Tuesday, October 30, 2007


So I'm having a bit of trouble. I've been in the mood to stamp ever since I got home from the swap over the weekend. I was really inspired by all of the wonderful ladies that I met. BUT, I'm seriously having issues. I've made a few cards over the last couple of days and I'm kind of disappointed with how they are turning out. I actually kind of like this one pictured here. I used Patterned paper from the DCWV fall scrapbook stack, Moss green ink from colorbox, chocolate brown ink from ink it up, and then the orange and red are my marvy stamping markers. I stamped the background with a pencil eraser and the small flower from the Stampin Up Priceless set. The butterfly and swirl are also from that set. Then I used a pop dot to add some dimension on the butterfly and a couple of rhinestones on the flowers to add a little bling. The sentiment is a Technique Tuesday stamp. What do you all think? Is this a common problem? I guess I'm so used to scrapbooking and how I've developed a style that I'm comfortable with and with cardmaking, I've just started so I don't know all the techniques and stuff. So I suppose I will just continue to practice. And another thing...how do people get their bows to look so perfect on the cards--is there a trick to this?? Haha, HELP! :-)

Other than my stamping/cardmaking frustration, things are good. We are all ready for Halloween tomorrow, but now I have to make a special trip to the store to find some accessories for a 2nd costume for Caitlynn. She has to do a book report and dress up like the character TOMORROW, and they just assigned it today. Gotta love that. Well her costume, Singing Diva Barbie, does not go with any book that I can find. SO I have to whip up something so she won't be without an appropriate costume! UGH! Thanks to the school for the last minute project...whatever happened to good old preparation time and a heads up?! Ahh, the joys of mommy-hood. But I seriously CANNOT wait to see Hayley dressed up like a duck! It's going to be so stinkin' cute. She has this little stuffed animal duck that we got at Babies R Us months ago that she drags around with her and the costume matches it...like the mama duck and her baby...can't wait. Pictures to come...probably on Thursday! Oh and another thing...this is the first year I'll have to prepare Thanksgiving dinner...any ideas, recipes, tips or tricks you want to share would be greatly appreciated!



Sunday, October 28, 2007

Carolina Girls Swap

Yesterday I attended the Carolina Girls Shoebox Swap. I met some wonderful people and learned a lot. It was kind of a reach for me to attend. I had never done anything like it, I only just recently started stamping, and I'm a bit on the shy side and didn't know anyone there. BUT I went, and I am so glad that I did. I tagged along with Keri in her car so I wouldn't get lost (thanks, Keri!) and had such a great time. Everyone was so kind and the cards were so fun to make! Plus, the food was incredible! I can't wait until the next outing. I'm looking forward to really getting to know everyone. I have liked living in Charleston up to now, but this makes it even better!

And to top it all off, my name tag won the contest and the other prizes I came home with were fantastic too! I can't believe all the goodies I got. It definitely put me in the mood to do more stamping. But I've decided that I definitely need to expand my supply repertoire...must get some sponges and blender pens and more ink pads! Stampin' Up! catalog, here I come...now I definitely need to reconsider this whole becoming a demonstrator thing, it's sounding much more appealing every day! :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Finally Free

Yesterday was emotionally exhausting. Court was kind of uneventful. The basics are that I have sole custody and no longer have to be in contact with my ex or his family at all. He still has to pay child support, though we're pretty sure he won't, so if I don't receive it, then I go through the prosecutor's office here in SC. Aside from that, it's just over and done with and I really couldn't be happier.

The rest of the visit was great. We went to Chicago and I got to have my absolute FAVORITE food...Portillo's hot dogs. And I brought one back for Will to try and he was hooked too. :) We saw my grandparents, though Hayley was afraid of my grandpa...in her defense, he did walk with a cane which is something she's not familiar with. We went to my great uncle's 80th birthday surprise party and he was moved almost to tears that we all made the trip to be there with him to celebrate.

I had a nice visit with my sister and my niece, Kylie. And also spent some time with my cousin Shawna and her two girls, who are close to the same age as my girls. We went to the Pumpkin Patch on Monday, but got rained out before we could go on the hayride to get our pumpkins. So we're going to the patch here tomorrow afternoon and hopefully won't be rained out again. Then we spent Monday evening at my friend Alaina's new house, where Hayley knocked over a CD tower that was holding about 300 cds...they were ALL OVER the floor. I was so embarrassed...but my friend laughed it off and said now she knows what to put away when her nieces and nephews come to visit.

