Friday, April 30, 2010

Birthday Surprise

A while back I told you I'd be posting more about my birthday gifts. Well, here was my big and totally unexpected surprise:
Last month I posted about a recent trip to our favorite antiques store, and told you the story about going in there to take a second look at a beautiful pearl necklace I had seen.
But alas, the pearls were gone, and I realized any chance of owning them was gone.

Well, there is more to the story....
Beautiful, aren't they? As it turns out, when Mike went back into the store to buy me the silver bowl (to make up for my disappointment about the pearls!), the store owner told him that the sales lady was mistaken: the pearls were gone, but not because they had been sold. The owner of them (this is a consignment store) had just come in and picked them up. She was having second thoughts, but might sell them if she knew there was a buyer after all.
So, she called her up on the phone, told her she had someone there that was interested in them and wondered if she would reconsider. The lady said she'd be there within the hour! So, Mike bought me the bowl, told them he'd be back in an hour, came to the car and acted all innocent, lol!
He took me home and then went out to "run an errand at the hardware store"! I never suspected a thing! After all, when we were in the antiques store and I saw the pearls were gone, I teased him and said I thought he had bought them for me. Mike swore that he had not, and I knew he was telling me the truth! It wasn't until he went back in for the bowl that he found out he could still buy them.

So, after I had opened what I believed to be all of my wonderful birthday gifts, Mike had a funny grin on his face and said "come here". I went over to him, sat on his lap (yep- after nearly 26 years of marriage I still like to sit on his lap) and he handed me the box all wrapped up. I had no idea even when I removed the paper what was inside. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and saw these pearls!
Isn't this clasp just gorgeous? I think when I wear them I will turn them so the clasp shows :-)
And I can not wait to wear them! :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

His Holy Name (HHN 09) Challenge: JUDGE

I love Patter Cross's Scripture Challenges on SCS from last year. But I could never seem to keep up with them! However, I don't think it really matters... His Word is the same today as yesterday, and every bit as good no matter when you read it! Anyway, last August one of the words for the challenge was "Judge". I actually studied this last Fall. I put it aside, and now thought I'd share it with you. Here is how my study of "Judge" ended up on paper for me:

It just so happens that at the time I was studing, I was really feeling judged by someone, and this was a good reminder to me that God is the only real Judge! It is not the place of others- weather they be strangers, acquaintances, friends, family members- or even ourselves to judge us. You should not feel you have to answer to them. It is The Lord who is the ultimate Judge and to whom we will all have to answer. Yes, we have laws and a court system in which judgement takes place, and I am not referring to that. I am talking about on a personal level.

And it's all too easy for us to be judgmental, too.
We may have thoughts or opinions, but we need to leave the judging up to God!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Oh, There is Stamping Fun In My Future!

I must have the most awesome husband any (stamper) could ever hope for, lol!

Mike often travels to some pretty cool cities for his job, and of course there are many times those cities just happen to be home to some awesome stamping and scrapbooking stores. He is so sweet and such a good sport as he is always willing to go on the hunt for me :-)

And today was no exception!

He was in Las Vegas, so I sent him to find none other than "Viva Las Vegastamps!" I have ordered from them online before, and figured that since their website said they have an actual store, I should see if Mike could check it out.

I had seen a really fun card on SCS just a few days ago using a couple of Beatles stamps, and I knew I just had to find them. My brother Rich was the biggest fan of the Beatles that you could ever meet (seriously- no exaggeration here!) and I have been planning for some time to do a scrapbook about him and figured some Beatles stamps would be great to use.

I told Mike that, if possible, I would love 3 of the 4 on the list I gave him- not knowing what they might have in stock. I also listed some other various stamps that looked neat, just in case there were no Beatles stamps. After all, I certainly wouldn't want him to go to all this trouble only to come home empty handed ;-)

Honestly, I really didn't know what to expect.

Well, not only did he get me ALL of the Beatles stamps I had hoped for, but a few I didn't know about as well!

Aren't they cool?!

Mike said he actually had fun in there. He said it was a really great store- and that I would have been in my glory there. (Ya think?!)

He got joking with the other customers in there and told them that he knew "who" they were and what they were all about. He said that he has seen them sitting around his dining room table many times. They all got a kick out of it and had some good laughs and fun, while the very nice and helpful staff as well as customers helped him pick out my awesome gifts!

So... I think my creative plans for the weekend have changed. I *thought* I knew what I was going to be working on, but now I have some new rubbah to introduce to ink!!

