Saturday, December 27, 2008

Secret Sister '08

I am a member of a private google group made up of rubber stampers, scrapbookers, etc. Seems like we dabble in quite a bit of craftiness---anything from beading to knitting to needle felting. We've been a group since before my daughter was born so it's been a few years. Anyway, each year we do a secret sister swap type thing at Xmas time. You can sign up if ya want. If not, no biggie. My SS this year was Michele. She was good to me to say the least. She's also been a great friend over the years even though we've never met in person.

One of the requirements for the swap is to send at least one handmade item. LOOK at this snowman Michele made! It's needle felted. That means it started out as a big ball of wool! I gotta learn how to do this!

And here he is on one of our trees. Notice no other snowmen around him. He is the king of that section. I just love him. Her needle felting is superb. Notice Taylor's popsicle stick ornament from last year. lol. She did the gluing of the foamies. :)
And here's my loot! Yep, she spoiled me. Thanks Michele. You're one of a kind.




Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Festival of Lights- part 2

Here's my final display of lights. Merry Xmas to all!

































Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oglebay Festival of Lights Part 1






I am posting this for out-of-towners. Pictures really don't do these lights justice as they are pretty darn big. You can't tell from the photos. Anyone who lives near this area knows alllll about the lights. They are gorgeous BUT the traffic they create can cripple a little section of town for quite a while. I just thought people that live in other states might appreciate this little section of Wheeling, WV. I think because I've lived locally all my life I can't appreciate fully the beauty of them. They are pretty but they come around every year. Taylor did enjoy them especially when we drove through the tunnels of lights.
So here's your tour--part 1. I didn't get every conglomeration due to freezing temperatures and cars behind me. There's nothing worse than waiting and waiting to get through these lights with Granny Moohoo taking her camera out every 5 seconds so these were pretty much taken on the run. Some were taken through the windshield.
I started with what is probably my favorite. Cinderella. I love this one. Then we have some clowns. Moving on down we have a dinosaur extravaganza.









Taylor's favorite---tandy tanes.





A blurry nutcracker. Sorry.




Isn't this a gorgeous lamppost? They are all lined up along one section of the road.














A red bird feeding her young.






This one is more impressive IRL. I only caught part of it.




Stay tuned. I'll post the rest tonight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Purple Onion Designs Gift Wrap Challenge


Michele over at Purple Onion Designs is hosting a gift wrap challenge on her blog. I believe it ends tonight. I had a gift to wrap so I thought what the heck?! I'll play a little. There are so many layers here.
First off, the actual paper is a recycled a brown bag from my LSS. I saved all of them and used Glimmer Screens and Glimmer Mists to make shiny sparkly paper. There's a lot of bling on the package that unfortunately doesn't photograph well in the night light. Bummer cuz it really shines.
I had the tag base already made. Basically it's spritzed with water and crumpled for a nice aged effect. Then it's sprayed with walnut ink and Glimmer Mist on top of that. Like I said--many layers. I then used the merriness set from POD to stamp the lights and stars on the tag. I used my Nestabilites Labels One die set to cut the base for the snowman scene. I smeared some distress inks on my non-stick craft sheet, spritzed with water and picked up the ink with the white cardstock. I wanted it to be a little mottled. I heated it with my heat gun because I can't possibly wait for something to dry. Stamped the snowman in Memories black ink. The snowman's scarf is colored with Copic markers. I stamped the snowflakes from the merriness set in Brilliance platinum. That little tree is Tim Holtz grungeboard painted with Fired Brick crackle paint also from his line. I added some ornaments with adhesive rhinestones. I edged the tag with a couple different colors of distress ink. And then.........
came the Stickles. I edged the snowman and the entire tag by hand. Dot by dot. Then I attached the tag to the package and thought, "hmmmmm, this needs something." Edged the border in a couple different color inks and then I realized the entire package needed glitter. So dot by dot I finished.
This goes to Mark's boss next week. They stiffed her last year so I figure she's worth it. She's a great boss and a very nice person.
Think she'll know he didn't wrap it?!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pappy's Perfect Pirate

Seriously, could she be any cuter????

Well, I'm finally posting some Halloween pictures. Halloween was all about Pappy this year. Taylor would not go trick-or-treating without him and Gramma was left to hand out candy. He did get a break on the second leg of our journey but she wouldn't leave the house without him.


She did well. Once she got the routine down she would go from house to house and say, "up da steps, trick or treat, candy." She is such a doll. The weather was just perfect too. We had friends over and their daughter joined Taylor in the festivities. We ended the night with pizza and pumpkin pie.


