Sunday, January 22, 2017

3 small humans & the beds that Grandad built!

This is the story of 3 little Crossley's and the triple bunkbed extravaganza their Grandad built. Yes, that is a broken arm, injured on the very first day these monkeys climbed on the bed! A baby sister is joining this min-mob which meant bedrooms needed to be re-arranged, and triple bunkbeds built. The parents of this motley crew think this will work, but considering every nap-time and bedtime is a PARTY of unparalleled portions in 2 separate bedrooms...Grammie in her wisdom isn't convinced:)
Before the broken arm there began a project by Grandad, who is quite popular with the ladies of the family for his ability to build whatever they can dream up with the help of Pinterest:)  One set of bunkbeds, and a farmhouse table were previously completed with the help of plans but this project required him to design, measure, and calculate every single step of the bunkbed way!
Michael has a generous size space for his woodworking, made slightly more challenging being located right next door to the home of 3 little blue-eyed blond Tolman girls who live right behind Grammie and Grandad on their property. Madeline can often be found underfoot...but how can you resist that muffin covered smile:)
Michael did endure a few comments from the women on the property... "How in the world is that monstrosity going to fit upstairs and turn the corner to the bedroom where it is going" (not that I ever said such a thing!) To his credit he deflected doubt while forging ahead as a confident man on a mission, with command of a tape measure and no need of help from a wife or daughter...hahha! 
This side of our yard often has paint outlines from furniture projects, I bet that grass hates us..hahha
Once the bunkbeds were complete, they were carefully loaded on our lowboy trailer and we set out for Dallas with a fully packed suburban including the Tolmans, and their new dog Truman. Normally a 5 hour journey, this trip was longer due to the super careful driving of Grandad the builder, notwithstanding Grammie sighing loudly while staring at the speed odometer more than a few times... 
I am happy to report we arrived with our marriage intact:-}

We finally arrived at Aaron & Janene's and immediately the bunkbed pieces were unloaded and assembly began amid the shenanigans of 6 small and curious grand-munchkins. My Papa Geldard who was a carpenter and built Nellie's Cottage would have marveled at the ease of a drill!

The very second the beds were deemed complete, a herd of enthusiastic children claimed straight to the top as we knew they would! The broken arm happened when Savannah, showing off for Annabelle, was hanging on the outside of the top bunk. She then fell to the floor, catching her arm on the middle bunk on the way down. Quite the monkey, she loves to climb, so this wasn't all that much of a surprise! Luckily the break was at the shoulder, so no cast was needed, just a sling for 6 weeks.

In all the ruckus we didn't get pictures of all of the children in the initial bunkbed stampede. 
Here is a visual...chaos at the movie imagine this on the bunkbeds! Ruckus!

The ruckus continued through the weekend and as you can see, it's quite impossible to have all 6 children smiling and perfectly happy at once! This was the scene just before leaving for church..hahah

A few days later as we were leaving for home Annabelle agreed to "model" the bunkbeds since the younger children could not be persuaded...thank heavens for 6 year olds! 

A few days later Janene sent me the picture below via text... "Don't tell dad, but I'm not sure why we thought we needed a triple bunkbed!" These babies pile up like puppies:)

And so the story of the 3 little Crossley mini-mob and the triple bunkbed extravaganza ends with this spectacular picture taken and edited by their daddy Aaron with his fancy camera. All smiles and adorable happiness in 3 small humans that call us Grammie and Grandad!

First Snow for the mini-mob:)

Oh the excitement of a first snow EVER! We had Christmas in Utah this year with family which was a joy! Three of our Texas grandchildren had never seen snow, and what a treat it was to experience the wonder through their eyes! 
Savannah ran around licking everything in sight...hahah! She is quite lucky her tongue didn't stick to the mailbox for 
Charlotte kept squealing with the delight of her tiny footprints in the snow! She kind of did a Michael Jackson "moon walk" over and over again:)
And Ethan? While he was excited at first, running around with his sisters. After a bit, he planted his feet and would not move because he was too cold! He never again ventured outside to play, content to stay inside with his dinosaurs...roar!
Some of us just like to look at me and Ethan:)

I was inspired by the pink coats against the snow, so out came the Fiskars border system and snowflake cartridge! I punched cardstock borders in 2 different pinks.

