Friday, December 12, 2008

Only 12 DAYS 'til CHRISTMAS?!!!

I simply cannot believe it! Have I taken down the fall decorations? Have I made the first Christmas card for us (Shh---don't tell my groupies the "teacher" doesn't practice what she preaches! Lol!) Have I done any shopping?! NO!
And I am sure I am not alone in this! Why do we do this to ourselves? Christmas comes the same time each year-and yet we seem to let it SNEAK UP ON US! Check out Flylady's website and her Holiday Control Journal. I may just blow the dust off mine and try and catch up---right after Theresa and I go shopping today! Seriously, take a few minutes and think on what this season is all about. We've all heard the "Jesus is the reason for the season" but Pastor Fred threw a new one at us. Someone had sent him an e-mail of a woman's tummy---a VERY PREGNANT woman's tummy--and you could very clearly see this tiny foot pushing out against it...Christmas...It's about "the WHOM in the WOMB". God came as a Baby...who doesn't love a baby. Why, then, can we not love the MAN he grew into...? Sigh. THE SONG that was the turning point in my becoming a Christian, that and the love of a youth group who adopted me, named me Mom and showed me what true LOVE was all about...Jon and his guitar...and BABY SONG....which goes like this:
Well, I bet your Mommy cuddled you when you began to cry; she fed you when you wanted food; she held you up in her arms and kept away all the little harms and loved you only like a mother could; and I bet you played in your cradle, climbed upon the kitchen table and wet your diapers in the night; you played with little wooden toys like all the other little boys and you grew up doing what you knew was right. And I bet you played with your friends in the valley where the Jordan bends, and you fell down and skinned your little knee; You went back home and shed a tear, cried to your mother dear, and she fixed it up and kissed your little cheek. And I bet as you grew older and the chilly winds grew colder, you used to fish in the mountain streams; You learned about the laws of life, walking daily in the Light, and seeing life and things and earthly dreams. And I bet you cried unlike a man when they drove the nails in your hands and you died like a robber on that tree....but I know you live, you're still alive and like a child with a tear in his eye, you shed a tear that fell...and set me free. (end song)....Baby Song...the song of the Christ child-the song of Christmas---THE GIFT. I may not have a tree up or a wreath on the door---but there is a small, "exploding" box sitting on my dining room table...that has a story that tells of shepherds and the birth of a babe...and in the center....a mom, dad, and the WHOM who was in the WOMB...Yes, take time...say thanks...enjoy the hush and the miracle...ask Him in...

On another note...
The Spring 2009 CLOSE TO MY HEART catalogs are here! I am so excited!!! There are lots of new stamp sets and papers that I absolutely want and have to have! A few things are going up in price so check your old ones and let me know if you want to order before Dec. 31st!
Until next time....Happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon
ps/This INKY (the problem/sick kitty)-he was just a few months old in 2006 and LOVED the Christmas tree! He was shaking branches and climbing while we were putting it together (Mom's allergic to the "real deal")--but left it alone and stayed out of it once we got it decorated! He's a really good kitty!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

I don't know about ya'll, but I feel MORE STUFFED than the turkey was! lol! We traveled to VA on Monday with all 3 cats...and it sure has been an eventful week. Poor Inky got sick so he and I met the vet-on-call late Wednesday night while Brook was waiting for our boys to come in. She sent him home with me but, following our FABULOUS dinner Thursday, we ended up back to see the second vet-on-call (at least she was here in town). He ended up staying overnight but is home and doing well. Praying the trip home won't be too stressful on him and they introduced some new food and meds so maybe that will make a difference. In-between my worries over my baby, it was NICE to visit with James, Raymond, Tommy & Dawn, and our neighbor here, Paul. Paul is always so generous in leaving goodies for us and even decorating the house so when we come in its not just a cold, empty space. This time he had eggs and sausage for our breakfast on Tuesday, and croussants, cheese and even RICE CRACKERS for me for snacking on upon our arrival! All the guys & gals are GREAT about pitching in and helping with the cooking, cleaning up and just anything that needs doing. And, because of that...I DID have time to scrapbook--and am proud to say---THE WEDDING ALBUM IS DONE (and I didn't even break the Kodak machine at the local Wal-Mart!) My dear husband even sat down right away at my pronouncement and looked at it! Smart man! lol! Today, inbetween cleaning up and packing up, I will stamp some things for our Christmas cards and another order to work on cutting out while I ride back. Please keep Inky in your prayers-that the ride won't be too stressful and recreate the issue. I AM THANKFUL...forFAMILY, for FRIENDS, for my "BABIES" (cats!), for having a table full of great food, a warm home, a wonderful job, the creativity I have...and a GREAT GOD who looks out for me and blesses me beyond measure. So, HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING to one and all...until next time, happy stamping and scrapping. Blessings, Sharon

