Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Enjoy the Season

Hello again. I have been away for some time. I have not been finding much time to blog nor craft. I was able to finish AND SEND out my Christmas cards this year, something that I typically do not do well.

I have been struggling quite a bit in the last few months. Probably in the midst of applying for, getting and having to turn down my dream job at a transplant center, I got thrown into a tailspin and probably into a little depression. DH and I found out just how poor the housing market was and we were not prepared to take such a hit on our home. In this economy, being financially stable is a good thing, and risking everything for virtually a lateral move, was not in our family's best interests. Every day, I am more all right with the decision, and there is less thought about what might have been.

Which brings me to my struggle. I am a happy person. I do well in my job, and with my kids. Lately, I have not found a lot of centeredness. I have not wanted to craft, go out, watch tv, or much of anything. The only thing I have been able to keep my focus on is cooking dinner and cleaning the house. The house is by far NOT spotless, but I am keeping it up. It is mindless. I do not think it is depression, but could be if I let it get worse. I know I must watch it.

This struggle has caused me to really reflect. I am not alone. I have my wonderful kids who I enjoy time with, while they grow, and a wonderful husband who is always interested in talking with me and being with me.

SO what is the struggle? I do not know. There are so many people out there who are really alone, who have little or no one by their side. SO I vowed this Christmas, that I was going to soak up the season. Soak up the process. It was NOT a chore, or a hurry up and get it done decorating session.

I baked Christmas cookies and fudge and almond bark (that is not really baking but so what). I cannot remember the last time I took the time to bake for Christmas. It was always a chore before. We made cookie press butter cookies, and some of them turned out kind of ugly, but they tasted oh, so yummy!

We decorated over a period of two days, and enjoyed the process. I made my Christmas cards, and sat down and hand wrote all of them, and mailed them this past Sunday. Historically, I have gotten caught up in making the cards, and forget to send them out, and end up giving them away to my mother-in-law, so this was a huge accomplishment for me.

My shopping is done. I focused on thoughtful gifts for those that I love and not so much on the $$ value.

I invited my brother over for Christmas Eve. He is truly alone, although that man has more friends than I can comprehend. We have not always seen eye to eye, but I will have him over, and enjoy having him with us at Christmas. we plan on eating yummy food, playing games, and maybe Texas Hold'Em.

Our parents now winter in Texas, and usually leave for there in November and spend the Christmas holiday with my sister and her husband in Austin, so we will not see them this year. I will miss them, and hope that one day, we can all get together for Christmas again, because I miss holidays with family. I always miss my sister, and hopefully we will be able to spend a Christmas together again someday too. But for right now, I will enjoy my brother and my little family on the holiday.

These two probably give me the most joy out of anyone. Fun and funky, goofy and silly, loving and smart and smart-alex, all wrapped up in the bright, wonderful almost grownup kids that they are! That describes DH also (he's almost gronwup also...teehee), but we rarely photograph together.

Well that is it. I hope and plan for time to blog. More time to enjoy doing it. It may not always be crafting, or lots of pictures, but hopefully it will be a place for me to put my thoughts down and in the right order.

Merry Christmas to you all! Love and Hugs, Lara

Sunday, September 11, 2011

6 months away


Hello. I am not sure anyone missed me but I am back. This spring and summer have been so busy with Graduating number one and adjusting to have an 18 yr old in the house, as well as hanging with my daughter as she adjusts to not having her older brother around as much. Family comes first in our house, so keeping her happy is important to me. DD is sometimes lonely. Having Aspergers makes it harder for her to make and keep friends and so she gets lonely and mom and dad have to step in and be there for her.

I have been crafting some, mostly cards and that keeps me a little sane. Just a little. Keeping my budget down too. Scrappiness comes at a price, and that is that if I am not using what I have, I should not be buying new stuff. I have made some card kits and I did do a mini smash book the other day in preparation for the news below:

Other news. Have applied for a job in Madison, WI. I found out on Friday that I will get an interview, so waiting on that. It will be a great opportunity for me professionally, and a HUGE move for all of us. Moving a house in the fall/winter, with a hubby with a bad back and waiting surgery, after being in this house for 17 &1/2 years, will be probably one of the biggest undertakings we have ever done in the 18+ years that we have been married. Everyone is on board with this and I am so itching to start packing and hubby is telling me to slow down, I do not have the job yet. So I am doing little things. Purging closets, marking stuff for giveaway/donation. I have to go, the linen closet is calling my name. Back later with a cool little card kit that I did craft. Love and Hugs, Lara

