Friday, October 30, 2009

Funny Story...

On Monday I had to get my blood tested for my white cell count to see if I could get chemo on Wednesday... all the counts were good and I got my chemo. While I was getting my blood taken, this nurse walks in and is staring at my hair (aka my wig) and I'm getting rather paranoid... I kept thinking she knows it's a wig, she knows... then she blurts out..."I love your highlights!"

OMG, I was floored. Talk about making my day. You have no idea how weird it is to walk around with a wig on. At first it was itchy, and made me cry, now it's not so bad, I'm getting used to it, but I feel like I'm wearing a hat all the time.

Of course, I say, in my typical Chris fashion, thanks, it's a wig. Why I tell people this stuff when she had no idea, I don't know, but I do that stuff all the time. Like someone will say they love my boots and I'll say I got them at TJ Maxx for $25! It's pretty funny. I'm weird like that I guess.

Are you ready for Christmas? I'm not ~ but I did a Christmas type layout. There was a challenge on Serendipity Scrapbooks board to do a layout of your favorite movie, and the one that came to mind was It's a Wonderful Life. We have the dvd, but I always can't wait for it to come on TV. That movie is Christmas to me.

I made this layout pretty graphic looking. Pulled the photos from the net, and printed them on a matte paper.

Life cu2

I pulled some of my favorite quotes from the movie, like "Every time a bell rings, and angel gets his wings."

Here's a close up:
Life cu1

Take care, and don't forget to feel your boobies this month coming up!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

She's so sweet....

A few weekends ago, I took some photos of my niece. She is going to be 18 years old. I really can't believe it. I did a photo shoot with her in my back yard for her senior casual portraits. I used my bricks on my house for some texture, the bench by the trees, and a chair. Her dad (my brother) was real pleased with them, so we're going to get some more prints made, and I'd like to give some to her mom (they're divorced).

Anyway, I had her wallets sitting on my desk and thought they'd make a cute layout, so I pulled out this fun BoBunny paper and here's what I came up with. The title tells it all because if you've ever met Michelle, you'd definitely say that She is sweet.

Sweet

Here's a couple of closeups.

Here I used my new Martha Stewart Loopy punch on the blue:
Sweet cu 2

Sweet cu 1

I ended up doing the layout for a daily challenge on Serendipity Scrapbooks. They have a fun daily challenge every day, and the more you do, the more chances you have for a prize.

Creative Charms Products
I've been working with Creative Charms - an embellishment company - for about a year now. I do their package designs and their catalogs and also some sales sheets. I also do some scrappy stuff for them once in a while.

I love their stuff. They have these great antique brads, they're my favorite. Well, the good news is, if you can't find their stuff at your LSS, they are now carrying Creative Charms embellies at Addicted to Scrapbooking. Check it out if you get a chance.

I recently did this layout for a Breast Cancer Awareness kit that CC was selling. Lot's of Creative Charms product on here. The metal butterfly brads are cool, because you can lift up their wings for dimension:
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This is from a different layout, but you can see the wings lifted:
baby blues cu2

That's it for today. I had chemo yesterday, and all went well. I feel pretty good. As long as I can keep the nausea in check, I'm good. I'm going to work on some projects for Indiana University of PA, then I think I'll relax and watch a movie. Sounds good! I'm glad I don't have a hard job, LOL! Or one where I have to go into the office. I really don't miss that. I love working from home. :)

Have a great day!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame, and a Layout

Saturday, I was cruising the Two Peas top 10. That's always my first stop... when OMG, there was MY layout in the top 10!! Woot!! It was there for a whole half a day, but still, it WAS there. I was sooo excited.

And, look, I took a screen shot of it!!
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It was my Fabulous Fall leaf layout, which just happens to be my very favorite layout. So, that was pretty cool.

I finally finished my layout that I started a week ago. I used the Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday, I think... or is it Girl Thursday?? At any rate, this is about my "Super Best Girlfriend" Carol. We met in art school a long time ago. She really is the best. :)

Girlfriend

Here's a couple of closeups:
Girlfriend cu1

The pretty sparkly lace was given to me by Patti Martin, just out of the blue. How cool is that? Just love happy scrappy mail. Thanks Patti!

Another close up, I really love the Martha Stewart punches:
Girlfriend cu2

That's it on this fabulous sunny Monday. I love the sunshine, especially on these beautiful fall days. They go by so quickly.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dorothy said it best...

