Wednesday, August 26, 2009 full bloom!

Zineas are one of my favorite flowers. I have had a large patch of them for several years now, but I must say they are especially pretty this year. I love how they are a variety of colors and bloom for so long with very little maintenance. Ava girl just got some new fall clothes and I thought her shirt went so well with the zinea patch. She wasn't really wanting her picture taken, but I did capture a few shots. So take this as a little inspiration piece for your next card or scrapbook page....wouldn't it be so pretty!
I'm trying to wrap up some things around the house here this morning before we take off. I've been sleeping so good lately, but all good things must come to an end right!!! I've only been up since about 5, so that isn't too bad. Hopefully the weather will be nice sleeping weather up in Michigan. I'm sure I'll have pictures to share. Have a great week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Long Overdue Thank You!

I've had good intentions for quite a while now and finally sat down tonight and made a thank you. Most of you know Lauren Meader through the crafting world, but she is more than just a creative crafter. She is a very nice person and very thoughtful. She went above and beyond to do things for me while I've been going through the loss of our son. I have appreciated everything, from her kind words on the phone, sweet e-mails, her wonderful care package, the build-a-bear horse for my daughter, my personalized bracelet....the cards, and the unbelievable stamp set Weiman Wranglers to honor my Ethan. She's just a wonderful person that I can't thank enough. This card is for you Lauren.....I'm hoping to add a little package with it too! I have a "TON" more thank yous to do so that's on my list! Hopefully I'll get more finished in the days to come!

I'll be MIA for a little while too. I'm heading up north to Michigan with a friend of mine to her parent's cottage on the beach. Ava and I can't wait. The weather is supposed to be wonderful too! I'll be missing from the stamping world, but I'm hoping to have some fun time with my little girl. Hope everyone has a great week!

Here's a little closeup of the flowers I added on the bow. I made a leaf out of cardstock and dobbed the edges of it with dark chocolate ink.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BERRY Best Teacher!

This week we were to make a template with a "Back to School" theme. I decided to go the non-traditional apples, letters, bright colors, etc! I love pink and thought of the sentiment last night that would be perfect. So I got up this morning and luckily enough I didn't wake up until after 6:30! That is a first in a long time so I took advantage of sleeping in.....(my explanation for my late post!) What I wanted to put on the inside were those little candy strawberries, but of course I don't have any so you will just have to pretend. I used Lauren's new Template "Fold n-Go"......LOVE IT! It is so darn cute and very, very easy to assemble. I used the smaller version that comes with the package....all for $5!

I stamped the larger strawberry from one of my favorite PTI sets, Green Thumb. Then I added the strawberries on the tag from Vintage Picnic. I colored in my BERRY with my copics and added a little ribbon to finish my project! I really like how it turned out!

Go check out the other gals creations and be sure to link yours up to Mr. Linky on Lauren's Blog. Lauren is picking 5 lucky projects each week called the "My Time to Shine"!
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My boy and School!

Today my little Ethan would have been starting kindergarten! Ethan loved school and was so excited about starting kindergarten. I think I was just as excited as he was. He loved everything about school, getting ready in the morning, riding the bus, playing, listening to stories, crafts, snack name it Ethan had a great time. I'm so glad he got to go to preschool last year and experience everything.

Here's Ethan riding around on one of the trikes that they had during gym time. He loved to just ride around in circles! Ethan loved to ride on his bike and that was one thing that never ever seemed to bother his legs so he thoroughly enjoyed it. Look at how much fun he is having!Ethan loved the building blocks too. I was a big fan as well so I always helped the kids build things. We had these same blocks at home, but doing things at school is always so much more fun! Ethan was always so proud of the things he did at school!

Notice Ethan's paper hat. They had made these during a day that Ethan was at the hospital so he got to wear his this day. He's playing with legos.....oh my how this kid loved legos. I was usually sitting right next to him building something. He loved to build things with wheels and he could spend hours just playing with his lego sets at home too. The teacher kept the legos out for a long time, I think because Ethan had so much fun playing with then. She knew our situation too so if Ethan wanted to do something, then more than likely he got to do it! He was a special kid to everyone!

Ethan loved to play with the cars and tractors and I played with the kids a lot and we built roadways out of building blocks. The kids loved this. Here is Ethan running his car down one of the roads.

