Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Well, that was a bust!

Ha! I must have done something wrong, because my pre-post was a no-post, even though everything seemed to be filled out correctly. Better luck with this one...we hope...
Hmm, so what to say today? The kids had a doctor's appointment yesterday - the doctor we have now is a complete tool. You would think that in a doctor's office, the DOCTOR would be least likely to stare at your autistic child tic-ing (how would you spell that, anyhow...ticking? doesn't seem right), but this guy just gaped at Riley like he had a second head. Plus, he has some sort of inability to converse with the kids, even with something as basic as Riley asking to go first. Now, you'd think, knowing my kids, that Riley would be able to wait, but no. He has always gone first at the doctor, and for some reason this guy keeps picking Connor first, and is unable to switch, even though all he does is check weight, blood pressure, listen to their chests. Doesn't seem like it would be important who went first, right? Ugh. Anyhow, everyone is healthy, and everyone's weight is headed in the right direction. Connor is up to 86 pounds, and Riley went down to 105. It's very hard to know what to say to Riley - Rob & I have to lose weight, and I am actively trying to, but Riley just needs to maintain where he's at, more or less. He was so excited to have lost 5 pounds that I'm worried about what message we're sending, even though I continually stress that what we all need to do is eat properly and exercise, and our bodies will naturally be the size they are supposed to be. Everyone is different, right? But when he's reading food labels and asking me if he should not eat bread because it has some fat in it....anyway, it's an ongoing issue.
Supplies: Papers all from Cosmo Cricket, Material Girl;
Flowers from Bo Bunny; button and letter stickers Basic Grey;
lace, ribbon, and embroidery floss from my crafty stash

This paper from Cosmo Cricket, Material Girl, is filled with so many awesome crafty patterns, and I drooled over it everywhere I saw it online for months before buying it. I bought it in May, and have made I think 3 cards. Every time I sit down to work with it, I just don't have any ideas that I like. I found the pattern for this sweet little dress with apron on a blog that I follow, called Fairy Blossoms and Life, by Alex Maldonado. She shared it in PDF format, which, if you print at the 'multiple pages per page' setting works out to be the perfect size for a card.
Off to make some apple granola crisp - I can't for the life of me remember where I got the recipe from, but if it's good I'll share it. It's got coconut, so I don't see how it could possibly fail :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's see if it works!

This should hopefully post on Tuesday morning - fingers crossed that I've been able to follow the directions :)
The boys have started going swimming every Tuesday and Thursday evening with the teenage son of one of their aides (how's that for convoluted grammar?). They are having a blast! He's 16, and an experienced swimmer, and comfortable around kids who are different since his mom has worked with special-needs kids for years. My guys are loving going out with their "teenager f riend B," and Connor is determined to teach him all about Transformers. Obviously, everyone must be schooled on the subject (or at least able to competently fake it). I am really hoping that the extra exercise helps them both with some of the stress they're experiencing with this so-far difficult year of school. Riley is coping okay, although we have noticed an upswing in tics - now he's got a funky pants-tugging one that almost looks as though he's giving himself a wedgie. Connor usually regresses through TV shows, and we've gone back past Thomas (which was a regression in itself; he had given it up) all the way to Teletubbies. He didn't even regress that far in the summer.  Sigh.
Supplies: Plain white cardstock, embossed with Cuttlebug folder;
Die-cut flowers, K&Co; tag cut with CB die;
"with sympathy" stamp from Wordsmith stamped in Peeled Paint distress ink;
tag tied with bamboo crochet thread

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pre-scheduled posts...

Since I appear to be unable to remember to post regularly, I think I am going to try auto-posting. At least that way, the one time I remember to pop in may result in a few days' worth of things to see. I also know the closer to the holidays we get, the fewer things I'll be able to remember. Who am I kidding, I'm lucky to remember my own name most days, let alone anything else! Finally my Christmas supply order came in the mail on Thursday, so I finished sorting through last year's supplies and now just have to make some room in my crafting cave so that we don't have to trip over boxes of stuff until January. The problem is, what to put away until then?? It's always a chore to get done, thus my putting it off until there's no choice.
Supplies: Papers from K&Co, Citronella;
cherries image rub-on from Royal & Langnickel;
circular "thank you" rub-on, Kaisercraft;
"cherry on top" sentiment stamp from Stampendous;
plain "thank you" rub-on from Making Memories


