Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful for... creative outlets

I remember as a child wanting to be an artist but couldn't draw at all.  I don't know why I didn't think of other forms of art but for whatever reason that thought stuck with me.  So I gravitated to crafts - they gave me a chance to be creative & I've tried just about every one out there lol   Some of my favorites are scrapbooking (of course), & all other paper crafts, knitting, quilting, jewelry making, and working with clay.  Working with my hands is an instant de-stresser.  I love the entire creative process whatever I am working on.   I still don't think of myself as an artist but I'm branching out into more artsy ways to be creative.  I guess it's age but I feel I can try anything & if I like it that is good enough for me.

Here's a mini album kit sample I designed for EMI Scrapbooking Store.  The kit is selling well.  It's filled with lots of stitching & stamping.  I loved making this one (even with the inches of glitter lol)

Home Sweet Home - My Mind's Eye Lost & Found paper


Friday, November 12, 2010

Blogger grrrr...

 I staged my week of thankful posts because I was trying to be on the ball and for some reason none of them I'll put them all in one post today to catch up so I'm not flooding email followers mailboxes with multi posts.

Tuesday - Thankful for you my followers & readers...


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I haven't met many of you but it really is a blessing when you leave me a comment or word of encouragement.  They really seem to come at just the right time. I hope that I am giving you some inspiration even though I've not been the best blogger this year.  You know life sometimes gets in the way & I am bad about feeling like what I have to share isn't as good as what others are blogging about and health/pain really can fuel that. So accept this BIG THANK YOU to each of you.

Wednesday - Thankful for old family photos especially those of my Grami...

they really have the power to transport you back to another time.  Remembering those who may no longer be with us is bitter sweet (as the years go on more sweet than bitter) but all part of life.  We can learn from the past.  Looking at this photo of my friend Lori & I with my Grami really takes me back to a day of sight seeing in Baltimore and Washington DC during a visit a year after moving away.

I am reminded of how much I miss my grandmother and how much she meant to me.  I was named after her & we were so close - sometimes it seemed we shared the same heart as she would know what was going on with me before she could pull it out of me.  We liked the same things - she taught me everything that I think is good about me.  She was an amazing cook - she had the smallest kitchen (couldn't even have the refrigerator in there) yet she managed to make such elaborate from scratch meals.  She taught me to make bread, cavatelles, pitzells, nut rolls, cabbage rolls, spaghetti & meatballs, thanksgiving stuffing & so many other dishes (all of which I've tweaked a bit - she even said they were better & started making them that way).  She loved "junking" & finding second hand treasures.  So creative - at age 55 she started painting - storing her brushes in a cleaned Pringles can.  Taught me it's never too late to do what you love & to follow your heart.  Loved BINGO and would always go wherever it was played - Catholic church always had one going on.  Love the beach and traveling.  Taught me how to grow flowers & how much joy playing in the dirt could bring.  She was a prayer warrior & close to the Lord.  Was a letter writer - showered me with cards & notes that I treasure today.  I love seeing her handwriting & often put it in layouts today.  I could go on and on about her...she was so sweet, caring & gentle natured.

She lived with Alzheimers for many years before passing (such a horrible disease).  Even with that she always had a smile for people & loved music.  When I would see her I could catch a glimpse of her - like she would bubble to the top for just a moment then the disease took back over.  I pray they find a cure for that very soon - as it really cruel & so hard for the family.

Thursday - Thankful for the sunshine
It is amazing how just standing out there in the sun can change your spirits.  I can feel it in my bones.  I love sitting out back in the garden with my breakfast watching the dogs rough house playing and running just soaking in the sun rays.  My dream one day will be to live near the beach so I can walk in the sunshine each morning with my feet in the sand.  That would be heaven on earth.

