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Thursday, May 1, 2014

More studio progress.... Documenting it with 3 Birds Graceful Seasons collection, &....I have HEAT!!!


    
     Wesley helped Michael install the venting for my stove recently.  Michael and Wesley built the stove pedestal frame, Michael and I tiled it, then we were finally able to place the stove on the pedestal (photo 1). Wesley always enjoys some good bubble wrap, and after adding the doors and lid to the stove, I knew he'd want to play with it, but I didn't expect him to WEAR it like a cape or robe! LOL. 
    The 2nd photo is of Wesley and Dakota's 1st cuddling opportunity in front of the stove after Michael and Wesley installed the venting and I was able to FIRE IT UP WOO HOO!
    Now I am able to walk down to my studio, turn the stove on, and within a few minutes the room is warming up, with myself enjoying the cozy warmth of wood heat in the upper 70s within an hour!  I could heat it more quickly, but we are still burning off the new paint and ceramic log smell, which increases greatly when it's run at the higher heat outputs, so I run it on the lower 2 settings most of the time, otherwise the odor gives me a headache and makes me nautious.  I just turn on the furnace fan or open my door and the odor dissipates quickly.
  AHHH warmth!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Christmas 2013... documentation in progress.

    Normally I created a LOT of 12x12 layouts for Christmas, but this year I was inspired by some online videos involving Christmas mini albums, aka minis.
     I've been making minis for several years, but never one for Christmas.  All my Christmas pages have been going into a 12x12 leather album by CTMH.  That has been overflowing for some time, and with this new inspiration, I decided to start a mini.
  I did create a 12x12 layout before starting the mini, and although the two pages are created as one layout, and utilize the colors from our decorating scheme this year, the fact that the teal page on our left is more of a pastel version, and perhaps because I didn't create the entire layout as one unit, it does not feel cohesive to me.  I MUCH prefer the pages viewed separately.

I started with a 4x6 photo album.... it was already purple, one of my Christmas decor colors this year.  Each page has a photo window, therefore providing a built-in pocket for journaling and any other items I want to include.

     Oreo, our tuxedo kitty, and also our newest addition to our family, is TOTALLY living up to the typical get-into-mischief and crawl into every box or container feline personality traits.



This is actually the first inside page I created.... an early memorial tribute to our beloved Smoke, aka Smoky Kitty.  Just 2 days before Christmas, Wesley and I took her in for her thyroid blood work, and 2 hours later, came home in tears, after being told that she may only live for a few hours, or days.  She passed away on January 19th, the day after Wesley's 10th birthday, and the day before my 50th.......  She will NOT be forgotten!


Now for some of the humorous portions of this Christmas's memories........ Wesley dressed Dakota in his husky hat when he and dad went out to blow snow ROFL (Rolling On the Floor Laughing)!  Also, when Wesley opened the package containing his dirt bike's new batteries, he yelled "I got BUBBLEWRAP!"  Even though the photo is blurry, it's priceless!

Wesley's interests changed greatly in the past year.  He literally put aside Thomas the train, packing up all of his trains, stations and specialty pieces and putting them in the guest room as possible yard sale items.  This was greatly influenced by the fact that Star Wars was playing this summer, and we thought he might be interested in the movie series.  That was the beginning of a new obsession!

Quality time was spent with dad, learning how to assemble his first Star Wars models.

     Video games have also been a big interest of Wesley's, to a fault.... as with many kids,  we have to limit the amount of time he spends playing them.

Wesley has also gotten really busy making things via Origami, going through a LOT of the tape in my studio as well as the household supply.  Michael suggested buying him a huge roll of tape for Christmas.  Instead of one huge roll, I found a multi-pack.  The right hand box contains his dirt bike batteries and the infamous bubble wrap.

Wesley made me a tea light at school, as well as purchasing me a beautiful ornament and liquid potpourri diffuser, both in our Christmas colors.  Michael gave me 2 wolf-image sun catchers from a local shop. 

Need I say more?????

Wesley bought Michael a specialty screwdriver set from the school's Christmas shop.  Some of the moms purchased items locally and set up a store for the students to shop from.  GREAT idea!  Wesley also bought both Grandmas a gift there.

Wesley and I picked out a new surround sound system, which Michael had actually asked for this year (the volume knob on the other one has been warn out for over a year and is very touchy.  Michael is going to use the old one in his shop).  Wesley managed to strong-arm it in from the kitchen, and I set it up while Michael slept (he didn't feel good Christmas day).

