Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Okay - I realize it is NOT Mother's Day yet and that it actually does not come until NEXT Sunday but, I wanted to show you what I made my Mom for Mother's Day.
After altering the box the other day I decided to do another one for my Mom. She still has her baby blocks from when she was a baby. She is only missing one block out of the set! That is pretty amzing since she is gonna be 75 years old this year!!!
Sadly her precious blocks have been sitting in a shoe box for as long as I can remember. I decided it was high time that these treasures deserved a pretty box to sit in. So you can see below the box and a few of her blocks in the background.
The box is only 8" tall so I had to do a little finagling to get the tree with it's perfect quote on there in the right spot. But I think it turned out perfectly. The little blue flowers are ones I made, and they mimic the cute little blue flowers on the paper. I also added distress crackle to all of the flowers to make them hard so they would not get ruined over the years. The 3 little dresses, the garden gal and the teapot & creamer are mounted on chipboard to add a little dimension to the front of the box. It is hard to tell in the photo.
I bought some little wooden blocks at Mikes and beat them up and inked them and added a little distress crackle to them to embellish the box lid. I also made a little blue rose to tuck in between. The teapot & creamer are mounted on chipboard to add a little dimension to the top

I lined the inside of the box as well and added a library pocket & a bi-fold tag in there that I hope my Mom will take the time to write the story of the blocks on (both made on my Cricut). I used an old epoxy letter "C" on the top of the tag (my Mom's name is Catherine) and stamped a simple quote on there as well. I really hope Mom is gonna like this - she lives with us and was quite annoyed with me last night when I kept the studio door locked and wouldn't tell her what I was doing in there!
If you want to see more detailed photos you can click on the first photo and it will take you to more pix.
It is gonna be a creative end to the week for me. I started and finished Mom's box yesterday. Today I am taking a class. And tomorrow I am teaching a class. Lots of paper, glue and ink in my life - just the way I like it!!!
Sunday I will probably be with my kids helping them move, unpack and clean at the new house!
I hope you have some great plans for the weekend. I'll be back soon. . .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!!!

That's right - my neighborhood just got a little more beautiful! My oldest daughter and her family just bought a house (with the help of my Mom) right down the street from us! Saturday they will officially be our neighbors!
Today the painters were there and the entire house got a fresh coat of paint - it looks beautiful. We all went over to check out the fresh paint and then we ALL came back to our house for dinner. How fun and easy it will be when my new grandbaby arrives now - just a quick walk or drive down the street to help out or just give a hug. The holidays will be more fun now and just everything will be easier when we want to get together. I am just over joyed!!!!
Here are just a quick couple of photos from tonight. . .

I also wanted to show you a couple new creations of mine. . .
This is an oval hat box I made on Sunday. After a week long migrain I just needed to get in my studio to create, relax and just play. This is the result of this playtime
I made some handmade roses for my box and I just love how they turned out. They were the perfect finishing touch. I just love making flowers these days!
I even finished the insides of the box too. I have no idea what I will be doing with this box - but I sure had fun making it! If you want to see more detailed images just click n the first photo and it will take you to more pictures.
This next creation is another style of paperbag book. It is a travel journal and I will be teaching this class on June 11th.
It has 5 paper bags in it with photo mats on the out the oustside of the bags and these little folders that pull out of the bags for you to journal about your trip. There is also room in the bags to keep your mementos or photos.
Click on the photo below for images of all of the pages in the book.

It's gonna be a busy weekend around here this week - I am taking a class on Friday, teaching a class on Saturday and helping with the move on Sunday! I spent most of the day today building kits for Saturday's class. Kits are LOTS of work to put together, but it always gives me a good sense of accomplishment when I finish them up and get everything cleaned up.

Typically I am the one teaching classes, but this year I made a promise to myself that I would start TAKING more classes. It's only April and I have already taken 4! Well two of them were photography classes that were several days long, but still. This morning I signed up for yet another class! Teresa Collins is coming to Prescott on May 13th and teaching a class with her new travel papers. So I will be making a drive up the hill with my dear friend Judie and be hanging out with Teresa - hahaha. I will be sure to take my camera and get some photos.

