Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Monday, November 16, 2015

NOVEMBER TAG; The 12 Tags of 2015...For Veterans' Day! Part 2 of 2

  This weekend didn't exactly go as I had planned it to. But then, the people of France had much happen in their weekend also, that definitely was not in their plans. So, I'll just be thankful we're all still here, and keep trusting that GOD is in control no matter what anyone thinks otherwise. Some Day, we'll have all our questions answered, and in the meantime let's all keep our eyes to the skies and our noses to steepled fingers in PRAYER. (I'll pass on those words 'moment of quiet reflection' because my heart is not 'reflecting' right now.)

             Backing up a bit to November 1st, and my quest to get the pumpkin die (TH Alterations Pumpkin Parts) I've been been hoping to find for use specifically in October and November, and I ended up changing my mind when stamps when HALF OFF! at Joann Fabrics. I ended up getting some of the larger set of Americana with the intent to use it on November Tag for Veterans' Day specifically for my Dad- a WWII Veteran. Tim came out with a pumpkin on his tag but I didn't get that stamp set yet. Like I've said several times before; whenever we want to find Tim's items for that month's tag, we end up online ordering more often than not to get even 1 yr old items he's had out. The JoAnn's and Hobby Lobbys here in Indiana are just a WEEE BIT BEHIND. They are catching up SOMEWHAT but not nearly enough. Thus, we end up paying out shipping and handling for wanted newer items. That adds up to quite and amount that I'd MUCH rather pay out for more TH items !!! So that part kind of sucks. I just happened to get S&H for a $3.99 flat rate, but still had to wait a week for it to get into the mail so I could make and add the last items. It takes quite a bit more thought on the crafter's part than just going into the studio and start creating. If we don't have a way to get those items on time, once we make our choice of following Tim's exact path, or going crazily off the usual creation course with substitutes. If I go off course, though...lookout! I go WAY off course- which can get to be too much fun!- and take alot more time.
So here's how I did mine this month by the photos, so you can see where I veered off from Tim's.

Instead of using a brayer and stamp, I chose a different way of getting my pattern onto the tag for my background. I DO have Americana stamps, but I didn't want any words or 'sharp' images, so to speak. I wanted the background to SLIGHTLY show up like it had faded over time. If it was newer, it would look out of place for the vision I had in mind.

Shown here is the pattern I was able to achieve with Antique Linen TH Distress Paint by using 2 of my fave Stencils (appropriately titled STARS and STRIPES, respectively) by bending the stencils so they overlapped only where I wanted- stars in the left upper corner and stripes running up and down; the same as a hanging American Flag.

I LOVE using the Vintage Photo and Tea Dye  Distress Inks for an aged look!!!

I got out my new pad of CORRESPONDANCE stash papers and used my Alterations Die to cut some frames to hold the photo of my Dad. I scanned off the original photo and printed several tag-sized copies onto linen-colored cardstock. Then used the same Distress Inks as above to antique the printed photo. PERFECT!   (I've been busy scanning tons of the rest of the photos he has been, over the past years, putting into 8 albums divided up according to each of us 7 kids with one for Dad himself!! I was amazed he took that on but never told me about it! He'd gotten the idea from my Grandma Raymer who did the same for her Grandchildren and I cherish those pics she saved aside for me all those years!! Grandma often bragged about how Dad "loves all his kids SO MUCH" and she is so right on!!!)

Now, here is where I veered off from Tim- SLIGHTLY. Tim used the pumpkin stamp for both his background AND the pumpkin foreground. I chose to use my "Travel Blueprint" set. Now, while Dad stayed Stateside, I chose to stamp 'The World' Blueprint to show how the US Army our Dad joined is noted as THE most powerful Armed Force in the world. And the backside of my tag used 'The Compass' Blueprint stamp- to show how our Dad guided us as we grew up.
Our own kids think we 'brainwash them' when they will find out with their own experience in parenting that parents have to GUIDE their kids along. The child is given a chance to make a decision IF the oportunity and safety allows it. Otherwise, it's totally up to the parent to choose what is best. As the child grows and is ABLE to make WISE choices....more chances to make those choices are given.  We saw our two boys as INDIVIDUALS. We dressed them exactly alike, and they always got the same material things or experiences (as closely as we could), but often they each showed their different traits. I could tell Brian to "get in there and do your homework", but could only push him so far before he threw in the towel. But I could push Brett to not only get the homework done, but come outside and help me trim the yard, too. Because they each had their limits. Brian was more like his Dad USED to be at that VERY SAME AGE. And Brett was more like his Mom. hehe....My Dad would come in to my room and say "Got that homework DONE, so you WILL GO OUT AND MOW?! Like...NOW!!!" and I would be like "YES, SIR!!" unless I wanted my butt to match the color of the American Flag (and it was NOT the blue or the white, let's say).   Like I said, my Dad (like most 'Rents) was not perfect, but he did what he thought was best and at least he TRIED. Most importantly; I know he LOVED all of us kids.

