Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Falling for Fall....

Ok...I admit it!  Fall is in the air....the leaves outside my window are changing colors and I'm listening to the acorns fall down and hit the deck as I type.  It's here.....
Fall is HERE!  
Resistance is futile. 

Well, I don't know about you but I'm loving it and I'm loving all the fun Fall projects out there.  Last week's Scrap Happy group got to make a delightful two page layout and they just needed to go home and add photos.  Here it is....

This is the left hand page....

I love "subwaay art" is so popular right now and I am completely addicted.  It's so fun and makes such a great "eye catching" element on the page. 

This is the right hand page...

I will tell you that probably the most popular thing  from the whole class was when I showed them how to make those stinkin' cute pumpkins.  LOL  So fun and so easy!  Just an Extra Large Oval Punch for the pumpkin and then the leaves from the Bird Builder Punch.  They would be cute on lots of different cards and projects.  I'd love to use them  as place cards for our Thanksgiving dinner....maybe.....SO many choices and ideas....SO little time!

Ok....I'm off to find something warm to wear to work tomorrow that works for cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon......Ahhhhh.....I love fall!

Stamped blessings,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spooktacular S'mores

Happy Fall!

It is absolutely gorgeous here in Virginia!  We sat outside tonight at Foster's Grille and celebrated Zach's 19th birthday and we actually got chilly.  Brrr....  It was wonderful.  Fall is probably my favorite season of the year.  I love it all!

Speaking of fall....I have a fun project to share tonight.  Soon we'll be hearing those crackling fires lighting up the night sky and what makes a fire even MORE fun???  Why s'mores, of course!  Well....we can't just have plain ol' s'mores.  Nope!  Not us.  So here's a little inspiration to liven up your s'mores.....

Check out this little guy....

Isn't he just so stinkin' cute?  I used one of our awesome Clear Envelopes and put in one graham cracker broken in half...a miniature Hershey bar and the BEST part of all....a GHOSE PEEP!  Now how fun is THAT?  I then made a fun topper for it and VOILA!  A tasty and fun treat!

These would be great for Halloween parties....secret pal gifts....neighborhood treats....and so much more.  I know one thing for sure....I'll be making a bunch more of these in the coming weeks.  :-)

If you'd like to get supplies to make some of your very own, just head over to my Onlne SU! Store and check out all the DSP and accessories.  Just click on the catalog above on the left hand side bar and it'll take right where you need to be.

For now....I'm off to get a little beauty sleep.....tomorrow is my birthday!  Woo HOO!  

Wishing you a most magical day and some spooktacular stampin' time!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Light Up My Life

Happy Monday!

Today I have a fun and QUICK little project to share with you.  It costs just pennies to make and it can be created for SO many occasions.  Here's a peek....

It's SO fun!  I just cut a piece of vellum in a semi circle.  Then I used one of new favorite stamp sets from the Holiday Mini Catalog, "Wonderfall".  It has such gorgeous leaf designs with great textures.  

Wood Mount: 128084 - $24.95     Clear Mount:  128087 - $17.95
The leaves are stamped with More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Cobbler and Early Espresso ink.  I then adhered the shade together using a piece of Sticky Strip.  I then placed a battery powered tea light "candle" in a wine glass and put the shade on.  I tied a piece of the new 3 1/2" Scalloped Tulle Ribbon in Crumb Cake.  ( LOVE that stuff!) in a bow around the stem.  These are would be so great to have out at a dinner party....sitting on an end table or even on your desk at work when you need to feel a little bit of "home" during the stress of your day.  :-)  I promise you....just PENNIES to make!  You'll love them.
If you'd like to get your very own set of "Wonderfall" stamps....go to my ONLINE STORE by clicking HERE   It's a great set for SO many occasions and you'll be SO happy you have it to go to when creating more fall fun!

Wishing you a magical day and a very Happy Fall,

A Sweet Weekend....

Hello, my friends,

Well, it's Sunday  night and I'm getting all my ducks in a row to get ready for a very busy week ahead.  We've had an awesome weekend celebrating Zach's birthday which is actually tomorrow.  We went to Hershey for the weekend and visited some incredible friends.  We went to Hershey Park and Chocolate World and it was a blast.  The weather was gorgeous and we made tons of great memories.  

We rode coasters....we ate chocolate....we laughed...we ate cake....the fun went on and on.   Hershey is definitely the "sweetest" town.