I hope you are all finding your own ways to feed the creative side of yourself this year - give it a try - it really feeds your soul and feels good too!

Enjoy the rest of your week friends. . .


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Weather Update. . .

Well, it is cloudy and cold just like they predicted. It is only 55 degrees right now - unheard of for April in AZ!!! I got up sorta early today but haven't managed to get much done - a little laundry, started dinner and cleaned the toilet. I tried to clean the whole bathroom but that was a bust. I messed up my faucet on my sink so the sinks and counters are only partially done. Can't find my Windex, only Mom's super strong vinegar mixture that just left a mess on my mirrors. Finally I just gave up and didn't even try to clean the tub or shower.
Typical cold cloudy day for me - I want to get stuff done just can't seem to get anything accomplished. I have had a headache ALL week - it started out as a migrain on Sunday - really bad. Now it just continues to hurt. This does not help my focusing/accomplishing problems any.
On a totally different note, I was wondering if any of you know about or are following along with Ali Edwards "A Week In The Life" challenge? I really wish I had decided earlier to do this - I think I might just give it a try at the beginning of May. Actually since I have been following along I would really like to do a similar project I'd like to call "A Year In The Life". We will see how "My Week" goes and then I will decide on committing to a whole year. Becky Higgins does one called "365 Project Life" where she documents everyday of the year in photos and words. I cannot commit to something that big! But I have some ideas rolling around in my head. If it wasn't cloudy and cold maybe I could act on some of those - LOL. If you have a minute check out Ali's link - it is really kind of fun what she has going there.
So anyhoo - that's my day so far. No sewing, maybe tonight??? For now I think I will go stretch out on the couch and try to make my head feel better.
Have a great day friends!!!!!

A Stitch In Time

I am at it again - working on my new grandbaby's nursery. I have lots of pieces to get done and she will be here before I know it! Today I started on the dust ruffle. I have been at it for hours and I am not done but it is looking good. I need to be really careful on this piece because of all of the very straight horizontal lines on this piece. Gotta make sure they all match up. Thankfully there are no gathers on this one - just nice clean box pleats. Just thought I'd show you some pix of what I have gotten done so far. I can't wait til I can take a picture of the Nursery all finished!!!
Who am I kidding - I can't wait to take pictures of the nursery totally complete. . .with a new, beautiful baby sleeping in it!

As tired as I am tonight all I hear is the voice of a friend, Sandy in my ears. . ."Marta, you know that whatever you do for the 1st grandbaby you MUST do for all of the others!" This is probably the last one from my oldest daughter - but I have another daughter. I hope I am not too old or too tired when her babies come along to do all of this!

Well, I am off to bed. Gotta get a good night's sleep so I can continue sewing tomorrow! It is supposed to be cold and rainy (that means in the high 60's here in AZ) so if I can get motivated (always a crap shoot when it's raining for me) it should be a good day to stay inside and sew.

I hope you all had a great day today and an even better one tomorrow!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Answered Prayers