The stamp I chose to use for the coloring was the Mini Americana Blueprint set. Prob my FAVE of the Blueprints line. As you will see in the closeups, the size just fit perfectly, as well as the color popping.

Shown here is one thing I am going to SHOUTOUT about: If you haven't tried that FOIL yet, RUN and get some!!! I always managed to find it, but never really thought it would be as TOTALLY ADVATAGEOUS and ABSOLULTELY FUN TO USE!!!! Not to mention how you REALLY get your $$$ worth outta this stuff!! It comes 10 sheets to a pack of 5 colors for about $5.00 !!! I used ONE TOTAL SHEET for 4 2-sided tags; that's EIGHT SIDES out of ONE SHEET!! WOWZA!! Not to mention the fact that while I don't care much for glittery glitz (which is what I thought would be the result and the main reason I never really wanted to give it a try), but this stuff just gave my Americana Veteran's Tag the 'BOOM!' it needed to put it over the top! VERY VERY COOL, indeed!

Shown here is the IdeaOlogy Remnant Rub Tool; another SHOUTOUT item I was able to find available for less than $5.00 and got 30% off that during a sale at JoAnn Fabrics! Tim is right about this tool- it IS a 'need'- very useful and handy indeed! Esp when it comes to hands that hurt all the time despite the 24 2x meds I teke every single day -plus shots and cancer meds- to keep the RA under control. That tool REALLY helped make it EASY to work on this FUN technique of Embossed Water Coloring I just learned to do with this month's Tag! 

Then came the backsides and my idea for it was to put little tiny printed out copies (printed and same the same way I did the photo) of Dad's official promotion to Srgt and his Honorable Discharge. I got the idea to incorporate the story he told me of where he and his Buddy wanted to go originally, but ultimately  where he ended up: Kentucky and New Mexico. I added those from my States Thinlet Die Set, using the outline of the states he lived in temporarily and the fill-in of Indiana where he mustered-out from and came home permanently again to marry and raise a family. 

Ever since I've been following Tim Holtz and Mario Rossi, I have looked for,  unsuccessfully, the now-retired IdeaOlogy "WASHERS"! I have only seen them when they debuted but never was able to get my hands on any. It likely will not happen now, but I really HOPE Tim comes out with another line of  items like those washers. I have even bought some at the Home Depot and used my ever-present Glossy Accents to add paper, or paint them or stamp them ...some kind of way to make them look like crafting washers. I may next experiement again with the Alcohol Inks- specifically the brown tones.  But usually, the holes in the middle are way too large for the IdeaOlogy Fasteners or Screws. So they end up not usually viable for use on crafts.
My next-best idea was these little bracelet charms I found over by the Vintaj charms. They were bendable, so I knew they could be punched for a middle hole the size I needed. Or drilled. The punch was easier and I punched out a triangle large enough to fit then just hammered it down onto the backside of a "bronze" star one of my Besties found packages of in the Clearance items on a ChicksTrip last month.  Those stars are COOL! My other choice was to hang a Mirrored Star but that was not fitting into the image I had of the finished Tag. I LOVE those Mirrored Stars, tho!!! :)
Here is the bronze star on the front side of the Tags. (I made one of the Tags to be in Blue Foil edges- the one for Dad to keep. The Gold Foil edged tags were for me and two of my sisters.) 
This shows a closeup of his papers miniturized for the backsides of the tags. Instead of an IdeaOlogy Arrow, I chose to use Spinners because they matched up as pointers for the Compass stamp on that side A bit of the RWB twisted string made a nice touch for the spinners pointing to "Honorable Discharge".