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making up for the Week of No Sleep... a bad time to learn new things, I guess! I managed to have all sorts of scans done, and then thought with the new software that I could zip into another process and come back...and apparently you can do that, but your hour (plus) of work will be gone when you come back. So, disgusted with myself & the computer, I left it alone for a few days.
Supplies: Papers by Basic Grey, "Urban Prairie";
rub-on sentiment by Making Memories;
rhinestone swirls from $store; butterfly punch by Martha Stewart
Every once in a while I make a card that I just love when I'm finished, and this is one of them. I like that I used up some strips of these papers that I'd been hoarding, I loved that the butterflies on the patterned paper peeked out 'just so', and I love the swirls. Yes, I have way too much fun with this stuff :)
Today was the start of the school's scrapbooking club - Connor's teacher is hosting it, and there was a fantastic bunch of kids. Now that's my kind of "volunteering" - go hang out with crafty people who want to learn more, and clean up after themselves. Anytime!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Week of No Sleep

Supplies: Images courtesy of Mel McCarthy, MelStampz;
Background solid paper, Basic Grey; Broken China Distress Ink for colouring;
embroidery floss & Tim Holtz ruler for border stitches;
miscellaneous beads for flower centres & oval border
I promise, in real life the beads are a much closer colour match!
I'm fairly certain that last night was the only night this week that I got more than 3-4 hours of sleep, and at that it was about 5 hours. I don't know if it's the change of seasons or what, but I'm pooped.
I have a last-minute order for tomorrow morning, so off to work on that, but hopefully with some sleep I'll be back to share some more cards over the weekend.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Moxie Fab Season's Giftings Challenge

Well! That last post was much more chatty than I'd intended, and since I'm really starting to feel the pinch of time (and it's almost time to feed the kids!) I'd better get on with it. Ornaments are one of my time-tested favourite handmade gifts to give. There are so many different creative ways to decorate a tree (and a house) and it can be a perfect way to say a little thank you to all the many people who touch our lives. Better yet, it's something that even the youngest child can help with in some way! Since I learned how to do paper quilling, snowflakes have been one of my go-to ornaments to make, so it was a foregone conclusion that I would submit them as my entry for the Moxie Fab Season's Giftings Challenge.  I am often asked if they are time-consuming, and I guess they are, but I usually do my quilling in front of the T.V. (see, I'm not watching Grey's Anatomy, I'm WORKING!) and work free-form, rather than from a pattern. For a snowflake, I just start from some variation of 6 points, and let it go from there.

All of my close-up photos of just the white snowflake were fuzzy, even worse than this last one of the blue & white hope was to show that there is a second layer with just the 'centre star' and circles. Imagine it with me :) And, yes, eagle eyes, that is a plastic spoon being used as a hanger, and the box is holding the "dead Transformers" that Connor is collecting. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Moxie Fab: Decor to Make the Season Bright!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I get started early on Christmas - but not this early. When I saw the week of Holiday Cards & More challenges posted on Moxie Fab World, though, I knew I had to get cracking. I had ideas, dang it, good ideas, and you can't win if you don't try, right??
And now we're at the very last few hours to enter the contests, and I'm squeaking in right under the wire. Again, anyone who knows me, knows that I work best at the very last second. In this case, it wasn't so much the making of them that was last minute, but the taking pictures. As you'll see, not only was I delayed in taking the pictures, but interrupted too!

So, the making-of details: ingredients are...3-inch styrofoam balls; Aleene's tacky glue; one package of tissue paper (20 sheets); length of sheer ribbon (per ball); straight pins. Using my Cuttlebug and standard circle Nestabilities, I cut out roughly 12 kajillion circles from the tissue paper, using the #2, 3, and 4 dies. I cut through 10 sheets of tissue at a pass. Then, by hand, cutting 4-6 circles at a go, I cut a swirl for a rolled flower. There are a lot of tutorials for these - the one I learned from is by Joanne Basile. Given the thinness of the tissue, it crumpled beautifully - sometimes a little too much. I found it easier to apply the glue to the ball & then press the rolled flowers into the glue, rather than applying glue right to the tissue. Sadness lies that way. After getting about halfway around the ball (and wondering why, exactly, I hadn't bought the smallest size ball), I tied a double knot in the sheer ribbon, poked 3 straight pins into it, covered them liberally with glue, and sunk them as far into the ball as they'd go. After letting that whole thing dry, the next day I was able to completely cover where the ribbon was attached.
After the entire ball was covered and dry, I got foolish & decided to do two crazy things - make another one, and cover the first one with glitter. Not glitter glue, which I could understand, but loose glitter, which is the colour I wanted. Martha Stewart fine crystal glitter, applied by cautiously painting the ball in segments with the tacky glue, sprinkling the crystal glitter on, shaking off the excess...dropping the dish to catch the excess so that my living room and cats all sparkle... I don't think it comes across in the photo, but the glitter was such an incredible joy to apply that only one of the balls has glitter on it (although, my guess is that plenty will rub off onto the second one simply from being in the living room...)

