Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Many Things to be Thankful For

Two years ago today, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room waiting for Mom to come out of surgery. She was having a cancerous tumor removed from her breast. This was easily the scariest day of my life. As I sat there with my family, a million questions were going through my head. A million worries. 
Making it through that awful day (and the two scary years that followed), I’m here to say that there is much to be thankful for. With Thanksgiving upon us, I thought I’d share just a few of the many things I’m thankful for this year (in no particular order). Some serious, some not-so-serious, but all things I deeply appreciate.
1. My family. Sure, this usually makes the top of most lists, but reflecting on where we were two years ago, this makes it with more meaning than ever for me. We’ve been through a lot, but we’ve made it through with laughter. We have fun together and we keep each other strong. 

2. Cory. Okay, so he falls under the “family” category, but I think he also needs a category of his own. It’s no secret that I’m crazy about this guy. He makes my life better. He makes it complete. 

3. Bare Escentuals makeup. I can wake up looking like yesterday’s meat, and this miracle powder will leave my face looking a’ight. It’s a miracle, I tell ya! ;)

4. My car. Aren’t automobiles awesome?! They take us where we need to go. They offer a safe place to sing at the top of our lungs. And they reflect our unique styles and personalities. It may come across as shallow to be thankful for things like makeup and cars, but these are things I use everyday. Things I appreciate everyday. And while I know there are things far more important in life, I’m sure grateful for the little things as well.

5. My camera. Wow! I honestly can’t imagine a world without cameras. They’re memory preservers. As one who has serious memory issues (thanks a lot, immune system), I place a huge amount of value on the snapshots I have of moments past. 

6. Friends. My extended family, my friends make my life richer. They bring different perspectives into my world. They offer support. They’re always a phone call or a text away. They bring much laughter and light into my life. If my life looked like a patchwork quilt, they’d each represent a unique pattern. A beautiful thread combination. A spot of warmth. 

7. Good doctors. I’ve had my share of bad docs, which makes me all the more grateful for the good ones. The ones who see patterns where others missed them. Docs who take the time to listen. Docs who actually care about you and want to help improve your quality of life. 

8. Facebook. Many of the aforementioned items on my list can be found in this one gigantic book o’ faces. In one stop, I can find out some of the latest news and happenings going on in the life of my friends and family, I can meet and connect with new friends, and I can offer and find support. It really is quite marvelous!

9. My job. When I grow up, I want to play with paper... Sure, this sounds like something a cute little kid might say, but it doesn’t sound like a reality. I’m so lucky it has become mine. My job offers me the opportunity to create on an almost daily basis, whether I’m creating articles, visuals for those articles, or new products and ideas. It takes me to new areas of the country. This year alone, I visited Portland, Anaheim, St. Louis, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Seattle, NYC, and Denver. Awesome! But, more important than any task or trip, my job has brought literally 100s of wonderful people into my life. Some of these beautiful friends are across the aisle from me on a daily basis and others are across the world, but they’re all beautiful additions to my life. 

10. Airport screening. Okay, this is a little joke. As you can see from #9, I travel on a pretty regular basis. And while I’m not exactly a fan of airport screening, I sure do value the added comfort and peace of mind it offers. Am I fan of prying eyes viewing my bits behind a computer screen? No way! Would I rather that than be on a plane with Mr. Underwear Bomber? You bet! For that I say, Thank you, TSA!

11. You. I appreciate you taking the time to read this odd gratitude grouping. I wish you and yours much love, happiness, and joy today and always! 


Monday, November 22, 2010

Build a birthday card from border strips. I created this colorful design by punching several pieces of patterned paper with an EK Success scalloped border. I then staggered the scallops on the front of my card base, layering from the top, down.

My favorite part of this card is the flap that the card front slips into. To create it, I punched a scalloped border in the bottom of my card base. I then folded the edge over and stitched it into place. Now the front of the card tucks neatly inside to hold the card closed.

Following the same rainbow color scheme (and order), I made the letters in my sentiment stand out with colorful bits of bling. This card came together quickly. It’s a good one to try the next time you need a bright design that you can make from scraps in minutes.

