Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Best Type of Creativity

Today's Game Plan:

1) Get DH and oldest ready for the field trip to the beach (meaning, make sure that sun screen is packed...and sack lunches)

2) Leave house at 7:30 and swing thru IL's to pick up the old boogie board so that some classmate who does not have a board can have fun in the water with everyone else.

3)Drop everyone, including youngest DS off at school, smile and wish everyone a GREAT day

4) Be home by 8:15, take the pooch for an hour walk

5) 9:30 Update blog and start card

1) Drag both boys out of bed despite pleas of "PLEEEEASE!! Just 5 more minutes!"

2) Leave house at 7:30, pick up extra boogie board and drop everyone off at school.

3) Go into youngest DS's classroom and find that DS's best friend has returned to school (kiddos go to a small private church school. Best friend's parent's tried the public school. Best friend was MISERABLE and is now back)

4) End up putting numbers on 11 pencil boxes and supplies. Label workbooks. Run to STAPLES and replace broken pencil box for teacher.

5) While out to STAPLES, run to Rite Aid to buy a battery for dying watch. Spend 15 min trying to get the battery cover off of watch. Spend another 15 min trying to find the battery cover of the watch that went flying when the cover finally decided to come loose. Spent 10 min trying to figure out how to reset all the settings on said watch (by this time, I seriously considered just buying a new watch)
6) Return to school with new pencil box. Transfer everything from broken box to new box.

7) Arrive at home at 10:45 am FAMISHED (seems that while I made sure everyone else had a good hearty breakfast, I had a peach).

8) 11:30....snack done....trying to update blog

OK....enough of my whining. On with the show!

Daycare. Major stress during the summer when the "stay at home" parent is called in to work. Luckily, one of the teacher aides at the school does "daycare" at her home in summer and doesn't mind my varied schedule week to week. This year she had 6 kids, ages 7-12 that she watched. Mrs. B is WONDERFUL. The kids have a regular routine (including MATH!) that they follow each day. She has introduced the kids to games that parents shudder at ( you know how long it takes to play that game?!) but she will gladly sit on the floor and play with them. Daily crafts. Daily swimming. Feeds them. You get the idea~~~WONDERFUL!!

This year she read Swift Arrow, by Josephine Cunnington Edwards. This book is one that I read when I was a kid! Basic story line: Boylan family moves along with 14 other families to new territory. The son, George, along with his best friend Robert are "stolen" by Indians. The boys are separated at some point. George becomes the adopted son of the chief Big Wolf and the brother of Ewanah. The story goes on over the next 12 years that George spends living with the Indians before making his escape and finding his way home.

Here is where creativity takes place. Shortly after finishing the book, one of the girls suggests that the kids put on a play about Swift Arrow. Of course, since kids don't have our adult fears of "we can't do this", they all jump on the bandwagon. The kids, with the help of Mrs. B, figure out a script that would include all of them (since the story is mostly about George/Swift Arrow, support characters were brought in at the beginning and some smaller parts were added). How the transitions of characters and how the younger George and Ewanah would "grow". The kids each played multiple parts. AND, they created the set(s)!!

Parents/Grandparents were invited to a light supper of haystacks (have I mentioned that Mrs. B is wonderful? In addition to corralling 6 kids who each had their own idea of how this play should go, she made dinner for everyone!) and then we were treated to the play. The kids used scripts, since they each had multiple parts and in all reality, only a little over a week to pull this all together. Which makes it all the more amazing!

Here are some photos of the evening (uhhh, the professional photographer could not make it. These were taken by "mom" hehe)

The opening set. The kids painted the backdrop and the tipis.

"Grandpappy and Marcus Boylan discussing the move. (Grandpappy would be my youngest, and Marcus is my oldest)
*H~loading the wagon, watched by *K~Ma...."Robert" is in the grey (Chace, my youngest), with *J behind him(young George Boylan) with "Marcus Boylan/Pa (my oldest, Grant) and *S~Grandpappy. The families loading up their wagons for the move

Marcus Boylan" in front of one of the newly built cabins

The "Indian Village". The kids painted TWO different sets!!

