Tuesday, April 30, 2013

View Finder Card...

I still have mine! 
Thanks to my wise Mom, who never threw away the cool toys from my childhood, I can still enjoy watching Sleeping Beauty, with sound, on my original View finder. What saddens me is that when you Google an image of it now, it comes up under Stroll Down Memory Lane; Vintage Toys!!!!   (GASP, GAG, COUGH, CHOKE..moving on...)
So, when Elaine at Top Tip Tuesday decided to host this very cool challenge of Moving Parts, it had to be a view finder card for me.
Here's little Barry Spring 2 from our sponsor Stamp Fairy as he swings under a tree and wishes you a happy hello.  There are a total of 4 sentiments stamped in all.
The view finder card, tree, grass, and flowers are all cut files from The Silhouette Studio.

If you're in the mood for making moving parts on your cards, then please stop by Top Tip Tuesday to join in our challenge and check out the other wonderful movable cards from my teammates. 

I'm gonna go cry now and try to come to terms with the fact that I am an owner of antique toys...sniff.....
Hugs n' Happy Stamping,
Lisa xx

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's a Cupcake Party!!!

Welcome back and I'm so happy you stopped by! 
It's another showcase week at The Cutting Cafe and Regina has decided that we each to get to display whatever file we would like....and I LIKE cupcakes....so here they are!
Need a cute little gift card holder for a birthday party or any celebration? Here's a purse cut file and using Regina's Assorted Cupcake Templates; Cherry.

Just a few more purses, also using the Cherry template with sprinkles that can either be inserted into the cut file or cut separately to layer on the icing.

 Center purse here uses the Assorted Cupcake Template, Heart.
 Purses are a bit too dainty for the men, so how about a money or gift card holder for boys or men? 
Here is Regina's Assorted Cupcake Template; Candle.  This cupcake has sprinkles that I've cut into the icing shape and then filled with Stickles. The addition of the mustache, tie and masculine papers are fit for any guy in your life.
 However, you can always make one of each! :)
 Now here is Regina's Cupcake Box and this is such a fun file to work with. The template comes with 4 different style lids. I've chosen to place a plastic window on mine so you can see the goodies inside.  Wouldn't this be a cute idea to hold the party favors too?  
 BUT...who's going to know you're having a party without INVITATIONS!!
Check this cutie out.  The template is rather large on this and so much fun to decorate. Of course, all the templates and cutting files can be sized to any shape you desire.
So there you have it. All one stop shopping at The Cutting Cafe for your party decorations. You can get your invitations, centerpieces, party favors, gift holders and so much more all in one convenient and wonderful shop!
Here are the files I used to create the above pieces:

Thanks so much for stopping in.  Hope you enjoyed your visit.
hugs n' happy stamping,
Lisa xx

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beautiful Rose...

Spring began with snow and has graduated into torrential downpours of precipitation in the form of rain and hail, so what better way to remind yourself of the beautiful flowers awaiting you when mother nature decides to cooperate, than to play around with decoupaged paper roses? 
It's another showcase week at The Cutting Cafe and this time Regina has created the gorgeous 
The country girl in me came out on this card ...hope you like it. 

A closer look of four printed images, colored in Copics, dry embossed and reassembled .
There's always someone in your life who loves flowers, so pop on over to The Cutting Cafe and see all the designs included in this stamp set.
Thanks for visiting me,
hugs n' happy stamping...
Lisa x

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Torn Earlobe and Some Boobies....

