Sunday, May 31, 2009

"THOUGHTS & PRAYERS" COLOR STRIP

How's this for a simple and easy-peasy design? I love the color strips and white-embossed tree. Without being fussy, it's quite an eye-catching design. The idea to use color strips wasn't born in my head, but it was one that I had to try. This card is actually A2 size, but I cropped the photo because I think it looks better as a square.

Friday, May 29, 2009

AWESOME GRADUATION CEREMONY!

Being that Chadrick's school only had two senior classrooms, one might not expect a "wow" graduation ceremony, but I was totally impressed! It was very clear that the school was pleased to honor their graduates, and I have never witnessed this type of ceremony. Granted, I haven't spent a lot of time going to such events, but I honestly can say that the school--staff and adminstration--embraced and honored their graduates with an impressive send-off . . . from the beautiful invitations (I've heard many compliments about them) to the parade of graduates and the seating of teachers on each side of the seniors. In his address to the students, the Valedictorian compared EACH student to an element, and his speech was AWESOME! He said that Chadrick was much like uranium due to his radioactive explosions and was thankful that the Dean of Students was always there to handle those situations. He also commented about the humor that Chadrick brought to his classmates (he was voted Class Clown), and I think everyone in attendance really enjoyed this speech. One of the teachers asked parents to send in three photos of their child, one being a baby picture. There were two screens used to project all of the photos, and it was so fun to see the pictures! I've attached three of the four pictures that I sent in. All four pictures were used, plus Chadrick's yearbook photo. It appeared that some parents had not sent photos, but I'll bet they later wished they had done so. Isn't that a handsome boy (photo on left), Jurassic Park bookbag and all, ready for his first day of Kindergarten? All in all, it was a great ceremony! I didn't shed any tears, but I know that I'm going to miss the school years--the good, the bad, and the in-between. I guess the Dean of Students can give my Speed Dial number on his phone to another parent.

POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE

Today is a big day in the Andari household . . . Chadrick will graduate this evening! While I've become one of those people who often say, "It seems like only yesterday . . .," I mean it every time I say it! From the time the little fellow was born, it's often been kind of scary (for me) that he's outside the comfort zone and in the real world. Many mothers know the anxiety experienced when leaving a baby at day care, and most mothers have experienced even more anxiety at leaving their "baby" at Kindergarten on the first day of school. Yes, I've been one of those mothers that teachers really don't like, sometimes for more mean reasons than being over-protective. A child's years are simply filled with proud moments and a lot of "mom anxiety." I can't tell you how many times Chadrick has said, "Mom, I'll be fine!" For any new moms reading this post, let me tell you that in your child's first 18 years, the absolute worst anxiety (due to normal occurrences) will be when your child starts driving! You think you've shed tears and harbored fears at the Kindergarten classroom door? Oh, you just wait! (This is another phrase that I've adopted.) On this day, as I sit here thinking that it seems like only yesterday that Chadrick was born, learned to talk, walk and give hugs; used to think that I was the BEST thing in the world, and even when he decided that I was sometimes the enemy, I'm looking forward to the opportunities available to him and seeing what the future holds. So, on this day of pomp and circumstance, I wanted to share the graduation card that I made for Chadrick. Unfortunately, his gift is on order and won't arrive until next week (hopefully), but I've put a picture of it inside the card. Think about me tonight as I watch my "baby" accept his diploma!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PETER MURPHY!!!!!

My first "real" job after college was at Blue Cross. My supervisor's name was Celie, and she was a really fun lady from Charleston, SC. I spent many hours just chatting with her (and hiding from my boss), and we enjoyed processing the afternoon mail for our office. As Celie would often say, "It's a go'jus day to carry the mail out. Let's walk slow!" For someone in a management capacity, she sure enabled me to be a slacker on many occasions! She had lived in NC for many, many years but planned to retire to Charleston--which she did. I haven't seen Celie in over 20 years, but I still hear from her from time to time. Two things that Celie always said were, "Is it 4:30 yet?" and "Peter Murphy!!!!" I asked her one time who Peter Murphy was, and she said he was a boy she went to school with. Whenever she would get mad or frustrated, she'd call his name. I thought that was so funny, and I can't believe that I have never forgotten Peter Murphy! Celie's birthday is on June 1st, and I made this card for her this morning. "Bloomin' Beautiful" has been a favorite stamp set of mine, and it is severly stained with my inky love! Celie will probably be impressed that this year's card won't be late. What she won't know is that I chose a special stamp set to make this card for a special person.

