May Papertrey Blog Hop is HERE!

Hey ladies! I’m SOOO pumped that tonight is the night! WOO HOO!!!! The Papertrey Ink May Bloghop!

I must say that I ALMOST didn’t make this month’s challenge as I am a little, well, score-challenged let’s just say…

Using my mini-scor-it was a bit daunting at first but I’m really glad I did. I really like the embossed look that Nichole showed us on her blog a few weeks ago, but since I don’t have Nesties it was a little more difficult but I’m pretty happy w/ the end result:
I used the new Lavender Moon Cardstock to get this party started, along with Lemon Tart, Stamper’s Select White and also the dotted DP from the adorable Bitty Baby Blessings line. SO sweet! I wanted the saying, “It’s the little things that make life BIG” (stampin up!) to be the focal point of the card…get it…”little things”=baby card or congrats on pregnancy card. I was debating whether or not to use an image but I didn’t want to take away too much from the scoring as well as the mini primas I wanted to use.
I started by distressing the whole card as well as the little strip of DP with Ranger’s Distress Ink (Tim Holtz’s line) in Antique Linen. I then scored my piece of white paper and stamped saying w/ the new Lavender Moon ink from Papertrey….soooo pretty! I then distressed the whole piece of white instead of just the edges. To me, this really enhances the score lines which are the heart of this month’s Blog Hop. I then distressed the edges of a piece of Lemon Tart CS and adhered the white piece to it. As a final step, I added little pearl embellishments to mini paper primas (the ones in the little soda bottles), which I distressed as well to really pull in the whole effect. I put the two outer flowers on w/ a flat glue dot and the center yellow one with a dimensional just to give it some additional texture.

Without further adieu, here it is:
Thanks to all for stopping by and taking a peek! I can’t wait to get home from work tonight and start hopping and chit-chatting on the forum! This is a really fun monthly activity and I can’t tell you how much it means to see everyone’s comments, etc. on my blog. It’s really amazing to think that because of Papertrey we have all met new friends and have gotten to share so many neat ideas.

Have fun and see y’all tonight!


Can Hardly CONTAIN Myself…

Two words: FED. UP.

Oh, if it wasn’t about time, wayyyy beyond that to do a little “spring cleaning” of my stamping “center” as my good girlfriends refer to it. The stamp center sits in the corner of my kitchen. It consists of miscellaneous items all in disarray and centers around a baker’s rack (MOST people use these for baking and other kitchen appliances) that I purchased a few years back at Target for about 40 big ones.
You see, it’s just not feasible to have the stamp center anywhere else in the house. Of course, there is my ridiculously huge partially finished basement…wait, no, I can’t see the kids play outside then. I could wait til they all go to bed….wait, no, I’m usually tired-fried toast by then. Well, there’s the spare room…wait, no, there isn’t. The only spare room I have in this house is the bathtub. Truth is, to enjoy the modern conveniences of being able to work from home and let my kids play outside, all within earshot of my sleeping toddler, the kitchen it is. ‘Nuf said.

What I SHOULD have done is taken a before and after picture. I guess I don’t think straight when I get into “fury-scary-tornado-lady” mode. Hindsight. Would have MUCH more impact on all of you if you had seen the before. Darla and Heather, you’ll just have to vouch for me. You two were probably the last ones to see the disarray as only the closest of friends are allowed to do. My friends, I now give you the new and improved (and newly named!) “Creative Corner”:

Now, this may be the first and ONLY time you see it like this so I felt this called for a special blog entry, an actual “occasion” of sorts. I’m really liking it so far. I LOVE that all my punches now sit atop the “Creative Corner” nicely and evenly! My adhesives and Mod Podge sit in the top left corner. I was sick of having all those unruly ribbon spools hanging from the wire rack so I took them down and only have a few tidy supplies hanging now.
The new basket system makes it look decorated and sort of blends it into the house a bit better. As much as I LOVED that teetering/tautering unstable looking and oh, right UGLY black ink caddy, my inks are now spread out between the ones i have ‘on hand’ for scrapping and travelling w/ craft shows, etc. and now they also have a pretty new basket. All my brand new papertrey inks even fit and are front and center for easy access as I will DEFINITELY be crafting this weekend!
The other small basket (below) is for my most used supplies as well as inks, i.e. my GORGEOUS papertrey ribbons, stamp scrubber, trimmer, pop dots, glue dots, etc. There is even room for my Zutter now, which sits proudly on the “main shelf” right next to my pretty little tool jar from Justina ( I believe there were flowers in it at one point).
Now, the next shelf as we all know was usually the MOST unruly. Boxes upon boxes of stamps, facing all different directions and all marked on opposite sides…a girl could get hives thinking about this. You’ll be surprised but this was actually the hubby’s idea to get a bigger basket and also that new tidy little CD holder for all my papertrey stamps.

My boxed stamp sets, mostly from Stampin Up!, now fit in the large basket to the right, with the exception of a few that sit directly to the left of the basket. My CD rack for papertrey stamps is ready and waiting to be filled. Oh, and remember that unruly ribbon? Check out the little “ribbon roll” with handle that I found at Archivers. It’s well worth the $20 investment, let me tell you, esp. with a 30% off coupon!

Finally, the bottom shelf now neatly holds my famous “tackle box”, which I travel with wherever I go or just have set up on my table. This box includes clear stamping blocks, stickles, chalk inks, stapler and other misc. tools, replacement blades for my trimmer, adhesives, etc…the list goes on. The important thing is its all together. ALL CONTAINED!!!

In addition, the pink plastic container holds all my chipboard sheets for journal making, Designer papers, etc. Next to those two things is my black travel case for “runaway’ stamps: you know, the single stamps on wooden blocks that run away from the store and into my shopping cart? Yep, those. I like to keep them all together. That’s pretty much it, other than my O-wires for my Zutter and two boxes of Tombo refills thanks to my friend Justina…what a bargain! Now, the only thing this doesn’t show is my VAST collection of clear stamps themselves, but I can assure you that they are neatly tucked into a canvas binder with nice little plastic sleeves for now…it even has a shoulder strap! So far, this has been the best way to store most of them.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tour of my kitchen corner. It’s been a pleasure being your guide. I’d like to say that these tours repeat themselves on the hour, but ya never know what this place will look like by then! Love, hugs and stuff,

Flower Over-Power!

About a year ago, I got on a flower kick. I bought the mini-Primas in the cute little coke bottles, all the way up to the big Heidi Swapp ones…there were glittery ones, big obnoxious ones w/ buttons, pretty velvet ones in tins…the list could go on. One day, my sister-in-law called me and told me that a package would be coming my way from QVC. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE presents, so of course I was intrigued. She did tell me in the spirit of full disclaimer that although the first package was on her, that there would be a few more coming and if I wanted to continue, I could pay for them or I could just cancel at any time. Gotta love that Auto-Delivery mode! LOL

So, the first package arrived a few days later and low and behold, it was a bag full of flowers, about 356 to be exact. I was over the moon. Months passed, and although there was no way I could have used up the first batch, I couldn’t resist the new colors each month so I accepted and paid her for them as they arrived until they finally stopped at Christmastime.

I swear that these flowers sit up in my cabinet and multiply when I’m not looking. I have used them for cards, scrapbooking, on almost every journal I’ve made, given some away to a few good friends, and still my cabinet holds a plethora of silky round blooms in all sizes and colors. Now, I’m not anticipating on them going out of style or anything, but it appears as if I cannot even make a dent in the pile that I swear is reproducing…after all, it is Spring! LOL. There is definitely some OVER-powering flowering going on!

