An Apple a Day

It's September and soon the apple orchards and pumpkin farms will be open and busy!  I can't wait!  I'm dreaming of apple pie lately, so I'm going to have to share our favorite recipe here on the blog!

This week's cue word over at CASology goes right along with my train of thought.  How very convenient! 

I decided to go with a fun representation of the cue word!  Growing up, I was always intrigued with the story of William Tell!  I was so glad it wasn't me standing there with the apple perched on my head!  I also had the image of a golden apple come to mind as there are plenty of stories about those too, so decided to combine the two ideas into one card:

Stamps:  Paper Smooches, Sweet Stamp Shop (arrow, sentiment)
A simple black and white image with a pop of gold sparkle for interest and a little dimension added with a foam dot behind the apple!

Be sure and visit the rest of the design team members' blogs as well as this week's guest designer's blogs for more apple inspiration before you head off to create your own version!  Then, don't forget to link up your creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CDT) for your chance to win this week's prize!

(you're here!)
Guest Designer:  Sandie 

**I am also linking this up to the CAS challenge over at the Scribbles Designs Challenge Blog, the owner of which is a past design team mate of mine...Sandy!

It's back into school routine mode today after a three-day holiday weekend!  After last week's daily early dismissals due to the heat, this week is going to seem like a breeze!  It looks like a much milder week!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Stenciled Congratulations

Stamps:  Uniko
Paper:  SU cardstock (Basic Black, Brushed Silver)
Ink:  Encore (Silver)
Accessories:  Balzar stencil, red pearl hearts, foam dots

Happy Labor Day!  No lengthy post from me today!  Just a quick card to share from over the weekend that I made for this week's CAS stencil challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers.  It's a beautiful day here and we're enjoying family time outdoors!  I'll be back tomorrow!

Enjoy your evening!

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To Everything a Place: Week 1 – The Craft Room

With summer quietly preparing to make its exit and autumn subtly attempting to sneak onto the stage, I can't help but bring my focus indoors a bit more lately! Summer break is so fun and spontaneous! I just love the more relaxed routine of summer (yes, we still have a simple one just for sanity's sake), but by the time school starts and autumn draws nearer, I find myself looking at things in a different light! It's amazing just how crazy the house seems to become during those three short months!  I'm not talking about the people in it (although, that is probably questionable in our case...)!  I'm thinking more about the disarray now found in rooms, closets, etc!  Every September, I make a new list of indoor projects to work on as the weather cools.  This time, I'm making it a point to work on decluttering and organizing!

That said, I'm going to work on one project per week.  Each project may or may not get completed in a week's time, but it will be worked on at least!  Progress, not perfection, right?  I hope you'll join me as I attempt to tackle these projects over the next few months!  Who doesn't like before and after photos?!

Let's get started!  First up...

THE CRAFT ROOM (First things first, ya know!):
The larger work table in the room...filled!
The kids' crafting supplies...and some stray toys.
I was in the middle of purging and organizing cardstock the week DD made her arrival and the photos above show what things looked like when I walked back into it after she came home!  Not a very mojo encouraging sight, is it?!  I about turned around and walked back out, but the desire to create luckily overcame the desire to flee.

I should mention that prior to DD's arrival and early in the pregnancy, I decided to move most all of my crafting things to an unfinished basement room, more specifically, what is to be a guest room someday.  At one time, we'd thought it would be my craft room in the finished basement, but our plans have changed since then. 

This is what my "new" rustic crafting space looks like as of this week:
This is the bulk of my craft supplies!

My little homemade work desk is on the left - two Closet Maid units back to back!

A larger work table shared with the boys
The kids' art supplies reorganized a bit

So there you have it.  My desperate attempt to tidy things up a bit, hoping it will inspire some fresh creativity!  I like things to look fairly uniform and tidy in a room, thus, the Jetmax cubes.  I have been happy with them over the years.  Now I'm saving up for a few more Stamp N Storage pieces.

Someday...this is to be my future corner of the basement with the little window you see in the photo being enlarged to the size of the masking tape outline:

For now, I'm creating away in my rustic room, realizing I'm just lucky to have a space to designate as a creative space!

I'd love to take a peek at your creative spaces, so leave a link to your photos &/or blog in the comments and I'll come visit!  I love to see other crafter's ideas!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Friday Follow Up: Kitchen Decor

You may remember that a few months ago I repainted the kitchen.  I promised I'd show you the "after" photo!  Well, today is the day!

BEFORE (half gray, half yellow with red accents):

AFTER (a more neutral color with yellow & black accents):

I used a paint color from Sherwin Williams called Bagel, a very appropriate name for a kitchen paint color!  No, that's not the reason I chose it!  I promise!  I wanted a neutral color on all the walls that I could use with some black and white photos to create a little gallery.  It is what I would call a khaki color, but there is the tiniest hint of a yellow or peach hue to it, especially during the late afternoon hours!  It really brightened things up after having gray on half the walls!

I found some yellow damask window panels on Etsy to replace that red window dressing in the before photo.  No more red, just cheery yellow and neutrals now!

I included not only our family, but photos of all our nieces and nephews!  I just love candid photos of kids and I can't wait to update these as the years go by!

I know I was busy working on decorating the nursery around the same time as this kitchen project was happening, but I still have a couple things to finish up in there, so that update will come later!  A trip to Michaels is on my list as well as a date with my sewing machine that is making me a bit nervous!  Stay tuned!

In other news, we've survived the week of heat here!  DS1 & DS2 had a whole week of early releases from school due to the heat and lack of air conditioning in the schools!  Next week looks better, so looking forward to being comfortable outdoors again!

