Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge #16; With This Ring...I Thee Wed- as Guest Designer!

eing that July is not only my favorite month, and Summer is my favorite season, it seemed natural to me to have my own wedding at that time- with the 14th chosen as the date back in 1984. I was doubly excited to be chosen as Guest Designer from my win off of TFJB Challenge #14 Positively Pensive when I was told the theme of my project would be "With This Ring"...a perfect fitting for this month!!
        I've been a Guest Designer for TFJB Challenge Blog , as well as one other challenge blog, a few times now, but it never gets old because there are always new themes (and some old faves stuck in now or then), as well as our own changing lives that make crafting new things so exciting! This month has certainly fit the bill for weddings as far as my own home life went...
        Whenever we attend a wedding, naturally I am drawn back in time to our own wedding day. As we live each day growing old together, it seems as if these 'youngsters' exchanging the same vows as we (twice; the first and then renewed vows 17 years later in 2002) did, are just kids who are off and running into life on a high speed chase after all they can find to do and have fun doing it along the way. Ah, to be young again... NO, THANKS! Been there, done that; and LIVED- by the sheer grace of GOD! Way before we set our date, we went through marriage counseling with our Minister (we were
married in the Methodist Church, where I attended throughout my teen years, mostly alone, but my parents had been married in the same church in 1973). He gave us some very good advice that we remember to this day: 1) each of us was a certain way- like a baton that had two ends- both different people, but on the same stick. At some point, we would end up on the opposite end as we both changed completely through life- our views, thoughts, needs, etc. He said we likely would feel as if we were always at the other end when it came to certain views we each did not want to give up, but we'd have to find a way to still be ONE baton. I answered to him "wouldn't we meet somewhere in the middle of that baton at some point? It seems likely if we're traveling from one end to the other during our lifetime.", to which he smiled, nodded, and agreed. And later, he used that in a sermon during worship.
2) Our Wedding Day, for any of us, is a huge event in our lives, and that of our family because we were joining the two as we joined together. BUT: the wedding was only the START of a MARRIAGE that was- according to The Bible as GOD's Holy Word- to be "till Death do us part". It was a permanent situation, unlike the Wedding Day, which only lasted mere hours. That first day that joins us together, and that Honeymoon getaway (whenever and wherever it's chosen) is only a tiny piece of time that you have out of a lifetime together. And it's a very teeny, tiny amount of the GOOD verses the bad times that you'll likely go through during the entire marriage- which I sincerely hope will be even longer than the 36 years (and the additional 2 years of dating prior) we've already enjoyed!
       When Cec got hold of me for "With This Ring", I was already in 'wedding mode' since my own Anniversary was the next week, so I was planning on handing it all in oh-so-very-unusually-early. *sigh*
Then real life reared it's head... and it ended up being done in the past three days! While we were in Florida, the ChiefHubby's left leg began swelling. Twice before, in the past 6 years, he's been tested for blood clots with none found. By the time we made the drive (and he is a lifetime "Roy DeSoto" from my favorite TV show, "EMERGENCY!" to my own "Johnny Gage" in which Roy insists on always being the Sr of the 2 and doing all the driving- no matter what),and we'd gotten home at 10pm, it was extremely swollen and painful. We were both up at 3am with me insisting he needed to go to the ER. But, nope. I woke up the next day and about noon, Older Son, Brian, pulls up in the drive (this has happened before with others doing the Messenger Duty since I am deaf) and I got that baaaaad feeling again: "Dad drove himself to the ExpressMed and is now in the ER, and it's BAD, Mom." Oh. Joy. And boy, was I MAD; didn't bother to wake me up to go!!! 
After about 8 hours in the ER and several different tests, we went from "He can go home, now" to "He's going to be admitted for overnight observation and some blood thinners" to "He's got a huge blood clot blocking his upper and lower leg and another in his LUNG- he's being transferred by ambulance to the nearest best Cardio Unit in Kokomo- an hour from here". Talk about shock! In the middle of it all: it got worse and worse when they took him after telling me I could follow them, would NOT allow me to even SEE him at all (because of their confusion of the COVID19 even after he tested NEGATIVE!) and the NEXT DAY we find out that he could have DIED and the only contact number they had was HIS OWN. Nope- we would NOT have been given those "guaranteed last moments with the dying patient during this time of COVID19" as stated in their current online rules. It was a COMPLETE MESS. What made the mess much worse; no one seemed to know how to communicate with a deaf person who reads lips. They couldn't take off their masks (after much begging from me, one finally did so, but still failed to answer any questions about how to be able to VISIT him at all). There was a LOT of pointing and nodding at the doorway. Add to that the 'care' was much less (not given any bath at all even after 2 days in the hospital initially and then another 2 days the next week after surgery- that's kind of shocking considering the called for hygiene needs demanded by this Coronavirus). Not until 24 hours before his release did we understand what was going on (NO- they were NOT explaining it to HIM either), that the reason for not seeing him at all was they required a 2nd COVID19 test and the results were floating around somewhere in which case no one knew the result. The hospital requires everyone to leave the premises during non-visiting hours (which change other than the net-posted times obviously), so there were 8 hours in between those sets of 2 hour visits. (Yet I had at that point NONE). To a wife who didnt get to say "good bye" who lives an hour away, who is handicapped, and was at that point totally exhausted... I went to the safest place- Hobby Lobby, just to use the restroom and bide some time. But the power went out when a storm hit. I was in the very back near the restrooms, in pitch black. AND DEAF as a doornail. Then I find out that the city is on lockdown at 9pm.  While only the ICU Nurses seemed to be more helpful and fought for me to be able to stay when one tried to kick me out just before he was supposed to go back into surgery- that was when he'd had it and put his foot down that he had the right to have 1 family member there in the Surgery Waiting. I truly believe that Nurses are a part of the Heroes out there on the 'Front Lines', but in this case, at these two hospitals...they seemed to be more willing to run the other way. The mis-communication was inexcusable. I have Besties who were RNs and it was just as surprising to them and everyone was VERY SUPPORTIVE during all of this. It certianly put our "Golden Years" and upcoming Retirement of his (end of this year, as it stands now from this crazy way 2020 has gone) into a very different perspective on those vows of "With This Ring". And I am thankful and BLESSED to say that it all has a HAPPY ENDING: the beginning of a 'new normal' for us. (PS: COVID19 test was NEGATIVE both times. We're being even MORE serious and more careful than before. Trust me; that was SCARY. My heart goes out to any who have been there.)
    The surgery found a blood clot that ran the entire length of his left leg; they were not even able to get the entire thing due to not having a long enough tool, but direct IV into his leg of Herapin overnight in the ICU after the first surgery attempt, and before the 2nd, helped a LOT, and with further medicine, he was dismissed on Wednesday the 22nd to the next 4 weeks off of rest and slowly getting back up to his normal strength. He's successfully lost over 25 lbs so far & we'll BOTH be getting back down as well as further shaping up. THANKS for the continued PRAYERS, everyone!!!!! *LOVE*
         Soooo. With that in mind, it just makes us feel that the 2 Wedding Days of the children of 2 of our Besties were that much more important to us. Life, and all its milestones, are precious. We did make it to the first one in June (the project that resulted in this Guest Designer posting- that first link posted up above), but we missed the 2nd one that took place just yesterday. 