Success!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Quick fall card


Made this for a friend. Main image is Paperbag Studios, leaf is Stampendous, not sure about the believe stamp. Memory box patterened paper and I think that tree stamp is Stamping Oasis. Not sure.


Have tons to share but not enough time! Maybe later.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank you noteblock card


This noteblock stamp is a sample of the latest and greatest from Purple Onion Designs. They have been fun. I have a couple Xmas ideas I'll share later on this year. Sorry for the horrible picture. I took it at night with terrible lighting. Oh Well.


Have a great week.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall extravaganza!

Fall is my favorite season. I love all the beautiful colors and the changing of the leaves. We partake in all the fall activities---hayride, pumpkin picking, corn maze, petting zoo, etc. I love it. Taylor did well this year. Better than last. Crowds are tough but we get through that to the fun part. She loved the tractor ride and the petting zoo this year. She loves the pretty pumpkins and all the fall decorations I have up in the house. Here's a few shots from Simmons Farm and the Springhouse. I took tons of photos. Springhouse also has pumpkins dressed up as characters. Maybe I'll share those in another post. It's been so long since I've posted. We have been very busy so stay tuned.

Here's a couple of my creations over the past few weeks. There's more but I just don't have time to scan. Bat below is Inkandinkdo, pp is Memory Box, danger sticker and ribbon tape are Martha Stewart.

Scary scary man is a score from a friend who was just done with him. Love it. Very scary. Chandelier is Memory Box, spider sticker is Martha and spider/web in corner is a Making Memories glitter clear. Love those glitter clears and all their self-adhesiveness. Very cute.


And I leave you with the best. Were we really pumpkin pickin' that day or was there a little bit of some other type of pickin' goin' on?????








Sunday, September 21, 2008

first Halloween card


First Halloween card of the season. I love creating cards for this holiday for some reason. I don't always get them in the mail but I love putting them together. Stamp is Purple Onion Designs and owl sticker is Martha Stewart (I got a deal. I refuse to pay $6 for 2 sheets of her stickers- ridiculous). Eyes are colored in with Acid Yellow Copic marker.
Taylor has not been doing that great in preschool. We made the decision to take her out for now and put her in the 2 year old program. There are some 3 year olds that are in there for potty training and separation anxiety issues so it's not like she won't get contact with kids her age. Problem is it only meets once/week. I'll have to put her back in music and Little Gym for socialization. We were getting better socially and now she doesn't want ANYTHING to do with kids. Oh well, this too shall pass. She also has extreme separation anxiety. My husband and I are going on a vacation next week (good luck Mom) and we'll have some decisions to make once we get back and lots of red tape to think about.
Parenting is the hardest job. You have a tendency to beat yourself up over certain decisions, etc. Best you can do is just roll with it and do your best and not give a shit what society thinks. Rules and expectations are so overrated. We are going to live our lives exactly the way we see fit. I'm happier already just thinking about it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Spy Pinecones!


These are horrible pictures but I don't have time to mess around taking them again. Thought I'd share them anyway. Stamps are Purple Onion Designs, pp is Pink Paislee, and glitter letters are American Crafts. The magnifying glass and butterfly are Tattered Angels glimmer chips. TFL.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 chinups

Another cute video. Taylor loves Sesame Street. There's an episode where Chris is trying to obtain employment on Sesame Street. One of his interviews is with the Count who needs someone to "count" on---literally. Taylor is mocking Chris doing chinups. See the Count wants Chris to do exercises so he can count the reps. Well, Chris decides this job would just be too exhausting after the Count asks him to run 37 miles.

Tons of cuteness here.


video

Monday, September 08, 2008

Japanese

video

We are off school today sick. Big bummer. I was hoping to get our first full week in to see if T would relax a little. The preschool is letting me stay because Taylor has had some anxiety. In other words she screamed so loud the first day I could hear her across the school and she wouldn't calm down. lol. :) They called me after 15 minutes and had me come back and stay.

Well, all that said here's what we learned (both of us). We can count to 5 in Japanese! I have another cute video for you next time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Restful Robin

I received the most wonderful package in the mail from Kris on Friday. In my msn art group we do a secret summer sister swap and Kris had my name again. She also had it for Xmas this past year. lol. She is always so generous and thoughtful. Her artwork is beautiful.

