Saturday, June 3, 2017

My New Normal

It's such a lovely experience to watch a flower go through the process of blooming and its such a shame the bloom does not last for a longer period of time.  I guess the fact the bloom is finite makes us really appreciate the beauty for the small time we have it.  I have the great fortune of watching my peony bloom and the perfume it omits is so soft and soothing.  As much as I admire its beauty I am also reminded of its fragility and how it is a symbolic representation of our own lives.

The past two weeks have been incredibly difficult, which is a bit of an understatement.  Not feeling well, I took my mother to the Emergency Room and our worst fears came to fruition - she was diagnosed with an MI - fancy terms for a heart attack.  Following the heart attack my mother required a quadruple bypass and the surgery was scheduled at a hospital 45 minutes north of my home.  Fast forward to today and all is relatively well.  Mom is home, but is in need of constant care which has been difficult considering I commute three hours to and from work each day.  Despite the exhaustion, I am so lucky my mother has the opportunity to recover and resume normal activities.  My saving grace is that that summer vacation is quickly approaching and I can defer all rest until then.

Crafting has taken a back seat to my life at the moment and I am looking forward to returning to the hobby I love so dearly.

Happy crafting,  

Monday, April 10, 2017

I purchased the Instax SP-2!

I am super excited because I finally gave in and treated myself to the purchase of the gold Instax SP-2.  I have been eying it for quite a while, but was discouraged when the price jumped up $50 to $199.  Since then, the price has come down to $169 on I thought, what the heck!  I am so thrilled with it.  I though I would demonstrate a comparison with the Epson PictureMate I usually use.

The picture on the left was printed using the Epson PictureMate PM225 and the photo on the right was printed using the Instax SP-2.  As you can see, there definitely is a difference in the quality.  The PictureMate photo printed with vibrant colors and there was also greater detail.  The Instax photo is a bit lighter and somewhat washed out which is typical of Polaroid-type photos.  Despite the difference, I am still quite impressed with its quality and it is perfect for its intended use - scrapbooking.  I am really satisfied with my purchase and love that it also has the capability to print with Real Time information. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Blizzard and new Heidi Swapp products

Who doesn't love a snow day?  I certainly do, however, snow days aren't so lovely when the snow blower decides that it doesn't want to turn on.  Thank goodness for neighbors who are willing to help out. 

On a trip to Michaels I noticed some new products in the Project Life section.  Heidi Swapp had a section called Storyline.  I immediately gravitated towards the Navy and White binder with gold lettering.  The binder was wrapped and I was unable to examine the contents contained within my curiosity was peaked.  The packaging on the exterior did not give much of a description and without even seeing what the binder came with I knew I had to have it.  I was confused when I searched the internet and could not find any videos about the Storyline products...nothing on Youtube and nothing on Instagram.   I was excited to see Heidi Swapp's description of the Storyline products out today and I am looking forward to telling my story.  Stay tuned this week for a description and review of the product.  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Where the heck did my craft mojo go?

First, a completely new human being has entered into my life and while I would like to say she came from my loins, she didn't, she came from the loins of my younger brother.  My niece came into this world one year ago and this planet has become better since her arrival.  My mom's first human grandchild, I do not think I have ever seen her this happy.

Despite such an amazing event, you would think I would have cranked out the layouts, but I really have not had the energy to craft anything.  Over the summer I was Project Life obsessed and made a dent completing my Project Life pages, but as usual, work becomes all encompassing and completely consumes me and whatever time I have left over within the day,  My puggy also suffered a back injury in September which was one of my most devastating experiences.  She has made significant improvements and every day is one step closer to normalcy.   It has been really difficult to engage in paper crafting. What has not suffered as much is my  textile crafting.  I am working on a rug hooking project which I completely adore (picture to follow in my next blog post).

So, I hope to resume this crafting journey and expect my creative mojo will return from the extended vacation it seems to have enjoyed,

Until then,,,happy scrappin'.

Crafty Ivy

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Honoring my dad on Veterans Day.

