Saturday, November 19, 2016

Giving Thanks - A Card for Auntie Rachel and #dailymarker30day

Thursday Morning Before Work:  Bright and Early Project! I colored the background

Saturday - Worked to get the card done

Pens, Ink, Washi Supplies

Final Card: Giving Thanks for You
As mentioned before, I am following Kathy's #dailymarker30day challenge.

The first photo is from coloring the Hero Arts background stamp on day #17 of the challenge, with Thanksgiving in mind. 

And, today, day 19, I finished the card. The background morphed quite a bit, eh?

I used Vintage Photo Distress Ink to turn it brown.

This card is actually getting sent to my Aunt Rachel.  She sent a beautiful box of my Grandma Marina's treasure to me: a knit sweater that my Grandma made (it fits beautifully), one of my Grandma's crocheted doilies, another recipe of my Grandmothers (to add to my collection), and a lovely letter from my Aunt on how all of these things made their way to me.

What a treasure.  My Grandmother died earlier this year, in January, at the well lived aged of 104.  She was one amazing woman.  I traveled to California  and was able to see a lot of my Campos relatives, including my mother Grace.  The time and celebration spent with everyone will be treasured for many, many years.  We celebrated in Monterey, right on the ocean.  And we did a lot of story telling, many while drinking martini's in my little cottage room. 

Anyway, here are the supplies used for getting this card done!
Ranger Archival Ink - Potting Soil (used for stamped images)
A variety of Copic pens
Micron .03
Precision Pen .05
Doodlebug Designs 'Fall Flurry' Washi Tape
Hero Arts CG679 Graphic Leaves Background Stamp (Found out this was part of a Basic Grey collaborative - there used to be matching patterned papers!)
Paper Smooches Fall Sampler stamps: Leaf, and sentiment
Simon Says Stamp Giving Thanks Steel Craft Die
Bo Bunny Farmers Market journal card (behind the Giving Thanks die image)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Well Spent Craft Time: Hero Arts Scramble & Kathy's 30 Day Color Challenge

Oh glorious craft time.  I have been stalking Kathy's 30 Day Color Challenge and finally decided to give it a try. I do not color well. When 'stamping' started entering the whole Copic marker blending thing, and water color thing, and then the lettering thing - I was left it the dust.   

But I do appreciate all the beautiful work others do!

So.. while I was searching for inspiration, I remembered my friends at the Hero Arts Flickr site, and paid them a visit.  And low and behold, I landed on a 24 hour scramble!  Ta Da!

There's nothing like a challenge to get me motivated.

Here are the challenges:
Kathy's 30 Day Coloring Challenge
Hero Arts Scramble #144

Here are my photos and steps:

I started by stamping a few images with different color Stazon Inks

I worked on one of the Hero Arts 657780  images. My colored image is on the left, the stamp is in the middle and the die to cut it out with is on the right.  My pens are shown below them.

Close up of my image.  I wasn't worried about going out of the lines because of the die.  See?  I don't color!
My image added to a card I put together. Yes.  Brown. Just felt right.
A little side view to capture the depth, the use of Versmark for the snowflakes, and the glitter tree
I will not tell you how long this took me.  First, I found a good number of my inks and pens were dried out, and I had to dig deep through my supplies - including dusting off ink pads!  Oh. and the stamp/die set?  First time I have used it since buying it - in 2014?  Ha.

  But, since crafting counts as therapy, it was time well spent!

Supply List:
Hero Arts Stamp & Die Cut 657780 (Stamps: reindeer, tree, snowflake; reindeer die)
SU Heat and Stick Powder (so the glitter would stick)
SU Dazzling Diamonds glitter
Card Stock
SU Craft White Ink
Stazon Black
Micron .03
Copics Y21, E33, 0
Uniball White Pigment Ink pen
Sharpie - Extra fine point - Red
Glossy Accents
A sequin star

And that is that!

Super Moon Set - And Thoughts.

For some reason I popped out of bed around 4:30 am, went to start my dishes and coffee routine,  and while standing in front of the kitchen window, I saw the moon. There it was.  Just getting ready to set. I wish I could of captured the sight I saw in that perfect moment.  Right above the mountains, but here is what I was able to get.  I grabbed my camera and caught these few shots before it went to bed.  I felt lucky to start my day this way.  You can click on the photos to make them bigger.  I think my lense was fogging up from going from the nice warm house out into the 32 degree cold.

