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Monday, July 23, 2012

My 1st layouts utilizing the NEW TREASURED LAYOUTS V2 by 3 BIRDS!

     At last!  It has literally taken me all afternoon, on and off, to get these to post!  It was worth it though.  I see my monitor jumping around again, so I may have to save this and come back to edit!
Alright, let's give this another try, shall we??????
     3 Birds Scrapbooking & Paper Crafting kits have been my fave for a couple of years now.  They are continuing to create wonderful kits at great prices!  Since they began the ESTATE COLLECTION series of kits, I can't get enough of them.  I have atleast 2 of each Estate Collection kit! 
     Even though I am not a cardmaker, I have purchased their cardmaking kits in order to utilize the awesome embellishments (many are 3D!) that are included, working them into my scrapbook pages.  I also utilize the cards themselves as journaling blocks (both hidden by using the entire card, or visible journaling blocks by cutting them down), or even as photo and embellishment mats.
     My most recent obsession has been in creating these pages as part of a LARGE gift project.  The pages above are part of my own album, which has grown to 5+" in depth!  The pages themselves are approximately 9x6.5",  CUT BY HAND (I have NEVER liked having to cut by hand, but I want these to fit the album shape and size) in order to fit the same-shaped album covers that I fell in love with (Teresa Collins).  I am making 2 more of this size, as gifts for my 2 nieces who are giving birth to the TWO, YES TWO grandnieces being born within 3 months of each other.  This is a big deal in our family, as we women are outnumbered 2 to 1 by the men!  I am ALSO making several more mini-copies of these albums for the grandmas, etc.  Those albums are also utilizing Teresa Collins album covers, but they are approximately 5.5" wide, allowing me to get 2 PAGES FROM ONE 12" PIECE OF CARDSTOCK/PATTERNED PAPER.  This has saved me a fair amount of money, but even so, I have spent well over $200 on this project so far.  I believe that I will be making 9 albums in all!
    I realize that I may be rambling on a bit in regards to this project, but it is important to me, and an UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY for me, since I am the mother of an 8 year old boy, and prior to having our own son, I created a lot of pages about and for my nephews.
      I have been trying to decide how to go about posting the creation of my pages.  I have hesitated videotaping their creation until I learn how to use the high speed play back ability, & am researching how to put still shots of the pages into a narrated video.  Ultimately, I believe that I will end up posting step-by-step still shots with typed info below each photo, thus allowing me to atleast get some of them posted.
      I am in awe of the amazing number of ultra-talented women (& men) who are creating such wonderful works of art.....yes, paper crafting is an art, as are most things we are capable of doing.....I literally "ooooh" and "aaahhh" over the beautiful, innovative creations that I accidentally find on a nearly daily basis.
     I know that my family appreciates the effort & time I spend on my hobby, and my hubby encourages me to find a way to earn some 'extra' income for my hard work.  I would LOVE that opportunity to 'fall into my lap' as they say, but in the meantime, I am sooo lucky to have had ACCIDENTALLY STUMBLED UPON SCRAPBOOKING while reading a general crafting magazine which I bought immediately after we were engaged.  It has literally been  A GODSEND, helping me through the loss of my job as a Fisheries Management Technician for the state of Michigan, and my continuing struggle with FIBROMYALGIA, as well as trying to be the best mother I can be for our son.
      On that note, I think I will once again try to endure the high humidity and heat of our home (we are dealing with an a/c problem tonight) and make another attemt at sleep. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

