Monday, September 30, 2013

Friday night fun

I know you're thinking, "Two posts in one day?  WTF!" but I just have to get this off of my chest.  First, the fun stuff.  Below, the serious stuff.  ;-)

So this was the scene on Friday night: 

(Ummm... I most certainly did NOT take that blurry picture... LOLOL)

My Bible study friends have gotten into scrapbooking.  OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!  My favorite hobby and some of my favorite people all rolled into one.  What more could a girl want?  :)

I only got two pages half-way done because there was a lot of eating and visiting going on, which is perfect!  I brought my pages home and finished them up today.  Both are simple pages, as it's really the stories I wanted to get down on paper and not so much about getting the perfect masterpiece made.

First, my sister and my son.  Two of my favorite people and two of the biggest blessings in my life.  I wish I had put "blessed" in my title instead of "lucky" but it's all good... Paper is Sassafras Lass, buttons are Maya Road, ribbon is SU!, bingo card (?), stickers are Simple Stories. 

This other page is just a simple one of my kiddo enjoying dinner at one of our faves, Chik-Fil-A.  It was a fundraising event for school.  Yes, I acquired a gift card from the restaurant for the purposes of adding it to my layout.  I'm sure CFA won't mind!  Paper is (?)- I dunno because my bestie JenBarkdull just cleaned out her stash and gave me a bunch of patterned paper and this was in it! :) Stickers are BG and Crate Paper.


On a more personal note, that Friday night crop was very nearby a place where I used to live, and a place where a big chunk of my heart has been for the last six years.  At the end of the night I was at a crossroads, both literally and figuratively:  I could have turned left and driven less than a mile to go back to that life and those arms that were waiting for me, wanting me around forever, or I could turn right and head home to my son and my immediate family, where I truly belong and where ALL of my heart SHOULD be. For these last six years I've always been forced to choose between the two.  No harmony could exist between the choices or between the people in both locations and it's rendered me broken... feeling useless... sad.... and exhausted beyond belief. (Notice how I said those arms want "ME" around forever and not "US," as in me and my son?  Yeah, just thought I should point that out.)

So what did I do?  I turned right to head home... but it wasn't easy.  The fallout since that decision has been really rough on me.  I've made that decision before but my resolve would always fail, or I'd be talked into going back, or my loneliness would get the best of me, or < insert excuse here >.  The ugly truth is, it's like a wound that's been going on for almost six years now that keeps getting opened and infected and closed and re-opened and re-infected... you get the picture.  I guess I'm rambling on about this because my heart is breaking and I don't feel so good... kinda; when I woke up on Saturday morning next to my son I knew I had made the right decision.  I still know I've made the right decision, but it doesn't make it easier.

Then today I saw this quote from Max Lucado:  "Your pain won't last forever, but you will.  What is coming will make sense of what is happening now.  Let God finish His work." OK, Lord, I'm in your capable hands... for as long as it takes... but if it could be a little bit less rough, is that too much to ask?

I thank all of you for keeping me in your prayers as I try to keep moving forward and not back. 


LO share

Hello All,
I have one two-page layout to share.  I made a couple of weeks ago but never posted it! 
Life has been crazy and I've still been under the weather a tad bit.  But here we are! 
Scrapping and being crafty is never far from my mind.  :)
The right-sided page: 
And the left:   
The paper is a CTMH line from last year, called Florentine.  This is actually the Workshop On The Go layout, along with the Stickease assortment.  I used to buy at least two or three lines out of each CTMH catalog and then I'd hoard them... I'm finally using up some of the old stash!  And I'm doing a lot better about using items from the current catalog as I get them. 
The title is from two separate CTMH sets.
And some happy journaling about finishing my year of hell (AKA internship).  Getting that journaling down is so cathartic.  I never have to remember those details again because they're written down.  And now they're preserved on this ol' blog, too.  :)  Is it funny that I stamped and used stickers in English, but my title and journaling are in Spanish?  I guess the layout is kind of like me,
all mixed up inside.  LOL
Thanks for stopping by and leaving love!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


My mother found this picture of my then-6-month-old son.  It's hard to believe he's 10 years old already!  As soon as she handed me the picture I just *knew* I had to get out the rest of my Huntington papers. 

