Always Here - SSD Blog Hop

Welcome to Skipping Stones Design’s Blog Hop to celebrate the release of a new stamp set, "Always Here". If you just happened upon my blog today, you’ll want to go back to the beginning at Skipping Stones Design. You should have arrived from Dina's blog if you are following the hop. But, if you just wanted to stop by and say Hi! That is, of course, fine, too! 'Cause you guys know I love it when you stop by to say hi and stuff! Just say'n.

Combined with the blog hop today, it's also Skipping Stones Sketch Tuesday which means the Design Team is showcasing another fabulous sketch from Maren Benedict! We'd love for you to play along with the sketch and link your card at the Skipping Stones Blog. Just remember to use the keywords SSD040 if you are uploading to any online galleries and link it up over at the SSD blog!

Here is the card that I created for this week! I started with the brand new Always Here stamp set and a file folder and boy was I thrilled with the results!

I'm Alwyas Here...

I used the smaller butterfly in the set three times and stamped the sentiment over on the tab. I choose a fabulous satin ribbon as my background to the butterflies combined with a subtle ivory patterned ribbon. And added a few paper flowers as a finishing touch!

I'm Always Here 2

I used Platinum stickles to add the sparkle and I LOVE that!!! It is so fabulously luxurious!


I can't even TELL you how good it feels to be playing with paper and such again! *phew!* I love making stuff!

Also, today is the LAST day to enter my BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY! I have added an UNRELEASED set of Skipping Stone Stamps to the mix and, I am now adding a Jingle original piece to it, as well, so be sure to check it out and ENTER!!!!

Now, go hop along and see what the Stamp Tramps have created! Your next stop after my blog is Heidi's blog!

Kandi Phillips
Kryssi Ng
Maren Benedict
Amanda Sewell
Alice Wertz
Dina Kowal
Jennifer Ingle (That's Me!)
Heidi Van Lar
Vanessa Menhorn
Peggy Russell
Wendy Price
Michelle Giraud

Today I am linking with the following parties:

All Thingz Related


A Tale of Two Cities

This is Worcester, Massachusetts. (That's pronounced wister or wista for those of you NOT from Mass.)

This is West Palm Beach, Florida. (That's pronounced BEACH for those of you not from...ummm...anywhere.)

If forced to choose between the two, which would YOU prefer to make your home?

You see, as of last Tuesday we were moving to the latter. Yup. That sunny one with all that glorious ocean and wonderful sun. Of course, this wasn't going to be the easiest move in the world. My husband was offered a job teaching down there. He was not, incidentally, offered anything as good around here. Thus, he was set to head off to West Palm Beach as of Saturday morning. As in...a couple of days ago. As in by himself.

Now, don't get me wrong here...I had no desire to see my husband off without me to go live in the land of mojitos and sandy shores, but there is that whole lease thing that companies don't take kindly to folks running out on and oh...yeah...my job. While yes, I was in the process of finding out if my employers would be okay with me working from Palm Beach (I work in tech support of sorts, so it would be possible if approved.), this certainly isn't something that could happen overnight and therefore I was to remain here in Mass until about Christmas while my wonderful Hubbums was off to the beach to teach, so to speak.

We were busy working on the details and stressing over the whole thing because it, quite frankly, was a HUGE decision to make - did we REALLY want to up and move to West Palm Beach. I mean, of course the palm trees were calling our names, but we have no immediate family down there and we would be basically starting ALL OVER! Yikes! Scary, but kinda fun, too. We had a lot on our minds and if you have been reading my blog the last couple of weeks you have CERTAINLY seen that reflected here, as I haven't done much in the way of my usual fare. (I did make some stuff this weekend, though, so I'm excited to report that I will have fabulousness to share this week!!!)


Yup. There is always one of those. But then, the phone rang. Okay, well, The Hubbums cell phone rang. (Dude, we SO don't have a land line! That's sooooo 2002. Just say'n.) So, it rang. Like, as The Hubbums was picking it up to make some of the final arrangements for Florida. And who was on the other end? Oh, YES, my friends, none other than Worcester Public Schools. Okay, well not like ALL of the schools ... it was actually The Hubbums' principal from last year. They want him back. A lot. And they made that abundantly clear. Because, you see, not only did he here from the principal, but also a couple of the other teachers. So, alas, while at dinner at IHOP (It was a stressful week, we needed comfort food, what do you want from me?), The Hubbums accepted the position offered at WPS (Worcester Public Schools).