My poor, beautiful Dakota has hotspots

   My best friend, my malamute Dakota, has HOTSPOTS :(    I've never had a dog with hotspots before, and after I discovered that her dry skin wasn't the biggest problem, I searched online for home remedies.  When that didn't clear things up completely, I used an otc treatment (another topical), which still didn't completely heal them.  My next stop was oral treatment really turned it around, but it still continued to spread.  After a visit to our veterinarian, I decided to follow his suggestion & shave/trim her coat.  Shaving her would not only help me find any more infection, but trimming her entire coat would increase air exposure and therefore help her heal faster.  I am treating her 2-3 times a day with a highly-oxygenated water (spray) that kills bacteria on contact. 
        Last year she weighed 112 lbs., so I cut her food back, plus began feeding her Purina ONE, per the vet's recommendations.  She looked her healthiest at 80-90 lbs.  She had lost 3 lbs in just a couple of weeks last year, but now weighs 121.3 LBS....GAINING BACK THE 3 LBS PLUS 9 MORE!   We discussed checking her THYROID since she has been gaining wait even though we have been walking every day.  It turns out that her thyroid function is terribly low (0.5)....low being between 1 & 2!  She is now on thyroid medication twice a day....the thyroid problem can also be contributing to her skin condition, preventing it from healing as it should. 
      I had already trimmed ALL the hair from her hotspots, with one of our neighbors saying that she looked like she had a reverse mohawk.  The complete shave was required to expose the area to topical treatments PLUS allow airflow & help drying.  Unfortunately, as I trimmed her remaining coat, she lost most of her beautiful black guardhairs.  She now is very gray (the color of her wooly undercoat) and looks much older than her 6 years (estimated since she is an adopted stray).
     I FEEL AWFUL about shaving her....I've been fighting suggestions for the past 3 years by local husky-mix owners who shave their dogs in the summer to supposedly help them to stay cool.  This is a very controversial topic not only among pet parents, but also among professional groomers.  Most groomers REFUSE to shave multi-coated dogs, as it may not completely fill back in, & if so, may take SEVERAL YEARS to return to normal, if at all.  Insulation works two ways: prevents heat loss & heat gain, but then again, she has a black coat....I've ALWAYS been stringent about helping her stay cool.
     Her hair has already been regrowing withing the completely shaved areas, as I had to reshave her to expose the skin to the topical treatments, but I have been PRAYING that her entire coat returns, healthy & full.....she is meant to be a beautifully, heavily coated animal.  I still feel terrible each time I look at her or think about it, but I am feeling more hopeful about it returning after seeing new growth already within the hotspot areas....
Wesley loves to make 'fur babies', 'fur puppies' or 'gremlins' out of Dakota's fur each time I brush her, but this pile is ridiculus!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

3 new kits by 3 BIRDS arrived today! TWEET TWEET TWEET!!!

  I am very excited to get to play with 3, yes THREE, new kits by my fave, 3 BIRDS!!!   I already have plans to use many of the new shades of bling from the ESTATE COLLECTION JEWEL TONES PEARLESCENT GOODIE BOX on my many copies of the Gleason Girls baby albums that I am working on! 
  It has been a long time since I've had my hands on a new paper stack by 3 Birds as well, and several of the patterns & colors will also appear in the above mentioned project, plus there are tons that will work with the layouts for our ongoing annual family, 'dad and me', & 'mom and me' albums.  The bright colors & great patterns will appear on our summer layouts as well!
   Wesley is working on a smashbook summer project, as part of his 'kidding around 3' class via Big Picture Classes, & I already expect him to be asking to use some of the new papers to 'jazz up' his pages.  When I opened the package, he said "Look mom, a rainbow"!
   The 'pop-eze' predesigned pages are adorable & coordinate back to several of the papers & embellishments that I've been collecting from 3 Birds....lots of fun ahead for us!
    So why am I sitting here typing????  Let's go play with more 3 BIRDS goodies!!!!!!

Imagine - The Paperclipping Roundtable, Episode 119 by Paperclipping Roundtable

Imagine - The Paperclipping Roundtable, Episode 119 by Paperclipping Roundtable
    The latest episode of the Paperclipping Roundtable, aka prt, also available via itunes or by going to, discusses the book "Imagine: How Creativity Works"...this sounded very interesting, so I ordered this book via Amazon last night.  I am excited to receive it and TRY to begin to understand how our minds work whenever we are trying to be creative, as well as when we are not, and then experience that 'aha' moment!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sharing my HSN Layout with one of its stars...

