Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just A Personal Update

I don't have a project to share today, but wanted to let you know why I've been MIA.

I've been really struggling with some physical issues like extreme fatigue, headaches, dizziness, muscle pain and weakness, etc.  It's actually been going on for many months, but I kept making lifestyle changes and hoping it would improve.  Just sort of willing myself to get through the day and do as much as I could.  Taking more vitamins, dietary changes, reducing stress, etc.  I kept picking things to drop off my to do list while still trying to maintain my blog, the family meals, and the majority of the housework.

It's done nothing but get worse.  I quit my volunteer position and rarely leave the house now.  I started seeing a chiropractor and have an appointment with a doctor to start running blood tests and see what else might be causing my pain and fatigue.

I kept thinking it was related to stress, or a dietary issue, or something along those lines, but seeing as it keeps getting worse with my best efforts to relax and take better care of myself it's obviously not that simple to fix.

It's been pretty frustrating for me on an emotional level.  I just feel useless, and as a die hard perfectionist and someone who always pushes myself so hard it's very, very difficult to lay here so much and see the messes go unattended.  I have still been able to teach my kids, although I have had to modify my approach and they go fetch materials most of the time for now.

So, because I am so weak I have actually not even made it downstairs to my craft room very much.  It's hard to sit completely upright, so making things is hard.  I have been dabbling in a few things here or there, and will post when I'm able to.

I appreciate everyone who visits, and I do miss keeping up with what everyone's been up to.  Right now I am not "caught up" on anything from laundry to blog visits.  I'm not able to get my blood work started until June 10th so I may not have any answers for awhile, but I will continue to take it as easy as I can.

I don't post many personal things like this on the blog, but since I bothered to bring this up I will post an update when I get some answers. Honestly, the thought that scares me most is that they won't find anything they can help with and I will just have to keep suffering like this and not be able to keep up with household tasks.  I just want to be able to do "my job" as a housewife and a homeschooling mother and when I can't do it to my personal satisfaction I find it very upsetting.

I will share projects and visit my bloggy friends as I am able to.  I still love crafting as much as ever, but lately resting after school and any chores I'm able to handle is about all I can do.  I used to reward myself with crafting time and projects after school and chores were done, but now that the chores are so behind I'm not getting that time.

Thanks to anyone who bothered to read all this.  I'm feeling pretty alone right now.  My husband has been wonderful, but he has never understood my desire for perfection, my guilt when things aren't perfect, etc.  So, while he has been supportive and helpful I know he doesn't really "get it" in terms of what this feeling of helplessness and uselessness is doing to me.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Happy Hello Card

Here's a simple card I put together very quickly.

The card base is Smokey Shadow from Papertrey Ink.

The beautiful patterened papers are from the Bo Bunny Ambrosia 6 by 6 pad.

The ribbon is saddle stitched Smokey Shadow from Papertrey Ink.

All stamping was done with the Papertrey set Polka Dot Parade 2.

Ink colors used for the sentiment are Stampin Up's Bordering Blue and Pink Passion.

For the stems I used Old Olive, and for the faux stitching I used a Close to Cocoa marker.

The fun little flower buttons are also from Papertrey ink.  I found a few shaped buttons in the button assortments I bought from them and thought this would be a really fun way to use them.

All the corner rounding was done on my Corner Chomper from We R Memory keepers.

Thanks for stopping by today :)


Monday, May 13, 2013

Unicorn Shaker Card

I liked the idea of using this castle image for a shaker card.  I got the idea from this fabulous card by Yainea.  Mine is different other than that, but I still wanted to give proper credit for the fun shaker element.

I decided to create a cloud background and add some lines to my castle for texture.  All done with my Copics.  I made some fun grass too, but you only see it when the shaker goodies move.  Inside the shaker I have a little silver glitter and some faux snow.

The unicorn and castle images are from Lawn Fawn's Critters Ever After.  The fun patterned paper and sentiment came from the DCWV mat stack Once Upon a Time.

I decided not to add to specific of a sentiment to this.  I think it could work for a new baby girl, or a young girl's birthday.  

Thanks for stopping by today :)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Peek At My Work Desk

An overview of the whole desk.

I decided that today I would share just a small section of my craft space.  It's my work desk area.

The first photo shows the whole desk in my main craft area.  The desk was custom built by my husband.  It's simple in design, but incredibly sturdy and very large.

I've recently made some changes I'm really excited about.

My New Pegboard.
I just got this awesome pegboard and it is something I've been dreaming of for months.  I really need things in view as much as possible, but I don't want them looking cluttered and messy.  This satisfied my desire for order, and also let me have things within easy reach so I can grab things quickly and put them away easily.

It houses my more frequently used essentials such as adhesives, scissors, etc.

I have it right behind my craft mat with paper trimmer nearby so I can easily work with everything at hand.

Here are a couple close up shots of little organizing tools on it for easy reference.

My embossing reference tags.

These are my embossing reference tags.  This way I can browse all of my embossing folders and plates easily. They are separated by category and each category has it's own ring.  I intend to label the categories, but have not figured out exactly how I'm going about that yet.

