Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bizzy Day

So, it's almost midnight and I finally get to do what I want to do. Oh the joys of self employment.

Made knobs and pendants like a mad woman all day, then went to the airport post office. Oh my stars, I am so glad I didn't have anything going out of the U.S. There were at least 30 peeps in line, and since it's the airport PO (think Twilight Zone), only two clerks working. I just put my stuff in the box and beat feet out of there.

I had time to make a quick trip to Michaels. Did $17.00 worth of damage. I discovered when I was paying that the store would be open till 10:30, instead of the usual 9:00. And on Friday night they are staying open until midnight. Those poor employees.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Memory ~ 2007

What a time for my camera to go on the fritz. I shall have to use my superior literary skills *ha* to compensate. Christmas 2007 we had some extra money. I wanted to make it a very special Christmas for my husband. Geoff was the oldest of five kids and his family didn't have a lot of money. At the age of nine he was cooking dinner and helping to care for his siblings. I know he went to bed hungry many times.

I was raised at the other end of the spectrum. My father was a dentist in Beverly Hills. But both he and my mother struggled and worked for everything they had. They raised my sister and I to do the same. Even though Geoff and I had completely different childhoods monetarily, we were both taught that the most important things in life are not things at all. We are able to live quite happily without new cars or fancy vacations, or clothes bought at the mall. Not to say that my chocolate and scrapbooking budgets are not larger than they should be, but I digress big time.

The photo you see is of the fireplace in our family room. The Christmas tree was at the other side of the room. All of the gifts in front of the fireplace were for Geoff. I searched my brain, and the internet, to find things that he never got as a child. Christmas 2007 he received two Coast Guard ship model kits, a remote control helicopter, lots of warm clothes, an eight pound box of nuts and candy from Sees, other gourmet type foods, slippers from LL Bean, and a bunch of other things I cannot remember.

In the house that morning with Geoff and I were Sara (his daughter) and Jacob (my son) and of course, Jessie and Juneau. Jacob (at the time age 13) wrote his own lyrics and sung them to the tune of Silent Night. His song was about how much he loved Geoff and how Geoff deserved all these gifts. Jacob insisted on hiding behind the Christmas tree and began to sing as Sara and I led a blindfolded Geoff into the room.

I know it sounds corny, but the look on my husband's face was the best gift of all. Christmas 2007 is a day I will never forget.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Good Bra = A Good Day

Today was a good day. I put on a brand spankin' new bra and feel like I could take on the world. The girls are riding high!

My buddy-ette Tracy opened the mini album I made for her, and unless she is lying, she liked it. She opened it on video, and being able to see her reaction was so heartwarming. I am just beginning to make my own videos. It's cool to think of how technology is able to connect people from all over the world. I marvel at today's technology because large parts of my mind live in the 1860's. Laura Ingalls Wilder days. You didn't read it wrong :).

Yesterday my son, who is in 11th grade, went back to visit the folks at his Middle School. He misses them, and considers his years there to be some of his best. He's a deep thinker. Wonder where he got that from...lol. Today he told me how much he appreciates the advantages (i.e., Christian school) that he's had, and how even though he doesn't have the newest or name brand clothes, he has so much more than that. He has gone from whining about not having his own car, to being thankful he has a car to drive (mine) almost any time he wants.

I didn't do much work today, and that equals no pain. I'll start working after I finish this post, but that's okay. God is in His heaven and has my Mama with Him. I have a wonderful husband and son, good friends, and a nice new bra.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Art of Kenna

My son's girlfriend Kenna drew this for him. Drew it free hand. Didn't trace it or anything. She blows me away with her talent, and with the depth of her faith. She isn't yet 16 years old, but she has an old soul and is wise way beyond her years.

Jacob wants to have something similar to this drawing tattooed on his arm (once he turns 18 of course). The subject of tattoos was the only subject he ever challenged his beloved grandmother on. She was against them, citing Biblical references to not marking up one's body and not calling attention to one's self. Jacob argued that his tattoo would be a sign of his allegiance to the Lord. It was sweet to hear them debating back and forth. In the end Jacob took me aside and told me he would be getting a tattoo, whether she approved or not :).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sleeping with Chocolate

Yep, you read that right. Reese's peanut butter cups to be exact. The miniature ones. I was taking a nap on the living room sofa the other day, with my loyal Snow Dog lying on the floor right next to the couch. I woke up (or so I thought) as my son walked through the room. I asked him to bring me a couple of the peanut butter cups. He obliged, and that's all I remember. Until I woke up again and immediately went into panic mode. My peanut butter cups!! Where are they? I didn't eat them. Please, please, oh please don't let them have melted all over my late mother's ivory colored sofa.