I made a copy of my first layout ever to appear on national television, during HSN's National Craft Month Finale, to one of its stars, Jessy Ann Stream.  I had Wesley give it to her, as he was the other star of the photo!  They were BOTH so excited.  We took advantage of the Stream family Easter gathering to share this with everyone.

Monday, March 12, 2012

HSN Haul: 3 Birds, Brenda Pinnick, Claudine Hellmuth & Anna Griffin!

     Woo Hoo!  It's an HSN Haul!!!!!!  BEAUTIFUL kits from 3 Birds (I LOVE all 3 Birds products), Brenda Pinnick (LOVE the PURPLES), Claudine Hellmuth (GREAT 3D Embellishments that match & coordinate with the other items in her new series that she launched on HSN last Tuesday)...see the pic of Wesley flipping through the little ADORABLE SUITCASE of goodies,  & Anna Griffin (need I say more?....NOT)!

Monday, February 27, 2012

New wall color.... & much clearer work spaces!

     I was not happy with the first color of paint, as it did not seem rich enough. The second color which I purchased was darker than the chip/sample, so.....after living with each color for a few days, I made myself two color mixtures to try out on my wall for a bit. The mixture of 2:1 dark to light color won out over the 1:1 mixture, it is. I still have to put up the wainscoting & stenciling, but I'm on my way to a happier wall.
     I have been brutally honest with myself as I sort through my "stash", adding PILES of product to my already over-flowing "scrap sale" items.  It is very freeing to have more space in my studio & clearer countertops!

  Now I have to find a spot to store my "scrap sale" products!  I always give my niece Sarah first choice of my yardsale stash, which helps fuel her scrapbooking while helping to clear out my own space.  She has a lot of shopping to do!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

EXTRA Valentine's Day treats & Studio Update

  This year I received EXTRA Valentine's Day treats....a 3 Birds & HSN delivery!  This shipment contained the newest 3 Birds Estate Collection piece, their Estate Collection Doily Elegant Card Kit & Claudine Hellmuth's chipboard kit.  The doily card kit is GORGEOUS & I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the PURPLES & PINKS used in this kit, along with the 3 dimensional embellishments....they've even included TWINE!  I've been waiting to try this new medium....yey! 
     Claudine launched her first series of products on HSN recently, and of course, I HAD to try it!  The chipboard embellishments are contained within an adorable ICE CREAM TRUCK!  As I quickly sorted through the HUNDREDS of pieces in this kit, I quickly imagined several pages that I can create utilizing these adorable pieces.  In fact, I wish I had several of them to use on layouts I recently created.
     Both the permanent packaging & the shipping packaging of these two kits is AWESOME, some of the best I've seen in a long time!
          Now for my Scrap Studio update:  My new studio wall is becoming dusty lavender!  This is the first base coat with the second coat to be applied later this afternoon.  I hope to be able to stencil tomorrow.  I'll have to see if I'm happy with the colors first.  I didn't want to use too dark a shade since it's in the basement & I only have one window to supply any natural light.  That window isn't even on this side of the basement, so I dream of one day having a large fire-easement window installed, or maybe even two of them.
      Uh-oh...Michael just discovered that with some color on the wall, we can now see that the drywall seams need to be re-mudded.  The drywall is contoured along the edges & so he needs to make up for that.  I guess we should have gone with the non-rounded drywall.  Live & learn.  He thought that his seams were nice & smooth.  They were pretty smooth, but you couldn't see the wave in the wall before there was any color added.  Take 2.

Valentine's Day activities & goodies

  Valentine's Day was a busy one for me, as I was asked to come into Wesley's classroom to make another project with his class.  I used my Cricut Expression 2 to cut Valentine's Day card bases & embellishments.
Once we got home following the Valentine's Day party, I started on a special dinner, consisting of Bacon Blast Pizza & chocolate-dipped bacon!No, I didn't come up with the chocolate-dipped bacon idea first....although we've joked about it before. I actually saw it being done on the Nate show that morning.  Granted, I didn't make the type of chocolate that they made on the show; I used the milk chocolate mixture that we use in my chocolate fountain...Michael & I had nearly the same reaction to it.  Michael said "it's a waste of good bacon", but I said "it's a waste of good chocolate!"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Studio wall is closer to being complete...& Wesley is a 3 Birds & Teresa Collins scrapbooking product user & fan!