Friday - Thankful for Brave Girls Truths

Brave Girls Club

I've been visiting the Brave Girls blog for a while now & wanting to go to one of their retreats.  It always seems sold out & the women who attend seem transformed and so happy when they return.  It reminded me of when my friends and I went to Bible camp when we were in jr. high.  Melody & Kathy share truths each day on the blog and they really have the capacity to touch hearts.  They are so honest and truly brave in sharing such personal things.  Thanks to them for these posts that touch my heart.  I'm saving to take the 6 week class in January - a gift to me in the new year.  They are giving away 10 spots so head over to the blog & leave as many comments as you want.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend and are able to do something creative

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful for... the pain is better

This weekend was a total loss.  I had a severe migraine caused from nerves in my spine for over 2 days.  Laying in bed with ice on my head/back& taking medicine to ease it enough & praying to just sleep it off.  Since it comes from my back the typical medicines for migraines don't help much even though I get all the typical symptoms (aura, pain, nausea, light/sound sensitivity) but as of this morning I was feeling much better - I'm just not going to look up since it still seems a bit dicey and could flare up again at any moment.  But when you go thru things like that it sure makes you thankful when that pain is eased/gone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm thankful for... scrappy friends

This is an obsessive hobby that invades every part of your life.  We start to look at everything differently & non scrappers find us more than a bit strange.  I only have a few IRL friends anymore so it was nice to find so many online.  We encourage each other by giving a little "praise" on a layout, comment on a blog post, empathize with not having the right red cardstock (even when we have 20 different shades of red), oh and ah over the latest new "it" product or run out on a mad hunt when we hear about a great sale at Tuesday Morning or Big Lots.  It really boosts me up.  I've been doubly blessed to have gotten to meet some of my online friends in person at CHA & they are all so sweet.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm so thankful for... sleep number bed?

(no that's not us lol I snagged from Select Comfort site)

This may seem trivial but I really am thankful to have a comfy bed to sleep in.  I have a bad back & really struggled to sleep for several hours straight without being woke up in pain.  The Sleep Number Bed really has been a blessing for me.  I can not only adjust the support (independently customizable on each side) but I also can elevate my head/feet to get in just the right position.  It was a bit expensive but after researching how long they last then the bed seemed comparable in price to a standard one.  I'm so thankful for a good nights sleep because it sets the stage for a great day...

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful for such a great friend

Friends are a blessing... but longtime friends who really know you are a double blessing.  I am so thankful that I have one of those longtime friends.

I met Lori halfway through 4th grade when she moved and transferred to my elementary school.  We were instant best friends & almost 38 years later (gasp - did I say that) she is still my BFF.  2 goof balls that were not in the popular crowd but we had each other (& as the years went on our small group of girlfriends) that helped make the daily trials of school life OK.

We'd spend hours on the phone calling each other the second we got up in the morning or as soon as I knew she had enough time to walk home from school.  Our parents were understanding with a roll of the eyes.  We felt at home in each others homes - I loved having dinner at her house since her mom was a great cook & always had dessert after dinner (I still think of her when eating pound cake & chocolate ice cream).  She had the stay at home mom with the perfect house & my mom had started working  & even before wasn't always the neatest place with the clutter of all of dad's antique "finds" at auctions or yard sales.  We'd hang out in her basement which had the sweet smell of her dad's pipe tobacco - playing our records on an old "suitcase" style record player.  She had a sofa bed down there & when I spent the night we'd crash down there for privacy. She loved coming to my house since we had all the new "stuff" - video games, component stereo system, yellow black & white tv in my room, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, fish (we are both critter lovers but her mom wouldn't let her have a dog - she had hermit crabs), & a phone in my room to get into trouble calling people.

Lori was amazing... she's the best potato peeler lol she had too help cook dinner each night but she taught me how to use a peeler - I just knew how to use a knife thanks to my Gram, organizer (with the cleanest uncluttered pretty purple room around), talented piano player (I took lessons but my grandfather's talent skipped a generation to Andrew), so tall, pretty with long blond hair (taking Barbizon modeling at the department store), music we loved (Elton John, Partridge Family & Jackson Browne were favorites - though we had so many) & her hippie style (which I still lean towards today)..  We walked everywhere - going to Greetings & Readings several times a week (Hallmark/book store) for our magazines (Tiger Beat, 17, Cream), cards to send to my Grandparents in Pittsburgh, & special order books (like the Bernie Taupin - Elton John's songwriter - that we had to have  - the photos were very racy I can't believe now we were allowed to buy it lol)... I babysat the little girl next door so I had :"lots" of spending money.