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the corked word Tim did on his tag! And I've had the chance (TWICE) to get my hands on that AlphaNumerical lettering and numbers, but DIDN'T get it!! WHY do I DO that ?!? But, I DID get the Expdition Set of Thinlits Scripted Words after I found it at a Hobby Lobby. So I DO have SOME brains, ya know. SOME! The word "authentic" seemed to fit in well here.

Not willing to waste the cute lettering that resulted from the frontside corks.... I added it to the backsides as well.

The finished Fronts of my NOVEMBER TAG...

...and the finished Backsides.

      And that's all for now. My backlogged items for blogging seem to be building instead of getting more done. That's because I have lately been crafting MORE gifts - mostly crocheted blankets for the newest Baby born in our fam and a couple of weddings (one this past weekend with another in December). Growing familes and friends mean more to do together and do for. But what would life be without all of them ?? 
       Thanks so much for letting me share with you - especially about someone so dear to me as my Dad has always been to me. I am very blessed in so many ways, and one of them is having so many folks to share so many different creative talents and the results of those talents.

Be Safe and Happy Blogging ! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NOVEMBER TAG; The 12 Tags of 2015... For Veteran's Day! PART 1 of 2

(This is in 2 parts. So if you want to see just the NOVEMBER TAG- you are welcome to skip this Part 1, but please remember; this part is the IMPORTANT part. At ME.)

Veterans' Day in November is an especially bittersweet holiday for our family since quite a few family or friends of ours have served in the US Armed Forces. Most of the 9 Uncles of both the ChiefHubby and I served in the Army with at least 1 of them plus several Cousins having served (past and presently) in the Air Force. One of David's Uncles was killed in practice maneuvers in Arizona during the Vietnam War. Our Older Son's Fiance', Ashley, is Navy, along with her older brother and her Dad is Marines. Not to mention a young man we 'adopted' years ago when he was our next-door neighbor, who ended up losing a leg thanks to a roadside bomb in Iraq and now plays on the US Sled Hockey team. And not to forget the friends I still know who were Classmates who have given literally a lifetime in a carreer in the Air Force in both wartime and peacetime.Yes, Veterans' Day always did mean more to me than making sure our sons got to the Band Room on time for the trip to march in the local Veterans' Day Parade. When that American Flag goes by, held as proudly and as high as their strength allows, carried by men who were more used to carrying a gun during their time as active soldiers. I learned early on to stand up and give my attention to our nation's Red, White, and Blue. (And if I didn't, my Dad would tap me on the backside of the head and give me 'THE LOOK' that would pop any full sized adult to their feet in a hurry!) I've tried hard to instill that same heart-felt love of America in our sons, but it ultimately is up to them. I can't say I blame them too much if they are torn between hate and love for the USA because of politics. I hafta agree with them, there. The greed, the power-hungry grabbers, the 'we are law-makers therefore we are owed much more than the Average Joe' kind of political crap that goes on is enough to strangle the best American. BUT... we're not talking about 'politics' when it comes to what our American Flag stands for. We're talking about what made so many men go willingly during World War II and sign up for going overseas to fight a force that was pure EVIL. We're talking about men who were really BOYS; most were barely out of High School. And some, like my Dad....weren't even that old yet. We're talking about The Greatest Generation. And those before them who did what was "good", "right", and got it done "just because it needed being done".
         My Dad was 36 years old and already had 6 kids when I was born in 1965, but he didn't become my Dad until I was 7. That was the summer he met and married my Mother, who already had 4 kids of her own. I remember my real Father, Lyle, but few memories were of having the kind of fun most kids had with their fathers. Oh, I'm sure he loved me in his way, but I don't remember running up to him the way this "new" Dad always says I ran up to him asking "Hey, are you gonna be my new DAD?!" No, this Dad was going to change all that. He was quiet in his own way, but it's always the 'quiet ones' who make the most noise...and laughter, too! As I got older, I realized more and more the sacrifices he made for me. Not to put him on a pedestal, because he wasn't perfect at all. But what gets the tears going is the thought that he TRIED. When my Mother left him in 1981, he saw to it that I was allowed to choose which one I wanted to stay with. Even as a "stepfather"- who was really not going to be related at all anymore- made it possible for me to legally choose to stay with him if I wanted. It wasn't about the choice he was making available to me that mattered; it was the fact that he was allowing ME to choose! I chose to stay with my Dad. And for the fact that he was MY DAD. 
He gave me to the hand of my ChiefHubby on our Wedding Day, and he was the first one of my family to come to the hospital when our boys were born. And along the way while I was raising kids as a stay-at-home Mom, I tried to get out to see him every week and take the boys along with me to see Grandpa. Once, one of the boys had a project to write a story about a Grandparent or Uncle/Aunt about a memory of THEIR Granparent or Uncle/Aunt. So, here Grandpa Rush is telling our son all about how he used to ride in his Grandfather's lap up and down Broadway (which is now a one-way street since I can remember it changed from a 2way when I was little) a TROLLEY!! Yes, here is my Dad telling my kids all about how his Grandpa was a Logansport TrolleyMan, and my older sister and I are standing there with our mouths hanging open. Almost at the same time, we exclaimed "Why didn't you ever tell US that ?!" to which he replied cooly "You never ASKED, and he's asking." Hmph. Typical DAD. He never really talked much about his past nor his parents. But he once told me he quit school in the 6th Grade because he "didn't wanna go through it the THIRD time, and that's why YOU will graduate,". But, Dad was the smartest man I knew- even among all my Teachers, and still remains one of the smartest men I've ever known in my life.