Monday, May 25, 2009

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!



I don't have a brand new baby card to share today, but there is a brand new baby in the family . . . Campbell Grant Kyles was born this morning - 6 lbs. 13 oz.! I haven't talked to his mommy yet, but I hear they're both doing well. Welcome to the world, Campbell! ETA: I shorted Campbell two ounces, but he now weighs 7 lbs. 1 oz. as of 5-29-09.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

PUNS FROM THE PAST

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I really love how this card turned out. I made two similar cards for a swap and, well, the third time's a charm, right? The stamped images are from "Puns from the Past." This card features the Sizzix Buttons die, Eyelet Border punch, designer paper from Patterns Pack II (a level 1 hostess selection), and linen thread. You can't tell from the picture, but I used SU's Brushed Silver card stock for the scissor blades.

THREE CHEERS FOR KRIS ALLEN!!!

WOOHOO!!!! Kris Allen WON!!!! I think, surely, all of my votes counted. Ha! If you took the time to vote for him, thank you! I hope he'll really take off with this opportunity. It's amazing how some idols (and runners up) seem to disappear, but I hope Kris Allen won't do that. I look forward to hearing more from him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HURRY! THERE'S STILL TIME!!!


Cast your vote for Kris Allen!!!!


866-436-5702

866-436-5704

866-436-5706

Monday, May 18, 2009

YOU NEED TO LAUGH!

I was just reading on someone's blog about a time when she was sitting in church, watching a cute little boy on the pew in front of her. His mother didn't know it, but he had brought his shiny cap gun to church that morning. At a quiet moment, the little fellow pulled the trigger, and the loud explosion reverberated in the quiet sanctuary. Even though a puffy cloud of blue smoke circled the mother's head, it was obvious that she was having unloving thoughts at the moment. Reading about this made me sit here and almost cackle! It also reminded me of a time at Honey Baked Ham with Chadrick. I used to really enjoy going out to lunch (or for an after-school snack) with him . . . just the two of us. I'd enjoy it still, but he doesn't crave my company like I do his. Anyway, we were having a sandwich and chips on this particular day but instead of opening the bag of chips the "mature" way, Chadrick proceeded to POP his bag open. And I mean it POPPED--sounded like a shot had been fired! For a very embarrassing split second that seemed much longer, you could have heard a pin drop in the restaurant, and the people looked like someone had pressed the "pause" button as they froze in their tracks. Of course, all eyes fell on the little guy sitting beside me who was pleased with the loud noise he'd made. Opening a bag of chips this way was not allowed in the elementary cafeteria, but I guess it seemed appropriate at Honey Baked Ham. The employees, especially those in the kitchen, didn't seem very humored. You'd think they would be glad to look out into the dining room and realize no one had been shot! After all these years, I think they still don't have employees with a sense of humor there! Of course, I explained to Chadrick why he shouldn't open a bag of chips that way again, at least not in public, but it was a funny moment.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TWO MORE MATCHBOX DIE CREATIONS

Oh boy, I'm having fun with the Matchbox die--as if I have nothing else that needs my attention! I was going to clean up my messy stamp room today and what time is it? After 6:00 p.m., and here I sit with barely enough clearance from my chair to the keyboard! I wanted to post these two projects, though . . . the beer mug and camera! Aren't they cute as can be? The idea for these two boxes wasn't mine, but I did give both of them my own design touches. The camera box isn't finished. Well, the box is finished, but the project is supposed to have a mini accordion album inside, complete with photographs! How smart is that???? On the beer mug, I applied Dazzling Diamonds glitter and the froth, of course, was created with circle punches.

DOES THIS BOTHER YOU?

Lifetime Movie Network . . . I love this channel, but I hate how they repeatedly preview upcoming movies as if they only have a couple of previews to run all day--for days! I was sick of the Natalee Holloway movie way before it even aired! I suppose their preview strategy worked because I watched the movie. The same thing happened with "Message in a Bottle" -- total overkill on previews and showings! I should have boycotted that one, but I watched it. Not once, but at least three times! Currently, LMN keeps advertising the upcoming "Do You Know Me?" movie. I want to watch that one, but what bugs me the most about the previews is the quick shot of the newspaper clipping. Each time I see the preview (and I swear that I do NOT sit in front of the TV all the time--it's just usually on), I tell myself that I'm going to read the second line of the headline. And each time, I see "campaigner." (I think that's what it says) Argh!!!!!!! It's like a challenge for me to read that headline and know what it says before the movie airs, and I read the same thing each time! Do you do this, too, or am I the only one with LMN preview psychosis? They're even previewing Natalee's story . . . AGAIN!!!!!! If they don't stop this, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to . . . well . . . keep watching.