Thoughts on this week: 
The low lights: 
First there was the time change - which really messed me up - even though I am a morning person.  The only thing I can figure is I have this habit of waking around 2 or 3 am, and usually I go back to bed, and wake at 5.  This week? I just stayed up. I was off. Then the election results which truly were a shock.  Like an unexpected death.  This was followed by ugly words of others on social media, protests, fear and violence.  Then? The death of Leonard Cohen and his song Hallelujah played over and over, with the best (and very emotional) version being sung last night on Saturday Night Live (btw the Shrek version plays on repeat in my head).  

It didn't end there.  On Friday morning I contacted a local dealership via their website, even 'chatted' with someone about a car I wanted to test drive.  I never heard a word via the phone or email.  I am guessing I spoke with an autobot of some sort. But crap!  I filled out an inquiry sheet with all my info and sent it!  I feel like I am selling myself my own car with the effort I am taking versus the effort the salesmen are taking.  There are three cars that I 'see' between two dealerships.  Are they making the effort?  Hell no. This really pisses me off. I mean, the cars are in the 20 to 30 thousand range. Come on, put some work into this!  I feel like I just need to show up, ask for the keys, drive the car, and collect the commission myself.

And then.... I tried calling my mother, my birth mother, yesterday.  I called at a decent hour. Ten am.  Her birthday is Monday.  I sent two gifts to her, and I wanted to give her a heads up they were on their way, and personally wish her a happy birthday.  I left a message with her roommate.  I never heard back from her.  I am hoping it's because he forgot.  Not that she is blowing me off. This is that back and forth thing we do.  Its frustrating.  Its heart breaking (what she is enduring in this stage of her cancer).  I try to let it go. I try to be understanding and forgiving.  I do try.

And.... then?  My landlord texted last night.  Nice head's up, eh? Well, 4:30 pm.  He said he was coming over today, Sunday, at 8 am or 9 am to work on the eaves.  First.  Why the eaves?  Why not the electrical issue I reported months ago?  Or the roof that has about 10 or so missing shingles?  No Shit. Eaves.  He is coming today, on Sunday. My 'stay at home' in my jammies day.  Not any of my workdays, Monday through Friday when I am gone 12 hours of the day.  Pisses me off.  Only because I am very protective of my personal time. It's 8:30 am right now.  I am doing my own little protest.  I am still in my jammies and refuse to accommodate the poor planning of others.  

So that was the majority of the Super Moon shift. 

Now for the highlights:
My daughter sent a 'GUESS WHAT' text during the week.  It appears she has more scholarship money than she thought, and her expenses have been reduced dramatically.
Friday was a beautiful, warm, sunny, magnificent day.  I stayed home and worked in the yard.  Hallelujah. 
Saturday?  A little more sunshine and beauty.  A little more yard work and a whole lot of craft time and book time (A Man Called Ove).
This morning?  A very sweet love note from my man.  Very sweet!
And, an 'I love you' from my son on his way out the door at 7am.
And of course, that beautiful moon.  Just sitting there.  On top of the mountain ridge.  Before setting.

Sigh... Peace.  Peace to us all.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

PS November Challange - Give Thanks 11-6-2016

November Challenge

Click Here to Visit Paper Smooches 

My Card (Click on Photo to Super Size!)

Today was 'set your clocks back' day.  Not my favorite.  I am a morning person whose internal clock goes off around 5 am, so this morning I was ready to make breakfast at 6am for Jake, yet  had to wait one.more.hour for the new 6am.  He has to leave here at 7am for the ranch, so yes, I still make breakfast for my 17 year old son, and it is on the clock.  Tick.Tock.

However, it's been a great day to get things done.  Like play in the Paper Smooches November Challenge 'Giving Thanks'.  It's been a while, right?  I 'stalk' all sorts of blogs and feeds, but sitting down to play?  Rare. 

