Monday, March 2, 2015

Hand Journaling - National Craft Month

Good morning everyone- is your National Craft Month off to a good start? It is the first Monday of the month so that means we have a
Designer Crafts Connection blog hop going on!  To navigate through the web ring, use the arrows under the logo- check it out in my side bar --------->

To start National Craft Month off on the right foot, I want to share a story that I blogged a while back. This subject is so dear to my heart. If you are not using your own handwriting on your projects, you need to start. Here is the reason why:

Today I want to share a story with you. Every time I teach a class I hear,,,
"I don't like my handwriting"
"My handwriting is ugly and messy"
"It is too hard to write by hand to journal, I would rather
use a computer"

I am hear to tell you there is a very good reason why you should 
be putting your OWN handwriting down on your projects.

Here is my story. 
If you are a crier, get your tissue out now.
For some reason, every time I tell this story people end up bawling- including me. 

This is my Grandmother, Gussie, and my two babies, way back in 1994!
Gussie was the light of my life. When the Hubs retired in late 1994, we
moved back to Texas and bought a house 5 minutes down the road from Gussie
so that I could always be near her. 

My girls were so blessed to get to spend so much time with their 
Great Grandmother while they were growing up. 

Gussie was there for all the big days, and the little days, of our lives.

In about 2000, Gussie developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. It barely slowed her down. 
Keeping up with DR's visits and medications at 85 was a little much,
so I pitched in to help out.

As time went on, I helped out a little more, and a little more. 
Grocery shopping, house cleaning, making sure she ate, - all those 
little things to make sure that she was able to live comfortably in her own house.
I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend with her- it means so much
to me that I was able to enjoy every minute that I could with her.

In August 2009 Gussie had a seizure and spent her first night in the hospital
in her entire life- at the age of 93. After a few days in the hospital, she was transferred
to a rehab center, and from there to a nursing home. 

For 11 months I went every single day to the nursing home to spend time 
with her and to make sure she ate. Everyday when I walked in the door her
 face would light up and she would say "There's my girl!".
She told me almost every week that she
was "ready to go home to her God, anytime he wanted to call her". 
She was just waiting on her body to give out. She wasn't really sick in any way,
she was just tired. Tired of living and ready to go home.

 Here is my layout of the last Christmas that we shared in 2009.

Of course, being the contrary person that she was, she waited until she knew
I would be out of town for 2 days to die. She had already told me she 
didn't want me there when she passed away. 
She wanted to go quietly, alone, in the arms of God. 
I really didn't want to go to retreat.
 Everyone told me to go- I was only an hour away after all.
I stopped on the way out of town to see her and to tell her I loved her. 
Two mornings later I got the call- she had passed away peacefully in her sleep. 
Exactly like she wanted. 

Of course, there was the funeral to get through, and then the estate to settle.
It took us almost a year to sell her house. In that year, we all took little
 things from her house that meant something to us. I had been in and out of 
that house I don't know how many times doing maintenance, 
packing things up, getting ready for the sale, etc. 

On the last day before the sale, as I stood in her kitchen one last time
to let those memories sink in, I opened a drawer 
I had opened a hundred times. I moved a few papers and found 
something that made my heart stop. 
In the bottom of that drawer was a pile of recipes, collected over
countless years, written in Gussie's own hand.
She wrote recipes on scraps of paper, the backs of envelopes, 
the back of a water bill, little tiny note pads- she was a child of
the Great Depression, she wasted nothing!

Now, for all of you who say your handwriting is ugly, messy, or bad, 
take a look at this,,,

Do you see this chicken scratch??? And she wrote this before the arthritis made her 
hands curl up, and old age made her hands shake. This was her GOOD penmanship!
 I defy any of you to tell me that your handwriting is worse than what you see 
right here. Gussie's writing was barely legible most of the time.

But let me tell you something;
I sat on the floor of my grandmother's kitchen
 and cried, big sobbing tears like a little girl, over these scraps of paper 
covered in that horrible, ugly, handwriting.

These pieces of paper are some of my most precious possessions.
They are priceless beyond compare.
I can look through these papers and see my Gussie's life in that writing.
I can tell the ones she wrote earlier in life. I can tell which ones
she wrote after she started shaking. I can tell which ones she wrote
after she stopped cooking- they have missing ingredients!

So here's the deal...

You need to put your handwriting down on paper because
sometime, somewhere, there will be someone who will be
grateful that you did.

You need to put your handwriting down on paper because 
computer journaling does not portray you. That printed font can never
portray your life like pen and ink.

