The first part of Fall brings the changing colors of the leaves in beautiful warm shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. It's the second part of Fall that I don't care too much for; when the leaves all fall to the ground. Some people leave them, and others -like myself- like to get them all picked up and either burn them, or use them as covering for plants and plots in the yard. I like to just get them up from around the house, and off the roof and out of the gutters first, and get them pushed off into the woods. It's so annoying to clean them all up in the Spring if you can't get the bulk of it done in the Fall. Each year, I call this weekly work "The Battle of the Leaves" with the entire season dubbed as "War of the Leaves". Yes; it's that much of a job. And this year, with that new mower; I was going to win the 2019 War, after coming very close to losing last year. Alas, plans were literally blown away by an earlier-than-usual snowfall and very low temperatures. Unless it melts and dries out (and, I don't end up with another RA flareup)… Spring is going to be a tough mudder.
While I knew there'd be some kind of 'Fall' theme going on, my first thought was less enthusiastic than most carefree yards without trees. Then I got a look at the Lead Designers' makes on TFJB Challenge Blog Page - especially Cec Wintonyk's- and it got my ArtMuse off and running. I've been thinking most days about the new Baby Larimore's arrival (he had a due date of November 18th), and of the picture in my mind of having all our Grandbabies jumping into piles of leaves here at Memaw and Papaw's. I named each as a nut...fruits from the Family Nut Tree. Since peanuts grow on the ground (and our Sawthrun Family grows 'em), the first Grandchild became "Peanut" from the first moment we saw his ultrasound photo. Then came the budding little girl- who became Princess Pistachio. So this new one is Pecan- the more 'gourmet' type since his parents love to cook that way- with that touch of Southern in him. My problem was: after I got the things together I wanted to use in this project... I couldn't figure out an easy way to make it look the way I wanted. And then, Paula Cheny made a tag that inspired the way I'd do mine:
By the time Wednesday, the 13th got here, my project was finished except for one thing: the backside leaves with the information of the new Baby's birth, his photo into the frame I made, and his name! And then came THE CALL!! Wednesday afternoon, Younger Nuclear Engineer Son, Brett, came home from work with Taco Bell take-out, to find English Teacher Wife, Holli, needing to go to the hospital- her water broke! He called after they got settled in to wait for the birth. Now, how is that for timing?! I was so excited, I couldn't sleeep at all. By the time I had finally laid down to try- it was nearing 6:30. From the outset of the evening, I made my guesses: the 14th at 6:00am, 8 lbs, 14 lbs, 21 1/2 inches long. I was sooooo close!!! *snaps fingers* (The details are on the backside of the project.)
This Baby- whose name I knew from the Baby Shower in August- (accidentally!) and yes, I was able to keep the secret until they posted late Thursday evening on their FB pages. So now, it's out, and I can honestly say that James Elliot "Jamie" Larimore already has a shock of bright blonde hair on his head, and looks just like both parents with his big, adorable cheeks! I'm in love...for the 3rd time in as many years!!! It all hit me on Friday, when I stared at his photos and noticed the smile on his face (the photo of Mommy and Jamie). All the heartache of 3 years trying to have this baby: the appointments, the medicines, the shots, the ultrasounds and their ultimate disappointing results. Watching a lot of their classmates have babies, and seeing their own siblings having babies. And especially seeing adoption and how expensive ($25K up front) is in the USA. Most of the things they had to deal with, like the shots, were not covered by insurance. And seeing so many children being tossed aside by parents who have the kids but don't want to be PARENTS. Watching my kids deal with all this only made me pray that much harder for them. In January, I finally got bold with The LORD and told Him right out- "give my younger kids a BABY!". I've never done that in my life, but desperate times can bring a person to their knees. The younger kids called on March 16th to surprise us, and on the 18th, they finally got that "CONGRATULATIONS; you're PREGNANT!" letter from the Mayo Clinic. I looked on Friday evening (last night- at 1 day old) to notice Baby Jamie SMILING in his Mommy's arms. And I broke down bawling in THANKS to GOD. I have now seen all three of my Grandbabies smile- at such early stages after birth, and I know that all is well.
Which brings me to the PROJECT:
I'd already had most things picked out with an idea in mind,
but I needed a way to make the tree 'do' what I wanted...show it had shed it's leaves.