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Challenge for My Mind's Eye

Challenge 21 for My Mind's Eye.
I got to play with some Stella and Rose. Need I say more? The colors of this line are so amazing that I could not stop finding more patterns and combos that I wanted to put together. Sometimes you get a line where you like either the A or B side of a paper or just a few sheets, but there is not ONE paper that I do not like. The 6x6 pads are golden to me also, perfect for making cards and super easy to store!
This Card sketch:

Yielded this pretty card:

Supplies used: Patterned paper: My Mind's Eye (Gertie); Stickers: October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket, Ribbon: craft supply; Punches: FiskarsThis Layout Sketch:

Yielded this fun layout (IF I do say so myself)...

Supplies used: Cardstock: Craft supply; Patterned paper, chipboard and dimensional stickers: My Mind's Eye; Stickers: October Afternoon, American Crafts; Rubons: K&Co, Creative Imaginations; buttons: Craft Supply

While I am almost certain that little old me did not win the prize, I loved working with the awesome papers. I seldom will buy something twice...usually I work with something once and then am so over it, but on my list is the 6x6 paper pads for MME for Hazel and Gertie AGAIN, as I have exhausted the stash quite a bit. I also made a wonderful "quilted" card for my mom's upcoming birthday using the scraps, so I am in the running for the 6x6 papers again! Have a great week! Love and Hugs! Lara

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm Not Ready

June is bearing down on me. I feel the anxiety in my heart. I am so proud of my son, but realize, as a mom, that my initial job as a teacher and mentor and booboo-kisser and conscience-raiser is coming to a close and soon I will assume the role of consultant, looker-on, while he moves on toward adulthood and total independence. I realize he will be living at home, at least through the first year of college, but again realize that he will be an adult.

I am panicking a little bit here and there. What if I did not teach him enough? What if the life we gave him, did not give him enough reality? What if he really is not ready? My heart is so full of pride for the man he is becoming before my very eyes, and I see some of the choices he is making and I realize that most of what we taught him, he learned well. He said to me the other day...Mom, you raised me to think better than that...so maybe we did ok, but I am still anxious.

I know that growing up is an independent thing, that each of us have to learn for ourselves. I did, but as a parent, the anxiety is still there. I am sure this is a inner struggle for most parents, and letting go is so hard, but just yesterday, he was this little blond-headed rascal that giggled like there was no tomorrow and ran up to me to hug my legs and almost bowl me over with his force.

He is running towards his independent life just like that, and I pray that he does not run into an obstacle that hurts him or that he cannot handle. I pray that his adult life, will be filled with as much joy as we had, having him all these years so far. I know he is not going away, it's just that I look forward to seeing him every day, and I know that he will move on, and I will miss him. I do not want to be one of those moms that criticize his adult choices and meddle in his business either, so I will quietly look on, offering any support and encouragement that I can, while he becomes independent.

I truly am not ready for the day when he leaves our home for his own, and even now, knowing that graduation is just a couple months away, I recognize I am not ready for him to graduate and be ALL GROWN UP! I pray for his success and happiness, even now!
Love and hugs, Lara

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Luck of the Irish

I am not Irish. I am married to a Irish-Scotsman though and my kids are part Irish. We celebrate St. Patrick's Day like everyone else. We usually make Reubans--because NONE of us care for corned beef and hash. We always wear green and my son usually wears his green "Kiss me I'm Irish" tuxedo shirt for kicks, and I imagine, to see how many kisses he will get at school. My daughter will use her practiced Irish Brogue all day long, until we tell her to stop. I would love to say I am Irish, and they say, everyone is a little Irish on St. Patty's Day.

I sell some of my cards at a little gift shop down the street from me for a very modest fee. The ladies that run the shop, asked me for some St. Patrick's Day cards, as they pointed out that St. Paul is very Irish and they would be a hit. So I made a few a couple of weekends ago that I took to them. If they do not sell, I will send them to my favorite family members.

