. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When I Am Bored And Don't Feel Like Crafting

**WARNING: Do not read if you get scared easily or the thought of cutting your own hair causes panic attacks*

When I am bored and tired and don't feel like crafting or organizing dangerous stuff could happen, as it did last night. I was wanting to do something but wasn't in the mood to do any crafting or putting away the other stamp sets I need to get cataloged. I had finished a book earlier in the evening that I had been reading and I didn't feel like starting another one. I kept wondering what I could do and I was reading Facebook and then posted:

So I might just do an experiment and cut my hair while sitting at the craft table, no mirror, just my scissors and see what I come up with. I keep thinking I need some excitement in my life....

of course there some who posted DO IT and others that told me to put the scissors down. But of course I picked up my cutterbees and the posted the following...

The hair I have cut off so far during my "no mirror, watching LL Cool J on tv, hair cutting experiment"

Some folks thought it was fake, others thought I had lost my mind and then there is Danielle who said "WHOOHOOO!! I love Okie haircuts!!!". Personally I think Danielle probably likes to watch bad train wrecks as well! HA HA HA

I went back to cutting and then posted this...
Not sure what is going to become of this

Again there were some comments but my favorite was Ian's who said "I smell a mullet" and he did later comment he was excited to see the final outcome.

My next photo was of the back of my head *okie wonders even now what the back looks like since she hasn't seen it and hasn't taken a photo since finishing*.
 I posted...
 Still cutting

My friend Cheryl said "weren't you told not to cut your own hair!!!!!!!". I think she probably thinks I am completely Gobsmacked *okie is quite proud of her use of Aussie slang* and won't let me move in with her at her lovely home in Australia now!

My friend Kendra said " Your cutting your own hair! That seems like crafting to me...better stop quick! Today was a no crafting, no scissors day. :-)". I think she forgot I never said anything about NOT using scissors!

This is the picture of all the hair I cut off, it's just laying in the trashcan looking something like a long haired squirrel *okie suddenly wonders where the hell was that squirrel to distract her from cutting her own damn hair and decides squirrels are not to be trusted*.  

My last picture was the final results, after I washed and blow dried my hair of course! Oh and remember I don't have on a lick of make-up so no smart-alack comments about how bad I look!! 

I posted:
*DRUM ROLL* And here is the result of my "no mirror, watching LL Cool J on tv, hair cutting experiment". Not perfect, not very good but not too bad for being bored, no mirror and not being a professional stylist!

I got a ton of comments and I still think some of my Facebook friends were in shock at the fact that I really and truly did cut my own hair but the overall consensus was they liked my new haircut.

Here is a rundown of how the event took place...

I am bored *starting twirling my hair*
I want a hair cut
I see Lucy's clippers
I see my cutterbee's *thinking to self cutterbee's are probably safer*
I don't to get my lazy azz up and go to the other room, besides LL Cool J is on the tv.
I grab the cutterbee's
I twirl a piece of hair on the top of my head and whack it off at the length I think I want.
I continue to watch LL Cool J
I twirl another piece of hair and whack it off
I continue to watch LL Cool J
I twirl a piece of hair and wonder what it would be like to whack LL Cool J
I whack off a piece of hair instead
continue to twirl, continue to whack off the hair
Go to bathroom and wash hair
Go to bedroom and blow dry
Look in mirror and wonder if I like it and then shrug and think "It's hair, if I don't like it it's not a problem,it will grow back"

And that is what happens when I am bored and don't feel like crafting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The World Would Be A Better Place

Yesterday started out really good. I thought the weather was going to be good since it was forecasted to be the hottest day of the week...cooler temperatures in August is always a welcome relief. I headed out to work feeling good and looking forward to seeing my clients at the ICF/MR.

Once I arrived I was greeted by the two men who usually are always outside, both telling me "GOOD MORNING SHIRLEY!" and waving. Their bright smiles always make me instantaneously return the smile and give me a lift in spirit even on the worst day. I asked about their weekends and head in to get my group room set up.

When I went go gather up my first group the lady who sees over their lunchroom said she wanted to talk to me. She pulled me aside and told me that one of the residents had been taken to the hospital and they didn't think she would make it. It was easy to see she was trying to keep it together emotionally and I knew I had to hold it together because there was going to be an overflow of emotion soon and being a therapist I would be expected to help others. I found one of my coworkers and let her know what was likely to come so she could be prepared and then sent a message to my Regional Director so she could alert the other therapists that see clients at the facility.

