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A sample of my handcrafts for sale

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm back with an additional post for today, am pushing myself!  LOL!  Personal goal is to have a FREEBIE template for you each Tuesday, so I made it!  Whew!  This one includes a psd file, tiff file, and all the png files and is my Template #02:


Next, I have a FREEBIE photo mat/clipping mask I made especially for "canpeg", a reader who left me a compliment on the photo mats I've been designing but can't really use the snow-themed ones as she lives in the land "Down Under".  This one is for you!  Your very own Australia clipping mask!  I hope your enjoy using it and show me your layouts with it; I'd love to post them here.  Maybe some more Aussies will find this too, I hope!  Here's the preview:


That's it for now, folks!  Since I've out-done myself by posting twice in one day, I should probably get off the computer now and do some real housework!  Thanks for dropping by, and please leave your comments.  The more you talk to me, the more I will be prompted to design and share with you!



Fried green beans, you say!  What's that got to do with anything!  Well, have you had them?  I had not until this past week.  How long have I lived in the South you are asking yourself.  Right?  I know, I jsut never have been a big cooked vegetable fan, although I've made sure to cook and shove them religiously under the rest of my family's nose to eat for THEIR nutrition.  I've always managed to scathe by relatively unnoticed that I don't consume much real cooked-to-death veggies myself.  Mind you, I do eat them lightly steamed or totally raw as with most of my veggies.  I just happen to be sort of like a rabbit and would prefer my veggies right from the garden before ever hitting the stovetop or oven at all.  Grilling veggies is fine with me, light grilling.  Okay, we all have our thing.  But to get on with the rest of this light-hearted story, my brother had given us a gift certificate to TGI-Fridays for Christmas, so DH and I decided to break up our monotony and have lunch there one day this week mid afternoon.  We have lots of them here at the beach, and we are in the one closest to our home.  Right, real adventurous, aren't we.  It's funny when you stay home so much you become like a frightened rabbit and then don't want to venture out of your cage.  This is not a good thing, I call it "institutionalized".  It's going to be rough to get over once we find jobs again!   Anywho, after scanning the menu for the best deals we ordered, me going first:  Southwestern salad, chicken entre', peanutbutter pie for dessert. By that time, I had engaged our waitress in a big conversation because she too had moved here from the western part of Virginia, very close to where we used to live in WV.  She was busy telling me her big story of what had prompted her family to make the big move south.  I never even heard what my DH ordered, so when FRIED GREEN BEANS came to the table, I'm like, "What in the world is that?"  We shared the fresh green beans which had been heavily battered in a very spicy (surely a TGIF trademark secret) batter and then deep-fried till a little past golden brown.  OMG!!  They were soooo gooood!!  We're hooked and will venture to learn how to cook those at home now.  I couldn't believe I had eaten so many when they were finally gone off the plate!  I used to be a deep-fry wizard when I was young up north raising my family.  Home-made French fries in my own deep frier seasoned with all kinds of different spices was a staple in our house.  I had a great open-top deep frier with a basket with a sturdy handle, so I would just set in on the rangetop right under the exhaust fan which would suck up all that nasty grease smell for the most part.  But, as you age, and the doctors stress to you about watching that ole cholesterol, well, heck, I just packed that deep-frier up when we moved and really never got it back out afterwards.  We got into the "less fried foods" thing and stayed there.  But . . . the fried green beans may have just prompted me to unpack that old faithful grease-pit again!!  If you haven't tried them, DO!  The spicy batter is delicious, so that's a must if you try to whip some up yourself at home.

Thanks everybody for the wonderful comments you've been leaving for me.  It's so encouraging to read your thoughts on things and to receive  your encouragement.  It means so much that you take time to jot down your thoughts so I have your feedback.  REALLY!  I've always read on other scrapping blogs how that simple word of thanks inspires designers to make more, and I can see how that is so true now.

I'm a very late night poster, so if you see words occasionally misspelled (as I just saw scanning through my previous post - ugh!), please just be aware that I do know better, I just must go blind eventually at night or the brain runs faster than than the eyes can catch up.  I love the King's English and try to use it correctly and spell it correctly also. 

