Thursday, September 27, 2012

Handmade U.... a Glimpse of the Fun I Had

 I love a great journaling class.  I was really excited to be taking Hope Wallace Karney's very first in person teaching class.  Sure she had taught a bunch of on-line classes before....but she had never taught a class in person to a live bunch of students before.  We were going to be her guinea pigs.  I just knew that she would do beautifully.  And Hope did not disappoint.  Not in the very least.  The above is a picture of her class kit.  Not only was it exquisite....well I felt like I was going to a posh private academy....look at the loveliness.  Vintage wallpaper & all blinged out with supplies galore!  She taught in a manner that was very conducive to my learning style.  I personally loved it very much.  I tend to get very overwhelmed with journaling.  Give me power tools & soldering guns any day & I am good to go....but ink pens & wasi tape & you might as well give me a scalpel & IV fluids because I do not know what to do with them.  I get flustered & behind & have to ask poor Stephanie Oyler what to do every minute.  Hope gave us wonderful prompts for every step of the way so when I got behind I could get caught up.  And here is the great part....get this....she promised to send us the on-line instructions to the class when we got home.....and guess what....I got the tutorial YESTERDAY!!!  Bless her little soul!!  Isn't she wonderful!!!  So basically Hope is the teacher that keeps on teaching well after the art retreat is over & I for one really appreciate that.  Handmade U is really one of the best art retreats I have been to.  This year was by far the best.  There were swaps, and more women went, and the food was good, and we had vendor night with crofters participating this year.  It was just a really great year!  Oh & there were lot's of great door prizes!  That is something that everyone seems to really love.  It always feels great when your name is drawn out of the hat!  Something else that is super spectacular....the treat bag is just phenomenal.  Rachel....the hostess of Handmade U is like a real teacher.  She gives you the best little fun treats.  Ear Stephanie is going to really snore (well she does.....but it doesn't bother me cuz I probably do too!) so the ear plugs really are handy, & cute little candies.  Little school related pencils & stuff.  So you all need to come to the 4th Semester of Handmade U because we were all brainstorming about teachers & stuff because a lot of us girls have been to all 3 semesters & we know the ropes cuz we are the upper class girls....we aren't stuck up or anything we just know it ALL but we were throwing out some great ideas & 4th semester is going to be awesome.....YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THE FUN!!

 Here is the lovely Hope Ellington & Hope Wallace Karney or better known as:  Hope Squared.  I so wish I knew how to make the mathematical equation.  The little thing with the little tiny 2 in it.  But I am not a mathematician....nor would I ever try to be one.  I think she wants me to be Hope 1 & she Hope 2  so I guess that is what we will do.  I have been dying to officially become friends with Hope since our days at Silver Bella.  That event was just too big to ever really do that.  But Handmade U was really conducive to hanging out.  We had a lot of fun.  Hope is just a talented & giving woman & I hope we have many opportunities to create together again. 

Handmade U really is just a unique opportunity to get together to create.  It really is almost like a reunion of sorts.  I keep coming back semester after semester because there is a bond that I feel.  Friendships are made & I am learning a lot about journaling & creating awesome projects.  Rachel is a wonderful hostess.  For me an art retreat should be an intimate gathering.  Handmade U is just that....& even if it grows....I know that Handmade U will keep its intimate feel because it has very humble roots.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Handmade U Vendor Night....A Little Glimpse

This is my first time to be a vendor at Handmade U.  Each semester the only vendors have been the teachers, Rachel & Michelle and last semester Pam was also a vendor & let me tell you they have not disappointed.  This semester Rachel is opening it up the to the students as well.  Of course I wanted to jump in on this.  Here is a little sneak peak at some of my offerings.  I'm not bringing a lot because I am flying.  And of course I am not bringing all of the grandeur I would if I were at a normal show....of which I don't do too many anyway.  But it will be humble & nice & I love some of my new things. 

I adore these new vintage stretch bling bracelets.  I have one as well.  It is my GO TO bracelet.  I wear mine ALL the time.  Of course you know me....I am all about the bling.  Every outfit needs the new daily attire...the work out attire.  I don't think Jordan would really dig this bracelet in the gym....umm my planks might get all tangled up in the mat & delay the push ups & that would just delay the punches & so it is not an accessory for just ALL of my outfits anymore.  But I do love this bracelet so very much.