I put my hand on my thigh (I sleep on my side) and found one of the cups balanced there. It was still wrapped and that was a good thing since the chocolate had melted into a squishy blob inside the wrapper. The other peanut butter cup was nowhere to be found. I looked at Juneau, who was waking from his nap. And then it hit me. I just needed to sit quietly and wait. Sure enough, not 15 seconds later his super sensitive nose had located the cup underneath the couch. I retrieved the candy and of course gave it to him as his reward.

Now you must remember, we aren't talking about a piece of raw (or cooked) meat here. We are talking about one small piece of candy, wrapped, hiding under a couch at least two feet away from his line of smell.

Dogs fascinate me, and I make no apologies for that. From Juneau and his super sonic nose, to Jessie putting her paw in her mouth to try to dislodge something from a back tooth. Dogs are a woman's best friend, and then some.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mom Taxi and Parental Payback

I had Mom Taxi duty today. Something that rarely happens now that Jacob has his own license. First picked him up at his friend's house (he spent the night), then we drove to his girlfriend Kenna's house to get her, then we drove to my Baby Daddy's house. The BD was at work, and his wife is in the hospital. They needed Jacob (and Kenna) to let their four dogs out. I could have gone inside and raided the fridge, but their dogs are of the small, hyper and yappy variety. Staying in the car in the 30 degree weather and cutting out decals was a much better choice for me. After the dog duty was complete, I drove home and shortly thereafter Jacob and Kenna departed for the movies. Told you that story to tell you this one:

I parked in Kenna's driveway and waited as Jacob went to the door. He disappeared inside the house and was gone for a very long time. I mean, a long time. So long I turned off the engine. Kenna's father is extremely protective and I had visions of him and Jacob "discussing" whether Kenna could leave with him/us at all. I got tired of waiting and wondering, and honked the horn. Viola, out they came!

Kenna gets in the front seat but doesn't say one word to me. Jacob gets in the back and says hello. No explanation, no apology for the long wait. Hey, I gave them a chance. Then I went into full Mom Mode and Jacob said she wasn't ready on time and he was "already mad at her for that." No big deal and it wouldn't have bothered me had I not had a long history with my son and his incredible ability to keep me waiting. It was a silent ride to the BD's house and home from there.

We walked in the front door and Jacob remarked to Kenna, "I still can't believe your Dad is letting me take you to a movie." I said, "That's cause he doesn't know you're the tongue bandit." Jacob turned and began to walk down the hall, muttering "I did not just hear that." Hmmm, trying to be considerate, I repeated it, louder. Kenna was giggling as she followed him down the hall.

Parental payback....it's good stuff!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Embrace Chaos ** NOT

I made this ATC a few years ago. I thought my creative clutter was a good thing. I laughed about it, made myself the subject of jokes about it, and tried my best to ignore the truth. To me, words like "organized" and "orderly" and sayings like "a place for everything and everything in its place" were synonymous with "anal" and "uptight" and yes, high blood pressure. And for some who take it too far, well...they end up anal and uptight, with high blood pressure, and divorced. I made a much better choice of husbands the second time around.

I started to make ATC's after the car accident in 2006. Prior to that my creative outlet was writing. I found that immersing myself in the world of altered art took me away from the pain. And so began the accumulation of what we all refer to as our stashes. The discovery of the scrapbooking community on YouTube in August 2010, and the move of my craft room/office from the third bedroom to the master bedroom in February 2011 has been the source of many warm and fuzzy feelings, along with....chaos.

Chaos has now taken over. Chaos is breathing down my neck, jabbing me in the back, and shoving me along in everything but creative ways. I have "stuff" all over my house. And I've created such an unorganized mess that I now feel completely overwhelmed by it. As in, I don't know where to begin and even if I did, would things stay in their place after I found them one. Yep, let's announce this to the world on my blog. The truth hurts, and I need to face it.

The truth hit me like a Mack truck this week. And it was disguised in two creative projects I had been working on for a long time. Two Halloween mini albums. One for a swap and the other for a gift. My supplies had drifted from my room to the dining room and then out to the family room. With a few scattered in the living room and kitchen for good measure. As the mess got larger, so did my anxiety. And my anxiety was literally paralyzing me. I would work on a project for 20 minutes and then feel as if I couldn't breathe. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed and it took me a while to put all the pieces together.

I do have enough space for all my "stuff." I just need to really think about what I use most often and where is the best place to keep it. And when I finish with something, I need to put it back. AND, most important since I'm a digger when I'm searching for an item, I need to be an orderly and organized digger. Not the kind who throws things over their shoulder till they find what they want, and just walks away.

I am going to brainstorm with my husband, a very orderly person who actually possesses an attention span. I will see what he thinks is the best way to "eat this elephant." And I will take lots of deep breaths through my nose. I can do it. I can make chaos a thing of the past.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Mama

Donna (Dorian) Marie Ferguson Heisner, born December 1, 1930 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Died June 7, 2011 in Newport Beach, California.