Mason's dad decided to hold Mason's official 4th birthday party Sunday at McDonalds at 1:30 p.m. with some other little neighborhood children invited.  He called us at 1 p.m. to invite us.  Now I'm positive he doesn't understand much about females, because it takes most females longer than a 30-minute start flag to put ourselves together in full dress and make-up, much less get gifts and cards together and be down in the city on location inside of that 30 minutes.  I had to hussle like greased lightning not to miss this party!  We made it as the second-hand struck 1:30 pm, but I was out of breath.  I took lots of pictures and a short video of it on my camera, so I'll have some scrapping to do and show soon.  He had a big time and was full of constant jabber as is normal for him.  He talks as if he is a grown-up, but he does play like a child his age.  One of the other children (4 and under, mind you) began to cry over something not going their way, and Mason just stopped what he was into and looked right at her and said, "Please don't cry at my birthday party because I'm having a good time and that will make me all sad too."  Just sounds so grown up for four years old, like he thinks as an adult and conveys as an adult.  Scary sometimes.  You want them to stay child-like as long as possible, ya know?  I did pretty well with my emotions during this event and only broke down once during the taking of the video I was trying to get.  The tears of missing his mom just wouldn't hold back any longer as I watched him have such fun.  She was always so into the making sure that he would have that type of great fun on his special days during the year, and not just for him; she did so for her neice and nephew to the point that the 7-year old nephew cried in the middle of having Christmas because he misses her so much.  She was good at making each of us really feel that we were special to her.  She put time and a lot of thought and energy into things she did for others.  DH and I still plan to grab Mason for a few hours later today since today (Monday) is his real birthday and take him downtown to play in the "Man's Store" which is what he and my DH call The Bass Pro Shop!  Mason totally loves that store.  They don't have to buy a thing, the just go there and hang out and touch everything and play in the tents, sit in the canoes, just hand out and look at and talk about guy stuff.  I took Mason there to get a photo of all of my grandkids sitting on Santa's lap as it was a free promotion preChristmas.  As we went in the large front door, he was a few steps ahead of me and he turned and said, "Mimi, I LOVE this place!"  It was such an unexpected statement from one so young but it was so cute and so pure that I don't think I'll ever forget how much expression he had in that statement to me.  However, my fair lady granddaughter balked that night and would not sit upon Santa's lap for love nor money!  So I have this photo of my two grandsons together on Santa's lap without her, and that's not exactly what I had envisioned.  But Miss K is your typical moody female already at 4 yrs. of age.  In a group you always have at least one that is pulling in the opposite direction.  It's a fact, so I don't let it bother me; you just learn to roll with that stuff.

Our weather here tonight is extremely strong wind going through.  It's trying to rain, but there is so much wind that it's howling and gusty.  I can hear stuff beating and banging around outside like prehurricane type weather.  Weirdness for this time of year!

I took some "create digi" time and came up with some neat stuff I'll be sharing with you.  I even managed to scrap a page of the many faces of Miss K using a template that I think is so adorable which you can find free at Digi Scrap Depot and the designer is Kirsten.  Visit her blog, she keeps some nice digis coming at you.  Take a look at this, the template is very clever, and I'll use it again for some of my own posey pictures and probably again for some gardening photos of my mom.  I was pleased how this turned out!

The "budding" Miss K.  LOL!  Below is a card I made for a recent "make a card challenge" at DID.  Forum challenges are so much fun, so when I can take a minute I always go through and pick some I think I can handle.  They help keep you inspired.  As you work on one thing, more things will play across your mind and soon you are off in your own world of creativity, and it's such a pleasant place to go!

Here's a brand new little FREEBIE for you!  I made some word art elements using Zen quotes, and I think they're neato!  They can be easily resized larger or smaller in your layouts.  Hope you can find use for them, maybe in your Life365 or P52 projects this year.  I'll try to keep them coming at you so you'll have plenty different sayings and colors to pick from.


And to finish up and to help celebrate Mason's 4th birthday, here is the first of my "MASON JAR" projects for your consideration.  It's a crocheted dish cloth/bath rag or even useful as a potholder if you like.  Dimensions between 10-11 inches square, 100% cotton, machine wash/dry.  It's nice and big and well done, if I do say so myself.  I've been doing needlework since I was a pup!  I'm doing these in a multitude of different color combos and used them this year as Christmas gifts myself. 

Red-Peppermint Rag_Item: CR_#01
Price:  $8.00 + (S/H, $2.50)

All-righty then!  I think we are off togeher on a new adventure!  I just created that "buy now" button with Paypal for the first time, wanted to make sure it would work correctly for both of us.  It really wasn't that difficult.  Okay, who's willing to test out the other end of this thing for me?  LOL! 

I'm late getting this post off, about 24 hours late, but it's not my fault.  Remember I told you above that the weather was weird, strong winds and rain?  Well, wouldn't you know the power went down all at once and was off for over 7 hours!  By that length of time I had gotten into all kinds of other things, even a hill of fire ants!  But that's another whole story for later!  Powers back on now, so here you are!

I'm working on kinds of goodies to share, so stay tuned.  I have more templates coming, some papers, and elements, maybe even some Quick Pages soon!

See ya next time! 