I had my groups as usual, not mentioning the news I heard, and they all seemed to be in good spirits. One group member did mention that someone went to the hospital but he didn't know who it was. Another stated she thought she knew who it was but didn't know what happened. It is not uncommon for a resident to go to the hospital for one reason or another so they were not too upset by the incident. Once I finished my groups I was informed that the resident didn't make it. I knew then it was just a matter of time before the news hit throughout the facility.

Very rarely have I had to do grief counseling while setting my own grief aside. Usually I am detached from the person who has passed and can focus on the emotions of my client. This time was different. The woman that passed away was a client of mine for a few years and even though I wasn't doing therapy with her anymore I still saw and talked to her everyday I was at the ICF/MR. I had to get to that place in my mind where I didn't think about my own grief. I couldn't allow myself to feel my own emotions while connecting to the emotions of all the residents. If I allowed myself to do that then it would be too overwhelming for me to do my job and after all I am there to do a job and this time my own sense of loss and sadness had to be pushed away in a little box to be opened later.

I had to break the news to her best friend because the facility staff wasn't sure how to tell her. I almost cried as I spoke the words and then saw the news sink in and the expression on her face of first bewilderment, then shock and then heart wrenching sadness. I held her as she cried and asked over and over again who was going to be her friend, who was going to go walking with her, who would she talk to, who would she sit outside with...who would love her. I search for the right words to say to this woman who has the mind of a child to make her understand that she wasn't alone. I spent over an hour with her making sure she was going to be okay as she has a history of going into almost catatonic state when she receives bad news. I finally got her to walk outside with me and sit on a bench for a bit and get some fresh air.

I know I say all the time how amazed I am at the residents of this facility I go to, but today was one of those times where there was such a warmth that went through my body that made me feel rather inadequate as a so called "normal" human being. As the woman and I sat on the bench there was an outpouring of love and support for her by some of the other residents that was an experience that one would have to actually see in order to be able to feel the love that is between this group of people - this group of people that so many in society feel don't know what is going on, that can't think for themselves, that can't feel or understand emotions. They each let her know that she was not alone, they would be there for her, they would go walking with her, listen to music with her, help her get to work and back home, talk with her. She turned to me with tears still glistening in her eyes and a slight smile came on her face and said "they love me. I don't have to be alone". I knew at that moment she would be okay. Of course she will have some difficult times but she knew that she didn't have to fear being alone and while she lost her best friend there are so many others that love and care for her.

I also want to share that when I last went to check on her before they got ready to return to their houses she was standing, holding on to her walker, and pointed to the resident next to her and told me "my friend is going to walk me home" and I told her I was glad she allowing others to help her. I then turned to her friend and said "I hope you lead her better than me because I kinda let her run into a few things earlier" and the grieving woman actually gave a little laugh and said "Yeah she did! (the woman that passed away) did a better job walking me and she was almost blind". At that I couldn't help but laugh and throw my arms around her and give her a big hug which she returned wholeheartedly. I promised her that I would check with her again today and if she wanted to talk I would be there for her.

Not until late at night did I allow myself to feel the grief and have my cry. I knew I needed to get it out because I would need to be recharged for today when I will have to have my groups again and allow them to share their feelings of grief and discuss how to cope. They are the most resilient group of people, always depending on their faith in God and belief that, as one resident put it "God knows when it is time. She is in a better place and she isn't blind anymore and doesn't have to use a walker". If  we could all be so accepting, loving and have such faith the world would be a better place.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cricut Artiste Project - Birthday Card

A friend of mine contacted me last week asking if I could make her granddaughter a birthday card. I told her I was working on some projects and wasn't sure I could get to it since I was getting a new cartrdige in to review. After I got the cartridge and stamps I called her and let her know that I could kill two birds with one stone and make her card while also making another project using the Artiste Bundle that I received from Melanie.

Supplies Used:
Cricut Artiste
Cricut George
CTMH Birthday Collection Stamps
Cuttlebug D'Vine Swirls folder
Imaginisce All Kids Of Happy
Bazzil Bling
Mica Stardream cardstock
Various cardstock
5/8" satin ribbon
Various Inks
Mounting Foam

The inside sentiment is a stamp from the Close To My Heart Birthday Collection that is included in this awesome bundle. There are a few other great stamps on there as well, including the cupcake, and hopefully I will be using more soon.

