Monday, May 27, 2013

Every Day Should be a Memorial Day

I live in Columbus, MS, and according to the stories told here, Memorial Day started here during The War Between the States. A group of five women met and decided to decorate the graves of the fallen  buried at Friendship Cemetery, both those of the South and of the North. There feelings were that all that had fallen were someone's child, someone's husband or someone's father and deserved to be remembered.  Those that have sacrificed by serving this great country, and especially those that paid the ultimate price with their lives, certainly deserve to be honored not only on Memorial Day, but each and every day.

My Dad was a World War II veteran, and in our house we were raised knowing the price that service to your country can cost. We also got to see the lifetime friendshindps that were made when men and women are put under dire circumstances. Where folks today take vacations and go to the beach, the mountains, or DisneyWorld, our family went to my Dad's army Reunions. We KNEW his army buddies and their families.WE saw first hand how you counted on your buddies to have your back.

As a result of a war injury, my Dad always walked with a limp.It didn't stop him from holding down a job and raising 5 children. 17 days prior to my graduation from college, and after spending 5 months in the Veterans Administration hospital, with doctors doing what they could to fix his knee and save his leg, he told them to cut it off. It was an above the knee amputation, and he was 55 years old. He was at my college graduation on crutches with one good leg. It never slowed him down, and he never used it as an excuse to quit working.. I learned first hand that Freedom isn't Free, and certainly we should never take it for granted. I also learned what HEROES really are.

I'm too old to serve in the military, but I'm not too old to let those that serve to keep this country free know how important that they are. I am proud to make cards for Operation Write Home, an organization that has sent over 2 million blank greeting cards to our troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. We also make what are called Any Hero cards, and write notes to these service people thanking them for a job well done.

For the past week, I have been working on making a huge stash of Any Hero cards. I plan on setting up a table at some high traffic area, and asking my local citizens to take a moment to write a personal thank you in one of the cards I'm making.  For now here are 6 of the cards from the sets I've created.

I'll be spending this Memorial Day, not barbecuing with friends, but in assembling more Any Hero cards for my project.

Remember that Memorial Day isn't the only day we need to remember both our fallen, but also those that served to make sure that we live in a free country. And if you get the chance to thank a service person, do so.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

She's a Grand Old Flag

It's Memorial Day weekend, and I'm working on a ton of Operation Write Home Any Hero cards. With that plan in mind, it was easy to make this week's Sassy Cheryls' Challenge Blog fit in with an Any Hero card theme.

I used this image from Sassy Cheryls called Sassy Sally Honors the Flag. I used the sketch from last week's Tuesday Morning Sketches. She's so tiny, that I've colored her with my PrismaColor and Faber-Castell pencils.

The digital papers I used are from Just So Scrappy 2's Freedom kit.. The stitching was added with my Cameo and the Silhouette software. It's amazing what that software and that machine can do, and I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Show Me Thursday

Well here it is again Wednesday, and I'm down to the wire on posting my Show Me Thursday post to the Sassy Cheryls Blog. It isn't because I've been lying on the sofa, eating bonbons and reading though. I've been really busy.

On Sunday, my walking buddy hosted her spring "tea" for the Prairie Women. Since she's not much of a cook(and she'd be the first to say it), I prepared mint brownies(you really don't want the recipe to these as they are dangerous to your hips and waistline), sugared cinnamon almonds, and mini artichoke quiches. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera to take pictures of the food or the folks.

In between the cooking, I've been busy trying to finish up some  Operation Write Home cards. I have not sent a box out in a while, so I was trying to make a showing. Over the last two weeks, I've made at least 80 cards, and with what I had been building in my stash, I was able to send out a box of 132 yesterday. Thankfully for digital papers and the print and cut feature of the Silhouette Cameo, I was able to mass produce cards without a lot of waste.

Now I'm turning my hand to making Any Hero cards for OWH. I want to set up a table outside a high traffic business and ask citizens of this wonderful country to write a brief note thanking a service person for their service to their country and for our freedom.  I'm even hoping MonkeyMoo will help me out by dressing up in his Uncle Sam costume and working with me. Won't that be a SMT post picture for sure.

The Show Me Thursday Challenge is a two week challenge, and you can post two entries for a chance to win a free Sassy Cheryls image. This is week 1 of SMT#121, so you have plenty of time to post a picture of what you've got going on in your life. Off to get busy on those Any Hero cards for next week's SMT post.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lace and Handmade Flowers

This week it's the Sassy Cathy's turn to set the challenge on the Sassy Cheryls Challenge Blog, and as usual, I'm the last minute getting my card done. The challenges start each Tuesday, and the winner each week wins not one, but two Sassy Cheryls Images, and you really need to check out her new images. They're quite nostalgic.

For my card, I used this image called Charlie's Green Umbrella. I do love Charlie.  I've colored here with both PrismaColor and Faber-Castell pencils.

Thanks to the Sassy Judy for the help in making sure that I had the flower and circle punches.

The sentiment was typed straight onto the background paper.