I am a simple person who makes cards for certain occasions and this was one of them that I struggled with a bit. I am not in to theme-y cards much, but I sure had fun pulling my green out and using my Irish-ness (HA! Who knew I had any?!) to make this little cards. I was pretty happy with the effect of all the green.

The adorable little pictures were a download from Vintage Scrapbooking blog. They did not print very well, and no matter how I adjusted the images, they came out slightly pixel-y (sure that is NOT a word) and a bit blurry but I wanted to use the adorable images so I did and found that even with less than great image, they turned out so adorable.

I find card-making so much fun, and while scrapbooking is my first love, cardmaking gives me a quick creative release. I sell my cards, not to make money, but what else am I going to do with them after I make them? There are only so many occasions to send people things but I need to keep making them, so I may as well spread my creativeness. While Hallmark I am not, I love getting a handmade card, so if there are people out there that would rather give a unique handmade card, then I plan to keep supplying them and that is NO BLARNEY! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. Love and hugs, Lara

Monday, January 24, 2011

Neutral Challenge, by Moxie Fab World

Hey there, back with the final challenge in the 6 part color challenge at Moxie Fab World, Color Challenge for Color Inspiration for Card Makers Week. This time, it was Neutrals and while I felt that the color combo that I chose did not exactly match the challenge colors, I worked with what I had and enjoyed making a "boy" baby card...to match my previous "girl" card.

The colors:

Happy New Baby Card:

I stamped background baby bottles with versa ink and then embossed them with clear embossing powder. I used an embossing folder for the vanilla scalloped circle and then stamped on a smaller circle for a layered look. This was by far, the simplest card in this 6 part challenge, but I was happy with the result.

Supplies used: Cardstock: Stampin' Up, Bazzill; Ribbon: Craft supply; Embossing Folder: Sizzix; Die Cut Machine: Slice by Making Memories; Stamps: Stampin' Up and Rubber Stampede; Ink: Stampin' Up, Versa Mark; Embossing powder: EK Success; Eyelets: Making Memories

This is the final challenge in the series. I enjoyed it immensely, and hope to continue doing challenges at MFW. You should check them out, play along, this particular challenge goes until 1/31/11, so there is still time! They have a lot going on there all the time and it is so inspiring! TFL. Love and hugs, Lara

Moxie Fab World's Monochromatic challenge

Back again, for part 5 of the Color Challenge for Color Inspiration for Card Makers Week going on atMoxie Fab World. The challenge is Monochromatics.

Pinks are not my strong suit. I have a little in my stash, but mostly in the form of cardstock...which worked out for this challenge, but was hard for me, since I do not use cardstock on cardstock very often. I had to improvise with some stamps, which in an essence, got my to go outside my creative box a bit.

The colors:

Welcome Baby Card:

I was pretty proud of how this turned out. I used a Christmas crib stamp from Autumn Leaves, and cut out the little baby, and hand-drew a little bassinette and improvised a bit. I added stamped background to the bassinette for a little color. The netting is again, from Webster's Pages, and looks a little "peach" in the photo, but it adds a softness to the baby in the bassinette.

Supplies used: Cardstock: Bazzill; Stickers: Making Memories, Sassafras; Stamp: Label Tulip, Autumn Leaves; Netting: Webster's Pages; Die Cut: Top Note die from Stampin' Up; Ribbon: craft supply; Button: craft supply

Well, almost done. One more in the challenge to post. I am surprised that I finished this in enough time. Usually, I get the challenges done, and then do not get to the computer to post before a deadline. It was fun to do. TFL. Love and hugs, Lara

Moxie Fab World's Metallics challenge

Hey folks, back with part 4 of the Color Challenge for Color Inspiration for Card Makers Week at Moxie Fab World . This time it was the Metallics. I struggled with this a bit, because not a lot in my stash is "metallic", but the color combo was fun to put together!

The colors:

Happy Anniversary card:

I loved this card the most out of all the ones that I did for this challenge. I love the soft pink, coupled with the shiny metallic feel to the card. The Webster's netting is something that I got for Christmas and have been itching to use since then and I was waiting for the right time to use it. (Note to self: Use your stash, don't save it or you will never use it)...

