Birthday Love, Long Distance

Fun (or not so) facts:

  • distance from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Madras, India (MAA)  is…8,969 miles / 14,434 kilometers
  • time difference between LAX and MAA…13 1/2 hours
  • last time hubby and I visited family in MAA…2008 (too long ago!)
  • time it takes for a birthday card to reach MAA from LAX by mail…about a week

I’ll admit it…I. am. spoiled!  In the late 90’s while living in Japan, if I wanted to communicate with family, I used a totally high-tech call back system and I called my family.  If I wanted to instant message friends (and they were willing to meet me at odd hours), I plugged in my phone cable, punched in my modem passwords, waited for the dial-up to connect, and then, by golly, we chatted.  This may sound old-school now, but at least I didn’t have to send word via pony express, hope that connections were properly made along the way so that weeks later my communication would, by God’s grace, reach its destination.  But NOW…things are even better!  We can skype, chat, and vonage our way into the homes of loved ones and not only are we able to exchange our words and thoughts, but we can show off those extra pounds we’ve put on, parade our latest look, and add emphasis with key facial expressions.  Being as spoiled as I am, however, even our most modern technology does have its drawbacks.

For one — when I have taken too long constructing a card, have let the days pass me by, and have not (air)mailed a birthday card at least one week in advance, technology cannot help me get it there yesterday…until now…well sorta.

Without further ado, I present to you, “Get Your Party On!”.  I created it for my father in law, Hari Uncle.  I was working with Unity’s HHSC44 challenge, with a clear vision of what I was doing, and then boy did I get stumped.  As soon as I got those supplies out and (finally) turned off that critical voice in my head, they lead the way — my motto of late, “just go with it” (wanna see the flick, too)!  Used distress inks to give the birds and owl a watercolor look, then used watercolor pencils sans the water for the feathers. Markered up the party hat. Can you guess that the sentiment is covering up the mistakenly smudged sentiment below — well it is — like I said, “just go with it”.

It’s a doubly special day, celebrating a wedding anniversary AND a birthday, so get your party hat ON!  Even though there are many miles (and kilometers) between us, you are always with us in our thoughts, and we receive your love through care packages, email, and regular phone calls.  Until we get to share in person, Hari Uncle, it is with great love that we send you these birthday wishes…long distance.

Happy Birthday, Hari Uncle!

stamps: {Ippity} Party Hat Wishes, Unity Aug 2010 KOM All You Need, Unity Aug 2008 KOM Remember Happiness

ink: ColorBox Brown, ColorBox Frost White, Tim Holtz Antique Linen, Tim Holtz Broken China

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, Michaels scrap CS, EP, twine, Kimberly watercolor pencils


My Rainy Valentine

I know, I know…Valentine’s Day was three days ago, however, hubby and I are celebrating this weekend, and what better way to keep the spirit of love alive than to extend the holiday just a wee bit.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, 2010 (and still continuing) has been quite rough on us.  Fortunately, we’re not alone facing the meanness of life.  We have our faith, we have our loved ones, and we have each other.  Even with the challenges we’ve had so many moments of deep, rich laughter, and of course, over the silliest things.  How cool is that!

When thinking about creating my Valentine’s valentine, a particular image and sentiment came to mind — Unity’s Rain or Shine.  I love the sentiment, “through rain or shine, you’ll always be mine” — perfect!  I used Get Sketchy’s GS#74 as my guiding inspiration for the layout, and knew that I wanted to use red, white, black, and yellow (hubby likes those classic colors) so that the card would have a clean and classic look.  Using one of my new favorite tools, the Stampamajig (seriously, all that hype out there — I say worth it!), I lined up my various umbrellies from Unity’s Rain & Flowers set on three panels of cream-colored CS, then layered them on some Me & My Big Ideas B&W polka-dotted DP, and adhered it to Papertrey Ink’s Pure Poppy CS.  I tied a small bow with some red ribbon from Michaels.  For my sentiment, I stamped it in ColorBox Frost White on black CS from Michaels, then embossed with white detail EP.  I then stamped a cloud from Unity & Bella Blvd’s Sunny Happy Skies (using my Stampamajig for layout!) around the sentiment in Frost White, cut it out, and adhered it with 3D adhesives.  On the inside of the card I stamped the image from Rain or Shine in Versamark to give it that watermarked look, and signed around it in white ink.  Then the most important part…I placed the card on top of hubby’s dresser…in perfect view to surprise him after work.

To the one I wanna spend all my “under the umbrella” days with — Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend!

stamps: Unity Rain or Shine, Unity Rain & Flowers, Unity & Bella Blvd. Sunny Happy Skies

ink: ColorBox Frost White, ColorBox PaintBox, Palette Black Noir, Versamark

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, Me & My Big Ideas DP, Detail White EP, ribbon from Michaels

Welcome to Paradise!