First, have you seen the CTMH glitter paper?  Oh my goodness, is it pretty and shiny.  It cuts in the Cricut like butter (use setting 5 on your actual blade and 4 or 5 on your depth) and it looks really marvelous on a layout. 

Here you go.  Some Huntington & glitter goodness.  I cut "grateful", the scroll, and the leaves out with the Artbooking cartridge.  The glitter strip on the left isn't paper, it's actually the shimmer trim ("ribbon" that's self-adhesive!).

Isn't that one cute little kiddo?  That's before his hair went curly and crazy.  :) 
His eyes were still green and my favorite cousin, who has unfortunately now
passed away, gave him that beautiful baby bracelet. 

After taking the picture of the entire layout I decided to add some 
mocha adhesive gems here and there. 

Supplies used:
Huntington patterned paper (HERE)
Glitter paper, brown and tan assortment (HERE)
Bronze shimmer trim (HERE)
Opaques mocha adhesive gems (HERE)
Keyboard Kraft Alphabet (HERE)
Cricut Artbooking cartridge (HERE)

Thanks for stopping by and leaving love!



Monday, September 23, 2013

Artbooking Made Easy (S01E04): Spooky Halloween Layouts

Ready to make some super spooky but amazingly easy Halloween layouts, Artbooking style? Check out this how-to video and be prepared to be wowed! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Artbooking Made Easy (S01E03): Summer Mini-Albums

"From grilling to swimming, camping, and road-tripping, your summer has been full of adventures. Show them off with the help of the new Cricut® Artbooking collection! You can make unique and fun mini-albums with the touch of just two summer-themed keys. Get some sizzlin’ ideas by watching the video."


Some happy cards

Ok, so maybe I'm not done with summer after all (see my last post about Fall weather arriving: because I just had to sit and make some colorful, happy sentiments that look more spring- and summer-like than all those wonderfully rich Fall colors.  Light, easy, colorful = spring and summer; dark, rich, heavy and gorgeous = fall.  Then there's winter:  Red and green because I love Christmas!!!  LOLOL! 

Anyway!  :D I used the September Nat'l Stamping Month Special, You Are My Happy:

The birthday gift stamp is from You Are My Happy and so is the parenthesis; I also used Heartfelt Birthday Wish (M1033, available HERE) for the sentiment.

I did the very same thing on three separate cards, using different colors of ink and coloring the images in with regular colored pencils, nothing fancy.  There is no dimension to these cards, they are flat as can be, and I think they're perfect.  This Pacifica ink with a green colored pencil is my favorite of the three different color options I used. 

Then, I used the butterfly from the You Are My Happy, as well.  On the left-sided card I used Lagoon, Sunset, and Smoothie inks.  On the right-sided card, I used black ink and various CTMH alcohol markers.  I also used CTMH's twine.

This one uses Sunset ink and the same color of twine on two of the stamps from You Are My Happy. 