Now it's great having someone that knows you so well and that you can share ANYTHING with without fear of judgement has kept me sane.  I don't have to worry about putting on airs for her or pretending - being real with her allows that honesty to actually heal the way life beats us down.  We share so many of the same interests & laugh at the same goofy things.

Even though we don't live in the same state anymore thanks to unlimited long distance we can stay in touch making a "date" every other week to talk for hours about everything clicking around on Farmville while chatting (I give her tips how to do the new things, post things for her to snag right then,  or make more money) & praying for each other.  I always start my prayer with how thankful I am for this friendship.  These talks are like therapy & I feel so much better afterwards.  Lori is like family & I can't imagine life without her.  Thanks for being my friend.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful for my critters

So much of my day is spent at home but I'm not alone thanks to our pets.  We have both dogs & cats.  They really enrich my life with their unconditional love & wanting to always be close by my side... Sometimes that can be a bit much when my "posse" of 2 dogs & 3 cats come into our small bathroom with me - talk about close quarters.

And the dogs remind me of when my boys were young when they start "rough housing" playing when I'm on the phone - doing their loud growly play tugging on a toy or a sock that Charley happened to not put in the hamper (when they are stretched out you would think he would learn... not my sloppy guy).

They were all rescued except for show cat DJ a.k.a. "pom pom kitty" (nick name came from his obsession with playing with pom poms from the craft store) pictured above - he's a ragdoll.  The rescues we adopted seem so thankful for a loving home - sometimes I wonder what they have been thru when looking in their eyes.

I've always been a animal person & can't imagine how empty life would be without them in our home... sure I have to deal with "tumbleweeds" of fur causing me to run the vac more often & hairballs hacked up on the carpet (miss my old house with no carpet when I'm rubbing & scrubbing) but the love they give me makes up for it in so many ways.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful for our freedom to vote.

Today is election day & it brings to mind so many things about our country.  We have  so many liberties and freedoms yet so often we take them for granted.  It's so sad to hear that we have such a low voter turn out compared to other countries.

I have many memories of my parents taking us to vote with them as a child standing in the booth & seeing democracy in action.  I guess it was their example that I looked forward to registering to vote at the age of 18.  I tried to pass that on to my boys taking them to the booth with me.

They looked forward to getting that little "I'm a Georgia  voter" sticker with the Georgia peach logo on it.   It may be silly but I wear mine all day too - not really for pride in myself but my country and maybe it's just as a silent reminder to others I might come across during the day...

We've had lively discussions leading up to election day about the issues - learning from each other's perspectives..  I hope you exercise your privileged to vote today.  Look at it as a thank you to all those in the military who are out there serving the country & giving us that privilege.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Surprise Toot

Don't fall out of your chairs I'm updating my blog AGAIN TODAY... no I'm not going to be one of those people who blog multi times a day - most times you're lucky if I share a couple times a week.... but I had to toot about this.

I was going thru the email attached to my blog & deleting things.  I opened an email from Scrapbook Trends to read about the new Cricut Magazine when what do I see huge staring at me but my sister dressed as a bee - they put my layout that was in the October issue in the spotlight of their email!  It sure brought a smile to my face.
Boo Not Buzz by Suz Gray
find more great ideas in Scrapbook Trends Magazine »
BOO NOT BUZZ by Suz Gray Patterned paper, rub ons (dotted line, stamp): Pink Paislee; Stickpin: Maya Road; Ribbon: Making Memories (thick), May Arts (thin); Thread: Coats & Clark; String: Craft supply; Letter stickers: American Crafts (foam), Jenni Bowlin Studio (round); Pearl flourishes: Prima; Bingo card: Jenni Bowlin Studio; Pen: American Crafts; Scalloped circle punch: Martha Stewart Crafts.

thanks for letting me share - have a great day

Journaling Challenges

Thanksgiving and the holidays are fast approaching and it's easy to get caught up in all the "hoopla" that goes along with it,   I'm usually guilty of  not taking time to appreciate the everyday & take time for myself,  I stumbled on 2 daily challenges that I was interested in focusing on.