“There’s no place like home.”

I returned home from the hospital on Tuesday. It was soooo nice and quiet, and I had the best nights sleep Tuesday night. Love.my.bed. :)

I feel 100% better. I’m so glad. My chemo had to be postponed until next Wednesday, but I was OK with that. It’s nice to feel “normal” and healthy for a bit.

I'm afraid to go out in public for fear of catching another cold or worse, but, I can’t live like that, so I’ll just have to be super careful. Yesterday, I went with my hubby to run some errands. We went to the post office and the library. I stayed in the car. Then we went to the Meadows Frozen Custard shop and got an ice cream thru the drive thru window.... that picked up my spirits! After that, we went to Seton Hill Universities cemetery, and I took some cool fall shots. Kinda spooky.

cemetary

AND... toot, toot, toot.... did you see page 116 in the November issue of Creating Keepsakes???

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That’s my layout baby!! I’m so very proud. It was also such an honor to be in the same magazine with Ali Edwards, Becky Higgins, and Lizzy K! Not to mention my old CK and blogging buddies, Joscie, Noel and Kim! What a great issue to get to be in.

I still need to finish up my one layout, I’ll have that ready next week. I spent most of this week pretty much doing nothing. It was nice.

Have a fabulous weekend. Get out and enjoy the fall if you can.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bored and Bald

I got admitted to the hospital on Friday. I felt really awful. They swabbed me for the flu, but apparently I don't have it because I don't have a cough. Just a really bad head cold. My face is killing me. All the sinus pressure.

It's pretty boring in here, I've watched so much tv that they're playing the movies over again. I was up in the middle of the night because it's so hard to sleep here.

Yesterday, my savior and hubby brought me the laptop! Yeah, I can communicate with the world again.

Anyhoo, so I'm sitting here and hair is everywhere. I guess it's started, the bald part of the chemo. A woman's worst nightmare. I keep imagining myself leaving the hospital looking like the crypt keeper. Remember him? I guess when I get home, I'll give Matt a haircut, then he can do me. (ETA - I mean he'll cut my hair!! Get your mind out of the gutter!) I'll be so pretty. I really didn't think it would fall out like this, I thought it would be a bit here and there, but no, it's a lot. Not clumps, but it's everywhere. One consolation is that it's happening in the hospital and not at home, so they can clean it up! Gotta look at the bright side, right?

Anyway, can't dwell on things you can't change, and I got a rockin' red wig waiting for me at home.

I can't wait to go home. I'm so ready to scrap. I actually scrapped Thursday night, and that layout was going to be my Friday post, but then I woke up at 3 am with a fever and ended up here. I really miss my kids. I'm quarantined until the official flu test results come back in 36 hours... which they should be in by now. Josh, AKA Justin Timberlake (he looks just like him) took my blood this morning and when the doctor gets those results, maybe I can go home. Cross your fingers!

I found a couple of pictures I had saved in photobucket that I never got a chance to share with you. Remember how much I wanted and wanted the Cosmo Cricket Early Bird line? Well, guess what??? My hubby got it for me for my birthday!! I just had to point him in the right online direction and he ordered it up for me.

Check it out - I even found the chipboard, can't wait to use this:
CC stuff

But wait, there's more!!

While at Walmart, I happened across this Martha Stewart Loopy Punch set. I love it. Haven't used it yet, but I played with it. Went back the next day to get one for a friend, and they were all gone.

ms punches

That's it for now. Hope you all are having a great Sunday. Take care.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Busy, Busy.... (photo heavy post!)

Wow, we had a very busy weekend, that just kept on going like the Energizer Bunny right on into Monday!! (blatant plug there, click on the bunny link and become a fan!)

I did absolutely nothing scrappy, artsy or creative...

Oh, wait, I take that back, I decorated for fall. It took me ALL day Sunday (because I had to clean the tape marks off of the glass). Remember the other day when I drove on my meds? Well apparently, you shouldn't go shopping on meds either because you end up purchasing large pieces of furniture! I went to the furniture store, just to look (famous last words). In the clearance department, I spotted a china cupboard. I don't have a china cupboard... I needed a china cupboard! Truth be told, I have been looking for an affordable china cupboard for about 3 years. The one I wanted was this Pottery Barn beauty in black. Did you see the price tag? Sometimes it's about the hunt, getting that great piece for a great deal.

