I've been a bad blogger

I didn't get any computer time yesterday. Mike decided he wanted to drive in to Boise and look at new mattress'. We found one and loaded it up and brought it home. By the time, we finished taking the old one out and putting up the new one and made the bed all back up, it was after 7 last night. I sat down at the computer, but was way too tired to try to do anything. I only got 2 1/2 hours sleep the night before. So I through in the towel and trundled off to bed, with the hopes of a more valiant effort today.

My creative juices abandoned me for a while, but seem to be back now. I finished 2 layouts so far, with a third in the works. The first one is of my son and his new girlfriend, Katy, on Thanksgiving Day.

They make such a cute couple. Now, if he just wasn't so tall. LOL. I used Tracy's 'Sweet Caramel' kit from Ambowife Designs. You can find it at either, Treasures to Scrap or Stone Accents Studio.

The next one is of a picture I took 3 years ago. We had an inversion here in the Valley, and hadn't seen the sun for almost a month. Kind of like cabin fever. So, we took a drive one Saturday in a quest to find the sun again. It wasn't until we reached the summit of Anderson Ranch Dam that the sun finally peeked out and shined down on us. It brightened everyone's spirits and the children decided to go play in the snow.

I think they did more falling in the snow than anything else. Strangely, Anthony was the only one that wasn't breaking through the upper crust and sinking down to his knees in the snow like everyone else was doing. You can't tell by the little picture, but the one in the red is sunk in the snow up to her waist, and Brandon had just pulled himself out of the hole he was in and crawling across the snow to a better spot. They were almost completely soaked by the time they made it back to the truck and we headed back home. They wouldn't want me to tell you what they had to do on the ride home, in order to keep from getting hypothermia. It was quite comical though.
I used 'Jolly Olly Memories', also by Tracy of Ambowife Designs for this one.

On a different note, I have noticed that a few designers are still creating and giving away some Christmas designs, and, since I am still running behind on what I had decided to create, I am going to be finishing those up and posting within the next few days, I hope. I am working on an add-on to the Holly Jolly kit, with some more papers, some gift tags that can be printed and some more hand scrapped elements. I will hurry and try to get them done as quickly as possible.

I have got to run away from the computer for right now, though. Brandon sprayed some cologne in his room, which is right next door to my computer room, and it is filtering into here, making me sneeze my head off. I am going to have to wait for it to air out before I can come back in here without fear of another sneeze attack. Bye for now. Best wishes to all.
I have been busily transferring files from my old 160GB hard drive to the new 500GB external hard drive. The old one was maxed out with no room left. I spent most of yesterday until about 2 this morning going through and cleaning up my mess and trying to organize everything. Quite a task I set for myself.

All is quiet here today. Chelcey has went to spend some time with her boyfriend today and everyone is relaxing, taking it easy. Makes it nice when it is peaceful, then I can get more things done around here.

We had to take the dryer apart again yesterday for the second time in a week. This time, the heating element went out, which was an easy fix. Just a $40 part. Better than replacing the whole machine for $300.

Which brings me to why I am really here and what I am posting about. I have been thinking about this for a while now, with much trepidation, and have finally come to a decision. Please bear with me, this is going to be a long post with a long explanation behind what is going on. I promise I will get to the point eventually, my mind has a tendency to hop all over the place like a ping-pong ball, but I will get there eventually and hopefully you will be able to understand.

I started this blog originally with the intention of showing off my scrapbook layouts, only. Then, my son put the crazy idea in my head of trying to design, telling me I could create just as well as everyone else was doing. So, I gave it a try. It has been fun, if not hectic at times, but I am sure most designers feel that way at times. It has been very rewarding also, to receive wonderful comments from total strangers for my creations. I never intended to create kits for purchase, and I am still balking at the idea.

My husband has brought it to my attention that things are starting to get pretty bad. I have not worked since March 3 of this year. In that time, I guess he has been drawing off some of his savings in order to make ends meet. Well, the savings is almost gone and I have to make a decision, one of three things has to happen. I either need to start charging for whatever I create and post on my blog, sell my brand new baby (2007 Chevy 3 door extended cab 4x4), or try to find a part-time job with an employer that will put up with my special issues.

This is where the long explanation comes in. Very few people that I associate with on the blogosphere know certain things about me, and I have kept it that way. I wanted people to know me for me, and not my issues. Only now am I ready to explain what has been going on. I will start at the beginning and work my way forward and hope that will help cut down on some of the confusion.

It all started 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with FAP (familial anondroidal polyposis). In other words, colon cancer. This kind is hereditary and passed on from mother to daughter through the generations. My natural mother died from it at the age of 45 and my natural grandmother died from it at the age of 46.

So, I went in and had surgery to remove 90-95% of ALL of my intenstines. No problem, right? Yah, that's what I thought. I spent 9 days in the hospital in utter agony. I had been gutted like a fish, after I was told it would be done mostly laproscopically. Yeah, right. Anyway, since that time, what intestines I have left have not wanted to take over the job of my missing colon, like it was supposed to. Sometimes, they don't want to work at all. Now I hope no one is squeamish, like I used to be before all of this. If so, jump past this next part. As further explanation, for the first 2 weeks, I had an ostomy in order for the intestines to heal up after the original surgery. Then, they dropped the intestine back down to where it should be and closed the ostomy back up. Sounded like an okay idea at the time, but has been nothing but trouble since. Because of that surgery, I have a 2 to 3 inch scar on my right side.