I think about my mother every day. I always have and I always will. I know she is with her Lord. I know she was more than ready to go. She looked forward to dying, because she knew it meant eternal life with God. She anticipated her journey home the way one might anticipate a long-awaited vacation.

I have thought many times today, how birthdays are no longer a concern of hers. This leads me on to thoughts of how much of our lives we spend worrying about things, which in the big picture, have no meaning at all.

The world is a much different place without you Mama. Your family loves and misses you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mail Call

I received my order from Pro31Designs (www.etsy.com/shop/Pro31Designs) or twinsmoms on You Tube. I wanted to try the blingy mesh everyone is using. She also sent along some gifties. Gifties are always appreciated and such a nice touch. I received two pink sprays, two blue sprays, two buttons and a cameo. The blingy mesh is very cool and will make a nice accent to my Christmas projects. Notice how the words Happy Mail are stamped all over the envelope. Very cute!

My Scor-Tape also arrived today. From what I understand it's as good as the red tape. I've never tried it but the big draw is that you can tear it. So I shall give it a try.

I didn't get to do anything creative today as I had to work. Although I did have lots and LOTS of creative thoughts. That counts...sort of.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who Me? A Malamute

Here is Boogie with his "who me, I'm not doing anything wrong" face. The living room couch is off limits but since I had slept on it the night before, I guess he figured it was okay. After he saw that all I was going to do was take his picture, he laid his head back down and went to sleep.

The black thing on his collar is a receiver for one of those fenceless yard things. Cannot remember what it's called, but if Boogie gets too close to the edge of the property he gets a little shock. As heavy as that receiver is, he gets worried if we take his collar off. He is always thrilled to have the collar put back on. I know in his mind the collar means he belongs here. He's an amazing dog, but he's still a Boogie.

I made knobs today. And watched videos on Christmas minis. I also reinforced the spine of Tracy's book, and re-papered the front and back covers. I really want to get that bad boy in the mail...lol.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tracy's not so mini Album - The Saga Continues

Here is the last sneak peek, because sneak peeks can get old. This is a tiny little book (a little smaller than an ATC) that goes with the album's zombie page.

I have been struggling with binding issues, and keeping Tracy aware of my struggles. Probably a lot more aware than she'd care to be kept...aware of. I bound it once with canvas that I colored. The result was so bad it literally had me tossing and turning in my bed. The next day I tore the canvas off. I felt a lot better.

Second try with the binding and some sparkly paper. Looked great, if I do say so myself. But, the pages were not turning correctly. They were creaking and popping. They didn't creak or pop with the canvas binding. I finally figured out I had put the thin cardboard spine onto the book facing the wrong way. It had a pretty side (black sparkle paper) and an ugly side (white cardboard). There was sticky strip on the ugly side. I bound the book with the pretty side facing out, then put the paper which wraps around the front, back and spine, onto the book. Not only could you see the ugly side of the spine when turning the pages, the pages were sticking to the sticky strip and that was causing the creaking and popping.

I tried to gently remove the entire binding "assembly" and I succeeded, if you don't count ripping the pattern paper off both the front and back of the album, and taking chunks out of the gussets on the spine.

The top two pages and the bottom page have the chunks taken out. It's only paper, and these areas are uh, paper thin? WAY more thin than that. I am going to have to cut some strips and glue them on top of the weak areas, and also on top of the not weak areas, so everything remains the same thickness. Thank you hubby, for that suggestion.

This book was supposed to be in the mail tomorrow at the very latest, to arrive while she is on her trip to the States. I've whined so much about this book that I don't even want to bother Tracy with yet another sad story. I cut some Christmas themed die cuts for her, and also Halloween cuts. I am going to send the Christmas cuts tomorrow so at least she will have a little package to open. I'm hoping she will be able to use some of them on her Christmas projects. The Halloween cuts will wait and travel with the mini album....hopefully before Valentine's Day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day - Coasties & Cars

This is the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast. It is one of the ships my husband served on during his 23 year military career. I am very proud of him. Not many people can say they saved the life of another, let alone the lives of many, while putting their own life on the line.

I love you Geoff. You are my rock. I don't know where I'd be without you. You are a wonderful husband and father. I thank God every day for bringing you into my life.

My car is sick. Needs a lot of work. $2400 worth. It's either car payments, or car repairs right? I have a Subaru Outback. I really like my car. The mechanic who is fixing it is known far and wide for his expertise with Subarus. It's being repaired at a small shop. My ex-husband works for a large dealership and Subaru is one of their lines. He cannot get me the parts at a discount because his boss is a real butt knuckle. And so it goes.

My dear mother would say, "Well, at least you aren't paying for chemotherapy." I miss you Mom, each and every day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do I Have a Shot?