School was celebrating birthdays in the summer this past May and Ethan got to celebrate his August birthday. He was very excited and he called up Grandma on the way to the hospital and asked her if she would make him a cowboy/horse cake for school. He loved it. It was his favorite too, chocolate!Ethan loved to swing and was always excited to go outside and play!

I love this picture of Ethan. It captures his wonderful smile. He was painting and was having a ball. Ethan loved to paint. Arts and crafts was one of his favorite things to do. After naps we would always have some sort of craft and sometimes he got to do something special if Ava girl was still asleep!
I could go on and on and put picture after picture on here. Ethan would have had so much fun in kindergarten. He was so smart and loving that I'm sure his teacher would have instantly fell in love with his personality. Here's to you Ethan......hope you are having a great day up in heaven starting kindergarten!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Color Challenge

So it's in the wee hours of the morning here in the midwest, but I couldn't sleep and I hadn't made my card for today so I thought I would give it a whirl! This isn't my favorite color combo in the world so that was my first challenge of the morning, then what stamp set to use?? I just got this cute little princess set from SU last month and it was still unassembled in the box. I got it to use for my daughter's 2nd birthday party scrapbook. I added a lot of sparkle and bling. We have a couple of little girls birthday parties coming up so this will be perfect for that. I love the little wand with the star and I like what the rhinestones add for the tierra. Be sure to stop by and see what all the other gals created too! Lauren Dana Dawn Jennifer Kendra MacKenzieMaria Odette Tamara Tracey Kristin , Pam (Kristin & Pam...sorry, I just noticed that I didn't have you 2 on my list of blogs....I didn't mean to forget you!)

I may have came up with something different had I started earlier, but that is just how life goes. Last night we had a nice dinner with my husband's brother and his girlfriend. Ava girl was wound tight and provided endless entertainment through the evening.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend in store. I think my husband might be working on our barn trim today......that will be great to have that project finished. So that leaves Ava and I to find something fun to do. I have tomatoes now, more than I can eat, but not really enough to justify the canning mess so we might try to figure out something to do with our tomato stash.....homemade salsa sounds yummy to me!

Yesterday we met finally with a monument company to pick out something for Ethan. I tell you what, I think this lady had a pretty fun job as far as being able to use your photography/graphic art skills, but I just don't know if I could have a job where I was surrounded by headstones all day long. I think it is really going to look neat when we have it finalized. It's so hard trying to decide what pictures to use.....I have sooo many. I think what we have picked out Ethan would really like. To make it very personable, we are having a vase made that will be a replica of Ethan's boots. They will be made out of granite and should look just like his little boots that he always wore and was so proud of. Won't that be such a cool addition to his headstone. Of course the back is going to be a scrapbook type collage of pictures of Ethan. It will turn out just perfect I'm sure. We wanted something in place before winter sets in here so I think the timing will work out well. It's definitely never something you want to have to go through, but I think we keep trying to make these little steps one thing at a time and it does help.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Little School girl!

Ava has really been into "school" lately. I got her this dry erase/magnetic board a few weeks ago and not a day goes by that she doesn't draw on it. She is really getting good at her letters and we started working on numbers this week. Here's a picture of her this morning. She can write all of the names in our family....isn't that neat and she is only 3!
Here is a card from some that I submitted for the PTI Guest Star stamper. My new color combo is Enchanted Evening, Hibiscus Burst, and New Leaf....isn't this a great combo! I used my new stamp set, Everyday Button Bits from PTI.....I love this set!

We're off to go feed the kitties and hang out outside for a while. Looks like it is going to be a nice day out there! I'll be back tomorrow with Lauren's color challenge!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Crafty Mom

So I really didn't become crafty all by myself, I think it was in my genes! My Mom makes more crafty stuff than me, but she doesn't have a blog and I'll put this as nice as I can, she is "computer challenged"! (You would agree, wouldn't you Mom??) Thought I would share a couple projects that she has completed in the past few weeks. The first is a frame she made for a friend and the second is a horse card thank you. Hope you enjoy.
My Mom made this card to send as a thank you, isn't it cool! I love anything to do with horses....thanks to my Ethan.

Here's my Mom's frame for her friend. It's a very inexpensive gift, but turned out really nice!

Here's the card my Mom made to go along with her frame. I think she actually made it in red and green too!

