Quote of the Week

"Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it." ~ John C. Maxwell

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It takes a village...

and a member of my son's village is moving on to new adventures. 

Today's post is hard for me to write but maybe if I get some of the tears out today doing this I'll make it out of the building tomorrow without completely losing my composure.  As some of you know my son has Down syndrome and as yet is non-verbal.  We have had many wonderful Speech Language Therapists over these past 7 years but no one has *got* Reece like Miss Amanda - NO ONE!  She can read his mood almost as well as I can, she calls him on slacking off when instead of work he wants to play and she has helped to give him a voice through PECS.  And now when he is on the verge of saying his first words she is leaving Elks Pediatrics.  Don't get me wrong we are thrilled she is embarking on a new chapter of her life and wish her only the best and I'm sure his school therapists will be glad to no longer hear - that's not what Miss Amanda does.   But...I can't help but, totally and completely selfishly, wish she wasn't exiting our lives not when we are so close to her seeing the culmination of her hard work.

And so the gift for Miss Amanda had to be as special as she is - no pressure there right?   I am not sure I pulled it off but I am pleased with the end result even though I see some things I would tweak here and there.  That said I don't think there has been a project I haven't felt that way about {wink wink}.  And now without further ado I give you Miss Amanda's Farewell gift...  

I found this tray at Fred Meyer and saw so much potential even before I knew my friend Alex had these awesome stamps.  Once I got it home I used black StazOn ink to give is some character then due to the tray being 14" long and not wanting to piece together a solid base I used 2 smaller pieces of My Mind's Eye Star Bright Paisley Pop from the Just Dreamy line.  Once they were glued down I applied several coats of Mod Podge. 

I then stamped the Sign Alphabet rubber stamp set from http://www.deafresources.com/ (thanks Alex).  I colored each finger a different color using Prisma pens (thanks April as I forgot mine at home).  They were punched out using a 1" circle punch which was then mounted on a 1 1/2" circle cut out of Bazzill using my Cricut (thanks Jay).  I then covered them in clear contact paper and hand cut those out (yeah I suck at cutting but it's clear so you don't really notice they aren't perfect - SHHH! don't burst my bubble).  They then had a piece of magnet place on the back so they would stick to the tray (thanks Nej for recommending the magnetic vent covers at Home Depot).  Here's a close up...

The thought is that Miss Amanda can use this from time to time with the kids she works with which is why I colored each finger a different color to help show what each finger does in each letter/number.  I made it to hang as, honestly it was the only tray they had and it was a tad warped so will not sit flat. 

This awesome image is courtesy of my friend Alex, who also colored it.  And it has very special meaning to all who know the story behind it...see that isn't just any little fairy - that my friends is the BRANDT Fairy.   Named after Alex's youngest who just happens to sign due to a hearing impairment.  And you too can get a Brandt Fairy at Paper Makeup .  And so it truly does take a village to raise a child and make a farewell gift for a special lady who means so much in his life and thereby ours.  

So thank you to Alex, April, Nej (who is also color consultant - even tho I didn't have time to recolor the images for this one I'm making a second set for Miss Amanda) and Jay for helping make this gift happen.

And THANK YOU to Miss Amanda for your years of work with Reece - for getting to know him, for giving him a voice, for helping him get to where he is and for just being one of the best SLPs we have had the honor of knowing.  May your new journey be rewarding, fulfilling and full of people as special as you are...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Christmas in July and other holidays...

Wow where did the time go last month?  It seems like just yesterday July was starting...  I have been a bad blogger but am hoping things have calmed down somewhat now and I can get back to a regular schedule. 

For now I am sharing a card I did for Operation Write Home's Christmas in July challenge.  This was posted last Wednesday on the Stars and Stamps blog.

This is a Dustin Pike image colored with Prisma PM-4, PM-31, PM-61, PM-172.  The patterned paper is from my scrap bin so no idea who made it (sorry) and the Happy Holidays stamps are really cool ones I won.  They are from a set of self inking stamps that sit in a tray - all Christmas themed.  *Note to self get a photo of them!  I think I need a touch of bling on here so am looking for something to go before, between and after the Happy Holidays.

Next up is one of 2 Halloween cards I did.  Image is also by Dustin Pike and also colored with Prisma PM-16, PM-25, PM-111, PM-147.  I love the little feet so can see myself using this image again and again.  Ribbon is from my stash and patterned paper is from my scraps.

This card is made using all the same materials as above but I did not use Prisma PM-147 on it.  I did take my black Colorbox Chalk Ink and a paper towel to 'scuff up' the image as I felt it fit the theme better.

Next up is a card I was inspired to make after looking through the July/August 2010 issue of Paper Crafts magazine.  The 'Thank You Very Much' card on page 39 was designed by Heidi Van Laar and I LOVE it!

In her design Heidi used 16 squares that were small enough to fit 4 across a 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 card.  We use 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 for OWH as envelopes are readily available for a decent price and you can fit way more of them into the shipping boxes {wink wink}.  I again raided my scraps bin, you'll be seeing that a lot if you come back, and used the only square punch I have at the moment and punched as many 1 inch squares as I could from each pattern - bonus they are double sided so twice the bang for my buck.  I then rounded the 2 opposite corners and placed then with the pointed corners to the middle.  Used a 1 inch circle punch for the center also using the same paper to get what I am calling my pinwheel card.  I see so many possibilities with this and am looking forward to playing with the rest of the squares to see what I come up with.  I inked the edges of all the patterned paper with Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut brown.  Sentiment is a Stampabilities stamp using black Memento ink.

Now just for fun I did a card using one of the stamps (a Kolette Hall for Studio G) my cousin Shauna sent me.  We are both Canadian born but now living in the US.  We recently discovered our love of anything with 'home' on it when we are together in Edmonton.  This will get a sentiment when I figure out who is getting it and why  but I still wanted to share.

And to close today a photo I took last night.  I love 90% of the ones we got but this one just screamed share me today.  I did the shoot hoping to find one to enter in this years photo contest at the Fair but am having a hard time deciding.  I think I have it narrowed down to 2 which are being printed as I type so we'll see if they look the same in person as they did on the computer last night.