Thursday, May 24, 2012

Changing this post...

(I'm changing the title of this post because this post is getting spammed between 20 and 30 times a day. All because I linked up to a website. Sheesh! So instead of deleting the entire thing, I'm going to try and change the title and hope it doesn't get spammed anymore. Or else I'll have to painstakingly move the entire post over to a new post...which I will only do as a last resort. Yes, I know I haven't posted since May. The second half of 2012 wasn't too kind to me. My crafting business is hurting horribly and issues with my son have taken priority. Hopefully in 2013 I'll be able to come back and actually SHOW stuff on here.)
Its the end of the school year. This is my first "end of school year" as a mom. My 3.5 year old son attends an every-day developmental delay preschool at the local elementary. Which means I've been enjoying 2.5 hours every morning by myself, then continuing to enjoy a naptime most afternoons. I'm sure my husband would disagree with me on the necessity of all this "mommy alone time"...but considering the remainder of the day my energetic and destructive son runs me completely ragged, I've been counting on these hours to recuperate and ready myself for the next onslaught of three-year-old terror.

The next statement is full of irony. "Fortunately", my son has qualified for extended school year, and will visit with his class teacher and his therapists for 1.5 hours, three times a week, for six weeks over the summer. I put quotations around "fortunately" because it is ironic. Basically I'm saying its fortunate that he's still so delayed that he qualifies for the maximum amount of time during the summer. Now, I will say that his improvement over the past few months has been amazing. I am so unbelievably grateful that my school district has these services and that they even have a summer program. I was concerned that we might lose steam over the summer with his progress, and he might revert back to not-so-stellar behavior (we've recently made the oh-so-successful switch from w-sitting to 'criss-cross-applesauce', which I'm sure all your moms or educators out there know exactly what I'm talking about!!). So I am relieved that he'll continue to work with the educators he already enjoys and trusts...and that I'll get a small break a few days a week. Even if its just to clean up the mass destruction that we generally have each day in our house. Because let me tell you: I am NOT one of "those mothers" who has a spotless house. I enjoy playing with my kid. I enjoy letting him experiment with messes. We also have three pets, two of which shed like its going out of style. So please, come visit my house. Just don't eat off my floor. Or adhere to the five-second rule, whichever floats your boat. :)

On to a project!!

One of my son's paraprofessional aides is retiring after 32 years of service. She considered my son to be one of her "babies", and worked with him every day. She did such a phenomenal job with him!! I already bestowed countless teacher gifts during teacher appreciation week (which would be for another post, because all EIGHT of my son's various teachers/aides/therapists received gifts every day all week), but wanted to do something special for this aide on her last day. So I made her a set of stationery.

I have a confession to make: I am a designer series paper hoarder. Not even joking. I have paper that hasn't even been OPENED from 2007. You know its old Stampin' Up stuff when it isn't double sided!!! I have kept every single Simply Scrappin' kit, whether it be retired colors or not. The thought of throwing any of this away scares me.

BUT, seeing as how I love soooooo much of the new paper, I have made it my goal to get rid of some of my old stuff. The paper I used for this is from an old pack called "Jersey Shore". Now, I think its at least 3 years old...because I think that blue is Brilliant Blue, which was retired in 2010. But I did my best to match it up with current stuff. And piece of advice: don't color match using an open window. The colors will look completely different than they actually are. Because that orange?? Sooooo NOT Tangerine Tango. Oy.

I found a template for the box on another blog, and now I can't remember whose! I think it was Sharon Armstrong, but I'm not sure. I'll look and see if I can find it. Anyway, her original box template was for the regular Stampin' Up envelopes, and I honestly didn't think anything of it. I just made one, popped it together, then attemped to put one of the envelopes I made using the Simply Scored Diagonal Tool in there. This was how I figured out that the Diagonal Tool envelopes are BIGGER than normal SU envelopes. Live and Learn! Anyway, the box measurements are 9 1/4 x 7 3/4 (bottom) and 8 3/8 x 6 7/8. Score the bottom at 1.5" on all four sides, and the top at 1" on all four sides. Cut the corners, adhere, and there you go. :)

I figured this was as good of a time as any to use some of the outgoing items. You know, I seriously JUST bought that ribbon punch, and I'm sooo bummed its retiring! Also allowed me to use Curvy Verses, which is one of my all time favorite sets. I've had it since I first started buying Stampin' Up years ago. I think it was one of my first sets I purchased.

Not only was this a good time to play with retiring things, it gave me an opportunity to pull out some of my new stuff that I received from my preorder this week! All the sentiments were stamped in Midnight Muse, one of the new in-colors. I'm sure you've heard that Stampin' Up has redesigned all of their ink pads. The containers are the same, just the pad has changed. The new pad is called a "firm foam pad". It is sort of spongy, and definitely has a better ink coverage than the previous pad. When I first stamped with it, I felt that the ink was more like the craft pads. You do NOT have to push down hard with your stamp! You can lightly tap it on the stamp pad to get awesome coverage.

Also wanted to use up some of the retiring grosgrain ribbon, since I have a gazillion rolls of it. This is Whisper White grosgrain. Not even kidding. I dragged it through the Midnight Muse stamp pad, and boy did it take that ink!! (note to self: Midnight Muse ink does not come off fingers easily. When dying ribbon, WEAR GLOVES!!)

Here is the envelope assortment. I'm loving the new diagonal tool, and how easy it will be to make custom envelopes that will be a joy to send. Imagine how awesome it will be to open your mail, full of crappy bills and adverts you don't want, and then find a happy envelope like this! I'd be smiling already. :)

After this marathon project, my craft room/guest room looked like this. Glad no guests were coming...because it still looks like this. My goal tomorrow is to clean it up if my son lets me. The cutest part of this was clearing off half of the table so my son could play with his playdoh while I crafted. Every now and again I had to get into the playdoh too...strictly for educational purposes, of course. :)

My littlest helper. We rescued this kitty on Christmas Eve. We were at a stop light while visiting relatives in Dallas, and we could hear horrid meowing coming from the car next to us. A kitten had climbed up into the engine block to get warm, and then had taken a precarious ride for over 20 miles on INTERSTATE before getting to that stoplight. I got ahold of him and he immediately started purring. Apparently since I was the first to hold him, he and I have established a bond. He follows me pretty much everywhere. He's sitting on the back of my chair as I type this. His name is Blitzen, since we found him at Christmas. We also refer to him as Houdini, since he manages to get out of every collar we put on him, the "cone of shame" that was on him after he was declawed and neutered a few weeks ago, and THREE different wrappings on his paws on the day we brought him home after the declaw.

I officially live in a zoo.