So!  Here is what I used and did:

Supplies Used:
Die: Paper Smooches Seasonal Tree (I used the negative for the tree base, backed it with pp and die cut leaves from pp)
Stamp: 'so thankful from the Paper Smooches Fall Sampler
Ink:  SU Craft White
Uniball White Pen - used for faux stitching around card and 'leaf' falling trails
pp:   Doodlebug Designs

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Reflecting Back on the Summer Solstice and Time Standing Still (Deep Thoughts)

Camp Near Alpine, WY

I never shared my Summer Solstice photos with anyone.  As most of you know, I love the full moon.  And I love both the summer and winter solstices.  Something about that moment of time standing still - and trying to hold it.

The evening of the Solstice started out beautifully.  I spent the evening with friends - eating, drinking, playing corn hole, and I took the photos above - well the obvious moon shots.  We even had strawberries in our wine to celebrate the strawberry moon.

When I left, about 9:30 pm, and headed home from the Pocohontas Rd area, toward my home in Haines, I could see blue flashing lights.  I thought a traffic stop.  That evening, since it was a Monday, both kids (18 and 17) were with their dad.

When I got to my house, Sami's jeep was in the driveway.  I came in the house.  She had stopped to get a sweatshirt and asked if I knew anything about the accident. I said no, and then she told me it was right out of Haines and the highway was closed.  One mile from town.  I asked where her brother was.  He was safe at the ranch.  Thank God. My heart was in my chest.   I was so happy my kids were safe and I said a prayer of thanks. Yet, I knew this accident would be ugly, and most likely would have people we knew.  Haines is small.

I found out a neighbor friend and her daughter were in the accident.  Both are alive, Thanks Be to God, and they both got out of their hospitals last week.  Both suffered serious injuries.  And there was a fatality.  I am so thankful for both of them.  The mother, also commutes to La Grande for work.  One day, we drove together, and we shared our stories of love and loss and how lucky we both are right now, having great men in our lives, and being on top of our worlds with our jobs, and where we live and well, just everything.  

Life stood still.  I have been in 'deep thought' wondering about 'what is next' and how life changes so fast.

Which brings me to the photos of the tents.   See the far one, closest to the creek?  In that tent, on the night of June 24 I shared with Phil that I found a lump in my left breast.  He was the first person I told.  It was huge.  I found it 10 days earlier.  Life has stood still since then, for me, as well.   I was worried, and not worried.  I found one four years ago that turned out to be a cyst.  It was quite small.  It was removed and benign.  This one?  I was hoping I didn't waste my second chance at life.

Luckily, this story also ends well.  Yesterday I was able to see 'my lump' through a mammogram and a sonogram.  And I had a post imaging consultation as well, all within 2 hours, up in Walla Walla, Washington. Had I stayed in La Grande these tests would have spread out over the course of another month or so.  The result? It turns out my lump is a 2cm x 4cm cyst.  And, full of liquid.  To be drained.  Cause?  Hormones.  The gift of going through the change toward Menopause.  Damn those hormones.

I hated telling Phil about it.  Because he worried.  His mind went to all sorts of dark places, which mine had done as well.  He lost sleep. He fretted.  He wanted to be with me when I went to get my tests.  He is a caretaker and I not used to having someone do that for me.  I told my kids.  They only knew for two days, but still, they worried. I hated seeing the worry in their eyes.  I know what went through my mind when my dad was sick.  All those scary thoughts.   I hate having people worry about the unknown.  I appreciate that they prayed for me and thought the best, but gosh darn it, I wish they did not have to carry the burden of 'will it be serious'.

Now, I feel I have been given another 'chance' at this thing called life. I was lucky.  And, I wonder.  Will I make an effort to live differently?  There are so many changes on the horizon with my kids going off to college and starting their independent lives.  It depresses me and overwhelms me.  I think about my future as well.  I have not truly lived alone, on my own, for well over 22 years.

So.  I think over the next year I will be thinking about what to do, where to go, and what to be.

Thanks for listening. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happenngs Around Here. June 18th

Photo Source:

Sami with two of 'her' babies

The Prom Queen, with her sweet, handsome prince

Jake with his Prom Date

Grandma Pat, Sami, and Me

Graduation Day

The Class Valedictorian - who also rec'd approx. $22,000 in scholarships

Top Photo: Grandma Pat, my sister Christy, Me, Sami and Jake.  Bottom Photo: My Bestie Erin, Me, Sami, Jake, and Erin's daughter Shannon
It has been a crazy 'past' month. So, I am catching up.