The first one Scarlet Namvong challenged us to focus on the things we are thankful for this month.  When I take the time to look at what I am thankful for no matter how bad things get I seem to feel differently about things because I can clearly see how trivial the bad is & the good far outweighs the bad.

I like how Scarlet leaves it open how elaborate each person wants to get with the challenge.  I will be making an altered book journal for mine so it will be something I can encourage myself with if I get down.

Here's what Scarlet wrote on her blog about joining in.

how you can participate :: 
write a sentence, tell a story, take a photo...
blog it, tweet it, facebook it, journal it, scrapbook it...
share your gratitude daily or summarize it weekly...

The second challenge is...

Rhonna Farrer is hosting a 21 day challenge coaching us to make or break a habit.  She is an absolute delight and full of energy.  I'm looking forward to reading her blog posts & watching the Wednesday live show for inspiration to achieve this.  Focusing on a specific thing makes it do-able.  Here's the details from her blog...

1. Choose 1 habit you want to make or break in the 21 days.
*we'll end on Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S.*

2. Choose an art journal of some kind. old book, notebook, scrapbook, sketch book...something! 
OR you can make the little book  out of the NEW House of 3 21 Challenge kitThere's a tiny book that you can make 5x 2.5. I love it. I've found that sometimes you don't have the time to do a full blown art journal, but you do need 5 min. of creative time....a small canvas is much more do-able at times.  But, you may choose to have a larger book..whatever inspires you!

3. Meet back here on Friday, November 5th for your daily motivational coaching!  I'll have art from the kit plus quotes, motivation & a kick in the can for you! *and me*. LOL. 

*note: this week's Wednesday Web Show will be an intro to The {21} Challenge. I'll share some of my past journals with you, my experiences & my tips for your successful 21 day journey!

Scrappers Give Back

I stumbled upon a post one day when I was lost in blog land (you know when you start clicking on links and favorites from one blog to another) about creating mini book pages for kids in the hospital.  I knew that was something I wanted to participate in.

Scrappers Give Thanks

The 2nd annual Scrappers Give Thanks project has a goal of assembling 2000 participant-created 4×6 pages into 100 ten page (double-sided) mini albums to be delivered to 10 children’s hospitals across the country. Submitted pages should be scrapbook-style mini artworks containing positive words, happy images, jokes etc. and may be in digital or tangible formats.


The Scrappers Give Thanks mini albums will be assembled with 4×6 page protectors and o-rings. To ensure a consistent look and feel, participants must adhere to the following specifications:
  • Single-sided 4×6 pages
  • Vertical orientation only (4″ wide by 6″ tall)
  • Include age-appropriate positive messages and/or images
  • No glitter, embellishments greater than 1/4″ thick or copyrighted images
I think this will be a blessing to the kids & brighten their day in a little way.  I hope you join & help us reach the goal of 2000 pages.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paperclipping September Challenge Winner

I wanted to congratulate the winner of the Paperclipping Challenge last month... Angie Ladeau & share her   beautiful serene nature layout she created for our challenge.