I decided to add a strip of patterned paper on the inside of the card to help decorate it up a bit. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don't, I think it just depends on my mood at the time and how ready I am to get the project done.

I wanted something decorative to frame the cupcake and found this cut on the Artiste cart. I can't even begin to tell you what all cuts on are the cart but it seems to cover most of the holidays, different occasions and still has plenty of other everyday cuts as well. I did use George to cut the circle for the middle of the decorative circle *okie can't imagine Cricut life without good ol' George*.

You can see in this picture where I used the coordinating stamp to stamp on the wrapper of the cupcake. I used a small ink pad to just ink that part of the stamp and then stamp on the cut. Since the stamps are clear it is very easy to line up on the coordinating cut.

There was some debate on the Cricut MB about which cartridge was better, the CTMH Art Philosophy or the new CTMH Artiste...personally I don't want to have to do without either!! If you are interested in ordering this bundle you can go to Melanie's CTMH website and order your's there.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cricut Artiste Project - Name Banner

I recently received the new Close to My Heart Cricut Artiste Bundle for review from Melanie Brown who also has the website Courtney Lane Designs and claim to fame of being one of the partners at Everyday Cricut. Mel contacted me asking if I would be interested in doing a review for her and of course I agreed! The great thing is that Mel knows if I don't like a product I will be honest and give my honest review, however she must have known I was going to LOVE this one!

First off I started looking through the handbook, which I will admit I had already looked on Design Studio but seeing the handbook made things make more sense. It took me a long time to go through the handbook because there is SOOO MUCH on this cartridge!

After looking through the chipboard sheets that are included in the bundle I decided to use the mini dimensional album pieces for a project...but not for an album.

One of the great things of these bundles is that all the pieces include the size you need to choose to cut your papers, whether it be chipboard or for the stamps that come in the bundle

Cricut Artiste cartridge
Basic Grey 6x6 Lemonade
Various Ribbon
Various Bling
Hot Glue Gun
Mounting Foam

My Goddaughter Amber starts college this month and will be moving to the dorms. I asked what her colors were of her bedding and decided to make a name banner for her so she can have something to put on her walls. Since the chipboard album had 6 pieces it worked great and I just added a butterfly on the extra piece. I used some wire to make the antenna for the butterfly.

All the cuts on the name banner are from Artiste, the flowers, flourishes, letters, leaves,butterfly...yep all of them!

I added some flat back gems for the flower centers to bling it up a little. On the letters I cut two and off set them since there isn't a shadow for the font, which I do frequently with fonts that don't have included shadows. It seems to work out just as well in most cases.

The letter shadow is glued directly on the base piece. I cut the letters in some spare chipboard I had and then after gluing the patterned paper on the chipboard I used mounting foam to pop the letters up from the shadow.

I threaded some sheer ribbon through the holes that were already cut to put the name together and then I found different ribbons in coordinating colors to put on the corners, hot glue was used to attach the ribbon on the corners.

I added a dab of hot glue to the ribbon on the back of each piece to keep it from sliding around.

Since the dorms have brick walls I put two strips of mounting foam on the back of each square so she can easily place the name banner on her wall. I sent her a picture of the project when I finished and she was so excited!

If you order the bundle and wonder what to do with the chipboard mini album this is just another way to use those pieces if you don't want to make a mini album.

You can order your bundle at Melanie's CTMH website. The price is $99 and I will be honest that the price does seem high but for everything you get and all that is available on this cartridge I think it is worth every penny!

I will be making a few more projects to post in the near future!

Friday, August 10, 2012

No Matter The Situation, I Am Still Blessed!

There has been some very serious turmoil going on in my life lately. I have been under such stress that I believe it was effecting my health. My neck was always stiff, my hands would go to sleep, my headaches were going almost none stop and I always felt such fatigue. I know I shared with you guys about my hands before and the doctor putting me on some medication but he couldn't find a reason for the problem. Well I think it was stress!!

I was out on the patio early this morning with Lucy and was thinking of how pleasurable the air felt. It was only about 70 degrees which right now almost feels chilly due to our highs being over 100. I sat on the patio just thinking of how glorious the sky looked and let the gentle breeze soothe me. I know it might be hard to believe but I am a thinker. I am constantly thinking about things, most people would feel it is a random thinking process but I can always trace my thought patterns back to each other. I have even tried to explain it a few times when someone would ask "what brought that up" only to see that dazed and confused look on the person's face.Oh but anyway, I was thinking of what a blessing the cool morning was and then it lead to me thinking about how blessed I am.