So, I was thinking of sending this photo to the folks who publish Where Women Create. Do you think they'll do a story about me? Picture shows one-third of a seven foot work table. Pretty darn scary.

I can enter a perfectly organized room, and within five minutes, it looks like a tornado blew through it. I'm not bragging about this fact. I'm saying it's amazing, but not in a good way. I'm not even aware that I'm making messes until after they are made. Like I said - scary.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's Still October....

Until my two mini albums are done, I'm leaving the decorations and blog background up! Here is my most favorite ATC, of all the ATC's I have made. In thinking about it, this may be the only Halloween themed card I've ever done.

This card was sold, ages ago. I love the real beads along the "spine" of the spell book. I should get back to making ATCs. They always sold, and even if they didn't bring big bucks, it made my heart so happy that someone actually wanted something I created.

It's important to create every day. I am a happier person when I do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's Gettin' There.....

Here is another peek at Tracy's mini. This page is missing a few things. When I figure out what they are, I will add them and call it good. I am having a great time making this book. I can be as weird as I want!!! SA-WEET! Tracy and I share the same wicked sense of humor. I am so lucky she is my friend. No, not lucky...blessed.

I have also been working on another Halloween mini for a friend who just had a birthday. Will I ever be on schedule? Her mini is kid-themed, to be used for photos of her grandchildren. It's a challenge 'cause my mind wants to create twisted-ly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don't Ya Just Love Fall?

Last year my holiday decorating left a lot to be desired. This year I am determined to begin decorating for Halloween, on October 1st. Not that I have a lot of Halloween decor items, but I do have a few. I also have a lot of yummy PartyLite candles to fill the house with the smell of Fall.

I'm super excited to put some large wooden figures at the front of the house. They are cute Halloween, as opposed to scary. I got them two years ago, at a garage sale. The people wanted them gone, and said I could have all three for $5.00. These kinds of things just make my day.

Friday morning my son is having his lower wisdom teeth extracted. He is nervous of course. I know exactly what to do and how to care for him, so I'm not worried about that. I do wonder (not out loud of course) how he will handle the pain afterward. His pain threshold has never really been tested.

We are in the process of re-financing our house. We can get a MUCH better interest rate. On Monday it will be appraised. So I have till then to turn Santa's Workshop into something which somewhat resembles a regular home....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sneak Peek #1 ~ Halloween Album Swap

Here is a peek at a partially finished page in my Halloween album swap with the very talented Tracy of TracysTreasures.

I have my supplies for this album ALL over the house. It's pathetic really. I have been eyeing that Workbox "thing" lately, the one that stores an insane amount of stuff in one place. Now that would be cool, and then some.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Zombie Card

The recipient of this card (aka Tracy) was kind enough to photograph it for me, as I
realized after I mailed it, that I had not taken a picture.

I had a profound blog post planned, but now I'm just not in the mood to be profound. Today was a jumbled up kind of day, and no orders went out. I saw a video about the $2.00 grab bags at Michaels. I remember seeing them at the store a long time ago, and not paying any attention to them. After seeing that video I decided the world would not resume rotation until I got one of those bags. One...or four or five. And I needed to get some red tape.

Of course they did not have any grab bags. I know they don't always have them, so I didn't break down and cry in the store or anything. I did manage to find a few things to buy. From the $1.50 bins I got a knife/fork/spoon stamp. I've seen that on so many videos and always wanted it. I got a stamp of vintage eyeglasses, and one of a sofa and one of a vintage key. A while back they had these stamps and rub-ons that had to do with time and clocks. I passed on those and now I'm kicking myself. I have been rubber stamping on the mini album I am making for my doctor and realize I should use my stamps more.

In the corner of one bin were two of those tiny faux metal frames that everyone was using on the covers of their minis. I have three of them, but man, that's a hoard item for sure. Now I have five so I am comfortable taking a couple out of hoard mode.

Who Are You, in Mountain View???

Someone in Mountain View, California visits my blog on a regular basis and I wonder who you are. I wonder about a lot of things. I'd rather NOT wonder so much, believe you me. Oh, and flashes! Do you have flashes? Where people or places or things from your past just flash through your mind, leaving in their wake a whole new set of things to wonder about.

I will flash on someone in my past, and wonder if he ever thinks about me. I wonder what my dogs would say if they could talk. I wonder how old I will be when I die. I flash on my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Barrington. Is he still alive? I wonder. It's like Cinco de Mayo every day in my head.

So, creatively today I got all the pages prepped for my mini album swap with the very talented Tracy. Painting the edges of chipboard is very calming. I am so looking forward to creating this album and letting my imagination run free.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dental Delights

Today was implant day. Two of them, in my lower jaw. I'm happy I had it done. I should have had it done a few years ago. I still find it amazing the way surgeons work with bone and metal "findings" for a lack of a better word. Drilling into bone and inserting hardware just seems odd. But maybe that's just me. I did well. Sat still, was compliant, didn't cry or make a fuss. I'm glad because he's a very nice doctor and I didn't want to cause him any grief.

