Saturday, July 30, 2011

Erica's Cricut Craft Room Scrapbook Saturday

The project I would like to share with you all today for Scrapbook Saturday is an ABC book I created for my niece, Cameron.  I had an idea a few years ago when my son was looking at a photo album and said "Daddy" for the first time while pointing to his daddy's picture.  What a great way for toddlers to learn names and faces!  I knew I wanted to make a book that had something to do with that.  Then I got the Create A Critter cartridge and the whole idea came together.

The full idea is to make an ABC book using pictures of the faces that the baby sees the most (immediate family, close friends, day care provider, pets, etc) to illustrate the letters.  To make the book fun, I filled in the gaps with letter-matching Create A Critters.  Because I wanted Cameron to USE this book, I laminated the pages so that she couldn't harm anything.

I decided to make the cover of the book by using ModPodge and DCWV paper over chip board.  Colorful ribbon covers the binder circles. 

Front Cover
Apple, Alligator, Beach, Balboa, Bob

Cameron, Cappy, Cow, Dog, Daddy

Elephant, Egg, Frog, Fish, Fran


Hannah, 4 Generations Hands Picture, Hippo, Ice Cream, Igloo

Jellyfish, Koala, Kent, La-La, Ladybug

Mommy, Monkey, Melissa, Mary Beth, Night, Owl

Pool, Pop-Pop, Pig, Queen, Racoon, Rusty

Sue, Shannon, Swing, Snow, Sled, Tree, Tom, Trent, Turtle, Umbrella

VERY AWESOME Aunt Heather (me!), Volcano, Whale, Witch, XOXO, Yarn, Ya-Ya

Zipper, Zebra

Back Cover
As a side note - Create A Critters are FUN and ADDICTING!  But they take a lot of time.  I have found that it is better to make 3 or four of the same animal at a time knowing I will use them again.  Making 1 takes 15 minutes.  Making 5 takes 20...

Hope you enjoyed this project - please let me know what you think!  Happy Scrapping!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life with and after RA

No project today - I have some in the works, but I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who left such positive and encouraging words for me from this past weekend's blog hop.  I am grateful for your support and excited to have a bunch of new followers!

In an effort to keep the story short, I left out a lot of details.  I wanted to provide some hope to those that have this disease or others like it - there is LIFE AFTER RA!  It took several months for me to get a solid diagnosis (which has been added onto over time, as one auto-immune disease will trigger others and other conditions), and even longer to find a treatment plan that worked for me.  I take a lovely cocktail of crummy medicines that are giving me a high quality of life right now.  While I have virtually no immune system to speak of, I walk, work, craft, and parent with little to no issues.  The addition of Enbrel and Melaleuca Vitality 4 have been life altering for me, and now I rarely wear arm braces or walk funny any more as often as I used to : )  I've been extremely blessed with an opportunity to work from home, which shelters me from illness exposure and allows a comfortable environment for me to crash in on my not so good days.

Lots of times people confuse Rheumatoid Arthritis with the more commonly familiar Osteoarthritis.  Arthritis by definition simply means "joint pain" but the differences between RA and OA are vastly different.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by the immune system turning on it's self.  An internal switch is flipped (usually caused by some sort of traumatic event and very often after the birth of a child) and the immune system begins to attack healthy join tissues and fluids, causing rapid decay.  Left untreated, RA can cause severe disability and a crippling of the hands, feet, and other joints.  RA is not an "old person's disease" and has often been found in children as well.  Treatment usually involves suppressing the immune system to limit it's effect on the joints and surrounding tissue. 

Well maintained though, people with RA can love active healthy lives, but getting to that point can be difficult, long, painful, and lonely.  If you know someone with this disease do what you can to learn about how you can help support them.  Thanks for reading!  I promise projects soon!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cancer Support & Survivor Blog Hop

Hi Everyone!  Thank you for stopping by today for Erica's My Cricut Craft Room Cancer Support and Survivors blog hop.  I'm honored and excited to be participating in this hop and while I gratefully have not experienced cancer first or really even second hand, I felt that I had an interesting and relevant story to share that speaks to cancer patients and anyone who is dealing with a long term chronic illness.

Today's project is about Spoons.  Yes, spoons.  And I'm sure you are already thinking what on EARTH do SPOONS have anything to do with Cancer?  Well, nothing really, and everything all at the same time.  