With a $50 order you can have the You Are My Happy stamp set trio for just $10.  Shop for that HERE.  Once you have $50 of product in your shopping cart this special should pop up, as will the September Stamp Of The Month for just $5. 
Thanks for stopping by and leaving love!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Hello crafty friends,
How many of you are ready for some really pretty autumn colors?  It's been raining in my neck of the woods off and on for a few days now and I am *loving* that summer is over!  We might have a real Fall this year!  I happen to love Fall and I REALLY love rain.  One of my favorite pastimes is sitting out on the front porch and just watching the rain, reveling in the gift of fresh water pouring down on us.  It helps if I have an ice cold Pepsi (not Coke! :D ) and my family with me. 
So, since Fall appears to be upon us, it's only natural that I would love, love, love CTMH's paper line named Huntington.  The fall color palette makes my heart happy.  This is the Workshop on the Go (WOTG, available for purchase HERE).
It's includes a super cool stamp set that I know I'll get much more use out of, and the embellies look great on finished pages.  I've actually had to order more of the bling because those shades of brown are part of my go-to colors for most cards and things. 
Here are my four finished WOTG pages, 2 two-page layouts: 
They are sans photos as I'm waiting for it to actually BE Fall before I get the right pictures! 
I used my leftover paper and the September SOTM for some cards, as well as Frame Flair (D1546, available HERE), and Look To The Light (B1428, available HERE). Of course, the Frame Flair piece was cut out with my Cricut and the Art Philosophy collection (Z1686, available HERE).  I also used Shimmer Trim in bronze (Z1849, available HERE).
That little pumpkin is cut from the Artbooking cartridge (Z1906, available HERE).
I used the scallop border on the honey CS (above), as well as a
vine cut from the Art Philosophy cartridge.
I am really loving that shimmer trim. 
 Don't forget to stamp on the inside of your card!  Here, the "thinking of you" is part of the stamp set called Sincere Expressions (A1146, available HERE).
For the frame and sentiment I used both Sunset and Chocolate inks.  On the card above I also used a Distressed Backgrounds set (D1544, available HERE) on the cream cardstock before adding the patterned paper. 

Somehow I still have a ton of Huntington paper left over from the WOTG so I'm sure I'll get either more scrappy pages from it, or more cards.  We'll see which I get to do first!  :)
Oh and in case you missed it, this is the September SOTM that is available for $17.95 (regular retail) or $5 if you purchase $50 in products.  Click on the "Shop With Me" link on the right column so you can score all of the wonderful CTMH products I've used with these projects.
As always, thank you for stopping by and leaving love!

Monday, September 16, 2013

El 16 de septiembre

Today is one of Mexico's two independence day celebrations, this one celebrating independence after three centuries under oppressive Spanish rule:

 "In the early hours of September 16, 1810, father Hidalgo, accompanied by several conspirators –Iganacio Allende, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez-   rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to fight for liberty.  This was the beginning of the Independence War, which lasted 10 years, and this is the moment that every 16th of September is re enacted in every plaza or zócalo of Mexico, and commemorated by Mexicans all over the world."  (from

This is know as el Grito, or the cry of independence, where everyone yells,
-QUE VIVA MEXICO! (long live Mexico)
-VIVA!!! (live)

Why am I sharing this with you all today?  Well, you see, I was born in Mexico.  Though my parents & four older siblings lived in Chicago, my parents being "resident aliens", my Dad had an incredible boss who gave him two months off every summer (every.summer!) to go to Mexico on vacation.  Early in their marriage, my parents had built themselves a house just outside the city where they are from, and those two months every summer is when my parents and my older siblings spent their days, alongside the rest of our extended family.  I was born in August-- when they were down there on summer vacation.  On September 3, 1976, I was *almost* one month old, it was just before Labor Day, and we crossed back into the US because my siblings started school right after Labor Day back then.  I immediately became a resident as my parents and sisters were residents and my brothers, both born in the US, were citizens. 

By the age of 19 I didn't care much about renouncing my Mexican citizenship and becoming a US citizen, but the local news announced that the price to become a citizen (all the paperwork and such) was going to rise from $100 to $500.  Knowing that I might one day regret it, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge.  I did the appropriate paperwork, dotted all my i's and crossed all my t's, and then I waited.  And waited and waited.  It wasn't until I was 21 that I got notice that I had to take a citizenship test.  Being that my entire education had been in the US (I was 21 and already had my Bachelor's degree!), well, I aced that test.  Matter of fact, after the third question my interviewer said, "I think you know all of these answers and we just shouldn't bother.  Is that ok with you?"  Um, yeah!!!  A few months later, I was already 22 and I was sworn in as a citizen. 