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You've gotta have the RIGHT TOOLS...

This is THE StampQueen's mantra and I've learned this the hard way these past few days. Brook's been out of town this week-end and, after the "Groupies" left Friday afternoon, I pulled out the wedding scrapbook and photos and all the paper, embellishments and STUFF I've bought...and I have literally cropped 'til I dropped for three days! The good news is---the book is almost DONE! The bad news and rest of the story is...
First, we had (past tense!) dial-up (another long story). When I ordered the wedding pictures, I ordered them from Shutterfly (great company-check it out!). It took FOREVER to upload the photos and I wasn't sure what I had and didn't have. So I was missing pics. No problem. I will print a few here. So I thought! Then the printer died. It will do word documents but don't even think about photos or color anything. So--Plan B is the Kodak photo machine at W-M. It gave me fits yesterday but I had some success. As I scrapped along, I realized there were more photos I needed and went back today. First, photos I THOUGHT were on the cd I made...weren't. So I was still missing a few. Not a total loss-I had the disk of Theresa's photos as well as Joel's disk. I started selecting and printing...and up pops an error message. The printer was out of ribbon. None at the camera counter, the nice, patient young man went to the back. While he did, the machine ATE my cd-two actually but we won't go there. Thank you, God, it was Theresa's (and not Joel's) as she, knowing me, had the presence of mind to make TWO...I have a copy here at home. I never got the cd back, they didn't have another ribbon (what did I expect-it's WM) I ended up with only 1/3 of the photos I needed...and am frustrated at being so close and not able to finish! Brook has said "get a new printer". I've not finished my research but I will be working (HARD!) on it.
That said, I have to admit---I've never been to a crop. I am hooked, though! I had the table and the bar and the craft room covered (well, still is but he won't be home for a few hours yet!), and no interruptions, schedules--just me and paper and stamps and embellishments....SIGH. It was awesome! Yes, I missed him (and not just when I got hungry (did I mention he cooks?), either!) It was cold this week-end with no one to cuddle up to--the cats don't count! Lol. Theresa told me about a crop in Cape May, NJ---they have a MASSAGE THERAPIST come in while your there who does 15 MINUTE MASSAGES while your there as part of the crop...along with dinner, free gifts....where do I SIGN UP???!
Speaking of which, it's time for me to eat (crock pots are AWESOME TOOLS for scrapbookers-dump it in and let it go= dinner when you're ready-tonight it's chili!) and start cleaning up...well, maybe just ONE MORE PAGE...! ; ) Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping! Blessings, Sharon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Never ASSUME Anything...