You need to put your handwriting down on paper because
one day you will be gone and the love ones that you leave behind
will be looking for personal ways to connect with you.

But most importantly, you need to put your handwriting down on paper because
that little piece of you that is left behind will mean the world
to someone- and let me tell you that they will not give one damn that your
handwriting is not perfect. 

Just write it down.

Please share this with your crafty friends.
 Some schools are not even teaching cursive writing any longer
and that is a real shame. 
Journaling by hand is such an important part of 
memory keeping- we need to make sure that it continues. 

Great Dad layout with Echo Park Papers

Good morning everyone! It is National Craft Month and there are so many thing going on to celebrate!  Today I have a new layout for The Crafty Scrapper using the brand new Echo Park line - Jack and Jill. This line is SOOO cute y'all!

I don't have very many chances to use boy themed papers, so I was happy to be able to put these to use. Of course, there are not that many pics of the hubs either, so that is a challenge too!

I layered several of the die cut stickers around the page, using foam tape under some of them for dimension. Of course, journaling in my own handwriting is a must for my pages.

For my title I used a chippie from Want2Scrap and white embossing powder.

Don't you just love Wendy Vecchi's stamps? The background stamps are amazing on page layouts too- don't limit them to tags and cards!

The entire Jack and Jill line is available at The Crafty Scrapper, so be sure to stop by and grab some while they last!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. What are your plans for National Craft Month?   Do you have lots of fun things planned?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Easter Bunny Centerpiece with Smoothfoam

Howdy folks, today I want to share a home decor project using Smoothfoam.  Valentine Day is past, so that means it is time to decorate for Easter. I love Easter decor- it is just so cute!My DD1 loves Peeps so I just had to make this for her.

Smoothfoam 8"x1" Disc
Smoothfoam 6"x1" Disc
Smoothfoam 1"x6"x12" Sheet
Smoothfoam 2"x4"x4" Block (4)
Hot Knife Tool, toothpicks
Acrylic Paint and brushes, circle punch
Floral Moss, Ribbon, Black Cardstock,
Paper Flowers, Decorative Eggs,

1. Using 6" disc as a pattern, cut a portion of the 8" Disc so that the 6" disc will  fit snug against it.
2. Draw pattern for ears and trace onto 1x6x12 sheet, cut out the shapes, and smooth the edges a bit for a more rounded look.
3. Attach the pieces together using toothpicks. Paint front and back with acrylic paint and set aside to dry. Add punched circles for eyes and nose. Tie bow around neck. Insert sharpened dowels into bottom of bunny and anchor in your desired container.

I have this wonderful rustic wooden piece that I normally use for silverware, and it turns out that the 2x4x4 Block fits perfectly into the sections! I covered them with moss and inserted the bunny into the front sections.

I decorated the box with some paper flowers, and some decorated eggs.

I made these eggs which I am absolutely in love with to go at the base. To see the details on these, please see my blog post HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. What are you crafting up for Easter? I would love to see what everyone else is up to, so leave your links in the comments below so I can check it out!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vintage Easter Eggs

Howdy everyone, today I want to share a fun project that I am so happy with! I am planning several projects for Easter Decor this year and I wanted to start with something that was QUICK!

How cute are these?? I am in love with them. I used paper mache` eggs, vintage book pages, and Modge Podge. Tear the pages into small pieces, apply Modge Podge to the egg using a paintbrush, and add paper one piece at a time. I used my fingers to smooth the paper pieces on, until the whole egg was covered.  I used a wet wipe to blot an excess Modge Podge off - I applied it very heavy!

I added a band of lace around the egg, then wound some thin crochet thread around it several times. I added a charm to each one before tying the thread into a bow.  A little bit of pretty stuff onto each one finished them off.

I have a few more to make for some other projects and I hope they all turn out as well as these!

Thanks for stopping by today. What are your Easter crafty projects?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More Art Play with Deflecto Craft and ADORNit

I have had so much fun with the Art Play Paintables paper from ADORNit! I am loving them so much!!! Really, I really love to color anyway, so these are right up my alley.

Here is another project I made this week using one of the larger images from the set.
I used the 8 1/2 x 11Cubicle Sign Holder from Deflecto Crafts for my frame. I used a combination of Tombow markers and PITT® Pastel Pencils from Faber-Castell to color it in.

When I went to mount my finished project onto paper and insert it into the frame, I noticed something pretty cool,,,

The paper that came in the frame made a pretty good background for my project- it was so pretty! So I mounted my project right on the included paper and put it right back in the frame :o) - upcycling at it's best, right?

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Have a fabulous week!!


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