Now, I am going to hop like a ping-pong ball on to another subject, but I will get back to the original point and it will make more sense. For about 3 years after this surgery, I worked as a home health nurse and care provider, and was good at what I did. I started working at a care facility for 9 patients with dymensia, with the understanding when I hired on, absolutely no lifting. I have a huge scar from 1/4" below my sternum to 1/2" above my pubic bone. I can not lift over 20 pounds, unless I want that scar to pop. Okay, so these employers knew this. Well, needless to say, I ended up having to physically man handle a 197lb patient from a prone position on the floor back into his wheel chair, injuring my back in the process. Now, I did not know it at the time, but I had weakened that muscle wall and damaged it also. However, I lived with it for almost a year before I went in to have it checked. My surgeon sent me in for an MRI and the technician who performed it said everything looked fine. I went back to the doctor a week later, and he told me we needed to go in and do surgery. I knew that the skin over the incision had stretched and the layer of fat underneath had seperated, but according to the MRI results, it was much worse than that. I had what is called an incisional hernia, where the muscle wall totally seperates and tears the old scar tissue.

So, I went in a week later and had surgery. After I came out of recovery, he explained to me what he found when he opened the old scar back up. Apparently, the muscle had split all the way down and the intestine, that used to be part of the ostomy long time ago, had started to push through and was trapped in the split. While the surgeon was cutting around the intestine to drop it back down where it is supposed to be, he accidentally nicked the intestine and cut a hole in it, so he had to repair that. Because of that, he was not able to put the mesh in that he planned on to keep this from happening again.

So, now I get back to where I was. I had this surgery done a year ago this last September. Since then, I have had nothing but trouble. The muscle wall is trying to seperate again. Also, because of this surgery and the aftermath following, I lost my job where I was working at the time. They started out very understanding and sympathized with my predicament, but I still accrued too many absences to be excused, so I was notified that I had basically terminated myself due to Job Abandonment, when I was on medical leave of absence. The reason being, after the surgery in September, where he nicked the intestine, scar tissue grew around that sight and has developed into a partial intestinal blockage. Nothing can be done about it, either. If I have surgery to have it taken off, chances are, the scar tissue will develop back worse this time. So, I live with it. I won't go into all of the gory details, just that it is not a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Now, I know that this doesn't really sound all that bad, but couple that with Malnutrition from Malabsorption, because the intestines don't always want to work properly anyway, and you have a sure fire recipe for disaster. Because of the malnutrition, I have what is called failure to thrive syndrome. I can not get enough nutrition into my body to sustain me, so some of my organs are starting to go downhill, namely my liver. Some days are better than others, but some days it takes all I have in me to get up out of bed, I am so weak and the muscles in my body are atrophied. I have also developed osteoporosys in my neck and upper back and now found out that it has also triggered Rheumatoid Arthritis in my whole body, but mostly in my spine. This is a constant source of pain for me now and why it is so hard for me to do a lot of the things that I used to love doing.

I applied for Social Security Disablility, but was deemed that my current issues are not severe enough to limit me from working. I have worked most of my entire adult life, am a very hard and loyal worker, so there has to be a really good reason for me not to work. I am not lazy and stay at home because I choose to. I stay at home because it is safer for me to. Because I have no intestines, I lost the ability to fight off infection and contagions. All of those good microbes are gone. Didn't know that until it was too late. Haha.

Okay, so, I am sure a lot of you did not need to know a lot of this. I apologize. Really, I did not mean to dump a lot of this on you. But, it is my way of explaining why I am going to try to do what I am thinking of doing so that no one will get mad at me when I do.

My initial plan is to offer any upcoming kit designs for free for a limited time, a week or two weeks. Then it will be available for purchase only. Not sure how I am going to do that. I need to do some researching on that subject. I really don't want to have to do that, but my husband is pushing really hard. He says that my designs are good enough and that if someone wants them, they can afford at least $1 for them. I am not sure I agree.

It is either that, or I give up on designing and my blog, walk away from it all, and try to find something outside of the house to make money to help keep our household together. I don't want this to be about money. I love creating and designing for fun. To be honest, it probably saved my life a few months ago, and I don't want to lose that aspect of it.

So there it is. I have laid it all out on the line and bared my soul for everyone to read about. Please be gentle with me. This has been a very hard decision to make and I hope that everyone will understand.

For the time being, you will notice up at the top I have added a donation button. Now, I want you all to understand. I am not asking for charity. All I am asking is, if you like and enjoy what I have created so far, please make a contribution to the time and effort I have spent on creating those, so that I can continue to design and create. That is all I am asking, that and your patience and understanding with me and my special circumstances.

I have lots of ideas and plans that have not come to fruition, yet. Real life continuously seems to get in the way, but I will get there eventually. This whole situation has been weighing heavily on my mind and contributed to a lot of the depression I have been battling, a little less than valiantly, lately. So my creative juices haven't been flowing very well lately. I have a lot of catching up to do with my CT's, as well as my own designs.

Okay, I am going to end it here for now because I just can't think of anything else to say, other than thank you for your time and reading this very long post. I really appreciate those that have taken the time to leave wonderful comments, it makes me feel so much better about what I do. I will be back later on a little less serious side. TTFN.

It's the Day After Christmas....

And all through the house,
Not a creature is stirring,
Not even the mice....
And God only knows how many of them there are now, I haven't had a chance to count the new additions, yet. A day late and a dollar short, as always. So Brandon's snake will get her Christmas present a day late.

I am soooo glad that Christmas is finally over with. I don't want to sound like a scrooge, but Christmas this year was very lean and I have been battling depression because of it for days now. I have been trying to make an attempt, but it has been difficult. Money has been very short this season. Mike didn't get his paycheck until the day before Christmas Eve and my child support didn't come in until Christmas Day. Makes it even more difficult that we were blanketed under 6 inches of snow on Christmas Eve and driving was hazardous, at best. But, we got through it and had a really good day. My son and his new girlfriend came over and spent the day with us, which was nice.

Santa was very wonderful to me and gifted me with my new external hard drive and a Bowdabra. I am soo excited. Only Walgreens was open yesterday, but all of their Christmas items were 50% off, so I bought some Christmas ribbon to make bows out of with my new toy. LOL.