I had read---and reread---and didn't like what I was reading! Then an e-mail came through--which confused what I had just read even more! Sigh. I was, "once upon a time" -- a legal secretary. I read and typed and copied and faxed legal documents 8-5 M-F. I have SOME common sense about those things. But my understanding of what I had just read was NOT in my favor and I was really, really upset about it. My red-headed German temper was showing. So I sent an e-mail to the person I thought would know the answer to my question(s). She didn't. She referred me to someone else. Now, we've all been there. It's after 5 PM, the people we need to get to have gone, and we're left to fuss and fume. All night. We toss and turn. We don't sleep. The monster in our mind turns into a GIANT--suddenly bigger than anything else we can imagine! Then when we do reach a real, live human being we hear "I'm sorry-I can't help you. You have to talk to..." and we fuss and fume some more. Well, this time my step-father's advice came back to me ---sometime in my teen years I remember him telling me "Look at the word ASSUME. Now break it down --- AS/U/ME ---can you get "ask-you-me" out of it?" Ok-so it's a bit of a stretch. But he made his point-Don't ASSUME-ASK! So I sent off a detailed e-mail to the powers that be and waited anxiously for the answer yesterday (well, as anxiously as I could while Theresa and I were shopping all over Wilmington! Lol!) . I did have an answer when I got home. And guess what? My fretting and fuming and fussing and anxiety---was all for naught! I had misinterpretted what I had read. The problem I THOUGHT I had---didn't even exist! The moral of my story can be summed up in Philippians 4:6-"Do not be ANXIOUS about ANYTHING,but in EVERYTHING, by PRAYER and PETITION, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to GOD, and the PEACE of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your HEARTS and MINDS in CHRIST JESUS." ASK--you just might be pleasantly surprised by the answer you get! ; ) You thought I was done there, right? I did, too! But the Spirit is still moving so I am going to keep typing. Yes, the answer (this time) was in my favor. But what if it hadn't been? Sure, I would have been disappointed. I couldn't have done things MY WAY (ouch!)---but I, WITH GOD'S HELP, would have reached down inside...and found another way---probably a BETTER WAY (as His paths and ways usually are...) and I may have been SURPRISED at what I found within me during that process. So---don't put yourself-or GOD-in a box...He can do ANYTHING---with and through you. We just have to um, ASK....! Time for more coffee. Think on that. Until next time...happy stamping and scrapping! Blessings, Sharon

Sunday, November 9, 2008


It's SUNDAY and we had a great worship service this morning! A baby boy was baptized and the kids had a great time dancing with the PRAISE BAND! What a GREAT WAY to spend the morning! First, a CORRECTION on the STAMP CLEANERS...Marion says you can use one pad for both regular and Staz-On Cleaners--just rinse the pads out real well before changing. And CLOSE TO MY HEART DOES HAVE STAZ-ON CLEANER, TOO : ) -- so 10% off any of the cleaners and pad with my next order for those of you interested.
Someone left a comment on my blog that they would like to see MORE of my craft room to get ideas. So, I tried my poor dead camera...and for some reason--it decided to temporairly co-operate -sort of. While these aren't the best or clearest shots...I think it might be ok. I will try and explain the pics as they go around the room...But, even before that, I want to say THANK YOU to my darling husband for allowing me to take over-completely!-an entire room of our house...what? Yes, Honey? OH--do I have to tell them about all the stuff in the other closets, too? Uh-huh...and the attic...really? Well...oh--the Hoosier in the kitchen, too? Ok...well, did I tell you that wayyyyy back when I first started stamping I was given, along with other-let's say VERY SUPPORTIVE customers...a CERTIFICATE OF ADDICTION from Stamp Works Owner and co-worker Nancy Lewis and Marion Little? So--ok. I'm Addicted! It's true. Let's get back to that tour now...

As you come in the door and turn to the left, there's my closet with my herbs neatly stored on the shelves my DH built...along with a rocker next to a the left of it is a bench that holds my sterio, projects in progress (in pizza boxes, decorated of course!)

On the wall is a stamp storage cabinet. That's Bad Cat on the FAVORITE SEAT in the craft room-my CROP IN STYLE! Then there's not just one but TWO 12x12" PAPER TOWERS (AC MOORE--and yes, they let me use my 40%-50% off coupon! : ) ) Inky is on the worktable and Poppa Cat is in the foreground. The shelves above the table hold canvas baskets that have wire frames inside so they are quite sturdy (Wal-Mart)--and the LABEL POCKETS make them well-worth it! Suffice it to say there's storage under that yellow skirt on the worktable! I won't let you peek, though! Two sets of large plastic drawers and then well, stacks! Lol!