On Christmas Eve, after Wesley had placed his note to Santa under the tree, Oreo curled up next to it!!!  Rusty and Squirrel wouldn't say so, but he looked like a sweet little gift under the tree..... After all the gifts had been open, I noticed these two lounging next to each other, with Wesley's Star Wars wall quotations nearby.  I couldn't help taking advantage of the situation!

         This is not quite the entire album, but I will post the final pages soon.  Scrap on!

Friday, February 7, 2014

I did not make the design team, but am continuing to work on improving my blog, create shabby chic scrapbook pages, as well as delve back into home decor projects.

     The 3 Birds Design Team has been announced, the ladies' blogs listed and introductions have been made.  3 Birds has even been posting SNEAK PEEKS of the new products which will be offered on HSN in March.
    Although I did not make the dt, I continue to make efforts to improve my crafting skills, expand my range of abilities, and ATTEMPT to continue my blog here.
    Since I was not chosen for the dt, I now feel that I can post the projects which I submitted. I KNOW that the scrapbook layout that I created for the submission (although we could submit already created projects) is NOT my best work, I felt terribly compelled to create it.  I even submitted it in time for the first deadline (they reposted the dt call on SCRAPBOOK UPDATE, and extended the submission date).  My poor hubby and son got the rath of my stress from trying to make the earlier deadline while I was waist-deep in deep cleaning and decorating our home for the Gleason Christmas which I had already committed to hosting. 
 
I am NOT a cardmaker, but I actually like this one.  Yes, there is 'trapped whitespace' between the lamp post, lace and doily, but I still like it.
    My JOY card is created mostly with 3 Birds products: card base, doily, lamp, yellow star as light, 'joy', pearl, snowflakes and clock face.  Lace is by Melissa Frances, sprayed with unknown mist and Mr Huey's "Shine" spray.  Ink pads, CTMH.  Adhesives: Hermafix, This to That adhesive runner and Glossy Accents.
Since banners are popular, and I wanted to make things that actually fit into my preferred style and would look good in my studio, I chose to create this 'scrap on' banner, with lots of lace, roses and of course, purple!   
   Although I KNEW this was NOT an example of my best work, I felt compelled to create an "Oh, Christmas tree" page, rather than submit something I had already created and narrowed down to 2 projects.  Flocked papers from My Mind's Eye LUSH collection.  Lace unknown, purchased at WalMart.  Adhesives:  Hermafix, This To That, and Glossy Accents.  All other products from 3 Birds.
 
     At last I am able to complete this post... SCRAP ON!

My 50th birthday dinner, and a few more pages completed in my 1st Christmas mini....

My mother, Opal Leonia Loehr-Gleason, myself, and my brother Robert, January 1964.

    Unlike last year's birthday, Michael remembered this year... and bought me a dozen of lavender roses! 
     YEY!  At last, after a couple of weeks trying to load photos and posts.  I had to use Mozilla instead of Internet Explorer... enjoy my purple roses!


     Michael told me that we could eat anywhere I wanted, including driving to Muskegon.  Rather than spend all that time and MONEY on gas to get there, or pay someone to make a less expensive meal, I asked if we could go to Meijer and buy whatever each of us wanted to eat.  Wesley asked for "bacon!"  I told him that he would have to eat something else with it though... Michael chose a steak and I chose 2 lobster tails.  YUM!
    I told Wesley he had to take a 'try it/no thank you' bite of my lobster, with and without the butter.  He didn't really care for it plain, but dipped in butter.... he LOVED it!






  Now that I found a way to add photos after so long, I am off to edit more of my older drafts and get them posted!
   SCRAP ON!









Thursday, February 6, 2014

Revisiting a favorite project...

Baby Girl/Gleason Girls albums.....

   I was SO excited when I heard that not only one, but TWO baby girls were going to join our family back in 2012!  I have a son and the boys outnumber girls 2 to 1 in our family.  I created multiple copies (so far NINE!) of the baby girl albums, customizing each one to the colors that the parents used in their nurseries, and my favorite colors in my own copy.  They are over a year old now and I am finishing albums to send to each family.  My copy is much larger, including both new girls as well as myself, and an additional version contains Gleason girls from several generations.
  I used a LOT of 3 Birds scrapbooking and paper crafting products, with some generic craft supplies, such as feather and lace added, most of which were purchased at Wal-Mart.
   Below you will find some of my favorite pages, both with and without photos.  