After the snowflake borders were adhered, pictures were grouped in the middle of each page. I like to lay out the embellishments tweaking them until satisfied...only then is adhesive added!

Occasionally I will have a chipboard glittering party, gathering any chipboard shapes I want to cover and glittering everything at once. It's always handy to have pre-made embellishments!

The double stacked snowflakes were punched out of blue cardstock scraps. I have folders of scraps divided by color for punching...yes, I'm a bit of a paper hoarder:) A metallic brad added pizzaz. 3M was adhered to snowflakes for added dimension on the page. I prefer the lower profile of 3M since pop dots can be quite tall. The chipboard words and printed snowflakes came from an old chipboard set which I had dismantled and filed away in themes.

The white snowflakes were cut with Cricut machine previously for another project. I store my scrapbook stash in themes, holiday's and seasons. Project leftovers are simply added to a file for these white snowflakes!

Another layout to add to the January snow album which is currently on my coffee table because  it's January! I will have these pictures in our Christmas album as well, since it was a Christmas trip, but couldn't resist the thrill of creating a snow page for my snow album! After all, down here in southeast Texas, snow is rare!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Snowbunnies in Pink! A winter album

Beautiful girls, adorable baby, fresh snow, vintage lace, painted chipboard, & embossed snowflakes...
Snow bunnies in pink! 
A "One Event/One Design" album that delights my coffee table each winter!

In January of 2011, on one of many visits to see my children attending college in Utah, I took these photos. The beautiful snow covered landscape was inspiring, and 4 month old Annabelle was adorably & perfectly pink in her new coat! We drove up the canyon to a park where the girls indulged my need for a photo shoot! It was a frigid 32* so the girls would take turns posing for pictures and sitting in the warm car with the baby! 

To begin these layouts, I matted the pictures and "built" the pages by piecing half sheets of Bazzill pink and cream card stock together. Paper borders, and layers of real vintage lace created a middle border. Snowflakes were cut on the Cricut machine and embossed with crystal embossing powder. A punch was used to create the metallic trees. The chipboard flourishes were hand painted. 
I always line up the pages & lay out the photos BEFORE adhering them to the pages. Lastly, the pre-made embellishments are added to each page.
Viola! A pink wintery album!

I loved this hooded fur coat on Danielle which perfectly matched her hair. She was in her freshman year at college and kicking it! She had been at home for 3 years post siblings. I missed her companionship, yet was pleased to see her fly the nest and try her wings! It's part of a mother's charge to give both roots and wings... the wings portion of that charge tugs significantly more at the heart:)

Brittany was a year away from college graduation. With a new first baby, full school schedule, and hubby Travis, her life was happy and busy! Both of my girls inspire me with their talents, beauty and goodness. I feel fortunate to have both daughters and sons, but let's face it...the boys don't do pedi's & chick flicks! I have such sweet memories of late night girl movie time snuggled on the couch with my two beauties:) 

One can never go wrong with a flourish! These giant chipboard flourishes were handpainted using what I, a painting novice, call the dabbing method:) I put several colors of paint on a paper plate and randomly dab and partially blend. Not very artistically scientific but it works for me:)

Annabelle was our first grandchild, the purveyor of life's happiness, and hope restored in the least to me:) She was an astute observer of her surroundings from the very beginning, and now as a 6 six year old, nothing...and I do mean NOTHING gets past her!
We have since added another 8 to the Crossley mini-mob of granddarings with another 3 on the way! 
I had joy as a mother, but this unequivocal happiness as a Grammie is glorious!

Danielle and Elizabeth, who have been friends since they were tots, were roommates. They could not be more opposite in every way, except their shared proclivity for a very messy dorm room! Mom's are usually never impressed with dorm living:-} These girls share a bond that is quirky and unbreakable:)

Scrapbooking is about surrounding treasured memories in photographs with beautiful embellishments! This "One Event/One Design" method of scrapbooking suits my holiday, seasonal and event scrapbooking style. With every page the same and embellishments created in batches, I am able to accomplish more pages in a timely manner allowing more of our family history to be displayed in scrapbooks! Being "caught up" is a fabled myth in the scrapbooking world which I will never achieve, however the 
"One Event/One Design" style gives me a fighting chance!  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A sweet 2016 for Nellie's Cottage!