Okay, let's see, what has been going on lately. I finished 4 more scrubs for Jessica, just in time for Christmas. Cut out 18 placemats for Christmas and got 4 of them quilted, for next year. Knit 2 dog sweaters for the babies, one blue for Rico and one pink for Roxy. Started sewing some boxers for the boys, but haven't finished yet.

During this time, I have also been running around like a chicken with my head cut off following every lead we get all over the Valley trying to find Sam and bring him safely back home, to no avail. He has been missing since Dec. 4th. Hope is running out that we will ever be able to find him and get him back, which isn't helping with the depression. I keep getting responses to my ads and get my hopes up that it will be him, only to be let down when it isn't. Not going to go into that with anymore detail, 'cause it will just upset me and set me off to crying again, and I don't want to do that right now. Going to try to be as positive as possible.

Hopefully, here in the next few days, I will be able to devote more time on the computer and get all of the things done that I have been wanting to do. I have lots of special things planned and in the works, just have not had the time to get them accomplished, but I will let everyone know when I do finally.

I have to run right now, and venture out into the great white slippery world to buy a new tank for the mice, so that I can get them moved and maybe find out how many new arrivals we have.

I will try to post a little later today. I have also signed up with another blog train, this one is the Winter Convoy. I already have some items made up for it, ones that I did not include in the Holly Jolly kit. That is why I have not posted another freebie, yet. I am holding on to them until the Winter Convoy goes live in January. I am also thinking about joining in the Valentine's Convoy, but we will see. Depends on how long it takes me to get this next kit together. I also have to get busy on getting my CU items completed and posted.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited my little blog and downloaded my portion of the Holly Jolly blog train, and all of the wonderful comments everyone left. I really appreciate it. It has really helped. Words are failing me right now, so I will just say thank you very much to everyone and I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year.

Time for me to go, teenagers are getting antsy and becoming pests. They want to go and run around town, so you know what that means, mom's taxi is in service again, lol. TTFN and everyone take care. Hugs to all.

Holly Jolly Blog Train Freebies

Hello and Welcome. You have reached stop #56 on Holly Jolly Blog Train. Watch your step as you stop off here at my little scrap spot on the World Wide Blog.

It is finally here. I have been looking forward to today and am so excited.

I have more than 1 freebie for you to snag while you are here, so I hope you have plenty of room available on your hard drive. LOL.

I had the opportunity to create some Quick Pages for other designers with their portions of the blog train, also. I was hoping to get more done, including some blog backgrounds, but I had some unfortunate occurrences with my computer.

The first one was that I did not realize until it was almost too late that my PSP program was messing up on me. I had already zipped everything up and uploaded to 4shared when I figured everything out. For some reason, one I have still not figured out (and Corel has still not gotten back to me about), my program was saving all of my png's at 300 pixels per centimeter instead of pixels per inch. So, I had to run back through quickly and fix them, re-save, re-zip them up and upload to 4shared, again. It was a small nightmare, but I got it done and everything should be fine now. At least, I hope so. If not, please let me know and I will try to correct it.

Then, when I was surfing the 'Christmas Around The World' blog train, (when I should have been busy creating the Quick Pages), I picked up a malware program, instead. It took me 2 days worth of work scanning my computer with AVG, Windows Live Onecare and Spybot. Finally got it, but I lost all that time on the computer that I could have been being more productive. That will teach me. From now on, Work before Play.

Okay, so enough of my blather. Let's get down to business. The first freebie is my portion of the Holly Jolly blog train. It is broken down into 2 parts to make downloading easier.

Kit Contains:
22 Papers
40 elements

95% of it was created by me. I have included the other designers TOU for their CU items that I used.
Download Papers Here
Download Elements Here

password is jolly, if it asks for one.

I also created 2 Quick Pages for Carolyn of Digi Cyber Scraps with her portion of the blog train. I am a big admirer of her designs and was very honored to have the opportunity to work with her. Click on the preview to download.

The next preview is of 2 Quick Pages I created for Michelle of Michelle's Angels with her portion of the blog train. Click on preview to download.

Due to the fact that the designers are located in all different time zones in the world, it's possible you may visit a blog before the designer has had a chance to upload. If that happens, check the blog later in the day.

Just in case, click on the Holly Jolly logo to find the different contributions. A good idea might be to bookmark this page. That way, you can pick up where you left off.

Now that you have my portions of the blog train, your ready to continue on your way down the track. Thank you for stopping by.

Check back in periodically, as I will have more Quick Pages and Blog backgrounds using other designers portions of the blog train still coming up very soon. I also have some add-ons for my kit coming up, also. I have a few other surprises up my sleeve, too.

Have fun and enjoy. Watch your step so you don't trip, okay. Wishing a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all.

Here is the rest of the blog roll.