I will not go into details, but my stress came to a head on Sunday night. It's a rough thing deciding when enough is enough, especially when you have prayed and prayed and want to continue to have hope. But there comes a time in some situations where we have to say 'THIS IS ENOUGH'. And it had come that time for me. In the aftermath of the situation I was able to talk to two of my friends who were so supportive of my decisions and actions. In the following days I have heard from other friends and some family members and they all let me know that I had done everything I could do and that I was given little choice but to make the decision I did. While my decisions still concerns me I am so lucky to have a wonderful support group of family members and friends who know what I have experienced the last few years, know the problems I have had and are behind my decision 100 percent.

I have said many times that I am not a religious person, I see religion in the same way I see politics...everyone has a reason for their beliefs and choices but they shouldn't try to tell others they are wrong for what the believe or choose, I am however a highly spiritual person. I don't think I pray as much as I talk to God, which is daily, several times a day and some days it's almost constantly. One of the hard things to do is to pray and wait for an answer to our prayers only for the answer not to be what we are looking for and then trying to bargain for the answer we WANT. Sometimes God has to smack me right in the face for me to accept His answer, and at times that smack is felt deep into the core of my soul, as was the smack on Sunday night. To tell ya the truth it was almost like hearing, but I guess more of a feeling of "Okay girl, you have done enough, you have tolerated enough, you have prayed and now I am answering. You aren't going to like My answer but it is what has to happen. Now you go rest....I GOT THIS!" It is the only explanation I can give for me being able to hold myself together as well as I did.

I have accepted there is no more I can do and that I am done. I am done because I know God will have to handle it from here. Instead of being egotistical and keep thinking "I can fix this" I am being humbled and saying "Thanks God! Thank You for taking over. Thank You for blessing me with Your love and wisdom and teaching me I am only human. I leave it in Your hands now and I will rest". Since doing this I have not had one headache, my hands are not going numb on me, my neck isn't hurting and even the cracking I hear when I move it is minimal and I have felt more energized than I have in months. I will stay out of the way and just let God do His work.

 God has blessed me not only with His love, but the love of so many others in my life that are always there for me when I feel I am the most alone. So matter the situation I face I do realized I am still blessed!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Layout Challenge - Abby

I looked for something a little different for the sketch for the Old Cricut Community Layout Challenge this week. At times I like to find things that allow me to step out the box and find different uses for the shapes or images in a layout.

Here is the sketch I posted for this week's challenge. I actually got it because I thought it might be an artistic challenge to use that many squares and circles...and boy was I right!

I didn't want to be limited to just using two photos, especially after I went through my photos and found some that I wanted to use. I generally like to use a lot of photo's on a layout since I think that is what scrapbooking is all about. As you will see in my layout I actually used 4 pictures, two in a bit of a different way, one in a circle and one on the edge of the layout. I was a bit nervous at first about using the photos in such a way, not sure how they would look but I think they turned our rather nice in the overall layout.

Supplies Used:
Cricut Letter Envy Cart
Cricut George Cart
Basic Grey Olivia Paper Pack
Basic Grey Sugar Rush clips
Various Cardstock
Colorbox Chalk Ink
Circle Punches, various sizes
Stampin Up Key Tag Punch
Stampin Up Ribbon
Janome Sew Mini
3/8" Grosgrain Ribbon
Heart Charm

Letter Envy is a cartridge I got as part of my membership to the Cricut Circle. I really liked the look of it, as I tend to like fonts that are different, and this was the first time I used it. I really liked it when I realized ya don't have to use all the Fancy letters all the time and can just use it for the first letter in a name or word. Another plus is that it has a shadow *okie does love her shadows*.

I absolutely loved this picture of Abby and wanted to use it but not for the main picture. When I looked at the shapes I decided to try a circle cut. I also found out that I am glad that I don't get rid of things in my scrapbooking tools! I know there is a centerpoint feature to the Cricut but I don't know how to use it and I needed this to be precise. I pulled out my reliable, dusty Fiskars templates and Shapexpress cutter and POOF, the circle picture was done! I just cut a larger circle in black with my Cricut using George to mat the picture.

I used a couple different sizes of my circle punches and when they looked a little plain I thought some buttons in the centers might look nice. I used some 1/8" Stampin Up ribbon to tie the buttons.