I've been busy starting back to work this week part time and working on some PTI submissions for the Guest Star Stamper contest. I can't wait to show you the cards I made. I have a new color combo that I just love. I'll share those tomorrow. Then it will be time on Saturday for Lauren's color challenge. Hope all of you are having a great week. Tomorrow night is the new PTI release....can't miss that! It looks like they have a lot of cute new sets coming out. I've been working on baby announcements too.....I'm sure I'll tweek it a million times between now and when I have my final one made. It's probably no surprise, but it is going to be a cowboy theme!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Inspiration Challenge

Here's the inspriration piece from Lauren....don't ask me why it is so small :-)

Ava's room is coming right along....she has two new wall hangings in one week! I've had a frame with her newborn picture up for....well over 3 years now so I thought it was time for a change. I really like how it turned out. The colors of the inspiration matched her new room colors exactly. I didn't stamp anything on this project. I even blew the dust off of my pazzles inspiration and cut out Ava's name. It still works like a charm. I punched out most of the embellishments, added a little bling with dew drops and stuck on some felt flowers with rhinestones.
Here's a closeup of the dewdrops.
Here's a closeup of the bottom border and more dew drops. I used some patterned paper from SU for the main background.

I've really been enjoying creating things for Ava's room. I'm about ready to start working on the baby's room. It's setup for the most part, but I have to change some things on the being Ethan's name. I'm definitely not ready to take that down yet, so I think I have a friend talked into painting the accent wall and possibly taking Ethan's name down for me. I think it will be easier this way.

Tomorrow (Sat) we will be heading south to the rodeo.....should be hot and fun! Enjoy the weekend! Be sure to stop by and see all of the other gals creations and don't forget to upload yours as well on Mr. Linky at Lauren's blog.

Lauren Dana Dawn Jennifer Kendra MacKenzieMaria Odette Tamara Tracey

Keeping Life Simple!

Just a snapshot before the fair!

We made it through Ethan's was a rough day, but we managed. Ava let go of some balloons and said "Happy Birthday Ethan, I love you" with each one. Then we watched some home videos. I'm sure Ethan had a super day up in's just here on earth where we are sad.

Tuesday this week we took Ava girl to the county fair. We met up with some friends there and they all had a ball. Ava had her pigtails in again and I must say she looked pretty darn cute! She ate and ate the entire time.....snowcone, chicken strips, ice cream, more snowone and then it was time for bed. She didn't take a nap and lasted until 9:00 without a nap and without being crabby. Go Ava! I think she had a very fun day!

I was talking to my friend at the fair and we were talking about life getting busy and I made the comment that after what we've been through I just like to "Keep life simple"! That day all I had done was go to Wal-Mart and Kohls to take a couple things back, put a load of laundry in, fed our cats, and Ava of course....and that was it. It's not a lot, but sometimes just keeping things simple makes life so much more enjoyable. We do things on a whim now more than we ever used to. This weekend we were planning to get away for the day and do some shopping, even though my husband hates to shop. Yesterday we changed our plans and we are heading south to a rodeo. We really enjoy going to rodeos and we just decided, What the heck....let's go! It should be fun.

Ava's 2nd blue snowcone

I'm working on my "inspriration challenge" for tomorrow. I'm making a frame to replace the one that Ava had in her room with her newborn picture. I'll work on it today at naptime.....I really need to do laundry. I've been saying that the laundry needs to be done all week and it still just sits there! I also finished up a scrapbook yesterday for someone and I think that will be my last scrapbook that I do for someone other than myself. I felt guilty the entire time because I'm sooo far behind on my own books. You'll probably be seeing a lot more scrapbooking on here.

Sleepy Girl!

Hope all of you have a great weekend. I'll post my frame for the inspiration later tonight!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"But I wanted to be at his birthday party!"

Those are the sweet simple words that my 3 year old Ava said this morning after I said, "Do you know who's birthday is today, Ethan's" It instantly brought tears to my eyes and Dave's. It was so sweet and innocent. She misses him so much, we all do. Today would have been my Ethan's 5th birthday. It's been less than 2 months since our Ethan went to heaven, but I must say this is one of the toughest days yet. You never think about planning a birthday without your should never have to, but we never know what life has in store for us so that is why it is so important to cherrish each and everyday. I want to share a photo today of our family that we had taken. It is a beautiful picture that captures all of us so well. Ethan got to see this picture as it arrived on Thursday, June 11, the day before Ethan died. He really liked it and Dave had it up on the wall that very day! I was pregnant in that picture with our baby so this will definitely be a picture that we will treasure forever!

