I can't even remember how it started--but a while back I became infatuated with all the many uses and reuses there are for old drawers.
So it was a festive Valentine's Day here...I did a little decorating around my paper room...
In no particular order...
Labels: Life in Texas
Blogging...it's one of those tasks I have tried to do for the past 2 years but haven't managed to do because I couldn't sit in front of a laptop for an extended period of time. My laptop travels and when it's home, so is Joal, so I would rather not be staring at a screen when I can be here with him.
One month ago, Joal and I closed on the purchase of our home in Texas. Five months ago, if you had dared to tell me I would be living in a new home in Texas, I would have asked you what you were smoking?
How we came to reside in Texas is a rather long and convoluted story, but one worthy of writing down, so if I'm gonna write it, I might as well share it for those who are interested, right?
In November 1991, just one month before I married Joal Devendorf in Jackson, Mississippi, my parents packed up their belongings and my siblings and headed west, to pastor a church in small town Texas. Joal and I got married and continued our schooling in Mississippi, where I had lived since I was 7.
My three siblings were still very young (my sister was only 3) when the big move happened, so for all intents and purposes, they have, since that time, considered Texas their home. When they became adults, my brothers both established themselves in Tyler, Texas. Andy went off to the Army, but Texas was his home. My sister made attempts at living elsewhere, but Texas is her home and staying away just wasn't to be.
It's vital to the story that you know--I have never lived in Texas. I have visited quite often. I have many people in Texas whom I love and adore. However, it has never been my home.
Joal's family spent some time in Rockwall when he was a teenager, so he has called Texas home for a portion of his teenage years.
For us, Mississippi was where we met, went to college and got married. It was not where we wanted to build our life together, so we moved to Nashville, Tennessee in July 1998.
We were both pastor's children...and those two particular pastors were prone to frequent relocations. As adults, we knew that we wanted to pick a place and stay there...and that exactly what we did with Nashville. We adopted it, embraced it and called it home. We both loved Nashville deeply. We have been attending Christ Community Church since our very first Sunday living in Nashville, in July 1998. Greyson Reed was born in Nashville in 2003. We bought our first home there, in Bellevue in 2004. For both of us, living in the same house for more than ten years was a true achievement--one we were both very happy about.
Over the years, we have made many trips to Texas to visit with our families. Invariably, on those trips, someone would always ask "when are you two gonna just move here?"
I would roll my eyes and say "Tennessee is my home."
Never once did we even consider moving to Texas. It just wasn't a dot on the radar of our lives.
And then came the week of Thanksgiving 2013. Julian, our oldest who was seventeen at the time, has had severe developmental delays since age three. He was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder (a brand of Autism) at age 12. He has a seizure disorder that is mostly controlled by medication. Julian is a 7 year old boy in a 17 year old body.
Part of living with a child who has Julian's limits and challenges is living with someone who has a couple of driving obsessions. Julian's lifelong obsessions are Shania Twain's music, firefighting and plumbing.
Very early in his childhood he began configuring lengths of PVC pipes into contraptions, digging and burying pipes all across our yard, shopping Home Depot with every cent that has ever come his way for PVC fixtures and gadgets and the glue that keeps it all together. Julian has checked out every plumbing manual from the library at least a dozen times. He shops the home improvement section of books at McKays Used Books every single time we go there. He watches Richard Trethuey on This Old House as if Richard was a rock star. He stalks our local plumber on the grand and glorious days that he comes to our house to repair something.
Plumbing is not a hobby for Julian--it's a way of life.
He has learned to do many plumbing tasks from reading books and watching videos. He has command of an expansive vocabulary of appropriate terms related to all things plumbing as well.
He has been bribed to do many things he did not really want to do (like take a shower) by the dangling carrot of a trip to Lowes or Home Depot to visit the plumbing aisle.
Neither Joal nor I have any interest in plumbing (at all) but we are both quite skilled at discussions of plumbing, such as the merits of PVC versus copper, how to solder copper piping, weatherizing your PVC and a hundred other topics we've been subjected to over the years. Some mothers are "soccer moms". I am a plumbing mom. Some mom spend time sitting in bleachers. I sit on the pipe deck at Home Depot. Some moms buy Gameboys and Xbox games for Christmas. I buy faucets and imps and pipe dope for Christmas.
In November 2013, we started a deep renovation of our kitchen and family area. The kitchen went all the way to the studs. Appliances were relocated. Floor joists reinforced in the crawl space. Lighting was reconfigured. Windows replaced. Total gut job. It was life-altering for all of us.
It was cold and dusty and involved having many many unknown people tromping through our house. If I were doing it over again--oh wait. I would never do it over again. Yeah, scratch that. I would sooner buy a new house and move than go through that again.