                  My maternal Grandparents thought the world of their one-time SonInLaw, and Grandma Raymer was always gushing over how much 'he  LOVES his kids!' and often said how proud they were of him to me. After the divorce, they were visiting our house or my Dad would take me to their house for us to visit on weekends. It still went on even if I went skating those nights with all my friends. Knowing my Dad could still depend on my Grandparents made me feel as if I still had a family intact. Shown here is our school's yearly Grandparents' Day and Brian & Brett with  their Great Grandpa Raymer and their Grandpa Rush.

             One of the stories he DID tell me was how he came to sign up for World War II at only 17 yrs old. He said he'd originally taken off on his own when he was 16, and headed for Indianapolis Army Recruiting Center. He lied about his age, saying he was 18, and actually made it all the way through the processing that day, before his own Dad showed up at the door and yanked him all the way back to Logansport "by my collar". His father, Fred, made a deal with his eldest child, Donald Fredrick, that if he would wait until his 17th Birthday in January of 1945, Fred would take him to Indy himself and give his signature to allow Dad to go into the Army. Fred was hoping the war would be over by then, or that his son would find something (or someone- which he later did) to keep him in Logansport. But January came, the War was still going, and Fred kept his promise. And as the story goes; Private Donald F. Rush was trained and then sent to Kentucky as a Cook in the US Army. He spent time there, before getting sent to New Mexico for the duration of his 3 yr signup. One further story that came later, he told how he and his best Buddy had both put in for Guadal Cannal as their chosen place to go serve the remainer of their time. He didn't get it, but was sent to New Mexico instead. His Buddy DID get it, and later wrote to him saying; "Don, be GLAD you didn't get what you thought you wanted. It's no fun picking up nothing but body parts all day long." So instead of being unhappy he was 'just a Cook', he decided he'd better be HAPPY with that! And it served him well later in his life with 10 kids he ended up helping to raise between his 2 wives. He was promoted twice, and ended up being Honorably Discharged on November 14th, 1949 as Sgt. Donald Fredrick Rush.
    Last week, as I was watching another History Channel program on WWII newsreels (our family in this house has always had a love of history and war movies and novels), it noted that only 10% of the World War II Veterans are still living today. That hit me hard to think my Dad is one of those included in that 10%. Though he never left Stateside to serve as a Replacement overseas, he did his duty just the same, and he volunteered like the millions before him. Too many of those in that Greatest Generation never came back home alive. And ALL were changed in some way. I've said "THANK YOU!" to so many Veterans and especially those of the Vietnam War era whom I thought were not given the respect they should have been upon their return. They were called, and went- just the same as millions before them. I stopped to wonder if I ever thanked my own Dad for the time he put in then? 
So here it is....and "Thanks, Dad," just doesn't seem to be enough for all he has done for me in my lifetime. I know I, and my siblings, and all the rest of the -literally hundreds of- kids he loved, had
fun with, and helped just as if they were his own, all along the way, are truly blessed for GOD keeping him with us so long.

Thanks, Dad. We love you so very much!

                                             THANKS, readers, for allowing me to share!
                                   Part 2, with my NOVEMBER TAG, is on it's way soon !