I decided that I needed to do something about this little excess supply. Especially the larger sized flowers that don’t really fit well on a standard sized greeting card. So, I thought I’d post one of my many creations this week using (…and using up!) flowers! This particular technique is SUPER easy and fun. I took the largest size flower I had and cut it in half to create the focal point for this card. Combined with a fun brad or jeweled embellishment it’s a great way to use up some extra supplies you have hanging around and will make anyone happy to receive it!

On that note, doesn’t this season seem like the first “real” spring we’ve had in years? Normally it goes from like 20 below to 90 and we seem to skip over Spring. Although I’m still a tad eager for the summer months to get here so we can go to the pool, etc. and be outside more, I am a bit pleased to feel like we’ve actually gone back to four seasons. I mean, three seasons would be great if we could only get rid of the snow…but still… :) HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!

Ah…the Payoff! :)

Well, despite the fact that I’m sick as a dog today, I couldn’t help but perk up a bit when at my doorstep I discovered that white priority mail box from Papertrey Ink! I unwrapped it (ok, and can I just say how elegantly and professionally packaged their stuff is???) and couldn’t wait to play with my new Pond Life set! What was sweeter? It was FREE! Yep, this was the set I JUST won from entering the Mother’s Day contest. Talk about quick customer service!!!

Nicky was equally excited as he was definitely rooting for me to choose this set. It has a frog, and well…he’s OBSESSED with frogs! LOL

It was perfect timing. The boys were playing, my little sweetie pie was still sleeping (she’s sick too :(, and the coffee was just about done. I sat down and hammered out a few ideas, until this one just kinda stuck…and made me really happy!

The first card I did was for my Dad for Father’s day so I’m keeping that one to be a bit of a secret LOL. This one shown here was definitely Nicky’s favorite. I used Aqua Mist Cardstock from Papertrey along w their stamper’s select White for this card. The framed box is using a bit of Spring Moss cardstock as well. I trimmed off a little of the outer edge to give it a scalloped edge. I think we ALL know how I feel about scallops LOL.

Next, I stamped the little whirlpool using Aqua Mist palette Ink, and outlined it w/ Stickles. I believe the color Stickles I used is called “waterfall”, a blue/green hue. Then, I stamped the frog onto the paper sort of over the swamp grass image. To make it “pop”, I stamped it again on a piece of white scrap cardstock and then cut out the image, layering it over the first stamped image. Popped up on a foam dimensional, this really makes the frog “pop”. If you click on the image you can see the full-sized file and it’s much more 3D. VERY cool effect and super easy. I added eyes to the froggie w/ black Stickles as this frog w/ no eyes was unsettling to me (sorry, Carmen! LOL)

To jazz it up ever so slightly I added a bit of bling on the bottom left corner. That’s pretty much it. I also made this yellow one w/ the fish today, to complete a set that I put up for sale on my website.
Nothing much else going on today. I am pretty tired from this blasted cold, although I am happy I had time time to just sort of kick back and create. I got five new cards done today in total. I’ll save the other design for another post, but it was a really nice day to just sort of brainstorm new ideas, work on my website, and catch up on some old episodes of Melrose Place LOL.
Once again, I made Darla’s Citrus Chicken burritos for dinner and the kids ate like I’ve never fed them before! Ridiculous! Hit me up for the recipe if you’re interested…it’s AMAZING!
Thanks for visiting and see y’all soon 😉 Hugs, Jess

Over the Moon…

I am absolutely over the moon right now, beaming with pride. Not of my own, but of my Mom.

A week ago, I entered a Papertrey Ink contest to win a free stamp set. We all know this was a no-brainer that I’d enjoy a chance to win, seeing as how they’re my favorite company pretty much on the planet…

However, I didn’t know if I could live up to the contest requirements: Your “BEST MEMORY OF MOM” in honor of Mother’s Day. I must have thousands of memories, some even more meaningful, I’m sure…but I wanted to honor her by choosing one that stood out most as far as the true meaning of motherhood…and also one that tied us together the most.