To celebrate today we are going to release balloons in Ethan's honor. Ava loves to send up balloons with a message to her brother. This is going to be a hard day for her too. It's so hard for her to understand why her best friend and brother had to leave her so soon. She was a great little sister and is going to be a great big sister in the coming months.

Hope all of you go and hug your little ones. Ethan loved his hugs and especially his kisses. I can picture him right now coming up to me with his puckered up lips wanting a kiss.....whether it be supper time, bath time, "potty" time, bedtime, whatever the occasion Ethan was always ready for a kiss from his Mama. I love him so much and miss him more than words can say!

Here's a link to one of the best videos ever! Heros have always been cowboys!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Little Birdy!

I finally got around to making Ava's new wall hanging for her room. I've had the idea in my head now for several weeks and sat down to make it today. I love how it turned out. My mom even finished up one of the curtains so her room is coming right along. I used some chipboard birds from SU for my embellishments. The letters are "recycled" from her old wall hanging. It didn't take me long to make either.....all in a days work! The pink polka dot fabric is a napkin from Pottery Barn and the green fabric is a sheet from Wal-Mart. I stapled everything to a cork board and then used hot glue and my tape glue to adhere everything else. I got the original idea from a picture in the pottery barn magazine and thought "I could do that!" Ava girl had to pose of course to show off her new stuff!

Here's a little glimpse of her bedroom set too. She loves it. I'm waiting for all of Ava's curtains to be finished before I get the rest of her room (hint Mom :-)
Today has been a tough day for whatever reason...just thinking about Ethan and stuff. Ethan would have been 5 on this Wed and it just doesn't seem real that he is gone. I had a dream about him last night for the first time since he died. It seemed so real like I was actually holding him and talking to him. We are going to release balloons in Ethan's honor, but other than that we aren't for sure what to do. It's just a hard thing to try and think about, celebrating your son's birthday even though he isn't here. It'll be a tough week, but we'll make it through. Next week I start back to work 2 days a week and I think it will do me good to get out of the house!

I'm off to the fair again tomorrow, so probably no time to stamp. I'm meeting a friend and taking Ava out to ride the rides. Hopefully it won't be as hot as it was today. I think my husband is going to meet me out there too so it should be fun. I've had my fair share of lemonade shake-ups, funnel cakes, and milk shakes! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer too!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Time Sketch Challenge.....Cowgirl Ava!

It's time for Lauren's weekly challenge and today was a sketch. I really struggled with this as I like my cards and crafts to be symetrical for the most part. When I sat down to make my card this morning I remembered that I had my Cowgirl Ava all colored and ready to go. I made a little tag in Word with my Digi images from the Weiman Wrangers set from Pink Cat Studio. Did you know that the set raised over $2000 for Make a Wish Foundation of Illinois....isn't that awesome, all in honor of our Ethan. He would have loved to color up these images as he loved to do arts and crafts as much as his mommy.

Here's a closeup view of my card. I added some ribbon that I got a long time ago from the $1 bin at Michaels and I added a little bling with glitter to Cowgirl Ava's hat and belt buckle. I love how my tag turned out too. It's so easy to rotate the images and layer with other text.

We have already started a busy weekend, but a fun one. Opening day at our county fair was on Thursday night and we headed out to get some good eats and see some friends. It was fun. We wanted to watch the horse shows, but there were little kids riding and it reminded us too much of Ethan so we passed on that Thursday night. Last night though we went out again too and we ate of course and then wondered over to the horse arena and watched some barrel raising. Hopefully next year we can bring our a horse or our little burrow. That would be fun. Today we have a friend's 60th birthday party to go to and then back to the fair tonight for more horse shows. I never would have guessed 10 years ago that you would have caught me going to the fair every night to watch the horses, but I really enjoy it and so does my husband and Ava girl and this is right where Ethan would have wanted to be too.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Be sure to check out the other gals sites to see their creations and if you make one of your own, hop back over to Lauren's blog and link it up on Mr Linky so we can all see!

Lauren Dana Dawn Jennifer Kendra Lisa MacKenzie
Maria Odette Pam Tamara Tracey