Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Love Story

25 years ago today, I married the love of my life!

It all began, once upon a time, while camping at a Provincial Park in 1974. He noticed me and I noticed him. We were two young teenagers wanting to get to know each other, but we lived 3 hours apart. He in Ontario and I in Michigan. So, we exchanged letters for a couple of years and then moved on with our lives. College and University kept us busy and I never expected to once again hear from the handsome young man I remembered meeting years before. But we did reconnect in 1982. He was passing through my home town on business, and still had the small piece of paper in his wallet that I had wrote my name and phone number on when we first met! He called and we got together and we fell in love.

It was and still is the most beautiful love story I could ever imagine being a part of.

Wayne, you will always be my happily-ever-after. I love you...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Card Challenge

Tonight we are holding an Online Crop on Two Scrapbook Friends Forum! We have over 30 scrapbookers that have decided to join us and we have posted some great challenges to keep them busy.

My challenge was to create a card or layout using the following photo as inspiration:

I decided to create a card and I based it on this sketch from the 2 Sketches 4 You blog:

This is my card...

I combined two different pattern papers from Jillibean Soup and used a rub-on for the tree, butterfly and word. I used a small circle punch for the 'leaves' on the tree. Then I added a ribbon from my stash. For a finishing touch I put Glossy Accents on the circles.

Why not head over to the Forum to see what the other challenges are? Maybe they will provide just the inspiration you are looking for!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

7 Years!

This past Friday, September 11th, Carolyn and I were at the store and I was jotting something down when I looked at the date. All of a sudden it hit me! It was the 7-year Anniversary of the very first scrapbooking workshop that Carolyn and I ever did! I looked at Carolyn and said/sort of shouted, "OH MY GOSH! DO YOU KNOW WHAT TODAY IS?" She replied in a rather panicky voice (thinking we had forgotten something really important), "WHAT?" I said, "It's our Anniversary!!!

Well, then we started reminiscing...

You see we started out with workshops only. That was our beginning. We had 8 in our very first workshop and by the third one, we had 16 people join us!!! From there we grew to offering a small amount of products in addition to our classes and then eventually opened our full retail store. It all sort of happened as a natural progression without set goals in mind. We just enjoyed each step along the way and moved onto the next as the timing seemed right and the opportunity presented itself. And, most importantly, we have enjoyed each step that we took!

It might seem odd that our first workshop took place on the 1-year Anniversary of 9-11, and we certainly did not plan it that way. It was just the first open date we both had and when we realized what day it was, we thought of changing it to another date. But as we talked about it, we both felt that it was in fact the perfect day to do scrapbooking. Isn't preserving our memories about our loved ones and the special times we have with them what scrapbooking is all about? And isn't life short sometimes with no warning of how or when our time here will be up? And how wonderful to be able to look back through our scrapbooks and remember those we love and the great moments we've shared.

7-years! I would not have traded any of it for anything! Carolyn has been an amazing, smart and fun person to be in business with and most importantly, I count her as my best friend!

Here's to many more!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Use It! Challenge #26

I was busy at work today creating a double-page layout for an upcoming class. I was very pleased with how it turned out (stay tuned for some sneak peeks!) and I decided to make a card using the leftover papers.

This week's challenge at Use It! was to stamp or draw a circle, make a window, fasten it up (use ribbon, buttons or staples) and make it sparkle or shine.

This is my card...

The papers are part of a beautiful new collection from Pink Paislee, Amber Road. It was one of my absolute favorites at CHA and I was soooo excited when it finally arrived at our store! In addition, I used a Whale of a Punch to punch out a circle window, ribbon and Waxy Flax to fasten it and a single gemstone in the middle of my Prima flower for some sparkle. I also used my Tea for Two stamps from PTI.

Simple but sweet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stepping Back In Time

During our last visit home, my Mom casually mentioned that she would like to drive past her childhood home. At 81 years old and having lost my Dad last year, she has been doing a lot of reminiscing about the past. Since I haven’t seen my Grandparent’s house for many years, I jumped at the idea and a couple of days later my sister Dianne, my mom and I were in the car eagerly on our way. Dianne and I are the oldest of six siblings and we have the most vivid memories of our Grandparents and their home. We can both recall with fondness the memories of the dear people that they were and the many wonderful family times spent at their house.

As we drove down the street, Mom started to point out the different houses and who used to live in them. She also retold the fact that my Dad and his family had lived on the same street for a few years when they were all very young. She showed us his house and we tried to imagine him living there.

His family eventually moved to a parcel of land a few miles away so they could farm. But how amazing that when they were just little children they lived only houses away from each other!

As we approached our Grandparent’s house, it still looked very much the same. There were some obvious changes (the pillars on the front porch along with the wooden steps had been replaced and the driveway was now paved) but it was definitely the house we remembered.

We parked our car and went up to the door to see if anyone was home. We didn’t want to just start walking around the property without the owner’s approval. Much to our disappointment, no one was home. So we just stood out front, taking pictures and talking about the similarities and changes of Mom’s childhood home.

Fortunately, within a few minutes, the homeowner drove up! She got out of her car and we exchanged introductions. Her name was Marcia and she seemed a bit hesitant with us at first, but soon warmed up as we showed her some old photos that we brought along. She walked us around to the back yard and we reminisced about our Grandfather's gardens, the chicken coop that once stood behind the garage, the screened-in porch that we loved so much and the brick-paved driveway.

Much to our complete surprise, Marcia then invited us to come into her house. I couldn't believe her generosity in allowing us to once again enter the house that we had loved so much. The front door was the same wooden door that we remembered and as we stepped inside, I immediately experienced a flood of emotions that I was not expecting. Without my permission, the tears came. It was just like stepping back in time and I felt like I was once again a child in my Grandmother’s house experiencing the special warmth and love that I have always associated with being there.

As we walked from room to room, we shared our stories with Marcia. We pointed out the corner shelves in the dining room that my Grandfather built and talked about the wood stove that used to be in the kitchen. She no longer had the built-in bench seating in the kitchen, but a telephone desk stood in the exact same spot where my Grandmother always had one.

We ventured into the basement where memories of the ringer-washer and coal room came back to us. It was now a finished rec room with a TV and computer. Upstairs we toured the bedrooms and looked out the same window that my mom would have looked out of as a child in her room.

Thanks to Marcia's generosity, my Mom experienced a special gift that day. She was able to once again count her blessings as she warmly recalled the past. It was also a joy for my sister and I to see the house, but most of all to be with Mom and to share this special time. I pray that we would all hold onto the good memories of our past and be able to look back and be thankful.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friends Always

I decided to make a card based on Kazan's Sketch #34 at the 2Sketches4You blog. We were also challenged to use a color scheme based on home decor - one of my favorite types of challenges!

This is Kazan's sketch:

This was my inspiration:

And this is my card!

I used some great new papers and a rub-on from Kaisercraft and added some gems and ribbon. Lots of fun!

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Use It! Challenge No. 25

The challenge this week at Use It! was to create any sort of gift bag using a Halloween theme. I thought this sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided to give it a try.

I used an acrylic pail and I decorated it with some 'scary' papers from MME...

added some matching die-cuts using foam adhesive for dimension...

and finished it with some buttons, ribbons and a couple of tags I made using MME die-cuts and PTI stamps. I also put Glossy Accents on each of the spiders (this doesn't show too well in the photo) and used Stickles to accent the dots above the spiders.

I think it turned out just 'boo-tiful' and it was fun to make! Thanks for looking.
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