Anyway, these implants were not cheap. Of course dental insurance won't cover any part of them since that would make too much sense, and certainly would not be cost effective for them. Do you ever wonder why there is medical insurance AND dental insurance? Last time I checked the mouth was a part of the body.

These days I equate money with the amount of craft supplies it can buy. A nice dinner out loses its appeal when I consider how many Martha punches I could have purchased with that money. Dinners out are fleeting. Martha punches are forever.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Cob Story

My mom and I were very close. We talked a lot, and shared a lot. She would always ask, "Do you have any Cob stories?" Being a long-distance grandmother, she got her information via phone calls and emails. Well, tonight I have a beautiful Cob story and I am praying somehow she will get to hear it.

Cob returned from the grocery store and said to me, "Mom, tonight I got to do something I've always wanted to do." He was excited to tell me, but not in a bragging or boastful way. He said, "I was walking in the parking lot and I saw an old man with a cane. He was a veteran. So I went up to him and shook his hand. I said thank you for your service and told him I appreciated all he had done." I asked how he knew the man was a veteran, and he told me he was wearing a hat which said so, and had medals on it.

Then I asked Cob what the man's reaction was. He told me, "He said it meant a lot to him to hear that. I told him to have a good evening, and God Bless you."

I managed to hold back my tears until Jacob left the room. I am so proud of this kid, and so blessed to be his mother.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Miniature Masterpieces

Major cuteness alert here!! This oil painting is done on canvas and measures 3 inches by 3 inches. It comes with the easel, and is for sale in my eBay store (along with several other mini masterpieces).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cause I Can

I am posting a Halloween-ish type image.....yep, because I can. I'm deep in thought about the mini I will make for my SSS (Super Special Swap...lol).

I took Jacob to the dentist for his check-up. Usually, he is one of those "look ma, no cavities" type kids. He was also born with arrow straight teeth, which he never shows when he smiles, and that irks me. I am SO thankful he didn't inherit my dental history, which I inherited from my mother. Both she and I had congenitally missing lateral incisors (the teeth on either side of your front teeth). My sister got my father's good dental DNA, but come to find out that congenitally missing teeth gene reared its ugly head, and her son was born with the condition, on the lower. That just fascinates me, how heredity and genes work. But I digress, big time.

Jacob has two cavities in...get this...his front teeth! Jeez Louise, lazy much? How do you get cavities on the two easiest teeth to reach? He also has a cavity in each of his lower third molars (aka wisdom teeth). Not great news, but easier to understand. He really does not have room for those molars, so they will be extracted very shortly. The uppers are way, way up there and seem to be heading straight. We'll just leave those puppies alone for now. They haven't even erupted.

I feel sorry for him already, because he's never really known pain before. Never had any illness worse than a bad cold, never broken a bone or had a surgery. He does give blood and considers that a major procedure. Poor guy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A New Old Mini Album

Well, I coulda had two-thirds of a baby in the time it took to finish this mini. The funny thing is whenever I think I can do a project quickly, easy peasy, etc., it always turns out that the opposite is true. This book is for an eight year old girl named Kamaria.

The paper collection is DCWV Garden Party. The circle pages are six inches in diameter. Note to self: circle chipboard is a pain.

I broke out my Cricut for the flower and dragonfly tags. It's really an amazing machine and I need to use it more.

This is one of those pages where you keep changing things, trying to find something that works. I used the petal card die to make three envelopes, then stacked them and made little tags. I don't have any tab punches so I used my scallop punch and folded the paper in half.

Kmae is her nickname. Those are Thickers. Love Thickers. This page is very busy. Very, very busy. It's too busy but I am not going to redo it. I made a little booklet which was supposed to attach to the top with a binder clip. No room for it though, with all the flowers.

Here is the page without the busyness of the tags. My little booklet wouldn't go in the pocket since it had embellishments around the bottom. Note to self: plan your album before you start making it.

A simple page for a photo. I may go back and add something to the upper left corner. Not sure why I left it unadorned.

This is my favorite page. The butterfly was originally silver and I used two different alcohol inks to color it. It is only adhered on one side. I have butterfly, scallop frame and bird tags which tuck under the wing.

Second favorite page. Lovin' the chocolate brown and aqua color combo. The little book opens up and cascades down with two places for photos and two places for journaling. It is held closed by the tiniest little magnet. I have opened and closed the flap more times than I want to admit. It's just so cool to hear that little "snap" sound when it closes.

Last page. Can ya tell I was out of inspiration? I just wanted to be done with this mini album. Trying to give the impression of water with the rick-rack and velvet ribbon. I was going to adhere some sand to the front of that pocket, until I reminded myself I had fussed enough. Used the Cricut again to make the flip-flop tags. I think Kamaria will think they're cute.