Today I am honoring the most important man in my life - my dad who was a Vietnam Veteran.  Although my dad is no longer physically with us I think of him and speak to him daily.  I feel his presence surrounding and protecting me.   He past away 6 1/2 years ago from Multiple Myeloma, which was likely developed from his exposure to Agent Orange.  My dad was super hilarious and could make light of any situation.  He was a simple man who was very much set in his ways - many of those ways learned in the military.  He grew up without a father most of his life so when he became a father he had to navigate these new waters through experience rather than by example.  He made his mistakes as a father and I made my mistakes as a daughter, but we were both able to learn from these mistakes and support each other the best way we knew how.  I learned several valuable lessons from my dad but there is one lesson that stands out the most.  I now know that aman's past cannot define his future and that there is always the possibility of change and eventually redemption.  I will continue to say that I am no where near perfect and will take ownership for each of the mistakes I make along my own journey.  He made be a better human being and my only regret is that I was not able to communicate this to him while he was alive, however, I am able to communicate this message for him to my readers and to every human I have the great fortune of coming into contact with.

On this Veterans Day I honor my dad and his service to the United States and most importantly
his service to his family.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Shiny object syndrome, infertility and other musings...

I walked into work the other day and was super excited to share my new career aspirations...I was going to pursue a career as a farmer.  Yes, a farmer!  And not just any farmer, but a llama, alpaca, goat, sheep farmer.  On a recent trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Show I was hit by the textile bug.  It was incredibly inspirational to see all of these folks turn their passions into a business.  The love and happiness each vendor carried for each of their individual products was amazing.  Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on the circumstance) I have shiny object syndrome.  Each time I come across a new craft it becomes a potential career path for me.  So I am left with the questions...what passion can I turn into a business?  What would make me so happy?  This is a part of the journey that I will embark on.  Until then, I will continue to follow a path that may or may not lead me to becoming what for me is the elusive motherhood.

Infertility sucks!  It sucks not only when you get that big BFN (lingo for a negative pregnancy test), but it is absolutely crappy when you are going through fertility as a single woman who is paying for the medication and treatments out of pocket.  So far I have gone through two full cycles that included an IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination aka Artificial Insemination) and one cycle of meds where I ovulated early and was unable to complete the IUI process.  The last cycle was particularly painful because I went through $900 worth of meds without the possibility of a pregnancy.  The most recent incomplete cycle really took an emotional toll on me and resulted in some pretty wicked anxiety and depression. I felt as though my body had failed me and worst of all, I personally felt like a complete failure.  I am thinking about putting myself through one last attempt because I have to know that I tried everything in my power to pursue that dream of motherhood.  Believe me when I say that I never thought the possibility of never becoming a mother was an actual likelihood.  Enough of the woe is me...what really gets me through the most difficulty of times is immersing myself in anything that I consider crafty.

'Tis the season to be crafty and this really is the most wonderful time of the year for me, especially when being provided the opportunity to merge the holiday season with craftiness.  And so the season begins with Heidi Swapp's Glitter Tape and Marquee Love Christmas tree.  

 (Heidi Swapp Glitter Tape)

(Heidi Swapp Marquee Christmas Tree) 

This was an incredibly easy project and I was completely satisfied with the final product.  The HS Glitter Tape is a dream to use.  The glitter stays on and overall it is very good quality tape.  The project does not quite seem finished so I was thinking about adding some red glitter tape to its interior surface.  Why not?  It gives me a great reason to use that 50% off coupon today.  I recommend that anyone who has any opportunity to, participate in a handmade holiday project because there is a real sense of accomplishment once it is completed and it is always a treat to make it a part of the holiday decor.

I am going to begin putting some December Daily products together.  My mission is to follow the entire December Daily project through and the majority of the battle comes from adequate preparation and organization of the project.  I am looking forward to share it all with you.

From my extraordinary ordinary life,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Break Goals

It's the middle of Spring Break and I really have not done much of anything, well, nothing of what I intended.  My first order of  business was to just take it easy and minimize the driving, since I do a whole lot of that during the work week - this mission was accomplished!  Second, I intended to work on getting my scrapbooking business off of the ground - this task has been a complete dud.  Lastly, I needed to get some scrapbooking done.  I purchased the Cricut Explore Air and have been working on an Easter layout for over a week.  I am the most indecisive person I know...size...color...cut...I need to learn to commit.

Each year my mom plans an Easter egg hunt for my nephew.  He just turned 13 and is completely into it.  How?  Fill the eggs with a mixture of chocolate and money and it works like a charm. Although he is a teen, I think there is a part of him that participates for the thrill of the search.

As my return to work approaches my anxiety has increased.  I am thankful that I am employed and it allows me to have a roof over my head and food in the refrigerator.  It's just that it does not bring me joy.  I listen to many successful folks who proclaim that there job is not a job for them because it is what they love to do each day.  I must keep in mind that I do have a plan to one day make that proclamation as well.

In the interim, I leave you with a picture of the cutest pug fur-baby GiGi.

Happy scrappin',