Wednesday, July 25, 2012

where did Jenn go???

I have a confession to make... I am not Superwoman. Oh, how I have tried! But for the past 18 months, my life has been beyond crazy, and it's taking all my strength and sanity to keep everything together.
I feel bad complaining, since I know there are so many other families with more troubles than I have. But I need to let a little bit out... so here goes.
In February 2011, my husband was laid off from his job as a research scientist. Since his job paid the mortgage (among other things), and we have no family even remotely close by, we were pretty stressed. I took a part-time job in retail while he searched high and low for work. (The word "overqualified" has become a swear word in our home.)
To make things extra fun, one week in November, my furnace broke, the radiator in our car died, and my dryer quit. (Hmmmm, almost sounds like a country song...) Thank goodness I have an awesome neighbor who let me use her dryer for several months until we saved enough to repair ours. I'm sure my other neighbors were wondering why I was dragging all of our wet clothes next door! Luckily, in December, Chris did find a job... out of state. So, since then, he has been working in central Illinois, while I stayed in Wisconsin with our boys.
Hats off to all you single Moms out there; I am not cut out to be a single parent! I had to quit my part-time job, which I was really enjoying, since I had no one to watch my 4-year-old in the afternoon. And there were some days I wish I could erase from the books. Getting the kids ready for school and to their buses on time... PTO meetings... teacher conferences... field trips... playdates... Cub Scouts... my stamping business... cooking... cleaning... it's just too much for this one person. Especially while trying not to cry when your boys are crying because they miss their Dad so much.
For the past two months, I have been getting my house ready to sell. I rented a storage place, and started packing up non-essential items. And boy, oh boy, do my children have a different opinion on "non-essential" than I do! My husband has been driving home on Friday evenings, through Chicago-land traffic, to help me work on home improvement projects. He then got up at 3:30 on Monday mornings to drive to work. I'll be honest with you - it's been hell.
Luckily, I had Stampin' Up!'s annual Convention to look forward to. So, after working like crazy the weekend before Convention, I listed my house.
This is a sickening experience for me. We bought our house as a foreclosure 9-1/2 years ago. And we worked very hard to make it a nice home, putting in a lot of hard work and money. I hate to leave it. And I am just awestruck at the negative comments from those who have viewed our home... "confusing layout"... "needs to be move-in ready"... "don't like the decor"... "it's too blue"... and the list goes on... I think HGTV has ruined people's perspective on what they actually think they should be getting in a home. Other than redoing the interior of my home, I'm open to any suggestions you have to offer...
Stamping has always been my "therapy," and having so many of my pretties packed up is driving me insane. I miss stamping with my friends and teaching classes. I'm nervous about starting my business all over. And I just plain hate moving.
As I said, I was lucky enough to be able to attend Convention this year :}  And I promise I will share that experience with you as soon as I can. I already started working on my digital scrapbook- yay!!
So for those of you who have stuck around and managed to make it to the end of this novel, I thank you. I will be sharing more projects sporadically as I get a few minutes here and there throughout the next month or so. Wish me luck, include my family in your prayers, and think happy thoughts!  :}

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

happy birthday, Mom!

Happy birthday to my sweet mother, who is celebrating her 24th birthday... again  ;) 
stamp sets: Mixed Bunch, Petite Pairs
ink: Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, Soft Suede
card stock: Soft Suede, Summer Starfruit, Very Vanilla
Designer Series Paper: Comfort Cafe
punches: 2-1/2" Circle, Blossom 

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

As soon as I saw this week's Mojo Monday sketch, I knew I had to make a happy little card for my grandmother for the 4th of July. I love sending her something pretty in the mail to brighten her day :} 
stamp sets: Perfectly Penned, Sweets for the Sweet
ink: Midnight Muse, Real Red
card stock: Midnight Muse, Real Red, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper: Summer Smooches
ribbon: Midnight Muse 3/8" Stitched Satin
punch: Scallop Trim Border
Embossing Folder: Stripes
Framelit: Apothecary Accents
Have a safe and happy Independence Day with your family and friends!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

hot day... cool card

Today is going to be a scorcher! The forecast is predicting 99 degrees - yikes! In Wisconsin, we don't get that many days over 90 degrees, but this summer has been quite the exception. So when I stumbled across this blog challenge for a "Christmas in July" project, I thought today would be the perfect day to share it  :}
stamp set: Pennant Parade
ink: Gumball Green, Early Espresso
card stock: Gumball Green, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper: Regals Collection - Cherry Cobbler
punches: Petite Pennants Builder, Scallop Edge Border
ribbon: Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Satin

Maybe if we all stamp a Christmas card today, and think "cool" thoughts, we can get the temperature to drop a few degrees??? Probably not, but it's a good reason to stay inside the air conditioning and stamp all day, right???  ;)  Thanks for stopping by - enjoy your day, and keep cool!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

a clean and simple card for a busy day

I am so exhausted from this past week! And this week is going to be just as crazy, so my posts are going to be short and sweet  :} 
For today's project, I turned to this clean and simple sketch
I used the 1-1/4" Square punch and Summer Smooches DSP to add a quick and bright background to a pre-cut, pre-scored Note Card. I really like how the bright colors liven up such a simple card  :} 

Thanks for dropping by... have a great day!!

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

stamping with friends

We all know how fun it is to spend time stamping with our friends. I'm not sure which is more therapeutic - the stamping or the conversation. It's been a while, but the last time my friend Dawn and I got a chance to stamp together, she inspired me to make this card: 
The focal point and the ribbon have tons of detail, so I wanted to keep the rest of the card pretty simple. I love using the Simply Scored to create fun and interesting backgrounds, that don't overpower my project.
The ribbon took care of the vertical "lines," so I used the Diagonal Plate and scored every half-inch for this background. I scored the inside of the card so that the diagonal lines would be raised (rather than dented in) on the card-front.

And here's a look at the card my talented friend Dawn created: 
She scored her card on the front, creating a more subtle texture, which is a perfect compliment to these subtle colors.
I hope you can find time this week to stamp with one of your good friends. It's usually difficult to find the time for fun with friends, but it's always well worth it!

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