           Kids; these are for you- "With This Ring... I Thee Wed"

I usually crocheted my signature blanket- an American Flag in antiqued colored yarn
with the couple's last name initial as the 'stars' on the blue for their main gift.
But for my Besties, I have made dolls of their kids for Graduations and Weddings.
So this was no real 'challenge' for me.
The trick is to use the dies and tools to PERSONALIZE the dolls.
Here are the dies and tools I chose for this set.
I always use Glossy Accents for all my gluing and sealing with the dolls & accessories.

When die cutting the bodies, I usually use 4 layers
-2 layers are plain cardstock in 'skin color'- you can choose from any shade nowadays!
- and 2 layers are Matboard.
I like to face the cut sides together so that the sides are smoothed,
while the cuts may not meet exactly, it tends to look more 'rounded' like a real human. ;)
The one piece body/face is made by printing off faces from my computer,
and matching the paper up with the cut on the die.
Even easier: using the very same faces sold as remnant rubs (if you can still find them).
The rest of the clothing and accessories are usually scraps of other larger cuts from older
projects... a win/win use!!!
BONUS: These are sooo FUN and addicting!!
Dolls aren't just for little kids anymore- but the little kids still love 'em, too! :)

I also usually make undergarments for all the dolls-
because sometimes I have made the dolls to be able to 'change outfits' with the help
of adding clear Velcro circles (can be found in JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby as well as
Walmart's sewing isles) onto the front side of the undergarments and the
backsides of the clothing outfits.  But, making them to change outfits means a naked backside of the dolls. So you need to decide while cutting if your dolls will be ONE-SIDED or TWO-SIDED.
The dolls shown above were cut to be two-sided. 