Both the lace background and the umbrella paper are from the Silhouette America online store. The other background papers are from Just So Scrappy 2's digital kit Serenity.

Best get this ditty posted and entered before time is up.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let There Be Light

I almost missed this second week of the Show Me Thursday Challenge on the Sassy Cheryls Blog. Somehow this week has totally gotten away from me. Saturday I thought it was Sunday all day long. Then Monday was lost to a trip out to Jackson for a couple of appointments. Yesterday was taken up with changing out the lights in Tazmania.

When we built the shop, I did a lot of reading about the best lights. Everything I read said to use full spectrum lights, so we installed track lighting with full spectrum flood lights. After a couple of years, we added a couple of more strips trying to improve the lighting. Well that created another problem - HEAT and more heat than a woman my age needs for sure.

This is a picture made looking into my sewing corner with the track lighting  Do you see how dark it still is?
 Yesterday DH and I replaced the track lighting with 8' fluorescent lights. Now there are NO dark spots anywhere in TM, plus it's about 40 degrees cooler. This is my sewing corner now. Can you tell a bit of difference in the lighting?
 This is a picture from outside the door  of TM. Look at all that light.
Did you notice that things are also pretty neat? That's because, after taking down the old lights, and having to shift things around, I really didn't have much choice.

Oh and did I mention we replaced the 2 4' fluorescent in the carport with 2 8' fluorescent. Now I can see into every corner of the carport and exactly how much it needs sweeping out.

Now it's time to get busy making some cards.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Girls Rule

And don't all of us women know that? Girls Rule is the theme this week on the Sassy Cheryl's Challenge blog, and was set by the uber talented Sassy Pat.

I had to use this image called Samantha Cops an Attitude. I've seen this expression on more than one little girls face including my youngest(she was sure she was the queen, in fact, she still thinks so). I've colored her with PrismaColor and Faber-Castell pencils.

The sketch was from last week's Mojo Monday's Sketch challenge.

The papers and embellishments are from a digital kit called If the Crown Fits from Just So Scrappy 2. I thought it was perfect. The sentiment is one that I came up with.

I hope everyone in the states has had a fabulous Mother's Day. I know I have. I've done exactly what I want, and I'm being taken out for dinner by friends.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Using My Cameo for Printing

I know you all know how much I love my Cameo, so this week I want to show you how I use it  for making stationery. My BFF retired from the Post Office, and still is wonderful about writing notes. She had mentioned that she needed some stationery, so I went to work. I googled stationery and found several sites. I used the examples I found to create several different cards for her. Some are folded note cards and others are flat cards.  You can go as simple as a few lines and a name or a monogram to elaborate papers. Since I'm set up with a continuous ink system on my printers and have a gazillion digital papers and since I'm giving this away and not selling it, I did some really elaborate pieces.

Here are some flat card examples. I've made the cards 4.5 x 6.25 as there is an invitation envelope that you can buy at Walmart to use for envelopes. I've printed on the Georia Pacific 110lb. cardstock from Walmart, so I don't have a lot of money tied up in this. With the flat cards, you can get two cards per sheet. Here's how they lay out on the mat of the Cameo.
I colored in the background rectangle and filled the image and the name with white
I created my bottom rectangle, added a long rectangle for a band, used one of my shapes from the Silhouette store and filled the shape with white, but colored the line and gave it thickness . The Monogram is from the Silhouette Store.

I also had fun creating some more elaborate cards using my digital papers. These are all folded note cards. I simply designed my card front on a rectangle 4.25 x 5.5 and then aligned it to the bottom of a 5.5 x 8.5 rectangle as shown in this picture of a mat.
For this one, I created a rectangle and then did an interior offset for the second rectangle. I colored the outside lines of the rectangle green, and filled the interior white. I took my knife tool and cut away part of the rectangle in the right corner at an angle. I then typed the name and inserted it in the opening. Simple, but effective.

If you wanted to sell your cards, which you could very easily do, you can simply use rectangles to create lines  and insert the name or monogram. If you have the diffuser you can even create an embossed card with the monogram smooth. The possibilities are endless(don't forget to Google note cards for some ideas). As for my BFF, I designed about 15 different examples for her to pick from, and print and cut two of each. She loved them all, and has a variety to pick from on her next note writing(which will be as soon as she gets home).

These will make wonderful teacher or graduation gifts.

If you're looking for a cheap place to buy envelopes, check out Heinrich's. If you buy them by the 1000 lot, they are a super deal. Since I also make lots of invitations plus OWH cards, buying them by the 1000 is a great plan for me.

The last thing I want to share with you is a picture of an indigo bunting. My walking buddy and I came across him yesterday on our morning walk. We think perhaps he hit the windshield of a car. She took him home to see if he would recover, but unfortunately he expired. That said, I still wanted  to share a picture I took of him because his coloring is totally amazing.

And that's my SMT post for this first week of may on the Sassy Cheryl's Blog. I look forward to seeing what the rest of you are up to this week.