Friday, May 23, 2014

National Scrapbooking Month

My creative time is exceptionally precious these days.  I have two months to go in my final pregnancy (which makes me a little sad to admit) and I have a very active two-year-old who wants to "help" me when I sit down to create.

Today is a gorgeous day outside.  It's sunny and cool with a slight breeze - the perfect day for an 8 month pregnant lady to spend outside without getting too over-heated.  So I decided to spend the morning running his little tail ragged outside so he would take a good nap and I could get some creative time in.  Well I did such a good job, I got to make this card in under 30 minutes - while he was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I am SO proud of this card!!!  I love how bright and cheerful it is, I love how quickly it came together and I LOVE how it makes me smile just looking at it. 

I can't get enough of the National Scrapbooking Promo - Free To Be Me.  The B&T papers are so happy and I love that all the cardstock pieces are embossed on one side!  I love the dimension embossed papers make to the finished product.

The pattern is from Make it from the Heart #1, our new Durables Triangle Studs, and the sentiment is stamped from our Give a Lift stamp set.

See how bright these papers are???  Make sure you get yours by May 31st by placing your qualifying order of at least $50.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Washi tape!

So, here's what our gold polka-dot washi tape looks like.  Isn't it pretty?

At first I didn't get the whole "washi-tape" craze.  I thought it was just patterned painter's tape that people were just haphazardly throwing all over their paper projects without rhyme or reason.  But I get it now.  And I love it.  It's amazing little stuff.  And it lasts FOREVER!  (Which is awesome.)

Today, my little guy got a hold of my gold polka-dot washi tape.  We were in the backyard and he was wearing himself out on his jungle gym, so I thought it was the perfect time to pull out the embellishments I plan on selling at our next Girls' Day Out crop in July.  My son thought it was a great idea, too.  Only he didn't want to help me price any of it, he wanted to help me play with it.

He pulled off a strip of one of my opened washi tapes (it had fallen in with the unopened embellishments by mistake) and decided to embellish himself with it.  He was pretty cute running around the backyard with this little strip of washi tape stuck to the back of his shirt.

Until he got a hold of the whole roll.  Then the unthinkable happened.

This is one of my son's favorite toys in the backyard.  My husband does crossfit training and he uses this old, battered tractor tire in his workouts.  He flips this enormous thing back and forth across the back yard as one of his exercises.  When it's not in use, he leans it against the fence. 

And when it rains (as its done for the past few weeks), it collects water and turns into a snug little baby pool.  My son climbs into it and splashes in it.  And throws everything in the world into that nasty water.  Which is right where my roll of gold polka-dot washi tape went.  It was like a slo-mo reel from a horror movie.  I watched him, frozen, as he raced across the back yard at a break-neck speed.  Headed straight for that tractor tire.  Laughing is sweet little baby laugh.  Then he raised his arm and launched my washi tape into that dirty, rain-filled mess. 

I finally got my big, lumbering body up off the step and fished it out.  It was soaked!  I stood there, shaking the water off, praying it would dry.  That the stickiness wouldn't be ruined, that the gold pattern wouldn't flake off, that I could still use it to embellish my cards and projects.

I had to run back across the yard to rescue the rest of my stash from his grabby toddler-fingers.  I didn't want anything else falling prey to the rain-filled tire.  My stash got put away and the washi tape got put out in the garage - away from the sun, right in the path of a constant cross breeze. 

I'll leave it out there for the rest of the day, praying that it dries.  If it doesn't, I suppose, I'll be holding a memorial service for it. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day

The other day I looked up the origins of Mother's Day.  (Just cuz I was feeling super-nosy.)  Back in 1905, Anna Jarvis started this movement to honor her mother.  Anna's mom was this kick-butt chick who had lived her life in service to others.  She was a peace activist who nursed soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.  President Wilson signed into law that the second Sunday in May would be "Mother's Day" and celebrated nationally.  It wasn't long before the card and candy companies started capitalizing on this and marketing Mother's Day to their own financial ends.  (As they sometimes like to do.)  That really ticked Anna off.  She even went ballistic - crashing a candymaker's convention in Philly in 1923.  All she wanted, was for each of us to take pause for one day a year and honor the women who brought us all into this world.  Who had selflessly lived their lives in service to others - us, their children. 

As a mom, I appreciate this.  I naively thought when my first child was born, that I was going to be one of those moms who didn't let their child change them.  That my life would still be my own.  I quickly found out how impossible that was.  For the past 13 years, I have willingly put the needs of my children ahead of my own.  I've put their wants first.  Nursed their hurts.  Celebrated their successes.  Cried in private, for pains that I couldn't remove.  Gone without sleep - or bathing.  Watched the same program 100 times in a row.  Fought for doctors appointments and diagnoses.  Argued with school officials for programs my son needed.  With the birth of my first child, I did not just become a mother.  I became a warrior for my children. 

In their youth, it's easy.  They're your babies and they need you to advocate for them.  They need your strength to build their own backbones on.  They need you to teach them morals and values and compassion.  To show them how to live a good, responsible life.  To catch them when they fall.  To salve their boo-boo's with your kisses and loving mom-arms.  With my teenager, I'm walking a much harder road.  It's hard now, when to know to step in and protect him, and when to let him step up and protect himself.  Watching my baby wobble out there on his own two feet and experience the world first hand - and not through the eyes of a child - is 10x more difficult than teaching him how to walk or talk or use the toilet.  You can't do all that without undergoing a complete metamorphosis. 

So, in honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, I made this card.

However you choose to spend Mother's Day - either for yourself or that lucky chick who brought you into this world - remember to breathe it all in.  Your children as they are today.  Perfect, just the way you made them.

Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Free To Be Me

It's National Scrapbooking Month.

Are you celebrating?

We are.  The May promo was created with this celebratory month in mind.

The Free To Be Me paper pack is chock full of luscious colors and happy spring-time patterns to get your creative juices flowing. 


Don't you just love those bright colors??  I know I do.  They're cheerful and spring-y without being pastel or girly.  (As a mom of all boys, this is important to me.)  The kit comes with specially designed patterned papers, card stock sheets with one side of each sheet embossed in a different pattern, and vellum sheets.  (As a CTMH junky, I hadn't yet played with vellum until I got this promo in.  I don't know why I waited so long - this stuff is cool!)  You can see an example below in the card I made with last month's stamp of the month.  (The 'talk box' pattern on the front of the tag is not one of the patterned sheets - that was a stamp that was a part of last month's stamp of the month, too.)

I edged all the patterned sheets in Lagoon ink (even the vellum sheet) and used the Antique Copper Studs from the Rosewood Mini Medleys to anchor the corners of the vellum sheet on the front of the card.  I got the card pattern from our Originals book.

This promo is only good for the month of May.  It retails for $11.95, but you can get it for $5 with a qualifying $50 order.  It really is too good to pass up.  Order yours here today.