I made these over the spring using my favorite vintage German paper & vintage ledgers.  The combo is just stunning together.  In the center of the butterfly is just the slightest touch of vintage rhinestone.  It gives it just the right touch of sparkle.  I love the little scalloped bubble edge.  It took me a long time to get this right & I think it is so sweet.  You will really like the feel of this piece.  It is nice & chunky.

These are just really fun.  I have oodles of these cuties.  They are just fun little sparklie conversation charms.  They have fun little words on them.  I think they are fun & I hope you all do too.  So this is just a quick little preview.  I do have lot's more but you get the idea.  I can't wait to see you all at Handmade U.....& those of you that can't make it...I seriously hope you consider checking it out for the next semester of classes.  It really is a fun time & we learn so many great things & make so many great friends.  I hope you have a wonderful evening and I send many blessings to each of you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Old Graphics & Fun Ephemera

I love the old graphics & old packaging of times gone by.  Things just aren't the same today.  As I unwrap something today I am usually angered & have profanities come from my mouth or a little ditty that my children always laughed at 'I bet an angry Chinese man had to package this' which really if you think about it, globally speaking & with today's economy isn't funny at all.

But these old hosiery boxes are absolutely the berries in my humble opinion.  My mother saved these out for me when she helped a friend clean out her families home.  Oodles of vintage 1950's & 1960's hosiery boxes some still with the hosiery still in them.  This was the packaging....not what we see today.  But rather interesting graphics & sturdy...flat...interesting boxes....ready for me to use one day when the time was right & the quantity perfect.  Well that time has come & I have seized the moment.

This was the only one like it.  Personally not my favorite....but for this project interesting enough.  I am using these for my ephemera swap for Handmade U.  I probably shouldn't be posting it yet...but since most are traveling tomorrow I don't think they will be blog hopping too much today.  I packaged all my ephemera in these boxes &'s another piece of ephemera for the collection right???  And it's all about the presentation for me any how.

Here's a little sneak peak at some of what I put into my boxes.  Of course you all know that I am just a paper junkie....Can there ever be enough paper???  Just wait until I show you some of the new paper that came from France the other day....that will have to be a post all to it's own.  Can I just say YUMMY!  I will let you know that I was I will say that I had tears welling up in my eyes it was so pretty.  Some of the hotel receipts are from the 1860's....oh I'm getting ahead of myself.  We'll wait.

But here's a little teaser for any of you who might just be peaking & who might just be in this little fun swap at Handmade U.  And if you are....just know that I have lovingly packaged up this fun filled swap for you & has not in any way been spoiled for you because there is oh so much more for you to behold.  Many more delicious tidbits for you to go through & adorn your journals & future projects with!  So have a wonderfully art filled & creative day.  Blessings!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Trinity of Hope Turns to the Loewe Cube