One of my dear high school friends is moving. This is a good thing (for me). Over the past …many years since high school we have managed to spend only about two of those years in the same state. She has three children — each of them born in different states. I love when we visit. I hate when we say goodbye. But…she’s moving. She’s moving to Paradise. Really — that’s the name of her new home town.

This move puts her and her family (that sounds so grammatically awkward) almost exactly halfway between the home of her parents and the home of her in-laws. Great news for her in-laws, but sad for her parents who have had her a short road trip away. Sad for her to put more miles between people she loves dearly.  Happy for her husband and a new opportunity.  Happy for me to now have her within a day’s drive.  Change.  Bittersweet.

Change is hard. Here’s what I think change would look like on a recipe card:


2 sprays wistful tears

1 Tbsp nostalgia

1 Tbsp reluctance and anxiety

3 Tbsp teary goodbyes

3 Tbsp excitement

1 large dose possibilities

1/2 tsp adventure, grace, humor

One by one add each ingredient to mixing bowl of emotions, being careful to stir slowly.  When mixture results in a wistful heavy heart, and a hopeful smile, preparations are complete.

To help welcome my friend and her family to their new home, and to brighten her day, I decided to send some “housewarming” love in the mail.  Based on the Get Sketchy Challenge #73, I used some cheery DP and these lovely little houses to create this card.

stamps: {ippity} by Unity “House a Home”

ink: ColorBox Dune, Palette Burnt Umber

accessories: Papertrey Ink CS, My Mind’s Eye DP, ribbon from Michaels, button, twine

Avoid Your Words, Please

Ahh…the memories…picking out the song.  It’s a special day, you’ve waited for it all your life, and now time for the momentous first dance.  Do you keep it traditional or spice it up with some silly? Do you take lessons to prepare for or decide to “just go with it” and let it be organic?  Whatever the decision, it’s almost a guarantee that in addition to choosing the dress another big decision hurdle will be choosing the song.

Here’s one that will be forever dear, but which didn’t quite make the cut…

Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you,

it’s not that I want you, not to say, but if you only knew

how easy, it would be to show me how you feel…

Of course, the mere fact that it was a suggestion means that whenever I hear Extreme’s early 90’s rock ballad, “More Than Words”, I pause and listen carefully to the “honey, it’s [almost] our song”.  In the same way that Michael Bolton’s “Said I Loved You, But I Lied” can stop me in my tracks with the initial title and chorus (way to grab our attention, Michael), the line “saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you” can also make me take pause.

Over the past year or so my husband and I have been (and continue to be) put through the ringer!  We’ve been moving through some incredibly difficult circumstances.  By the grace of God, our love for each other, and the incredible support of dear ones around us we are making it through.  [Can I get an “Amen!”]  This being said, when I do pause and listen to our almost song, it really gets me thinking.

How many times do I tell my husband I love him?  How many times do I say or do something totally inconsiderate or hurtful?  How much more powerful would my I love you’s be if I could tell him without the words?

This is a challenge I give myself — tell my husband I love him.  tell him every. single. day.  tell him — and avoid the words.

In honor of what I think would happen, I bring you, “Avoid Your Words, and Grow…Love”.  Based on Unity Stamp Company’s weekly sketch challenge (HHSC43), I made it a goal to make a CAS (clean and simple) card with ribbon and felt.

So, if like me, you have been blessed with some truly amazing loved ones in your life, then go on and tell them “I love you”, tell them even more, and every so often, say it, but avoid the words.

stamps: Unity Stamp Co. “Fly With Me” KOM

ink: Versamark

accessories: Papertrey Ink Kraft CS, PaperSource soft white double faced satin ribbon, PaperSource Aegean Silver EP, Sizzix Tipsy Hearts dies, felt

My Heart on a String

New year, new month, new me? Let’s hope so — not the revamped don’t recognize me me, but back to myself me. After all, this is “if she did what she loves”!

Since the ball fell in the big apple I’ve been determined to slowly incorporate the things I love back into my life, little by little — you know, baby steps. Much like faith, I am going to take steps with the hopes and certainty that I will feel more like myself again, and by trusting and taking those steps, THEY WILL. So, I’m taking the risk, stepping out in faith, and putting my heart on the line…or string (you’ll see).

One step includes a goal — seeking the inspiration of various sketch challenges, I am aiming to complete three cards a week. Card by card I am determined to fight the meanness out of life and regain some of my life-lovin’ verve.

Here’s a start…this past week’s Mojo Monday sketch challenged participants to make a round or square card with a great funky flair.

See, I told ya – heart (or shall I say hearts) on a line (or string). I stretched myself even further with this challenge to try punching a circle with a corner punch, AND to use these absolutely adorable mini clothespins. It took me about two days to complete it and love it, but after a few iterations, I finally got it just right — AND I did what I love!

stamps: sweet love sentiment – Ippity (by Unity) “Moonbeams & Heartstrings”; XOXO sentiment – Studio G

ink: warm red & rose coral ColorBox Chalk

accessories: MS ribbon loop corner punch; Target $1 spot DP; PTI kraft CS; twine; mini clothespins