Members of the Indian Village where "George" becomes "Swift Arrow"

The play had an intermission (if you notice the second Indian....he is a little wet. Seems that George did not know how to swim which displeased Big Wolf. So Big Wolf took George out to the lake (aka the pool) to watch "big fish swim". "George" learned how to swim!!). While George changed into dry clothes, eveyone enjoyed homemade strawberry shortcake and brownies. By now, the sun is obviously setting but the show goes on!

Me Serious Indian! youngest posing!

The kids did an amazing job!! Talk about creativity!! From start to finish, they came up with the idea, wrote the script, did the backdrops and preformed!! What a lesson to be learned! If you have an idea~~GO FOR IT!! You only have yourself stopping you!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just a Quick Note

Life is getting in the way of me posting the promised Kiddo creativity. I'm busy making flyers for basketball camp that need to be done by tonight: back to school night (insert rolling eyes here________)


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Still Here....

.....let's just say that back to school is a little rough. We are working on getting back into the elementary groove, figuring out the new Jr High groove, trying to help the oldest make decisions as to what extra curricular activities he will be involved in, is there time for the extra practices, lessons, etc., on top of the increased homework load?

I have some photos that I REALLY want to share of 6 kids who weren't afraid of being creative. I spent some time last night prepping the photos. But lack the time today to put them here (DANG that work thing!!). But I hope that you'll stop by again tomorrow to take a peak.

Also have some ideas for some cards that are seriously taking over all thought processes. I REALLY want to give them a go. That time factor (and the fact that my house is a disaster, there is NO food in the cupboards, I have ants trying to move in almost every room of my house, AND that I need to start riding my bike to prepare for our trip down the coast in Oct) is something I have to work on for myself too. How to fit it all in?

Monday, August 17, 2009


*Disclaimer: I tried to see if my technology challenged brain can figure out how to do an auto post. Guess what?! It couldn't. I think I know what I did wrong...but of course, I could be wrong in that! Soooo, over my little lunch break, I'm going to see if I can get this out of "draft" and into "post".

Mid Friday morning, I decided to call the office manager of the clinic where I do some per diem work to verify if I was going to work Mon (or today, if this auto post works correctly!) or Wed of this week. As we are chatting, he asks if we had gotten the birthday invite to his son's party (who is a classmate of my youngest) THAT IS AT 4PM. ON FRIDAY. Uhhhhh, that would be a negative. Seems that the creative mom made this cool postcard with a sports stopwatch on the front that might have been easily confused with a junk advertisement (or if it got in with the junk flyers, may have never been seen period). The mom is all stressed because no one was RSVPing (including family members). Sooooo. Being the good mom that I am, I said that the family would be there.

AAACCCCKKKK!!! First: Load up kids and haul them down to Target to buy school supplies needed by the 20th and pick up a gift card for the b-day boy. Haul home close to $200 dollars worth of supplies (ok, ok...pencils, papers, calculators and rulers do not cost that much. But my newly Junior High student decided that his previous backpack and lunch box were a bit on the "youngish" side. Soooo, new backpack (this thing was not only expensive, but it is basically a full on hiking backpack, and will be used as such also!) for the older one, which of course led to a new backpack (much cheaper one) and lunchbox for the younger one.

Second: Come up with a "totally creative" idea for a card and get it made in a couple of hours (I am NOT known for making speedy cards. Seems that my mind jumps from "basic idea" to "wouldn't it be cool if I did this? OR even better~~that!! With the end result being waaaay too much time spent making basic cards!!)

Anyhoo!! This kiddo just happens to play basketball with my youngest. I know that he has his jersey and participant trophy framed and hung in the main hallway of their house. Just so happens that I have a rather large Quikutz die of a basketball. Start thinking along the lines of my football card and of course that is when I came up with this idea:

The basketball bouncing off the backboard!! (and before anyone asks (because, yes, the males in this household DID ask) : I DID come up with a way to make the "hoop" on the lower part of the card. But I had to have it "fold" up in order to fit inside the envie...and it just started looking crowded and ugly. So the hoop stayed off).