Stop 01 - BeaconScrap
Stop 02 - Carolyn Ritter
Stop 03 - Karrie Thomas of Kez Creates Designs
Stop 04 - Crafted by Gina
Stop 05 - DesignsByAmilyn
Stop 06 - Michelle Angeles
Stop 07 - Throwing Some Scraps Around
Stop 08 - Country Hollow Scraps
Stop 09 - ScrapinDaisy from Designs by Ruth
Stop 10 - Bits O’Scrap
Stop 11 - Wimpychompers Creations
Stop 12 - QueenBrat Designs
Stop 13 - Mumure
Stop 14 - Frosted Illusions
Stop 15 - Aussie Scraps
Stop 16 - HutchsBaby Faith in Christ Scraps
Stop 17 - MoveFearlessly Designs
Stop 18 - swordascrappin
Stop 19 - Kismet
Stop 20 - Missladyhawke
Stop 21 - The Queen and The Princess Designs
Stop 22 - Vanjo Designs
Stop 23 - Angi’s Place
Stop 24 - SotoCreations
Stop 25 - The Mathematician’s Assistant
Stop 26 - Crops2Dawn Creations
Stop 27 - S.G.Rowe Designs
Stop 28 - Amy’s Scraps
Stop 29 - jaydensmama
Stop 30 - Crystal’s Creations By Design
Stop 31 - Digital Creations by Amber
Stop 32 - Kitten Scraps
Stop 33 - Grandma Pat
Stop 34 - Grunge and Glitter Scraps
Stop 35 - JIC Creations
Stop 36 - Butterfly Kisses
Stop 37 - Babyyaks
Stop 38 - Simply Beautiful Creations
Stop 39 - Pretty Scrappy
Stop 40 - TammyJo’s Creations
Stop 41 - CMB Designs
Stop 42 - Christy Skaggs
Stop 43 - SnapScrapCreate
Stop 44 - Believe Designs
Stop 45 - Linda’s Dream Designs
Stop 46 - MIP Scraps
Stop 47 - Miss Erin’s Scraps
Stop 48 - WillowRaven at Purple Dragonfly Creations
Stop 49 - Digital Keepsakes
Stop 50 - Blind Sight Designs
Stop 51 - Dreamland Designs
Stop 52 - Hummie’s World
Stop 53 - Northern Lights Designs
Stop 54 - DesignZ by DeDe
Stop 55 - twisted angel
Stop 56 - Desert Bloom Designs You are here
Stop 57 - Rachelz_Expressionz
Stop 58 - Creations By Jessa
Stop 59 - Bits’N'Bobs
Stop 60 - Amanda’s Scrappy Creations
Stop 61 - Heartfelt Perfections
Stop 62 - Candie
Stop 63 - Just For You DigiScraps
Stop 64 - Cuddlebeez Scraps
Stop 65 - Prairie Sage
Stop 66 - Creekside Cottage Designs
Stop 67 - PinkuPixie Digital Designs
Stop 68 - Mariscrap
Stop 69 - Marbled Circle
Stop 70 - Panda Bear Designs
Stop 71 - Kolor’Scapez!
Stop 72 - Stellarfairie designs
Stop 73 - Manda @ Disaster In Designs
Stop 74 - Danielle [DMK Designs]
Stop 75 - Katlen Kreations
Stop 76 - Babydoll’s Scrapz
Stop 77 - Angel Flower
Stop 78 - Designs by Teri
Stop 79 - SandEz Creationz
Stop 80 - Sistermoon Scraps

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas....

Everywhere I go... LOL. It is snowing here, finally. YEAH!!! It is finally beginning to look like Christmas here.

Has everyone been enjoying all of the wonderful blog trains? I know I have. I am only about half way through the 'Christmas Around the World' blog train and my hard drive is filling up fast. I sure hope hubby buys me my new hard drive for Christmas, cause I am going to need it.

Speaking of blog trains, you need to check back in later tonight or early tomorrow morning, as the Holly Jolly blog train will be rolling in. I am stop #56 on this blog train, so come back later and see what I have available for everyone.

I also have another award from Starfire, Leaves of Friendship.

I feel so honored. Thank you Starfire. The Rules are pretty simple, I need to pass this on to 5 other deserving individuals. The choosing is the hard part, I know of so many that I would love to send this to, and 5 is not enough, but I will give it a try.

First off, I would like to pass this on to Tracy of Ambowife Designs for being a wonderful friend and mentor.
Second, Brenda of Cuddlebeez Scraps, also a wonderful friend.
Third, Carolyn of Digi Cyber Scraps for being my inspiration in this continuing adventure.
Fourth and Fifth, Michelle of Michelle's Angels and Roxanna of Move Fearlessly Designs for the opportunity to work with them on the Holly Jolly Blog train.

Okay, got to go for now and finish up some last minute items. Be back a little later. Bye for now.

Some News I Had to Share

Okay,long awaited post, I know. It has taken me 2 days to figure out how to do some things and, in the meantime, blogger would not let me upload photos. So this post has been in the works for 3 days now. Finally, all of the bugs should be worked out. Now that I know how to do what I need to do in the future it shouldn't take me so long to do it next time. LOL. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense right now, but it will very shortly.

I have been busy, busy, busy working on my little ole blog train freebie diligently for weeks now, and the end is in sight. Well, sort of. I have sooo many elements that I created, 50 to be exact, that I have decided to break it down into smaller parts and offer them as additional freebies. How does that sound?

I have been spending about 90% of my time working on this, until the wee hours of the morning. Not to mention giving my computer a stroke at least twice a day now. LOL.

Anyhoo, I have lots of news to share. Let's see, where to start. Well, I guess I'll start with the older items and work my way up to the current happenings.

I know it is old news by now, but still wanted to let those of you know that Linda of Tirza's Treasures has some beautiful kits in her store, just in time for Christmas. LOL. Here is a preview of what she has available at Ahhh Scrap and Scrappin Out Loud.

She also has a Christmas Wedding Add-on freebie available for download on her blog. Please go check it out by clicking on the preview and leave her some loving.

Next, Tracy of Ambowife Designs has some wonderfully beautiful kits available in her stores as well. They can be found at Stone Accents Studio and Treasures to Scrap. Here are her previews.

She also contributed to the November Treasure Chest Collaboration at Treasures to Scrap. Click on the preview below to be taken to her blog for all of the details on how to get this totally awesome kit.

She also has this QP available for download on her blog from her new Sweet Caramel Kit. Click on the preview below to be taken to her blog to download it.

Okay, got the CT business done. Now on to some good news, and some bad news. The good news first. I met a new friend online through a digiscrap yahoo group. Her name is Marjie and her blog is at http://starfiredesigns.blogspot.com/. She gave me a wonderful award. My very first, in fact. I feel so special and honored.

Thank you so much Marjie for this treasured award!
Please visit her blog and say hi to her.