As we began the planning and sorting of the renovation, Julian became increasingly more deeply agitated and hyper-emotional. He was wound up so tight that there was no stopping his need to be involved in the renovation work. He escalated every day, for a few weeks in early November. Keeping him from over-demolishing was a huge task and a full-time every-moment job. From the moment he awoke, he was fixated on the tools and the tasks of the renovation. He resented and resisted going to school. He was putting up fights that we were not prepared for. He was unable to take breaks from his tasks...skipping meals and sleep to keep going. It was incredibly exhausting for his parents.
We were not prepared for the hugely negative way the process of the renovation would impact all of us, but especially Julian.
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we got up in the morning to do what we always do on Sunday--go to church. Unfortunately, Julian had other plans. He had gotten an early start on his plumbing and demolition plans and by the time we were needing to get ready for church, he was having none of it. Attempts are redirecting and changes in course were futile and no amount of motivation or bribery was going to change his plans. At one point in the morning he screamed at me "I don't want to go to church. I'm busy."
Before the afternoon arrived, he was so deep into this need to demolish parts of our house that weren't on the demolition plan, that Joal and I knew we were headed in a bad direction.
Labels: Life in Texas
So, I have happened upon the most delicious way to make cards without really having to think too much. It's the peak of summer and my brain might be a little fried...I need a way to make a few cards that don't require much creative energy.
Simple Stories 6x6 paper pads--specifically the Summer Fresh one. See what the Simple Stories designers did with Summer Fresh on their blog. Awesome stuff and totally inspiring! I have noticed lately that many card-makers have embraced this fast-n-fabulous way to make cards and I wanted to try my hand at it too. The magic of the Simple Stories paper pad is two-fold. First of course, the patterns are coordinated, so I don't have to spend time hunting through the paper stash to find papers that go together. Second, there are are coordinating sheets of items intended to be cut apart and used as embellishments included in the pad.
Here are two:
Clearly, these could be used in a variety of ways, for both cards and scrapbook pages.
I started with four cards...I'm betting it would not be difficult at all to get 25 cards out of one pad of paper.
No stamping today...just some layering and a few minor embellishment choices. How's that for easy?
Happy lazy cardmaking.
So not too long ago, I joined www.thestampnation.com -- the *only* website I have ever paid for content on (and probably the only one I ever will). Catherine Pooler is a super-fine Stampin' Up! demonstrator who produces a magnificent amount of crafty content every month and shares it on her website, The Stamp Nation. Her style is bold and I find her videos on par with Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire in terms of quality of instruction and professionalism. Speaking as one who *hates* the concept of paying for content, I do love that site. :)
Not too long ago Catherine offered up a fast and furious birthday card video that totally inspired me to go old school and stamp out a little ROYGBIV. (I can't link it up but I can tell you it was a clean and simple card with lots of wow!)
Nothing says happy like the colors of the rainbow, right. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. In Stampin' Up! inks, that translates to Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Lucky Limeaide, Pacific Point (sometimes second generation stamping), and Rich Razzleberry. (I also found that Summer Fun makes an awesome hit of yellow and is ever-so-slightly more appropriate for ROYGBIV.)
This is not a commercial. I am in no way being compensated to tell you (all three of you) that I think Impress Rubber Stamps are the best stamps on the market today. You've been warned.
Truly. They are.
This post is going to be all about Impress. For just one reason.
I. Love. Impress. Stamps.
If you've been stamping for a million years like me, then you remember the days when rubber stamps were *all* mounted on wood blocks. They were all special little works of art, mounted on a block of wood. You had to be wary of shallow-etched rubber stamps or stamps without proper padding as they were cheap and difficult to stamp with. No worries with Impress stamps--the etching is a mile deep and the padding rivals any bed I've ever slept on.
Impress Rubber Stamps are wood mounted. Gasp. (I know.) In the day when so many of the best companies are giving in to the allure of clear (photopolymer) stamps because they are less time consuming and less costly to manufacture and consumers love the ease-of-storage, Impress has continued on with *actual* red rubber images mounted on wood blocks with a luxurious layer padding. This customer is *so* insanely happy that they have.
Yes. You will pay a little more for these little creative goodies but oh, they are so worth it. I've been stamping for about a month with the popsicle and the flag thank you and the chevron egg and the piece of polka dot washi tape and this beautiful oversized flower and I haven't gotten an unusable impression yet.
On my crafty bucket list, is to take a flight out to Washington State and visit the brick and mortar stores--both of them--called Impress Rubber Stamps. I
stalk follow them on Facebook for their beuatiful ideas and glimpses into the most beautiful stores in the world. Oh and you can be sure that when I go to Washington, I will do so on a weekend that includes classes by the oh-so-lovely Julie Ebersole.
Sharing the love...
Happy Summer friends...