Friday, 29 May 2020

at the end of the day...

A lot has happened in 7 years.  I've gone on to write other blogs...  It's probably no coincidence that I stopped publishing around the same time I started homeschooling my three kids, and the big one, a couple of years ago, my husband and I picked up roots, sold our house, purged our belongings and moved 900 miles away to Florida.  And now of course, we are in the middle of a Pandemic.

If I had read that paragraph 7 years ago, my first response probably would have been something like, "Oh. m. gee, that mom has A LOT on her plate....thank goodness that's not me."  oh the sweet, sweet sense of humor life has, yes?

So here we are, trapped in our homes like everyone else.  We are homeschoolers, so our school life hasn't changed too too much.... However, without our extracurricular activities taking us out of the house 3-4 days a week, the kids ended up unintentionally  racing through their school work.  Oh crap.  What do you do with kids who finish their school work 6 weeks early?  Start them on next year's homeschool, of course,  and channel your inner Scarlett ... "I can't think about that today. I'll worry about that tomorrow."

So that brings me to the present.  Kind of. If only life were that simple, right? 

My kids are staring at me, deer-in-a-head-light look on their faces... You can just see what they are thinking. "If I stay here, she will not only assign me next year's school work, but probably 3 more book reports, make me build a model of some stupid ancient city "for fun" and write a daily pandemic diary too... I better split before she thinks of it!"  

Poof! children are somehow magically otherwise occupied. Which means I am not.

Which is a rarity.  Two of my kids have special needs. We tried public school, online public schools, IEP's, online homeschool and homeschool boxed curriculums.  None of it works.(now... read that is an exasperated, desperate oh-my-gosh-I_can't_believe-this voice for full affect)  What DOES work is me writing lessons from scratch out of teacher manuals in the style best suited to teach my children independence and strategies to overcome their disabilities.  

Of. Course. It. Is.   
(If I were on social media, there would be either an eye roll or headslap emoticon here)

But that doesn't leave much time for me. In fact, most of the year, I work from the early morning to late at night doing lessons or house stuff.  Midnight often sees me trying to remember High School biology for my 10th grader, reading The Phantom Tollbooth for my 5th grader  or planning a botany lab for my 8th grader.... Like most moms, time is a precious commodity.

So here I am... I don't have to drive anyone to orchestra or robotics. No one has any therapy.  No one is going to science class 45 minutes away at the"local" research marine center. No one needs snacks for drama because there is no drama.  Scouts? nope. Basketball? Nadda. Zip. Zero  Our children's activities are centered around avoiding the crazed mother doling out extra  homework to keep them busy. 

And where are my efforts centered you ask?  Now that the guest room closet is finally clean, the last boxes from two years ago unpacked, the homeschool materials sorted,  a 3 year old unfinished baby quilt finally gets finished and sent off to a new mother ... all those little projects nagging on me are finally done? I find all that is left is me,  facing myself, asking what now?  Now that my children who are no longer 9, 7 and 4 also no longer need me every hour of every day, a question I was hoping to avoid any time soon.

Where am I?  Who am I?

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am not facing some great existential crises by any means.  But in the ultimate silver lining to a truly terrible situation, I finally have what I have craved for so long now.... the gift of time an wether I want to admit it or not, the start of the transition to when my children will start to lead their own lives.

So here I am.  I haven't not scrapbooked these last 7 years.  I've done stuff.  So I figure I'll start there.  I've been to a few crops in the last two years at the local library, haven't I?  So what do I have to post? 


Three layouts in 2 years time. Yikes!  No wonder I am burned out!  Y'all, (don't judge....I'm in the South now, remember.. I'm suppose to talk that way) have I really let myself go?  I don't mean my physical body... but rather my creative me! The stuff that makes me tick, brings me joy.

Oh my... I admit, my confidence is a little shot.  Can I start creating again?  What has changed?  

