Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lightening Bugs are FIREWORKS

It’s been a while since my last post, and this seemed like the perfect time to get back into the groove. It seems like the last few months have flown by: I got engaged, the school year ended, went to Chicago and soon I will be going to Maryland and Southern Arizona.

It almost seems fitting that my latest card is celebrating our great country; now that I have planned trips that have made me fly across this great land. I do have to admit that I love where I live: the heat of Arizona, the monsoon rains and the desert landscape. But, every time I travel I am truly amazed by our country. The vast differences between the southwest and the Midwest never cease to amaze me. While in Chicago I saw my first lightening bug, my fiancé sat there and looked at me like I was crazy. But we dont have them here in Arizona, and all I could think of was how fantastic they were, almost like fireworks every time they light up: you never know where the firework is going to be or how bright, but each time you get a little giddy!

I love the 4th of July, and think I have since I was a little girl. It’s the fireworks: creating something out of what looks like nothing, marveling at the colors and always hoping you will see your favorite more then once! I will be lucky enough to see this twice this year, the lightening bugs being the first and the (hopefully) fireworks on the actual 4th of July.

This holiday brings it all home, reminds us of the small things we may take for granted day after day. I am truly grateful to the men and women of the arms services, especially my family and friends, who have made it possible for me to still get a little giddy about fireworks and other little things.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flip Flops and toe socks???

I was approached by my good friend and neighbor, about a month ago, and was asked to create a birthday invitation for her daughter’s birthday. I said no problem, just give me some specifics and we will see what we can do. She looked at me and said “it’s a swim party, with rainbows and orange”. I have to admit I walked away and kept asking myself, “how in the heck do I combine those things for a five year olds birthday”.

Needless to say, I went through  a number of different ideas in my head, and then one night during a dream it came to me. Her daughter hardly ever wears shoes, and when she does it is either flip flops or her pink cowboy boots that light up. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it all out.
This was my first time creating for someone else, and was lucky to only have to create a limited amount of cards. I was also lucky enough to have a wonderful fiancĂ© to help in the creation. He cut out the flip flips and over lays and I stuck everything on the cards. Overall, I think that they came out  pretty dang cute.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

County Fair Thank You's

Being an agricultural teacher means that for one week each year my entire life revolves around county fair. Monday thru Sunday I leave my comfy home, head an hour into the center of Phoenix, hang out with other agricultural teachers and pray that each animal makes the sale at the end of the week.
Thanks are always in place: to many people.  For those individuals and companies that buy our animals and our agricultural mechanics projects.  For the superintendents, of the animals and the agricultural mechanics auction, for the endless hours they put in.  For the other agricultural teachers for being a support system when it is needed.  For the schools for still finding value in teaching kids about where their food and fiber comes from.

Thanks is a simple word that is often forgotten by the people that should be saying it. Many times these people do not realize how many hours another individual puts in just to make it so their day runs a little smoother.  They forget to say the simple phrase, and while it may go unnoticed, it is always nice to hear a “Thank You” when your life has been turned upside down for the joys of another person.
So, for all the people that worked hard, were not with their families, were not at their regular jobs and that spent endless hours making the lives of my students run a little smoother for county fair week, Thank You.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are You Ready?

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast. What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting tomorrow.”
it’s what everyone needs in their life…a chance to do something new, explore new places and push one’s self to the limit of what we believe we cannot do. I used to live my adventures through two books: Winnie the Pooh and Wind in the Willows.  Now I LIVE my adventures: whether it be hiking through a new place, boating on the lake with friends or snowboarding after driving for six hours: I live them.
The adventures in the next few months are not my own, but those of good friends. Last week was a whirl wind for my friends. My best guy friend got married, my best girl friend (who just moved within a 20 minute drive of me) had a fabulous interview in San Francisco and my very good friend found out she got a job in Indianapolis that starts in June.
I’m happy for all of them, but it does make me wonder, what other adventures are they going to have? Are my friends going to have kids soon? Are they going to actually like living in snow for the majority of the year?  Are they going to remember to jump in puddles? Are they going to have moments where they let go of everything, and just have an adventure?
I picked up my trusty Winnie the Pooh book – it’s been read so many times that the ear marks never quite stay up – to get perspective on the past week.   There is a chapter called “Surrounded by Water”, where Christopher Robin and Pooh climb into an umbrella to escape the water. This chapter comes right before Christopher Robin throws a party to say goodbye, goodbye too many things, but most importantly goodbye to his good friends in the Hundred Acre wood. I found this somewhat calming, as if we could really escape whatever is coming up by climbing into a giant umbrella, climbing into something that people say cannot actually happen.
I’m reminded by my good friends in the Hundred Acre Wood and the Wild Wood, that life is not always about being grown up, but it is about being a kid every so often and still having ADVENTURES.  That life should be measured by the number of adventures you take, and not by the what ifs. So, I wonder, when do we all know if we are actually ready for our next adventure?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring is in the Air