Ok....Mike might have made a "deal" with Linz to get her to ride the new coaster, "Sky Rush".....and she DID IT!  She's $5.00 richer!  LOL

Needless to say...it was a GREAT weekend.

Stop by tomorrow for a fun, new "FALL" project that's sure to light up your life.  *wink*

Wishing you a magical day!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Christmas in September

Hey there, Peeps!

Sorry I haven't posted recently.  I've been concentrating on keeping my head above water and keeping all the balls in the air.  LOL  If  Dr. Phil stopped by and asked me his infamous question, "So how's that workin' for ya?"....I'd have to say...."Some days are great and others I'm waterlogged and bruised!".  That's ok.  I'm working hard on the whole "Let not your heart be troubled...." skill.  :-)

The kids are doing well.  Nothing much new to report.  Exciting news about our BIG boy's 19th birthday celebration though.  We have dear, dear friends who live in Hershey, PA and they have done lots of amazing work for Hershey over the years.  They are so sweet and they love us and our kids.  Well, they have invited us up there this weekend for a FREE trip to Hershey Park and Chocolate World on Saturday!!  Zach's birthday is Monday so we'll definitely be celebrating up there this weekend.  We haven't told him....It's going to be a SURPRISE!! I can't wait to hit the road tomorrow after work.

My birthday is Tuesday so maybe I'll celebrate up there and buy myself a few Twizzlers and a little chocolate.  :-)

Tonight I had my "Christmas in August" stamp camp here at the house.  We had such a great time and the ladies all  loved the new designs I created for them.  Want to see what they got to make?  Ok.....Here you go....

It's always so much fun having the ladies here.  I love listening to them chat and laugh while they create.  I don't know if they realize just how much they bless me!  :-)

Well....I'd best be getting myself to bed.  It's going to be a busy weekend and I can't wait!  I love fall and I love traveling.  

Have a happy TGIF and come back again soon!

Stamped Blessings,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Wonderfall You"

Hello, my friends,

First I want to that you ALL for your wonderful words of support and all the genuine love and concern for me and my family.  Thank you for believing in me and in us and that God is in control.  We sincerely treasure your prayers and your friendship more than words can express.  God bless you all.

I went back into the studio tonight and I slowly but sure started to find my "mojo" again.  Woot!  There are so many project notes and ideas in there and for the past couple of weeks I just couldn't make sense of any of them.  Tonight I could sort of get a glimpse of a pretty wonderful foundation for some fun projects that will hopefully be coming soon.

I have a seriously STINKIN' CUTE project to share with you tonight.  Well, the project itself is cute but what's "in" it is even cuter...if that's possible!  Here's a peek....

Hee hee HEE!!!  Isn't she A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E???  That's our new "grandpup", Callie.  She is the sweet baby girl that Brittany and Sam adopted about a month ago.  She's a pure bred Golden Retriever and she is a hot mess!  LOL  She is the most adorable love bug and we are thrilled that she's joined our family  She and our dog, Marley, get along famously and they love playing and wrestling together.  She is undeliably ALL puppy!  Whew!  Anyway....I thought this sweet photo that I took the day we brought her home was the perfect choice for this frame I created.

This is a project that was one we made at this month's Trinity Design Stampers Team Gathering last week.  Our upline, Robin Merriman, designed it and then we all got to make one of our own.  I don't know if there were two of them that were alike when all was said and done.  That is the BEST part I think.  Ok....so here are the details.  We started with a wooden frame (bought at a "big box" craft store")  The frame is then covered with the new "Core'dinations" card stock in Gumball Green after embossing it with the Woodgrain Embossing Folder.  I then lightly sponged it with Early Espresso ink to bring up the texture of the grain.  Next, I used the new "Autumn Accents" Die for the Big Shot to cut out all the leaves out of various colors of coordinating card stock.  The ones that were cut out of Very Vanilla were then stamped with the coordinating stamp set called "Wonderfall"  I LOVE that set!!

The ribbon at the top is the new 7/8" Cotton Ribbon.  I love that it's so easy to stamp on to add even more looks with it.  I added a few different buttons and voila!  Callie is looking just "Wonderfall"!

I can't say it enough....I absolutely adore that SU! makes crafting SO easy by having all the coordinating color families and taking that through everything from card stock to ink to ribbon to brads to buttons and on and on.  It's PERFECT!

If you'd like to make a few of these frames for yourself or maybe to give as gifts, all supplies can be found at my Online Stampin' Store.  Just click HERE and you can head on over there.  No lines....No waiting and you can shop in your pj's!  Wahoooo!!!