     A few more pics of the ongoing upgrade to my studio.....      


     Now, for Wesley's Valentine's Day gift projects.  Wesley has ALWAYS loved to craft & scrapbook, & getting 3 Birds shipments is always a GREAT day!
      Wesley made his teacher's card with...of course...3 Birds supplies, which HE SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR!  He has GREAT taste!  Since I couldn't find a heart-shape in the new Honey of a Card kit, I tried altering the shape of one of worked pretty well, so WE USED TWO! 

      I received my Signature Series Teresa Collins book in the mail yesterday & I later discovered that Wesley finished his teacher's gift using ....wait for it....TERESA COLLINS scrapbooking supplies! I told him who made them & that we HAD to take a picture of it with her book! I always take pics of his gift projects, but this one needed extra photos!

Our son is VERY creative & has GREAT TASTE in scrapbooking & paper crafting supplies!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

3 BIRDS, DONNA STORK & HSN...GREAT DAY!!!! Plus, my new STUDIO WALL is up!!!

    A few days ago, I told you that 3 Birds' Donna Stork would be presenting their new ESTATE COLLECTION DOILY CARD KIT...I just HAD to reschedule my day to fit around the HSN SCRAPBOOKING PRESENTATION schedule haha!!!
    Also, I had mentioned that we were going to be drywalling my STUDIO WALL from nearly 2 years ago...."THERE BE WHALES".... NO, DRYWALL "HERE, CAPTAIN!"  That was an edited quote from my favorite movie EVER....Star Trek V, where they go back in time to retrieve/rescue 2 HUMPBACK WHALES to SAVE THE EARTH (my favorite mammal ever, which I had originally planned to study as they migrate between Hawaii & Australia, or California & Alaska each year)...sorry I'm rambling....back to MY SCRAPBOOKING STUDIO!
   After only a couple of hours, the wall was up, and in only a few minutes the following night, the very small corner wall was up!!!!!  This should NOT have taken us nearly 2 years to complete!  Anyway, after getting home from work tonight without my drywall compound, etc.....I asked Michael to make me a list of supplies needed, or him to pick them up tomorrow after work....he'll be bringing them home for me tomorrow (HOPEFULLY)....gee can you guess what I'LL BE DOING THIS WEEKEND!!!!

    Anyway, I have included a couple of pics....

Monday, February 6, 2012

The new 3 Birds Doily Card Kit is posted! YEY!

  I just checked HSN (for about the 4th time today...I tend to stalk it whenever I hear of a crafting show being scheduled) and the new 3 BIRDS DOILY CARD KIT is posted!  Woo hoo!
  I LOVE the peak of purple florals, as well as cute kitties & puppies! 

The construction chaos begins again...

     After removing the SW wall from my studio to push it back two years ago this coming April, we are preparing to put up the drywall.  We framed it back in right away, but that's as far as we got in the construction.  I have had 3 of my lovely dusty lavender curtains hanging there as my 'false wall'.   I look forward to painting & wainscoting this wall.  I am planning to paint the wall dusty lavender, adding a stenciled flourish in a slightly lightly color.  The wainscoting will be white, of course, like the majority of my studio.
      The external walls were already finished in a nasty texture, almost like "popcorn" ceilings, which totally tears up your fingers, knuckles, etc any time you reach for an item near the wall!  Ouch!
  I'll try to keep up on postings of the progress.  I also can't wait to install my second mini-chandelier, possibly more!!!  A girl can only hope!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Newest project, using the new Best of New Year's kit...

          The following layout was completed using the new kit which I had just received a few hours earlier...that's how excited I was to use this kit!