The rules are simple, I need to pass this onto 5 Treasured Friends who have not yet received it. I would love to present this award to my 5 treasured friends:

Tracy of Ambowife Designs who has helped me out in sooo many ways.
Linda of Tirza's Treasures who has been a Godsend to me.
Brenda of Cuddlebeez scraps who really is a treasured friend.
Kimmie of Kimmies Kreations who is a big sweetheart.
and of course
Marjie who is just the best, I couldn't think of anyone better that deserves this award more than her, she has helped me through some issues lately that I totally appreciate. Thank you sooo much.

Alright, now on to the bad news. This just came to my attention last night and I have been seething and heartbroken ever since. I figure the least I can do is try to bring it to others attention as well. As I said before, Brenda of Cuddlebeez Scraps is a very treasured friend, and when one of my friends hurts, I hurt as well. The low down is that she decided to open up not 1, but 4 new stores at The Scrappin Corral, Tagger's Scraps, Digi by Design and Bouquet of Pixels to start selling her kits. Great news, right? Well, apparently someone else didn't think so and proceeded to send her NASTY emails. And when I say nasty, I mean they called her everything but a white woman. How mean, rude, just plain terrible. I feel so bad for her. I can't believe that someone would do that just because she decided to start selling some of her kits in stores. It's not like she isn't going to be offering freebies anymore.

Anyway, if you could do me a favor and visit her blog, http://cuddlebeezscraps.blogspot.com/, get the whole story she has posted there, and leave her some love, I would greatly appreciate it. She needs all she can get right now and all of the encouragement we can give her. She truly is a sweet person and doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. Thank you in advance.

Okay, now that I got that off of my chest. Onto better news. I have an update of my own, finally. Here is the sneak peek of my Holly Jolly papers that I have been promising for I don't know how long now.

Sorry, I don't have the preview for the elements done yet, as I haven't decided what is going in it just yet, but soon. Remember, these won't go live until December 15th for the Holly Jolly Blog Train, so come back then and make sure you have your traveling shoes on and ready to snag lots of wonderful kits. At last count, we had 74 participants. Oh My Goodness, scratch that. I just went and checked to verify that number, and we have suddenly expanded to 84. WOW.

I have seen some of the previews and they look great. Hope you have lots of room available on your hard drives. You will need it. LOL.

I don't know if everyone noticed right away, but I have been doing some updating along the way. I have a new Cbox chat now that you can comment in and leave me messages. I also have created a new email specifically just for my blog and posted it on the right hand side under my 'about me' info. So now you will be able to send me personal emails with your comments, concerns, constructive criticism, etc., anything you would like to talk about.

Okay, the last little bit of news I wanted to let you in on is that our household has expanded again. We now have 4 dogs. Yes, I have a new baby. His name is Rico, and he is another Miniature Pinscher. Like Roxy, but he is the standard black and brown colors instead of the Red Stag, which is what Roxy is. I got him from a lady who could no longer take care of him and spent the amount of time with him that he needs. I got him because Roxy has been so upset and depressed lately since Hogarth left. She has been almost lifeless and inactive. So I figured she needed a friend. We got Rico yesterday, and she has been so happy. Rico took to her right away. Roxy wasn't too sure until we got home, on her own turf. Then she took off to playing and laying down the rules. They take off chasing each other and wrestling all over the house now. They are just what each other needed and are so happy together. Now, instead of one dog sleeping on my lap while I work on the computer, I have 2. They both follow me everywhere I go and do everything with me. But I am loving every minute of it. Sorry, I don't have any pictures of him or both of them together, yet. Still haven't made it to the store to buy them batteries I keep forgetting about. But I will shortly, I promise. I am dying to take some pictures of them.

Well, I guess that does it for now. I need to take off and get my kit finished up so that I know what is going into it and what is going to go into other freebies between now and the big day. So, check back in the next few days, and I should have a special offering for you, 'K. Bye for now. Take care all and have a Wonderful weekend. TTFN.

Just a Quick Note

I wanted to post a quick message and let everyone know I am still here. I also want to thank everyone who downloaded my latest kit and all of the wonderful comments. Thank you. It made my day and made me feel special.

I also want to apologize for not being around a lot lately. I have been suffering with a terrible head cold for the last week and trying to get better. My immune system does not let me fight off germs, virus' or infection very well, and nothing I can do about it. I have checked with several different doctors, and none of them seem to have a suggestion for me. So, I stay home and try to avoid situations where I might come in contact with germs, bugs and virus'.

My doctor suggested that I get a flu shot to try and keep me from catching it this year, and I turned to him with a horrified look and asked him if he was nuts, or what. Intentionally introduce something into my body to make me sick, are you kidding? I don't think so! Not unless I want to die and I don't think I am ready for that, yet, so I think I will take a pass.

Anyway, I tried the homeopathic and herbal route for a while and it didn't work, so I finally broke down and bought some over the counter meds. We will see how that works. When you get to the point that it feels like your face is going to fall off from all of the sinus pressure and your head hurts constantly and can't think straight for more than a few seconds, it is time to do something about it. I am not a big baby, I have a pretty high pain tolerance. But when it gets to where you can't sleep, (I'm not kidding, 6 hours in the last 72) because you can't breathe from blocked airways, you get desperate and will do almost anything so that you can breathe again. I took some Nyquil and am hoping that will help me get some sleep tonight and wake up refreshed in the morning and can get back to work. So much to do and so little time left before the deadline.

I am working on several different projects. Can't let you in on all of them, because then it wouldn't be a surprise. I have 3 new kits coming up in the next few weeks and some surprise CU freebies. So keep your eyes open and check back often.

Time for me to trundle off to bed and try to catch some of those long-awaited zzzz's. Roxy is beside me looking at me like, 'are you ready yet'? So I am off. I will try to be back tomorrow with a sneak peek of some upcoming items. TTFN.

New Layout and a Freebie

Sorry I am late posting today. I had internet issues this morning and it took me 2 hours to fix it.