The backboard base is just slightly smaller than a regular sized card~~4 1/4" x 5. I made the "frame" out of textured cardstock and adhered with red sticky liner. The smaller square was made using my rectangle nesties from Spellbinders. I picked out two that nested inside each other and then cut, creating my open frame. This was adhered using rolled up glue dots (that edge is TINY!!).

The basketball is acutally the "card". After die cutting the basketball from Dusty Durango, I did DTP (direct to paper) with my creamy caramel ink pad to "scuff" up the basketball. The black is part 2 of the die cut and was adhered with a glue pen. I then used my old Creative memories circle cutter to figure out the size of my basketball and made a "card" for the inside by keeping one edge of the circle slightly off the fold of the card. The gift card was attached to the inside of the basketball. The basketball was adhered with glue dots along the edge of the white frames so that they would not show on the inside of the clear base. The total size of the card is 5x5.

I think this is a pretty clever idea myself!! hehe. So I give this a personal rating of **** out of *****!! Supplies: Paper: Clear transparency, textured SU whisper white, dusty durango, basic black. Inks: Creamy caramel. Accessories: Quikutz basketball die, rectangle nesties, Big Shot, Creative memories circle cutter, glue dots, 1/4" red liner tape, glue pen.

Thanks for stopping by while I'm at work (hehe). Tonight the boys are presenting a play that they and the other kids, (who are watched by a wonderful lady while parents work), wrote the script for, made the backdrops and costumes based on a book that they all read together. Hoping to have some photos to share!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Touch of Thanks

Finished another card for the Clean and Simple Design Team challenges. Quite by accident, this one covers the next two challenges: the color challenge to use monochromatic in shades of browns with a touch of red AND the theme challenge to make an autumn/autumn holiday card.

I had originally pulled out the retired SU set Country Blessings for my autumn themed card. Somehow, the monochromatic theme pushed it's way into the mix!

The card base is SU's kraft with Chocolate Chip and Riding Hood Red (which looks much brighter in this pic for some reason....I'm sure it has NOTHING to do with my "editing") for the other layers. The Leaves were embossed with Chocolate Chip craft ink and clear embossing powder onto Close to Cocoa card stock. They were cut out using my favorite SU paper snips (LOVE that those scissors can get into those tiny nooks and crannies) and adhered over the chocolate grosgrain ribbon at the base of the stem with a glue dot, giving some dimension. The sentiment (from the same stamp set) was stamped with the craft Chocolate Chip ink and clear embossed also. Supplies: Paper: SU's Kraft, chocolate chip, Riding Hood red Inks: SU's chocolate chip craft ink. Stamps: SU's Country Blessings. Accessories: clear embossing powder, heat gun, stampamajig, ribbon

Very simple. Overall personal rating: *** 1/2 stars out of *****.

I'm off to see about completing another card (Hey!! Why not? Kids are gone, DH and the pooch are gone~~and the craft room is already a disaster!!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blog Guest

Today is your lucky day!! In addition to my own card (yeah....surprise! I finally got another one made!), I have a card designed by my Blog guest~~my youngest DS, *C (8).

Some artistic background history on *C. My youngest can spend hours just drawing/doodling. Usually his pictures are of some type of battle (Star Wars, dragons vs ???, you know~~dark, lots of blood, swords, light sabers, those types of things that boys love and make mother's cringe when it is done for school projects). But he is very specific in how he wants his creations. When he stamps, he is no different. He gets an idea and that is how he wants it. I will pull out several stamp sets (or he will ask if I have something that is like "such and such") from which he will chose what he wants to work with. He will then pick out his papers and then the color of inks he wants to use. He is also very specific as to where he wants his images and if he "rocks" the stamp or it does not stamp correctly, he ALWAYS wants to re stamp.
*C needed to make a thank you card for his swim teacher. At first he wanted me to make it, but was giving me specific things to include. I asked again and sure enough, he wanted to do it (the first time I asked, it was going to interfere with something else he wanted to do. Mom just had to figure that out and tell him we could make the card at a different time). The stamps had to be something to do with "swimming" (duh). Soo, I pulled out SU's retired Silly Sealife. Then he was telling me how he wanted to use this stamp and that stamp, and make it look like this one was jumping and this one was swimming....etc, etc. Now, all these stamps were not going to fit on a regular sized card. I just happened to have a business envie on my desk and we decided that we would make this card 4x9. Perfect for all the stamps he wanted to use!!