This morning started off with yet one more prayer that God has answered for us! I must say it is a PERFECT way to start the day!!!
Some of you might know that 7 weeks ago my son-in-law was laid off. Being laid off is never a good thing and there is no "good" time for this to happen. But this was a REALLY bad time for it to happen! They are expecting their 2nd baby and were in the process of getting a new house (right down the street from us), so being short the major family income is no good. Typically I would have just stressed over this situation and would have made myself sick with worry, but this time I just gave it over to God and decided to let him handle it. So each day I prayed and thanked God for the way He was taking care of things. I prayed that when all was said and done that we would be able to see His hands in the outcome.
So as the days and weeks went by, little by little I could see the miracles happenings. The house situation went smoothly (and they should sign final docs this weeks). They have "mysteriously" had extra money appear on my daughter's paycheck and they really have not done without anything and have not had to ask for anything either. Then the phone rings today - the BIG prayer has been answered. . . .He got a job!!! Not just any ol' job, but the one he really wanted!!! GOD is GOOD!!!! I am just so happy and excited for them. And I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see the way Father loves us and takes care of us. I just had to share this news with you all and remind you all that God really does care, He really does listen to our prayers, He really answers them too!
Here is a scripture that I try to always remember when things are tough and the one I shared with my daughter when all of this first happened - I hope it will have meaning for you as well. . .
Matthew 6:25-34
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Now on to some Baby Stuff. . .
I am getting to make all of the bedding for the new baby's nursery. They didn't want a typical baby theme or a princess or character theme so last weekend we went shopping to see what would "speak" to her. She came up with some really fun, bright fabrics - almost a Hawaian looking theme. My sewing machine has been in the shop so I couldn't start right away but I got it back Friday. So of course Saturday I got started . . .
I had over 30 yards of fabric to wash and iron before I could even get started. That took hours to do let me tell you!!! In fact I still have 15 yards of white fabric to iron - ugh. But I set my ironing board up in my bedroom and put on some chic flicks to watch as I ironed and it wasn't too bad. Once I got the ironing done I figured I might as well start on the quilt. She just wanted a simple design so I quickly sketched it out and figured out the measurements and started cutting fabric! Wanting to keep the mess all in one room (I do not have a dedicated sewing space) I decided to cut the fabric in my room too. Take note here if you sew. . . you can not use your rotary cutter and mat on a carpeted floor! Having just put in another movie and not wanting to miss it, I just moved all of my cutting to my bathroom floor! My mom thought I was crazy - but hey, it worked!!!! Here are a few photos for you from my Saturday sewing adventure. . .

Yes this is my bathroom all messed up from cutting!

Here are her fabric choices for the nursery - aren't they bright and happy

Here is my finished quilt top - my girlfriend Ruthie will be doing the actual quilting for us. You can also see my little sketch here. Ruthing will be adding the pretty teal when she binds and quilts the top.

I put the top on Monkey's crib here at my house so I could make sure it fit just the way I wanted . The new baby's crib will be white and she will have pretty butter yellow walls. Wont it all look so nice together?
So I have the quilt top done, now I just have bumper pads, a crib skirt, a canopy, pillows, window curtains and rocking chair cushions to go! I should be in the other room sewing not chatting here!!!

Well, I think I will get busy on something - not sure what? I hope you all have a great week. Be on the look out for God's hand in your life this week!!!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just Thought I'd Share...

a few pix from Easter at our house.

Of course there is always plenty of good food and lots of family to share that with
Of course there is always an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids - they love it and get quite competative!

Here is "Uncle Larry" & My Monky all dressed up in their Easter dresses as they hunt for eggs and other goodies in the yard

Once everything has been found the kids all run back to their parents to show off all of their loot

My Monkey has learned to share this really "cute" fake smile when you take her picture

This year we had a fun new guest, Ann. She came to AZ just to take some of my classes. I was so honored and I could not bare the thought of her being alone in a strange state for the holiday. I was glad she accepted my invitation. Ann is so outgoing and easy to talk to - she just made herself at home and part of the family.
It was a great day - the weather was great - the food was great - the family was perfect!!!!
So what did you do for Easter? I hope you had a great day and made lots of memories!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I hope you all are getting ready to celebrate this amazing holiday with your family and friends that you love. I am trying to get everything ready for the crowd that will be coming to our house today. As much fun as the egg hunts, candy and ham are I hope you have the opportunity to pause and remember what a truly amazing gift that was given to ALL of us 2000 years ago.
I was reading my email this morning, and just like every Sunday I get the online ad for Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Of course I checked them both for coupons but was very surprised when I opened the ad for Hobby Lobby. The very first thing on their ad was a holiday message it looked like a chalk board with this written on it. . . "A Slate Wiped Clean" and had 3 crosses drawn below it. I was amazed and pleased that a company would make such a blatenly Christian ad when most companies stick with the safer "Hoppy Easter" and some eggs and bunnies. I followed the link on that ad which brought me HERE - WOW!!!!They do these holiday messages for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Independance day each year in every newspaper they advertise in. Not only that, they also add another link/section for you to contact someone if you want to know more about Jesus and the salvation He offers! I am really impressed and will certainly share my craft dollars with this company more often.
God Bless you my friends and Happy Ressurection Day!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Do They Know I Love them?