Tuesday, we kind of hung around Will's dad's house watching cartoons and just relaxing. I had a meeting with my attorney and then after that we spend some more time with Shawna and her kids and then I picked up all of the 18 mo-2T clothes from my sister's house to bring back.

We left Indiana directly after my hearing and got back to our house at around 2:30 this morning. It was a rushed trip and we tried to squish in visits with family and friends in every spare second we had. So we are all exhausted! I am proud of myself though because I got a good part of the house cleaned up and our stuff unpacked and about 3/4 of it washed already! GO ME! :-) Tonight its wine, a bubble bath, and some chocolate! Here are some pictures from the weekend...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Misc. Thoughts as time winds down to the big event...

I am searching for my strength as I head into this next week. It's hard to come by because I am exhausted. I think I am just worrying myself into a tired, wound up mess. I'm ready for some relaxation. When I get home on Wednesday, I think I'm going to soak in the tub for an hour at the very least (or until the water gets cold!) with some wine and a good book and celebrate my independence. It does make me sad to a degree. My children--God bless my children. They have been so resilient in this whole big messy thing. They are happy and playful and innocent. I envy that carefree spirit that they have about it all, though at the same time I am thankful that it hasn't affected them more seriously. But the official end of that part of my life, means a goodbye for them as well. They haven't seen him in a year, he doesn't call, doesn't pay his child support. But he's still the daddy. Once this is all said and done, it will be as if he was never there at all. Hayley wouldn't know him if she saw him. Thankfully what she does know is a wonderful man, who treats her like his own. She's such a sweet baby. Such a good girl. They both are. Great kids...I have great kids and I've done a bulk of the child rearing on my own, so I suppose I should be very proud. And I am, but I hate for them to miss anything.
But , I am rambling. More of the neurotic things that have been going through my mind as this all winds down to a close. I am so blessed...so very blessed to have escaped that abusive marriage, to have saved myself and my children from that negative environment. And to have found love in the darkest of days. Will has been my light at the end of the tunnel. He has been my rock, my strength, my support. Everything happens for a reason. If nothing else, I have learned that from this whole experience. Life always has a way of bringing you right where you belong. And in my case, it has been right back to this man that I loved as a teenager...this man who broke my young heart back then, but has rescued me and repaired a lifetime worth of damage. He is amazing. I am so lucky...
I am being rather depressing tonight. I apologize! So many things that I'm thinking right now. A constant flow of thoughts. SO thanks for putting up with my blip of insanity and anxiety tonight! Happy weekend to all! Next time you hear from me, I'll be a FREE & HAPPY woman! :-) YAY!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can this week go any slower???

I am so ready to get moving for the weekend. I have so many things to do, but this week is just dragging by. Maybe it's because I have so much to look forward to over the next few weeks. We are going to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate my great Uncle's 80th birthday with a surprise party and I'll get to see my grandparents who I haven't seen in more than a year. I also get to socialize with my parents and my sister and my nieces and nephews, who I have missed more than words can say since I moved halfway across the country. Then on Monday, I am having dinner with my nearest and dearest friend Alaina. Tuesday I meet with my attorney and Wednesday is the big day. Time to celebrate--it's the close of the most horrible chapter in my life and the official start to the new one! YAY! I think I want to somehow scrapbook it...because really we need to scrap the hard times too, right? And I think it'll be a nice release for me; good closure. Sounds like a plan anyway. So I'm cheating because I didn't actually get any scrapping done today. This is a layout I did earlier in the week of Caitlynn. She's my little actress/drama queen. 6 years old going on 16. And she got her first love letter today from a boy. First grade and she's already getting love letters. We're in BIG trouble. :-) And I'm going to scrap the letter too :-) embarrassment for later in life! I know, I'm bad...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gearing up for a road trip...