My Instagram post best describes my feelings...

It's always pleasing to look back over the year and make a list of the events that have come through our door!

Retreat and event tally for 2016

28 retreats
7 community or church events
6 bridal and baby showers
4 bed and breakfast stays
4 business meetings
3 parties
2 business holiday dinners
1 wedding reception
1 wedding dinner
1 bridal girl's night

So many memories made at Nellie's Cottage...but my absolute favorite event at Nellie's Cottage for 2016 is the first retreat with daughters Brittany & Danielle, and daughters-in-law Janene & Rhiannon! I am allowed to be a bit biased:)

Happy New Year! 
May it be filled with much creating and retreating!

p.s. This is the post of that sweet weekend with my girls!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Retreat savings for 2017!

Occasionally I have an inquiry that goes something like this...
"Do I have to scrapbook or quilt to come to Nellie's Cottage?"
To which I reply..."No mam, you can come and do absolutely nothing if you'd like. Nellie's Cottage is a place for women to  escape, relax and do what ever they would like to do, or not do! I have groups of scrapbookers & quilters that will have one girl that watches movies, or reads, or naps away her glorious time away!"
We are beginning our 7th year with hope for another great year accommodating many lovely ladies in their quest for creative, or "do nothing" peace:)

See my tabs above, right below the picture of Nellie's Cottage, for calendar, pictures, and information.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A white Christmas and lesson of love

 Living on the coastal plains of southeast Texas, one never dreams of a white Christmas. This year while visiting our son & family, we woke to a brilliant white Christmas morning in Utah! It was supremely magnificent to celebrate the birth of our Savior on the Sabbath day. 
We had a lovely musical church service with my daughter in law Rhiannon singing in the choir. They sang "Do You Hear What I Hear", "I Saw Three Ships", "Candelight", and Vivaldi's "Gloria".  Each song was preceded by a "biography" of origin which I found fascinating, and meaningful.  
The real miracle of this snowy Christmas day was the lesson I learned from of the father of a handicapped child.
We sat behind a family of five children, all tall, and beautiful, capable, and "normal" in our world, except one. 
A little boy about 8 or 9 who possibly has a form of autism was snuggled right next to his dad. During the service he would randomly speak out loudly or fuss about something he wanted. I marveled at the tender patience of this father. There was angelic love on his face as he smiled upon and calmed his son. He rubbed his back, ruffled his hair, whispered in his ear, and wrapped his arms around this precious boy.
 As the congregation stood to sing Silent Night, the boy loudly shouted out a few words to join in the singing. I could not stop the tears. The heavenly love from this father was sweet and constant no matter the actions of this young boy. Never once did even a hint of frustration cross his countenance. It seemed his whole purpose was to comfort and to love with all of his heart.
A window seemed to opened to heaven and I clearly understood how God feels about us, his children. We may not be quite whole, our understanding or intellect stunted, we may fuss and complain, shouting out in awkward moments. With our limitations, Heavenly Father still smiles on us with tender love, showers us with compassion, and extends a glorious mercy we rarely deserve. My enlightened understanding of this perfect love was magnified by the poignant Christmas melody we were singing..."Silent night, Holy night. All is calm, All is bright. Round yon virgin, mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild.".....
I could feel the holiness of the day and imagine the serenity of Christ's birth in that lowly manger. I keenly felt that we are wholly loved in spite of our deficiencies. This father reminded me that small and simple acts of love matter the most. 
What a joyful Christmas day! Indeed, a magnificent lesson on a snowy winter day from a tender father. This sweet boy will be whole in body and mind in the world to come. His mission in this life is to teach those around him to love, to be like Christ, whose birth we celebrate this day. I do not know the father of this remarkable boy. He will never understand the gift of love he gave me this day...a Christmas of pure white...which has turned out better than I ever dreamed.