Here's a picture of my cabinet with all my pretties in it. I am going to repaint my walls a pumpkin color. I'm tired of the wine color. Maybe a darker color on the bottom, like cinnamon and the pumpkin on top.

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Guess how much I paid for it? Guess? You'll never guess... $288. Yes, that is not a typo! It is a Kathy Ireland piece. A little on the modern side for my taste, but it works with the mission style table I have. I can change the handless if I want, and maybe paint it black, or not... it has some nicks and scratches, so it won't bother me to paint it.

I love the fact that my wine glasses and such won't get dusty. I previously had them on a bakers rack, which we will move to the basement for the winter, then come spring, it will look great on my deck with some potted plants on it... plus we can use it when we cook out to put the side dishes on.

On Saturday, we went to the Fort Ligonier Days Parade. It's a fantastic parade. We had bands from West Virginia, and the New York Fire Departments bag pipe band was even there. That was pretty impressive.

Here are some of my favorite pictures.

The fort and a reenactment, these were at the actual fort, not part of the parade:
fort lignier

Fort reinactment

Mohawk Indian in the parade, this guy was scary!
Mohawk Indian

The Syria Shriners:
shriner car

clown

Shriner Shoes, these always cracked me up when I was a kid:

shriner shoes

Clydesdales:
clydesdale

NY City Fire Department Bagpipers:
NY fire dept 1

NY fire dept 3

Well, I have a ton more. I took 300 photos. Ligonier is so cute and quaint. If you are ever in Southwestern Pennsylvania, you should go there. They have a law that no fast food places are allowed. I don't know what the locals think of that, but I think it keeps the town unique and pristine.

I also did a photo shoot of my niece. She is graduating high school this year, so I did her casual shots. I was too tired to go on any great location, so I just used my back yard:
Michelle

That's it for today. I edited a ton of photos! I hope to get scrappy sometime this week. I got some great paper for my birthday last month that I can't wait to use.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Stinkin' Hybrid

I did this little card yesterday. You might recognize the little skunk from my spring blog header.

I had a heck of a time cutting out my skunk with my silhouette. It would get to the tail then quit. I thought it was broken. So I typed some letters and it cut those, which led me to believe it was the file. I had to draw the little "stinker's" outline all over again.

Matt, my dh, draws all the illustrations for me. Isn't it handy to have an illustrator for a hubby?

The little stinker is in my computer and I can mass make this cute card now!! Great for stuff like Etsy, eh? Invites, Christmas cards... gotta love hybrid. :)

I stole the copy from a card I got from my friend Joscie, it says "I stink... you're sweet."

Here's the outside:
Skunk Card

Close up, I used pop dots to give the skunk and the sentiment some dimension. Then to add a little sparkly zip, I put clear stickles on his tail, black stickles on his eyes and pink stickles on his nose.
Skunk cu

And just a quick shot of the inside:
Skunk inside

I sent this card to Jennifer McGuire along with my HELLO KATIE card, thanking her for her involvement with the card drive.

We have a busy weekend in store, I can't wait. I feel great... no more nausea, don't have to take those crazy meds. Yippee. We'll be spending the day in Ligonier Pennsylvania for their Fort Ligonier Days celebration. Big, big parade. I hope to get lots of photos. I love the parade there, it's the best. Really long, but so fun.

I'm taking my 18 year old niece along with us. Then afterward, weather permitting, I'd like to get her casual senior picture shots. I have some great ideas. I hope they turn out.

That's it for today. Take care, have a great weekend!!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

May Cause Drowsiness

Use care when operating a car or dangerous machine.

That's what it says right on my anti-nausea meds. But do I listen???

Nooooo.

Yesterday my friend Amy called. She wanted to take me to lunch. I happily replied "YES". We decided on the Olive Garden. Amy lives up on the mountain, it's very beautiful there, but not really near any signs of life until you drive at least 5 miles to the next house, so she was pretty happy to get out.

I ran upstairs to get ready for my lunch date. Suddenly, I felt extremely sleepy. I mean I think if I would have laid down, I could have slept for 2 hours! But, I jumped in the shower instead hoping it would wake me up.

While putting on my make up, I kept thinking... should I ask Matt to drive me over there? Then I thought "nah" I should be ok by then.

I get in the car and very carefully drive to the Olive Garden. I manage to make it out of my neighborhood, pass my sons school, then it's time to turn left, so I start to turn left, but the sign says "No Outlet". So I stopped. Then I thought, I wonder if the bridge is out.

