Monday, May 25, 2015

Paisley Butterflies

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. I just love three-day weekends! I want to take advantage of this extra day off and share a card that I made recently for a colleague who just had a birthday. 
I used Crystal Effects on the butterflies to give off the glass-like look.
The Elegant Butterfly Punch (127526) is a must have. 
Do you see the butterflies hidden all over the card? I intentionally did that to create a dimensional effect. I miss Bravo Burgundy. That was one of my favorite colors.
The Designer Series Paper I used on this card is called Paisley Petals and has been retired a few years back. Shortly after I made this, I regret that I did not buy more of it. I just love how rich the colors and textures combined. I am so going to miss that Dotted Scallop Ribbon Punch (119275 - currently 50% off). It has been a staple in my card making, and will be retired June 2nd, 2015. 

That's all for now. Thank you for stopping by. 
Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spontaneity is Overrated

A few months ago while buying a refill for my planner at Office Depot, a young man who worked there commented, "Wow, I didn't realize they still make these." Well, yes they do, thank you very much! He followed up by, "You know, you can track everything in your phone now?" Surprisingly, I was not insulted at all by all these bantering. I actually thought he was funny. I sensed he was not trying to be rude, actually trying to help a little old lady (me) about technology. I told him that I feel a sense of accomplishment when I check a task with a red ink. Plus, I can go back and forth and the writing on the pages calm me down. He seemed confused with my response, so I paid and left. From then on each time I open my planner, which is all day every single day, I kind of think about that encounter. Am I becoming obsolete? I know there is an app for everything now. Yet, I keep my life's to-do list in a notebook with my multi-colored pens and post-it notes. The thing is, I cannot help myself. Trust me, I have tried to wean myself from making lists, I only acquired insomnia and stomach ache. 

I never saw myself as a Type A kind of person until recently when a friend who was trying to be funny sent me an article about character traits of a Type A individual. At first I was a bit put-off, but then after reading it, I realized I sort of am and have been for most of my life. I must admit that I do have peculiar quirks. Unfortunately, this list gets longer as I get older. 

1) I always make my bed every morning as soon as I get-up. No excuses, unless I am deathly ill. This drives my hubby crazy, because when he is off work he'd get-up to go to the bathroom and I'd sneak in and make the bed real nice which forces him to not go back to bed. 2) I wake-up early even on weekends. I firmly believe that staying in bed when you've gotten enough rest is a waste of precious time. There are things to be done. Chop, chop! Perhaps, this was because my grandpa used to always say to me, "You can get all the sleep you want when you're dead." "Early birds catch the worm." Yada, yada. So, here I am forty years later, still getting-up at the crack of dawn. 3) I walk fast. I always have things to do, so my family knows that if they go somewhere with me, they are going to have to keep up. Even at work they know when I am coming, because I walk briskly and purposeful. This I know is a trait that I inherited from my grandma. She walked like the wind. 4) I tend to interrupt people when they are telling stories or finish their sentence. I am aware that this is a really, really horrible character flaw that I have been trying so hard to change about myself all my life, but still unsuccessful. Please be assured that my goal is not to be offensive or obnoxious, I just cannot control myself. It's also because my mind is constantly going 100 miles per hour and this is how I process my thoughts. I need to engage myself in the conversation in order for me to remember we even had it. 5) Which brings us to...Tada! I make endless check lists in order to stay on top of things. I have check lists to make lists. 6) It bothers me when people are late. To me, to be on time means to be early. I have things to do, so please respect my time. 7) I am a planner. I prepare the outfit/shoes and accessories I will wear tomorrow the night before - just as an example. 8) Misspelled words are unacceptable; same with texting lingo. 9) Whistling, sniffling, gum-popping, humming and chewing loudly are major no-nos. 10) I don't know how to react to compliments. When someone admires anything I am wearing, instead of replying with a simple thank you, I'd tell her where I bought it and how much. Don't ask me why, I just do. Because I'm strange, that's why!

Well, there you have it. I don't understand why I am the way I am. I am sure there's a very good explanation why I do the things I do, but so far, it works and I am happy with myself - so, why change now, right?
I'd be completely lost without my Franklin Covey Compact Planner 
I love my multi-colored pens and post-it notes
Another Screen Divider style card made with the soon retiring Hostess set called Bloom with Hope.
Pool Party, Early Espresso and Wild Wasabi CS, Watercolor paper and colored with classic ink and Aqua painters. 
I can't post an entry without a card, so here is one we did in our Fancy Fold class last week. Two weeks left before the brand new catalog goes live. I am so excited. I have literally been looking at my copy every chance I get. 

Well, that's all for now. Thank you for stopping by. 
Sunday, May 17, 2015

Not So Pleasant Memories

There are some experiences in life that only need to happen to you once...enough for you to break a little (if not a lot) and be changed for the rest of your life. 