*C does his own stamping (yes, this is the second one, since the first time he rocked one of the dolphins). I only help make sure the stamp is inked well, and give "overpressure" to make a good image (because I finally learned that my help in a good image is sooo worth not having to cut 4 more card bases due to poorly inked images!!) and to make sure he has the image where he wants it (occasionally, I'll make a suggestion as to image placement, but he has the final say. It goes where he wants it). *C then got out his pencils and markers and colored the image (I did make the suggestion that he not use the markers on the main part of the image, as they would cover up the "details"). He borrowed my watercolor pencils so that he could have a different choice in "blues" for his water.
I think it turned out really cute!! He was telling me what the different strokes the creatures were swimming (the turtle is doing breast stroke, the ray is doing the butterfly and the whale is doing freestyle. The dolphins are having fun!)
My card is a HUGE step for me. Not in the style but in its purpose. I decided to try out for the CAS (clean and simple) Autumn Design Team on SCS. Now DH is dreading this. Not because he feels that I shouldn't try out, but because he is afraid of what he will have to deal with if I don't make it (it would seem that I have had "issues" in the past when I have created what I thought was a WONDERFUL creation and it got no love (or no comments/looks) in the galleries. All I can say in my defense, is sometimes creative egos who are lacking in self appreciation~~need HUGE acknowledgement and must learn to deal with reality. I'm learning to deal with reality), heehee.

This card is for the sketch part of the DT challenge. It's pretty simple. I colored my large Pretties flower with my copic ciao marker (because I really didn't feel like dealing with red reinker!!). I played around with different centers before settling on SEWING a button over a punched 1" black circle. Seriously. You should be impressed that a) I even have a needle and thread kit, b) I knew where it was in order to use it and c) actually sewed. Without someone begging me. Sewing is just something that I personally try to avoid at all costs (let's just say that the 12 weeks of "sewing" in high school home ec were very traumatic and that to this day I wish I had had the guts to take shop instead!!).
I then used the swirl from the Season of Joy set with Wild Wasabi (my favorite green that SU has made!!) and stamped randomly along the edges. The sentiment is a rub on from the Cherished Memories Rub Ons . There are score lines that the ribbon sits between, but you really can't see them even in real life as the ribbon is the exact same size! hehe. HEY!! It only took two tries to get the ribbon to look this nice. I'm improving on that bow tying thing!! Supplies: Paper: SU's whisper white, basic black. Stamps: Season of Joy. Accessories: Clear button (SU), Cherished Memories Rub On, red thread, needle, copic ciao, ribbon (Target)
Thanks for stopping by again today. I'm off to make another card for the DT challenge. (eeeaaakkkkk!!!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two Fistin'

(Insert HUGE sigh here___________). Yup. It took me until late last night to get the birthday card done that is needed by noon today. For those of you who care (or don't really care, but are curious to see a glimpse of our family life) more details of how my Saturday was spent can be found below the card details.

I had a totally different idea originally for this particular 8 y/o boy's birthday card. But~~reality struck at 7 pm that I just needed to get the card DONE. Forget forging new ground. I had previously cut out the basics for a card I had seen in PaperCrafts 225 Cards and Gifts issue (the "For You" card on pg. 30, by Kimberly Crawford). Yes, this is the card that was suppose to be created when I gave into the stress of no time and requested DH to go BUY a card (I still shudder over that one!). I got out all the parts/pieces and of course~CHANGED MY MIND!! I'm tellin' ya!! I am my own worse enemy!! I just happened to look down and see the pack of sports designer paper. Well, this kiddo plays sports all year round. Somehow, my more "western" theme just wasn't going to cut it. While it is "manly", it didn't fit the personality of the kid. And isn't part of making homemade cards being able to "fit" the recipient? Yes, that's what I thought too!!