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about my little grandson, Mason.  His 4th birthday is coming up in just a few days on Monday, January 25th.  Our family lost his mom, my 37 year-old daughter, this past August quite unexpectedly.  When she was pregnant and expecting Mason, his doctor forecasted due-date was to be May 12th of 2006, and I believe that was Mother's Day that year.  However, her water broke on New Years Day, and at that moment in time all of us, except for my husband, believed that all was lost and that Mason was not going to be.  My parents were still here from WV on their Christmas visit with us, and we all scurried to the local hospital where we did not receive a very good prognosis for Mason's future.  They did not have the necessary medical equipment on hand to try to save a baby born that early in gestation.  He was not even far enough along to be considered on the "cusp of life" in this particular county.  Medically speaking, aborting this pregnany was strongly advised at this point in time.  He did not have a good chance for survival if he was born this early; and, if he did survive the birth, he would more than surely be severely deformed and riddled with multiple disabilities that no parent would desire to cope with should he live.  Given those odds, he probably wouldn't live a long life even if he did manage to survive the birth so early.  - - - Of course, we had a huge family confab.  This was her first pregnancy, and she wanted the baby more than anything in life.  Her own medical history included several physical problems which made conceiving and carrying a baby difficult.  She had been advised to have a hysterectomy due to severe progressive endometriosis which is very painful for females to live with.  She and the biological father of this child had fallen out of "love" slightly before before they were aware of being pregnant.  When he was informed of the pregnancy, he asked her to abort it, that it just wasn't in his plans with him being 44 yrs. old at the time, never having been married and having no other children.  Needless to say, with their desires being so opposite, this put a permanent wedge between them.  - - - I am a Christian.  When my daughter asked me privately what I thought she should do knowing the whole situation and all the advice we were getting, I had to take that question as the most important question I had ever been asked.  I knew what the risks were; I had worked in a medical clinic for 26 years.  My advice was simple.  There is a life there, one that you wanted more than anything, so I believe we keep our faith, give this to God, and be willing to deal with the outcome.  In other words, we make every effort humanly possible to give this baby a fighting chance at life and God will take care of the rest.  We got her on a wait list to be moved to another hospital out of county as soon as a bed opened up.  In the meantime, she was willing to lie still on the flat of her back 24 hrs. a day to keep what little fluid was around her fetus intact and try to gain fluid in the womb if she did not progress on into labor.  - - - She laid quietly until January 18th.  She used a bed pan and let nurses and family give her sponge baths and wash her hair in bed.  She tried not to sneeze or cough even because that would cause her to lose a small amount of precious fluid.  We took her books, magazines, movies to watch, hand-held battery operated games to play, music to listen to, and visited every day; sometimes twice daily.  Then we moved her by ambulance to a larger medical university hospital almost 3 hours away.  - - - There seemed to be a ray of hope with that move.  This medical staff did also advise us of all the possible negativities we may encounter, but in the same breath they let us know that they would do everything humanly possible to help save her baby.  We felt strengthened somehow.  One week later, labor began and Mason was born into the hands of a team of 12 physicians standing there to receive him.  My youngest daughter was in the delivery room for the birth and nearly fainted at the site of him since she has two children of her own and knows what a full term infant is supposed to look like.  She was still gray in color when she came to find me afterwards.  Mason had stopped breathing during the birth, which, by the way, was very quick due to his size.  He was born without lungs yet, only the buds where lungs were to be later.  He was resuscitated and sustained by equipment and went straight into an incubator with round-the-clock professional eyes upon him. - - - We are kind of old fashioned as a family.  Even though sonograms of Mason before birth were performed almost every day in both hospitals, my daughter had decided she did not want to know the sex of her baby until it was born.  She had also vowed to her own baby that she would not leave his side until he could go home with her, and she kept her word.  Six months it was until they traveled home, together. 

I'm thinking and remembering things.  I remember when we looked at each of those sonograms, all we could see was these two gigantic round eyes looking directly back at us, and it reminded me of those eyes you see on aliens in the movies!  Mason was 1 lb. 8 oz. at birth.  He now weighs about 28 pounds on last check.  He is a tad smaller than most kids his age, but he definitely has more spirit and sheer determination than most too.  His mom would stick her hand in through the incubator glass, and he would wrap his little hand around her pinky finger so tight that you could see his skin turn pink from the clench he had on her.  And they stayed that way, inseparable.  The Ronald McDonald House was her home right behind the hospital for six months, and what a wonderful organization that is when one has a need to be housed like that near their hospitalized child!!  Mason means "strong, fighter, spirited", and he is definitely all that.  He ripped his own wires and tubes out 12 times while in the incubator.  He suffered a kidney stone, seizures, a dangerously elevated potassium level which can be lethal, and orthopedic surgery on his right foot to straighten it up all while in the incubator. 

I am thinking . . .  He survived.  Doctors worried that he would be retarded, but he is not, and he seems to be sharper intellectually than children of his age.  He speaks well, talks a lot, retains everything, doesn't forget things.  He seems to study things, he is always quite serious looking.  He is inquisitive and likes to take things apart to see what makes them tick, thinking like an engineer.  They worried that he would be deaf, but he can hear a pin drop in the next room.  They worried that he would be blind, but he can spot small jewelry beads in the grass in the park and gathers them; I'm talking about ebeads which are about one millimeter in size! 

I am thinking . . . He has no disability, except for being without his mom now.  This causes me to think and ponder his future and has prompted me to make a decision.  They lived with me for over two years, and now his daddy has taken him to raise.  Luckily we all live close, so we can still be part of his life.  Mason's dad is a self-employed handyman, and I know he loves Mason and will take good care of him.  But I am worrying about the future, things like a college education for Mason, etc.  The Lord must certainly have big plans for Mason, for he survived against all odds. 

I've decided to start my own project to help Mason as much as I can to accumulate funds put aside for college one day.  I am naming it "The Mason Jar" Project.  I will begin on my blog to offer some of my crafts for sale, and the funds will go directly into "the Mason Jar".  I feel compelled to DO something to benefit him more than just being his "mimi" with fun and games.  I feel a need to start saving for him, and that's next to impossible with us both being unemployed for the first time in our lives.  But I AM creative, so I will get creative.  My mind and hands are busy 24/7, so I should put that to use for him.

Never fear, I will still give away my digi-scrap freebies too!  That's too much fun for all of us!  I will work out some kind of system for us, but I will interlace with items I offer for sale also.  I vow to always keep my offerings super affordable, for I know there are many in the same boat I'm in right now.  But if I live for 20-30 more years, maybe something from this project will add up over time so I can help him get an education.  I feel that his life is at too much of a disadvantage now with the loss of his mother, the loss of that relationship, and the loss of her potential income.  I feel that she would want me to be creative to help him in some way.  I will feel better about me if I do this, so I hope you will give me occasional support in this.