The blue and pink flower at the top is actually a Tim Holtz binder clip. It was supposed to hold the aforementioned little booklet. I think I'll attach the booklet to the back of the mini. Why not right?

This concludes my girly scrappy projects for a while. It's back to vintage with some grunge, in Tim Holtz land. In other words, back to where I belong. And, I am doing a Halloween mini swap with my YouTube idol, Tracy (TracysTreasures24 is her channel name). She is a sweetheart and I am blessed to call her my friend.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Heart is Full

This morning my son Jacob flew to Southern California, to attend a combination martial arts training event and 75th birthday party for Soke Karl Marx, the founder of Cajun Karate. The photo of Jacob was taken at the karate studio (doe-joe and no I can't spell it), with Karl's son, Victor Marx. Victor runs the place, and is a 7th degree Black Belt, which from what I hear, is really advanced.

Victor is also the founder of All Things Possible Ministries and is well known, for many things, in a variety of circles. Victor's main outreach is to youth who are in juvenile facilities. He has overcome a horrendous childhood of abuse, and is able to relate to the kids in these facilities. He is the author of a book called "The Victor Marx Story, With God, All Things Are Possible."

At the time of her death, my mother (Donna Ferguson) was working with Victor's organization, on the re-publishing of her first book, "The Someday Kid." Like Victor, my mother had overcome terrible tragedy and used her experiences to reach out to others. She had a heart for women and teens who had been abused and were now incarcerated.

My mother would speak of spiritual DNA. Strange concept and at first I didn't even want to try to understand it. I still don't, but I do know it exists, because Jacob is so much like this grandmother in more ways than I could possibly list. He feels called to become a Pastor, and thinks working with youth is where God will use him.

I have reached the point in my life where I'm not afraid to tell my "God Stories." They are spectacular and I figure, if someone thinks my hamster is running but the wheel isn't turning, so be it. So....I told you all that, to tell you all this:

In the minutes following her death, I stood at the foot of my mother's bed. I was still and I was silent. I felt tremendous peace, because I knew she was finally where she wanted to be. Then I saw something out of the corner of my right eye, something very bright. I looked over and it was a small diamond shaped object, bright white with gold sparkles. It was maybe two to three inches tall, floating in the air, about shoulder level to me in height. It floated slowly over to me, and I felt it enter the right side of my chest, across from my heart. When I say I felt it enter my body, what I felt was a warm sensation, followed by the sense it was dispersing itself inside me. None of this was alarming or uncomfortable. Serene is the word to describe it. And then my mind was filled with thoughts of how this glowing object was representative of my mother's work here on earth. The torch had been passed and now I must keep her ministry alive.

I will never be her, nor do I want to be her. But I can do things to show others God is real, and putting your trust in Him is the only true security we have. I can use my testimony of how God picked me up out of the gutter I was living in, and made me a new person. I can pray for others. I can try each day to be a better person. And I can listen, when I feel led to be sure Jacob and Victor meet and develop a friendship because God will use that friendship to do great things.

My heart is full. I love you Mama.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tiny Tree, Oral Surgeons & A Haul

Here is my jeweled tree. I know this is a love it or hate it type creation. I think it's gorgeous and will definitely be making more of these trees. I already have two new designs in mind. The tree is 3-1/2 inches tall and is covered with costume jewelry, vintage buttons, vintage rhinestones, and a trimming of black velvet rick-rack around the bottom. It is currently for sale on eBay, where it isn't getting any views. They don't really have a category that fits this tree. I will move it to Etsy soon.

I saw the oral surgeon today and will be having two lower implants placed at the end of the month, or, as soon as I figure out how to pay for it, whichever comes first. He is a wonderful and compassionate man, who is also a physician. I have some major "issues" in the dental chair. NOT because I'm afraid of dentistry, or needles, or the noises and smells. Because from birth to age 27 my father was my dentist. I had problem teeth. In fact, to this day I cannot walk into a dental office and not hear the word "complicated" used in relation to my mouth. My father was an excellent dentist and had many wonderful qualities. He was also extremely critical and I could never please him.

All of the above comes to the surface the minute I sit in that chair, and I cry big crocodile tears, and shake a bit, and generally feel like a total idiot. God has been so good to bring caring, patient dentists into my life. Do you notice that when a person is especially kind, it can make you cry even more? Just because it's so touching.

After my appointment I went to Craft Warehouse. CW is the closest thing to a LSS in the podunk town I live in. Since I had no where to be, I took my time and looked at everything. For some reason it's shocking to me to see all the papers I drool at online, at a brick and mortar store. I spent close to two hours just browsing. They had all their Spring themed Studio G clear stamps on sale for a dime. Yep, 10 for $10. I stared at the sign for a long time to be sure I was reading it right.