If there has ever been a post I was more excited to write about...this has to be in my top 3!
What I'm about to share with you is one of the most amazing stories of inspiration I have ever had the personal pleasure to experience.  Granted, I have met so many incredible people with the most amazing stories of how they fought to overcome their hardships and came out winning, so by no means do I in any way want to diminish their experiences, at all...it's just that this particular experience has touched me, literally and permanently, and for that, I will always be grateful and forever inspired.
Here goes...
my torn earlobe :)
Let me first explain WHY I was so moved to share this story. If you've never met Lisa Decosse of Decosse's Dynamite Doodles, you're in for a treat. Words, sentences, paragraphs, nor volumes of pages can begin to describe her positive outreach in the blog world. She has to be one of the most organized and thoughtful women who remembers dates, awards, birthdays, anniversaries (and will write you to tell you happy anniversary too!), pretty much ANY information that is shared in blog land and she writes about it daily. She is a constant source of upbeat fun and encouragement. That, and she has a freakin' awesome name too!  She truly uses her blog to inspire and to promote the many amazing works of so many people.  Lisa is the reason I'm writing this post.  Recently she has begun her very own challenge on her blog and it's so appropriately called Path of Positivity Challenge. There's a button on my sidebar that you can click for more information. 

Now, let me introduce to you, Cheryl, but first...
I had absolutely NO part in the making of this most fantastic canvas. However, when I read of Lisa's challenge, the stars and planets aligned and I instantly knew that I had to ask an extremely talented fellow blogger if she would mind taking on the task of creating this image that I had floating around in my head and lo and behold she said YES and would you believe it...she had this masterpiece mailed to my doorstep within one week!! An eternal and sincere thank you of gratitude goes to Kelly Neis at The Beauty of Paper, for taking my simple words of description and turning it into the most incredible piece of artwork that will hang on my wall forever! Kelly, hope you don't mind that I put your beautiful picture and information on each of the pictures!! :)

A proper introduction and the rest of the story and yes, I'll get to the boobies part!
It is with great excitement that I show you Cheryl....
I was in college and lived on Ramen Noodles and Mac n' Cheese. 
Bills to be paid, classes to take and two jobs just weren't cutting it. So, I went searching for a third and there in the classified ads was a Help Wanted article written by a women who was seeking a personal care attendant, serious inquiries only.  
Having absolutely NO experience, no idea what I would be required to do, no idea if I would even be available at the times she needed, I picked  up the phone and made a serious inquiry.  The conversation was very brief but thorough, as if she'd done this sort of thing before, and to my surprise, an interview was set for that very night!
As I drove to her house, my nerves were running a muck as her words, 'If this interview goes well,  you'll literally be my arms and legs' kept replaying in my mind.
 OMG! I should of hung up then. This poor woman wants the world's biggest klutz to take care of her? I kept reciting this affirmation to myself, "It's okay Lisa, you're okay...she doesn't know you're the most ungraceful and clumsy person on the face of the earth. Just remember to walk through the door, not into the door frame, through...not into, through..not into."  HOLY CRAP...I wanted to ralph right there on the side of the road.
My mind swirling and my stomach flipping, somehow I managed to be standing at her doorstep. 
As my finger raised to make my presence known, my ears were filled with the glorious sound of her doorbell that seemed like the singing of little angels. My nerves were instantly calmed as the door slowly opened and what I saw on the other side of  the threshold would change my life forever.
p.s...It was touch and go for a second, but my entrance did not include becoming intimately aware of the door frame! I definitely believe there was divine intervention involved ;) 
I'm going to have to be honest here and say that going to an interview for a job at the local burger joint and going to an interview for a personal care attendant are SO way different.  Never in my interview at Burger King was I ever asked if I would be comfortable undressing and bathing anyone. Never was I asked would I have a problem with prepping for an 'intimate' night, never was I asked if I would be okay with changing out a urine bag and never was I asked if I could be trusted to handle their most basic needs.  

My answer, "I honestly don't know. I've never been asked these questions before and quite frankly, I have no earthly idea what I'm doing here. I simply saw your ad and wanted to help you. If you guide me through it, I hope to treat you the way I'd like to be treated."  

 GASP...what the hell did I just say??? Did I just completely botch this?