I've done a little studying up on Paypal's services since I have a store on eBay and use Paypal for everything online myself.  I will simply insert a Paypal button under items for sale, and you will be able to use it even if you do not have a Paypal account yourself.  You can use any credit card, debit card, or eCheck to make a payment.  Paypal simply handles the transaction for us both, and I trust them.  I have used it for years safely and securely.  Within 24 hrs. of your payment, I will email you a link to download your digital product.  Other nondigital items purchased will be shipped to you within 3 business days.

I will learn how to do this and begin my project very soon.  I'd like to post my first "Mason Jar" project on his birthday this coming Monday.  Let's watch and see if "Mimi" can meet her own mental deadline on this!

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!  Now here is your FREEBIE reward for that:

It's another of my favorite things to design, a photo mat (or clipping mask), this time with the word "WINTER".  Hope you can find a million ways to use it in your scrapping!  Please leave me some love, and treat others like you would want to be treated yourself. 


Thanks for tuning in again!  Hopefully, I'll be back Monday with another post, so stop back by!  Have a great weekend, and stay safe and warm.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


OH HAPPY DAYS!! - I've learned how to make templates, and there's no stoppin' me now!!  LOL!  This is super exciting to me because I adore using templates, and since I started this digital adventure in August of 2008, I've pondered on how to make them.  I sat in fear of my PSE6 for so long; and now I feel like the more I get in there and just play, the more things are starting to fall into place almost by themselves!  YIPEE!  I sent this file off last night to my cyber-friend and digi-scrap mentor, Teri Mayo, to have a quick quality check to make sure it works right and I didn't forget anything.  So as soon as I get the green light (or make any corrections) I will get this posted.  Some of you more seasoned designers may laugh at me as I am surely exhibiting signs of overkill, as is usual for me.  The more I played designing this template, the more I kept adding; and I kept saving the psd files as I went, so you get everything I did in this - my first template freebie!  There are four different psd files, a tiff file, and all the png files.  So, hopefully, my templates will be functional for lots of digi-scrappers on different programs.  Here's the preview:


I still maintain I'm months behind in all things.  I just bumped into the fact while looking at my blogger dashboard and reading up on the tabs that we now have a newer updated/upgraded editor which makes this poster extremely pleased!  I was still working on the old one and had always been very frustrated with it's little quirks.  I was just about ready to open up Windows Live Writer and figure out how to configure it for use here, but maybe now I won't have to think about that.  I can tell that Bloggers improvements to the editor are a good thing!  Keep it up guys!!   Oh WOW!  I just saw how to make that preview picture larger for you all; GEEZ, that's great!

So far, this week hasn't had any unusual events other than we did have to install all new electric receptacles in our den per a second one coming close to igniting.  We believe we have figured this out ourselves.  This room is on a 20 amp circuit breaker in the breaker box, the receptacles were regular 15 amp each.  The space heater we've been running is a 12-15 amp pull (can't remember what my DH said exactly); but we also live in a southern area that gets a lot of tropical electrical thunderstorms full of lightning which knocks the power out pretty often.  You know, just for seconds; it goes down and then back on.  Sometimes it's just fractions of a second, but this is more like a surge.  We hear that is hard on the receptacles over time.  At any rate, we installed new upgraded 20 amp receptacles and will try not to run the space heater so much.  So far, so good.  I have a fantastic nose for smoke and/or that burning rubber type smell; and Lord knows I don't sleep much, so I think we'll be okay for awhile.  Will keep you updated on this learning experience as we progress through it.  We are fairly handy but we are definitely not certified electricians, so we are aware that we may not have it licked all the way yet.  Just trying to be frugal in these hard time, but don't want to end up toasted because of frugality either!!

Well, I'm going to suprise you and check out for now. My previous post was so long-winded that I felt bad for anybody trying to read it all and stay with me!

Drop in often, I've got a ton of freebies coming your way.  You won't want to miss any!  I'm very random with them because I'm constantly jumping from one thing to another as my mind gets ideas.  Most likely all creative souls are that way.  At any rate, I'll return soon.  Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Thanks to all you wonderful folks who stop by here and leave such wonderful comments! I read them all here and at 4Shared too! It's definnitely helping me to realize that human beings out there in cyber world DO have care and compassion. I'm feeling more chatty tonight, and have finally found a quiet time in 24 hrs. where I can focus with you. I previously felt I had progressed to having a good thing going with this blog, but having been out of touch with you all for so long makes me feel I need to start all over and rebuild somehow. I'm also aware that I hope for my blog to be a happy place for you guys to check in when time allows, so that's at least somewhere in my New Year's focus. (I don't call anything a resolution, I resolved years ago not to make New Year's resolutions, and that's about the only one I've kept!)

I'm going to do things a little reversed tonight: Treat you first, and then you have the option to stay and finish reading if you desire. Good, right? Going to share some happenings that occurred last week with you, and some regular photos I've just snapped on the fly.