Wishing You a Bright Birthday. Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper; Patterned paper: Bella Blvd and Jillibean Soup; Letter stickers: EK Success and Making Memories; Border punch: EK Success; Bling: Doodlebug; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love @ Home Recipe Box Project

I’m headed over to Studio 5 this morning for a fun crafting segment. Here’s one of the projects I’ll be sharing. The theme of the segment is celebrating the little things, and this altered recipe box is a way to write down and keep track of those memorable moments. Simply write down the moments you want to remember on the enclosed notecards, which I created from lined patterned paper and cardstock. 

Here’s something I’d write down for the box. “I’m thankful for a husband who is kind enough to tell me when my L in “love” is upside down and who can tell me in a gentle way so that I don’t feel completely mental.” (BTW, the “L” has been switched since this picture was taken. 

I made divider cards for from cardstock and used chipboard buttons as the tabs. You can put in a divider card for each member of your family. 

Thanksgiving Alternative
Are you headed somewhere this Thanksgiving? If so, consider taking a recipe box with a favorite recipe or two as a hostess gift. Whether you create your box or buy a box, this is a thoughtful gift that I’m sure any hostess would appreciate!
P.S. For more of my Studio 5 projects, check out my segments here

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cuckcoo for Cone Crafts

Here’s an elegant fall craft to try, whether you’re decorating for Thanksgiving or just want to warm up your home as the weather outside cools. It’s a Happy Fall banner made from rolled paper cones. Call me a conehead, but I just can’t get enough of the paper cones. And this is yet another idea for creating with them. 

Step 1: Cut 6” x 6” cones from paper (I used vintage music paper), one square for each cone in your banner.

Step 2: Roll your paper through a paper crimper for added texture. (Note: This step is optional.)

Step 3: Cut two of the four edges of the square with decorative scissors. (This creates the decorative edge around the top of the cone.) 

Step 4: Fold corners of paper in to form cone shape, making sure the cut edges are at the top (the cone opening), and glue or staple cone into place.

Step 5: Punch holes in both sides of the cone. You will eventually string your cones onto your banner using these holes, so you’ll want a larger enough hole punch to fit your ribbon choice through. 

Step 6: Color cone with spray ink (optional). 

Step 7: Create accordion flowers from scraps of paper. Attach letters to centers of flowers to spell your banner’s greeting. (I spelled out “happy fall,” but you could also do words like “thankful,” “home,” “family,” or “love” if you want your banner to be less seasonal.) Adhere accordion flowers to cones.

Step 8: String cones to form banner. Note: I strung mine with tulle. This works well, because it holds the cones in place, where they might slide around on a thinner or smoother trim. 
Happy fall! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blog Follower Freebie

Guess what?! I have blog followers! Okay, so this is probably a nerdy statement, but I have much to learn about Blogger, and finding my followers is a relatively new thing. And I’m excited about this discovery.

With ALL of the incredible blogs out there (seriously, there are so many I could do nothing but blog bounce until I'm old and gray), I’m beyond honored that you would devote some of your blog time to me. I love that you were interested enough in the goings-ons here to click the “follow” button on the right side of the screen. I want to thank you followers with a little freebie fun. Every once in a while I’m going to randomly select a follower to receive a token of my appreciation. (Some may tell you this is also a weak attempt at gaining more followers. Lies. Lies, I tell ya.) ;)

This post’s Follower Freebie goes to cute Scrap Happy.

Thanks for your interest in my blog! I have a special gift with your name on it (a box o’ scrap delights that are sure to make you happy). Please e-mail me at M2E2G [@] with your mailing address, and I’ll get the fun in the mail.

And thanks to all of my friends who follow. Let's give away more goodies soon.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thx and a card how-to

I have much to be thankful for, so I decided to share this Thx card with you. But I’d first like to thank a few friends:

  1. Skipping Stones Designs for raising more than $1,000 for the Susan G. Koman Foundation last month in their blog hop. (BTW, today is the last day of an awesome 33% of promotion they have going on. If you’re in the market for new stamps, you should check them out.)
  2. My talented friend Kimber, who helped Skipping Stones reach their wonderful goal by placing the winning bid for my cards and bracelet, as well as all of the other beautiful friends who put in bids.
  3. My dear friend Reyanna, for sending a random package of kindness my way. It came just when I needed it, sweet girl!
  4. My incredible pal Holly, who hosted an awesome craft boutique last Friday and let me participate. And all of the happy friends (new and old) who came out to enjoy a little creative fun.

What a delightful list! Now, let’s put this card together:

Step 1: Accordion fold strips of dictionary paper and fold to form flower shape; color flower with spray ink.