This is the stamp cabinet that's on the wall to the left of the paper towers. The shelves inside are adjustable and I have to confess, the stamps inside are sitting on an angle and are sometimes 3 deep! I had originally planned on decopaging the outside--but that was about 12 years ago and I haven't gotten 'round to it yet. The cabinet itself was made by my late husband.

These are trays that hold stamps (one layer deep). The trays are labeled of course--and that's Inky checking out the tray of cat stamps! I have such crafty kitties-Bad Cat's picture was even in Rubber Stamper Magazine!

More plastic drawers, milk crates below those for magazines and catalogs. Again, everything is labeled!

UP above those shelves along the entire wall is another set of shelves with baskets--and a cat! Things I don't use as often go up there but since the QUEEN is only 4' 11 1/2" of course there is a step ladder in the room as well!
It's only taken me 4 hrs. and two days to get this post together. I don't know if it was all the photos or what but it's been a struggle! Hope you enjoyed it--I'd better go get ready for work now (since it is MONDAY ALREADY!) Whatever you do, happy stamping and scrapping until next time! Blessings, Sharon

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Ok-I confess---I, and probably any of my loyal friends, followers and subjects don't either! Amen?! AMEN! Lol. But TWO THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK...
First, the "rest of the story" (am I giving away my age here?!) A few weeks back I realized that I had misplaced all the cd's with the photos of our lives over the last 8 years. I didn't panic then, I KNEW they were in the house "somewhere". Fast-forward to yesterday. Theresa was coming over to help me with the two poster-sized wedding collages for our bedroom and as I was putting the photos into an album to better be able to see what I/we had to work with it dawned on my pea-sized brain that with those "lost" cd's were also the cd's with MY WEDDING PICTURES! (Now you know why I am still a Fly BABY...?!) Ok. Stop. Think. Breathe. Then look. I checked the first obvious place and came up empty. To the craft room. Another dead-end. Ok-keep breathing. Something niggled my brain that back when the hurricane was headed our way I put into the yellow tote bag all the "IMPORTANT STUFF" -including the cds. The bag was not in the craft room closet so I headed to the hall closet. There I found the EMPTY bag. Ok. Keep thinking. What else did you do to prepare to evacuate? OH-the CAT EVAC KIT --which was residing under the bed in the guest bedroom. Lo and behold, behind that...was the plastic bin with the PHOTO CDS! Whew. Another 911 call averted. I had listened to Flylady--I prepared to evacuate...but um, should have put a note in my CONTROL JOURNAL where I put things so I wouldn't forget and go through...well, what I just did (i.e. putting them in a "safe place" and then forgetting WHERE that "safe place" was!) If you haven't checked out FLYLADY's link on my site-take 15 MINUTES and DO IT NOW! Lol.
Secondly, and this part of the post is
DEDICATED TO THERESA and MARION...I was in a stamp class Thursday evening (with these two delightful women, among others) and made the off-hand comment that I had never used a stamp scrubber. The audible GASP from them and my other classmates was deafening. All work stopped, 12 sets of eyes were staring at me and mouths were gaping! Well...I hadn't. My stamps are well used and...well, look it. THE STAMP QUEEN says "stamps are TOOLS and not JEWELS and are meant to be USED" (I had not heard that from her myself-Marion pointed it out when she was able to close her mouth and breathe So yesterday I actually OPENED the STAMP CLEANER PAD that I got with my CLOSE TO MY HEART kit and today actually USED IT. You see, I have all these great wonderful pristine NEW STAMP SETS and I was putting my old, well-loved and used sets with them and they um, looked well-used. I broke out the cleaner, spritzed the pad and went to work. MAGIC! In less than 15 minutes (which is what it took me to put the photos in the album so I would know what I had to work with yesterday and had been dreading doing but that's a whole 'nother post and I digress...), I now have clean(er) stamp sets. Some I admit are probably beyond ever being pristine again...but they do look better. I am MOTIVATED ladies. I hereby pledge to TRY TO FLY and keep my stamps CLEAN. So---if you are a newbie stamper and are reading this---take that ACM coupon and go get a stamp cleaner pad and spray-regular and Staz-On cleaners both. AND USE THEM NOW/DO IT NOW (as Flylady would say.) Or call/e-mail me and I will gladly take your order for a CTMH set...and give you 10% off with my next order! ; )
Now, since my magic wand (or fairy bat as Brook calls it...) seems to be broken...and my goal today is to get the craft room back to looking like the photo above, I'd better get back to my cleaning. Whatever YOU do today...have some FUN (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend BETSY!) Until next time...happy stamping and scrapping! Blessings, Sharon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SPEND the can't take it with you!