As I began to look for my purse on the floor and gather my stuff, anticipating the next words, 'Thanks for nothing'  or 'Seriously, why'd you bother?'...instead I looked up at her and her main squeeze as they were smiling at me. I'd started to think that my internal ramblings did not remain inside thoughts (another habit of mine, talking out loud to myself).
Cheryl, in her wheelchair, came right beside me and giggled (YEP...I was mumbling!) and said, "Can you start tomorrow night?"  WOO HOO!!....I flew out my chair, knocked it over, glass of water went flying, stumbled over the fallen chair and nearly toppled my new employer just to say thank you and yes, yes I can!
Dangit!!...Miss Clod strikes again.  
The first few months went on with her training me as to what I needed to do and know.  Basically, when she wanted to Spring clean, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing. When she wanted a new look to her living room, I was shuffling around furniture (I think it's safe to say we can leave out the theatrics of that event; needless to say, it looked nothing like the well choreographed ballet of The Swan Lake) When she wanted to take a bath, I was there. When she wanted her hair curled, I was there, when she wanted to look sexy for her man, I was there.  
Now, here's where I tell you a bit more about Cheryl and explain the reason for this incredible canvas.  
It had been several months of working for her and one afternoon while standing in her kitchen prepping what she wanted to cook for dinner, she very matter of fact said, "How come you've never asked why I'm in a wheelchair?"  To which I said, "Probably for the same reason you've never asked why I have a uni-brow. It's none of my business." (In my defense, it was 1990 and the whole Brooke Shields craze was going on and I thought I was being hip, but in all honesty, I was just a Yeti in the making!)

We sat down at the kitchen table and she opened up her life to me and explained why I was sitting in the home of  a woman in a wheelchair, drinking tea and talking.

Cheryl had been married before and had lived in a whole other state. Her husband had worked for a company that had given him a promotion and would require them to move.  The movers had already packed up their stuff, but both her and her husband were driving their cars to their new destination to start their wonderful future together.  The weather had been peculiarly awful that winter and so much snow and freezing rain had made the journey treacherous.  Her husband had indicated to her that he wanted to stop and eat, but Cheryl was so excited to see their new home, so she and their little puppy went on down the road while he stopped.  
Now, since this is a very personal story of Cheryl's, I don't want to go into graphic detail, but the gist of the matter is that when she took the exit  that brought her into the new town, her vehicle hit a patch of ice and her car spun out of control and rolled into a deep ditch off to the side.  She told me that for awhile she could still feel her arms and legs, but she was so pinned in, she couldn't move to get herself free.  As hours passed by she could start to feel that she was losing sensation in her legs.   Now her little puppy stayed by her side this entire time, but I don't know what transpired in the moments when she realized that the situation was going from bad to worse, but that little puppy found its way out of the car and ran to the top of hill and barked and barked and barked until someone stopped and followed it back to where Cheryl was in the toppled car covered in snow.
By the time the emergency crews arrived, Cheryl no longer had feeling in any of her extremities.  Her body was so severely injured the doctors informed her that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. That was of course after spending months in the hospital and being fitted for a halo (twice). 
When she felt confident enough to talk about what happened with her friends and family, she was told that they had people out looking for her everywhere, but didn't think to look at the exit she was on...apparently she had taken the wrong one. The correct exit was just the very next one.  She even said herself that it made her wonder had she just gone 2 miles more down the road to the next exit, would this be her life?

It was months before she was able to leave the hospital and see her new home.
She had fully expected for it to be decorated up with all her pretty things and balloons and Welcome Home signs and people that she loved and those that loved and cared for her.  That wasn't to be the case.
What she came home to was an almost empty home, her husband and his secretary and the legal documents for a divorce.  That was Cheryl's welcome home party.
She ended the story with, "Yah, it pretty much sucked."