I have been wanting a Corner Chomper, the original one, for quite some time. It was $14.99, so of course I grabbed it. I got a Martha Stewart punch around the page set in Holly Leaves. It was half off but for some reason I always feel guilty when I buy MS punches. I can't believe how expensive punches are in general. I got a flower punch too. I know you pay for the Martha name. EK Success makes her punches, as well as Stampin' Up's punches, and EK Success is owned by Wilton (you know, the cake folks) OR, perhaps Wilton is owned by EK Success. In any event they are all connected.

I also picked up a few May Arts ribbons in black, for Halloween minis. I stayed away from the paper, amazing but true :).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kitchen Things

Got me a new Cricut cartridge to add to my collection. My VAST collection of.....drumroll please....five. Stunning I know. I wish I had gotten the SCAL program. I heard it's no longer available.

Then....we got a new stove. The old one finally bit the dust. The new one looks just like this, but it's not stainless. We got it at Home Depot. The saleswoman kept calling us "kids." She said, "Okay kids, when do you want to pick it up?" She called me "sister" several times. It was odd. I like to use unusual words/names when speaking to people too. I will call a woman "punkin" and a man "studly." I have others, but those are the two that come to mind. Oh, the new stove makes the rest of the kitchen look shabby, and I don't mean as in chic.

I have been working on a new project. A tiny tree decorated with pieces of costume jewelry. It is my first tree and I'm so happy with how it's turning out. Will share photos soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Butterflies and Flowers

A few little things I made today :).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An Orphan? Really?

This is a picture of my mother's living room, right after she passed away. If you click on the picture it will magically become larger and clearer. The coffee table was her pride and joy. The base is from the large dining room table she got when I was a child. About 30 or so years ago she had the table top removed, and transformed the base into what you see here. The glass on top is nearly four feet by five feet, and 3/4-inch thick.

Tomorrow movers will deliver the coffee table, and the sofa, and several other large pieces of antique furniture which cost a fortune to move up here, but with which I could not bear to part and which my sister had no room for. Also arriving will be boxes and boxes of books, all dealing with Christianity, all bequeathed to my son.

It has been a rough day in the grieving department. I know where she is, and I wish I could ONLY dwell on that. I try....

About two years ago, I was talking with a person who had recently lost their mother, and whose father had passed many years ago. This person made the statement that they were now an orphan. I thought, how peculiar a thing to think or say. Lately though, I find myself thinking, I have no parents. I call out to my mother, inside my head. I say "Momma" over and over again. An odd little mantra. It comforts me.

I remember my mother telling me one of the toughest things about getting older is that you always seem to be losing someone close to you. Now that she is gone, I know exactly what she meant. I have felt a whole lot older since she died. I'm the elder now, and I don't want to be.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Love My Husband Because He......

....slow dances with me at home to whatever songs I want.

....makes me laugh when he opens the pantry and says "okay, something in here stinks." Next thing I know he's carrying out a half empty bag of potatoes, with both dogs on his heels. He lets Juneau get a good whiff, and then turns to Jessie and says, "Here, you like rotten things."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

God's Creation

My mother and my son, October 2006, Columbia River Gorge, near Portland, Oregon

I love this photo. The background looks like a mural someone painted, but it's not. It's the majesty of God's creation. It's very high up where we were, and very windy. I remember my mother holding onto my husband's arm for fear she would be swept away.

They held her memorial service today, in Newport Beach. I stayed home. It was better this way. I'm still trying to get my bearings, still trying to come to terms with the fact she is no longer a phone call away. I love you Momma.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two Homecomings & a Mini Album

My dear Momma went to be with the Lord on June 7, 2011. She was in her own home, which was her wish. I was in the apartment with her. He took her peacefully and quietly. I am happy for her, but will struggle with my own sadness for quite some time. Amazing how we are given both the traits of nobility and selfishness, and how strongly this combination shines during a period of loss.

My mother was all about the Lord's business, and with His help, her work will continue. See Momma, I was paying attention!

I returned home on June 17th. It was a bit of a battle, making sure her wishes were known and respected. So physically I am worn out, but spiritually I saw first hand what the body of Christ truly means, and how God can empower you to do things beyond your wildest imagination. I will share more of that in the weeks to come.

I was able to create a little sumpin' sumpin' (hey Kathryn!) before I left. This mini is for McKenna, my son's girlfriend. I call her Pixie Girl. She is adorable, and so good for Jacob. The book was a birthday gift, and was created with Graphic 45 Once Upon a Springtime papers. Inside each "page" are little tiny file folders.