It was hard sewing the circles since the whole sheet of paper had to be curled to fit in the sewing area *okie thinks she could look up the technical term but then decides it isn't that important*.

I wanted to add a little something special to the picture of my sister holding Abby and I thought about the ribbon in Abby's hair. I got lucky that it actually was a color in the paper scheme. I went through my charms and found this double heart which I thought was perfect for the theme of the layout and the journaling I did.

My sister really liked the layout and I told her "you can look at it and you can touch it, but you can't have it!" she laughed and I think she knew she wouldn't get it from me!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Card Challenge - New Home

My sister came to spend the night on Saturday and we had a really good visit. It is always great to spend time with her and it is nice to remember that people do love and care about me. Anyway, Sunday I told her "give me a card idea" and she said "how about congrats on your new home" and told me that her youngest son was able to buy his first home recently. I knew he was trying but guess it all went through just fine. She told me how proud she was of him so I wanted to make the cards special.

Here is the sketch I gave the Old Cricut Community group to use. I actually posted it early since I knew my sister would be here and I didn't know if I would have time to get it posted and let me tell ya, once you start posting challenges some folks want that next challenge on time *okie rolls her eyes about how bossy Linda can be sometimes*

There were two people who had theirs done before the deadline of the last challenge even went out *okie is so irritated by overachievers*.

Here is my version for the sketch.
Supplies Used:
DCWV At Home stack
Stampin Up cardstock
Studio G Stamp
Stampin Up Stamp
Stampin Up Word Window, Modern Label punches
Stampin Up Marker
Embossing Powder, Gold
1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon

I used Hallmark Card Studio to do the inside of the card and found the sentiment on the internet. The inside sentiment reads "Home is the place of our dreams, it is where our heart is and there is no limit to the joy one receives on getting the key to one's new home". I did a little work and made some of the more important words be highlighted by using a different font. I tried to match the text color to the colors on the card as best I could. I just always think it looks a lot more nice that way.

I wanted to show ya'll a close up of the image I stamped and embossed. Linda had gotten this stamp during one of her "Sans Okie" trips to OKC and she was nice enough to get two, one for her and one for me. I really liked it but hadn't used it yet. I did add gold brads where there were places where screws in the real deal would likely have gone, ya'll know I have a brad obsession.

My sister was quite fascinated by the whole heat embossing process and thought it was just a pretty cool deal *okie still thinks it's a cool deal even after all these years of doing it*.

Once I got the card done and my stamp on the back I handed her the card and said "there ya go" and she smiled and said "okay now sign it". I thought she has wanted me to make the card so she could give it to her son. She told me "It means more if you make the card and give it to him. I want him to know his aunt does love him". I am sure he does know that even though I rarely see him or talk to him, but I guess everyone needs a little reminder every now and then.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Layout Challenge - Grandma

It took me three days to finish my layout for this weeks challenge in the Old Cricut Commumity Facebook group. It seems like such a simple layout and it is. There isn't a lot of embellishing, no fancy stitching, just one photo, so why did it take that long? I kept asking myself that when I got it done and I think it was because since this was one of the last pictures I took of my Grandma I wanted to be special, just like she was!

This is the sketch I posted for the group to use for the week and we have had a few members post their version of the sketch, all of which are really great. Someone used a Cheery Lynn Designs die for the flourish. The flourish had leaves on it and was gorgeous. I resisted doing a search for the thing because I was afraid I would get myself in trouble for even looking!

I am hoping we have a few more submissions since the deadline isn't until tonight. Of course the members can always do it later and then go back in and post, the deadline is just a bit of a motivator.

Supplies Used:
Cricut Letter Envy Cart
Crate Paper Patterned Paper
Basic Grey Chipboard
Prima flowers
Pearl Brads
Webster's Pages Flower embellishment
Colorbox Chalk Ink
Stampin Up Marker
Ribbon Scrap

I finally got to use my Cricut Letter Envy cartridge! I loved it when I saw the examples but just haven't used it yet. I will actually be using it again for this next week's challenge. I think I like the font because it is thicker than most but still has a little elegance about it with the curls and slight curves of the letters.

I did use Cricut markers to outline the cuts due to inking letters is so dang time consuming and difficult.

I used colors to go with what was in the picture and luckily the paper pack I chose had enough other colors to not make this seem like a 4th of July project since there was a lot of red and blue in it. The little rose embellishment is from Webster's Pages. I was sitting here thinking of what else the layout needed and glanced up and looked at my pegboard and this was just hanging around waiting to be used.