The patterned paper is the Twiggy line from Memory Box. I can't say enough good things about this paper. It's thick and very pretty. The bird stamp is also Memory Box. I've been wanting this stamp since I laid eyes on it. It's actually one stamp but the bird and the nest are on separate ends of the wood block. The swirls are from Inque Boutique. Never had any of their stamps before and I'm likin' them a lot. I may add a sentiment later.

I'm no restful robin this week. Taylor starts preschool next Wednesday and I don't think I've ever been this nervous about anything in my life. Wish us luck. It'll be a transition for both of us!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

RubberStampMadness Sep/Oct 08


Made it into the latest edition of RubberStampMadness. Almost all stamps are Character Constructions. There are some really fun Halloween cards in this issue.
I am considering deleting all the posts pertaining to our private life. Taylor will start preschool soon and I'd just like to make a fresh start. I know we will have our issues but I'd like this chapter to begin with all this other stuff behind us.
Summer has been very busy---trips to zoo, horseback riding, picnics, etc. Hopefully when the winter months roll around I'll have time to post more and more creations to share!
Have a nice day.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Anything is possible



If you have been reading my blog these past few months you already know Taylor was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)--Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified in November of last year. Was is devastating? Absolutely. Did it practically cripple our little family? Yes. Did it break our hearts into a million pieces? Absolutely. Did it change us forever? YES.

It changed us for the better.

With the help of many unselfish and caring individuals and tons of hard work on Taylor's and our part Taylor has made tremendous gains. I do mean tremendous. In fact I took her back to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh last month and I blatently asked them to remove her diagnosis so it won't follow her around for the rest of her life. We are left with a language delay but we can deal with that. That's nothin' compared to where we started. She will begin private TYPICAL preschool this fall. Keep your fingers crossed.

So, it's my time to give back. I have been thinking all along that I would do something to give back to the autism cause once Taylor got to a point where every bit of my time wasn't consumed with therapies, etc. Recently we began therapeutic horseback riding through an organization called PP TUG--People and Pets Together Under God. It is completely non-profit and ran by a lady I work with at the eye surgery center. All helpers are volunteers. There are 3 volunteers per horse so it takes quite a few people for the 3 classes. The woman who owns the horses/farm volunteers all her time (she washes 6 horses the day of therapy and volunteers during riding). There is a lot of work and money involved in the paperwork, equipment, supplies,etc. The cost of the insurance alone for only 8 weeks of riding is close to $1000. My coworker ran this organization with her husband before he died and since his death has continued on. She is just amazing. The kids receive small trophies at the end of the session and from what I hear they are very proud of these little trophies because for some it's the only trophy they will ever receive. Some of the riders are physically handicapped. Some are mentally disabled and some are both. If a rider is unable to pay one of the volunteers usually picks up their tab. These are some REALLY amazing people. It feels amazing to be surrounded by them each week.

The waiting list is over 5 years long because it is nonprofit. We got in because another rider is out for surgery and my coworker needed someone who would go in with the possibility that they couldn't ride next year. Once a child starts they can stay until the age of 18.

So for the first time in my life I am blatently asking for your monetary donation. I am asking all our friends and family for monetary donations that will go toward equipment, etc. It can be as little as $5 or even less. It is tax deductible and if needed I can forward the tax exempt ID#. I am also checking into fundraising. I have a few other personal ideas too. My goal is to raise enough money to pay for their program next year. Is that a huge goal? Sure, but this past year has taught me that anything is possible.

If you are able to make a contribution it sure would be appreciated. I'll hand deliver it myself with your name attached. If you are financially unable then your kind thoughts for these kids are greatly appreciated. Just take a few seconds and think of them. Just be aware of them and their parents. They work so hard every day. They are truly living miracles.

Michelle Infantino
417 Independence Drive
Washington, PA 15301

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dora Dora Dora the Explorer!







Now some of you out there may think this is just a couple characters at a toy store but to us it's much more than that. My little girl is conquering all kinds of fears, reaching milestones, and is just generally enjoying life these days. Not only did she LIKE Dora and Elmo (sorry Elmo, Dora was no. 1) but she took part in the ribbon cutting. She is much more comfortable in general. She was done after about 15 minutes but that's okay. Those characters are really big and lots of kids scream when meeting them. She danced with Dora, hugged Dora, high-fived Elmo, etc. It was so GREAT!!!
Life is so different now. Every little thing means so much. We try very hard to make every outing successful. Sometimes it isn't the easiest but life isn't easy and kids in general are just that---kids. Good days and bad days. We may have to work harder but we reap great rewards from her successes. She's just the best and doing amazing things!
And they said we'd have lifetime problems. Whatever. Give me a break. My kid rocks.