Yes, you heard that right. We chose the city with exactly ZERO beaches. Actually, I'm thinking they don't even have a decent mojito in Worcester, to be honest, but, alas, it is sorta home. ANNNNND....it doesn't involve my Hubbums leaving town for four months before we can live together in the same state again. THAT is a good thing. We will still likely make a home change come December, but it won't be to Floriday. Nope...maybe Worcester. We shall see.

I know from this end it sounds like it was all very fast and easy, but let me tell you something! It wasn't. I mean, the whole thing was rather quick, but it didn't feel like it at ALL! There were single days that literally felt like three! I want to thank those of you who have prayed for us and thought of us during all of this even though you didn't know what was going on. I also thank you for sticking around even though my blog was lacking. I promise...good stuff on the way!

Thanks guys. And, if you happen to live in a sunny, beautiful place like West Palm Beach, please think of me next time your toes hit that sand...'cause I'm stuck in New England for yet another long cold winter! HA!

Jingle Out.

HAAAAA!!!! Really. It's hysterical! Jingle out. *insert eye roll* Who even SAYS these things? HA!


On My Bookshelf

I have a few books waiting to be read that I am pretty excited about, actually. First, I received this wonderful book in the mail from Dr. Kathy Jordan:

I cannot even begin to tell you how interested I am in this book! I haven't started reading it yet, due to the insanity (which I will be sharing with you about later...), however, I can't wait to dive into it! My art has become such an amazingly important part of my life. I am actually even considering pursuing it in a more academic format in the future, perhaps along the lines of art therapy. I know that this book is going to be an important one for me! I just KNOW it! Also, Kathy signed it and wrote a REALLY sweet note inside and that makes it EVEN COOLER! If you are interested check out Kathy's website for a chance to WIN a copy!!!

Next, I have a book that I actually went to the store to pick up last night.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I had heard some scuttle about this series, but in all honesty, I knew nothing about it. It wasn't until I heard the premise behind this, the first book in the trilogy (at least for now), that I became really interested. It is published by Scholastic and is actually categorized as a 'young adult' novel, but you know what...The Giver is categorized as a children's book and that sucker has more to say than most 'adult books' I've read! So, I picked it up. I'm going to read it - maybe this weekend if I have time. I'm REALLY looking forward to it and I want to read it quickly, as I really don't want to be spoiled on this one and now that I have it I know it will randomly pop up everywhere! LOL!

Finally, there is this book.

Yes, yes, I know. Old news. But I had avoided it due to the hype because, well, quite frankly books like Twilight get hype. Not good books. Just say'n. BUT, for some reason I was drawn to it. The Hubbums picked up a copy randomly a few weeks back and read it. Now, understand, The Hubbums is an AVID reader and knows GOOD literature vs. HACK CRAP when he sees it. He really liked this book. He said it was just okay until the very last page. At that point it became a REALLY GOOD BOOK. THAT, my friends, is the kind of review that makes you want to read a book. A book so perfectly tied together that you feel as though it was TOTALLY worth finishing. So, now I want to read that one, too.

As far as The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, again, slightly interested, but nervous about the incessant hype. The jury is still out on that one. I don't own a copy yet, so we shall see.

In the meantime, what are YOU reading? Anything good?


Macro or Not, it's still Raining Cats and Dogs

Macro Rain

Rain (No macro)

*Taken from my studio window. First shot with macro on, second without. I have GOT to get myself a better view! Raining for the fourth day in a row. Lots. It's kinda nice, but sucky because it means fall is officially here and I miss my summer already! Just say'n.

For more Wordless or Wordfull Wednesday posts check out here and here!

My Workspace is Lonely {WOYWW}

I am, of course, participating in What's on Your Workspace Wednesday with the crowd over at The Stamping Ground today, although, with what has been on it lately, I think everyone might be convinced I don't even craft anymore. Life has been UTTERLY insane! I mentioned that we had a big decision to make and I can say that the decision has now been made as of last night. It was a whirlwind, though, let me tell you! And...due to that whirlwind I have not a had a moment to work on new stuff and that is TOTALLY killing me! I have BIG plans for Saturday, let me tell you! I am on a doll making and painting MISSION!!!!

So, this is my desk at the moment:

WOYWW 25 Aug 2010

Tee-hee. She doesn't really have a mustache. I added that. And I love it. Just say'n.

But, seriously, those dolls on that box are super cute and I need to come up with a fabulous idea on how to use them because they want to be incorporated into something fabulous. For reals, folks. They TOTALLY do!


See! Can't you tell? They want ... nope. ... they NEED to be used for something fabulous! I just don't know what yet. Your thoughts are, as always, appreciated!

Anyway, so that's what is on my workspace as of this morning. Let's hope for more actual ARTWORK next week, huh? K.