I came across this saying yesterday afternoon while paging through a stack of stamp magazines. I found a treasure trove of them Saturday (or rather my darling husband did!) at a local church yard sale. YESTERDAY (MONDAY!) was wet and dreary and I actually STOPPED for a few and put my feet up to relax and read them. That doesn't happen often-I am usually in perpetual motion! I LOVE this saying---and for once actually HAVE the stamps I need to make it into a great card...(that doesn't happen often either! Lol!) So---take heart and heed-and take the AFTERNOON to do something FUN.

My CLOSE TO MY HEART consultant kit should arrive TODAY! I am so excited! I have been watching its status on the UPS website as it seems to INCH it's way here. If it were coming FedEx it would have been here by now (right, Theresa?!)

The next few days I will be working to prep the project for the NEXT OKI GROUPIE CLASS on NOVEMBER 21ST. We're planning some surprises for DECEMBER just in case they decide they want to meet again (as if someone would turn down a chance to spend a morning/afternoon stamping and playing!)

For now, I had better go refill the coffee cup and get ready for work. Until next time, happy stamping and scraping! Blessings, Sharon
ps/unfortunately, my camera has died. I was hoping it was merely the batteries but alas, its much more than that. So, I will (soon!) borrow Brook's to post some new pics...and take some at the next Groupie meeting to share!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

Wow-where has this year gone?! It has flown for sure since I am seeing things like full moons, witches on brooms, pumpkins and such. 2008 has been a BUSY but BLESSED year for me.
I started a new job in February--working for a local church as office administrator. They have quite a large bulletin and newsletter and I feel as if I am being paid to scrapbook--since basically I make all the info "fit" and "look pretty"! I am still a paper and glue-stick kind of gal but this job has led me into a little digital scrapbooking for sure!

Spring was spent planning and preparing for my WEDDING! Yes, I was a June bride! After 7 1/2 years, my honey and I tied the knot. We had a very, very small private wedding in our new sanctuary with family and friends( just those that took part in the service). God Bless the Broken Road was a duet sung for us and spoke volumes. We then took photos down on the beach and the weather couldn't have been better--considering the day started out with thunderstorms complete with hail. My matron of honor, Theresa, even had a TREE come down in her yard! But God is good and all was perfect.

Fall found me finally taking TWO MORE BIG STEPS--first, instead of just taking stamping and scrapbook classes, I decided to try my hand at TEACHING them! My first class was a huge success (thanks to my good friend Theresa lending a helping hand) and my "groupies" are anxiously awaiting the next one. (I will post pics of the cards we made as soon as the camera batteries recharge!) The second step came yesterday as I signed up to be a CLOSE TO MY HEART CONSULTANT! For those of you who don't know---Close to My Heart (CTMH) is a stamp and scrapbook company. They have beautiful papers and embellishments as well as clear acrylic stamps. Lots of other tools and gadgets--as well as organizational supplies (go Flybabies! ; ) I love their products and can't wait to start sharing these wonderful tools!

Christmas is fast approching. Have YOU been NAUGHTY or NICE?! Hope Santa will be good to you but, before that, have a wonderful THANKSGIVING and don't forget TO COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping! Blessings, Sharon
ps/scroll down to see some of my favorite projects---um, forgive the "huge" size--it's not that I am that proud---I am learning (slowly!) how to do this blog thing! Lol!