**OOPS!  Linz just came in as I was creating this post and wanted me to make sure that "all my friends know that SHE collected all of the acorns in the photo today in our back yard)   She gets SO excited when she sees all of the different countries that you all are visiting from!  :-) 

I don't know about YOU but I know that I'M ready for a weekend.

Wishing you a magical day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just some thoughts....

First of all....there's absolutely NO creative inspiration in this post or even within sight so.....just sayin'.

I've been coming up here to my little creative studio....night after night....and finally tonight (after a few tears....seriously??? Why?) I still have nothing creative in my brain.  I went downstairs to let Marley outside and I thought....Ok....I need to just get all this out of my brain and maybe that will help somehow.  I have felt so guilty for not posting....not coming up with fun, creative ideas to share.....not being HERE.  I know.  THIS is not rocket science and this is definitely not the end all be all for those of you who (bless your hearts!) stop by my blog just to check in.  I miss creating.  It's like "candy" to me.  I LOVE it SO much and I miss it.  I thought I could at least explain what's going on and where my head and heart have been lately and maybe it will help (me at least... LOL....Feel free to click your mouse on over to a real inspirational blog at any time.  I'll understand!  :-) (Mom.....I know you'll read to the end....Thanks for loving me!)

Let's see....I guess the biggest of all the things on my little brain is dealing with the beast named autism.  I know....I'm good for a long time and them WHAM!....it gets me again.  It seems that this time it's kicked my butt harder than it has in a long time.  

When Linz and Zach were little they were just "cute", little autistic kids....at school....at the store....at the family reunion....etc.  Now....while they are still precious and happy, it is painstakingly obvious that they are now young adults and living with disabilities that I can not fix....and I hate that SO much.  NOT for me.....but for THEM.  I want them to have more.  I want Linz to not be left at home everyday with no job to go to because no one will take a chance on her.  I'm angry at Project SEARCH and at Didlake for not following through with all their "pie in the sky" promises of what she would receive.  I never, ever thought MY child would be one of those "poor kids" (as we used to call them in the SpEd meetings) who would graduate and then be left with no where to belong.  How did that happen??  What went wrong?  No one sees her amazing resume and trusts that it's NOT just fluff.  That it was most certainly NOT just "busy work" that she did at all of the jobs she's done at all FOUR libraries and at the hospital.  She is amazingly gifted at clerical duties and at working in a library and yet day after day she's here....at home....  WHY?

She's truly a blessing to so many people and has SO much to give.  It's nothing that I did.  God created her in His image....not mine.  He chose to give her the gifts that she possesses not me.  She can do things that I can't.  It's true!!  She can.  Unfortunately I have had to sit back and watch as she is left to flounder.  I'm still fighting to find her a place in this world.  I'll never ever stop.  But I will say that lately my "mother's heart" hurts.  It hurts because my children are truly gifts from God and if I don't fight for them....no one will. (ok...Mike will but you get what I mean)  

I'm tired.  Mentally and physically and I feel incredibly guilty for even uttering that phrase.  I'm not asking for pity.  I'm just trying to let you know where I am.....why my creativity has left me....and I'm just praying my way through.

I send Zach off to school every morning praying that he won't end up like this after his "extra" time in high school is over.  He did graduate in June but is able to go back as a Super Senior until he's 22.  He will be working on life skills this year and actually be working with the internship coordinator to try to build "marketable skills" like Linz did.  I can't help but worry though.  What if he ends up here like Linz.  What if I have to quit my job because he can't stay alone.  What if something happens to me and Mike.....What IF???

PLEASE don't misunderstand. My family is incredibly blessed beyond measure.  We are!!  I praise God daily for all the gifts He has bestowed upon us and I count my three beautiful kids right at the top of that list.  I don't understand.  I just don't.  I don't know why autism is a part of our lives.  I will probably NEVER understand.  I just know that it's our reality and quite honestly it sucks out loud.   But we are blessed.  Things could be much worse. Believe me....I've had people "remind" me of that.  "Oh, Michelle....It could be worse".  Really?  Do they think I don't know that?

I pray constantly for my children and that God will protect them and guide them and bless them with long, healthy lives.  I just have to say that as I type this tonight....as I pour it all out here....I pray that God is going to renew my strength and show me the way to walk to best help our children.  I know that He loves me and He loves them.  I need, now more than ever, for Him to help me be the best that I can be for them.

