Saturday, September 29, 2007

Feelin' Crafty

Well, I've finished a few projects. This card was made using some leftover designer paper from last year's Christmas stock. The red snowflake was stamped using Versamark ink and then I heat embossed it with Heat & Stick Powder. I then added some Romantic Red Glitter from Stampin' Up! and heat embossed it again to set the glitter. This card, like most of them, is much prettier in person than it is in photos.

This card was made with Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Pie cardstock and some designer paper that I had left from Thanksgiving last year. The designer paper is by American Crafts. I watercolored the pumpkins and the leaf (from the Autumn Harvest stamp set) using Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, and Really Rust classic ink refills. The shadow under the pumpkins was watercolored using a Creamy Caramel classic ink refill.

This card was CASE'd directly from the October 2007 issue of Papercrafts Magazine, page 30. This card didn't require any stamping at all. I used Whisper White, Basic Black, Brocade Blue, Bashful Blue, and Yo-Yo Yellow cardstock. The star and 'wish' were cut using the Cricut. This was a VERY easy card and turned out super cute!

This next project is pretty neato-mosquito. This is a Pringles can turned Halloween treat container. I used the Creepy Crawly DSP from SU, along with Whisper White, Basic Black, and Pumpkin Pie CS. 'BOO' was stamped using the Best Friends Alphabet Upper stamp set. They were then punched out and mounted on larger circles. Each letter has an identical piece that lays back-to-back with a piece of black yarn through the center. That way, as the letters turn, it still spells 'BOO'. The frillies on the top are just very thin strips of CS that I ran through the crimper, folded in half, and stuck through a slit that I cut in the top of the Pringles lid. This can be filled with Halloween treats and given as a gift or just as a Halloween decoration.

This next project was an experiment more than anything. I used the Wondrous Gift and Many Merry Messages stamp sets to stamp a candle. This one didn't turn out perfect, but I'm sure the next one will be much better since this was my first one.

Thanks for Looking!! TTFN!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Wow! I had a serious case of bronchitis and am finally feeling somewhat normal... whatever that is! I guess that's why I've been in a TERRIBLE creative funk and have actually had days when I wanted to pull my hair out because I couldn't come up with any new ideas. Everything I did looked all wrong. I made four cards tonight, though, (two each of the same design) and I think I'm back. If I'm not completely back I, at least, feel like I'm closer to being there. Here are the two cards I made tonight. They're both made using the same layout and I think I really like both of them. I added Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the blue and green card, although it doesn't show up very well in the pic.

These next two cards are two that I made during my creative slump. I'm not entirely happy with them, but don't know exactly what I should do to spice them up...

Most of you know, by now, that Curtis broke his ankle last night while playing softball. Well... he was "sliding into third" to be precise. He drove himself home after he did it and then we made a trip to urgent care where we spent the better (or was it the worst) part of our evening. The x-rays indicated that his tibia is fractured in two places, but the alignment is still good, so they may be able to cast it without having to set it or surgery. He's getting around really well and I'm TRYING to be sympathetic. If you know me very well, you know I'm not very good at that. I'm TRYING, though, to help him out. I think he's been laughing at me because it's such a struggle for me.

Well, that's what we've been up to lately... not much else. Oh yeah... I turned a year older on Sunday, so I'm FINALLY 29. TTFN!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Under the Weather

Well... I wound up with bronchitis after the weekend ride in the cold rain. I stayed home all day, yesterday, after going to the walk-in clinic since my doctor is out on Wednesday's. I went to work this morning, but left early since I'm still feeling pretty crummy. ...Just wanted to let you know why I'm not posting much this week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I DID IT!!!!