I got my original thought from this stamp set of Tim's from a DeStash sale.
Then I remembered that I'd gotten the TH Branch Tree Die from the same DeStash sale.
(Thanks again, gals!!)
I'd already cut the size of the tag backgrounds I needed to have enough space for the tree.
Here's about the place where I was finally getting a plan of how to have
the leaves already fallen... onto a shelf.
It was Paula Cheny's Thankful Tag that made a bell go off in my head- how to set a shelf below
the 'tree in a picture'. Her tag shows a leaf in the corner below the frame.
Why that hit me like that...*shrug*...who knows?
Originally, I thought of a flat stamped tree that would sprinkle its fallen leaves onto the shelf.
But my 3d OCD was still going on after that "Is It Real" Challenge,
and I chose to make the tree more popped out.
I just LOVE LOVE LOVE those TH Distress Crayons!!
I'm not a fan of having so many colors, but I found the sets that have shades I do like,
and sticking with those are fine by me. I'll probably end up needing another neutrals set, though,
at the rate I am using mine! So far, I am VERY PLEASED with how long these last!
I found some TH Substrate Sheets at Tuesday Morning,
and thought they'd look cute with a TH Wallpaper background.
I found that if I kept a bit of good old WD40 on a paper towel,
using it on the needle now and then kept the needle from sticking and
the thread going smoother.
(Substrate Sheets have an adhesive backing.)
See the POPDOT in the middle of the photo- on the tweezers?
I really WISH someone would come up with different colors
of PopDots so we can HIDE those buggers better!
Here, I chose to color the sides of all of mine with TH Crayons.
Not as hard as it sounds.
Sanding the leaves and choosing some shades...
...then distressing them with TH Distress Products: Crayons, Inks, and Markers with Spritzer.
Living in Indiana all my life, I can tell you that leaves are very beautiful while
they are still on the trees.
But, once they come down...they tend to all be some shade of BROWN.
Greenish BROWN, Orangeish BROWN, Yellowish BROWN,
and just plain old BROWN.
So these are pretty realistic.
While these are Birch leaves...the tree is NOT a Birch.
But, for the sake of the larger leaves (further on)
that would hold information; I am pretending the tree is BIRCH.
Birch trees are very common up in Minnesota- where the younger kids live.
Here's a Sizzix Photo Frame die that has come in handy.
I keep my eye open on a bargain for the Tim Holtz Easel Die that fits it.
Here's where I was able to add the kids' story to the photo back...
...and making the colors vibrant- as if they just fell and still have some color in them.
Deciding on where to put them took me longer than MAKING them!! Lol!
And here's the final product...
Some perspectives and closeups...
I just KNEW Jamie would have BLONDE hair- his parents were both closer to albino blonde!
Several layers of that Paper Studio (white core) Cardstock- shown in first photo
at start of project photos- that went through the TH 3D Impresslit Lumber-
were mixed a bit instead of layering them straight on lines.
It makes the tree itself look more 3D.
The coloring and texture sure looks like what we have on our ground now.
A lotta yummy eye candy going on here with TH distressing & Letterpress!
Sewing CAN be fun!
So can LAYERING!!!
I have NO idea why I chose to use the TH Honeycomb Die to make my shelf with...
but I am darned glad I did- it looks FABULOUS here!
What FUN I had this past week- with both this entry
AND the FALL BIRTH DAY of a NEW GRANDBABY!
And since this entry is early to the page at TFJB Challenge Blog;
you still have a couple of days yet till the deadline to enter!
Don't be afraid of 'not being very crafty' since everyone has to start somewhere-
why not try along with us?!
In any case, be sure to check out the winners from the previous Challenge,
"It Looks Real"
where reality met with paper. The results were awesome!
THANKS! goes out to our Sponsor, The Funkie Junkie Boutique,
for the drawings they have at the end of each Challenge!!
Time has a way of slowing down just when we want it to go faster-
and I want to see JAMES ELLIOT and hold that baby in my arms!
Trip is just a couple weeks away from now, but still way too far ahead for THIS Memaw!
It was such a tender moment to be able to FaceTime with the younger set at the hospital,
while the other 2 Grandbabies were here with us. Cole and Chloe
got their first look at Cousin Jamie the very day he was born.
May you enjoy the Blessings of this
Please be safe in your travels,