In doing some details of Abby's dress, I decided to use a TH Texture Fade "Flourish"
to mimic the lace at the top and bottom.
Both dresses were free hand cut with both the TH Tonic Scissors 
(and I finally found a pair of ) the Mini Snips.
The hair is all fussy-cut in the same free handed way. I simply use the photos to match them.

Creating flowers is easy-peasy when you use a normal sized silk leaf and pair it up with
a TH IdeaOlogy Heirloom Rose. You could also use a flowerlet from the TH Bouquet bunch!
I used Glossy Accents, again.

I have done a few other posts on making dolls. If you would like more details on 
creating different kinds of people- please feel free to click on these other past TFJB Challenges:


The Results of "With This Ring"...
are both answered "I Thee Wed"...

Nori's dress (on the left) is very white, while Abby's was more of an off-white or very light cream.

Note: I used TH Ranger Stickles in Silver sparkles for matching all the
rings and the bracelet for Lenora.


I think I nailed the swatch they emailed of the tie to me, eh??
BUT- after being able to view the wedding video on FB, I note that Abby didn't have
a veil afterall. All they need to do is return the dolls via Mom (one of my Besties)
and I can change that right up with no prob.
The TH Thinlits Die Masquerade did a nice job on Jonathan's glasses! It was too cute to pass up!

All gift packaged, ready to go!
Clay and Nori will get theirs in the mail- I didn't get them in time to take with to TN.
Jonathan and Abby's got sent as a topper on their county-wrapped crocheted blanket gift.

And that's what's posted for this Challenge on
Please JOIN US; there's still time before the Tuesday 11pm deadline, and
you just might be the lucky winner of a $25 Gift Certificate from
The Funkie Junkie Boutique - the Challenge Blog's Sponsor.
       I'd like to take just a couple more sentences for advice to the new happy couples...
     1) Whatever happens, remember that there is a circle that surrounds the two of you inside. There's only ONE other person in that circle with you- GOD, the Creator of Marriage. Take great care in making sure you each NEVER take a step outside of it yourselves. And NEVER allow any other person (aside from The LORD) inside that circle... this means no one- not a best friend, not a parent, nor sibling, nor cousin, etc. No one. Not even your children to come. The breaking of that circle is one that can never be wholely healed again. Patched, but never totally healed. GOD meant for you to ask HIM for help when you need it. 
      And 2) You WILL argue and disagree about many, many things throughout your journey of love.
Never allow it to be something that passes. Money comes and money goes...mostly GOES. So get used to that and remember that the most important thing that brought you together- is what will keep you together: LOVE. The love you felt the day you began "With This Ring"
... and finished with "I Thee Wed".

      THANKS, EVERYONE; for the prayers, comments on past projects, and simply just taking the time to look at the projects, or join me in Challenges across the blog universe! There is so much LOVE out there that has poured into our lives- it's amazing, and it lets me know how richly

                                                  And once again, we fight the COVID19;

Be Safe, Wear the Mask, Wash the Hands, Stay Home if needed, &
                                    HAPPY BLOGGING!!!

Mini Album Makers Challenge; JULY...By The Beautiful Sea

ith the end of July, comes a lot of work to catch up on things we missed during two months of summer travel...usually. But nothing has been 'usual' at all in this year. In fact, it seems almost like this entire year has been put on hold; as if we're all still waiting for the year to happen. While the travel did happen in a very limited way, compared to our normal, unfortunately, it seems that the work left to do is pretty close to normal. We're talking about the housework and yardwork that needs to be done when you've been away. And if you haven't heard about what July was like for our can read more HERE
It's a good thing I like to get things out when the idea for a project hits me. Otherwise, this post, nor this project, would have ever gotten done. The huge storm and subsequent 7 and1/2 hr power loss also helped- there was nothing else to do at the time. Since then, the ChiefHubby is slowly getting his strength back up and while he still needs quite a bit of rest/naps, he's back to being able to do more things to help out again. There for a while, things were very tough and we were both so tired! 
     So, we're ready to plunge back into another month, and hope for the best that this COVID19 will finally take notice that no-one likes it, and take a hike! In any case, I am SO READY to be over it all, as I am sure anyone who has had it, would be especially glad to be over it (one of my older Sisters and Bro In Law were feeling flu-like illness, and just tested positive). 
      The one trip we did take to the rural areas of the Florida Panhandle is such a sweet memory now!
We do have our pool, complete with the palm trees and what-not, but it's just not the same as all those huge waves of salt water that knock you off your feet and drag you for 10 yards or more- if you miss the wave with your board, that is. lol! And spending time with our extended family is especially fun for us. With all that in mind; I knew what my theme for
entry was going to be- even before we left!
       This has a lot of photos since it has some new elements I haven't done before.