Birthdays in May:  Jake and mine. Along with Mother's Day.   And Phil's birthday.
May 7th was Prom: Both kids went. Sami was picked up in a beautiful classic mustang, and crowned Queen.
Graduation?  Oh lord.  It was a five or so day whirlwind.  Setting up and decorating both the party location as well as the school, hosting out of state guests, being the last parent standing at the party (all my guests and Sami's dad ditched me - they were tired.  Uh, yeah.), surviving graduation, cleaning up after the party, saying goodbye to guests.
And, I will say, I was surprised at who made the effort to share this day with us, and who did not. I am trying not to let it get to me. 
Phil's Birthday was the day after graduation.  He went to a friends cabin for a BBQ and stay-over.  I like to say 'sleep over' but heck, he's a man.  Apparently it isn't cool to say 'sleep over' for guys.  I still had guests. So, we celebrated Memorial Day evening.

Today it is raining.  On June 18th.  I am still in my jammies recovering from yesterday's migraine and a stupid sore throat that won't 'evolve' into anything.

So, for International Picnic Day, I have a tritip roast to throw on the grill (basking in a rub as we speak), and am between the stages of making potato salad.  Since it is raining, the kids (teens, young adults, whatever) and I will picnic indoors.

Have a great one!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Getting Creative with a Card Lift - Thanks

It's Saturday in my world.
A rainy, blustery, stay inside type of day. So far I have managed to: get my walk in before the weather hit, make a pot of lamb stew, clean the refrigerator of expired goods (inspired by the job done at my place of work), do three loads of laundry, wash various piles dishes, make a pot of french press (hence all the tasks getting done right now) and... play in my craft room (or bedroom, depending on one's view and the time of day).

And, I made something!

After browsing through my blog feeder I was inspired to 'lift' Michelle Wooderson of Mish Mash with her 'Just a Note of Thanks' card set.   I was inspired by her colors, layout and vintage theme.

My supplies

Stazon jet Black solvent Ink
Stampin' Up Washi Tape
Simon Says 'painted thanks' die
Sizzix Circles #2 die 
Lilybee Design Street Shoppe Gumball patterned paper
Gin & Company Vintage writing book paper (which I stamped the music sheet onto)
Cornish Heritage Farm Aged Sheet Music 6x6 rubber stamp (no longer in business)
Cornish Heritage Farm Ornamental Beauty stamp (circle quotes) (no longer in business)

End Result - Thanks 

The quotes in the circle stamp read:  Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it - Confucius;
and, A thing of beauty is a joy forever - John Yeates.

Between my daughter's HS graduation (favors done by friends taking photos for the announcement and hosting the after party), Prom (dress altered) and my birthday, I have a lot of thank you cards to get out!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30th Virginia's View Challenge (Hello)

My Entry - Hello card

Playing with distress inks, stamps, water color paper

The top panel of my card was made from this stamped sheet

Virginia's April 30th Challenge:  Friendship, Hello, Etc.

I finally made something! 
 Back on April 16th I came across 'I love Virginia's View Challenge' Blog from another friend's blog (Thanks Lin!).  And, I got inspired.  And, life happened, and I got sidetracked with a million other things.  And, today, as I looked at my scrappy mess in my bedroom, I remembered that today is the deadline to submit, so here I am.

Supplies Used:
Watercolor paper
Tim Holtz Distress Inks (cracked pistachio, festive berries, spiced marmalade, shabby shutters)
Tim Holtz Distress Stain (antique linen)
Stamps:  Stampin' Up 'What I Love'
Hero Arts' Hello Stamp & Cuts' (I used the Hello die cut)
Big Shot
Orange card stock and brown pattered paper (design on other side) from Simon Says Stamp April Kit 

Thanks for looking:)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

This is Jake - April 2016

Jake - One Fine Saturday Evening in April

Jake - Candid Shot
Jake is starting to 'bloom'. 