Your FREEBIE - I'm back to trying my hand at designing in PSE6 (even though PSE8 is sitting here patiently waiting for me to make more room and get it installed). I've been working with some tutorials and enjoying that, so you benefit from my creative moments. These are called "word frames" and my word for this 6-pack was "Snowy" in keeping with the weather and chill still felt most everywhere. Here at the beach, we are way too cold at night; it's just not normal at all. The days warm up well with the sun out, but the nights are way below what's normal for this area. Burr! Several of these frames look like suede, one bears a paper design I made which remotely reminded me of snowflakes falling about, and one is more like woody. I tried to keep them vivid enough to stand out well against your snow photographs. Here you go! Enjoy!

This is like getting 12 frames in all because you can rotate them to the left on your layouts and put them in the portrait orientation also. Let me know how you like these so I'll know whether or not to keep them coming at you. I have all kinds of ideas for them myself, and it's fun to muse over and then make.
Currently I have almost 150 downloads on the freebie in my last post, the photo mat/mask; and that's the most downloads I've gotten ever, including the blog train I participated in while CT'ing. Go figure. I was thrilled to see the number roll over 100! Just a personal triumph!
Alrighty now, here comes the chatter part. We've been staying home quite a bit for numerous reasons, the main of which is we have both been unemployed for quite some time, the economy is what it is, etc. We are definitely to the point of getting on each other's nerves from being housebound so much, it's never been our style. We both have worked since we were pups, at times each doing multiple jobs because we are what people call "go-getters". We have never been among the idle. Our minds and hands are busy even when we are in our leisure time. That's our style. Our couples' nickname in our neighborhood is "youngbloods", and we are both in our 50's (which I am quite sure is not helping us in today's job market either). So much of the job applications of today is done online rather than in person, one never has a chance to show face to face that being in your 50's doesn't mean you are ready for the pasture. Heck, you never get a chance to impress anybody with yourself, your knowledge, your skills, your personality, your PR capababilities, etc. I'm afraid we've just become faceless names and ages on pieces of paper that get tossed aside. At any rate, back to topic; I love DH but I'm so ready for him to have somewhere to go and be on a regular daily basis. I'm tired of watching him tiddle through the house trying to stay busy every day. It isn't normal for a man. We are both creative and know how to utilize time, but it's getting to the ridiculous point now. When you are so busy with working too much, you dream about this kind of time on your hands. However, when it's forced upon you for a lengthy period, it's nowhere near how you dreamed it would be. We keep busy doing everything we can think to do, and we still have too much idle time to kill. It's made us realize that we feel we must be too young to even think of taking retirement at the early age of 62. We've always been overly talkative with each other, shared common interests, etc, and had lots of noise around us all our lives. The house is too quiet no matter what we do, I'm sick of TV running 24/7 for "company", and things like that. Everything is on my last nerve, and there is no place to run. Okay, I've vented, I feel better!
Now I'm going to take all that and turn it around with last weeks small occurrences. Bet you can't guess we stayed at home for New Year's Eve, just a quiet evening, watched the Ball drop on TV, saw the new year in pretty quietly to be a resident of this beach. In the mid morning of New Year's Day, I received a phone call from a person on the other end who explained to me who she was and that we had a mutual friend who had fallen just after midnight in the bathroom of a local pub where there was water on the floor. She and another female were at the local ER with our mutual friend and had been since the fall. X-rays had been taken, there was a bad fracture of our friend's right ankle, she was in and out of consciousness on pain meds because the attending physicians had to manually put her bone back into place so they could apply a soft splint and wrap. She was to be discharged by late evening with an appointment to return on Monday morning to see another physician to decide and schedule surgery on the ankle. I thought it strange that they would discharge her at all so quickly, but . . . . . OK, there's another dynamic here, our friend doesn't live in this area, she was merely traveling back through from WV to TX where she had journied to visit her relatives over the Christmas holidays. She used to live here a few years back, but not presently. Her friends with her at the hospital have 2-3 story stilted homes on the beach, and SN, the patient, would not be able to hobble up that many steps on new crutches and woozy from pain meds, etc. I offered my place right away even though mine is 2-story, I do have ground level entry and could make a level playing field for the new patient who has never had any kind of injury before now. I was happy to pitch in to help! It gave me something worthwhile to be doing. I'm a mom and a "mimi", and nurturing happens to be at the top of my job performance list (although it won't help me get a real job). Haha! Before her arrival to my door, DH and I scurried about feeling useful, cleaned up the downstairs area, sanitized everything for her, and readied a fouton to the fully linened and fluffy state with all the bedding and pillows we could find in the house. We have a queen sleeper fold-out in our wrap-around sectional sofa in the living room, but there was also the fouton which is in direct line with the TV when made into the sleeper position. So, we decided the fouton would be the best, and it also is in direct line to the closest downstairs powder room. Ahh yes, it was going to work just fine. I set up a bedside table with Christmas placemats, a candle, DVD movies, napkins, tissues, just stuff I figured may be needed but with some holiday cheer added to it. We got SN in the house, to the fouton, and her two other friends bought in her personal things. By this time they were exhausted after having spend almost a complete 24 hr. period wrapped up in this unfortunate accident, and they needed to check in to their own homelife. They did make another large road loop to retrieve SN's car, luggage, and stop by the pharmacy to fill the prescriptions the attending physicians had written for pain for over the weekend. No surgeons were on call because of the holiday weekend. Hmmm. Bad time to get hurt, right?
Meantime, I made phone contact with SN's mom back in WV who happens to be a nurse I worked with for 26 years in a medical clinic, she got in touch with the doctors we all worked for, and some decisions about where the surgery was going to take place began to happen. It was decided that Mom and her DH would pack up their car and head down to retrieve SN, leaving WV early in the morning on Saturday. It would take them about 8 solid hours to make the trip, and the temperatures up there were like 9 degrees, lots of snow and ice on the roads. Burr again!! The orthopedic surgeon's appointment inWV was to be early Monday morning, Jan. 4th. The hospital where the surgery was to take place is 2 hrs. west of their home in WV, a family trusted and doctor recommended referal. The plan was set and in motion. SN would then spend her recovery weeks up north with her parents. Meanwhile, SN was in and out of being awake with us, but when she was awake she was feeling a little hungry; then when she ate the comfort food I fixed she felt nauseated. This is the aftermath of anesthesia and pain meds. She wasn't really conscious too much of her right ankle and leg which was basically casted from her toes to almost her knee. We'd help her up to the powder room, back to the fouton, fluff her pillows, change TV channels, make sure the barff pan was closeby, fix some hot mashed potatoes and gravy (love that when I'm sick, doesn't everyone?), green beans, ham, fruit salad, crackers, gingerale, cookies and just whatever goodies we still had on hand from all the holiday cook-festivus. My fridge was loaded, no joke. I wasn't looking forward to the holidays this year, so I cooked like a wild woman to entertain my mind. So, my point is that this was no imposition whatsoever for me, and I was glad to do it. SN kept thanking me and so did her folks, but to me it was like isn't that what we are here on earth to do for each other? I am my brother's keeper. To me, it was like getting a chance to do a Christmas good deed. It was not quite up there with the kind Mary needed when ready to give birth to Jesus, but it made me feel good like that anyway. Here's a pic of my guest patient I snapped when she was out; mean aren't I? She will get me for this one!