Thank you, Mike! Gee- now that you know where Viva Las Vegastamps! is, you can go to Vegas on business any time! :-)

Pocket Card

I remember when this set came out. It was one of those sets I was trying to resist (since I always have a huge SU! wish list going!). But there were so many great examples of it in the SplitCoastStampers gallery, that I caved in and bought it.
I think the sentiment is so sweet. And just about that time, I was in a stamper's group and we were doing swaps. The requirement was to make a "Pocket Card". Well, I had never made one before. So this, as it turns out, is the very first pocket card I ever made.
I recall that all the details I did on it ended up taking a lot more time to complete than I anticipated, and yet it doesn't really appear that way, lol! Oh, well! But I really was happy with the outcome. It's still one of my favorite cards I have made, actually. I LOVE all the "wood" background stamping!
I also love the pretty, soft colors and the DSP. And boy do I miss all the organdy ribbon Stampin' Up! used to carry! :-(
Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you an "old favorite"I pulled out from my stash. I love pocket cards; they are perfect for a quick little note. I also love decorated envies, so I really like the pocket idea. Hmmm... maybe I'll make some more of these, since I haven't done them in so long.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birthday Tunes

Time for another "Little Something" about me:
I not only love music, but have what I think most people would consider to be a rather large collection of it. It started long ago. And by the time I was engaged to be married, it had come to the point where it might actually have been considered obsessive, lol. Mike and I have rather similar tastes in music and he had more records than most people I know- certainly more than any guy I had dated (no, that's not why I married him, haha). So, as we were preparing for life after the ceremony- the part about me moving into his apartment, we decided to have a garage sale and not only sell duplicate "stuff" we didn't need, but our duplicate record albums as well. Turns out, that meant selling over 600 records! Yep- those were just the duplicates! So... if that gives you any idea of how many records I had, then I guess it should come to no surprise that now that I am more than twice the age I was when I got married, my music collection has increased a bit.
However, I must admit many of my records came from either my brother when he worked at various radio stations and got promos, or the years that I worked at a record store and got an employee discount as well as many promos!
Well, now we also have cds. I don't feel as if I have "that" many, but maybe a lot of the reason is that they take up far less space ;-) But I do have a decent amount to say the least. I also have quite a number of autographed cds. I have been very fortunate to never have had to stand in a line to have a single one signed, though. I am happy to say I never had to feel like a groupie to get one done lol! Due to my husband's job, he meets and works with many artists and either can get me to meet them, or has them sign cds for me. Anyway, for my birthday my sweet man gave me two more autographed cds to add to my growing collection: the new one by Point of Grace (as usual, he got them all to sign!) and the latest by Scott MacIntosh. So, as I was putting them away I thought- gee, I really do have quite a number of autographed cds! I hadn't consciously "collected" them, but I think at this point they could be considered a "collection". So, I threw a pile together to show you just a sampling of them (about 50 here... I don't even know how many I have total). Thank you, Mike! I love my birthday tunes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CASEing Myself

Last month, I made an anniversary card for friends of ours (see "Happy Anniversary, Anke & Mike" post March 12th). I really liked how it came out, so I decided to make a variation of it. I figured with the right change in colors and sentiment, it could actually work well for a sympathy or thinking of you card also.
I just love these Prima "Trellis Roses" flowers. Aren't they gorgeous?
I bought this brass butterfly finding on eBay some time ago. I was saving it for just the right card. I think this was it!
And flat backed pearls... I just love them. I think they work perfectly on this lace ribbon.

So, there you have it. I CASEd myself. And I must say I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I may have to do this more often ;-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pampering Time!

Oh my... I am actually going to do something I have never done before... get a facial!
My dear son in law's Mom (I know- I claim to be his mom, but of course she really is, lol) is and esthetician. Gail works at a really nice salon not far from my house. Well, for my birthday she sent me a gift certificate for a "relaxing, pampering facial". I have never had one, but from what my daughter tells me, I am going to LOVE it! I am really looking forward to this and can hardly wait.

The card she sent the GC in had me in stitches! Is this one of the cutest/funniest cards you have ever seen? The facial masks on the cats are all kind of thick and glittery. It's just too funny! And I got an extra kick out of it since Gail recently adopted two little kittens ;-)
It reads: "It takes work..." and then on the inside it says: "... to be as fabulous as we are."

I thought it was about as cute as it gets.
Thank you Gail, so very much. I am sooo looking forward to my pampering time!!

Fun New Embellishments!

Here are the awesome birthday gifts my friend Maureen gave me. She always makes the most wonderful scrapbook pages, so I know anything she chooses at the scrapbooking store is going to be awesome! I was so thrilled when I opened my gift from her and realized she'd chosen things for papercrafting!

The gift bag is so pretty- matching the cute hand stamped card.

