Monday, July 28, 2014

Surrounded By Inspiration

I don't know about y'all, but I have a hard time keeping myself focused on the task at hand during the summer months.  And by 'task at hand' I mean work.  The season is so short lived here in the North East that we do all we can to take advantage of the warmer weather, and for me that means 'playing' all day with my girls and using the late evenings for business and chores.  It works for the most part but with only 24 hours in a day something has to give...sleep or 'me time'.

It was sleep this week.  ;)

I stopped by Mojo Monday's for their weekly sketch challenge and ended up on a 'me time' card making roll.  I created three in one night.

The design of the first card came immediately and was inspired by the loooong awaited arrival of TWO beautiful babies to my cousin.  These types of joyous cards are sometimes more difficult than the every day types.

I find that I second guess my creativity....are the colors right or the image proper... and no matter how many times I do and redo, they never feel quite 'right' enough.

I've said it a bazillion times and I'm going to pathetically say it again...I love the ocean!  It provides me with so much inspiration, but truth be told, it's too cold to swim in and I get sea sick on boats.

The image was one that I found while cleaning out my stash.  I'm not sure why I originally sealed it leaving brush marks, but I thought it worked nicely with the design of this card...almost like a painting.

The sentiment is simple yet says so much and can be used for almost any occasion.  Bonus:  It's a masculine design!

My last card was inspired by the same simple sentiment:  happy.  I wanted to create something that emanated that feeling and could also be used for any occasion.

I absolutely love this floral paper by Webster's...the colors are perfect and it wasn't hard to figure out that I wanted to use it for this card.  

Nothing but feminine here...with the vintage lace trim and glitter everywhere.  The border punch is Fiskars and honestly I forgot I had the darn thing until I was cleaning out some of my drawers.

All these cards will be listed in my Etsy shop soon, but for now I'm going to look for more inspiration while taking the girls on a hike this afternoon.  It's easy to find here in the beautiful state of Maine...we're surrounded by it.

Take some time for yourself today!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Throw Back Thursday - Days of Summer

It's unfathomable that we're already half way through summer vacation, and then I'm reminded by the ever growing dark circles under my eyes that maybe I should be happier.  Mediating impossible arguments between my girls over such things as teeth and dirty socks has made it painfully clear that my 'patience-to-number of summer days left' ratio is way off.  Of course, I have to take some of the blame for the expanding baggage...I stay up later than I should tending to the mundane chores like paying bills, catching up on business correspondence, laundry, etc. etc. etc.  I can't be the only Mom wishing for longer days.

June through August is when I get to spend a lot of time with the girls making sweet special memories.  We've beached it up and down the coast, visited the zoo, participated in summer sports and made day trips here, there and everywhere, but no matter how perfect the day starts the infamous argument over who sits where on the ride home ends it with me speaking through gritted teeth.  ;)
40 days 7 hours and 54 minutes until the first day of school.

Ogunquit Beach looking for shells
Gray Animal Farm
Field Hockey game at Deering HS
Boston Tea Party Tour
In celebration of summer and Throw Back Thursday (#TBT), I found these old photos of my sister and I from one of our summer vacations to Florida.  I'm not sure how old we were, but I distinctly remember that we got along MOST of the time.  My poor parents.  Being a single mother certainly isn't easy, but I am extremely grateful for my beautiful girls and wouldn't change a single thing.  Except maybe a third row seat.

When I've had enough of playing referee, I head to my studio where I can recharge and even out (this usually happens late at night after they've gone to bed).  Being creative always helps.  This week I again participated in Mojo Monday's sketch challenge.
I found a vintage Victorian seaside image and the rest, as they say, is history.
 Lots of layering and texture using burlap, metal brads (K&Co.) and wooden embellishments.  I also added one of the seashells the girls and I found on Ogunquit Beach!
The paper is a mishmash from my stash:  Daisy Ds, My Mind's Eye (Lost & Found), and DCWV.  The buttons are vintage and their tied up with waxed string and gold bakers twine.  I was happy with the way it turned out, but most importantly, I got in some creative time to myself.

Summer is almost over (here in the North East any way), so get out there and enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sweet Memories

I had THE most incredible weekend !! 
....and THIS is where it started!  On the beautiful Maine coast at 5:08am, folks!!  Honestly, it could have been in the middle of the darkest night and I wouldn't have been any place else.

Friday, July 4th at sunrise on Ogunquit beach, my Uncle Toby married the love of his life, David.
They asked me to officiate and I couldn't have been more honored or filled with love....
They deserve a lifetime of bliss surrounded by a world of profound joy and happiness.
Welcome to the family, Uncle David!!  

They presented me with a gorgeous pair of handcrafted earrings and a handwritten note that I'll always cherish.  In fact, I'm now going to wear them at every wedding I'm blessed enough to officiate.

The girls and I hung out with the Uncles for the day and enjoyed the ocean, great comfort food (BBQ chili dogs!), and lots of laughs.

On Saturday, I found time enough to create a couple of cards inspired by Mojo Monday's Tall & Skinny Sketch challenge.  
This first card is going to my nephew for his birthday.  He's such a loving boy and certainly priceless!
 I used a lot of 'stash' to include DCWV, Kaiser Craft, K&Co. and  Making Memories.  The buttons are vintage.

On the second card, I kept with my usual shabby style.  I used some vintage trim and an old stamp, embellishments by Kaiser Craft and My Mind's Eye as well as a hand cut, glittered heart.
 The paper is DCWV and Glitz Design - Pretty in Pink Roses.  I'll list this one in my Etsy shop for sale.  I think it would make a darling anniversary card.

I was happy with the way they turned out considering I didn't have much time to play.  It's always relaxing for me to be creative in my studio, and it gave me the burst of energy I needed to take the girls to the fireworks in Auburn on Saturday evening.  They had been postponed due to heavy rain and winds.  No matter how old I get, I'll always enjoy fireworks!

  Sunday afternoon the girls and I savored some good BBQ at my sister's home with her boys, my parents, Uncle Toby and David.  I just know I've gained 10 pounds these last few days, but it's been completely worth it!  The memories we've made will last forever.

I hope you found time for yourself and family this long holiday weekend.