                                                             Let's get to the details!

I found the "Coastal" paper pack and thought it would be perfect for mimicking
the Emerald Coast- where we visit on the Florida Panhandle.
Again; I'm using Eileen Hull's Pocket Notebook Sizzix XL Die,
which is fast becoming one of my favorite book dies as well as XL die. 

Tools I chose to use- the Tim Holtz stamp set is on my "Want List", but for now,
I'm using 2 sets I found on a yard-saleing spree a few years ago. I fell in love with them,
and they ARE closely designed like Tim's.
I ended up with 17 new TH Thinlits, Bigz Dies, 3D Embossing Impresslits & Folders, during
a recent cleanout sale of Tim Holtz products on the site- for a mere $71 total.
I also finally found some of the Collage Paper Typeset and thought it would look cool
in this, up against colorful seashell items (and it did)!

This paperie was found separately as the Hobby Lobby (the trip where the storm hit
and the power went out), and found the stack of 4/$1.00 papers I'd left in a pile (we were asked to lay everything at our feet and they would get the piles to save for us to come back later).
I had been searching for map paper since I only have one left in my TH stack of Memoranda,
and none left in my Correspondence stack. I LOVE those maps and hoard them.
Problem is: I USE THEM ALL!! They're so FUN!
But I found these, and they actually match!
The darker blue cardstocks were a to be a new element I wanted to try out.

My starting work was 2-fold;
die cuts and embossing them...

And cutting/scoring folds on papers stacks.
I wanted 3 kinds of paper for these books; school-ruled, architect's grid-lined,
and some plain copy paper...all in the same colors. It wasn't too hard since the
school-ruled and the grid paper lines are both in blue hues.
I LOVE IT when school gets ready to start and pencils go on sale for 47 cents!!
Takes me back to those saddle shoes & a dress days.
Hey now... I'm only 54!

Then I got this wild idea for a folder that was a BOX.
So I took the tougher cardstock- already in a brown shade (think "SAND")
and kept scoring and then cutting until I had a fine box with a side flap to use for the maps. 

Now, at this time, the Older Grandson (Peanut) was with me and coloring
with colored pencils. He's well beyond his age with so many things!
So, he reaches over and picks up this box, looked at it, and then replaced it where it was.
He then picks up the colored pencil box (Crayola) and hands it to me.
Little smarty-pants! The 2 boxes were nearly identical.
*Me looking deflated at my 'original idea box'.*
Let's move on, shall we?

Here's where I cut the exact same parts of two maps- one old world and one new world.
I stuck them back to back with the flap of my 'original' box *humiliation* in between.
The pic shows both boxes with one new map side up, and the other old map side down.

Then I got out my go-to fave TH Oxide Ink, Vintage Photo, for some Distressing.
This pic shows the difference Distress Oxide Inking makes!

Ditto the difference in Oxide Inking on the old map sides.

I also made a tri-fold pocket for Tag holding.
But I did it differently on the inside- using the folds only on the outside edges.
For that inner piece (attaches the front of the pocket to the backside of the pocket),
I decided to try NOT folding, but only Glider Tape on the right hand side of one side of the piece,
and then only on the left hand side on the opposite.
The result was much less bulky fold!
I'm sure I'll do this again and show each step separately to explain it better.

This was during a major storm on Sunday the 19th. 
We had a LOT of branches and trees down- including one at our boat slip with a 
huge branch landing smack on my sailboat!
Clearing both boats off (finally on the following Saturday!), I was relieved to find no damage.
But we were out of power for over 7 hours and my poor ChiefHubby was just 
home from the hospital and without the AC going, he was miserable. 
Since he dozed off and on all that day, I was able to get quite a bit of these books done-
with the help of SUNLIGHT!
My HunniPi (deaf helper dog) is like her Momma and can't stand storms.
You can see her eyes as she stayed under my crafting table...keeping an eye on me.

Next; the covers and spines of the book.
I did what is now 'my norm' with the 3 cardstock layers.
These are lined up so you can see exactly how I trim and match up to get 5 holes.

Another new thing I tried this time:
Glossy Accents inside those trimmed off edges. 
It seemed to me that those edges kept coming back up when the final folds are made.
So I was hoping to hold those together better right there at those seams.
It did work very well, and I'm going to keep doing this from now on.

