Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Alice

Today would have been my Gram's 87's Birthday.
Unfortunately, she is no longer with us to celebrate.
Even after more than a year & a half, it still hurts my heart to say that.

Instead of spending the day sad- 
which I know she would not have wanted-- 
I'm choosing to really celebrate.
Alice Emily at about 10months old- 1924

The layouts that I have to share tonight are ones that it has taken me a long time to finally complete.  
The photos are all taken in the 5 days that I was home, in NY, for Gram's funeral.

You see, even though we are a big family, we haven't been that close.  
So many of us are scattered across the country & the world, that it becomes very easy to loose touch.  
Sometimes things happen that cause rifts and arguments.  
And when the person you're angry with lives far away, it's really easy to just let the relationship fade away-- until you suddenly realize that it's been 5 or 10 or 20 years since you last spoke to them.  
It sucks, but it happens. 

That's the reason that I chose to post these layouts today- on Gram's birthday.  
Because that was us.  
Related, but barely knowing each other. 

But she fixed it.  
In losing her, we found each other.  
In the few days that we were all together, we talked, we laughed and we remembered. 
I had conversations with family that I literally have not seen since Kindergarten.

Real friends are the ones who show up before you even realize that you need them.  
Who knew that we were so very blessed?

Best Picture Ever...

On a scrappy note:  The gold flowers in the centers are metal bead caps that I pounded out flat.  The brad prongs were too big to go through the hole in the center, so I just cut the prongs off & used a glue dot.  Love me some glue dots!!

If you didn't yet know this-- my family are seriously camera happy.  
Seriously.  Camera.  Happy.  
I was in NY 5 days & came home with almost 2500 photos.  
Just from my 4 immediate family members.  

But don't think for one second that this is a complaint.  
It's not- not even a little bit!  
Photos make me happy.  

But that many photos makes the scrapper in me slightly schizophrenic.

So, I decided to make my life a little easier & use divided page protectors mixed in with regular 12x12 layouts.
(Whoever invited these is someone that I would happily kiss on the lips if I ever met them.  Brilliant!  They are a busy scrapper's best friend!) 
Of course, I jazzed them up a little here & there, but just wanted to give you the idea.

Supplies: DCWV Creme de la Creme Stack & Cardstock,Flowers: Prima & Spare Parts, Chipboard Swirls: Heidi Grace, Border Punch: Fiskars, Quote Stickers: DCWV, Cricut Cartridges: Calligraphy Collection, Accent Essentials

Of course, the whole trip was not entirely sadness.

There were family dinners, 

dinners with friends, 

breakfasts with Gramma George,

 some things that you  just had to be there for,

 and one last meal before we all scattered back to our homes.

But we all walked away better for having been there.  

We let go of old baggage and finally started to get to know each other.
And I'm proud to say that we are still in contact.  
Thanks to Facebook, we all hear from each other on a regular basis. 
We're even talking about a family reunion-type trip next year.

That's why I decided to post these today.

To celebrate Gram's last and best gift to all of us.

Each other.  

Happy Birthday Gram.  
I love you!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Big Huge Giant Project

Ok, so I've been talking about it for months.

More accurately, I've been using it as my excuse for not accomplishing anything else for months.

But The Big Huge Giant Project is done, packed, delivered, all that jazz.

Now, I finally get to share it with you.

I started it in March.

And then didn't touch it for almost 4 months.

In July, it occurs to me that time was moving & the project was not.  
Better work on it.

As you can see, I made progress.  I got all of the blocks finished & put together & the borders put on & the backing put together.  Now, it was time to quilt...
The quilting frame has taken up residence in our bedroom as there is no where else in the house where the quilt will remain kitty-free.  Steve is not thrilled with this plan, but he sighs & goes along with it. 

I spent most of August- October hand-quilting the main body, then machine quilted the borders.
Unfortunately for Steve, this meant me chasing him out of the house for the weekend since the dining room is the only place in the house big enough for me to do this.  
Good thing for me that he's an understanding man.  
(The fact that The Rangers were in the World Series for the first time ever & he had tickets to Sunday's game certainly didn't hurt my cause either.)

I got it almost completely done that weekend.

with a little bit of help.

Got the binding put on Monday night and shipped it off to Mom & Dad on Tuesday!

These pictures are ones that Mom sent me of the quilt on their bed. 

This project was a 40th Anniversary gift for my parents. 
I used dark red fabrics because the traditional 40th anniversary gift is a Ruby. 
Mom & I are both July babies, so I know she likes red!  
I used  a Log Cabin pattern for the blocks because it is a pattern that is traditionally given to new brides (better late than never).  
The meaning behind the block is that there will always be darkness in your life (death, illness, etc)--represented by the dark fabrics, but I wish for you to always have enough joy & light -- represented by the lighter colored fabrics-- to balance out the darkness in your life. 

I know that the last 40 years haven't been perfect for them.  
There have been deaths, divorces, life-threatening accidents, crazy family issues & daily struggles.  
But they always kept it together.  
And I never, ever, for a minute doubted their commitment to each other. 
They always found the light.  
They created the joy for their family to balance out the dark times. 
And they taught me how to find it, when I was convinced that it didn't exist.

I can only hope that they will always be able to find the light, in each other & in their family. 

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!!
I hope the next 40 years are just as good!
I love you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday to Me!  Happy Birthday to Me! Happy....

Oh, wait.  I forgot.  

My birthday's in July.  

So we're either a few months late or waaay too frikkin' early.

I'm singin' anyway...

Andposts in one week?

What is wrong with you? (you ask) Are you ill?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.

I have one of those fun cough/cold combos that chases cats from the room & boyfriends from the house. 

At the moment, I have a voice that sounds like I've been smoking at least 3 packs a day for the last 40 years .
(Not bad for a non-smoking asthmatic who hasn't yet hit 35) 

So I'm spending the day in my craft room, in the company of my lovely braying cough and several now half-empty bottles of cold medicine.  
(Which might explain my tendency to loudly sing inappropriate songs and forget which month it is.)

 So far, I've finished this fun layout from last year's birthday (you know, in July, not November)

Supplies: Cardstock: DCWV, Patterned Paper: 7 Gypsies, 
Stickers: Creative Imaginations, 
Cricut Cartridge: Life's A Beach, Stickles

Not bad for someone totally doped up on cold meds. 

The best part is that it's only 1pm.  
Let's see what else I can get done today!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's been like, two weeks since I've seen you!  

I've missed you guys! 

The bad news is that there is ALL kinds of craziness going on at work. 
(Seriously, how can 1 person cause sooo much drama??) 

The good news is that the drama should be ending soon! 
(And we will raise a toast to the day when that happens!)

The Big Huge Enormous Project is finished & shipped & everything!  
(And I'll be posting some pictures of that soon!)

For the moment, though, I thought we could all just take a moment to thank all of our military, past & present, for all that you do to protect our country & our freedom.  
 We would be nothing without you.  

And now, I thought maybe we could all take a minute to just chill.