Sunday, September 27, 2015 little important word

Hello is important. 
With that one little word we can let people know how we feel about seeing them. There is the happy and excited hello to greet an old friend, the sad and compassionate greeting when someone has lost a loved one, the stoic "gritted teeth" hello to a person we didn't want to see. A resentful "hello mom" from a teenager, or the annoying hello from sales people at my door are my least favorite. I do love the "rush into my arms hello" from a grandchild, the hello that brings unexpected flowers from my hubby, and the "hello is this Nellie's Cottage?" retreat inquiry. Hello can be hailed in as many ways that people are different. 
This project is meant to be a cheerful hello for my retreaters at Nellie's Cottage. Three pieces of vital information will be displayed on that cute pink chalkboard, the wifi info (first question they always ask) my cell (I am the go to girl) and the one word essential for a good retreat -RELAX!
This paper crafting art replaces a sad yellow notepad paper on the fridge at Nellies, hardly a fitting greeting for such lovely women that grace our door!

A scalloped acrylic piece is the project base.
A mix of felt, canvas, paper and sticker flowers adds a homey touch.
This fabulous canvas flower is from Heidi Swapp,
the cute flags from October Afternoon, metal bicycle clip-Maya Road
Vintage lace and buttons scream...Nellies Cottage!
Gold hello is from Thickers alphabet

May your hello's bring you joy and the comfort of family and friends who love to see you again and again:) It may depend on how you say hello!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Connecting, a community in progress

Nellie's Cottage isn't just for scrapbooking or quilting...okay mostly:) 
We do have the occasion business meeting, political open house, 
60th wedding anniversary and a favorite... 
our VBN networking breakfast. 

Invitation created with the Martha Stewart Creative Studio app
I wear many hats like most of you! One of those hats is the VBN, Vidor Business Network. The founder of our networking group is my friend Cathy who is also a cousin from the Geldard family (Albert Geldard built Nellie's Cottage).....Our grandfather's look very similar. 
Cathy & I share a passion for the progress & success of our hometown. We have compassionate charitable & community organizations, successful businesses, a great school district, and a homecoming tradition second to none:) Quarterly, the VBN hosts a breakfast at Nellie's Cottage inviting all business owners, and community leaders. 
Daughter Brittany catered breakfast with homemade caramel glazed pumpkins muffins, homemade sweet potato granola, yogurt and fresh fruit. Her creations make her a favorite with my retreaters!

Jonnie, Mary Ann, me
Danny, Joe, Jay, Shannon
Farah, Holly, Sally, Betty, Misty, Johnnie
Jon, Benjiline, Chris
Mark, Brenda, Carroll
David, Farah

At first glance the picture isn't the best. I almost deleted it...
then I looked again.
The sunshine is streaming through the windows, people are connecting, sharing ideas, getting to know each other better.
In this room... a city councilman, VISD superintendent, Rotary Club president, Lions Club member, Christian Care Center administrator, PR girl for the school district, school board trustee, bank manager, accountant, physician, florist, photographer, lawyer, state trooper, county deputy, realtor, gymnastics & taekwondo instructors, massage therapist, commercial property owner, medical billing specialist, physicians assistant, & business owners. 
I see people who want to make a positive difference.
I see people who really care about those around them.
I see people coming together in a real, unpretentious way.
I see worker bees, volunteers, people who often shelve their own agendas giving of their time freely for the common good.
Most of all I see hope for the future, I see the best of us. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

LOVE to create!

I cannot deny it...I LOVE to create! It is like breathing to me, vital to my happiness and well being. When I am able to snatch a few moments from the responsibilities of life it feels like coming home to a place I feel comfort, an escape from the challenges of daily life, a place of peace. It matters not if it is scrapbooking, sewing, landscaping, baking, or any other creative pursuit. The excitment of the process makes me smile. Each creation is filled with my favorite decisions...color, texture, and taste:)
I truly believe this gift of creation comes from above, inherited from the Creator of life itself. 
"Oh happy day" as the gemstone below declares is my mantra when I am creating!

This particular paper art piece will hang in Nellie's Cottage. The project began with a 12x12 shaped acrylic piece edged with silver ink. Layers of paper, wash tape, lace and a stamped rose border become the background. Words of acrylic & foam "title" the project. Paper, fabric, & sticker flowers, buttons, a crochet heart & rhinestone finish the shabby chic feel. 