You know when I began this blog I thought it would really just be about featuring my art & following others blogs but as Jenny Doh has shown us all in this artful community art saves & today I am sharing a little testimony & correlation of just my own thoughts & transformations.  About a year ago my dad started listening to a local radio program & one of the regular guests is a local doctor by the name of Dr. James Matthew Andry .  My dad became really intrigued by what Dr. Andry was talking about in terms of weight & blood sugar related issues because I had been suffering from these issues for some time as many of you know.  My blood sugar was soaring.  I couldn't control it with medication of which I was taking many, with exercise or with diet.  No sugar, low carb, this or that.  My dad said, I would really like you to go see Dr. Andry, and by the way, my father is a retired MD, so he knows a little something about medicine so he wasn't pulling feathers out of his cap.  Reluctantly....I agreed not thinking anyone could help me.  My very first visit was great!  Dr. Andry was a little awkward at first but he had my blood work in front of him & said "Girl your blood sugar is kickin!"  I said...I know...but I can't get it to go down...please help me.  I desperately wanted to be healthy & fit.  He said first things first.  We can't expect any of that until we get your hormones working so he tweaked my medications & added a few more & we scheduled my next appointment.  I had just started weight watchers & he encouraged me to keep attending.  I had only lost 1 pound my first week which was VERY typical of me....I couldn't loose weight because my hormones were messed up & he said that is so typical & to expect that.  But low & behold....the tweaked medications & the few new medications REALLY helped.  My hunger was drastically curbed for the VERY first time in my life & the weight just started coming off.  I about died.  It was so easy.  Like 3 & 4 pounds a week.  I just was so amazed.  I was getting 5 pound stars all the time.  So I devised this little visual in my head because they work so well for me.  Each day when I woke up I would lay in bed & pray & I was so grateful & so blessed.  I would literally surround myself in caring thoughts because I so need that.  I knew that there was this overwhelming protection surrounding me.  I called it my Trinity.  So everyday I would think about this protective Trinity surrounding me.  I was like this nucleus in the middle of the triangle.  At the top of the triangle was Dr. Andry and at either point was Jeff & my dad & then surrounding the whole triangle amassing the whole triangle was God taking control of my very being.  So everything was just pushing around me protecting & guiding me.  That is how I would get through each day with this protective shell engulfed by God.  I kept that visual all the time & woke up to that each morning.  And you know helped me so much.  Dr. Andry became more than a doctor too.  He became a rock for me.  He gave me hope & encouragement & told me he was proud of me.  He told me I was smart because I would research my medications & valued my opinions.  We championed my illness & fought this terrible disease together.  I love him like a brother and I will be eternally grateful to him for giving me my life back.  I always ask him what more can I do for me....for my health & on my last visit he introduced me to another great you have heard me nag about in a few previous posts....but I have absolutely grown to love him too....Jordan.

So I show you these twinchies from a swap from Silver Bella & from Pam's blog to represent a square because I found that I had to change my Trinity visual into a Square visual.  I know to you all the whole visual thing is weird but I need this to pray on each morning.  It is so tangible to me each day when I am lying there thinking on my day.  It is like I know these people, Jordan & Dr. Andry, Jeff & my dad  aren't really thinking of me, but I am willing them to.  Can anyone get that????  I know they care about me....some of them more than others for obvious reasons.  So I didn't give enough information & describe my new & improved visual.  I call it & he's going to love this.....The Loewe Cube.  I came up with this just this morning.  I think it is brilliant & since this is his life's calling I think it is really fitting.  If you are a Fitness Specialist I think your client needs to have a hedge of protection around herself called "The Loewe Cube" it is just that simple.  So now "The Loewe Cube" consists of me in the nucleus surrounded by Dr. Andry, Jeff, my father, & Jordan and then God surrounding the whole square.  It is very comforting to me.  It really keeps me grounded & so now that you are all ready to take me to the loony bin & throw away the key, at least I know I will go there healthy, fit, 60 pounds lighter & with a blood sugar in the near perfect range!  So, I hope you all have a great, productive & creative day.  Oh...and get a Fitness Specialist...they really help....& try to get in 10,000 steps a day cuz Jordan said so.  Blessings!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A little of this & that....a special project!!!

I've been working on a little project & it is coming together quite nicely.  It is a little of this & a little of that.  It is funny how when you don't think you have anything then suddenly you seem to have quite a bit.  It is a project I have been working on with Lincoln & we have been having quite the bit of fun.