Put away the western look (shock....notice I put it away!! I did not just move it to the side!!) and started pulling out cardstock to match the dp I wanted to use. Decided to continue with my version of the card in the magazine. Cut my dp for the front. CUT IT THE WRONG DIRECTION!! (smacks head over this one!!) Yes, it mattered since the "words" were going the wrong way. Fine. Took a deep breath, and cut my next (and last) sheet of this pattern. Managed to get it right the second time. Messed around with what I wanted to do on the front for waaay too long. Finally, got all the elements the way I wanted them.

I used my circle nestabilities to cut out the circle frame (of course this is the second "frame". The first one I decided was too thin (is that possible?! oh yeah...we aren't talking about my waist here! I digress). Then I cut and embossed the stars using my star nestabilities. Waaaay too much time was spent trying to make a tag to cross the front of the star to stamp the "ALL STAR" onto. Had it in my head that I wanted that element to go across the star. FINALLY, I got my brain in order and using my markers to selectively stamp the words, I took the horizontal sentiment and made it a vertical sentiment.

Now, this is were the two fistin' comes in. The inside. The wonderful card that Kimberly made for the magazine has this great pop up element that holds a gift card. The magazine was even sooo helpful as to provide the template. I, being the inept engineer that I am, ALWAYS makes a prototype out of scratch paper just to make sure that my pea brain got it right. So, I make my prototype out of printer paper. FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CAN'T GET THE STUPID THING TO FOLD CORRECTLY WHEN THE CARD IS CLOSED. Ok.....decide to make one out of cardstock (this is where I use all those "pinks" that I don't know what to do with). Get it all cut, scored and temporarily adhered to a previously messed up card base. THE STINKIN' THING STILL FLOPS WRONG!! Deeeeeep breaths. Call in for help (which means I hollered for DH to help me!) He suggests making the fold that holds the gift card deeper. I'm getting pretty frustrated at this time so I go to the kitchen and grab a small handful of chocolate chips. Awwwwww. I can move on now. Soooo, I make ANOTHER cs prototype (good thing I have LOTS of pink paper!). THE STINKIN' THING STILL DOES NOT FOLD CORRECTLY WHEN CLOSED AND THE GIFT CARD STILL FLOPS FORWARD SOMEWHAT WHEN THE CARD IS OPENED. Back to the kitchen. Grab TWO big handfuls of chocolate chips. This is getting ridiculous!!

Finally, I decide that this is one of those ideas that looks great for the photo op in the magazine, but in reality, does not work out that great. But I do not have time to try and figure out how to make it work for me. Soooo.....being as this card is for an 8 y/o boy we just eat a couple of more chocolate chips and adhere.

hat this photo doesn't show, is that on the front portion of the gift card holder is another "score" mark that was made when the card is closed. For some reason, the pop up portion does not fold correctly when closed. I give up!! The stars were all cut and embossed with the various star nestabilities (great size assortment). The sentiment was stamped in white craft ink.

By the time this card was done, I was ready to start drinking (I don't have a problem with drinking personally, except that I don't like beer or wine. Mixed drinks can be wonderful. But I don't drink them because I don't need the empty and extra calories. Sooooo, instead I load up on low fat/low calorie chocolate chips......snort). Supplies: Paper: SU Real Red, Whisper White, Brilliant Blue, Deja Views Sport paper and punch-out tablet. Inks: SU white craft, Brocade Blue. Accessories: Big shot, Spellbinders nestabilities circles and stars, stampamajig.


Family life for those who are still here!

Having kids encourages you to visit places that you might otherwise just brush off. Yesterday we loaded everyone (including the grandparents) up and drove into LA to visit the La Brea Tar Pits. The pits are just stinky tar pits. Seriously. They smell and look like the tar roofers use. There are a few pits that you can walk around (fenced off, of course). And you can go into the Pit 91 area and look down into the work area and see how they section everything off into grids and dig out all the bones from the ice age. You can actually see bones from prehistoric animals sticking out of the mire.