Zebra's in My Studio


Xyron Zebra X

For REALS! Guys, no, really. Isn't that just the FUNNEST Xyron you ever did see? Yes...I said funnest. I can. 'Cause I said so.

But seriously, check that thing out! It's a Xyron AND it's a Zebra! It's a Zebra Xyron. As Joey Lawrence would have once said, "WHOA!"

(If you don't know who that is...google it. Hopefully there will be an audio or video link available for your WHOA viewing pleasure. Just say'n.)

ANY...WAY..... It came in the mail yesterday and I was just REALLY excite and REALLY surprised so I had to share it with you all. I got it just for completing a survey for Xyron! Pretty cool, huh? Yup. I thought so, too. Just say'n.

On another note, don't forget to check out SKIPPING STONES DESIGN today! I am a complete loser and didn't complete a card for this sketch this week due to the insanity that is my life at the moment, but I don't want you guys to miss out on the fun! You see.....

THIS is the super cute sketch for this week!!! Yup. Complete and Utter cuteness and SO easy to work with! You can totally do so much with it to make it your own!!! You know you want to play!

AND...not only THAT, but the girls created AMAZING cards this week - like some of the best I've seen in awhile, so you TOTALLY need to go over to the Skipping Stones blog and check them all out! Then make your card using the sketch and link it up to win!!!

Next week I have some SUPER exciting stuff to share with you in regards to SSD, so don't forget to check back for that. In the meantime, you should take another moment to enjoy the fabulousness that is the


Just say'n.

Xyron Zebra X


Halloween is In the Air!!!

I know for some of you it is too early to start thinking about Halloween, but if you are a crafter of anything that takes time, this is the PERFECT time to start thinking of ghouls and goblins!  I am so excited!  I haven't had a chance to start working on much in the way of Halloween art, but it is SO on my agenda right now!  And, this week is going to be a little crazy as far as time goes and such, so, I thought today would be an AWESOME day to gather some inspiration!!!

So, all lovers of Fall AND Halloween crafts, show me your favorite links!  Post a link to your favorite source of inspiration for Halloween or Fall creations!  (Any type of handmade stuff goes- including baking!!!)  And leave a comment letting me know what kinds of things YOU like to create in the fall!


What's YOUR Creative Style?

Have you ever explored your creativity? Have you identified just what makes you creative or where your creativity shines brightest?

I think about these things. I find the psychology of creativity quite fascinating, actually. And, apparently, I'm not alone. I recently stumbled on this neat quiz that identifies your creative style!

What Is Your Creative Style Quiz

Online quizzes can be fun and sometimes make you laugh, but this one was so dead on it was uncanny. For reals. This is what it had to say about me:

Creativity is a release

For you, creativity is first and foremost a form of expression: it creates a special link between the internal and external worlds. It allows you to get a grasp of your powerful emotions, by moulding them into a physical form. In fact, the most important thing for you is to be able to release your emotions. You need to be able to touch them or look at them in concrete form, and to do that you have to find a way to make them come alive. This is how your desires and anxieties take shape. Keeping things bottled up creates a tension that can only be resolved once you have expressed how you feel. This means you have to be strong enough not to let yourself get swept away by chaotic impulses; if you turn your creative urges on everyday life — making a picnic, singing to the baby, choosing what to wear — you can express yourself while staying rooted in reality. Creativity is principally cathartic. It relieves a deep need, an almost primal, archaic impulse. For you, being creative is about having the power to give form to something you feel, to those deep personal issues that are often raw and disorganised. For these reasons you are usually attracted to art that demands physicality, that allows you to express what’s inside, and that unites spontaneity, strength, freedom, power and movement.

Yup. Couldn't have said that better myself. Just say'n. For reals.

What do you think? From what you see of me on your end of the screen (which is pretty much just me 'cause I'm a tell it like it is kinda girl') would you say this is accurate.

Go ahead! Take the quiz! See what your results are! If you are comfortable sharing them tell us about them in the comments!!! This stuff is so interesting and so much fun!


A Beautiful Gift from a Beautiful Artist

Are you familiar with Becky Shander? If not, I hope you will be by the end of this post. She is a beautiful artist with a beautiful soul and a beautiful heart! She actually lives fairly close to me, although, we have not yet had a chance to meet. Some day, though....some day. Becky kindly offered to send me a few pieces of sea glass to work with the other day. It was such a kind offer and I was looking forward to receiving the little package in the mail. Well, let me tell you something, when Becky sends a little package she does it beautifully!

I opened the box to find a little scroll of paper rolled and tied so perfectly. She had written a quick note, but really, the presentation was just so wonderful! And then, I found the sea glass!!!