And here are pics of the fun gifts: Beautiful olive and brown brads that are pearls, rhinestones and buttons. They are totally "my" style. I can hardly wait to use them! And the paper flowers that match- love, love, love them! There's also a container of brown flowers, and ribbon that is packaged so cleverly! It looks like a coffee drink- called Mocha Freeze. Super cute! It's filled with lots of different brown ribbons.

I have never seen any of these, which made it all the more fun. I love new products, and none are more fun than embellishments! Thank you so much, Maureen!

Birthday Surprises!

Wow- so much to tell you about! I have had so many surprises in the last 48 hours! First, was the hijacking of my blog by my awesome and sneaky daughter. Isn't she too cute in her Red Sox t-shirt and cap?! That resulted, as you can see, in the awesome new look of my blog. I love it! Thank you Kate!

The next day (Sunday) was my birthday. I had a lovely day. In the late afternoon, I had a super nice little celebration with my husband, our 5 kids (okay- I only gave birth to 4 of them; one is a son-in-law, but I consider him one of my 5!), and my very dear friend Maureen who came over with her two darling children. Maureen is also a member of my Stampin' Up! downline, and a very talented scrapbooker and cardmaker. I'll show you the gift bag and card she made, and the awesome papercrafting gifts she brought me.

I'll also show you some of the other gifts I received yesterday. I have no idea what I did to deserve such spoiling- but I sure am grateful for it! Gee, whoever thinks getting older isn't fun surely must not have wonderful friends and family like I have :-)

It will probably take me several posts to show you, so bear with me if it takes me a few days ;-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I hijacked your blog.

I hope you like the new look.

Happy birthday!

My Idea Of Comfort Food

In the past I have shown you some really fun stuff from "my" bakery... the place I go to for awesome bread, cakes, pastry, etc. They are really creative and make wonderfully fun things for the holidays. I so often tell my friends about it, so I figure it is about time I took some pics to show you all more about it.

When you walk in the door you are greeted by the heavenly smell of freshly baked goods. Mmmmm... and there is so much to choose from! Of course I have my favorites, but there's still so much more I need to try ;-) My daughter Katie got her wedding cake there and they did an wonderful job on it. We never go anywhere else to buy birthday cakes. So, when my sweet friend Becky came over with her darling little boy for a visit last week, since her birthday was only a few days away of course I had to order a birthday cake! You can see Marina writing on it in this picture:

Here is a shot of three of the nicest girls you'd ever meet! They are always so friendly and cheerful- and so very helpful! They always make me feel good and brighten my day when I go in there. Marina is on the left, then Anastasia in the middle, and my sweet friend Maria on the right. I have known Maria the longest- ever since I started going there several years ago. But they are all just wonderful!

And here is Becky's birthday cake. Boy was it delicious. It may sound a little boring, but it's actually my favorite: white cake with vanilla buttercreme icing and vanilla buttercreme filling. There are so many different flavors to choose from, but I personally love this combination. And I have never heard anyone complain about it- even my youngest daughter who is all about chocolate ;-)

So there you have it... "my" bakery. I love this place and the awesome people who work there. I was in there just this morning picking up my own birthday cake for tomorrow. And naturally, I couldn't leave without a few other goodies, as well ;-)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Swap Contribution

Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of being part of many wonderful swaps with very talented stampers over on Splitcoaststampers. The most recent swap I took part in was a Spring card swap with the theme being for friendship and sympathy cards. I chose to do one that I felt could be used for a number of occasions, primarily for a friend. I didn't put a sentiment inside; I just left it blank so it could either be used just to write in, or a sentiment could be added later.

I used a product which is pretty new to me: Flower Soft. It was so easy to use, and I had such fun with it! After stamping the flower image, I just put 2-Way glue directly where I wanted to make my flowers, then I liberally sprinkled on the Flower Soft. I lightly patted it down- just a bit, and then shook off the excess. Simple as can be! And don't you just love the results? This has to be one of the most fun and prettiest new embellishments I have used in quite some time. I have since purchased Flower Soft in several more colors and can hardly wait to play with it some more.

The other embellishments I used were the beautiful satin SU! ribbon in Pretty In Pink (love this ribbon!) and cute little flat backed pink beads my sweet friend Renee sent me. I absolutely adore these little babies and find I am using them very often! I have had no luck finding the colored ones in stores, but have found clear ones. I am in the process of trying different methods of coloring them and hope to post about that in the near future.

I also did some embossing with my Big Shot: I used the Sizzix Elegant Designs embossing plate for the background panel, and I used the Spellbinders Bordabilities Fluer De Lis die on a strip of Mellow Moss along the side peaking out under the ribbon.
Overall, I was really happy with how this card came out. It was one of the few times what I had created in my mind actually ended up being produced. So many times I set out with a certain picture in my head, but the end result is far from what I had originally imagined, lol!
So... what do you think?