But the funny thing is, at the swearing-in ceremony, which consisted of at least 300 people in a huge auditorium, so many others were celebrating.  They had cakes of the American flag, they were waving around little American flags, taking pictures, hugging each other and carrying on.  Some were even crying tears of joy.

I went by myself to the ceremony.  There was no pomp and circumstance.  It wasn't exciting to me.  I felt like I was betraying Mexico in some way (even though I retained dual citizenship).  When I got home, my parents patted me on the back and said it was the right thing to do but I didn't really *get* it, and the day went on like any other.  My parents had become citizens the year before me and nobody made a big deal about it then, either.

But then I grew up!  The US is where I live.  This is where I'm making my living.  This is where I have always lived and *WILL* always live.  This is now where my son was born and where he will continue to live and carry out his days, God willing.  And it is an AMAZING thing to be a citizen of the United States of America.  I am part of a privileged group of people, most of whom don't even KNOW they're privileged, much like I was before.... when I had my head stuck in the sand!  Those people at the swearing-in ceremony KNEW, they KNEW (!), what an honor and privilege it was to become a citizen of this great country.  Many of them must have struggled and endured many hardships to get to that ceremony, but since I had always lived in the US, well, it was just any old thing to me.  It wasn't special, it wasn't important, and I didn't really care either way.

How stupid I was.

And I don't even have a single picture of the event.  NOT ONE SINGLE PICTURE!

Now I understand, and though I can say "ARRIBA MEXICO!" and celebrate their independence, because my blood is Mexican, I know at the end of the day that my heart is American.  If it came down to it, I know which side of the line I stand on and who has my undying, unending, unbreakable loyalty.  The United States of America.  My home.  My son's home.  My immediate family's home.  This country which has given me so much opportunity for advancement- seriously, how did my Dad never attend school for a single day of his life yet I'm an M.D.?!  And my mother only made it through the 5th grade!- and now those same opportunities are there for my young child.  The possibilities are overwhelming.  You just have to set your mind to it and get 'er done!  :) 

Still, in that one little corner of my heart that bleeds green, white, and red, I say QUE VIVA MEXICO!  VIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


OK, so I've been working on some Halloween decorations for selling purposes in my Etsy shop.  I started with a banner, putting several layers in it and just really playing with banner shapes.  How I love my Cricut!  I did actually sew the ribbon for easy hanging, and attached some little wooden sticks, too.  This turned my wall banner into a possible table-top banner, your choice!

(OOOOOOPPPSSSSS my camera came out in the picture above!)

From there, I also cut out some pumpkins, which I enjoyed running through my embossing folders, adding vines, adding Stickles, and wooden sticks as well.  These fit nicely into buckets loaded with candy.  :)  I used that alcohol marker to just color in the stem.  

My good camera wasn't cooperating once again so I missed a couple of detail shots that I wanted.  

The orange dotted PP on my banner is mounted on pop dots, as is the green circle in the middle, as well as the letters for the "Spooky" title.  I cut the title out twice, mounting the top one for a 3D effect.  Each piece of that banner is quite thick! 
So that's what has had me occupied for the last couple of weeks; whenever I was working on something this was it.  Now that's done, it's listed on eBay and Etsy, and we'll see if I can sell one or two or a hundred.  LOLOL! 

As promised!