Saturday morning turned out to be very chilly for the start of the MS ride. I think the temp was in the mid 40's as we crossed the start line around 7:20 am. There were about 1,000 riders who signed up for the ride and I think we wound up with about 900 people who actually rode. About the time my odometer rolled to 42 miles it started to sprinkle on me. By the time I hit mile 60, I was riding in a thunderstorm with steady rains. I think we had hit the high for the day, by that time, which was somewhere in the low to mid 50's. The National MS Society had mapped out two routes - one of which was for 85 miles for those who just wanted to ride the "short" route and another that was 100 miles for the overachievers. I don't know if I missed my turn because it was difficult to see with the rain and sweat in my eyes, or if I was traveling with a group who intended to ride the century route. Whatever the case may be, I wound up on the century route and logged just under 100 miles by the time I finished on Saturday. I crossed the finish line in Joplin on the first day around 3:10 pm, which was not too bad for me given the circumstances. I took my bike to the "lock-up" area where they were keeping bikes overnight and I headed for a warm room at the Holiday Inn. I got there around 4 pm and there were several other bikers standing in the lobby waiting for a room. We had all pre-registered, but housekeeping didn't have rooms ready for us. Finally, at 4:30 pm, they had a room ready for me. I checked in and took the longest hot shower/bath in history. By that time, I was having pretty bad upper respiratory problems which, I'm sure, was a combination of pollen, cold air, and being wet and cold most of the day. Curt met me in Joplin around 6:30 pm on Saturday and we made a trip to Wal-Mart for some allergy meds and a sweater since I had no idea I'd need to pack for arctic weather. By the time Sunday rolled around, I didn't feel too bad. I got up, got dressed, checked out of the hotel, and headed back to Joplin High School to pick up my bike. I got my tires aired up and was in the lineup by 6:50 am. We crossed the starting line in Joplin right on time at 7 am. Not too far into the ride I started questioning whether or not I could make it back to Willard, which was almost 84 miles away. When I made it to the first rest stop, I started telling myself that I just had to make it to the next rest stop, all of which were about 10 to 12 miles apart. Every time I stopped, I'd take at least 10 minutes to stretch, have a snack, and replenish my drink bottles. About 15 miles from the finish line I wound up in the middle of another thunderstorm. The rain wasn't too bad and wasn't nearly as miserable as it had been on Saturday since the temperature was about 20 degrees higher. The lightning was incredible. I saw a couple of bolts of cloud-to-ground lightning, one of which hit in a wooded area across a field to my right. The sound of the "crackle" was fierce and shortly afterward I saw smoke rising out of the trees where it had hit. Had I been in a car, I never would have experienced that the way I did riding cross-country on a bicycle. I don't know how I made it back. A lot of the time I prayed or I told myself that I might be hurting, but that it was nothing compared to having MS. With God's help and a lot of determination I crossed the finish line in Willard at 3:20 pm yesterday. The total on my odometer for the weekend was right at 185 miles. I'm not hurting too bad today and am taking Robitussin for my wicked cough. I scheduled the day off from work since I wasn't too sure how I'd be feeling after the weekend, so I can lay around and stretch all day if I need to. I have included a link to some pictures below. I'm hoping to get some photos that were taken by professional photographers who were stationed along the route both days. If (when) I get those, I'll post them, as well.

Thank you, again, to all of you for your prayers, encouragement, and for your donations to the National MS Society in sponsoring my ride. The funds will, most definitely, be used for a worthy cause. I hope to be writing about the MS150 again - about this time next year!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sorry it's been so long...

...I've been busy worrying about the MS150, which is coming up TOMORROW MORNING!! I don't know why I'm in such a tizz, but I think I'm going 90 different directions in my brain. I have made lists of absolutely everything I need to do and what I need to pack for the one night stay in Joplin, but I'm still worried about it. I haven't decided exactly what time I need to get up tomorrow morning, but my cycling team is meeting at 6 AM for a group picture in Willard, which is about 20 minutes from home. The ride will actually start at 7 AM from the high school in Willard. I'll be sure to post by the first of next week, unless I keel over somewhere along the way, to let you all know how the ride went. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement over the last several months. I hope to have a good report for you next week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How To Weigh Yourself

I can't believe I've been doing it wrong all these years. We must get the word out!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Things I Learned Today

The 70-ish mile ride that was to be held yesterday was postponed due to rain. It was postponed until this morning at 8 am. I toughed out the entire 74-point-something miles and I'm sure I'm a better person for it. I am also sure that I won't really believe that until the soreness and the tightness are worked out and I've had a good 8 hours of sleep. The ride today is, supposedly, much more hilly than the MS150. Now I know that I am quite capable of finishing at least half of the ride. With a good night's sleep and a hot meal at the end of the first day, I think I'll do okay on day two, as well.

Here is SOME of what I learned today...

  • MOST grasshoppers are not fast enough to avoid a bicycle tire. Let me explain. I've had a fear of most buglike creatures, grasshoppers being one of those. I know it's a silly fear - grasshoppers won't hurt me. BUT... they have those rough, hairy legs and big, buggy eyes and they spit their chewing tobacco on you if given the chance. SSSSOOOO... I aimed at them, when I saw them on the road, with my bicycle tires today. They're rather crunchy.
  • A dead skunk's scent FAR outlasts the flesh. I would have never believed it, but I smelled it before I saw it. There was nothing left but bones, fur, and stink.
  • This isn't really something I learned, but something I experienced for the first time. At one point during our ride, we drove down a farm road that had corn fields growing right up next to the road on both sides. The stalks had all dried up and were brown. I had heard of the "rustling" sound when the wind blows through the corn stalks, but had never heard it with my own two ears. I LOVE that sound!
  • Not all dogs are friendly. I didn't try to pet him, or anything, as he was running at breakneck speed with his fangs near my ankle, but I didn't know I was capable of accelerating that fast up a hill after I'd already ridden 50 miles. Think I'll get some pepper spray.
That's about all I can think of right now. I'm sure I learned other interesting things, too, but I'm too pooped to remember what they were. I made a new card last night that's pretty nifty, but I'm too tired to take any pictures and upload them. I'll try to remember to do that tomorrow. I'm planning on a short ride tomorrow - only 20 to 25 miles. That one should be a breath of fresh air after today's ride!! TTFN!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Old Stamps