To wrap up this segment, her parents arrived over 2 hrs. later than they should have, having gotten lost on a misleading road sign along the way. Her mom was wanting to put her in the car and drive halfway back to WV that very night so they could get some rest at home on Sunday after driving the last 4 hr. leg of the trip before having to get up early Monday morning and make another 2-hr. jaunt to the orthopedic doctor. Whew! The woman must have some stored up energy! But that's moms, isn't it. When one of their chicks is hurt, they simply go into overdrive. I made them all sit down and eat a complete fried chicken dinner and some coffee and cake for 30-40 minutes before thinking about doing anything that late at night. They needed a breather! They even managed to squash in a quick call to the manager to the pub where SN fell on the wet floor to begin the exchange of insurance info as is a necessary evil. Our beach temperature felt like about 20 degrees that night as they repacked their car, stuffed SN into it, and I sent them on their way with food goody ziplock gallon bags of finger foods and a homemade loaf of bread my wonderful bread machine finished up as they finished their dessert. The house smelled good, and it reminded me that it somewhat then felt like Christmas. And, poof, all were gone just as quickly as Santa and Rudolph disappearing into the night, and the house once again was silent.
I'll show you my Christmas tree now. Most showed their trees in layouts in December, but I'm behind, so better late than not at all. I asked my DH to take a picture of me in front of the tree, had to ask becaue nobody ever thinks to take my picture . . I'm always the one behind the camera and thus, I'm nowhere in the stash of photographs. (Correcting this fact is one of my scrapping goals in 2010.) Here are the two shots he snapped quickly:

So, having the photo, I scrapped it:

I used a beautiful kit called "WINTER FLANNEL" by Tiger Lily's Digis which can be found at Designs in Digital. I had a fun time cutting some paper shapes using Curvalicious Border Templates by Delicious Scraps, so be sure to hop by and visit these talented folks. It's always inspiring! You'll note another of my own word art frames in this layout. Hold on, they are coming to this blog soon!
Here are my three little grand-angels posing in front of my Christmas tree! It's getting really hard to get a photo of all of them without one of them making a weird face; just at those ages!

Here's a closer up on my bow at the top of my tree. I always make these myself, two separate large bows the same, then wire to each side of the middle top branch.

Here's a close up at night of the ornaments, but I was too lazy to put the camera on a tripod and do it correctly, so this is not as good as it should be. I usually do some photos like this to use for cards, but I'm thinking now since taking up scrapping that I'll probably work them into being papers eventually when I learn more about designing.

Here's a photo of one of DH's passtimes, and he made this for our son's fiance' as a Christmas gift (we do a lot of that, homemade gifts from the hands and heart). He's done so many different shapes, and I have a weeping willow that I would never ever part with. He has a killer Northern Pine one, and he's even done one with miniature leaves on the branches. Each one is very individual, no way to make the same one twice type of thing. These are trees fashioned from wire. The more they age, the more realistic they become. He always finds each one a very special base to be mounted upon. She was thrilled with it and almost cried. Of course, we couldn't wrap it either! Haha!