                I used A LOT of products from various 3 Birds kits which coordinate with the color scheme of the kit & photos.  Here's the list:
                Pattern papers, teal cardstock, cards (one of which was cut in half & used as a photo mat),  "Happy New Year", "Goodbye....
Hello....", "Ringing in the New Year", "Goals & Plans" & Black and Silver Tinsels: Best of New Year's kit;  Blue Felt Flourish:  ExScrapaganza;  Black & Teal glittered photo corners: Bling Stack;  Teal corner flourish & calendar rub-ons: Kind of a Big Deal;  Teal border: Super Sticker Nestables;  "Prepare to be Amazed" & "You've Got Style" rub-ons: Quote Me On That;  Teal glittered bracket & "Lookin' Good": Bling Extreme.
                Wow, that was a lot of different kits represented!  Because I scrap both by theme & color, I knew I could find lots of teal goodies in my teal 3 Birds stash!
                 I'm off to play some more with my newest kits, working prior products in whenever possible...I'm trying to be more generous with my HUGE stash of pretty products, getting them 'out of the NEST' and onto my pages, & learning to layer, layer, layer...the style I feel myself drawn to more & more....probably from my love of Victorian Decor.
                 Scrap on!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New 3 Birds kit pics & updated layouts

     Below you will find a peek at the NEW 3 Birds kit, Best of New Year's.  I IMMEDIATELY used the purple "countdown" embellishment, adding it to my 'completed' layout was a perfect addition!

          Next, I have updated this two-page layout to better match our Christmas colors this year of Purple, Pink & Chocolate Brown...
             I added brown ribbon from the Chickadee album kit to turn a gift box from blue to brown; adhesive-backed pink polkadot paper from the Straight From The Nest paper pack over purple Must Have Cardstock to convert the previous banner; glittered over some of the blue items with Walnut Stain Tim Holtz Distress Stickles to make them brown, and using Glossy Accents as an adhesive/glue with Martha Stewart purple Ultrafine Glitter on a gift box, ornament, tree garland & added a tree topper that resembles our own.
Now I'm off to play with the rest of the New Year's kit after printing the pics from Michael & Wesley's trip into Ludington to see the ball drop.  Happy crafting!

Newest 3 BIRDS: "BEST OF NEW YEAR'S" kit is here!!!!!!!!

         My newest 3 BIRDS kit is here! IT IS HERE, IT IS HERE, IT IS HERE!  rotfl... I can't wait to play with an hour or so actually!!!!  I immediately took some pics of the delivery! haha 
         I'll post more later...can't wait to play!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Birthday Crop...let's try this again...

          I spent over an hour working on this last night, giving up at around 12:30 am.  After all the frustration of my pics not posting, I now discover that NONE of it was saved/posted.  Another learning experience I guess. haha
          I was lucky enough to have my best bud, my niece Sarah, join me again for an overnight SCRAPBOOKING PARTE'!  A bonus this year was the 1st overnight & crafting visit of my sister-in-law, Deb.
          For the past few years, Michael & Wesley have been going to stay with Grandma Stream, leaving the house free for my girls' weekend.  The only male lucky enough to hang with us was our cat Rusty.  Myself, Sarah, Deb, Dakota, Smoke & our kitten Squirrel all enjoyed our 'girl time', without the loud, masculine influences (& interruptions) of Michael & Wesley!
          We started out our weekend with a trip into town to develop Sarah's film (from a disposable camera) from her son Brandon's horrible accident last Halloween.  She thought that she would be able to look at and work with the photos by now....after trying to scrap them, she realized that she wasn't quite ready yet.
          During our wait for the film to be developed, we enjoyed an inexpensive treat of lunch at Mancino's.  From there we checked out Dollar General for some decorative boxes that Sarah & Deb had been seeing, as well as a trip into Peeble's for nice work shirts for Sarah's new teaching position.  We then visited Grandma Veerman & Aunt Annetta, discussing our girly plans for future play dates, including a possible overnighter at Grandma Veerman's beautiful, large home, before returning to my home to start crafting.