Today is the day. It is finally here. So, pull up a chair, grab your smokes if you need them, a cup of coffee or tea, (or whatever you prefer to drink), maybe a box of Kleenex (if you don't need one, can you pass me one) and sit a spell. This is going to be a long post. There is a long explanation behind this, so please bear with me and I hope you enjoy.

The name of my new kit is called 'A Father's Legacy'. It was inspired by a few different circumstances. The first was a layout challenge on DSP for Meryl's Heritage. One of the participants had an idea for scrapping antique furniture that had been in our families for a long time and who the family member was that owned or made the furniture. At the same time, the SNL scrappers challenge was to do a Masculine Heritage kit, focusing on fastener.

I decided to create a kit dedicated to my dad and combine the two challenges. I didn't get my layout finished in time for the Heritage challenge, this layout has been in the works for over a month. I wanted it to be perfect. The kit was inspired by and created for the only father I have ever known. Just in case you haven't read my earlier posts, my real dad was killed in a car wreck after coming back from Viet Nam when I was a baby. My grandparents raised me, until they adopted me when I was 5 years old, becoming my parents. My real mother then became my sister. It can be very confusing at times.

I loved my dad very much and miss him terribly. He was the greatest influence in my life, my hero and my inspiration. He taught me everything he knew. He had the best sense of humor of anyone I have ever met. Life could never get him down, he just laughed and persevered. He was a carpenter, mechanic and general handy man all of his life. Even after he had his hand blown up by a car tire in the 50's, (crushing every bone in his hand), he exercised his hand daily with a tennis ball to get the use of his hand back. He wasn't supposed to ever be able to use that hand again, but he did. He never gave up and he never complained.

I lost him in 1997, but he is still with me in my heart. This has been very emotional for me, more so than I thought it would be. This is a big day for me because I can finally debut this kit for everyone to see. I worked very hard on it to make sure it was perfect and reflected my dad's personality. My dad wasn't in to a lot of fancy things. He did with what he had, and if he didn't have it, he would make it. He was very creative and talented, and I like to think that I got a lot of that from him.

The layout I put together hopefully reflects that creativity. He decided I needed a toybox to store my toys in, so he made one. Yes, the pictures are of me sitting in my new toybox, plastic pants and all. LOL.

There is only one element on this layout that was not created by my own hands and that is the journaling tag. Credit for that goes to Anneli Andersson of Attic Treasures. You can download the tags from her blog, Attic Treasures at happy-digiscrapper.blogspot.com.

Okay, enough of my blathering. Without further ado, I give you 'A Father's Legacy'.

This is the original preview for SNL scrappers.

And this is a preview of some of the new items I have added. Not all are shown.
All of the papers are full size and everything is 300dpi. There are 12 papers and 20 elements.

Kit Contains:
12 Background Papers
4 tags
1 bookplate
1 brad
1 brass eyelet
1 brass hinge
3 photo prongs
1 staple
1 hammer
1 old fashioned drill
1 photo frame
4 photo corners
1 word art

Download the papers here.
Download the elements pack here.

I am very nervous and am hoping that you like it. Please leave comments here or on my 4shared account and let me know what you think, like, dislike, problems, changes or constructive criticism. Thanks.

Also, I wanted to take a moment and post a blog blinkie I made for Brenda of Cuddlebeez Scraps. Thank you so much, Brenda, for giving me the opportunity and the wonderful comments on your blog. I am glad you like it. When you have a chance, cruise by her blog and check out her totally awesome kits she has available. They are a must have. Here is her blinkie. Feel free to snag it and post on your blog.

Okay, time for me to take off. Got to dry my face off and go watch the Boise State game. They are ahead, so far. Take care and have a wonderful day.


I apologize in advance for any inconveniences, but I am in the process of updating and fixing some things on my blog. I did not realize until a couple of days ago that my blog blinkies were not working, so I am working on updating those. Have to start all over from the beginning to get them set up right. Also, I guess stupid me did not realize, until just now, that I should be uploading my pics and layouts to photobucket and uploading to my blog from there. I started doing that, but forgot. That appears to be what is lagging my computer so much. So if you notice anything strange in the next little while, that is why.

I'm Back In Business

Hi everyone. I am back. Sorry I have been MIA the last few days. I have had to spend the last few days going through and cleaning out my computer. At this point, I think all of the issues have been resolved and taken care of. I surfed around the net and other blogs most of the day yesterday, and did not have one pop-up the whole time. That is a first. IE is finally leaving me alone, thank goodness. It only took adding another virus protection software, 2 full scans of my computer (at 4 hours each), defragmenting my hard drive and a tune up that took 6 hours to get it accomplished.

During this time, I was accessing my email and other sites through my husbands computer. Unfortunately, I was not able to create any layouts or design any new elements, as my program was on my computer.

I am soooo excited to be back on and am ready to rock and roll now. I have a lot of catching up to do. And a lot of wonderful designs coming up very shortly. The first of which is 'A Father's Legacy', due to be released this coming Saturday. I was working on some new elements to be included in that kit last night and it is really shaping up nicely.

Okay, so a recap of the last few days activities from the land of chaos. My son, Anthony came over for a visit with his new girlfriend a few days ago. She seems to be really nice. Chelcey knows her from school and says she will be really good for him. They seem to be happy. He may or may not be graduating the end of this semester, still not sure yet. They may decide to make him take another semester and finish out the school year in order to graduate, which he is not really excited about. We all sat down and watched the newest 'Indiana Jones' movie, which I thought was way better than what the movie critics rated it. I highly recommend it to anyone who is an 'Indiana Jones' fan that hasn't already seen it. I thought it was just as good at the first ones.

I couldn't kick DH off of the computer Saturday, because BSU was playing a home game on the 'smurf turf'. No way we were going to miss that. It was a hard fought game, but they won 49 - 14, I think it was, and rated 9th in the nation with a winning streak of 9-0. Go Broncos. They have a chance to play in the BCS bowl now. Maybe we will see them in the Fiesta Bowl again.