I began 'getting inky" this past year.  The pages in these albums (I'm giving out several versions to the mothers, etc) are personalized to match or at least coordinate with the colors of the girls' nurseries.  Both nieces' rooms contained pink and green, but one had an animal theme, hence some browns, and the other had a Pooh theme, with some yellows.

This photo shows the vellum page that matches the right side, folded over to our left.  That's why the doily page below it looks blurry.  




Photo credit: Jennifer Gould

 

 Some of the pages are much more simple, at least for the time being.  as I add more photos I'm sure I will not be able to stop myself from adding more layers and bling! lol  I also added several products for journaling, decorative items, etc...

I'm off to continue updating other drafts... SCRAP ON!


 




Monday, January 6, 2014

HALLELUJIAH! My repeat exam was this morning.... and BABY, it's COLD outside!

     AMEN!!!!! My repeat exam verifies that my new lump is only fibrocystic!!!!!!!   And the area below my previous lumpectomy scar is only scar tissue, as myself & my doctor suspected.
     Also, ALL the schools in our county are closed today due to extremely cold temperatures, frostbite alerts, blowing snow & near whiteout to whiteout conditions.  BRRR The temperature has been dropping since this morning, from 6.8 degrees to 0.2 degrees BEFORE the wind chill.  I pray that Michael is able to stay out of the wind & blowing snow as much as possible, because he had to unload a delivery at work today!  I told him to take a facemask, etc.....
  Thank you to anyone who has been praying for a clean bill of health for me, and any of you who have recently begun following my blog.
  Now that the health concerns are out the door, I can get back to other things in life: staying warm this winter, making an effort to keep up on my chores (with the ongoing help of my 'word of the year', BETTER), increasing family time, and SCRAPBOOKING! LOL

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Catching up from the summer & fall, and GROWING UP.

  After spending most of the summer working on my studio renovation, and not being able to access this blog, I have been trying to make a dent in downloading & editing photos, printing my favorites, and beginning to plan scrapbook projects.
  Among the following photos you will find everything from funny to adorable pet & family interactions, images of our yard & the areas we take our walks, to heart-wrenching realizations of losing fur-family members.

Guy time has been including a little more racing & car themed television, whether Nascar races, a race themed animated movie, or car themed tv shows such as Top Gear.

                          Wesley has been GROWING UP, both physically & emotionally.

Check out his pajamas below: about 6 inches too short, and also displaying his fascination of the past 7 or 8 years, trains, and particularly Thomas.  This fall he decided that he was ready to set aside his train collection, to make room for new interests.  I asked him to sort through ALL things Thomas & train themed, including vcr & dvd movies, large train track sections, books, etc.



 



An example of the bond between Dakota and Oreo, as well as the mischievous characteristics of Oreo's personality.  I was combing Dakota and Oreo decided that her tail qualified as a kitty toy!  Note the pile of Dakota wool above her in the photo, while ignoring my pile of notebooks and books that still need a new home in my studio.

Oreo finally discovered what the other cats were observing out the front window.... birds!  Smoke has also been admiring them from the chair that she has been relaxing on nearest to the kitchen window.  Smoke has a large abdominal tumor, probably cancerous, as well as fluid around both lungs.  We expected to lose her before Christmas, but she is still blessing us with her presence and 'meal monger' personality daily.  I pray that she does not suffer.

Beautiful "Squirrel", whom Michael named after her large bushy squirrel-like tail.  She loves to sit beneath the tree.  Last year, she actually climbed inside it approximately half way up the trunk and it was a challenge to get her out without knocking down the tree or disrupting the decorations.

 

     Above, Oreo decided that he needed to help me with wrapping the gifts after midnight Christmas morning.  He definitely has a lot of the typical kitty personality traits, from helping with everything related to Christmas, to watching/playing with the images on the tv and video games, to attacking your ankles as you walk up the stairs.
     A letter, which Oreo needed to guard for Santa.  Wesley received several Star Wars items for Christmas, including wall decals with the memorable "Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."  which I took advantage of to title the photo below. LOL.

 "Come on, Mom!  Let's play in the beautiful Christmas morning snow!"  Dakota's other gift....
I pray that we have a safe, happy year ahead of us in 2014, with our family continuing to evolve in our hobbies & interests, talents & skills.