Second incident of last week: DH and I were sitting in our lazy-boys watching the evening news on TV in our den. Between our chairs is a small oval glass-topped table, and a small lamp sits on that table for reading purposes. It's been there for almost 14 years. We were commenting on the news and happened to look at each other both uttering the same words simultaneously which were "do you smell smoke?". Yes was the answer, and we both jumped out of our chairs. You know men have better periheral vision that women, right? It's a known medical fact. They have wider peripheral vision. He caught sight of the smoke before I could fine it for that reason. It was coming from the outlet that small lamp was plugged into right on the wall between and behind our two chairs! That was the only thing plugged into that outlet, too!!! I dashed for the fire extinguisher while he went to work on the outlet with a screwdriver. It was smelling pretty bad and looking not so good either. In a very small amount of time that lapsed as we feverishly dashed about for the fire extinguisher and the screwdriver separately, the smoke had made a not so nice 12-inch smutty streak up the wall, and the part of the outlet that you actually plug into had melted completely from the heat!! Yikes! I'm still freaked out about this!! DH got the outlet out of the wall after I had dashed off to cut the breaker in the breaker box which I'm amazed didn't trip off by itself!!! I've always had a healthy respect for electricity because I use it, love it, and it makes our lives so much more convenient; but more than that I've always had an extreme fear of fire; it's my worst fear probably. Love fire only when it's contained in a fireplace and that sort of thing. Now, one of you peeps out there reading this is bound to have an electrician husband, father, brother, friend, neighbor that you can ask for me why this happened. I'm baffled about it. The house is only about 14-15 yrs. old and was built by a contractor. The breaker box has plenty of circuits in it, plenty of spare ones yet, and we really don't think there is too much on any one circuit. We have been running a small space heater in this den room since the temperatures this winter seem to be below normal for us here in the south, and the den is my coolest room in winter and my warmest room in summer. It's also the room we spend the most time in. The space heater is very small and plugged into a completely different outlet across the room from the wall this happened on. Was the space heater pulling too much on the circuit which caused the weakest link to catch on fire, or was the fire just the result of a complete breakdown of that particular outlet?? Should I think there is possibly something wrong with the lamp that caused this??? How am I to think???? My DH is a handyman sort, does everything, but we don't understand electricity that well because we aren't certified electricians, have never studied it. If anybody can answer this puzzle for me, I'd sure feel better. My BFF's hubby is also a handyman sort, and he said the space heater had nothing to do with this, that it is either a complete breakdown of that particular outlet OR there is something wrong with the lamp that was plugged in there that caused this to happen. Hope to hear from some of you cyberland electricians!! Would appreciate knowledge. We have purchased a new outlet which my DH will install, that he knows how to do, we just don't understand the cause. I have smoke detectors upstairs and down, but there wasn't enough smoke to make them go off yet. The outlets are all gounded, and that's probably why the breaker didn't get tripped off yet. But just think, if we had gone out to dinner or been at a friend's house that evening and left our little table light on like we do sometimes in that room, we would have returned to a burned down home, a pile of ashes, a tragedy of sorts! I shudder to think!!! I haven't slept well since this occurred and wasn't sleeping all that well before this happened. I may never sleep again!! And remember me complaining above about staying in around home so much? Well, just another good reason to keep on staying home!! Geez!!
Third occurence last week: This one is on a happy note! Had to run to Costco (my favorite store - COSTCO ROCKS!) to restock on staples we buy in bulk. I had a little Christmas gift money but had no plans to spend it that day there. Famous last words, right? I also am fairly frugal these days because of the unemployment crisis we are both in currently. I had my Costco coupon booklet with me that comes in the mail and was cutting the appropriate coupons for my necessary items, when I came across one for this thingy that looked interesting. So . . . . I decided to locate this "thingy" in the store and have a look-see. They had a lot of them in boxdes on the end-cap of one isle and one was on display to play with, or inspect I should say. I pondered this "thingy" and decided to walk away from it and finish my normal shopping for the staples. I was good, I didn't buy anything but what was on my list, and that's pretty abnormal for me, at least when I was working. But like magnetism, before I could get out the door of that store, I was drawn back to inspect this "thingy" for a second time. I even asked DH was he thought. He thought this "thingy" may be pretty nifty, so we both pondered over it. Well, ultimately, this "thingy" ended up going home with us; and, after I put all the staples away at home, we jumped on opening that box and assembling this "thingy" like two kids at Christmas. Well for us, it was Christmas. We didn't do much for ourselves this year, did for the grandkids mostly since funds are limited. Want to see a picture of this "thingy"??? You'll laugh out loud, I'm sure!!