I bought this stamp at least a year ago and have never used it. I think that's a sure sign that I'm addicted to stamping/card crafting. My goal tonight was to create a card using a stamp that I've never used before (this is not the only one... trust me). This is definitely not my favorite card ever, but since I do have a fondness for cats I think I like it okay. The stamp is from a company called Prickley Pear and I used Perfect Plum, Ruby Red, and Barely Banana cardstock and inks. The cat has a purple gem for his collar and the big paw print was stamped with craft ink and then heat embossed with irridescent ice embossing powder. The "sparkle" stamp was also embossed with irridescent ice, so it's glittery, too - just the way I like it. A person can never have too much sparkle!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Birds & The Bees

I know what you're thinking and that's just WRONG!! The birds and bees I'm referring to are the ones frequenting my hummingbird feeders. I've had lots of hummingbirds and butterflies all summer, but today was the first day I came home to a swarm of bees. Any of you who know me very well will know that it took a LOT of courage to get close enough to take this picture. I'm sure you all would have been laughing at the way I jumped back every time I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.

I just had to put a couple of shots of my sweet boys in here. Ernie is the one who seems to get all the press, so I thought I'd show off my other two boys. This is "Wesson" playing in a bag from Panera Bread. Who knew you got free kitty toys with a "Bagel Pack"?

...And this is "Smith" napping on the loveseat. "Wesson" is sweet when he wants to be, but "Smith" is my full-time sweetheart. He's VERY shy, but he loves his mama!!

...Okay... On to the other things I've been doing this week. I've only cycled about 50 miles this week, but am planning on a 70-ish mile ride this Saturday. It is an organized ride, so we'll have SAG (Support And Gear) support. That's always nice since the sponsors provide all the food and drinks at the rest stops. I always make sure to take drinks and snacks with me, though, just in case.

This first card is one I made for one of Curt's customers who was getting married last weekend. I used cardstock in Basic Black, Whisper White, Groovy Guava, and Soft Sky. The polka dots are stamped on with Whisper White craft ink and are heat embossed. The cake was stamped using black StazOn ink and then I watercolored it using re-inkers in Soft Sky and Groovy Guava.

I think this next card needs something else, but I can't decide what. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. I just think it needs something in the lower right-hand of the piece of cardstock that has the flowers stamped on it. I used Apple Cider DSP (Designer Series Paper) and the True Friend stamp set. Cardstock used was Close to Cocoa, River Rock, and Really Rust. Classic inks were used with the stamps and included Really Rust, Wild Wasabi, and Close to Cocoa.

This is probably one of my favorites, so far. I used some "cheapy" paper that I bought in a ginormous economy pack and I've hated it ever since. I REALLY, REALLY like it on this card, though. The only piece of the "cheapy" paper is the striped paper on the far left-hand side of the card. I used Brilliant Blue cardstock and stamped the circles (Polka Dots & Petals stamp set) in Whisper White craft ink and then heat embossed them. The base of the card is Real Red Cardstock. The letters were cut using my Cricut and the "Back To School" text was printed from my PC on Whisper White cardstock. The ribbon is from Hobby Lobby, but coordinates very nicely with my SU colors.

This next card is very unique. There are actually three parts to the card. There is a sleeve that the card slides into. The card is the Very Vanilla cardstock with the Baroque Motifs swirl stamped on it and the So Saffron tab at the top. The third piece is the band that goes around the sleeve for decoration. I used the Au Chocolat DSP for this card and cardstock in Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, and So Saffron. Inks used were classic SU inks in Rose Red and So Saffron. This is what it looks like when it's all put together...

...and this is what it looks like when you pull the card out. I'll write a note or a sentiment on the card before sending it. I made it so it will fit in a regular card envelope.

That's about all I know right now. I haven't heard from my brother, Tim, yet. I'm assuming that Tiffani and Peyton are doing just fine and that he's still in shock and awe over the presence of this precious new life in their home. If that's NOT the reason he hasn't called, then he'd better have a REALLY darned good reason!! :) TTFN!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'M AN AUNT!!!! (Again)

Peyton Elizabeth Rollins entered the world sometime around 6:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time (I don't have exact info since I haven't talked to Tiffani (the new mommy) yet). She weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces and was 19 inches long. Peyton is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to meet her! She's my very first niece on my side of the family and I'm SSSOOO excited (like that's not obvious)!! I also have two fabulous nieces on Curt's side of the family!

This is the proud daddy and my brother, Tim. I tried to call him, but he must be busy (go figure) because he didn't answer his cell phone.