Then I realized it's the WRONG road. I need to go to the next road to turn left. So I swing the car back onto the road after very carefully looking in the mirror to make sure I wasn't pulling out in front of anyone, and proceed to the next left turn.

Now, I have lived here for 7 years. I practically drive this way everyday... how did I turn at the first left instead of the second?

And, do you want to hear something even funnier???

There aren't any bridges!

OMG, I really should NOT have been driving.

I managed to make it to the restaurant and told Amy and the waitress my story right after she asked us if we wanted a drink...

Moral of the story, when your meds say that they "may cause drowsiness" and "not to operate machinery", perhaps we should actually listen.

We spent a good 2 hours at lunch, and by then I was back to normal.

skunky line

I have a layout to share today, too. I did this a while back and submitted it to a couple magazines, but it didn't get picked up. I believe the paper is Pink Paislee or maybe Crate Paper, or both... I can't remember. I like how it turned out. The little boy moved away, so I can't submit it because I'd need his mom to OK it.

But, I can put it on my blog!
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Thanks for stopping. Hope you have a great day.

and remember

Feel Your Boobies!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

My friend Shelley Haganman sent me this award and I thought I would play along! I am so honored that Shelley chose little ole me! THANK YOU SHELLEY!!

Here is how it works....

*Say thank you and give a link to the presenter of the award
*Share “10 Honest Things” about myself
*Present the award to 9 other bloggers whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design or to those who have encouraged me
*Be sure to tell the 9 bloggers chosen that you are giving them the Honest Scrap award and provide the guidelines for them

skunky line

OK, so here's my 10 honest things:

1. I love my life, I really do. I worked hard for what I have and work hard at being a good mom and wife, and a good business owner. I have my flaws, I'm so not perfect, neither is my life, but I'm pretty happy.

2. Having cancer has restored my faith in humans. Everyone ~ nurses, doctors, friends, family and my internet friends have been such a blessing thru this rough time. Really, I used to hate people. I worked in a restaurant and some people are so mean. I actually disliked people so much so, that I lived by myself in a tiny apartment for a year. Friends often asked me how could I stand it... I loved it. Just me and my cat. Now, I think I'd be lonely.

3. I'm hopelessly addicted to the internet. When we first got internet at work back in 1995, I thought, this is dumb, what are people going to use it for. Yeah, I laugh now, too.

4. I hate whiners. OK, I mean, I'll give you a whiney day, we all have those, but it's the constant whiners that really irk me. Shut up already and do something about it if you're so miserable.

5. I hate mean people (see #2). I mean, OK dude, I'm sorry you had a bad day, but why is it my fault???

6. I cried because my hair is going to fall out. I know, it's silly. I can handle the chemo and nausea, but the thought of not having hair scares me... I figure I have 3-7 more days of hair left. I'm mourning the loss of my hair more than my boob. People see my hair, not many see my boob. (although of late, I have to say it's been on display quite a bit!)

7. I love my kids sooo much it hurts. How is it possible to love them this much? They are my world.

8. I'm crying writing this, I'm such a sap. Don't ever cry in front of me because we'll both look like blubbering idiots! I've always been so sentimental and empathetic. (which is funny if you read #2). When I was a little girl, I remember my mom telling my kindergarten teacher that I was very sensitive and would get my feelings hurt very easily. I've toughed up since then, but I think as I get older, I'm turning back into an old softee.

9. I love art. I love drawing and painting and photography and illustration and clay and pasting paper and pictures. I love looking at other peoples art. I love Andy Warhol and Degas and Van Gogh and Monet. I love Remington. I've always drawn. I remember getting a box of 100+ crayons for Christmas when I was little, probably only 4, it was my most favorite gift. Then my mom started buying me paint by numbers, I loved those. I love painting. I should get back into it.

10. I was going to be an architect, but once we got to the part where we had to put the beams in, I really didn't care if the house was going to stand, I just wanted to make it pretty.

skunky line

OK, now I get to pick 9 bloggers that I admire. I admire them for lots of reasons. Creativity, strength, humor...

Michelle - The Life I Live
Jocelyn - Simply Me
Patti - Scrapping is My Passion
Jody - Clean and Simple
Ellen - Today I am Thankful For
Stacy - Just So You Know
Martha - Scrumptious
Lisa - Takin' Life One Day at a Time
Kristin - Glue and Popsicle Sticks

OK, that's 9.... I could keep going, I'd like to pick everyone!