Anyway, Sunday was a pretty lazy day. I spent all day scanning my computer, removing unneccessary programs, emptying my cache and temporary internet files and then doing the tune-up. That pretty much took all day. Which of course, did not allow me to do anything else on the computer while it was doing that, so it was pretty boring. I have been chomping at the bit to get back on the computer and get busy again. My desk is a mess with all of the clutter. I have about 4 stickie notes full of reminders of what I need to be working on and not able to do it. Which means I guess I better shut up and get down to business. No new layouts or pics to post, for now, and the kits are not finished, yet. I will post them when they become available.

BTW, as a side note, in my wanderings around yesterday and trying to update my blog blinkies, since I did not realize they were not working, yada yada yada, I ran back across a blog I had bookmarked a while back. It is Cuddlebeez Scraps and she has some wonderful kits available. I am using a couple of her kits to help her create a blog blinkie for her blog, at the same time as I am working on one for my own. If you haven't already been there, you need to check it out. I don't just say that lightly either, she has some wonderful creations. Here are previews of her latest kits. Click on the previews and it will take you to her blog where they can be downloaded.

Okay, time for me to say goodbye for now and get back to work. Lots to do. Take care everyone and have a great day.

As Promised, Finally

Today has not been a very good day for me. I got a lot done, as planned, but am a wreck physically and mentally. I was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis throughout my body, but mostly in my spine, so my back is in constant pain and meds do not help with it. I am paying for the last few days bending over and cutting out fabric and sewing scrubs together. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day and I will have a better outlook on things. It doesn't help that it has been rainy and gloomy and cold where we are. Winter is starting to set in.

Okay, on to a better subject. I have 3 layouts I created using 'Victorian Grandmother' Kit by Linda of Tirza's Treasures. I have been having trouble trying to post them to my gallery at Stone Accent Studios and Treasures to Scrap accounts, so I am going to post them here for now, until the site issues are resolved and I can get in to post.

The first one is of my real mother on her wedding day. I am not real pleased with the picture, but it is the only one I have and is a newspaper clipping, unfortunately.

This one is of my great grandmother and her parents shortly after they migrated here to the United States from Germany. My great grandmother was born in 1898 and was about 18 months old in this picture.

This one is of my dad's family, (actually my grandfather). This picture was taken shortly after he came back from serving in WWII. He was the second oldest of 12 children and they are all pictured here with my great grandparents.

For this layout, I used 'Bearly Remember' by Tracy of Ambowife Designs. I wanted to change things up a bit for this creation. This is a picture taken of my mother (grandmother) and her brother and sisters around the same time as the previous picture was taken. My mom is on the back row on the left.

Those are the layouts I have been busy creating. I checked my 4shared account today and noticed that my Fall Fruit Freebie is not doing so well, which is understandable with the preview posted. I had decided not to create an additional preview because of the time constraint to get the freebie posted, but have decided to go ahead and post the additional preview for the extras and re-post the freebie.

This is the original freebie preview.

And this is a preview of the 14 extra items included in the kit.

I hope you enjoy and thank you for downloading.

Also, I have decided to post a sneak peek preview of another freebie coming up. I will not be able to post this freebie until Nov. 15th because of rules from a different site. So please check back in around the 15th of November, and it should be available for download.

I have not finished the layout I have planned for this kit, yet, but will get it posted here as soon as I do.

That is all for today. I will be back tomorrow. Take care everyone and have a wonderful day.

Great News

Hi everyone. Just wanted to let you in on some great news. Tracy of Ambowife Designs has her store open at Stone Accent Studios and is having a 50% off sale on ALL of her kits for the next two weeks. Here is a preview of her latest kit, 'Bashful Romance'.

Hurry on over to Stone Accent Studios and check it out. Here is a link to her store.
I haven't had a chance to create any layouts with this kit, yet, but here are some layouts I created with Tracy's 'A Charmed Life', which is also on sale right now.

This layout is of my son Anthony and his sister Chelcey after his latest high school theater performance where he played one of the leads in 'Rumors'. A really great play. It was a riot and all of the actors gave a wonderful performance. I will post some pics from the play at the end of this post.

This is my little mommy, Roxy, and my daughters and her boyfriend, Nick's kitten, Hogarth. Roxy is a miniature pinscher and thinks that she is Hogarth's mother. She has helped take care of him since he was orphaned at about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks old. He is a spoiled little monster.

You should see the two of them play. It looks like they are killing each other at times, but she is a very tolerant and patient mommy. When we ask her where Hogarth is, she will run and find him and then turn as if to say, 'Here he is'. She keeps him occupied and out of trouble, most of the time, until he gets caught on the computer cords. Then it is 'Grandma' to the rescue. He is biting my ankles right now. Poor thing thinks he is more of a dog than a cat, since he has been raised with 3 full grown dogs.

This is him sleeping with his mommy, Roxy.

And Hogarth being a ham with Chelcey's lab, Sam. He is a character. But, then again, all of our pets are characters in one way or another. We call D 'Lilah our insane clown princess, Sam is OFD which stands for Obsessive Fetch Disorder, Roxy is my luggage rat and then we have 4 insane cats, besides Hogarth.

OK, now for the grand finale. Here are some of the pics I took of Anthony's play.

Anthony is the tall one on the left standing up. LOL.

And here he is with Dad and Grandma after the play. What a clown.

This is Anthony and Skylar clowning around afterwards. These 2 were the hit of the show as far as I was concerned.

Oh, wait. I just have to show you a couple of pics I took from our hunting trip a couple of weeks ago. They turned out way better than I thought they were going to.

You won't be able to see them in this picture, but just inside the shadow below the curve of the hill in the foreground are 3 does walking up the hill in a line, right by the arrow. I tried to edit this photo to bring them into focus, but it came out really grainy. I am not sure if you will be able to see them.

