Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We're Back!

Sorry I have been neglecting my blog, again!  This time we were on vacation and I didn't have time to schedule any posts.  We had a fantastic time and I cannot wait to share our trip with you.  Croatia is an amazing country and this was the best trip we have taken yet!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hide & Seek–Gibson Style

Short and sweet today!  Last week the girls and I were playing hide and seek indoors and this is where they decided to hide…

Hide and Seek

They thought they were so sneaky!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cancer Sucks and a Mug Rug?


In late April my family was delivered bad news, not just once but twice in a week!  My grandma was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and my sweet Aunt Stacy found out that after being in remission for the past 7 years that her cancer had returned and moved to lymph nodes in her back. My grandma is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments at a local cancer center and my aunt is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments 90 minutes away from her home.  She stays near the hospital 5 nights a week and returns home on the weekends. 

Anyone who has been ill or know someone who has been sick knows how illnesses, especially the ones that require lengthy and often expensive treatments, can empty bank accounts to pay for the care of their loved ones.  These two people are no different and they are already feeling the strain in their wallets, especially since money was tight to begin with.  To help them out my family members are working hard to organize several fundraisers to raise money to take away a little bit of the financial stress so my grandma and Aunt Stacy can focus on their health and getting better! 

Obviously I am too far away to help organize and coordinate events in person but I do have some mad computer skillz (you can laugh now) and have been trying to help whenever possible.  I also have a fabulous hobby (or two) that is not only a great creative outlet for me but also one that I can put to good use!  So I have been working hard since last Thursday to put together some things I can donate to be sold during the first fundraiser. 

First up, a Hello Kitty Christmas bundle.  I used my Cricut Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge to make up a set of 6 Christmas cards, 4 gift tags, 2 blank cards and 2 vinyl decals (not pictured).  I made Christmas stockings for my girls nearly 3 years ago and had enough fabric left to make another.  I am so happy with the way it all turned out even if I was frustrated with all the paper piecing that was involved.  I will not be making my own Hello Kitty cards for Christmas this year!

Hello Kitty Goodies

As I was browsing on Pinterest (my newest addiction!) I found a photo of a mug rug and knew I wanted to make one for myself.  As I was trying to think of something else to send off to my mom for these fundraisers I went back through my pins and was inspired to make some mug rugs to add to the Hello Kitty bundle.  I went in search of an easy tutorial and found what I was looking for on Ryan Walsh’s blog

I am not a quilter but I have always wanted to learn and this tutorial made it look easy enough for a beginner so I gave it a try.  I have to confess that I love the way it came out, even with the little flaws that I see.  Practice makes perfect and these rug mugs would make a perfect gift!  I see myself keeping several of these on hand for quick and easy gift giving.  Add a Starbucks gift card and you can feel good about giving a little bit of handmade along with a gift card.

Mug Rug

I hope that the little bit of effort I have put into these projects will help raise some money to help my family out.  It is the least I can do for them and to let my grandma and Aunt Stacy know just how much I love them! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Love To Travel

love to travel LO

I played along with the Frosted Designs sketch posted on May 31st and finished this layout yesterday.  I snapped these photos outside of a Starbucks in Dresden, Germany while we were waiting on JG.  It was a gorgeous day in October and the girls were happy to be out exploring.  Dresden is a beautiful city and I enjoyed our time there.

Journaling is simple and reads “You love to see new places.  I am so happy to experience them with you.  Dresden, Germany October 2010”

Products used:  Papers, buttons, flower and stickers are from Basic Grey’s Pyrus Collection.  Grey and white twine is from My Minds Eye Lime Twist collection.  Grey Cardstock is by Bazzil Basics.

I used an off white acrylic paint and a foam brush and lightly painted on the background (it is a little hard to see in the picture).  Some stitching around the circle and outside edges of the paper finished off the layout.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Melk Abbey

This will be the third time I have attempted to post this so lets see how it goes. On our way out of Vienna way back in mid-April we stopped to tour the Melk Abbey. This amazingly beautiful abbey sits in a hill overlooking the small town of Melk and the Danube river.
Some abbeys are so grandiose that they remind me of a palace and not at all how I would picture an abbey to look like before we moved to Europe. This abbey has a long history and was established as a fortified Benedictine abbey in the 11th century. The small admission price covers enterance to a small museum covering the history of the abbey, the marble hall, library and church. We made our way through it all in about 90 minutes.

The marble hall was beautiful.  The frescoed ceiling was amazing.  We spent a little bit of time in here waiting for a small group of students to leave so I could get a photo of the entire room without a bunch of people in it. 

After leaving the Marble Hall you walk out onto the balcony and have a view of the town and the exterior of the building.  I love looking up and seeing the contrast between the gold details and the blue sky.

The library was fantasic and had another frescoed ceiling.

The churches are so beautiful that it helps to sit down quietly to absorb it all and see everything before trying to take photos.  There are so many details that the camera does not do this place any justice!

The Melk Abbey was a beautiful place to visit.  It was recently restored and looks amazing, inside and out.  For once we were able to visit a famous place and not have a single bit of scaffolding or other restorations taking place.  While I of course understand and appreciate restoration projects the scaffolding does not look very pretty in photos!

Thanks for taking a virtual tour of the Melk Abbey with me! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Like Dad

This week I was inspired by the Sketchy Thursdays sketch and pulled out a favorite photo of mine and got to work. I am so very pleased with the way this one came together and it is the first layout I have been happy with in a few weeks. The last few were just *meh* for me. I think it might have to do with the fabulous colors in Echo Parks Summer Days papers though. I am pretty sure you could not be grumpy while working with these cheery products.

I pulled out a small flower cookie cutter and cut a heart out of scraps before traceing them onto the cardstock. I pierced the paper and then used floss to sew the shapes. I like the look of hand stitching but I don't do it very often because I just don't have the patience to do it and I would rather use my sewing machine.

I just messed with my Blogger settings which I hope will fix the issue of not being able to leave comments. I also reverted back to the old settings versus the newer ones for now. I hope this will let me upload my photos without any more issues. I love blogging but lately it has been a headache.

Thanks for stopping by today! I appreciate you taking the time to visit me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Too Many Issues!

I haven't posted anything to my blog lately because I am having the hardest time with Blogger!  I cannot leave comments on others blogs and I have tried to post photos from our visit to the Melk Abbey and it hasn't worked very well for me.  GRRRRRR!  I enjoy blogging but this is incredibly frustrating.  I know I am not the only one having a hard time but I will keep trying and hope that Blogger makes an effort to get all the bugs fixed so I can update my blog!