This  is what Angie had so say about her layout:

I am experimenting with layouts that have less “stuff” on them and more photos and words. I love the idea of a big photo used as a background to draw the viewer immediately into the action of this story. It seems to say, “Let’s go explore!” As we entered the field that evening the sun was just starting to set and the light was waning fast. I loved the texture of the mushrooms and saw my daughter walking out of the frame as I crouched down to capture its remarkable texture. Again, the photo says, “Hey, wait for me!”
My second goal with this layout was to make it look like I printed the photos on canvas, then laid it out on some cardstock, added the butterfly and took a picture of it. I played a lot with the placement of objects and the painting on the edges of the background photo to create a frame. Although I was trying to keep it simple, I couldn’t help but try to see how a visual triangle would fit in. As I added the finishing touches to the title I realized that the buttons, the butterfly, and the scripted text in the title create a visual triangle, directing the viewer into the story. I just love this design stuff!!
{Melissa Bennett buttons and background papers from “Autumn Memories” (TDF21;}

What the judges had to say:

Our goal is to identify the layouts that do a great job telling the story. Angie accomplished that with this page. The haziness she gave her photo adds to the almost surreal beauty. Light from the sunset burns through the haze to catch your attention. It emphasize the horizon and places you immediately into the narrative. The child at the front of the background (main) photo adds to the feeling that you’re included in this experience. A part of it. Both she and the diagonal horizon line give a sense of movement to the page and photo.
We love that she chose to journal directly onto the photo so that she could use it as the backdrop of the entire page, enveloping you in her story. The handwritten font lends to a personal feel — that this photo isn’t just a mystery photographer’s nice shot; this was Angie’s personal experience. The title is subtle, so it doesn’t distract from the beauty of the picture.
And Angie was right. There is no need for a third yellow accent to create a visual triangle. She had already created a triangular shape with her title and the other elements. Her restraint keeps the focus on the best story-telling element of this layout — the photo.

Find Angie Ladeau

You can find her in our community, The Crop Circle. She also has a blog.

It's Monday... Already

The weekends sure aren't long enough.  It was beautiful weather this weekend (a tad hot but I'm not complaining... much - I'm just ready for some cooler fall weather it shouldn't be in the mid 80's).  We got some much needed rain today & looks like it will continue for a couple days.

In honor of halloween coming up I thought I would share a layout (which I thought I already posted here  but I guess it was just in the Paperclipping forum for the monthly challenge.  If you haven't already submitted your page you've got until midnight pacific time on the 31st.  Click here for all the details - all are welcome.

This is my son (on left he looks a bit too good as a girl scary lol) and his friend. At 21 he still loves to dress up each halloween.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I thought I would share a few things I'm loving right now...

I used my survey taking rewards last week to purchase SCAL for my Cricut Expression.  I have to say I can't believe I waited this long to jump on this bandwagon....  The program is really easy to use yet can do so much.  There are a lot of free svg files out there and it gives me so many more images without buying cartridges all the time.  It's on sale for $59 right now

Another thing that I resisted buying for a long time was an ATG gun.  With arthritis in my hands I didn't think I would like how big it was.  I HAVE LITERALLY TRIED ALL THE SMALL RUNNERS AVAILABLE.   When I could no longer get my Kokuyo dot rollers I was on a search for an adhesive I really liked & with all the layouts/cards I make it had to be affordable too.  I do like the American Crafts runner but at $5 it can get a bit pricey & I don't know if it will longterm last on my projects.  So when Michaels started carrying the pink breast cancer model that with a coupon was less than $17 with adhesive I couldn't resist trying it.  I have to say the weight and size don't bother me since it's so easy to pull the trigger & apply.  This model only uses the quarter inch tape which is what I like anyway.  I am a believer & an ATG girl now..

Speaking of adhesive my favorite liquid adhesive right now is Crafter's Pick The Ultimate.  It's a very versatile glue & dries fast, strong, and clear.  I am using it all the time on my mini albums.  It even holds metal securely so I don't have to get out the Glossy Accents/Diamond Glaze and dries clearer/less shiny than those making it more invisible.  A little goes a long way.

Pink Paislee products are always a favorite of mine... I love all 4 of the lines they released recently.  Parisian Anthology designed by the House of 3 is so elegant & innovative.  I love the subtle resist print that makes it perfect for inking and spritzing.  These tickets are so versatile & affordable.