I cried, she cried and then we made drinks.  I went about prepping their dinner and then we made more drinks and a friendship blossomed and then laughter and jokes and dry wit banter was filling the air again.  She wasn't the same woman trapped in her car anymore, she wasn't a woman who's soul was confined to a wheelchair, she wasn't a woman who had or wanted pity..she was a beautiful woman going on about her day, folding laundry, cooking dinner and having some great laughs with a friend.
Okay, so I did mention the drinks part right? 
Well....As I had mentioned previously, one of my tasks was to do whatever Cheryl needed done and on this particular day, she was throwing a party for her man (yes, she met a fantastic guy who loved her dearly and was incredible with wood working and made her all these cool devices that aided her in being more independent around the house)  that night and we needed to get the surprise decorations up AND she needed to get 'smokin' hot' for the occasion!

So, off to her bedroom we went.  See, Cheryl is a very attractive woman who prides herself on always looking her best. She has that gorgeous thick black shiny hair that makes all the rest of us women sick and her makeup is done to perfection; which she applies herself. (Yes, by this point she has become fully aware of my awkward coordination and won't let me anywhere near her makeup or face).
Cheryl could go to the tanning salon, but it would require physically transporting her into the van, driving her there, getting her back out of the van and then into a tiny room, not wheelchair accessible, so would have to be lifted and placed in the tanning bed and blah, blah, blah, she wasn't having any of it! SO, she bought her own tanning bed that rolled over her bed and she would lay there and tan.  On this particular day, she had ordered some new tanning lotion with a bronzer and she wanted to try it out.  
Going through the usual routine, I got her undressed and lifted her onto the bed and then applied the bronzer and  got the tanning machine all set up over her. She asked me to go check on something real quick and so I went off to the kitchen for just a second.
When I walked back into the room, I nearly pee'd myself. 
I had never seen a more ridiculous sight in all my life and I don't think I've laughed that hard in forever.
I think that perhaps had there been maybe one less drink involved, clarity might have prevailed, but in this circumstance, I'm sorry to say it did not. 
Remember the bronzer I spoke about? Well, in the box with it came these golden cone things and when I left the room, I had the the bronzer and the golden cones laying by her hand. 

When I returned, there she was, my friend, butt naked as the day she was born laying under her tanning bed with these enormously large and golden cones over her eyeballs!! 
For mere discretion I'll refrain from quoting what I said, but when Cheryl heard me choking on laughter, she piped out, "What the hell kind of glasses are these??" 
It took more than awhile for me to regain my composure as I rolled around on her bedroom floor slapping my hand onto the ground in hysterical fits.
I'd never seen her laugh so hard in all the time I knew her when I was finally able to explain that the cones were not in anyway shape or form meant to be on her face; not even remotely...they were intended to cover up her nipples so they wouldn't get burned by the bronzer!
Which is why I think Kelly has selected the most perfect sentiment:
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."

And different she is...and wonderful and inspiring and most definitely a human being that I respect and admire.
So what does this have to do with my earlobe after all of that? 
Sadly, I was moving away and I was no longer able to stay as Cheryl's personal care attendant and it was my last day to spend with her.  She decided that we were going to go out to lunch together and run some errands and just spend the day having fun. 
The weather was beautiful and we had great laughs together and then it was time to bring her back home and say goodbye.  I felt saying goodbye to her was harder to do than anything.  I knew what she would have to do when I left; start the interviews all over again. Learn to trust the new person that would replace me. Train them all over again and it wasn't easy for her to reveal herself to someone she didn't know.  I only hoped that whoever it was that opened up the newspaper and saw an ad from a woman who needed help, would be someone destined to cross Cheryl's path, just as I had been. Oh, and hopefully tons more coordinated and way less accident prone!  

Now Cheryl was the kind of woman who loved giving gifts and she kept threatening me that she would have one for me. I pleaded NO...she ignored me, par usual, but on this particular time, she hadn't had time to get anything and it was perfect! I could just give her a hug and probably cry tons and tell her how much she meant to me and spending the day with her was the best gift ever; however, fate played its part.
As I was lifting her out of the van, I had her cradled in my arms and just about to turn and put her in her chair when she had a total body spasm and her hand went flying up and three seconds later I'm standing in her driveway, she's in my arms and we're both watching as a metallic golden circle spins round and round on the concrete. 