Remember these little cuties from my 200th post give-away? That was back in July of 2011 only about 50 posts ago.  I know I'm kind of behind....maybe I need to give you all another give-away?  Okay....Okay....I will think of something when I get back from Handmade U and it will be spectacular!  How about you all get your creative juices flowing & you be thinking of some things you like that you know that I make....or put together & give me some suggestions.  Leave some suggestions in the comment section & that just might get me thinking???  I think that is a great idea!!  Remember...the skies the limit.  Then when I get back  I will get the give-away together & post about one real soon!  I can't wait to get it together.  It makes me giddy with excitement!  I just love to give!  I hope you have been having a great weekend.  We had a huge storm last night that blew in one beautiful day today.  Jordan kicked my you know what yesterday day & I told him I was really hating him was despising him actually....& you know what he said....he told me to 'embrace my hate & bring on the muscles'.  That made me feel a little better....not much...but a little.....BECAUSE I CAN BARELY FREAKIN WALK!  And then I just got even more fed up with the way I felt & marched right into my studio and started folding a pile of felted sweaters that had been on a heap on the the step stool out & by golly if I didn't start marching up that ladder & put those sweaters up on the highest shelf!  About 20 times up that stinking ladder.  But the good news....I did say I would be ready for Monday morning & for him to BRING IT!  So it is a good thing and I am ready.  So you all have a great day relaxing while it takes huge effort for me to just sit down to write this....& I wish you many happy blessings to create to your hearts content.  I love you all & especially you Jordan Loewe.  And sorry I just rambled...but that is what I do these days....I can't even count any more so just bare with me for the time being while I get things figured out...the old Hope will return shortly....a new & improved version I promise...... right Jordan!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Love My Pantry

I love my pantry.  Sometimes we party in the pantry.  It's a joke really.  But I do have a little sink in there & keep it pretty organized & clean.  I really enjoy it a lot.  It's very stocked & I could probably cook for months with what it is stocked with.   So that's why I am going to head over to my nearest Target today & stock up on the old reliable pantry staple.... Campbell's Tomato Soup.

They are now carrying these limited edition Andy Warhol themed cans of tomato soup.  Aren't the colors just amazing? I can't stand it.  Now when I say I love my pantry....I mean I want cute stuff in there....I mean these cans are cute & would add some adorable ambiance to any pantry!  Hey....I don't even like canned tomato soup.  I have been making Jen's from The Cottage Nest fire roasted tomato soup for years & really I have found  no better tomato soup recipe out there....thanks Jen!  Nothing compares.  But I would love to have a wall of these just for the color bath alone.

The cans were designed in celebration of Warhol's original works featuring Campbell's soup can's.  I think that is just a great piece of American history worth sharing.  I found these great photos from an amazing blog that I love reading because of Jessica's love for all things vintage, and her love for vintage millinery.  Her blog is called Such Pretty Things & it really is pretty.  So I am running....well maybe not running YET....but soon Jordan soon (my new Fitness Specialist....not to be confused with a TRAINER....because he is oh so much more....that's for you Jordan if you ever read this LOL!) over to Target for some of these adorable cans of tomato soup to bathe my pantry in some adorable color!  I hope you have a glorious day.....& I hope to hit 10,000 steps today on my new pedometer that I purchased at yes.....Target!  Blessings!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Creative Wings Prize Ribbon Swap....I Loved It!

I had so much fun participating in Tabitha's prize ribbon swap.  I just adore prize ribbons so much.  But's what not to adore.  They evoke such happy times.  Going to the county fair and winning a grand champion ribbon for baking the best blueberry pie in the county.  Or showing that prize winning pig or special Americana Hen that you raised from a baby.  

I had a lovely partner that I was paired with.  Here is the beautiful prize ribbon she created for me in it's entirety.  Holly, from Paper Pieces of Me outdid herself on this lovely prize ribbon.  Lindsey was home for the weekend so we got to open it together & we were just delighted as we unfurled layer after layer of tissue to reveal the beautiful creation inside.  I couldn't have happier.

This close-up gives a nice detail of the special embellishment that Holly placed on my prize ribbon.  I love how she added an 'H' for Hope.  I also love the pretty vintage pearl earring.  It is stunning.  Together everything just looks beautiful.  Very nicely put together.  I love the detail.  Thanks so much adds such a nice touch to my ever growing collection of prize ribbons.

Here is what I sent to Holly.  It might be a little too pink.  I really hope that she likes it.  It has a very sparklie rhinestone piece of bling that I know she will adore.  And it is very glittery....another bonus for Holly....cha ching on that note.  I know that she likes pink....but it might be a little too pink....that's my fear.  I think I studied her blog a little too much instead of her email.  She has little girls....a bonus on the pink thing....oh I am praying.  It has a little french flair....

Bonne Chance.....Good Luck.....a nice sentiment no matter how you slice it.  And I do wish Holly & each of you Bonne Chance wherever you may go today!

