Thanks and Giving

Today I want to stop and reflect on what I am giving thanks for. The things I am most thankful for are pretty basic but without them life would be very difficult. I am thankful for my job, my family’s health, our home, the food on our table, our freedom as Americans and those that protect us. Despite all of this I still tend to start stressing this time of year over Christmas preparations. This year my daughter reminded me of what the Holidays are really about. Loving, Caring and Giving to others.

A few days ago, Genevieve came to me and wanted to set up a Lemonade Stand. As I told her that they don’t have Lemonade Stands in the Fall she got upset and said,  “How am I going to make money to help give food and toys to the poor kids!”. This from a 6-year-old! I asked her if instead she would like to take some of the money she had already saved and go to Toys ‘R Us to donate a toy to Toys For Tots. “Yes!”, she said. She ran and emptied her money jar on her bed and collected much of what she had. We then drove to Toys ‘R Us and she walked the aisles debating on what to choose. The toy she decided to donate – a Barbie.

This season my family may not have a lot to give but I want to try to give what we can. Here are some links to programs that are important to my family.

St. Jude Research HospitalSt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – You can shop their Hope Gift Book for Holiday giving. 100% of profits, after all related expenses, benefits the hospital.

Toys For Tots – Join the United States Marine Corps Reserve in donating toys to children in need. You can donate your toys at Toys ‘R Us.

Operation USO Care Package – Many of our troops are away from home during Christmas. Sending care packages is especially needed at this time of year when our Soldiers are away from their families.

What programs and charities are special to you? Please share so we can let others know of great programs to give to.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Our 7/12 Anniversary

Today marks my 7th Wedding Anniversary with my husband, Kurt. I like to call it our 7/12 Anniversary – married 7 years and together 12 years. Our time together has been quite a journey in itself. We have moved 7 times, lived in 3 different States, had two children together and a multitude of trials, challenges, joys & adventures in between. I consider myself a very blessed woman. I have a husband that can cook, clean, fix or build anything, protect our family, grow a garden (if the squirrels stay away) & make us all laugh. In looking back on this special day, and to celebrate, I am posting a photo from our Wedding. Happy Anniversary Honey. Here’s looking to our 50/55 Anniversary!

An Embossed Birthday

I recently finished this very simple but elegant invitation design for my Aunt’s 60th Birthday. While creating this design I discovered a new production technique at Archiver’s. Last week they were offering free craft demonstrations. One of the techniques they used was heat embossing. So cool and not that expensive. You just need a heat gun, ink pad (the kind for embossing), any kind of stamp you wish and embossing powder. Just stamp your paper, pour on some embossing powder and melt it with the heat gun. Done. Here is a link for Archiver’s if you would like directions on how to do this yourself  –  How to Emboss.

I love finding new techniques and tools! I am planning on using this on my parents 40th Anniversary Invitation. If all goes well I will share that with you too. Till then!

Goals

I suppose it is time now to lay out my goals. By putting these out there you really know what to hold me accountable for. I think of all the beautiful designs I want to create and I get excited thinking about it. But at the same time I sit here and think of all the exhaustion and hard work ahead. I hesitate to type them out. But that is the point of this blog, to give me that extra push. To keep me going when I am exhausted and tired. This is my dream. This is what I want. This is what I have the passion to do. So here we go…

1. Blog 2-3 times a week. (To keep me accountable)

2. Have my online shop up and running by Spring 2011

3. Participate in my first small craft show by Summer 2011.

4. Be accepted into the Rock n Roll Craft Show for November 2011

5. Take over the world (…sorry, different list.)

Ok, so do you have a list of goals you are working on? How is it coming along? Could you benefit from an accountability buddy?

Fun Finds

Fun Finds

Sometimes as I forage through the web I run across cool or interesting things. I’ve decided I would share some of these with you from time to time. Here is my first find.

This apron by Lover Dovers Clothing almost makes me want to learn to cook just so I can wear it. Also a great apron for cooking Thanksgiving Dinner in! Love the retro feel.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/61464480/retro-orange-and-black-full-apron-50s

An Archiver’s Sunday

This weekend I made a trip to Archiver’s, the scrapbook store, with my daughter Genevieve. I am actually not a Scrapbooker, but find many of the scrapbooking tools and embellishments work great for invitation design.

Currently, I am working on two invitation designs for family events that will happen in December. I was at Archiver’s to find some inspiration and materials. I was actually having a tough time coming up with ideas. Mumbling to myself I said, “I just can’t think of what to do this time”. Genevieve then got a studious look on her face, held up one finger and said “I have an idea!”. Then she proceeded to race around the store, three different times, and brought me paper & embellishment ideas. I have to say she’s not half bad at this. Unfortunately, her ideas skewed a little younger than the audience these invitations are for. But, I really enjoyed seeing her bolt around with this creative burst of energy. She really is a very creative girl!

How about you? Have any creative bursts of energy this weekend?

Blank Canvas or Wall?

In my first blog post I said this would not just be a blog about starting my business. It would also be about those days in between in my everyday life. This will be one of those posts.

Last night, as I was helping my daughter Genevieve in her room and my husband was cooking dinner in the kitchen, my daughter Lucy was playing in the hallway between rooms. I didn’t think much of it until I heard my husband. As I went into the hallway to see what was going on I saw Lucy’s “masterpiece”. She had found a ballpoint pen and had created her own canvas. Our hallway wall. There were circles and scribbles all along the wall and up as high as she could reach. Never underestimate how high a toddler can reach (which could explain how she got the pen). I guess we needed to repaint that wall anyway. Maybe our little artist can help with the painting. I’m sure she would love to.

This artistic incident inspired me to look for some alternate options to offer little Lucy.

Here’s a great idea from Martha Stewart that’s not only for kids. Make any surface a chalkboard surface. You can even create custom colors! Keep yourself organized by creating a wall calendar at home. Or paint a wall that’s ok for your kids to draw on.

http://www.marthastewart.com/article/make-custom-color-chalkboard-paint

Check out this cute peel and stick elephant chalk board from Land of Nod. Lot’s of fun for a kids room.

http://www.landofnod.com/family.aspx?c=3144&f=6823

 

Just roll this cute chalkboard mat by Lilly.B Designs and go. A great idea for when you have restless kids at a restaurant.

http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&op=listing&product_id=248820&ga_query=drawing%20for%20kids

Hope you enjoyed these ideas. Have any of you had similar artistic experiences with your kids? I would love to hear your comments and stories. Thanks!