The silence was finally broken by, "Oh Shit!" her words....
She took one glance at my ear and made this disturbing grimace like, "oops!" 
Then said,
"Okay...that's ugly. But at least I fixed these horrid eyebrows of yours!" 

So to this day, I carry the best gift Cheryl could have ever given me. 
 I certainly don't know what awaits me at the next exit, nor the one after that, but what I do know is that I'm blessed to have known Cheryl, a truly inspiring woman who taught me a valuable lesson about life and triumph and happiness and I'll carry it with me always, right here on my earlobe. ;)
Hugs n' Happiness In all Things..
Lisa x

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

If You Stumble...

Super words to live by...don't you think?
Thanks to Krista from Saturated Canary for providing me with this image Harley and Haley as they are helping out with this week's challenge at Top Tip Tuesday, Say It Isn't Sew where we'd like to see faux stitching on your paper projects. 
My very first card with Washi tape...they were right..it IS addictive stuff! 
Thank you to Saturated Canary and Fred She Said for sponsoring this challenge as well as Create With TLC for always providing the most inspirational and fun sentiments!

Thank you so much for stopping in,
Hugs n' Happy Stamping...
Lisa xx

Monday, April 8, 2013

Road Trip!!!

Hello and welcome back!

I would just like to take a moment to say thank you SO much for all the fabulous comments that were left regarding my silver tray remake. LOL...I'd also like to apologize for those of you that I caused heart palpitations for painting over the silver. :)  You all made me smile and laugh so much, so thank you!!!

It's time again to share some more incredibly fun cut files from The Cutting Cafe.  This week we're showcasing the diversity of the Suitcase Files and Postcards.
Doesn't this little cutie just make you wanna hit the open road and travel?  It comes complete with a postcard so you can send loved ones back home an update of your adventures.
This template could be used for 'Ready for the Baby Kit" "Congratulations on your Graduation", etc.
 This suitcase card has adorable tabs included in the cut file and would be perfect to use for a keepsake book of all the places you visited, alphabetically or chronologically; however you wish to organize your memories.
Here are direct links to the files I've used for these projects at The Cutting Cafe:

Thank you so much for your visit!
Hugs n' Happy Crafting,
Lisa x

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's ALL the sun's fault....

 Yesterday while sweeping leaves out of the garage, something shiny caught my eye and totally distracted me from being domesticated. The sun hit it perfectly and it was a sign that I needed to get crafty! 

This is how I found it at the thrift store for $2.00
I'm not a fan of polishing silver, so immediately it needed to be disguised with my ever faithful base of Gesso.

 Once the Gesso was dried I used the Stampin' Up! distressing kit to sand off the ornate raised areas of the tray.
Second addiction applied....crackle!
 Then acrylic blue paint.                   
After the baby blue paint dried, I etched in the cracks with a dauber using TH Vintage Photo DI.
Decided on the design to cut out from the Silhouette; Spring border, 4 layered frame and bow, then glued on a locket button.

When everything was in place, a layer of stickles was applied to give more texture to certain elements. After drying, the entire surface area was then covered in Gesso again.

Small rolled roses and some pre-made white roses were added with Silhouette cut leaves added in the mix.  The gorgeous vintage key and  sentiment come from Prairie Fairy Designs and you can find them here

Just for the element of  'coolness' I left the bottom of the tray in its original state.
So there you have it.
  Any reason NOT to clean and now it's a cute little thingy-ma-bob for holding what-nots!  

Thank you for your visit today and I sure do hope something shiny finds its way to you too. :) 
Hugs n' Happy Crafting,
Lisa xx

Challenges I would like to share with:
Simon Says Stamp & Show - Anything Goes

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fake Baked Cupcakes...