We leave for Indiana on Friday. I am dreading the drive...14 hours in the car with a toddler and a first grader is not really my cup of tea. We need to get a more spacious vehicle...a van or large SUV perhaps. But the Caliber will make the trip again and we'll suffer through it!
I cut out some more of the stuff for my swaps for the 27th last night during Dancing With The Stars. I love that show. I finished cutting the ribbons and the black paper. Now all I need to do to be finished is complete my door prize, and cut the pink accents when I buy more of the pink paper from Indiana! It'll give me something to do while we're driving.
So today is laundry day, tomorrow is packing day, Thursday will be double-check the packing day, and then Friday will be load 'em up and hit the road! Should be a nice little mini vacation!!
This is a page I did of Hayley. Her facial expressions are so funny. They are a constant source of amusement for me. The papers are all new from my shopping trip over the weekend. I already had the flowers and embellishments. I scraplifted the layout from a Creating Keepsakes issue...absolutely love how it turned out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Such a slacker

So here are the projects for the week since I've been completely slacking with updating this. I haven't been feeling all that well lately because of this pinched nerve in my back.
I had a pretty fun weekend. I went shopping at The Pink House on Saturday and met some of the girls from my Carolina Girls group. So I'm very excited for the upcoming swap. This is the card that I'm bringing. I started mass producing them today, but ran out of some of the supplies, so I have to shop some more before I finish getting them all ready. I do have a little bit of time as the swap isn't until the 27th. I think this card turned out really nicely, though...I'm rather fond of it. I used a Stampin' Up Doodle This stamp for the large flower, and then the small just for you stamp is one of the ones from the dollar bin at Michael's, where I also shopped on Saturday. I got some GREAT new stuff. And I'm super excited to have found a local scrapbooking store--though I'm sure Will won't be when he sees how my scrap supply stash grows! I picked up some new patterned paper, which is my one true weakness in the land of scrappin' stuff. I just can't get enough of it. And also bought a scarecrow for our yard and then the dollar stamps...and a few other little treasures as well. Gotta love shopping for new toys to create with!

Friday, October 5, 2007


Friday, finally! Today was wonderful. I only had to care for one of the children I nanny for and he left early--and an even more unexpected surprise was that he took an extended afternoon nap which gave me extra "stolen" time to scrap. I completed a page of Hayley and her contagious smile and personality. She's the most vivacious and amazing toddler. I just adore her. Of course, I'm a bit biased...so you be the judge.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gray skies and rainy days

Days like this do very little for the creative process. It's hard to feel inspired when the streets are flooding and the sky is gray. It hasn't helped my mood either. I am tired and feeling energy deprived. But of course, my children are the light on even the darkest days. Hayley is constantly entertaining me with her antics--dancing every time a commercial comes on with a good background song and dragging around her "on the road to tattered" green blankie. And Caitlynn with her sassy bossy imaginative six year old self. She is the subject of today's post. Her school picture day was two weeks ago. We got her hair cut the previous Saturday in a style chosen to resemble Sharpay from High School Musical. She requested, rather sweetly for her these days, that we get up early to curl her hair on picture day morning so she would look even more like Sharpay. I obliged and we got up at 5:30 am to fix her hair. I took pictures before we left the house, thankfully, because by the time we reached her bus stop our efforts of the morning were completely gone. Her hair was flat, even with the gallon of hairspray I used to hold the curls in place. She was disappointed to say the least, and I was exhausted...but she did look so adorable with the curls...here is the page commemorating the short lived 'do.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And so it begins...

A new chapter is beginning. A refreshing new journey of creativity and the neurotic ramblings that pop into my head along the way.
I have been on a long "adventure" of sorts this past year. All of which will end in exactly 3 weeks. My divorce will be final after a very long and painful year. I left my abusive husband and followed my heart and my instincts. And in doing so, I found REAL love for the first time in my life. Well, I suppose technically it would be the second time since he was my high school sweetheart as well. But I digress... this journey has been one that began with humiliation and fear and along the way transformed into one of self discovery and exploration. I had to begin all over again. Find my passion, find my old self again. And that leads me to here. I love to create. To start with a blank sheet of paper, a blank canvas--and just create. The end result always leaves me feeling fulfilled whether it turns out exactly as I envisioned or not. All of the chaos, all of the self-doubt and worry just melts away. And I have healed. I have learned to forgive myself for mistakes I have made. I have learned to love, to trust, and to let go. This is where I will begin to share my passion, and share my creations with those that wish to look and in doing so continue on in my journey.
This is my latest scrapbook page, about our new home here in South Carolina.

I used Pattern paper from Heidi Grace Designs. The buttons are from Fun Expressions. The title is hand-cut, in the font Georgia. The plain cardstock is from the paper company.