We shall see. I'm full game to try, and just thinking up projects has already brought me joy. And there's the crux of it, isn't it?  Finding one's joy. Whether I have  beautiful layouts again  or not, doesn't matter.  I have already succeeded. While I am rusty, and a little nervous and feeling shaky about creating new pieces, I still feel joy, and that feels amazing. I'm catching a glimpse of "Shelby" again.

So I start yet another chapter of my life with new resolve: I will continue to feed my creative spirit and not lose myself again.  Happy moms make for  happy families.  And a happy family is the other factor of a joyous me because at the end of the day, I am still Mom-in-Chief and that makes life good.

PS - I will post those three layouts tomorrow.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Favor/treat bags

When planning my sister's shower, I could't believe how much paper crafting had made it's way into decorating. Was a great surprise!  After all, I had most of the supplies on hand. All I had to do was pick colors and design.  I'll share some of my creations over the next week, but today I will show you my favorite - the confetti popcorn bag.

I was able to go to the party section in my craft store and buy white paper bags by the dozen for about $3.00.  They were slightly smaller than lunch bag size which was too big.  So I cut three inches off the top with my paper trimmer:

Now they were the perfect size!  The next step was to choose one of my Martha Stewart border punches.  This one is called "footlights edge."  This step is so easy - just  place the folded bag in the punch just like you would any paper and punch through all the layers.  They way it is folded, you will ended up with a perfect continuous border.

After than I just printed out "Pop Corn" on white cardstock and punched it out with my scallop punch, layering it on a larger piece of scalloped piece paper.  Underneath is a strip of ribbon I notched at the ends to make pretty.

I was so happy with the end result.  I will definitely repeat this for the kid's birthday parties!  I could see choosing other color bags and making them for whatever theme the party is.

Thanks for reading!  And Enjoy some popcorn.  Btw, the confetti popcorn recipe can be found on my Pinterest files on the "Fun Kid food"  board .


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Home made Valentine's

We are a big allergy family.  At Halloween, we have to throw out everything with artificial colors, nuts or gluten.  At Birthday parties or school parties, my kids do not get to eat birthday cake, cupcakes or pizza.  They miss out on so much which is a real bummer.

So when I send in school treats, I try to send something that is more all inclusive.  If I can make something normal for  just one allergy kid, that makes me happy.  So for Valentine's Day, I dug into my Pinterest folder to see what I could see.  I came up with these great ideas that were so easy to execute.

The first step is easy, just gather your supplies.  I chose red cardstock since it was a Valentine, after all. A bag of 12  bouncy balls ($3 at Target for a bag of 12 - look in the party section), stapler, your paper Valetine and plastic bags.  The paper Valentine I printed out using Word on my computer.  The plastic bags I bought at Walmart in the craft section near the beads.  A sandwich baggie would work too.

OK, first measure your bag to determine your cardstock size.  My bag was 2.5 inches wide, so I made a card stock square measuring 2.5 x 6.  Fold in half and attach your printed out Valentine with a tape runner or your favorite adhesive.

Place the toy inside the plastic bag.  Fold the card stock over the bag.

Next, just staple the cardstock onto the bag.  Make sure the bag is fully attached to the card stock.  When stapling, it's easy for the bag to slip down.

All done!  This is a great way to provide favors or holiday treats that are cute and allow you to think outside the box.  Change the colors, the paper, the treat, and you have endless world of possibilities. This "cutie" clementine was perfect for my younger son's preschool class.  Nice break from all that sugar, and the kids loved them.

Thanks for reading and sharing my project-


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Valentine's project

Life has been so crazy since the story closing this time last year, and frankly, losing my mom at the same time, well, it has taken it's toll.  I lost all interest in scrapbooking and reading and all the other things I love to do.

But as they say time heals wounds and I can feel myself coming back to life slowly, day by day.  I've been doing some projects lately and would love to start sharing again.  First up is a fun Valentine's project.

I originally saw one of these at my local grocery store....for $20!  Loved it, but with three kiddos and at home, no way was I shelling out $60. But I thought it really couldn't be that hard to make, right?