Okay, you can stop laughing now! I know, it's not what women are supposed to buy with their Christmas money. Not a cleaning tool, not with your Christmas money, Janytime!! Here are the facts that tipped the scale to decide to purchase this steam mop: See that tile floor? There's a lot of it. I have two geriatric Yorkies, one of whom is so blind these days that she can't see where she is going, so she goes where she is. Get it? I've spent the last several months bent over or on my hands and knees cleaning her puddles, and the Clorox Spray bottle stays strapped to my waist, and there is a roll of paper towels hanging on my left arm like a cast! I have pee pads down in two spots for my pooches, but the oldest one is the blind one and she just isn't finding the pads anymore. That causes the younger one who is 11 yrs. old to get off course also, they do the scent war thing still. At any rate, we figured if this thing could make life any easier and save us Clorox or paper towels, maybe it could pay for itself in short order. Alas, we filled up the reservoir, plugged it in, chose the medium mop head, and off I went like I was having fun or something. Half way across the entirity of my tile flooring, we turned the mop head over to use the second side, and OMG how dirty the first side was!! I had to fill the reservoir three times, but it was worth it. MY FLOOR HAS NEVER BEEN SO CLEAN!! I'm elated with this purchase and just had to share that!! After cleaning with this steam mop and getting down with the Clorox and paper towel to wipe up yet another puddle, the paper towel came up snow white, and that's a first ever!! Mind you, I mop often, use Spic & Span liquid (my favorite cleaning agent), then I rinse with clear water, then do a rinse over with Lysol water. That's my normal tile floor routine with a normal sponge mop. Yet, with all that, a paper towel has never come up snow white after wiping something up. So I'm impressed. It's made by Shark and works like a charm!
Alas, if you have made it this far with me, I shall end your misery now! Teehee! I'll be back soon with more freebies, and lots of new ideas! This blog will be a happy place!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Sincerely wishing all of you the best life can bring your way in 2010. As all can see from this poor blog, I've been MIA for quite some time. Those that know us personally are aware that we unexpectedly suffered the loss of my 37 year old daughter on August 20th. Life must go on for those remaining, but it will never be the same. After all the months that have passed, I am only beginning to look beyond my own grief to try to address the living. I have lost others in my life before, but the loss of one's own child is certainly the most devastating of all. I welcome any thoughts and words of wisdom and encouragement from those who stop by here. I certainly have not felt very creative nor chatty, but I realize I must struggle to focus on things I used to enjoy and use them as a lifeline to regain sanity; else I will surely drown in my own sorrow. Left behind is my angel's son who will be 4 years old on January 25th. He was the extremely premature birth baby of 24 weeks gestation weighing 1 pound 8 ounces. Never did it occur to us while he grew lungs for 6 months in an incubator that his mommy would not get to see him mature into a man. She had never left his side, and he was surely her pride and joy. I have not felt like scrapping because it's been extremely hard to look at and work with pictures which always was so fun, depicting life, living, happy occasions, etc. I've tried to recently take a different approach by working with things that don't require me to handle photos yet, such as making Quick Pages, designing elements, papers, and such just to get me going again. I do feel that since my grandson is so very young, he will have only sketchy memories of his mom, if any. I feel that my biggest scrapping job is ahead of me and is more important than ever now. I must do a good job scrapping up all of my daughter's life so I can help keep her memory alive in her son and so he will be able to know who his mother was when he becomes a man. My digi-scrap objective had always been to leave beauty and organization for posterity, and now it holds even a deeper, more valuable reason to succeed with that task.

I hope you will travel with me as I work my way back from tragedy to some form of reality. I have missed communicating with my online friends in the months gone by. I had been so enjoying doing CT work for several designers, so I may gradually find my way back to doing something similar. I have thought about digging in with some online design classes to busy my mind. I would like to pursue getting into designing templates. Santa kindly left me PhotoShop Elements 8 under the tree to try to spur me on. Sweet, huh? It's the one from Costco that has the great tutorial CD by Linda of Scrapper's Guide. I should open it and get it installed, right?

First, it's imperative that I make some hard drive room. I'm down to 22 gigs of space left. I'm slowly transferring files to a neat 500 gig pocket drive. What a neat device! It's so slim and small, truly fits in one's pocket. My computer's box just happened to have a pocket bay, and I know hubby didn't realize all that when he picked it up for me. That day was done in a hurry, and we weren't even together shopping. I'm always the victim of mechanical computer crashes or failure because I never turn the thing off to rest or cool down. It literally runs from the day I get it until the day it decides to die. Then it's simply replaced within about 24 hours of death. I have even gotten to the point now that I am ready for this, anticipating it ahead. I kept my last tower since it suffered a mechanical failure of the hard drive itself, and I have it for a spare that I will simply buy a hard drive for when my present puter croaks.

I'm rambling off. Back to topic, my digi plans will consist of hanging out in some forums and beginning to try some of their challenges to get myself back into focus with the scrapping. I did some handwork, crochet, of small items for Christmas gifts for my neighbors who were so supportive in August and for some family members. I found the concentrated handwork helped my mind stay busy preholiday, which was good as the holidays were hard to get through this year from turkey day on. In doing that I also discovered something I could identify with. I was using a pattern in a new booklet by Drew Emborsky, "The Crochet Dude", and found that his mom had taught him the craft, and when she died Drew got very deep into it while dealing with his grief. Do look where crochet has taken him. He is all over TV, travels with is hooks and yarns, and everybody knows him. There was a very enlightening dedication in the front of his pattern book I was using. Check out his website at http://www.thecrochetdude.com/ if you like needle arts.

And now I have a FREEBIE for you! This is a photo mat, sometimes called a "clipping mask", and they are really neat and fun to use. I've learned to make them, so I'll be passing a lot of them on to you. It was designed in my PSE6 and is saved as a png. I'm not sure that all scrapping software programs have the "clipping mask" capability, but I know that PhotoShop Elements does, and the technique is very simple. Here is a simplistic sample layout to show you what a photo looks like when "clipped" to the mat/mask. Notice how the ocean portion at the top of this photo is up in the word "Ethan".

That's the correct way to use these mats. However, I'm sure there are a lot of other things you can do with it also in different scrapping programs. Your freebie today is called "Snowbound" and is in keeping with the current nationwide weather conditions most everywhere! Thought it just might be useful for some snow shots you just took recently! Here's the preview:


Leave me some comments if you like this, and I have lots more of them to come, so stop back by. I'm also open to suggestions if you have anything you would particularly want me to make just for your needs.

Thanks for letting me ramble back into blog-land. Have patience as I attempt to screw my head back on and march forward.