As promised, here are the layouts I made over the last couple of days, all ready to share!
 For this first LO, I have some pictures of Nick catching a chicken.  That's right, a chicken.  No, we don't live out in the country, we live on the south side of a fairly large city... and on this side of town the messicans (myself and my parents included!) can grow chickens if we wanna!  LOL  So one of the neighbor's chickens got out and Nick thought he found himself a new pet.  Not!!!  :)
I used Cricut Noah's ABC Animals to cut out the "Chicken" and "catching", and I used the Animal Kingdom cartridge for the actual chicken.  There were a few layers for the chicken, except for the feet.  I used Copics to color in his feet/claws. 
I don't know why I decided I wanted white for my title but, as usual, once it was cut out it was just TOO white for me.  So I did some shading.  First, I shaded the entire white piece with CTMH's Bamboo ink (it's a nice light beige).  On the following picture you can see where the left half is still white and the right is shaded. 
After that I added some yellow color (CTMH's Crème Brulee) to the bottom half.
And after I finished that, I added Cranberry at the very bottom.  It has very nice depth now, and really pops on the black shadow piece.  :)
Here's the finished layout, featuring Basic Grey's 2010 line called Hello Luscious.  ("cluck" is also cut from Noah's ABC Animals).  Chipboard from stash and journaling on a CTMH stamp. I drew lines around the perimeter of the big PP piece, just so it looks more grounded and less lonely.  ;)
 Love that little chicken!  I used Copics to color in the feathers and wing, and I drew the eyes myself.  I have googly eyes that I could have used, but I didn't want my chicken to look like he was really high on some drugs.  LOLOLOL!  So drawing them in was the way to go. 
Next, this is a simple LO where I just used both sides of three patterned papers to cut my own banners.  Add a cardstock mat, some SU! grosgrain ribbon, bling, and stickers and it's done.  It's not the greatest picture but I'm trying to shy away from posed pictures and get more candid shots. 
Journaling is on a Cricut cut, from CTMH's Art Philosophy cartridge. I had that piece just lying around as it was extra from some other project. 
Finally, I have these silly pictures of Nick pretending to have a moustache.  OMGosh do we have fun with fake moustaches in this house!  As soon as Nick fashions himself one I tell him that I moustache him a question, and he answers with "I'll shave it for you later."  My sisters howls with laughter at our silliness, and we follow suit.  Good times, good times!!!  :D Anywho!  I believe this is Crate Paper patterned paper and cardstock from the stash.  The moustaches on the left there?  That was manila paper that was too stark after I embossed the stamped moustaches, so I dabbed brown on the whole piece of paper.  The moustache in the title is from Hobby Lobby's Paper studio, and the rest of the title is CTMH letter stickers. 
So here are the moustaches I was just talking about.  That is actually a CTMH stamp that I stamped with VersaMark ink and embossed in black.  As the powder melted and became glossy and shiny and wonderful, the moustache took on new meaning for me...
Here's the stamp set for the moustache.  It can be cut out with the CTMH Artiste cartridge, and it's meant to be a part of a Father's day set. 
So, as I was saying, as that moustache was getting all purdied up (LOL) I saw it as more than a moustache.  It looked like two birdies kissing!  So I broke out my leftover Chantilly (CTMH) paper from a while back, stamped with more VersaMark, and embossed with white. 
Meet two little love birds.  :)  Now, maybe you have to cross your eyes a little bit to see the two birds (which I did outline with a CTMH Cranberry alcohol marker, and used the same to draw in little legs for my love birds, too!), and when you uncross your eyes you may see a moustache that has two googly eyes on it.  It's kind of funny IRL!  :D
I used the Artbooking cartridge to cut that hot pink heart ribbon on the front, and also to cut out "Love", which I glued on the inside of the card.  I then used an alphabet set to stamp "YOU". 
This is the alpha set for the inside-- I really need to use it more!!!
All right crafty friends, that is all for now.  I haven't made anything today and tomorrow we have two baseball games... and while I have your attention can I just vent a bit?  There's one game at 10 am and another at 4 pm.  We will not be able to make it to church.  In fact, we won't get much of anything done tomorrow or get any rest for the week to come, with two spread out games like that.  Can you say annoying?!!!!  GRRRR 
OK, vent over.  Back to crafting!  Be sure to leave me some love and visit often.