First, I would like to share my card.  It was made using DCWV and Recollections papers, and just the spoons from the knife-fork-spoon set in the Disney Dreams Come True cartridge (supplied to me by the fabulous Charlotte Cornett).  The pink photo corners are from Heritage.  The sentiment inside says "Wishing you a day filled with spoons!"

Ok so... spoons?  Whats the deal?  Read on to find out.  : )

Shortly after the birth of my son, I was stricken with severe joint pain that was so bad and throughout my entire body and got worse by the day.  It got the the point where getting out of bed was a significant accomplishment and it would take me 15 minutes + just to gently walk down the stairs.  I couldn't care for my newborn, I couldn't care for myself, and worse, no one knew what was wrong with me.  It took some time, but eventually I received a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I was 31.  31!!!!!!  And I have severe arthritis???  You are kidding me.  So I started to research - a LOT, and found a ton of support online for those suffering with a large variety of auto immune diseases.

A reference to spoons was CONSTANT, people wishing each other spoons, talking about spoons, wearing spoon t-shirts...  so I looked into what they were talking about, and found this wonderful story about The Spoon Theory.  It's one woman's explanation to her friends about how she deals day-to-day with having a chronic illness.  I think the story is wonderful, and I thought that this was a neat opportunity to share it with others who may not have heard it.  Click here to read the full story of the Spoon Theory.

Thank you for stopping by today!  Please let me know what you think!  While this is the end of the blog hop, make sure that you have checked out everyone in the line up!   Here is the entire list:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Surprise 100 Cartridge Blog Hop (Erica's My Cricut Craft Room Hop)

Welcome!!  You should have come from  the talented Heather Flaherty's Page at Paper Crafter Annonymous. If you did not please start at Erica's blog

OK, big breath, here I go:

EEEEEE!  I can't tell you how excited I am to have been asked to be part of Erica's Design Team AND to be participating in my first Blog Hop!  I feel very blessed to be part of Erica's big announcement.  Congratulations Erica!  Your husband-to-be is a VERY luck man!

AND I'm excited to share some of my work with all of you hoppers out there!  If you like what you see, please leave a comment and become a follower - it would really make my day!

As today's theme is about love, weddings, and the like...  I first wanted to share a picture of my hubby and I on our wedding day just shy of five years ago.  It was an absolutely magical day : )

Moving on with the theme, I wanted to share a card I made using the Sweethearts cartridge.  Two of the things I try to do when crafting is to re-use (when possible) and to make each project as personal as possible.  I was able to accomplish both in the card below.  The first picture is of the wedding invitation I received for my very oldest childhood friend.  We go WAAAAAY back to 5th grade!  LOL 

You can see in the card, I used the invitation as a background to the card.  The length was a bit short for the card size I used (5x7) so I cut a strip of matching card stock to make up the difference at the top.  Also, I cut the bride and groom and their layers at 4 inches.

The veil was also cut from the vellum of the invitation.

The great thing about using Cricut is that it takes all of the hard work out of it... Anyone can make these cards with the layered cuts.  Just add you own personal embelishments (glitter glue seems to be a recent fav of mine) and BAM... a personalized gift any friend would be happy to receive. 

Thank you SO much for visiting me today!    Next, you are going to be hopping on over to the lovely and talented Scrapbooking Princess Jaime's Page.  Hope to see you again soon!

Blog Hop Line up incase you get lost...

1.  My Cricut Craft Room
2. Alishia Gaff
3 Amanda Haynes
4. Amanda Hernandez
5 Autumn Johnson Willis
6 Charlotte Simpson Cornett
7 Connie Benford Layman
8. Courtney Larson
9. Gayle Shrader
10. Heather Flaherty
11 Heather Hammen Sipes
11 Jamie Lindstrom (Scrapbookingprincess Jamie)
13. Jen Roseman
14 Jennifer Rethorn Lundy
15 Julie Davis-Perez
16. Justina Almanza
17. Kathleen Schriber
18 Kassidy Thomas
19 Lezlye Lauterbach-Hardwick
20 Mayra Alonso
21 Linda Kuniyoshi
22 Lucinda Gibson
23 Michelle Hull
24 Nina Wilson
25. Patricia Holloway
26. Ricki Sholler Tidd
27 Rosa Kleyman
28. Scrappin Dhilly
29 Sue-Ann Lovell
30 Tammy Androsky
31. Terry Meyers
32. Tina Ondrus Keller