76 degrees…that is how cold it was tonight on the way home from dinner, SPRING IS DEFINITELY IN THE AIR.  It is not long before Arizona hits the 100 degree mark, and for now we will take the cooler nights as a spring welcome.  I will take the 76 degree nights,  if it means we can hold onto the 87 degree day times for a little longer…
 Yesterday was the first day back from spring break and when I asked my students yesterday, “Name one thing that reminds you of spring time,” I got the normal responses:  “School is in the last nine weeks until summer” & “flowers and bees” & “spring time tanning!”. I did have one student tell me “Easter”, but really their answers were basically the same in all my classes.  My 2nd hour, being the group of students who always wants to know what I think is a correct answer to questions posed during class, asked me what I thought of when I heard the word spring.
My first thought was that spring time means that it is almost time for boating season…but before I answered with that answer, I blurted out “BUTTERFLIES”, which is my true answer.  My students looked at me like I was absolutely crazy, so I went on to explain that I have always been fascinated by the idea of catching butterflies in a net, and actually got the chance to do so a few springs back on a tour of Agriculture farms in Arizona.
The more I thought about it on the way home, the more I realized that, really, I have always left the butterfly catching to the animals in my life. Watching them try and catch flies and butterflies has always provided me with hours of entertainment, so much so I bought my female bulldog a backpack and a butterfly net two springs ago so I could dress her up for “butterfly catching season”.
Needless to say, my female bullie ate the net, and the backpack has long been lost in the back of the closet, but I still watch them when they start stalking a butterfly. The bulldogs are never quite fast enough, but the new black lab puppy caught her first one the other night.  She had no idea what to do, and you could tell the butterfly was moving around in her mouth, she finally spit it out and then stared at it wishing it to move again. This episode was followed by a beautiful 72 degree evening, the best that spring time has to offer.
When I got to making my spring time cards, the only thing that made sense was a dog catching butterflies. I did end up giving my paper puppy an upper hand by providing the net…

A little info on the card:
Puppy and grass are from Paper Pups and the butterfly is attached a piece of Velcro to keep the card closed

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pink and Glittery As Always

As I sat at my crafting table, desperately trying to come up with a card for my good friends wedding this weekend, my mind kept drawing a blank.  My boyfriend is on a camping trip, and even if he doesn’t know it I bounce ideas off of him for projects until it feels right. So, I started thinking about everything else going on right now: last Saturday before spring break is over and I return to work kept playing over and over in my mind’s eye.
My students are constantly looking for themselves, and trying to impress their classmates. I am sure I was the same way in high school, but it got me thinking about a statement, “Be who you are, not who others believe you are”. So I searched my paper to find something fun, and pink and glittery because that is the sort of mood I have been in lately. Found it, perfect animal print, bright pink, glittery, everything I wanted it to be without knowing it.
Then the hunt was on in my short stack of Cricut cartridges, I found exactly what I needed on my Paisley cartridge (which is strange since I had just finished making our new puppies’ page in my 2010 scrapbook, and her name is Paisley Ann). The saying, “Just Be You”…I mean I was on a roll tonight!
I start putting it all together, and realized that I was still missing some critical parts…sunglasses were a must as I never get far without my own pair, and a bow…a bow only because I have this strange obsession with ribbon. You know the kind of obsession that even when you don’t need it, you have to buy it…especially when it is on sale…and you may have a use for it in the future…maybe…just maybe….
After I had all the critical parts, I texted a picture to my very artistic sister, and she approved without much feedback. I was thrilled since it meant that I was finally on the right track on making projects (not adding to much...but also not having to little on the items…it’s always one or the other!!). So the final project is pictured below…It fits my mood to a T tonight…so hopefully tomorrow I can create that wedding card I’ve been staring at for a week now….

Friday, March 25, 2011

Birthdays are for wishes

In my endless quest to become a better, more risk taking, crafter, I stumbled across a web site that has weekly challenges – the idea is to use your Cricut cutting machine in new and unique ways each week and enter the ideas into a contest.
I decided that this would be a good week to start in on the challenges, knowing that with my work schedule I may or may not be able to participate weekly. But, I am also under the impression that even if I cannot make something each week, these challenges will push me and inspire me to do different more daring things with my crafts.
This week’s just happened to be create a birthday related item. I thought, “Hey this will be easy, there is so much stuff for birthdays” and I was wrong. It took me a while to come up with what I made, and well, it is pretty simple. I did in fact use my Cricut (since I have become a stickler for rules as I have gotten older),but I did glitter the card up and added my own bedazzle pieces! Above is the card I created for the contest.

The web site is:

On a side note: As luck would have it, a good friend was celebrating her birthday this week, and I had been working on the below card for her, and even though it got into the post office late, I am still proud. Her favorite cartoon/Disney character is Tigger, so I had been trying to figure out how to incorporate this into her card. It is pretty simple, but the little Tigger man took me forever to figure out and the cupcake is store bought (aren’t they for most birthday parties now anyway?) I hope that she gets it in the mail soon and that she likes the Tigger I made for her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cut Slice and Glitter

 As I embark on this new endeavor I am both scared and happy. Crafts have been part of my life since I can remember, starting with candy cane reindeer and moving up. My mom shared with my sister and I her love of crafts, she taught us to sew on a sewing machine, needle point, paint, work with paper and all around think outside the box whenever we were faced with challenges.

I plan on doing just that. CUT, SLICE and GLITTER anything that I can. Maybe someone out there understands the need to do such things: maybe they will find their way to my spot and identify with me and my crafts.