Friday, October 8, 2010


Totally fighting the urge to go back to bed...the wind was howling last night, and Rob was working later than usual, so I had a bad case of  "omg, what's that noise?" I know I saw 3 a.m., and then I saw 5:15 when Rob finally got 6:30 was not my friend. And it doesn't look like 10 a.m. feels kindly either! Rob has an extra day off this weekend for Thanksgiving, so I hope to learn a bit more about camera handling and photo editing. Well, camera handling at least!

Connor has had provincial assessment tests every day this week (grade 6 literacy) so you can imagine the fun & joy that has brought into our lives. He's had several meltdowns at school, which I am oddly pleased about. Normally he saves all his stress for home, and behaves well at school (except for crying), but even though it's obvious to everyone that his outbursts at home are from stress at school, that's not what the 'powers that be' think. The more times we can document that he is not handling the lack of support well, the better. I am so very tired of reinventing the same damn wheel every school year - they've had virtually no support other than having aides, and to struggle to keep that seems like an extra kick in the rear.

Riley has been getting more anxious about following time schedules, to the point that he's packing Connor's lunch for him in the morning, and getting his bookbag ready. A few mornings this week he even picked out Connor's clothes to speed him up! It's driving Connor a little nuts being "bossed around," but just maybe he'll finally get the hint that it really bothers Riley to feel rushed in the morning. I don't hold out too much hope - Connor follows far too much in my footsteps as far as 'flexible time' goes.

Supplies: paper from Basic Grey, Scarlet's Letter;
stamps: Cornish Heritage Farms, Inkadinkado, Basic Grey;
ink: Ranger distress ink, Wild Honey and Peeled Paint
Butterfly punch: Martha Stewart
The large butterfly was created by enlarging a clip art butterfly & printing it out on cardstock, then cutting it out to create a negative mask. I used a sponge to colour in the 'sky' and grass, and then used the Peeled Paint ink to stamp the grass, flowers, and sentiment. Then I cut out the whole butterfly, and mounted it on the card which had been stamped with the grass in Wild Honey. The butterfly is punched out of the same piece of patterned paper, and the edges sponged with Wild Honey. This is a messy fingers card for sure :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gone Fishin'

We don't want to miss the Rick Mercer Report - Connor is "his biggest fan!" So, this will be short & sweet. Working hard on some Christmas ornament designs, possibly for a certain little sister's present...and that's all I'll say about that :)

Supplies: Papers from Basic Grey, "Max and Whiskers";
silhouette stamp from Digital Princess, stamped with Versamark and Memories Art Print Brown, embossed with clear EP; fish button from Dress it Up!; sentiment from Inkadinkado
 So, a rare masculine card that I'm happy with how it turned out - and that stayed actually masculine after I got started with it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy World Card Making Day!

Woohoo! It's my first blog hop, so if that's how you found your way here, {{{HELLO!!!}}} And here's a sparkly butterfly to celebrate:
Supplies: Papers all from SEI Chocolat;
Happy Birthday sentiment from MFT; stamped in Palette Noir;
Butterfly cut with  Spellbinders die, painted with glue, and dusted with glitter;
rhinestone swirls from the dollar store
The boys go back to SMILE today - I just popped over to find a link, and here's a great page to explain it (plus my boys are both featured in the SMILE memories page, linked at the left. AWwww!) The YMCA is renovating the gym, so the fall session of SMILE will only be in hour-long sessions in the pool. Hopefully both boys have the same volunteers as last year so that they don't need that pre-swim time to get to know a new buddy. That's not the only reason to want the same volunteers - they both really liked their guys, and Riley seemed quite attached to his, which is really the first time he's seemed to care one way or another. I think he likes having someone who can throw him around in the pool!
 Off to get ready for the farmer's market - fingers crossed the rain that's threatening holds off until afterwards!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I know this is not a weather blog...

...but it's 34 with the humidex today. October 1st. That is INSANE. {weather rant over...for now...} Seriously, I feel like all I think about is weather lately!

Tomorrow is World Card Making Day (yippee!) so I am planning to participate in my first "blog hop" - wish me luck! We'll see if I can figure out how to do it. (And Rob just walked past, read what I had written, and snorted quite loud. It's a real occasion, sponsored by Paper Crafts Magazine - honest to peanuts. (Boys! Harumph!) {What is with all the ellipses & asides? I don't know.}

Supplies: Paper by K&Co; buttons from stash & Basic Grey;
sentiment stamp from TAC; Colorbox chalk ink & clear embossing powder;
fairy artwork from a Michael's $spot card
See you tomorrow!!!