Viola...eye candy is born for the paper crafting soul:
Flower on left is from Heidi Grace fabric art line
Words are "thickers" from Amy Tangerine
The acrylic word was edged and backed with silver ink.
I pulled this stamped rose border out of my floral border folder where
it has been waiting patiently to be featured for over 15 years!
Sometimes I create embellishments with no plan:)

The only problem with loving to create is always being
on the prowl for the next creation!:)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rainy Day scrapbooking

A fair amount of my childhood was spent singing "Rain, rain go away....." Not much has changed in this part of the world but I have learned to enjoy it! The little "natives" do get restless when it goes on for days so ordinary things like bringing in the garbage can with Grandad became something of an  Annabelle adventure. A photo shoot followed...:)

 Pictures are usually around a long time before they end up on a layout so when I saw the umbrellas & boots I knew they would be perfect for these rainy day layouts. A box of Copic markers, glitter paper, and outline stickers go with me on travels to keep my creative self happily working on embellishments for future layouts. I am not an artist, 
but these shading markers make me feel like one:) 

My "One Event/One Design" scrapbook layouts began with a pale blue background and colorful polka dot borders with a Martha Stewart punch.

I ran wash tape on top of the polka dot borders to tame then down a bit for more of a rainy day feel.

Tags are a favorite way to add a title. Outlining the letters in black always adds a punch.

As always with this style of scrapbooking, I build my pages with borders, 
add the pictures, finishing with the embellishments. 

Annabelle was in love with this Disney Song from Jungle Book.
Around the jacuzzi they went in "military style"

Hup two three four
Keep it up two three four
Hup two three four
Keep it up two three four
Hup two three four

Company, sound off! 

Oh, the aim of our patrol
Is a question rather droll
For to march and drill 
Over field and hill
Is a military goal!
Is a military goal! 

I love these pictures of Danielle! She looks like she belongs on the set of "Singing in the rain"

Tip:When I have an odd number of layouts or I want to separate layouts for sequence I like to pair the one page with a fun printed paper. This colorful umbrella paper couldn't have been more perfect!

p.s. Enjoy the story and thoughts behind the pictures from 2012

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dear Nellie's Cottage...

I opened my email to a heart warming email about a recent retreat group at Nellie's Cottage!
It brightened my day immeasurably:)

Hi Kimberly:

Our group had a great time at "Nellies Cottage" this past weekend.  The cottages are so quaint and the decorations/style are so beautiful, inviting and warm.  We had a great time and every detail  was just perfect.  I loved the bedding, towels, and the scrap area!  I loved you had put SONIC ice in the freezer!!!  The scrap store was great!  It was well stocked! 
I thoroughly enjoyed the massage!  WOW! And  Brittany is a wonderful cook!  The meal option is a must for anyone booking your cottage! 
We had an awesome time!  You and your family are great hosts!

                                                                                                          Thanks again!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Standing triumphant!

There are some pictures that I love because they show personality and spirit. These are 2 of my favorite for that reason! My granddaughter Savannah was about 4 months old, (2012) and as you can see already had a sense of what she wants! She definitely did not want to be strapped in that bouncer. She much prefered to be vertical with her little legs standing strong, her head held high, and a determined "I am big" air about her tiny little self! I have looked at these photos over and over again, smiling & marveling at the spirit of determination all the babies in my life have exhibited from almost the moment they came to earth:) 

What is it and where does it go?...this drive to progress, stand tall, and move forward. Life has a way of beating us up a bit or sometimes a great deal. Pictures like these give me hope, held me stand a little taller, extend my can do attitude, and bring a renewed sense  of purpose to my life. This little baby "got it" and she didn't even know what she got!  A healthy dose of energetic "I am important and will make a difference in the world" is what she gives me every time I look at her face! I hope she will have many moments when her heart truly does believe she can fly! 
Tiny little people are hard work but they are great teachers, great examples, showing us the way back from the weary trudging of life. If we pay attention the joy of the lesson helps us to stand triumphant once again!

This layout was super fun to create. I began with a pale blue cardstock (a favorite) which I added borders created with a Martha Stewart border punch. Transparent wash tape went on top of the border to tame it down a bit.

A varied collection of flowers from Prima, Maya Road, etc. were grouped together around the pictures.

Inking the edges of a journaling card adds a bit of flair.

This bright pink cardboard came from a Juicy Couture perfume was so cute I couldn't throw it away:) I used blue letters from my sticker stash and outlined them with black.

I have a constant and welcome stream of text pictures sent my way of the grandchildren. 
The Canon Selphy printer is perfect for printing a couple of pictures on the spot for a layout. 

Today after creating this layout I feel a bit taller, happier, and more "ready to go"...thanks Savannah for showing me the way:)
p.s. I also keep singing "I believe I can fly......":) Notice the heart with wings in the top right corner!