No stamping yet this week for me!  I had to clean up the craft room first (photos of that tomorrow...)!  I can't believe the mess I had in there!

Have a fabulous Friday!

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Book Love

It's time for a new cue word challenge over at CASology!  School is back in session here in this area and the kids are already bringing home plenty of homework and school papers!

This week's cue word is rather fitting for this time of year...

Rather than thinking about anything school related, I found myself thinking about favorite stories that DH and I have read to our children the last few years.  I remembered a set by Taylored Expressions that contains a few phrases from storybooks and this one grabbed my attention:

Stamps:  Taylored Expressions, Paper Trey (heart)
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white), SU cardstock (Basic Black)
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Accessories:  red gemstones

After I glued things to the card base, I realized I would've done things a little differently and removed the black edge on the left side, but I'll just have to remember that next time I make a card using this very simple design!

Be sure and visit the rest of the design team members' blogs as well as this week's guest designer blog for more inspiration!

(you're here!)

Then, don't forget to link up your own BOOK creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CDT)!

We're having a heat wave this week and today and yesterday the boys have been on two-hour early dismissals.  The days feel a little like summer vacation again!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Enjoy the Ride!

Life is moving right along!  Mondays arrive and I'm always in a bit of shock!  Each week goes by in a blur and I realize how much I really have to mentally focus on the little moments because they go by so quickly!  It's with a bit of sadness that I see August 28th approaching, knowing our little girl will already be one month old!  Sigh.

I squeezed out a little crafty time over the weekend with the help of my one-armed DH (I'll explain this later in the post...)!  This week's Clean & Simple Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers is a Road Trip theme challenge, so naturally, I had to go dig out my VW Beetle stamp from Paper Trey!

This little car represents how I feel some days...careening through the day (sometimes on two wheels), managing the household chores haphazardly and not quite sure how the day is going to play out!  Makes me smile, seeing things summed up in a card!  I stamped the car image on Stampin'Up Brushed Silver cardstock in red ink which made it look more pink than red, but that was just fine since the Smooch spray I had on hand happened to be pink!  The car is popped up with foam dots for dimension.  I added three silver sequins to help bring out the silver in the car and stamped the sentiment.

Yes, life is one wild ride these days.  DH ended up with a cast on his arm last week due to the breakage of a small bone in his wrist falling from his bike.  I am now buttoning his shirts and straightening his collars for him so he looks presentable at the office!  DS3 was granted another six weeks to keep his front tooth that he fell and injured back in June and school started in its usual crazy style!  I actually remembered to take those "First Day of School" photos!  Whew!

Life doesn't always provide the journey I would choose if given the opportunity to choose, but, by golly, I'm going to enjoy the ride...speed bumps and all!

Have a marvelous Monday!

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Rock, Paper, Scissors

Do you remember that childhood game of Rock, Paper, Scissors?  I have fond memories of playing it on road trips with my brothers, squabbles and all!  I used it as inspiration for this week's CASology cue word challenge!

In all honesty, I had a couple other ideas float through my head first, but I won't tell you what they were as I'd like to see if anyone thinks of them!  Here's my creation:

Stamps:  Paper Smooches (paper), StampinUp! (scissors), The Craft's Meow (sentiment)
Paper:  Paper Trey cardstock (white)
Ink:  Memento (Tuxedo Black)
Accessories:  foam dots, clear gemstones

Pretty basic, right?!  That's what I love so much about CAS design!  With a little creativity, you can effectively deliver the message in less time and, right now especially, I'm trying to use my time wisely!  If I want to do something crafty, it's with DD's permission and her built in timer isn't very generous!  Her sweetness makes up for that, though...

Some of you have asked how she is doing.  She was released from the every-other-day visits to the lab for blood work.  The doctor told us her bilirubin levels are staying right around the same level and are at a level that is not so worrisome.  He said it will just take some time to work its way completely out of her system.  We're to just watch her and make sure nothing concerning develops.  She's otherwise acting just like a newborn should and we're now moving onward and forward.  She was up to 7 pounds last week at her checkup, so she's gained back all the weight she lost in the hospital!  If she's anything like her brothers, it won't be long and she'll be looking a little more roly poly!

Be sure and visit the rest of the CASology design team and guest designer blogs for more PAPER inspiration:

(you're here!)

Don't forget to link up your own creation on the challenge blog by Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (CDT)!

I did get DS3's haircut done and a few photos of the four siblings taken yesterday, but you'll just have to wait for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Autumn Greetings

This week looks like it is to be one filled with the hustle and bustle of a new school year starting and, with it, my first official thoughts of autumn!  I've noticed some oh-so-subtle signs of the upcoming season stealthily popping into the landscape.  I even saw a flock of geese fly overhead yesterday, headed south!

I found myself looking through the fall colors in my creative stash for this week's Clean & Simple Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers!  We are to use paint or watercolors instead of ink on everything but the sentiment!

I used some Tim Holtz acrylic paint daubers to add fall colors to the tree image before stamping it.  I then stamped the sentiment on a separate strip of cardstock before popping it up with foam dots for dimension.  I added some matching gemstones for some interest.

DH and the two oldest are off to school orientations this morning.  DS3 is still sleeping after an evening of birthday activities and DD is snuggled against me, snoozing like new little ones do.  This last day of summer break looks like a beauty!  I have high hopes of giving DS3 a quick haircut and then attempting to get a sibling photo of the four munchkins!  Wonder how that's going to play out?!

Have a marvelous Monday!

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