I didn’t enter right away. I wanted to think about it. However, then I realized I’d either forget to enter on time or my words would sound too rehearsed. That is the last thing I wanted, so I just decided to “wing it”, write it casually and honestly and go from there. So, I entered and that was that.
There were about 90+ entries I believe when I entered the contest. I read through a bunch after I wrote my own and had a box of kleenex next to me as there were so many touching memories documented. You should check it out on the Papertrey Forum. It’s a wonderful tribute to all Mom’s.
Long story longer (lol), at the end of the contest yesterday there were 376 entries to be exact. Three winners were chosen, and I am flooded with tears as I tell you that mine was included in the winning three. This is not about the stamp set (well, ok, it is a LITTLE lol-that is a BONUS fo’ sho!). Seriously, this is about the wonderful Mom I have and what an honor it is to be her child. In addition, many of you know that I don’t talk about being adopted much; I guess because I don’t really feel like it’s even an issue or something that makes me different, I suppose. I honestly could care less…but in a way, I should care more because I know how very deeply I am loved by my parents.
Anyway, I wanted to share with you my entry:
by pinkgirl76 on Tue May 06, 2008 12:25 pm
My favorite memory of my Mother was the day I realized what being a mother TRULY means… I am the oldest of four adopted children. We all came home from the hospital as infants, and growing up it was just “known”…there wasn’t a day where our parents sat us down and dropped a bomb on us, it was just like having bread in the house-a constant…it was totally NORMAL.
One day when I was in fourth grade, I was primping my big 80s hair (LOL) in the bathroom when two of my classmates cornered me and said “hey, we know about you. we know your secret.” Knowing that I wasn’t Hannah Montana or leading a double life, I couldn’t IMAGINE what they were talking about. I asked them, and they said “we know you’ve been hiding the fact that you’re adopted.” I remember saying “well, no, I wasn’t hiding…I just don’t think it’s big deal”. “BIG DEAL???” they responded, “Don’t you want to know who your REAL parents are????”
Boy, if I had a dime for everytime someone asked me that to this day. You know, even by the time I was in fourth grade, that thought had never crossed my mind. I said to them, “well, I know someone else had me, but my parents are my Mom and Dad”. I won’t go on and on, but put it this way: this answer was NOT ok with them. I remember these two nosy-knickers going around and around with me; they just wouldn’t accept my answer. I pretended like it didn’t bother me, but it did a little bit…That afternoon, as soon as I got home, I started crying. My mom asked me what was wrong, put her arms around me and i remember coming up to about the top of her stomach at the time when I hugged her, just like my 8 year old daughter does now on me… funny how we remember those little details. I told her about my day and how those girls made me feel like I was wrong. Maybe I had it wrong the whole time and that I should be more concerned about knowing if I had a “real” Mom and dad that I had somehow overlooked.
I will never forget what my Mother told me that day. She simply said “anyone can have a baby but God chooses the most special of babies and mothers to live together. If God plans it that way, how can it not be real? Your REAL parents are the ones who raise you and teach you things, the ones who feed you and keep you warm, and most importantly, the ones that LOVE you more than anything.” From that moment on I never had another question, doubt, or fear about where I belonged and to this day, I feel sorry for the ones who then or even now don’t get it. There is no greater bond than the one I share with my mother and AS a mother of four children of my own (talk about following in one’s footsteps!)
That is a funny sidenote, actually. I am now a grown woman with four children of my own. All biological. I always wondered what would happen and if my feelings would change after being able to experience the utmost privilege of pregnancy, labor, and even nursing, not to mention having twins! I am eternally grateful to have been able to experience all of those things. It was amazing, awe-inspiring and I wish I could do it all over again sometimes… In all honesty, though? Although I’m sure my Mom wishes she could have had those things (although maybe not after listening to all my complaints ha ha , it only solidifies what I knew all along…she was absolutely right. There is no greater bond than a mother to her child and a child to her mother, no matter how we ended up together. Family comes in all different sizes, shapes and colors.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for all you are to me in my life and what you do for me every day. Thanks for reading, everyone :)
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