NEED A TUX?

How cute is this???? I'd like to say that this design popped into my head, but it didn't--I saw it in a swap. The only change I made was the black bow. This is a very simple pocket card, and the top of the insert has a flap that lays across the pocket front. The glossy stripes on the Rockabilly designer paper really dress up this card! I used the score blade on my paper cutter to make the score lines, and the flat-back pearls are from SU's "Pretties Kit." If you need to make formal invitations or even a congrats card for a formal occasion, you can have this one made lickety-split! During May, when you order three packs of designer paper from SU, you get a FREE one of your choice!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

MARVELOUS MATCHBOX DIE!

Did you know that a matchbox isn't just a matchbox? How awesome are these little creations? The tool box was a bonus project at my 3rd Friday Class last night (just in time for Father's Day) so if you missed it, you missed a little treat! We had a great time! I'll admit that the Matchbox die seems pricey; however, it cuts AND scores the box pieces for you, and it has three different shaped labels on the die that can be used--among other things--to decorate the boxes. There's even a coordinating stamp set for this die in the "Occasions" mini catalog! This die really and truly has added value, particularly when you realize that a matchbox isn't just a matchbox! SPECIAL OFFER: When you order the Matchbox die from me between now and the end of May, I'll give you ten sheets of pre-cut TEXTURED card stock (enough to make five boxes) to use with this die! I'll even tell you how to cut 12x12 card stock to use with this die so that you have only a tiny square of waste!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

DID YOU VOTE FOR KRIS ALLEN?

1-866-IDOLS 02 (or 05 or 08). Pick up that phone and vote! My husband was sure that Kris chose the song "Heartless" so he could sing about me! Ha! For the first time ever, I picked up the phone and voted tonight. We're getting down to the wire, and I just had to help Kris! Isn't he the cutest thing????? He sings great, too!

IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY TO BE PATRIOTIC

These two cards were made for a swap, and I was quite pleased with how they turned out. The largest star is chipboard and, yes, it could have been sanded a little more. Oops! When my swappers decided on a patriotic theme, I knew just what I wanted to make! These spiral thingies definitely challenge me, but I love them! You can glue just about anything to them, and who wouldn't go "Ooooh!" when they open a card like this?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

I hope all of you mothers are having a special day today, receiving lots of hugs and love from your children! Just wanted to share a project that I quickly threw together yesterday for my sister. She's been planting flowers and sprucing up lately, and I thought she might enjoy these sunflower grow kits. Being a teacher, she may want to take one of them to school and let the students watch the progress until the end of the school year. I wasn't sure how this project would turn out--it was beautiful in my head! Ha! If I'd had more time, I would have re-made the project and decorated the container with sunflowers. I'll have to make another one sometime since I didn't keep track of measurements. I can see many possibilities for a container like this!

Friday, May 8, 2009

THE QUESTION OF THE DAY IS . . .

WHY, WHY, WHY do some people feel that the ONLY way to pick out a tomato is to pierce the skin of most of them with their fingernail?????? This makes me so mad, and I can't help but feel that tomatoes get contaminated when people do this. I mean, seriously . . . a fingernail can trap a LOT of yuck! I like to think that I can wash pesticides and other yuck off of vegetables, but will that wash decontaminate germs that fell off someone's nail and got left in the tomato? This totally disgusts me! If people went around opening cans and jars and sticking their fingers in them, the stores couldn't sell those products so WHY can't better care be given to tomatoes and preventing people from being able to pierce them? Can't a person just gently squeeze the tomato and tell if it's the one they want to take home????? Since I have no fingernails, maybe I just don't understand . . . maybe it's a nailed person's rite of passage or something. Whatever it is that makes someone do this, they should stop.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

HAVE A LAUGH!


This is a cute video that my niece, Haley, shared with me. We all crave laughter, so have a little dose on me! http://www.thelaughtermovie.com/ BTW, this is a picture of Haley. Isn't she a doll??? (She's the one with her hand up - Ha!)