Friday, May 23, 2008

First Crush

I had a lot to say here so I kept the actual layout extremely simple. I slammed down some letter stickers and started writing. Was a great feeling to just write freely and tell the story. I also had a bad photo to work with--the problem is the yellow wall that they were leaning against. It cast a yellow shadow on the both of them. It was also from someone else's camera so I couldn't edit it before processing and honestly I just don't have time for that. I love this layout. It's not fancy smanchy but it's brings a big smile to my face.

Have a great holiday!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Blossom

Quick thank you card f0r a friend. The flower image is either Amuse Art Stamps or Impress. Can't remember which. The center image is colored with Copic markers and embellished with Stickles glitter glue. I also used Stickles around the edge of the punched flower. Swirl stamp is Impress and the sentiment is either AMuse or Impress. Can you tell those are the companies I've been using lately? lol.

The punched image is actually a Spirelli punch. I talked myself (and a friend) out of this punch at the crop a couple weeks ago and then I just HAD to have it so I went to the store and bought the darn thing. I think it's overpriced but it's just so darn nice and I can think of many uses. TFL and all you mothers out there have a great day Sunday!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Miss Precious

Thanks for checking in. I know it's been quite a while and I've been meaning to update everyone with Taylor's progress for some time.

She is doing super and making soooo much progress. She is talking more and participates in all her activities with other kids as long as they aren't right up in her face. She's gonna be just fine and she's so smart. We caught everything at such a young age. She definitely has her own personality and preferences. She will always prefer smaller social situations and kids that are calmer but that's why private school with small classes will suit her just fine. Unexpected situations aren't her favorite either but we can deal. After all she's only 2 years old so we have time to iron some things out. We were fortunate to have the correct treatment at the correct time. There were days I felt as if I were fighting an uphill battle doing the ABA myself but it's so worth it. She's a super duper dynamite kid full of spunk and personality.

Everyone loves her. There is a little boy at the Little Gym that has always been Taylor's special little friend. She even lets him hug her. He came up to her last week (mind you---he's 3 yrs old) and looks at her with the sweetest grin and says in this exasperated voice, "Taylor.... I love you." It was so darn CUTE. When I tell her we are headed to the Gym she always replies, "Thomas?" We were at music class the other day and she asked me "where's Thomas?" I suppose she thinks her friend should go to music with her too. lol. She seemed bummed when I told her Thomas doesn't come to music. lol. It's started already! I have a child with a speech delay and some of her first words are about a boy!

On to the layout above--I went to a 16 hour crop last weekend. I SOOO needed it and I was much more productive than Mark who spent the day at the casino! lol. I managed to eek out 11 layouts. There's no way I'll scan all of them so I decided to share a favorite. Maybe I'll post more later. Materials used: rhinestones in flower centers were a RAK from my generous friend Donna (check out her etsy shop-she has high quality goods), Prima flower cut in half, Heidi Swapp bling, brackets are Fancy Pants I think, rubon is Creative Imaginations, and paper is old Basic Grey. I love this paper and wish they hadn't discontinued this particular line. I've used it over and over on all types of layouts. I think it's Sweet Pea Jack.

Did see P.S. I Love You with Hillary Swank. Loved it! It's a girlie boo-hoo movie but it's definitely worth the watch.

I'll be posting a little more now. I'm hoping life will slow down a bit.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bday card


Quick birthday card for a friend. Used my Copic markers again. The scan bleached the color a little. Present and sentiment is Purple Onion Designs and confetti on background is Eat Cake Graphics. Also used some Stickles glitter glue. TFL.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

More marker fun

Don't ya just love that blue egg? The marker is correctly named Robin's Egg Blue. I think it's my favorite to date. Little bunny is Eat Cake Graphics, sentiment is Purple Onion Designs, egg is Stamps by Judith, and notecard is Amuse. Also used some Stickles glitter glue on the eggs and around the scallop.

Also have a couple cards in the current issue of RubberStampMadness. I'll post them later. They also used me on their website which is kinda cool. Mine is the third card from top shown here.

Stay tuned........

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Quick little Easter card


Had to use my new Copic markers again. Love these! I will continue to collect a few here and there. They are alcohol based. They flow so nicely and leave no stray streak marks. Thanks to Michele for turning me on to these amazing markers. Stamp and notecard are Amuse Art Stamps. Bought the stamp because it's so cute just like my little gal Taylor. TFL. I'll be back soon with tons of layouts. I've been busy and I have tons of things to scan and share.