Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A wedding day in 1982

It was like a fairy tale...Girl meets tall dark and handsome stranger from a foreign country. They fall in love and are engaged in 6 weeks. His visa runs out and he returns to England. He attempts to return after a week only to find out he does not have the correct visa, so back to England he is sent. The young couple are devastated. They spend their engagement writing letters for the next 6 weeks. Finally on Thanksgiving day they are reunited with only 3 weeks before the wedding date. There is no job, housing or transportation! The father of the bride has been in high gear to help with the visa issue and now goes to work to help these children find a job, a house, and get the handsome foreigner enrolled in Lamar University!
Then life happened....12 years of medical training, 4 children, 12 moves, 4 dogs, a fleet of cars and toys, 30+ jobs between us, a few trips to the emergency room, college and weddings for 4, and finally our reward...grandchildren:) That's the cliff note version!

I finally did a One Event/One Design make-over on my wedding album which was created at the beginning of my scrapbook career and quite pathetic:) I know pink and burgundy are "ol school" now in style but they were quite the thing in 1982! The borders were made with Martha Stewart punches and ribbon. The roses came from a K&Co card kit. Pearls help "complete" the classic wedding style  I scanned in my original wedding photos and re-printed them for this album. All pictures are double matted on white & black cardstock. Pictures of these layouts for back-up, posterity and all of that:) Scanning is better option but more time consuming s choose your best option. So much time is spent on creating scrapbooks, I always recommend preserving a back-up!

My parents Martha & Danny (left) married in April 1963.
June & Douglas Crossley married in August 1954

Friday, December 13, 2013

I could have rocked her all night...

I had Scarlett all to myself tonight. She is a pleasant, happy, and engaging baby of 8 months! We played peek a boo & "get Grammie's glasses." I attempted to help her to crawl but she flopped down on her tummy and army crawled to grab my cell phone. I gave her a bottle as she played with my hair. She practiced picking up peas for dinner and begged for my grown up food. We had a marvelous time as I blew on her tummy, kissed her cheeks loudly, and made silly sounds in hopes to see her new baby teeth peeking out in a big grin.
The best however, was yet to come.
After wrestling with one piece pj's and making her into a human burrito in her blanket, I gleefully ignored her mother's bedtime instructions taken from that anti-cuddling-rocking Baby Wise book and did what a Grammie should do...rock the baby to sleep. At first Scarlett would bob her head up and down on my shoulder, kick her feet, and grin at me in the semi darkness. As I sang and firmly patted her back to the music she began to settle down. Soon I could feel her relax in my arms as she sucked her tiny little thumb. I snuggled her fuzzy new hair and marveled at her soft cheeks. She is so chubby even her forehead is a bit squishy:)
One song led to a dozen. I couldn't find the will to put her in the crib. There is something magical and peaceful about rocking a baby. The ever present to do list faded away, and time stood still as I recorded those precious minutes in my heart. It was one of those moments when life becomes absolutely clear. I was filled with gratitude for the love this baby experiences on a daily basis. My joy was full there in the dark, in a small pink room rocking to my hearts content... long past "mother approved" schedules:)
Scarlett won't remember this night...
I will.
I will forever treasure how it felt this night with her warm sweetness snuggled in my arms, softly breathing. I will remember how she filled my heart with a deep tenderness and unforgettable love.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Merry little Texas

Some of my children don't live in Texas anymore :(
So...I wanted to send a bit of Texas cheer which came in the form of a Texas shaped chipboard album. I know, I know...Texans are much too in love with our state:)

The chipboard was covered with festive papers from Glitz design. Washi tape was layered across the Texas. "Hello Christmas" cardstock stickers by Glitz design added the project cheer:) Mod Podge finished the project.  Round magnets were hot glued on the back so it became a fridge decoration. You can find this chipboard album at heartoftexasstudio.com

***Comment on this post & enter to win one of these merry little Texas creations!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Thankful for me"..a child's perspective on gratitude

My oldest granddaughter Annabelle has been learning to pray for a few months now. Teaching a child to pray is both an adventure in humor and journey into the profound wisdom of one still so new from heaven, so joyful in her sense of self.

Our favorite prayer to date begins this way...
"Heavenly Father, Thankful for me, thankful for Annabelle, thankful for me!"
At first glance one may feel that another obnoxious diva is in the making, something the world does not need! After a good laugh at her exuberant declaration, I came to find a deeper meaning in her words. 

Annabelle talks to her Creator as a friend without hesitation and thanks Him for her very existence. She knows instinctively that she is His child and therefore of infinite worth. 
She then mentions her name Annabelle. A name carefully and thoughtfully chosen by her parents long before she made her earthly debut. A name which means "God has favored me; grace."
And then the final "thank you for me"....At this lovely and tender age Annabelle has no misgivings about her personality or physical features. She doesn't compare herself to others, or silently berate herself for failures. Annabelle is glad to be herself! As we say in the south, "Bless her heart!" for reminding us to be thankful for our very existence, our origins, and our unique set of personality traits, physical features, abilities and talents. 