This is about as good as it gets. I was just too far away, and they had just walked into the shade. The picture turned out a lot better than I thought, though. I couldn't even see them in the picture viewing it on the camera. It wasn't until we got home and I uploaded the pictures to the computer that I found out that they were definitely there.

And these are pictures of my companion on our little adventure.

She is quite the little adventurer herself, bouncing around on a 4-wheeler all day.

Okay, enough show and tell for this post. I will be back later with some more pics, layouts, a treat and a sneak peak I promised a few days ago. TTFN.

News and 2 Announcements

Okay, first off, I'll start with the announcements. As you can probably tell by the new blinkie on my blog, I am participating in the Holly Jolly Christmas Blog Train. Just click on the image on top or the blinkie in the side bar for more information about this wonderful event. I am sooo looking forward to this and hope that you check back in on Dec. 15th to see what I have available for you.

Next, I am also now a CT member for Tirza's Treasures. I will be working with her kit "Victorian Grandmother" the next few days, so check back in to see what I come up with.

In other news, Roxy is all better and doing just fine. We have come to the realization that she likes to chew on and eat things that she really shouldn't. I found out that she not only ate part of the dish cloth, but also part of a 'Mr Clean Magic Eraser' and part of one of the sparkle candles from my daughters 20th birthday cake. Any one of these things could have caused what happened to her. I was so worried, I am so thankful we did not lose her. I am doing a much better job of keeping an eye on her and making sure she doesn't get ahold of something she shouldn't. It is hard, though. She is like a little toddler, everything goes into her mouth. Maybe one of these days she will learn and stop doing it. One can hope, anyway.

Also, I was going to post some more layouts and pics on my blog. I have been so busy making scrubs for my daughter and our dear friend, Jessica, plus organizing files and creating layouts, I haven't had time to get everything organized. I promise I will try to make a better effort tomorrow and get them posted. Plus, I have a sneak peek for you, also.

Well, time to run. It is early in the morning now and time for me to jump in bed and try to get some sleep. TTFN.

News and Updates

Sorry guys. I haven't been on very much since yesterday. I have been busy nursing dear doggie. As I told Tracy a couple of days ago, she apparently decided that a wash rag was a good source of protein and ate the corner off of it. Her face and neck started swelling up really bad, so I gave her a 1/4 of a Benadryl tab. The swelling started to go down and she seemed to be getting better. I haven't given her anymore Benadryl since early yesterday morning and she started swelling up again last night. She is eating and drinking just fine and everything is passing through ok, she runs around and acts like her normal self, just worried about the swelling in her neck. I am putting off taking her to the vet, unless the situation gets really bad. Vets are sooo expensive, I want to try to do what I can before going that extreme.

In other news, apparently DigiFree has found me. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I am a little embarrassed because they are not quite the quality of other designers kits I have seen and not up to the standards I have set for myself. I posted them on my blog just to show the difference of my previous work from then to my current creations now. I have some other kits I am working on, but are not ready yet. They will have a Victorian/Heritage feel to them. I will post them as soon as they are finished. I am currently working on some projects as Tracy's CT for Ambowife Designs and will get those posted as soon as I can, also.

I will try to be back later this evening with more posts. I have a ton of pictures I want to get uploaded. TTFN.

I made it

Finally, she breathed with a sigh of relief. I did it. I got everything transferred and uploaded. My whole blog life lays before your eyes now.

Please help, though. Does someone out there in digiscrapland have a solution for completely removing Internet Explorer? It has been driving me totally bonkers all day today. Every time I change from one screen to another, I have another pop up coming through. The problem is, I thought I removed IE. It is not on my list of programs on my computer anymore, but it still shows up in my program files and WILL NOT let me remove it. I also have Spybot and AVG and they have not been able to do anything about it, either. I am not sure which is worse, gray or bald. Just kidding. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

And now, for the Grand Finale, an announcement. A little late I know, but better late than never I always say. Yesterday, Tracy of Ambowife Designs was very gracious to accept me as one of her CT Members. If you transferred to my blog from hers, then you obviously already know this, LOL. I am so honored and thrilled. I have her newest kits downloaded and am now ready to play. They are to die for is all I can say. I was impressed looking at the previews on her blog, but they are FABULOUS. I can't say enough about them, I am speechless. Stay tuned, layouts forthcoming very soon.

The Water Elements Are After Me - Originally posted Oct 15th

She yelled before running screaming out the door. Just Kidding. Though it does make a person wonder at times. If you are wondering, yes, we flooded again. This time it was the drain in the shower that backed up. Ever have times that you feel like you just can't win for lose? I am having one of those days. At least it wasn't nearly as bad as the last time. It didn't take me nearly as long to get everything up off of the floor and cleaned up. I guess that was lucky.

Anyway, on to bigger and better things. Chelcey's 20th is coming up in a few days now. She is very excited and trying to weedle what she is getting for her birthday out of me. But, of course, I won't tell her. Here is a layout SHE created for her birthday invitations. I turned her loose on my computer after giving her some pointers and this is what she came up with. I am very impressed with her style. (I really did not want to mar the look of the layout, but I also did not want to post personal information all over the net for everyone to access, either.) The kit she used was Rose Boudoir by Lisa of Sophisticated Scraps. You can find it on her blog at www.sophisticatedscraps.blogspot.com Be sure to check her blog out. It is totally AWESOME.

Another Chelcey Layout

Awesome opportunity for me to dust off this page kit and finally have an excuse to scrap this photo of DD when she was 2 months old. I created this layout for Meryl's T42 & 24T Colorful Challenge. The pink of the background goes so well with the pink of her blanket. I think the picture needs to be bigger, though, and maybe a few more elements. I don't know, it seems I can never have too many elements.

I used Meryl's Lavender and Roses Page Kit exclusively on this one

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