Hello all you wonderful crafty people!
For those of you who follow my blog, you'll know that I'm crazily working to make items for a fundraiser at the end of the month for Cupcake Camp KC, a wonderful project that raises money for childhood cancer research.   Here is the latest project I've been working on.  Originally, they were going to be ornaments, but I decided at the last minute to make them into little centerpieces. Thought they'd be cute for someones desk, or bedside if they're not feeling well, or just a way to say....you're special to me on someones birthday.
Here's the kicker...you CANNOT eat these!! 
As my body tried to keep pace with my mind in this creation, I forgot to take pictures at some points, but I think you'll get the gist of how they were made. Yes...that's Gaps and Cracks Foam.  You spray it into the cupcake holders just like you would when making the real deal.  This was my practice piece so I knew how high the foam would rise. Using a wooden stick, I leveled out the tops before they dried completely.

As you can see here, the foam sort of did its own thing and my attempts of "leveling" them went willy nilly anyway... 
I've painted them with acrylic paints to look like variations of cupcake recipes. Not really sure what the "poo" colored one is (gack) BUT...no fear, icing is on its way!

At this stage, right before the icing, you have to make your decorative ingredients. Here I've rolled Sculpey clay out to look like little cherries and then used the leaf cutter from a fondant cake baking kit as well. Little wire stems with a curly Q were then added.

Baked at 270 degrees for 20 minutes, let cool, paint with acrylics and then clear coated for shine...they're ready when the icing is.
Now, I forgot to take a picture of how I made the icing, sorry, BUT..it's very easy. One glob of Lightweight Plaster of Paris and a squeeze of acrylic paint and mix. Tossing the icing into a plastic sandwich bag with a tiny snip off the corner and squeeze the icing out onto the cupcakes.  While it's still wet, place in the cherry, leaf and I decided to use colored brads for my candies. I've also added a little wire loop at the top to make the hole for the future toothpick sentiments.

Here they are...
The plates were purchased at Dollar General and had a tea light in them originally, but they concave fit perfectly to hold the cupcakes upright.  The decorative cupcake wrappers were purchased from SVG.com and then the addition of the napkin was added.  I used Cotton Crinoline I'd purchased from The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Cutting it into strips wide enough to fold at the top, I then sewed around the edges, inked up an embossing folder and ran the material through. Then re-inked the sewing thread to give it some extra 'oomph'.  A little coordinating bow and sentiment were then added.

Here are most of them on a little stand I found at a flea market, Those Were The Days.
So, what do you think? Do they look done to you? I keep wanting to add more and more and I'd really love your input. Do I keep adding or do I walk away???
Thanks so much for your valuable opinion and your time spent here.
Hope you're all having a great week!
Hugs n' Happy Crafting,
Lisa xx

OHH....One last thing...
I had to share the display shelf that my husband made for me.
I came home with an old spool, 3 records and a knob and asked him if he would pretty, pretty, please, make a cute display for my booth.  Here's what he did (minus the bow..that was me)
okay...all done now!
Have a great one :)

Challenges I would love to enter:
Simon Says Stamp and Show- Anything Goes!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Figure 8 Easter Egg Hunt....

I couldn't resist making this Easter card with a little humor in the mix.
 The fun challenge this week at Top Tip Tuesday is Girls and Boys Come Out to Play! 
Firstly, I realize that Easter is now over, but for me, I'm accustomed to it being in April and secondly, I'm not accustomed to it being in snow! SO...I thought it would be comical to make this little cutie skating on ice as she's searching for the hidden treasures o' chocolate!
Thank you to our sponsor Kenny K for supplying me with these images too.

Ice was created using this combination: copics B00, BG10, W3,W1, C2, and Glossy Accents
Snow tops the homemade flowers and ice using Snow-Tex

Thank you so much for your visit!
Hugs n' Happy Skating Stamping,
Lisa x