Today I am grateful for me.... with a deep gratitude that I have been granted life by a loving Heavenly Father. 
Today I am thankful for Kimberly... even though my sister Mitzi was named after a movie star and my name came from the Kimberly-Clark paper company;-/ My name means "from the royal fortress meadow"...sounds important:) I am very glad my mother won with Kimberly Kay and not my dad who thought it would be fun to name me Jana Anna Mahana!

Today I am going to be thankful for me a third time without looking in the mirror with disdain, listening to the critical comparative voice in my head, or dwelling on my failures. 

Today I want the feeling that true gratitude brings, one of contentment. The desire that flows from such peace is to love more fully, to give all that I am to the world around me. This feeling of gratitude helps inspire me to a greater desire for improvement of self in a positive way... instead of being utterly overwhelmed at my deficiencies. Oh, to be an Annabelle again, blissfully unaware of the challenge of mortal failings!

Today I will put aside feelings of doubt and fear.
Today I bask in the love of my family.
Today with bended knee I will, like a child, be thankful for me.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pallet envy:)

I am in love with pallets...who would have thought! An interesting fact about design is when the economy is struggling people become more creative and innovative in DIY projects. I just plain love to take something old or ugly and make it beautiful:)
My love affair with pallets began with the creativity of my son-in-law Travis in the design of their new apartment. He designed pallet walls and ceilings and even a vent-a-hood. I was hooked when the first boards went on the wall and ceiling!
Pallets are made out of various hardwoods creating a multi colored look.

Travis carefully selected the boards to create this design.

Working with pallets requires quite an effort. It is no small task to cut the pallet boards off the frame...or so my hubby claims:) 

The pallets are quite dirty as you can imagine so we scrubbed them down with Dawn and gave them a good rinse. Annabelle was the boss..."Grammie, you scrub and I'll do the bubbles!" It doesn't take long for the pallets to dry in the sun.

Do not cut the pallets of the frame until you are ready to use them, they warp if left lying around for days.

After seeing Travis's pallet designs I simply had to find a pallet project for Nellie's Cottage. When we took down the wall between the kitchen and scrapbook store Michael framed the opening with pallets.
I love it! 
The whole cottage feels more roomy without sacrificing the cozy!


I am looking around to see what else I can cover with pallets:)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gorgeous Caramel Apples!

Another fabulous recipe from my talented daughter in law Janene! 
Aaron & Janene lived with us for a year between college and dental school. 
She was constantly whipping up something delicious to tempt even the most disciplined taste buds:)
These apples have a delectable, creamy, homemade caramel that is hand stirred on the stove. Double chocolate dipping and generous rolling in crushed candy bars creates a perfect autumn delight!
Caramel Apples

 Visit Janene's blog link below for the recipe.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Family Blessings..a fall layout

Family brings out the best in us and sometimes the worst:) These are the people that drive you the most crazy and also bring you the most joy. I had a bit of creative time today and wanted to design a layout for display during this season of gratitude. Holiday display layouts are my new favorite project...it is almost instant creative gratification!

It is hard to believe that my little family of 4 children has expanded into a family of 16 individuals not counting the twins coming in a few weeks! I look at this picture and marvel because I know our history and our struggles. I am painfully aware of my failures as a mother, yet so happy and grateful for the times I succeeded. One of my dad's favorite quotes was "No success can compensate for failure in the home." To me it means that my best efforts need to be here, with my family. I have many other commitments and community projects that bring "pats on the back" however...
Family is where I learn to love.
Family is where I learn unselfishness.
Family is where I learn gratitude.
I am grateful for the blessing of family:)


Supplies include:
Kraft paper stamped with "Le London Script (Stampabilities)
Scalloped 8x8 cardstock- DCWV
Glitz design 6x6 papers "Yours Truly"
Chipboard kit-Little Yellow Bicycle
Leaf border punch-Martha Stewart
Trims-My Mind's Eye "Stella Rose"
"Blessings"-Cindy Loo cricut cartridge
Red burlap ribbon
Family clear sticker-DCWV quote stacks
Bird paper clip-Prima

Being a thrifty scrapper...I even use the packaging!
I will cut these out for another fall project:)

On the back I added a piece of thin
 cardboard (the kind that is on the back of paper stacks)
to give the layout more stability.

"The family is one of nature's masterpieces."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pinterest print embellished:)

We had a fun craft at our monthly Enrichment night activity at church. It was a fun chalkboard print in a simple 1x2 wood frame that we screwed together on the back. The wood pieces were pre-cut and painted. We have a fabulous Wendy in charge of these events and she keeps up with the latest and greatest trends. It is no small task to plan crafts for a large group of women! I love the this reminder from Psalms...perfect for this season of gratitude.

While I loved the modern simple design it wasn't totally me, so I did some embellishing:)
I needed to add some gold tones to the project to fit my decor a bit better. 
I began with 3 different designs of washi tape around the edges of the frame.

Pre-made flowers from Prima, Jolee's, and Spare Parts made a perfect addition to the frame.
I used pop dots to adhere the flowers to ramp up the dimension.

Viola...my style:) a pinterest print embellished!

p.s. I love this so much it will find a permanent home on my office wall!