So....for those of you who have listened to me ramble all the way to the bottom of the screen (Mom) I just want to tell you that I honestly treasure you......I treasure your friendship even if we've never met.   I treasure your belief in me and my creativity.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being an incredibly rich blessing in my life.  Please know that I will create again soon.  I miss it SO much.  I will post again soon.  I just needed to tell you where I've been.

Praying God's richest blessings for all of you, my friends,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Suit"able First Aid

Hello, my friends,

I absolutely HAD to share this here today.  I'm STILL laughing!!!!
Today Zach came home and had a pretty long cut on his chin.  It wasn't serious but it looked more like he'd cut himself shaving. I asked him what happened to his chin. (Now remember....he's autistic...)  He said, "Did you need a new razor?"  He often answers questions with other questions.  For example I might ask him, "How was your ice cream?" and he'd say, "Did you like it?".

Now Zach uses an electric razor.  Mike tried working with him a few times with a regular razor and....well, let's just say he didn't quite get the hang of it.  He gets up in the morning and gets dressed on his own and then heads downstairs to shave and brush his teeth.  He did just that this morning and I don't recall seeing the cut before school and I actually went out to wait for the bus with him this morning.  I'm not sure how it happened but.....

We came home and I changed into comfy clothes and sat down on the couch to check email.  About 15 minutes later he came back downstairs and said, "Did you fix the cut?"  

I looked up and this is what I saw.....

Well....I guess duct tape truly can be used for LOTS of things.  HAHAHAHAHAHA  I seriously laughed my butt off!!  He was SO proud of himself!!!

Never fear....  Linz took one look at him and said, "No...no...NO!  Zach come here and let me fix that for you".  She got him a "suit"able band aid and I'm happy to report that all is well.  I just thought some of you might be in need of a good laugh today  Some call it "autism"....I call it "creativity".  :-)

Wishing you a magical day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One of a kind....

Hello, my friends,

I know I haven't posted much lately and I'm hoping to change that starting now.  We've been really busy and I'm adjusting to being back at school/work.  I'm really enjoying my new position at school working in Reading Resource.  I'm actually getting to know lots of new kids and I'm happy to get to work with staff members that I've admired since I started at Mayfield.  Win-Win!

Speaking of school....I hope you've gotten a chance to check out the awesome offer from Stampin' Up! in my previous post from today.  If not....just click HERE

We've also been busy celebrating Lindsay's 21st birthday.  Her actual birthday was Sunday but you know....Linz likes to celebrate for at least 3 or 4 weeks.  LOL  We celebrated by going to dinner at one of her new favorite restaurants, Blue Ridge Seafood in between Gainesville and Warrenton, VA.  She wanted crab legs and man, oh MAN were they YUMMY.  I took lots of photos and tonight I created a layout with two of them.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  I think it captures a little of the joy we shared with her on her big day.

I added a quote from a really awesome friend of ours, Betsy Harlow.  She's known Lindsay for a very long time and she's always loved her just as she is.  The quote is "Lindsay is the carbonation in the beverage of life.  Bring on the bubbles, baby!".  I love it and we all love Betsy very much.

Be sure to check out all the exciting specials at my Online Stampin' Store by clicking HERE.  We're gearing up for fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and, yes, even Christmas.  Get a jump start on your projects and gifts and make these the best holidays ever.

Wishing you a magical day,


Hey, Peeps!

Are you a teacher? Would you be interested in receiving a copy of MDS (the original $79 version, of My Digital Studio) for FREE?

If so, then contact me today  Stampin’ UP! is donating the original version of My Digital Studio to schools and teachers.  But don't delay, supplies are LIMITED and as you know, anything FREE does not last long!  Don't miss this fantastic opportunity! 

You will not only get the program, but you'll get ME!  You'll be able to check out lots of ideas and videos at MyDigitalStudio.net you will find a whole new world of digital friends who love MDS also.

What can you use it for?  Glad you asked.....

-  Bulletin Boards
-  Newsletters
-  Projects
-  Cards for students and  parents
-  Awards
-  Photo journals and memory books of special class activities
-  Class Scrapbooks

This program comes with over $500 worth of content including more than 2,000 images....
Did I mention that it's FREE??

Quantities will be limited so contact me soon to get info on how to get this awesome deal for your classroom and school.

Email me for more info at shellsuit@verizon.net to get more info.....

Wishing you a magical day!