The Page Museum is pretty interesting. Inside has exhibits of the skeletons found in the tar pits (All photos were taken by my 12 y/o).

(can't remember what creature this was!!)

Mammoth and Dire Wolf.

There is one wall that has over 400 Dire wolf skulls. That is just a small representation of the 1600 skulls of the Dire wolf that they have found. There are skeletons of mastodons (smaller than mammoths but same type of elephant linage), ancient camels, ancient bison, bears, lions and birds of prey. The size of these animals is just amazing!

The boys with the skull of a saber tooth tiger

and a family shot in front of a ice age lion.

Not shown was the "fishbowl". This is the laboratory that you observe the scientists and volunteers meticulously clean and separate the finds. There is also the "cataloging" area where the bones are carefully documented and put into trays. Currently, the "fishbowl" is working on "Zed" a juvenile mammoth. HUGE!!!

If your family/kids are into Ice Age and prehistoric creatures, the Page Museum and Tar pits are a must see.

Well, thanks for hanging with all the ramblings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sooooo.............. everyone about ready to give up hope that I'll post again?

What is it with life lately that does not allow me the time to make a simple card (or a complex card for that matter?!). I'll spare you the details of work (because I know that using "I have to work" is such a lame excuse when there are those of you who work every day and still manage to make a card!) and the fact that my kids are either in swim lessons, water polo or piano lessons each day or that I have to find my floors in this house in order to get my carpets cleaned this week!! (like how I tried to sneak in what my days have been like?!! hehe)

Well, this past weekend I did have some spare time. But wouldn't you know it, I decided to spend it with the Toad hiking. We just so happen to live in the perfect spot. We are a little over an hour from the beach (where the kids went with their grandparents), about an hour from the desert (not that you'd want to head out that direction this time of year) and about an hour or less from our local mountains. How much better a location can one wish for?!! We decided to hike a trail that we haven't done before. Wildhorse trail. My IL's had done a couple of miles starting from the top earlier this spring and said it followed a stream and went thru a campsite. So we decided to start from the bottom portion and check it out. Loaded up the pooch and our camelbacks (backpacks to carry water and snacks) and headed out. Guess what? That direction is TOTALLY different than the top. No stream for the pooch to drink from (which means DH had to share his water with the dog (he would get a stream from his mouthpiece flowing into his hand for those of you who are going EWWWWWW! right now). The landscape down low is pretty much manzanita shrubs with only a few trees. This time of year, most of the wildflowers have bloomed and died off. But look at this lovely surprise growing in the rocks:

Let me tell you~~This flower just POPPED with color!! Isn't this just GORGEOUS?! This was the only prickly pear that I saw still blooming. It was growing out of this crop of rocks. I think it helped that it's location was shaded for part of the day.

But there wasn't much shade anywhere else. Some of the larger manzanita scrub and oak scrubs would provide a little shade and the breeze was nice. After walking for close to 2 hours up, we decided that we had better turn around. But the ground had been exposed to sun all day. Hot sun. Which meant that the poor pooch was walking on HOT sand/rocks for a couple of hours. It got to the place where he would try and climb fallen scrubs to find something cooler for his feet. That's when the Toad felt really bad and came to the rescue.

LOL!! YUP!! The Toad carried his 50lb pup so that it would give poor ol' Rusty's paws a break from the hot trail!! (let me tell you, he was mighty glad that he didn't have a bigger dog!!) I was really surprised at how well Rusty just "hung" over the Toad's shoulders. His poor paws must have been really hurting because he really didn't fight being carried this way.

Now, before any of you decide to call the authorities, let me assure you that the pooch was fine when he got home. He stood in his wading pool for a couple of minutes, had a nap and then became his usual obnoxious self trying to get someone to go outside and kick his soccer ball for him!!

Lesson learned: need to get some doggie boots for the pooch if we are going to take him on summer hikes. And a doggie pack so that he can carry his own water/food.

Ok....I'm going to try and find a couple of my floors this morning. I need to make another b-day card for a 8 y/o boy for this weekend so check back. Hopefully, I'll get that done before Saturday night!! LOL!