Unity Stamp Company has a new website.  They have been growing by leaps & bounds and no have a website that can keep up with them.  It's absolutely fantastic.  I love that I can create a wish list & everything is so easy to find now.  You all know how much I love my Kit of the Month...

Another paper line that I have been using up every last scrap of is Crate's Restoration.  I love the colors & texture.

Helmar Adhesive is hosting a great blog hop this weekend filled with loads of inspiration.  Start on there blog here.

Hope you had a relaxing weekend.

Friday, October 15, 2010


This has been a week... thank goodness it's finally Friday.

I've been really busy moving stuff around in the house... the moving of the scrap room has turned into moving a bunch of rooms around.  I used to always move furniture around myself when the boys were young.  The running joke in our house was that when my hubby was out of town for work he would tread lightly as he entered the house since he never knew if I had moved something into his path (yes it was from experience where he almost broke a toe on an ottoman as I created a "conversation area").  These days I can't move the big stuff without help but that's what I have grown sons for right lol.  The trouble with that is that I have to wait on "their time" instead of when I get that moving around hair up my you know what.

I thought I would share a layout using some cute My Mind's Eye goodies.

This is an 8x8 layout.  I love Debbie Tehrani's style & she always does that size.

I'm having an Ippity Stamp Sale click the tab above or here.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend - it's getting cooler here again so I can't wait to do something outdoor in the faller air.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm loving so many of the lines that have been recently released.  Yep I am so one of those people who is inspired by products almost as much as I am the photos and stories I want to scrap.

I thought I would share a page that I made recently - my friend Lori & her cat Koko using some Basic Grey

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The winner of the weekend giveaway is

True Random Number Generator  1Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Robin said...

Happy World Cardmaking Day!
I just returned home from getting together with a few friends to make some cards! My favorite card was when someone showed us how to use used dryer sheets on your cards .. way cute!
I've seen a couple of the giveaways that you mentioned, nothing else yet .. but I plan to keep looking!
October 2, 2010 3:40 PM

Congrats Robin - email me your snail mail address to sgray110 at gmail dot com
Thanks to everyone who left a comment & visited.
Hope you are having beautiful weather in your area.  Here in Georgia fall is the best time of the year.  Except for the ragweed (which is really bad this year( & yellow jackets (the bug not the college team - so don't get your panties in a wad those of you who love GA Tech - the bugs seem to know they aren't long for the world & want to take anyone down with them who gets in their paths)  it would be perfect... but you can't have everything.  We get cool nights and days in the 60's or 70's which after tis super hot summer is so welcome.  I love to watch the dogs first thing in the morning go out and that chill in air causes them to tuck the tail & just be a bit more frisky running around the yard.
It's also the time for festivals.  Every weekend there is something fun to do close by the house.  We went to the Lawrenceville Rockin' Rib Festival on Saturday.  It was the first time we attended this one but thought it was worth checking out since there was live music, good food, & very close to the house.  Charley rushed me and I forgot the camera so thank goodness for the iphone.
The music was a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover band & they were very good.  

I love that the old town of Lawrenceville has live music on the lawns outside the old courthouse.  

While enjoying the mellow music out of the corner of our eye we both saw at the same time this crazy guy who was dancing like a maniac.  

We were dying laughing.  Come to find out he was recording HIMSELF....

Here are some You Tube links of him dancing to some of the other bands later in the day

Looks like he even got on the stage with this band

We were pleasantly surprised you could buy beer (if you stayed on 2 of the 4 blocked off streets surrounding the courthouse square?)

$4 a little cup was a bit high but that didn't stop you know who

I seemed to have the kiss of death for every line I stood in....

First Rita's to get an italian ice... they were out of everything after a 10 minute wait

Then how about a funnel cake.... waited another 10 minutes only to get within 2 people of front of the line and something happened to their power....

So we walked around a bit & saw Hawaiian ice & I stood in line yet again...
20 minutes later I got this

Finally!  A delicious & refreshing cherry delight...

I think I enjoyed it even more because I finally got something to eat.


Well that's all for today... have a great day.