Sea Glass in a gift bag

(I apologize for the quick photos - the colors are a bit off, but know that it is all beautiful!)

She sent the glass in a perfect little handmade gift pouch tied with string! How happy is THAT?! Pretty darned happy, if you ask me!

Sea Glass

The pieces are so perfect and I can't wait to create with them! I'm already imagining a photo transfer onto a piece that can be wire wrapped and turned into a gorgeous pendant!!!! I'm excited!!!! Can you tell? HA!

But, Becky chose to include even more in this little gift package! She had told me she would be sending the glass and I was honored to be receiving THAT, but when I EVER saw THIS I was just in shock! It is perfect. Beautiful. And timely.

Beautiful Wall Hanging by Becky Shander

An utterly amazing fiber art piece crafted with Becky's own two beautiful hands! WOW! I feel so special and so honored to hold this piece in my hands! It is gorgeous and I am just so ... well, I don't even know. It made me feel good. It really did. And it does. And it will. This is art, people. This is the kind of emotion that it is supposed to render. Real emotion.

Becky, thank you so much for this wonderful gift! You made me feel special.

And not in the short bus kind of way. Just say'n.

(You guys didn't think I could get through an entire post with ONLY sappy stuff, did you? I can't do it. I like to laugh. I like to love and cry and be real, but I really like to laugh!)

I hope each of you is blessed by something today in some way or another! Have a wonderful Thursday!


WOYWW - So much for the nice clean desk....

Well, it was clean. It's not anymore! Although, actually, while this looks crazy messy it will really only take about 15 minutes to clear. It's just the remains of working on the stuff for Guys and Dolls and I literally have not been home long enough to pick it up yet.


It makes me a little sad because there are no fun projects really showing here because I haven't had time to do my fun stuff, but the show goes up this weekend for three runs and then I will get back to creating!!!

Also, if you guys could consider praying for us. We have a fairly big decision on our plates at the moment and would love some direction! It would greatly appreciated. More on that later, I'm sure, but for now, just pray. Thanks bunches!

So, what is on YOUR workspace this week? Anything fun and exciting? Actually, I do have two dolls, one finished and one mostly finished that I REALLY would love to show you all, but I'm thinking about submitting them to ADQ. We will see if it really happens. That's still really scary for me! LOL! I hope you are all having a super awesome week! Leave a comment! Let me know how you are doing! I am feeling a little out of touch and I love connecting with you guys!!!

For more workspace action check out The Stamping Ground!

Harajuku Lovers Cuteness! {Wordless Wednesday}


Harajuku Lovers: I <3 them!

Harajuku CUTENESS!

Just say'n.

For more Wordless Wednesday posts check out here and here!


Fluttering By to Say Hi! (SSD #38)

Well, isn't that the truth! I feel like I can only flutter by to say Hi! at the moment! LOL! This is actually a really fun, really quick and really easy card to create!

Here is the sketch that inspired it:

I really did my own thing with the sketch, but you can so see it in the card! Here is my card:

Fluttering By

I started with some awesome Cosmo Cricket paper. I stamped the background image over the patterned paper for the circle cut out piece and then, after covering the back of the twill with adhesive, created a really fun ribbon banner across the top. I stamped the sentiment in black in the bottom corner and added the punched butterflies (October Afternoon paper) across the card. This card took less than 15 minutes! For reals, you guys! So easy! The only thing is that now that I look at it I am going to go back and ink the edges, I think. Just to finish it off. But seriously easy, no matter how you cut it! This is what I love about Skipping Stones Design stamps! They allow you to create so fast!!!! Love that!


Don't forget to head on over to Skipping Stones Design to see what the other Stamp Tramps and our incredible guest designers have created this week!


Today I am linking with the following parties:

All Thingz Related


What do you Get When You are The Stage Manager's Wife?

The Automatic label of "Crew."

LOL! Well, not really, I told him I would help if it was needed and it is, well, needed, so I now have an INSANELY busy week ahead of me. Gotta love tech week!

Guys and Dolls. Three performances. Friday, Saturday, and a Sunday Matinee. Until then...no sleep and little eating time. LOL! But, at least I get to use my Cricut to make up the head shot board for the show!

I DID get some new shoes, over the insanely busy weekend, though! I had a Cricut demonstration down in Manchester, CT. (An hour and half away from my house, mind you.) So my wonderful husband drove down with me so we could hang in the car at least and then did some fun stuff (read: sat in Barnes and Noble and read all day) while I did my demos. BUT, we got down there a few minutes early and there was a DSW right there so he suggested we poke really quickly since I've been HUNTING DOWN a pair of Harajuku Lovers shoes for months with no success.