This week I have been especially fixated on this question. Does my family truly know that I love them and why? I really hope so and it is my goal to make sure this is a reality for them. I never let my husband or kids leave without telling them I love them. It is just too important to me. But do they really understand and know that I mean it when I say it? Do they really know that it is not just out of habbit that I say these words to them?

Why so deep tonight Marta?
What's up with this?
Is that what you are asking yourselves?

Well, this past week a friend/neighbor lost her father in a very tragic (and sensless) motocycle accident. I was very honored to have the opportunity to document this celebration of a life well lived for her. This accident claimed the lives of 3 others and left more injured and many families devastated. All of this has caused me to reallly reflect on how much I love my family and how lost I would be without any one of them.

When Susan asked me to do this I instictually said yes, but in my heart I was not sure I could do this. I hate funerals, they truly overwhelm me, I avoid them like the plague! Well, I owe Susan a debt of gratitude for giving me the opportunity to stretch myself past my known comfort level.

I have never shot a funeral before and I was so unsure of the protocol that goes along with it. While technically, they are not great photos, I hope they will help Susan and her family in some way remember the day's events and how many people showed up to honor and celebrate Clyde's life.

I am posting some of the photos I took

I loved seeing these big, tough, bikers all holding hands as they listened to "I am Proud to be an American" played on their loud speaker. It was soul stirring to see this softer side of these men & women.
Clyde was a Commander in The Navy I loved his hat sitting on the memorial table looking ever strong and honorable just like the man who wore it.

The members of the Patriot GuardRiders were each as different from each other as their bikes were. Every type of man and woman were represented here. The "hardcore biker type", the "weekend warrior", the old and the young. All brought together with a single goal.

As I was driving in the cemetery I saw this in my mirror - just had to catch it.

The patriot Guard Riders were the color guard today. Although they were not in dress blues, they were in their own special uniforms that depicted yet another facette of Clyde's life. They lined the walkways holding their flags with honor for the family to pass through as they entered the service.

Full Military Honors were given at the National Cemetery
Susan really wanted me to capture the moment when they handed her Mom the flag - I so wish I had been brave enough to get closer and get a better image for her. But I felt so ackward and intrusive doing this.

After the service was over and the family had left, this one older man that had served in Vietnam (it said so on his jacket) stopped and saluted Clyde's remains. He held that salute for some time and then as he went to turn away, he clicked his heels and did that beautiful turn that only Military men can do. It was a beautiful moment and no one else was there to see it but me. I was so moved.

The dozens and dozens of flags that had been used that day were neatly rolled back up and packed away for another time, another funeral.

There is something so beautiful, yet so sad about seeing a flag flying at half mast.

My final stop on this photogenic journey was the actual accident scene where a makeshift memorial has been built to honor all of the victims and their families. I met and interesting man named Jerry while I was there. This man with trouble in his eyes and on his face was one of the heroes at the accident that day. He comes to the site to offer hope to family members that might stop by. I was very touched by him and hope and pray for him the same healing I hope for all of the victims and their families.

This was a beautiful funeral and as funerals go it was uplifting. The stories that were told about this man and about the way he loved his wife and daughters. The stories told of his military carrer and his love for bikes. All the stories of his faith and his generousity were wonderful and touching to hear.
But it gave me pause. . . It made me want to tell my family how wonderful they are NOW!
It made me want to swoop them all up in my arms and hug and kiss them NOW!
I am sure at this point I am rambling - but I think you all know what I am getting at. Lets all vow not to wait to memorialize those we love - it's too late then. Let's make an effort no matter how busy our lives are, no matter how much we think we still have more time, to let those we love REALLY KNOW how much we love them!
God bless all of you and I hope you enjoy a wonder Resurection Holiday weekend with your family and those you love!!!!