Friday, January 27, 2012

To the Moon and Back

When my husband and I were dating and our first Valentine's Day approached, we began talking about all the plans our friends were making with their Valentines and we kept eyeing one another to test out the V-Day waters. Does she expect me to that? Is he really into all of this? We both sighed with such relief when we discovered that neither one of us was into the Hallmark holiday fashion of the day. We both knew the historical significance of the date, but the pressure of holiday's celebration was just too much. I don't like roses, I cringe at the thought of the expenses that go along with the typical hoopla. Gag.
The best thing about it, is that my hubby said that he doesn't need one day a year to remind him to do the things he should be doing for me all year long. I have to say that after 6 years, he truly is my Valentine all year long.
Regardless, I can't resist all those adorable Valentine's Day sets out there...or the paper...or the embellishments! ;) Hey, I've got valentines to make all year long, remember?!
Now you know I adore OWLS, so when my dear friend, Lisa, owner of The Craft's Meow, showed me this too sweet set, I swooned! Check it out here!

Those big open spaces just call to be paper pieced, don't you think? I used Prima papers and flower, some Maya Road stick pins, and Maya Road mini Kraft Tickets (oh my gosh, can you say LOVE?) to embellish these little love birds. I was out of an appropriately sized wood grain paper, so I stamped the Hero Arts wood grain background with Chestnut Roan Chalk Ink by Colorbox onto some Kraft cardstock...worked like a charm!
I was even brave enough to pull out my sewing machine and add a little something extra with some wheat colored thread. I topped the card off with a little stickles on the paper roses and the hearts in the image. The card may be girly, but I know it's a sentiment my husband will love...any day of the year!
Today and *everyday*,
Hugs and HOOTS,
<3 Alicia

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nuture today...with friendship

Life is so full these days! As I heal from my surgery, my mom continues her treatment for breast cancer following a bilateral mastectomy, and my grandmother begins another round of chemotherapy for stage 4 lung cancer.
Through all of this we have all been so very blessed with the prayers of friends, family, and strangers.
My dear friend, Lisa, has been such a treasure, through her company, support, and willingness to keep me focused when I need to be and distracted when I need to be!:)
Thank *God* for good friends!
We've been up to quite a bit, Lisa and I. First, we cleaned out some of her store's inventory, making an insane number of grab bag boxes to post for sale this week:
Check them out! We spent two days going through product, sorting it out into boxes, and even cleaning out some of her personal stash for a local scrapbook store's garage sale. Wouldn't you know it, Lisa convinced me to give it a go as well, so I've purged my scrapbook room in a big way! It's SO NICE!
When I was helping Lisa, she generously paid me in stamps...and I mean STAMPS. I have so many incredible new images to play with I can hardly stand it!
Here is teh first card I've made using some of the Unity stamps I got from Lisa, along with some silk ribbon by May Arts and SU! clear buttons she gave me:

The die-cut frame is by Crate Paper, and the paper is Cosmo Cricket. Strangely enough, I made the card for teh fun of it, but it is *just right* for my mom thsi week, so it will go off in the mail tomorrow.
So,that garage sale...oh gosh! The scrapbook store kept 15% of our profit and the rest was paid to us in store credit. I have been wanting to build up a good collection of mists, inks, and washes and thsi was the perfect opportunity! I made $253 and enjoyed spending every penny of it today! If your local store does this, you have got to give it a try! I didn't sell all my items, but I'll keep them for their next sale, maybe they will sell then.
I decided to make a video haul of my new goodies, so if you have time, I hope you will check it out!

Fun, right?!
I am just so excited to enjoy all my new toys and blessed beyond belief!
Hugs and HOOTS,
<3 Alicia

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brain surgery is cause for reflection

Hello friends! I hope your 2012 is off to a wonderful start! I am on week 6 of my recovery from surgery. I have Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is the compression of the nerve root which hosts all the nerve endings to either side of your face. The condition is very painful and I've had it for 5 years. To make a long story short, my husband and I had had enoiugh of this disease and it's effects on our life together, so I made the decision to have a Microvascular Decompression (MVD surgery). They made about a 4-5 inch incision behind my left ear, cut a silver-dollar sized hole into the bone, and went about putting some teflon pads in between the artery and vein that were compressing on my Trigeminal Nerve. They popped the bone plug back in and sewed me up. *phew*

Pretty scary stuff, but the worst of it is that I've been left with some vertigo as a result of the surgery and am waiting for it to fully pass before returning to work.
What does this have to do with crafting?!
Well, brain surgery is certainly cause for reflection. Having this surgery will allow me to get off the heavy meds I have to take to keep it in check, which will allow me to have children of my own one day, but also give me my energy and life back! I have been thinking about how different I *can* make my life now that I've got this surgery behind me and how I can get back to the energetic, ethusiastic ME I was before my surgery. One of the things I used to do was Art Journaling. It was so fun to make a mess, try out new techniques, purge and vent, and either share it, or tuck it away just for me to see.
I decided that the NEW-old me should art journal this year...what a way to document this year, right?!
I went through all that to share a couple pages from my journal using the Gelli Plate by GelliArts (, which allows you to monoprint anytime without the need of a press or the mess of making your own gelatin and letting it set...all that for just $30! SO WORTH IT!

On both of these pages, I used some rubber stamps by Unity-they are SO my favorite new stamp company. The owl was purchased at a trade show and the "follow your heart" set was purchased through Unity's new stamp of the week club-a new stampset in your mailbox every week for just $5.97! SO FUN!
I hope that you will try out thE Gelli Plate too, or at least check it out on's a BLAST!

Hugs and HOOTS,
<3 Alicia