Step 2: Stamp “Thx” and punch out sentiment with circle punch. Adhere sentiment and splash of tulle to center of your accordion flower.

Step 3: Color doily with spray ink, cut doily into fourths, and fold fourth into cone to create leaf. Adhere leaf to card base with sewing machine.

Step 4: Cut strip of dictionary paper and stitch to card base to create grass.

Step 5: Attach flower to top of stitched stem to complete card.

Supplies: Cardstock: Die Cuts with a View; Stamp: American Crafts; Ink: Stampin' Up!; Spray ink: Tattered Angels; Glitter pen: Copic; Circle punch: Martha Stewart Crafts; Adhesive: Beacon's; Other: Dictionary paper, doily, and tulle.

Thx for visiting today!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A lost a friend and some found perspective

Image (and a tasty bread recipe) from

This weekend, the smell of homemade bread fills our house in honor of a friend who passed away a few days ago. Why bread? Well, she gave us our bread maker as a wedding gift, so it just felt like a good thing to do.

I’m struggling with this loss, which is natural. Losing a friend is hard. But this particular loss is hitting me on a few different levels. You see, she and Mom were both diagnosed with cancer right around the same time. (You can read more about Mom’s diagnosis here.)

The thing about cancer is it can go one of two ways. Mom’s has gone one way (she continues to heal and find some much needed strength), and our friend's, heartbreakingly, went the other way. It just goes to show you that life is incredibly unstable. Why are our hands dealt the way they are?

I was recently visiting a narcolepsy message board as I’m known to do on occasion, and I came across a thread about a person who said something along the lines of this, “Sometimes I’d rather be dead than have to deal with narcolepsy.” Narcolepsy is difficult and my heart absolutely goes out to this person, but I just can’t imagine feeling this way. Life is precious. Sure, having this illness is a pain in the ass, but we all have our challenges to deal with. At least our paths are still on the road of living. At least we still have time to eat those tasty doughnuts, to play with those rambunctious doggies, to hug the ones we live!

I miss my friend. She was a very good, very gentle, very kindhearted woman. Her passing leaves an absence in this world. But I’m thankful I’m alive to miss her. I’m thankful Mom is alive to miss her. And whether it’s November, a wonderful month for expressing gratitude, or any other month of the year, I hope we can all recognize the blessings that surround us on our paths.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Boutique and a Bracelet Sale

What are you doing this Friday? I have just the splash of happiness you need to welcome the weekend. It’s an Autumn Boutique, and you’re invited! Check out some of the delights you’ll find here.

My cute and VERY talented friend Holly Jones is hosting this shindig, and she’s kindly invited me to participate, so I’ll be there selling some of my crafts, including my handmade rosette bracelets. Here’s just a taste of what you’ll find.

Place an Online Order

Want a bracelet but won’t be able to attend the event this Friday? No worries, I also make them to order. Simply e-mail me at M2E2G [@] with the color(s) you want, and I’ll see that you have a bracelet (or lots of bracelets) just in time for the holidays. Yay!

Hope to see you (and your friends) this Friday! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Costume Party 2010

Yesterday, Cor and I had the pleasure of showing off our plumber’s cracks at a hauntingly good Halloween brunch. (Thanks, Brady and Andrew!)

We were asked to bring a little treat, so I went with Mario mystery boxes (AKA Ghirardelli chocolates covered with cardstock question marks.) I simply copied the question box from this website, pasted it several times in a Word file, and printed it on cardstock. I then cut it out and adhered it to the chocolate for a surprise sweet!

BTW, our costumes were inspired by this awesome 80s cartoon (and the game, of course). Do you remember this gem? "Come on, it's time to go. Do the Mario!"

Over at Cackling Keepsakes magazine, we didn’t dress up this year. Instead it was business as usual for our team. I kid. I kid. We came to work as a pretty coven of creepies.

For this celebration, I filled these small candle holders from IKEA with candy.

From cute candle holder to bubbling cauldron in minutes.

Naturally, I have a couple of puppy pics to share as well. Little Jack was my witchy-poo pup this year, complete with a candy corn bandana.

Kiss, feeling too old for the costume craze, opted for a Halloween t-shirt, which reads “No tricks, just treats!” As you can see by the shirts snug fit, he gets more than his fair share of treats.

I hope you (and your pets) had a happy Halloween!