When I was about five years old, my uncle (my dad's older brother who adored me) one afternoon came home and brought me a monkey for a pet. Yes, a monkey! How cool was that? Yes, even back then I thought it was pretty groovy. I was overjoyed and I immediately loved him. A few months later, I became ill. What do you know, allergies/asthma. My grandmother who never wanted me to have the monkey or any kind of pet whatsoever to begin with (because she said animals carried many diseases) took this as an opportunity to convince me that the monkey had to go. I was very sad. My uncle cheered me up by getting me a puppy instead. Boy, was he really trying to annoy my grandma! The puppy was nothing special, just a common local pup; but I loved him just the same. I remember my grandmother was furious at my uncle for what he did. But my uncle just walked-out of the house shaking his head. Haha. I prevailed and kept my pet provided it was not allowed inside the house. I would save leftover meat and rice to take out to my dog and sit with him outside. On many occasions when my grandma would be working in the market all day, I'd let my dog in to sit next to me while I watched Voltes V, Mazinger Z or Star Rangers on TV. 

A couple of years later my dog gradually lost his appetite and became lethargic. Taking him to the vet was never going to happen. This was in the 70's in the Philippines when dogs were just that, dogs. Their main purpose was to stay outside and watch out for intruders. I remember asking my grandpa what he thought was wrong with my dog. He just told me dogs generally don't live long, and that was it. One afternoon, I rushed home from school and went straight to check on my dog out back. He was just lying there on the ground, motionless. By then, he had gotten so thin, like skin and bones. He perked up some, raised his head upon hearing my voice, but he was too weak to get-up on his feet. His breathing was shallow and sparse. I picked him up and after only about half an hour his breathing became fewer and far between until it finally stopped. I knew he had died because he peed on me as soon as he had taken his final deep breath. You know how like some things as they are happening to you, you just know you will take that particular memory with you to the grave? I remember I was wearing my First Communion white dress that day. I had this black pair of Mary Jane's shoes that had a brown wax stain on the right foot. Most of all, I remember being all alone in the back weeping by the pig pen. I gently put my dog down and ran inside to tell my uncle, with tears and snot running down my face. He held my hand, wiped my face and then we buried my dog in our backyard. Later that night, my mother was upset with me because my white dress got dirty. She said I was careless and irresponsible. 

My uncle offered to get me another dog, but I refused and never had another one after that. My parents have had dogs here in the US and my sister had one. As for me, it has been one of those things that will always be a delicate subject to even approach. I've not allowed myself to get too close to another dog. My heart had been broken by stupid boys before and many things in my past have healed, but this particular wound stayed tender to the touch no matter how many years went by. Perhaps because all my life, I'd never talked about it. I never told another soul what it was like to have a friend die in your arms. Not because I didn't want to, I just didn't know how. Or perhaps I did not say anything because I knew no one would understand. So, I locked it in my vault. You know that vault of painful childhood memories many of us have? We shoved stuff in it when we didn't know how to deal with something so we can continue to be the happy and carefree children we should be. I was a child and no one took the time and talked to me about it. It was as if just because I was a kid and I only lost a dog, it was not enough to grieve about. When I was growing up, it was expected to be sad and to cry over losing a family member, but it was absurd and foolish to struggle over a death of a pet. I know now that grief is grief. It was actually harder for me to process that experience than when my great grandmother died the year before that. Hopefully, finally putting it into words will help me heal. I'd really like to own another dog someday. 

A few days ago, my brother-in-law and I brought my mom's dog, Bama to the vet. She has not been well. She is old, has bad arthritis, infections and she has a mass in her abdomen. She has been in our family for ten years and seeing her in agony gives me a painful knot in the pit of my stomach. I am seven years old all over again. 

Oh well enough of my gloom, I want to share a really pretty card created with a stamp that will retire end of this month named Pleasant Poppies. This is one of the four beautiful (and sort of complicated) cards we created in my Fancy Fold Cards Class yesterday, called Easel Card. Isn't it lovely? A gift in itself. Anyone who receives this can place it on his/her desk as a reminder of you.

Pleasant Poppies stamp set, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Baked Brown Sugar CS.

 Well, that's all for now. Thank you for stopping by. 
Sunday, May 3, 2015

Garden Pleasures

The Screen Divider fold cards are everywhere on Pinterest, so I thought I'd give it a try using a couple of my fave stamp sets, called Garden Pleasures and Sweet Herbs. They have both been retired so long ago, yet every spring I feel the need to dig them up to remind myself why I still have them. I had such a fun time watercoloring the images feeling like a true artist. I used card stocks from the 2014-2016 In Color Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow and Blackberry Bliss. 

"One is never closer to God than in a garden."

Well, that is all for today, folks. Have a fabulous Sunday.