This is getting to be a fave element of mine in mini books- TH Stitched Pocket!
This time. I did it out of  wood look paper, then took it through the TH 3D Embosslit.

And just because... the title was soooo cute on the inside front covers after I cut these out
from the same wood look paper. I didn't emboss them because I feared they would fall apart.

And another new element: a different type of closure- using Tim's Crackle Ribbon.
(TIM, Dude! I am getting LOW on this stuff!!)

See?? It was too cute!

Now, the work on the outside began.
Here's where I would use the TH Collage Paper.

After adhering the Collage Paper with Glossy Accents (fast and easy because it dries faster)
by tearing out what I wanted to use from the paper, then dropping GA and quickly 
swiping it with my index finger, then apply to the cover.
(The cover you see here is Farmhouse in Blue Hues texture stack- shown in the first pic up above.)
Then I put TH Ranger Texture Paste over that and sprinkled some plain white emboss powder.
After heating it up and getting the exact results I wanted, I decided to just do the entire front.

After both were heated for the embossing powder to ALMOST glossy-
I didn't want a full gloss.
The point was for it to look like WHITE SAND- the white sand of the Emerald Coast.
The beaches there are some of THE most beautiful and pristine out of all
the beaches in the USA.

Then I got busy with all the embellishments- Inking and choosing TH IdeaOlogy.

I chose these for the 'play' on the word SEE...
You'll SEE why down below. ;)

When I got to the next part below this (arranging things onto the front cover),
I thought the seahorses were too thin.
The starfish is just as thin, but is up against the seashell and sand dollar-
both built up with more than one layer. Those extra layers on the seashells
helped support the driftwood and star that were thin.
But the seahorse needed more support, so I thickened them up by adding Matboard inside 2 cuts.

The arrangement was working out beautifully!

After getting everything on with my favorite glue (GLOSSY ACCENTS)
I had this strange urge to add 'water droplets' to the entire cover and spine.
I laid out a white garbage bag for keeping it off everything else in the room- lol=
and flicked Gloss Mod Podge all over both.
The effect is one I thought was brilliant!

The results are in:

LEFT SIDE- This book is for myself to keep a copy as normally I do with everything.
RIGHT SIDE- This one's for my Bestie, Christie Dixon. She and her Minister Husband
were the reason our lives were changed by JESUS CHRIST.
That was in 1997.
And they didn't stop there; they actually LIKED us!
They must like us still, ya think (lol!) because we'll be wintering down there for Retirement-
helping to keep up the church and the camp.

A faux pearl sits inside a real shell-
these were found &picked up from the sand, just for this project from one of my seaside trips.
Did you know how HARD it is to drill through even these tiny shells?!
It's just another 'wonder' that our Creator achieved; soft enough to break from waves,
but hard enough to resist a powerful drill!

The cork beads came from a bracelet that I had made and worn during
years of trips south to the Panhandle. When the bracelet finally broke, I decided to
reuse it here instead of another piece of jewelry.
They represent the years of Friendship/Family Christie Dixon and I have shared.

The pun intended for both SEE and SEA.

This one is Christie's ....

...with another pun on the words SEE and SEA.

I took a page note (pun) from MAM's Design Team Member Jennie Atkinson 
and worked some washi tape, stamps, and Clippings from the TH Clippings Sticker Book
to make a simple design onto the folders that hold each paper stack.
(see her fabulous July inspiration book HERE )
THANK YOU, JENNIE! This idea is simple, cute, and FUN!

The graphing paper was needed because Christie is a VERY GIFTED Architect!
She not only raised 4 girls, successfully getting each into college, but she went back to college
herself and attained what prior had only been a dream! 

You may notice I was using BOTH our clips at this point.
The clips are the newer TH Large Hinge Clips- which I found work better for this
larger sized Eileen Hull Pocket Notebook.

A bag to hold whatever gets found.

Christie's obviously has her name inside at the same place as mine is shown.
The seashells provide a place for small photos or notes.

While July itself could have been better, it also could have been much worse. The time
is always made better when I see people ready to share and help one another, and I have
certainly been on the receiving end of both in this past month. The prayers that were sent up
for my ChiefHubby - and for my own comfort as well- kept us afloat throughout a very tough time.
I will send a HUGE SHOUTOUT of THANKS! to all those who did all that praying.

And there's always such a good feeling to know that something a person made can bring a 
smile, some inspiration, or some encouragement to others...
YOUR views on my blog tell me it's working, and I say;

August is just a couple days away and a new 
will be happening...
won't you come along and join in?
In the meantime:

Stay Safe, Stay Home if needed, Stay Connected, &