Supplies used: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: Chatterbox, Pink Paislee; Pearls: Kaiser Craft; Die cuts: Girl's Paperie, K&Co.; Sticker sentiment: Cloud 9 Design; Netting: Webster's Pages

TFL. Lve and hugs, Lara

Moxie Fab World Challenge: Jewel tones

On to part 3 of the Color Challenge for Color Inspiration for Card Makers Week going on at Moxie Fab World. The Jewel tones are the next stop on this color challenge.

Here is the color pallette:

My "You Make Me Happy" Card:

My determination to make this color pallette match took me a bit longer to find just the right supplies, but fruition paid off, because I felt like this matched the colors so well.

Supplies used: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: Sassafras; Stickers--letters/words: American Crafts, The Girl's paperie; Flower Sticker: Making Memories; Rubons: Basic Grey and K&Co.; buttons: Craft supply; Ribbon: Craft supply; embossing folder: Sizzix

The flower sticker, was in the wrong color pallette and so I used my gel pens to color the leaves and flower petals to match my palette. TFL. Be back with the rest of the challenge. Love and Hugs, Lara

Pretty Pastels challenge by Moxie Fab World

SO this is part two of the Color Challenge for Color Inspiration for Card Makers Week at Moxie Fab World. This time, pretty pastels were the order in the challenge. I had a bit tougher time with this, because I felt like I was having a hard time matching the colors just right, but creative license is creative license, right? So here goes.

The color palette:

The challenge card:

Supplies used: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Making Memories; stickers: American crafts, October Afternoon, Class Appeals; Die cut: K & Co.; Chipboard: KI Memories; Ribbon Craft supply; Embossing Folder: Sizzix

So there is my second part of the challenge. You should check it out. It is a great place to visit with many great challenges and inspiration. TFL. Love and hugs, Lara

The bright and bold challenge by Moxie Fab World

Yep, I decided to play along. Moxie Fab World has a 6 part challenge going on, Color Challenge for Color Inspiration for Card Makers Week, and I decided that I should play along. The first challenge was to use bright and bold colors by Moxie Fab World. Here are the colors:

And here is my take on the challenge:

Supplies used: cardstock: Bazzill, craft supply; Patterned paper: Sassafras, Webster's Pages, Hambly; journaling spot: Sassafras; Doily: Martha Stewart; Sentiment: Karen FOster Designs; Embossing folders: Sissix; Ribbon: Maya Road; Pearls: Kaiser Craft; gel pen: Sakura

I sanded the embossed images on my pink cardstock to give in dimension, and used GOLD SHADOW gel pens for the pink in the butterfly. TFL. Love and hugs, Lara

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Valentines Galore, New Echo Park

Hello again. Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Always important to make a Valentine or two for a loved one or just to have on hand to brighten someone's day.

I went Valentine crazy last week after picking up the new Valentine line, Be Mine, by Echo Park Paper It is chock full of pretty patterns and colors, pink, white, black, hot pink...with musical notes, scripts, romantic Parisian icons and so forth. I usually only make a few Valentine's a year, but this year I went out and made a bunch. These Valentines were warmly accepted at a little gift shop down the street from me where we hope to sell them to people who want handmade Valentines.

This is such lovely stuff, that I might end up making a whole bunch more Valentines and I only give out 3 at most. These Valentine's make me so happy, so I guess I will just keep on making them!

Supplies used: Patterned paper: Echo Park; Ribbon: Making Memories, craft supply; Ribbon slide: Paper Studio; Stickers: Echo Park, Martha Stewart, Recollections by Michaels; Rhinestones: craft supply

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week. It is cold here in MN, so we are all cuddled up inside, and what better time to be crafty...when the weather keeps us from getting out much. Have I mentioned that I hate being cold yet? My husband says that I say that way too much. The bright side...when Valentine's Day comes, we will be about 6-8 wks from spring. I can hold on! Happy crafting! Love and Hugs, Lara

Friday, January 14, 2011

Circa 1934--Cosmo Cricket

This is one of my favorite lines of the last year. Very Vintage and very classy! The blacks and teal/reds along with the cream make for pretty stuff!

I made these layouts from a goodie pack I won on Wednesday Winner's/Scrapgrlz! Shell McKay is the owner of Scrapgrlz, and she hosts a weekly giveaway on her blog. She has a store packed with scrappy goodies and the site also lists scrap getaways for us when we need to get away. I was very excited to get this paper before I could find it in stores. Worth it to check it out. It is late in getting posted because I was slow in loading these. Thanks Shell for the goodies! I bring you Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket!