The man-child (16 soon to be 17) now has a girlfriend and is getting out of his cave (aka computer game world).  My quiet, mellow, observe from the corner of the room type of guy, is starting to expand his wings.  His social life is pretty minimal.  He's not the kind of kid who escapes every chance he gets.  Nope.  He would rather stay home after working all week at the ranch.  Even during the school year, he does chores before and after school, and puts in a full day on Fridays and Sundays.  So, his time at my house, is usually his 'down time' and his private time.

Every now and then he gets out with his guy friends to do off the wall stuff, like paint-ball wars, or air gun fights, or some other crap that seems to end in someone (him) getting hurt (dead front tooth on top, broken front tooth on bottom - permanent teeth things that drive me crazy). 

His girlfriend is a cute, sweet, rough and tumble kick-ass basketball player ranch girl, and the apple of her daddy's eye. Whom, one fine date-night for Jake and his cutie, appeared at my front door, with his daughter, and put the fear of Dad into Jake.
'So.  What's the Plan?'.  He asked Jake, while his baby girl was waiting in the car (do doubt for the 'all clear' signal).
'Um, Watching Movies'.  Jake replied (since I was in my room I could not see if he was trembling, fidgeting, or brave enough to look him in the eye.  Darn it).
'What movie?'.  Big 6 foot 4 or so Dad bellowed.
Jake replied with the G-rated movie they were going to watch.
'Fine.  I'll be back at xxx'.
Needless to say, I joined the movie watchers.  The Fear of Dad was instilled in me as well.

Phew.  Jake is a 'good' boy.  As in, he has a loving heart, a gentle spirit, and doesn't run with the wolves, if you get my drift.  He is respectful.  He makes my mommy heart proud. 

This last Friday was supposed to be their Sadie Hawkins dance and it got cancelled (not enough chaperones).  I was bummed about it.  Jake wasn't.  His GF had gone to great pains to 'setup' his invite - a bucket of KFC on the dinner table with a cute saying about her 'winging it' and never doing this type of thing before, and would be be her date.  It was adorable.  The nearest KFC is 33 miles away so it took some effort.

They will have another chance.  Prom is 3 weeks.
And yes, I am looking forward to it!


Friday, April 15, 2016

On the Topic of Grace

Grace Walsh - April 15, 2016

My birth mother has been in a sub-acute care facility for close to 2 months.  She seems to go back and forth to the Stanford Hospital Emergency Room every 2 weeks to have a blood transfusion and most recently, had 'fluid' drained at a different hospital.  Her health has been on a serious decline since last July, when she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She had tumors treated with radiation, has been on various medications, and, that is all I know.  The 'story' is always hard to get - in terms what she wants us to know, and what is truly happening.  Last  week we were told she has liver cirrhosis and that she knew this last summer and chose not to have a liver transplant.  Seriously?  She could have had a liver transplant and prevented all the crap that has been going on lately? 

However, it was her decision and we have to respect that.  Interestingly, I was recently thinking 'what would I do if I had cancer'?  I watched my dad die a over a three month period from his cancer and some hard core chemo therapy treatments.  I would never do chemo. 

The photo above was taken by my Aunt Alice, today, and was sent with the following message:

A miracle, prayers do get answered.  She's lost 50 lbs of water and looks great, even skinny.   Mentally pretty sharp and well spoken.  She's made friends there too.  Says Dr Marcus at El Camino hospital was the catalyst for her improvement.  Pls fwd this to Paula, I don't have her on this phone.  Had a great, happy, long visit with her.
Keep up the great work, girls, love you Much.

The 'great work' is due to my sister Avis, who has taken the lead as Grace's health advocate.  Not an easy job.  On the physical side, she has a two-hour drive to get to Grace, and has to juggle her own full-time job. Grace did not have any releases of information signed with any of her doctors. She doesn't have a power of attorney.  I doubt she even has a will.  It has been a very frustrating process.  You read about this stuff all this time.  But, for whatever reason, people like to keep their private affairs, private.  Until the day you get a call from another relative that 'it's an emergency'.   On the emotional side, my mother is a handful on her 'best' days.  Our own relationship has been strained for over 20 years.  Seeing her this last January was the best visit we have had in a very long time.

The photo?  I love seeing the smile on my mom's face.  My goodness.  I don't recognize her at all.