Have a great beautiful day. Remember, the time to be happy is now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hello "Katie"

I made a card for Jennifer McGuire's card drive for Kate. Kate is a little 5 year old girl with brain cancer. I was trying to come up with something fun and cute and interactive. I thought of making a dress up doll, but, I don't really have any die cuts for that. But, I did have a hello kitty die cut, so I made a Hello Katie card. I think I'll go to Mike's or Jo's and get some Hello Kitty stickers to throw in there. Jen is collecting these cards up until Oct. 15 then she's going to send them all to Kate's mom.

I'm going to apologize now for the terrible photos. Must have been too dark.

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I used lots of glitter and felt for the eyes so she could run her fingers over it and feel the kitty "fur".

That's it for today. I have a layout on my desk, but it's just not quite there yet. I think it needs more "stuff".

Have you seen page 116 of the November CK yet? Me neither, but I think I need to go hunt one down. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Have a great day.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Feel Your Boobies

I'm going to tell this story once - and then my blog will commence as normal. I wasn't going to put it on my blog at all, because my blog is my happy creative place.... like my little alternate universe from reality, ya know. Once in a while I'll throw in some fun stuff we did, but I only like to share the good stuff, because don't we all have enough bad stuff going on??

Today, I'm going to share some bad stuff. And, it sucks, but I'm dealing with it... dealing with it with some kick ass attitude. I figured if I share this here, I might save someones life. I mean, WOW, seriously, save a life, so that is why I am going to share my story.

3 weeks before CHA I was driving home from the post office like I do a few times a week. I pull up behind this car. There is a white bumper sticker with pink lettering that says “Feel Your Boobies”. I read it and giggled... ha ha, feel your boobies, that is cute.

I went home. I did not feel my boobies. I think God was talking to me, giving me little hints... ok, that was more like in your face, but like we all do, we don't listen when he talks.

One week later, I'm walking out of Walmart with my family. We had just stocked up on groceries and paper products... it was a big order. I felt an itch on my left boob. I slipped my finger under the top of the bra, swiped twice to scratch the itch - then went WHOA. What was that??? A lump??? I think God was shouting at this point. I got in the car and didn't say anything to anyone. I was hoping it was just due to my period and that after I got it the next week, it would go away.

It didn't go away. Now I am worried. I asked a few friends and they were convinced it was a cyst because it hurt. They say breast cancer doesn't hurt... they're wrong. And let me tell you, it did hurt. My boobs hurt for months. I thought it was something to do with the change of life, yada yada yada--insert excuse here______.

So, with that thought, it could be a cyst, I told my husband. I left for CHA and had a great time. I must say tho, all the physical labor of setting up the one show really made my boob sore.

Once I returned home, I made a doctors appointment that week for the next. Everything is a blur since that first mammogram, then a sonogram, then a biopsy.... then I had to meet with a surgeon, and an oncologist, then I had MRIs, CTs and a Bone Scan, all which came back to say that the cancer is contained in the breast.

I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Wow, it felt so surreal. I mean this doesn't happen to a healthy 42 year old woman, with no trace of it on either side of her family... a person who isn't over weight (well maybe 10 pounds), a person who walks, drinks soy milk, cooks dinner for the kids every night... not out of boxes, but the old fashioned way, makes bread and cookies from scratch because I'm paranoid of the stuff they put in food... washes her grapes with soap... breast fed my kids, don't drink, don't smoke.... wth? I did everything right.

Well, Breast Cancer is RANDOM. In my short few weeks I have met woman with breast cancer from as young as 22 to as old as 82+. AND there’s all different kinds of breast cancer, I have come to find out. There is the one that feeds off of protein in your body, one that is from estrogen and progesterone... which I have none of those. Each type gets different types of treatment and drugs.

My regimen will be 4 chemo treatments every 3 weeks, then surgery, then 4 more treatments, then radiation.

It's going to be a long road. But, I'm ready for it. I'm going in with a winning kick cancers ass attitude. I'll be fine. No pity. Just say some prayers that all goes well.

Sorry such a downer, and no photos! I promise the next post will be filled with fun and pretties.

Take care... and feel those boobies!

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This image can be purchased thru iStock here. All proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure. We just made our first donation this month. :)

Please do not steal this image, or karma will get you and bad things will happen!