Thanks Holly for being such a wonderful swap partner.  It was so fun getting to know you a little bit through the emails that we shared.  Tabitha as was a lovely swap.  I enjoy so much that you host lovely swaps for us to play in & get out the glitter & glue.  You challenge & inspire us to be our very best in a creative environment where we get to meet new people.  While you are at it friends click on Tabitha's 
and check out her latest swap that she is hosting for's going to be spooktakular....& you might just make a new friend or two because you get to pair up!  I hope you have a glorious day.  Blessings!
I had so much fun participating in Tabitha's prize ribbon swap.  I adore prize ribbons so much.  But who wouldn't love a prize ribbon when they evoke such happiness.  Families loading up the family animals & bringing them to the county fair.  Hens, sheep, cattle, pigs for the children to be judged on  the breeds & how the animals have been raised.  Ladies bringing their pies, cakes, confections, & vegetables, jams & jellies all for judging & to be awarded a prize ribbon.  So I just had a great time playing in the swap.

Here is the prize ribbon I received from Holly .  I just love it. The streamers are so pretty.  Lindsey was home for the weekend and we opened it together & we just squealed in delight as we peeled back the layers of tissue to reveal what was tucked away.  The beautiful ribbons are all so different & my favorite is the pretty dotted swiss with the little white polka dots.  It is just too cute.  There is also this little dainty lace streamer that is so pretty.

I love the pretty little embellishments that she used to personalize it just for me.  She added just the right touches to make it so special.  Holly & I shared some nice emails to get to know each other.  She has some sweet little girls.  I apparently must have gotten carried away by this fact & thought pink was her go to color.  I think I did a little too much pink for her liking on this prize ribbon & studied her blog a little too much instead of her email request.  I did a little french flair....with bonne chane....Good Luck!  A nice sentiment no matter how you slice it.

 Holly & I shared some nice emails to get to know each other.  She has some sweet little girls.  I apparently must have gotten carried away by this fact & thought pink was her go to color.  I think I did a little too much pink for her liking on this prize ribbon & studied her blog a little too much instead of her email request.  I did a little french flair....with bonne chane....Good Luck!  A nice sentiment no matter how you slice it.

Creative Wings Prize Ribbon Swap...Loved It

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lincoln's 1st Bike Race

With the looming affects of hurricane Isaac threatening we sure were nervous that the bike race wasn't going to even happen.  But we drove to Harrodsburg anyway, a tiny little community in southern Monroe Co. just a few minutes drive from our house.  Lincoln & Thomas were so excited to be riding in their very first bike race.  I think they were making & eating Mac-n-cheese at like 12:00 a.m. they were so excited & pumped.  The gang picture above are Lincoln, his best friend Thomas, Uncle Andy, (my sisters husband), and his friend Dwayne.  Lincoln & Thomas planned to ride in the 55 mile leg of the race.  Uncle Andy & Dwayne planned to ride in the 100 mile leg of the race, they are much more experienced riders.