So first up was buying some candy - 3 bags which was too much.  One and half was plenty.  ($12)  The original had tootsie rolls in a clear vase.  I opted for Hershey's kisses in pink wrappers.  While at the new dollar store in town looking for vases, I stumbled across these adorable balloons and mugs.  I thought, why have three vases to store, collecting dust when the kids can actually use mugs?  So mugs it was.  ($6 for balloons and mugs)

Next, also at the dollar store I bought floral foam.  ($1)  I knew I had a ton of wooden meat skewers at the house already, so I was all set.

Most of the candy, I could just push the wooden skewer through.  Just went right through the wrapper into the chocolate.  But some were too solid, like this butterfingers.  So I had to tape the candy onto the skewer.  Tape wasn't great, so I resorted to a couple of glue dots....perfect!  Two mini dots held up great, although I did put the tape on too.

After that, I just added more and more candy, adding more and more pieces.  Since the ballon had a wider stick, I put that in pretty early so I wouldn't run out of space.

Finally, I was done!  All three bouquets took me less than half and hour, and the cost for all three together, NOT each, was $19.  It would have been less had I not over estimated how much candy I would need.  Major hit in my book, but the best part was  how much the kids loved them.  And like I thought, K has already used her mug to make hot chocolate in - yum!

Thanks for reading!  Until next time-


Monday, 3 December 2012

Advent Bags

It's no secret I love Pinterest.  I stalk it, browse it on almost a daily basis, looking for my next project.  I found one easily to replace those tacky, cheap cardboard calendars with the nasty chocolate inside.  Simple bags with simple tags.

So scrapbook supplies in hand, I went to work.....

Step 1: I used the 3" paper shapers scalloped edge punch in red for the outside.

Step 2:  Using my Cricut Expression, I cut 2.5 " green circles and 2.25" white circles

Step: 3: Cut about 40 or so holly leaves using the Martha Stewart Punch.  I had these pre-puncjed for another project, so this step was easy!

 Step 4:  Using Cricut Expression and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, I cut 1.5" numbers in red, 1 - 24.

Step: 5: With your adhesive, layer the green circle centered on the red scallop, and then the white circle on the green.  The numbers go centered on the white last.

Step 6:  add the holly leaves, one or two around the numbers along with some Kaisercraft rhinestones in red.

Step 7:  Center on the front of a brown lunch bag and fill with treats.

I hung these using clothespins and some twine hung from command hooks.  (Aren't command hooks awesome for Christmas?!).  We are only on day three of opening our "Countdown to Christmas" advent bags, and the kids are loving it.  They take turns opening, oldest to youngest.  Today is Josh's turn.  I'm saving the bags for next year.  This is definitely the start of a new tradition!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Stamp Scrap Art Tour discount tickets

The Stamp Scrap Art tour will be back in town Jun 9th and 10th.

I have tickets for anyone that wants one.  They are $6.00 at the door.  Mail me $2.00 and I'll send out your ticket immediately.  If you are are local to me, you can stop by as well.

Unfortunately, I have been burned in the past.  I cannot buy a ticket for you unless I have cash in hand.

Click here is a link to the Expo's site.  More to come soon on the upcoming shows, (scrapbooking Expo in July,  CKC convention that moved to Lancaster also in July etc)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Making a flower from a Border

Came across this little tidbit while surfing some favorite blogs. What a great trick to have in your back pocket, especially when you are out at a crop and can't bring all your supplies with you.  I tried it, and it really was quick and easy.  From Miss Fancy Pants:

I also formed the scalloped border piece into a flower. I started by taking some of the “sticky” off the back and then crumpling and then flattening it out again, which made it easier to form. I then added a thread button to the center for a bit of dimension."

By the way, if you don't know how to "remove the sticky" just rub some cornstarch or baby powder on the back.  I have so many paper borders though, that I don't even need to use my stickers.  Especially those borders I cut off Sassafras Lass papers that don't have an immediate need.  I must have dozens of those!