Such a fun book to put together, and my first using the Big Shot machine I received from hubby for Christmas. I will be making more of these :).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

and the BEAT goes on

Another day in ICU for my mom. Her oxygen saturation levels are still low. I was told she got a bit cranky and feisty when the nurses were not understanding what she needed. So that is a very good sign. I cannot imagine how it must feel after open heart surgery. I guess like a train hit you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mom Update and Stuff

Mom is still in the ICU so I have not been able to talk to her. Hopefully she will be out of ICU tomorrow. She'll have a few more days in the hospital, and then to a rehab facility for a bit. Oh my stars, the LS is not gonna like that!

I remember, a couple years ago, she came for a visit. And poor thing, she came down with the stomach flu almost immediately after the plane landed. She was resting in Jacob's room and had told me she had to take a certain pill at 10:00 PM. Being on time with this medicine was crucial. At 9:55 I went in and tried to wake her up. Mind you she was lying on her back, and her hands were folded across her chest. The only thing missing was the lily.

Not wanting to startle her, I called her name softly. Nothing. I called her name again, a bit louder this time. Still nothing. I stared at her chest and could not see it moving. I called her name a third time. Nothing. By the time I had called her name about 10 times, in a progressively louder voice, I was in tears. At that point I went and got my husband. He has EMT training, and I was too freaked out to think straight. He leaned over her, put his hand on her arm and said "Donna." Well, he had to say it a few times, but she finally woke up.

I'm over in the corner, trying to regain my composure, and to her it was just another day. I said, "Mom, I couldn't wake you up, I thought you had died right there in Jacob's bed." Now I think, and I could be wrong, but I think most mothers would have felt bad for me. They would have reassured me and all that good stuff. My mother got quite testy. She told me, in a rather aggravated tone, "I'm very much alive and well, thank you very much!"

Jacob's girlfriend was here today. It's becoming a tradition so I call it "McKenna Mondays." Such a pretty name, McKenna. I have started calling her Pixie Girl, because she reminds me of a little fairy or pixie. Are those the same thing? She is okay with me calling her that. I asked her. Of course my son would prefer I wouldn't call her that, but he'll have to get over it. When she got home she sent him a text telling him she really liked me and that I made her feel like she was my daughter. And, she likes paper crafts!! YESSSSSSS!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Little Snapper

This photo was taken in 1994. Jacob was a month old and Grandma flew up to meet him. He is her first grandchild. And so much like her, in so many ways.
This photo was taken in 2009. My mother is such a lady. As children my sister and I would stand outside the bathroom, and wait to hear any unusual noises. We always said she was a saint, but if she passed gas, that made her more human in our eyes. Needless to say she didn't appreciate the audience.

For a while we called her "Little Snapper." She is a tiny thing, but her presence is enormous. You just don't mess with the Little Snapper. But one day she informed me that Snapper was a euphemism for a certain part of the female anatomy, and she would prefer if I not refer to her that way again. Of course I never meant the term in the anatomical sense. It was a sad day when I had to retire the "Little Snapper."

I am so thankful she is here with us, and that God wasn't quite ready to take her home.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mr. Cob

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I thought I'd share a photo of my son Jacob and I. He was about three weeks old and weighed 4 lbs., 7 oz. The outfit he is wearing was a premie size, and still it was too big for him.

He reminded me of a little old man, and one day I looked down at him and said, "Mister Cob." To this day we call him Cob, or Cobby.

I had planned to breastfeed him, and this was very important to me. He spent 2-1/2 weeks in the NICU, and I pumped milk for him. The nurses would then insert a tube down his throat and into his stomach and slowly give him the milk. One ounce was considered a meal. They did this because they didn't want him using any energy sucking on a nipple. That still amazes me. Thankfully this method of feeding only lasted a few days. We then moved on to something similar, in that a thin tube was taped to our finger and a syringe with milk was attached to the tube. Slowly we dispensed the milk into his mouth. The same mechanics as giving someone an injection. Once again the point being that he not exert any energy. Every calorie mattered.

Then we moved on to actual breastfeeding. The nurses were wonderful, and helpful. Mr. Cob, however, wanted nothing to do with it. He refused to latch on, and actually took his tiny little hand and attempted to push my breast away from him. All the while screaming bloody murder. There were many tries at the hospital, at home, and with a breastfeeding instructor. He just wasn't having it. So, in the midst of post-partum insanity, with a fresh C-Section scar, I continued to use the breast pump. The important thing was he was getting my milk, not how it was being dispensed. Logically I knew this, but emotionally I felt like a failure.

A breast pump can only do so much, and certainly isn't ideal. It was like my body knew this, because after just a few weeks I began to dry up. I remember being at my six week post-op check at the OB/GYN and unleashing a torrent of tears concerning my inability to feed my son as nature intended. I sobbed, "If this were 100 years ago and we were on the prairie, he'd starve to death!!!" The man looked at me as if I were insane.

Mr. Cob is 16 years old now. He is my only child (that I know of). He's a wonderful young man and I thank God for him every day.