Ink Reference Tags.
Here are a few of my ink reference tags.  I took them off the board for a better view.  Each color has it's own ring, and each ring is labeled with a matching color of ribbon.  I LOVE these!  It can be hard to tell the ink's true color from the ink pad and this gives me the most accurate reference.  I have fun using them to create color combos and they also help me closely match cardstock or other product to my ink.

Embellishment Center and Ink Pad Storage.
Here you can see my Making Memories Embellishment Center.  I used to use it for glitter and other embellishments, but have since installed a large slat wall instead and wasn't sure what to do with this.  Now it's become my stamping essentials area.

You can't see it, but my embossing gun rests on top of the unit.  The top row hold jars filled with blending sponges and one jar has slips of paper with scrapbooking challenges in it.  The shelf below holds my embossing buddy, Washi Tape, and my re-inkers.  Below that I have my baby wipes and a couple ink pads.  Under that I have my Stamp-a-ma-jig, cleaners, personalized stamp, ink blending tool, and brayer.  The bottom 2 shelves hold all my acrylic blocks.

Nestled in between the embellishment center and ink pad organizer is my favorite foam surface for stamping.

Right in front of the embellishment center is my craft mat I like most for inking techniques.

The ink pad organizer was custom built by my Father-in-Law.  I just adore it for quick access and the way it displays the pretty colors.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this small peek into my area.  I love organizing and my craft room is a great place to do just that.

Someday I'll do a whole room tour with a video, but I'm still working on lots of things and would like to wait until more of them are completed.

Thanks for visiting!


Friday, May 3, 2013

For My Wonderful Mother-in-Law

This is the last of my Mother's Day cards.

The paper is from the Bo Bunny 6 by 6 pad Garden Girl.  The only exceptions are the layer the sentiment is on with the soft pink, and some vanilla cardstock in the flower center and for the card base.

The ribbon is from Celebrate it by Michael's.

The flower was cut from my Silhouette and I spent some time jazzing it up.  I used a stylus to make veins in the leaf, did lots of inking on all the layers in different colors, and then curled the petals up.  It has so much dimension.  Even my husband seemed impressed when I showed him (and that is hard to do, believe me.)

The sentiment was built using a couple SP & Company Mix N Match Sets: Kids, and Family.  The inks used were Close to Cocoa and Rich Razzleberry from Stampin' Up.

Hopefully she likes it.  I really do have the best mother-in-law so I wanted her card to be really nice too.    She doesn't read my blog at all so she will be surprised, and luckily I don't have to mail it.  Honestly if I did that it would completely ruin the flower!

I'm glad to be done with all 3 of my Mother's Day cards for this year.

Thanks for looking :)


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Flower Themed Mother's Day Card

To start off for the background I used a white piece of cardstock the standard A2 size 4 and 1/4 by 5 and 1/2.  I used Tempting Turquiose and Green Galore Stampin' Up inks.  I took the ink pads directly to the paper and made sweeping motions.  After the whole base was covered with ink I sprayed it with Glimmer Mist in Blue Skies.

To create the flowers I used the Stampin' Up embossed folder Manhatten Flower.  I used an ink blending tool to add the Stampin' Up inks Pretty in Pink and Regal Rose.  Once the flowers were colored I cut them out.  Before attaching them to the back layer I sprayed them with Marshmallow Glimmer Mist.

For the sentiment I cut out a vanilla colored layer with my Nestabilities.  The ink colores are Close to Cocoa, Regal Rose, and Tempting Turquoise.  I used 3 sets from SP & Company's Mix N Match collection: Occasions, Friends, & Holidays.  The bling was just from the $1 section of Michael's.

 The stitching lines on the vanilla piece is from the Gelly Roll pen Green Star.  The stitching lines around the rest of the card are from the Gelly Roll pen Pink Star.

In person this has lots of fun sparkle and shine.  I've given up on ever getting the perfect photo of that sort of thing.

I'm really pleased with the way this came out.  I don't think it looks like anything I've ever done before and it was lots of fun.  I really love this embossing folder and I have been wanting to do something special with it.

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shimmery Butterfly Card

For this card I started off with a white piece of cardstock cut at 4 inches by 5 and 1/4 inches.  I stamped various butterflies from the Stampendous set called butterflies using Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  After I stamped all the butterflies I colored them in with Copics.

I attached the white piece to a black base fo 4 and 1/4 by 5 and 1/2 inches.  At this point I sprayed both of these layers very liberally with Marshmallow Glimmer Mist.  As usual these details are difficult to photograph but the sparkle in person is pretty awesome.  I especially love it on the black section.

I outlined around the white layer with some Black Diamond Stickles.

The banner was cut from light grey cardstock using the Spellbinders Ribbon Banners set.

The sentiment was stamped in Stampin' Up's Taken With Teal ink.  I used SP & Company sets Mix N Match Basics, and Mix N Match Holidays.  I went around the banner with a pink marker to make stitching lines.  I wasn't satisfied with the look so I covered those with Diamond Stickles.  The pink showed through the glitter and it actually came out pretty neat.

I'll be sharing 2 more Mother's Day cards very soon so stay tuned if you need ideas for those this year :)