This layout makes my heart hurt just a little. This was a picture of the last crop at the Scrapbook Shop of St. Paul. This was my home LSS, my home away from home, a place where many of my friends congregated. I have not set foot in another store since it closed the end of October and it made me pretty jaded and depressed about scrapping and it took me time to get going on any crafts after this.

Nobody can really explain all the goodness that happened and was displayed in this store. It was the kind of LSS that when you walk in, you want to stay and absorb it all and then buy stuff and drive really fast home to take all the goodness in the store and turn it into craftiness. I miss it so much! Life is not the same without it! Rhonda, you are the best and I will not ever forget your beautiful creativeness and love that made this into a store of wonder and delight. Eventhough the store is gone, I am glad to keep your friendship! Love and HUGS! Lara

Monday, January 10, 2011


I never thought of a hot air balloon as something that I would like on a card, but it seemed right for a cute pick-me-up card. Webster's Pages has it going on with their pretty lines.

Here I included another embossing folder, the music notes one. Love this look!

Here I used a recently aquired music note stamp. Love this look too, so vintage!

A long time ago, I got a lace garter stamp. It does not show up well in the photo, but it is cute in real life!

Crate Paper's Restoration, is quite possibly the best paper line I obtained in 2010. Love the vintage look to it!

Supplies Used: Patterned paper: Basic Grey, Crate Paper, and Webster's Pages; Ribbon: The Twinery and Basic Grey; Embossin Folders: Cuttlebug and Tim Holtz by Sizzix;

Friday, January 7, 2011


Recently I aquired a little machine called the Texture boutique. I love the look of embossing and have never enjoyed dry embossing using a light box. The sounds of the stilette on the paper on the lightbox makes my teeth hurt. So this texture boutique is something that gives me great joy!

I first aquired a couple cuttlebug embossing strips for borders, while I was in search of the ones that I really wanted. My fist ones that I got are the Dotted Swiss and the Flower one that come as a pair.

My favorite one is the Tim Holtz' Wood Grain one. Oh my, I love this. And I especially love the embossing look on Velvet paper! SO gorgeous.

Supplies used: Basic Grey Patterned Paper and ribbon; Tim Holtz for Stamper's Anonymous stamps; Basic Grey and Class Appeal Stickers, Emobbsing folders by Cuttlebug and Sissix

THat is what I have for you today. See you later in the week! Love and Hugs, Lara

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, New Resolutions

Supplies used: Patterned Paper: Webster's Pages, Jenni Bowlin; Flower: Prima; Vintage Flower tag, Vintage Scrapbooking (free download); Sticker sentiment: Class Appeals; Pins: Maya Road; Lace: craft supply

When I signed on to this blog today, I knew that I had neglected it for quite some time, but when I saw that it has been since October, I knew that this is one thing I need to pay more attention to. I really enjoy blogging and posting my crafts, but I realized what my barrier was. It was the picture taking and editing that was making me not want to do it. You see, in MN, in the winter, I leave before it is light out and return after it gets dark. So then it leaves the weekends for doing this in broad daylight. And everyone knows how busy Saturdays and Sundays are when you are a fulltime RN and mom. So I am going to cut myself some slack and just try and post as much as I can.

Supplies used: Patterned Paper: Girl's Paperie, Basic Grey; Pins: Little Yellow Bicycle; Vintage flower tag: Vintage Scrapbooking (free download); Ribbon: Craft supply

That being said, Happy New Year everyone. I have some great things to put up today. I have been in card making mode for some time. I love making cards and realized this last week that my card stash at work has dwindled and I needed to add some goodies to that stash!

Supplies used: Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Stickers: Recollections by Michaels, Class Appeals

I just LOVE this line from American Crafts. It is adorable...surely it is the teal and red pink and the gorgeous flowers and the lace doily hearts that make me so happy! And the craft paper, well it makes for some pretty fun cards!

Supplies used: Patterned Paper: Webster's Pages; Vintage Flower Tag: Vintage Scrapbooking (free download); Stickers: Class Appeals

So that is my first post of 2011. Hopefully many more. Thanks for stopping by! Love and Hugs! Lara