Friday, May 13, 2011

Tip of the Day: Always Ink your Edges

Going to local scrapbooking crops is a great way to get inspiration from others who share your interest in scrapping, card making, and paper crafting in general. My very first crop at a local store, Captured Moments, taught me a very important tip: always ink your edges!

We all use shapes and cut-outs on our projects so there's always edges. Here I have small stamped squares I'll be adding to cards. The chocolate-colored sentiment looks pretty on the blue cardstock, but it's missing something. It doesn't quite look finished. Time to ink the edges!

While the squares are pretty, a little chalk just makes them pop!

You can use stamp pads or chalk ink pads for this. In this case I chose a similar brown chalk ink by VersaMagic  in Jumbo Java (I love the name!) and just swept it around my edges.  See the difference? It's amazing what a little ink can do!

Adding a little chalk to the squares on the left makes all the difference!
It really makes the square pop on the finished card.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Twenty-one Minutes

I slide the quarters into the machine and with a 'click, woosh' the washer comes to life. The water starts pouring in and the timer begins counting down the length of the cycle: 21 minutes. I settle into the chair in the laundry room, pull out my phone, and wait.

This is not my laundry in the machine, it is my grandmother's. Grammy, as she is known to her five grandchildren, is a young 86 and lives in an apartment that is part of an assisted living complex. She lives on her own and needs no nursing help but enjoys not having to worry about taking care of a house and all the amenities they have to offer here. However, the laundry room is down two flights of stairs which she has no desire to maneuver. That's where I come in.

Ever since my career divorced me (at least, that's how I like to explain it) I come over to Gram's once a week to clean and run the laundry for her. What do we get out of it? Well Gram gets time with her granddaughter and great-grandson, clean laundry and floors, and a chauffeur to any errands she wants to do. Kieran, the one and only great-grandchild to date, gets to play with his Great-Grammy, eat french fries, and usually baby food from Target...or a toy...or both. Not that he's spoiled or anything. ;)

What do I get? Time. Time with my one remaining grandparent, time to watch my son radiate love for his Great-Grammy, time to etch these moments into my heart and snap as many candid shots as I can of him sprawled in her lap asleep or the two of them sitting on the floor together while she feeds him vanilla ice cream. Time to have her reminisce about her life and relatives I never knew. Time to talk and laugh about our family and the latest 'thing' going on.

I also get twenty-one minutes while the washer does its thing all to myself. I can read a magazine, catch up on correspondence, browse the internet, or blog. The time always goes by so fast but is always enjoyed. While I sit in the laundry room my Grammy is in her apartment with my son. I don't know exactly what they do for their twenty-one minutes together but I know they enjoying every second they spend together.

I hope and pray that Grammy will live long enough that Kieran can have memories of her, but if not I will happily show him photos of the two of them together and tell him the stories I've collected from her of our family. Most importantly I will tell him of our Wednesdays together and those special twenty-one minutes.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

So today I'm taking a day off from crafting to spend the day with my boys.

My ridiculously cute 8 month old, Kieran, presented me with a hand-drawn card and his first *two* teeth, as well as lots of smiles and kissies. He also had help from his Daddy in getting a suncatcher for me as well as getting me my morning coffee. :)

Breakfast we headed out for at a local diner called the Chuckwagon. It is a refurburished 1950s box car diner and the food is phenomenal. As an added Mother's Day treat, they were presenting all of the moms with a free half grapefruit with a cherry on top. :)  While there we also discovered that Kieran likes eggs as he kept demanding them off our plates!

After breakfast we headed for a local nursery, Hewitt's, so that I could pick out some flowers to put in my garden. As we pulled in, we were greeted by the double decker cupcake bus! Bettie's Cakes from Saratoga was there selling yummy cupcakes so of course we supported a fellow local business.

Now we're off to a friend's birthday party where Kieran will have two little boys to play with and I will be gifting one of my cupcake cards (soon available online).

Happy Mother's Day to all!