Thursday, May 31, 2012

Make A Difference

One day early in May, I came home from a difficult day. My Dad was in the last days of his life, and we were working through all that is involved when losing a family member.

In my mailbox was an envelope, with a very familiar name on the return address - that of Joanie B., our Youth Leader, when my husband and I were in Jr. High together. Inside, I found a treasure. This picture was taken at a church youth retreat in 1975, with my "now husband" Joe and I, an orange between our foreheads in a relay race.

As we looked at this picture, we remembered together our growing up, falling in "like," "going together" - being best friends, and eventually marrying. This out-of-the-blue slice of the past was like a balm to my soul that day. Joanie's note said she'd been doing some scrapbooking and came across this picture, and she just thought we might like to have it. What a gift - at just the right time.

Joanie probably just thought it might bring us a chuckle (wide leg jeans and all!) But what she didn't know was that it brought a splash of light and joy into day that really needed a little bit of that.

As you come across a picture someday, and you consider sending it to someone, I hope you'll remember this story - and remember that you can make a big difference to someone, simply by sharing a photo.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #7

Art by Becky Mackenstadt

The "Scrabble letters" background comes from our Cruisin' papers. The perfect embellishment, to continue the blocky feel, is our square Durables. These great little self-sticking metallic "non-brads" are easy to use and fun to play with!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Single Stamp and You're Done!

Create a finished card or layout title in five seconds flat! Watch this video to see our new series of single-image A-size My Acrylix® stamp sets. Use them for quick scrapbook layout titles or easy, one-step cardmaking. Each one is designed to complete your project with a single stamp, and at just $6.95 each, these stamps are super affordable!

May Stamp of the Month Art #7

Art by Julie Reynolds

Pemberly papers are used on this simple little card. Need a quick way to bring interest to a little sentiment stamp? Just trim it into a tag shape, and mount with 3D Foam Tape. No matting needed!

Friday, May 25, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #6

Art by Tina Dupin

Look at the cute little corner on this card, that adds such a creative element and balance. The papers featured here are from our "Sonoma" paper pack, still available through July.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #5

Art by Debi Gardner

Water color pencils give this sunflower its beautiful shading. Our Elemental Paper Pack is great to use with this stamp set. It's soft yellow print makes a perfect background.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #4

Art by Shannon Law

A round card with a skinny little band makes the perfect place to feature a tiny little single-line sentiment stamp. Footloose Papers provide the backdrop for this gem.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #3

Art by Darlys Recker

This window pane card is a fun technique. Just stamp an image on a square. Cut into quarters and mat onto layering papers. It turns a single stamp into a great piece of art!

Friday, May 18, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #2

Art by Cathy Stai

The creative flower on this card was made using a mini cupcake paper. Cathy is the queen of "re-purposing!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Scrappy Mother's Day #3

This last card is for my step-mother-in-law.
She is not a frilly lady, so the simple layering is perfect.
The design is softened by a hint of music, which she loves,
and the elegance of a couple of pretty pearls.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scrappy Mother's Day #2

This card is for my own Mom.
The feminine and delicate patterns in this card are just right for her,
and she'll love the Rhinestone Designer Brad that makes the flower center.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Scraps to Art

Whenever I use my Cricut for a project, I always save any extra pieces that I cut, or pieces that I may have cut at the wrong size, etc. They go in a little box. Then once in a while, I'll take out that box and see what I can make from the scraps. It's really fun!

At a recent retreat, I did just that when I was ready to make some Mother's Day cards. The mothers in my life are very different, so I like their cards to be unique in personality, as well. Try it! Just start poking through your scraps, and see what inspires you. All the Cricut pieces you see on the following 3 cards were cut with Close To My Heart's Art Philosophy cartridge, and came from my little treasure trove of scraps!

This card is for my mother-in-law.
She has a love for the outdoors, her flower beds and pots, and hiking.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May Stamp of the Month Art #1

Art by Leslie Ann Chivers

First of all - I apologize for the dark photography for this month's Stamp of the Month art pieces. We were at our Spring Retreat, and the lighting at the time was less than desirable!

Last Fall's Elemental Papers work so interestingly well with this set! The simple geometric designs lend pattern, without distracting from the intricate floral images. A wooden button adds a nice touch of country texture.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gifts of Thanks

The wonderful company I work for encourages us to "make it from your heart." I designed this card and little gift for all the nurses and medical techs, who cared for my Dad while he was able to live in his Assisted Living apartment. So today I'm taking a basket of the little gifties, filled with chocolates and teas, to leave there in the office for them each to choose one. The card is signed by my siblings and myself, telling them what a difference they made in our Dad's life. It's these moments that mark our lives, and it's important to take a moment express the appreciation we feel.

I would love to teach you to make these simple little gift items
so that you can express your appreciation to someone in your life.
Please email me to set up a time to craft this item with your friends.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life Comes Full Circle

Jack & Virginia Sorge - February 1977

These are my parents, as they celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary. This year, they celebrated their 60th.

Due to the onset of dementia 5 years ago, my Mom moved into an Adult Family Home, where she has been lovingly cared for. During this time, my Dad remained independent in an Assisted Living apartment, just a few miles from Mom. But in recent months, Dad's health has rapidly declined, and it became very apparent that it was time for him to live somewhere that could provide the increased care he needed, as he enters into the last phase of his life, living with heart and kidney failure.

So toward the end of April, we moved Dad into the same residence with Mom. They have their own rooms but share meals together. Here they hold hands and enjoy each other's company before they retire back to their own rooms to rest. Together again. Full circle.

What are the blessings my siblings and I are finding?
  • The gift of having brothers and sisters who support each other and work together smoothly
  • The gift of caregivers who treat our parents with kindness, love and respect
  • Hospice services that help us understand the transition from "treatment" to "comfort"
  • Seeing our parents get along better than they ever have! :-)
It's with grateful hearts that we look back to those who have cared for our Dad, bringing us to this place. I spent some time at this last weekend's papercrafting retreat to make some little gifts for the Assisted Living Staff, from my Dad's former residence. Take a peek back at this blog in the next day or two to see pictures of this simple gift idea I can teach you to make for someone who has made a difference in your life.