Well, THEY HAD THEM!!!!!! I was STOKED, dude. For reals. STOKED! I took pictures of them, but I didn't get a chance to upload them yet, but trust me when I tell you that they are WICKED CRAZY CUTE! They are jelly platform sandals and they are so adorable! I don't even really mind the three-four blisters on each foot that I got from wearing them yesterday! HA! (Gotta love breaking in new shoes! Yikes!)

So, anyway, that's what I'm up to. Kinda crazy insanity at the moment. I will be in and out this week, but super busy, so I don't know what you will see around here, to be honest. It's all up in the air, really! Well, I'm off....


My Husband Builds Random Robotic Arms, What Does Yours Do?

HA! No, really, though. The Hubbums is pretty much wicked cool. Just say'n. Wanna see what he made? Yup. You do. So, here it is!

Robotic Arm

FOR REALS! That is so cool!!! No, really. It is. It works. Do you see those neat multi-colored syringes? Those are the hydraulic powering devices. That sounds technical, I realize, but don't worry...I think I just made that up. HA!


Basically, you push the fluid through the tubes with the syringes and it causes the arm to move appropriately. Each colored section does a different task, giving the robot arm a wide range of motion.


He cut all the foam pieces (it's a high density foam used for insulation) and basically created the whole thing from scratch. It's way cool.


I told him he should spray paint it silver or black and give it red eyes so it can look like a cool scary robot. He said it is an arm and more like an industrial robot and would likely be orange or yellow like the ones in factories. Oh, and apparently arms don't HAVE eyes. I still like my plan. Arms can have eyes in my world. I mean, REALLY, I make creepy art dolls - anything can have an eye or a wing as far as I'm concerned! HA!


Oh, and you can totally pick stuff up with it. For reals. It's cool. Just say'n.

AND...don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!!! Here is a sneak at the first few items added. This is ONLY the beginning! There will be more to come as far as goodies go!!!


I am joining the following parties:



RUINED, I tell you! My reputation is going to be DESTROYED by this post. Just Say'n.

You see, every Wednesday I give you all a peek into my studio. You get to see it how it is. No holes barred. Well, that, of course, means you would have to be able to FIND a hole in that mess in order to bar it! HA! (Or is that expression actually no HOLDS barred? Hmmm....I should probably figure these things out before using them in public. Just think'n.) ANYWAY, today I am going to destroy all that you know to be true about Jingle and her studio.

Sit down, folks. Brace yourselves.

Are you ready for this?

I'm not sure I am....

WOYWW 11 August 2010

HOLY CLEAN DESK BATMAN!!!! Yup, folks, this is not your mind playing tricks on you, this is REAL! That is ACTUALLY my desk and it is ACTUALLY clean.


Amazing, isn't it.

Want to know the best part?

WOYWW 11 August 2010

I cleaned it like THREE days ago people. Four maybe....I don't even know. It was Saturday, so how many days was that? (tick, tock, tick, tock......)

Whatever. Anyway... I have even USED IT! That photo above was taken last night. and the one above that was taken AFTER the second photo! Yup...I made stuff and then I did this strange thing where you put your stuff all away where it goes right after you finish your project! Weird, huh? Yeah, I thought so, too, but the end result is pretty darned cool, if you ask me. Just say'n.

AND...that's not all folks!

No, my friends, not ONLY do I have a nice clean desk to present to you all today and not ONLY have I actually used it and then gone and done the good and proper thing by cleaning it up again, but ALSO, for the low low price of $19.99.....

...wait a minute...

..I think I lost track of myself there for a minute...

...maybe because I have a secret dream job of doing infomercials for a living. Or being on QVC. I would LOVE to be a host on QVC. I'd rock at it.

ANYWAY....I'm really all over the place today, but in addition to the awesomeness of a clean desk, I also cleaned the area BEHIND my desk!!!

WOYWW 11 August 2010

You guys don't usually see this area because it is too atrocious to speak of, but today I can show you because it is all cleaned up and organized and fabulous! That's my scrap bin, so that's a little haywire, but it works for me that way, so don't knock it. K? K.

But, alas, after a few hours of hardcore cleaning nonsense I got tired and The Hubbums was making dinner, so I had to stop. Therefore, these are still a bit of a mess, but at least I can clean the cubes one at a time color by color. Let's just see if I can get that done before I make my desk a disaster again! HA!

WOYWW 11 August 2010

So, there you have it, folks! My workspace! Today! As it is FOR REALS! Don't forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway while you are here! See the link at the top of the page!