AN OLDIE BUT GOODIE

This is the Mother's Day card that I made for my sister. As I sat here this morning finishing my cards, something made me think of this retired SU stamp set--perhaps the two little girls symbolize me and Renee. Or maybe it's because Renee has two girls. It could even be the fact that Renee has always loved children--and they love her! Whatever made me reach for this stamp set, I'm quite sure it was the right choice, and she will love it! I wish the photo had come out better--it's not nearly as vibrant as it is in real life. I've got some envelopes to address now and a mailman to chase down!

Monday, May 4, 2009

SCENE IN A GARDEN

I love this stamp set!!! Of course, I need to clean off my desk, clear my head, and do nothing but try creating different scenes with it, but isn't it awesome???? It has a nice mix of images! For this card, I used the aqua painter to watercolor the stamped images, and I used Flower Soft (love that stuff) to create lavender in the vases. Those are vases, right? BTW, if you want to see the other images in this stamp set, look for it in the "Occasions" mini catalog. ETA: If you click on the picture, a larger one will open and you can see the details better.

RECLAIMING THE BACK YARD

The back yard . . . it looks really yucky right now but, hopefully, it won't be long before it's pretty again. We've had a couple of guys working since last week to remove the pool, and they finally got it out of here today. It was a huge job for them! They had to dig a little (a lot, really) and cut away portions of the deck, which was perfectly okay since we won't be needing all of that deck now. We'll just keep enough to making getting into the storage building easy. The pool had been here for the past seven years, but we haven't really used it in the last two years. I feel confident in saying that we got our money's worth from it, and it cooled us off on many hot days! One of the BEST days to have the pool was several years ago when I went to buy a swing. I think Chadrick and I went to three Lowe's stores to find the one I wanted and ended up buying it in Statesville. It must have been 100 degrees that day--terribly, terribly HOT! When we got home with the swing, we had to take it out of the box--piece by piece--and carry it around the house to the deck. After we got all of the pieces to the deck, we put on our swimsuits and as we got hot during the assembly process, we'd get in the pool and cool off until we'd dried off and it was time to get in again. Since the swing was on an A-frame, we had to balance it off the deck so we could reach to hang the swing and to assemble the canopy. We were so proud of ourselves for getting that thing put together, and we did a great job--just the two of us! We still have that swing, and I still love it! It's comfortable, and the canopy and seats are made of a mesh material that doesn't hold water and isn't hot--absolutely PERFECT for outdoors! Removing the pool is something that I really wanted, but now it seems bittersweet . . . it's yet another part of Chadrick's childhood that's come and gone. :-( We had some lunches on that deck, enjoyed music and fun lighting, played games . . . yes, it's bittersweet.

FLOWER POT FOR MAMAW

Mother's Day is this weekend, and which stamper . . . with everything (and then some) to create a gazillion cards) hasn't made all of her cards yet? You . . . there in the front . . . who said it was me . . . you are CORRECT! My mojo has gone into hiding, and I just can't find it! I won't tell you how long it took me to make this flower pot card, but let's just say a second one would go much quicker. That's usually the case, though. The flowers and leaves were cut from Sizzix dies . . . Daisies #2, Flower Layers, and Little Leaves. The rhinestones in the flower centers are actually Swarovski HotFix crystals. In the first photo, you see the card with the floral-topped insert intact; in the second photo, you see a portion of the insert. I couldn't show you all of it since I've already written my sweet message to mamaw! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few more cards to make. If you happen to see my mojo wandering around, aimlessly, please send it back to me!

Friday, May 1, 2009

JUST BEACHY

I hesitated to order this stamp set, "Just Beachy," from the Occasions mini catalog, but it just kept calling to me! I finally got it this week and have had the opportunity to work with it a little. I have found it to be much more versatile than I imagined it would be! I'm showing two of the cards I made, but I'm also working on a set of note cards designed with this stamp set. The first card--
standard A2 size--pictured is my first creation, but I really like making 4x4 cards with this set! The second card--a 4x4--isn't my original design, but it's a great example of how perfectly this stamp set lends itself to simple design--love that! Another product from the Occasions mini catalog that I used on the first card is the Right on Track wheel. It's actually a train track, designed to coordinate with the "Choo Choo" stamp set, but I think it makes a nice (albeit rickety) fence for my beach scene! ETA: I forgot to mention that I used SU's Color Spritzer Tool and a marker to add "sandy" specks to the Creamy Caramel card stock!