This is Lincoln.  He is 15 & just a great kid.  It has been a tough month for him God love him please.  My heart has been loving him so much lately as any mother does....but lately especially.  But this guy has amazed me really.  He has been my hockey player since he was 3.  We have been on a travel team really on the road for about 8 months out of the year since he was in 1st grade & have loved every minute of it....except for a few.....those are the few I will tell you about.  THE CONCUSSIONS!!!  Lincoln has received 3 & it hasn't been good.  Toward the end of last school year, his freshman year I was noticing some learning issues that I thought he was struggling with.  He was having a hard time.  His memory just didn't seem right.  You know a mother can just sense these things.  I also was noticing some strange sleep patterns.  Not just normal growing boy stuff but HUGE exhaustion....some really deep & long sleep.  And the headaches.  A lot of headaches.  So I called his pediatrician & of course we had always been in contact.  We had taken a concussion screen prior to his middle school hockey seasons when the screen first became available in our town so we had the baseline test.  He was worried for Lincoln as well.  He sent us to Riley Children's Hospital to Neurology and we bypassed a 7 month wait thanks to Dr. Laughlin and we got in  over the summer.  I was so happy because I wanted to know if Lincoln would need a different learning approach for this year in school & what direction to go in.  So over the summer we went to Riley & Lincoln under went 5 hours of testing.  It was really hard.  It wasn't like CAT scans or anything like that.  They were BRAIN tests.  They were studying his brain to see if it was healed.  And it wasn't & my mother's instinct was right & you should always trust yours.  Please do one thing for me if you are reading this post today.....always TRUST your mother's instinct.  So the Riley experts came in to talk to us & said that Lincoln had not healed from his concussions & that he should no longer play contact sports.  That visit changed our life.  It never occurred to me that we would hear those words.  I don't know why it didn't?  I thought bodies could be healed.  I thought doctors could fix things.  I thought 15 years olds were resilient.  It hurts me that I put my son in harms way for the sake of a sport.  We had such great times.  I thought I was making such a great decision & making a healthy choice for my child to participate actively & physically.  But now after only a month he is thriving.  He has starting this endeavor of cycling.  He is loving it.  He has joined the rock climbing club.  He is also coaching the Squirt Hockey Team & is loving that.  The kids love him!  Coaching will probably be much better for him anyway in our town.  We don't even have year round ice & he knew he probably wouldn't play hockey after high school anyway so coaching will be a very good thing to put on his college applications.  We took him out of his honors classes & lightened his course load at school and put him in a 504/IEP designation.  Which is nothing to be ashamed about as some people have shared with me....oh don't tell anyone my child is in this.  He get excused from school for doctors appointments & absences.  Which potentially there could be many.  He can have longer on tests if he need
 it.  In Lincoln's case, he gets very tired in the afternoons, so he performs better in the morning on tests, so he might opt to take a test in the morning when he is fresh as opposed to the afternoon.  His counselor can advocate for him.  This is a Godsend!  So a lot of pressure has been taken off Lincoln & in my opinion he is thriving so far this year.  We are expecting to have a great year!

This is Lincoln & Thomas as they get ready to head off on their 55 mile trek.  Thomas has been Lincoln's best friend since the began kindergarten.

.....and they are off.....I sure hope the rain holds off.  It only sprinkled a bit.  They ran into a couple of dogs.  They were friendly.  Mom was pretty nervous.  I got to thinking....hello....I just turned two 15 year olds out into rural southern Indiana counties on bikes?  These are cell phone kids with no sense of direction.  So then I just went & stayed at the Harrodsburg Community Center & waited & I felt much better doing that.  The boys arrived back safe & sound.

They felt like champions.  I was really proud of them.  I know they were proud of themselves.  What a wonderful accomplishment.  And they accomplished so much more even.....they did get lost.  They rode about five miles out of their way so they had to go five miles back the other way.  But it is a learning experience.  I would have died.  I get upset if I go 10 miles out of my way in a car....I can't imagine doing it on a bike southern Indiana....hilly country.  So when I asked them if they would do it again....they said....well not next weekend....we are tired.  Duh?????  Hello!!!  But they did go rock climbing yesterday.  Oh the stamina of a 15 year old.  Lincoln is dying to get his dad out there on the open road on a bike.  We will see about that.  That would be great for them to do together.  I am really going to try and make that happen.  Thanks for reading this windy post.  Know that I have shared some tears with you today.  Blessings.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I Couldn't Believe It....I Was The Winner!!!!

It was almost like a dream came true when I saw the email.  I recognized it right at first....but then thought by the title....NO it must just be spam because it says YOU ARE THE WINNER!  And then I remembered Kadee's giveaway & I got the warmest feeling come over me.  Giddy if you must know.  Just seeing my name drawn up there in print really makes me excited.  Now let's hope I can scoot on down to that show & do some shopping!

The bag is just lovely.  I can't wait to carry it.  When I posted about Kadee's giveaway a few posts back I secretly dreamed of winning....but never really thought I would.  I really wanted to help a fellow blogger out....a new friend that I had recently met through a lovely swap hosted by Alana George.  But winning makes it even sweeter.  Thanks so much Kadee.  The bag is stunning, the ticket is sweet, but you are beautiful & your friendship makes me happiest.  I hope your weekend is filled with loveliness & creative endeavors that make you swoon.  Blessings & joy.