I am off to have a cup of coffee and work on my layout for this next week's challenge. I posted the sketches early since my sister is coming today and I didn't want to forget to post them tomorrow.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Card Challenge - Sunflower

Linda and I went to Stamp Club last night and it was the first time we had been in months. Last month it was just too dang hot, and it really was this month as well but we thought we better go or we might be black balled from the club!

When Linda showed up at my house she asked if I had my stuff ready and I looked at her like she had 3 heads as she should have known I didn't have my stuff ready. I didn't even really know what to take so I just started throwing stuff in my bag. I told Linda that I would make a card for the challenge on the Old Cricut Community group, and I actually ended up making two of them.

This was the sketch I gave the group for the challenge this week, thus it is what I based my card on. After I got it done I noticed I forgot the strip at the bottom but Linda said "well it is just a suggestion, it doesn't have to be exact" and that is true so I was happy.

I really don't know what the supplies were that I used since I was just using what was provided. I do know that I stamped the image with Memento Ink since I took my own.

I think double matting really adds a lot to a card or a layout. I had first just cut the read and white gingham and later decided it looked too plain. By adding the yellow mat I think it helped the sunflower pop a little more. I had some difficulty finding papers that I thought went together okay but I believe these work pretty good.

Three small triangle brads were used under the sentiment block and I guess can actually substitute for the strip area in the sketch.

On the sunflower I decided to give it a little more color. I stamped it on yellow paper and then used my Stampin Up markers to add make the petals a little darker in the center of the flower and then used a light brown marker for the flower center. The coloring is very subtle and I did some test colors first before putting marker to the paper.

I cut out the sunflower after I got it stamped and colored and added it to a scallop circle I punched out using the 2 3/8" circle punch made by Stampin Up. The white dots really helped frame the flower and make the circle not look quite so plain.

I didn't have anything to use for the button as a "tie" and one of the ladies had bought a Tim Holtz pack that had a tag with some jute on it. When I said something about needing crochet thread she said "oh maybe this will work" and handed me the jute and it worked perfectly!!

I am hoping to finish up my layout for the layout challenge today and get it posted in the group and on here as well. I have a lot of it done but ya know that dang embellishing can really hold things up for me!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Live In Hell...But, I Got A Squirrel!!

It has been hotter than blazes this week and I have been so drained that I haven't been crafting anything. It's even been too dang hot to try and reorganize anything!

I did start a layout for the weekly challenge in the Facebook group Old Cricut Community but haven't finished it yet. Oh if you are interested in joining us just click on the link above. We also have a weekly card challenge. We just started this in the group this week. But back to the hot was 106 the other day, then 109 on Tuesday and then a nice warm 114 yesterday *okie give a huge eye roll and just wonders how a fat girl is suppose to survive in this heat*. I am in and out of the building where I go see clients so I am drained when I get home and just want to lay around and try to stay cool. Even the pool is freakin hot right now UGH UGH UGH!

But now about my squirrel! So ya'll know I got a bit of a problem with my attention span and it is now a running joke with my friends. My friend Carmen and I will be on the phone and I guess I get distracted and she will holler "SQUIRREL". I have talked about this problem on Facebook as well as here so I guess quite a few people know about it now.

I got a message from my friend Margie aka bleedingcricutgreen, sent me a message asking if my cell phone had a jack for headphones. I told her it did but I never used it. She told me to watch my mail. I thought she was going to send me some kinda headphones but she sent something WAAYYYY better!! When I opened the envelope I admire the gorgeous tag and then I about fell out my dang chair laughing when I saw the little charm!!

I tell ya, Margie is a hoot! I have been familiar with Margie for a few years on the Cricut Messageboard but had the privilege of meeting her in person on the cruise. She is a totally awesome person and the only person more awesome is her mother who is a total hoot! *okie smiles thinking how blessed she is to have meet so many of her Cricut friends in person over the years and hopes she gets to meet more*.

Now tell me...HOW STINKIN CUTE IS THIS CHARM?? Do you honestly think I can put this on my cell phone? Well heck no! I will have to hang this in my craft room and always have a laugh when I see that squirrel dangling so innocently!

If you would like to check out some of Margie's other work you can see it at Create Your Heart Out.

Thank you so much Margie for taking the time to make me such an awesome and thoughtful gift!!