Friday, December 30, 2016

This Is My True Face Of Cancer................................

Commercials show us what we should think cancer looks like.  We see facilities, treatment centers, sick children, people with no hair, people talking about drug therapies.  I have had cancer twice now and those faces aren’t my face.  I’m a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mother in law, a coworker, a neighbor.  You see me in the grocery store, the bank, the department store, the pet store.  You drive the streets and highways near and around me.  You may have sat next to me in an airplane and started a conversation with me or totally ignored me.  You may have stopped for me while I was in a crosswalk, or I for you.  I am a person.  I have all my hair.  When you see me, I look fine on the outside.  It is my insides that have rebelled against me and are trying to cut my life short.  I was told I was cured the first time when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, and I believed I was cured.  I beat breast cancer and I did not look back.  I was proud, I was strong, I moved forward with my life.  

Then one day everything changed in a blink of an eye, although if you are waiting on test results during the holidays like I was, it was forever and then not forever.  I went from walking three miles 2-3 times per week this summer, to not even being able to walk up my own stairs at home without being out of breath.  I called 911 because something was not right in my body, however I was not sure what.  I was dizzy, out of breath, nauseous, coughing, and gagging.  I felt silly calling 911 because I really had a rough couple of weeks beforehand and I really thought I was having some type of mini melt down.  I had broken my foot, put our beloved pooch Neil to sleep, and rushed Oliver the cat, to the vets.  However my body was speaking to me and the voices only got louder.  

I thought they would send me to a psycologist and then send me home because I was being just foolish.  In a blink of an eye everything changed though.  They ended up finding nodules in my lungs and my left lung was full of fluid (1.2 liters to be exact).  All of the sudden now I was being admitted to the hospital and not because I was crazy, something was very terribly wrong.  The ER lung doctor came in while I was waiting for my room and apologetically informed me I had lung cancer.  What?!?  Wait!  I had no biopsies what in the world was she talking about?!?  Even questioning her, she was insistent that I had lung cancer.  Oh boy, now I am in a total tail spin.  In a blink of an eye, it all happened so fast.

I’m in my room now which will be my residence for the following three days.  The next morning the doctor on duty paid me a visit.  I asked her at once about my lung cancer.  She told me they didn’t know if I had cancer or not.  I told her the ER doctor was insistent that I did have lung cancer.  As she squirmed in the chair in front of my bed, she insisted they were unsure of what was going on with me and that I needed the fluid drained from my lung and biopsied to determine what was going on.  Whew!  I didn’t have lung cancer after all!  I just had an idiot doctor that scared the crap out of me for no good reason at all.  

Next in comes one of the oncologists from my former oncologist’s practice.  He informed me that he let my oncologist know I was in the hospital and he wanted to do a breast exam on me.  What?!?  This should have been my first clue that all the sane doctors upstairs suspected my breast cancer had returned and the downstairs doctors thought I was crazy with lung cancer.  However in this instant, I felt like a breast exam was fine because I was fine and I had no lumps or bumps, those days were well behind me and everything checked out just fine.  I never gave it a second thought.  He did reassure me that should it turn out that I had cancer, they had me covered and had a treatment plan all ready for me if need be.  That was very reassuring, however more and more I was thinking I was going to be okay.  Then the lung doctor came in to see me.  He could hear the fluid in my lungs and he told me I would feel so much better once they got it out.  That sounded great to me.  I was ready.  However all of this started on a Friday and unless they had a lung emergency over the weekend, I would have to wait until Monday to have this procedure.  I am not one to wish ill (especially that someone else can’t breathe) so I could move things along, so I just sat in my hospital room waiting and thinking I probably didn’t have cancer after all.  I will pray just the same, that I don’t.  

I waited nine days for those results.  I was tired and anxious, however I was ready to get on with it all.  In the end it turns out I do have breast cancer again.  It has metastasized to my lungs.  And after one of those fun PET/CT scans, it was revealed I also have breast cancer on my bones too.  Yes, in a blink of an eye things do change.  I thought… I have had breast cancer before, and I beat it!  I can do it again!  I will do it again!  Then I go in for my meeting with the oncologist to discuss my treatment.  And in a blink of an eye I went from rah, rah go team!  To hearing my doctor say, my cancer is not curable.  Huh?!?  How can that be?  I guess instead of telling you that you have terminal cancer, they now tell you that you are not curable.  There is a lot of research being done each and every day for all types of cancer, so there is hope that one day I can be cured.  I just need to get through treatments and hope they can stabilize my cancer and also stay alive long enough to be able to benefit from a cure.  

I am going fight……………….. after all I’m a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mother in law, a coworker, a neighbor and these people are all depending on me to fight like hell.  However most of all, I am depending on me to fight and fight hard.  I will get my affairs in order, but cancer don’t mistake that for giving up.  I am a fighter and I am a survivor and cancer can’t take that away from me.  Holy cow, in a blink of an eye everything changed and now I am fighting for my life.  I won the first battle with cancer, however apparently cancer has decided to wage a full blown out war on me.  Bring it, because I am not going down without a fight!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Thanksgiving Welcome Table

I always look forward to Fall and the holiday season because it is a prime crafting time for me.  I love making cards to send out to family and friends.  I also love to come up with other crafty things as they pop into my head.  So although my scrapbooking kind of goes by the way side, it's all good because I am still crafting!  The biggest challenge I find for holiday crafting is getting it done because it really is a busy time of the year.  What I do is start early and what is early?  I am already making Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards in July!  Those are now pretty much done so I am working on my decor projects.  

Every Thanksgiving I set up a card table as the kids table.  What I love to do is set it up as a decor piece until our actual meal so that my guests get a little "eye candy" while they are coming in and out of the kitchen area.  Everyone also knows this is where I put some type of kids craft project as well.  Everyone is excited to see what the kids are going to do because it is usually something enjoyable and frankly I have some adults that like to get in on the fun too so I usually make extra for my "big kids".  I like to do a "dry run" of what it will look like so that if I need to make any adjustments or add/subtract something from my design I will know before the big day and I can easily get it done now instead of later.   Here is what the table looks like all set up:

I just love how my "WELCOME" sign turned out!  Deflecto's 3" X 4" Mini Frames were so perfect for this.  They also have a 1.5" X 2" Mini Frame as well if you are looking for something smaller.  They both come in a package of ten.  I cut the 3" X 4" rectangles and the word "WELCOME" on my Cricut Explore.  I grabbed some of my leaf punches and used some Fall colored paper and punched a bunch of leaves out to jazz up my lettering.  I then glued everything together and inserted my message in my Deflecto 3" X 4" Mini Frames.  Here is a close up:


I have a kid's activity every year.  We round the children up approx 30 minutes before dinner while myself and my helpers are letting the turkey rest, whipping potatoes, making gravy, baking rolls, heating veggies, etc....and getting everything on the table and pouring the wine and water.  So while this is all going on, we can get the kids seated and they are in place when we are ready to say grace and serve dinner.  An activity or project is the perfect way to get them all settled in and for the picky eaters, they can remain seated and continue their activity.  Here is a close up of this year's activity:


I made Thanksgiving Coloring Card Favors.  Although Elmo is the star of this project, the bigger star is Deflecto's Angled Sign Holder.  They come in a set of ten. Deflecto's Angled Sign Holder allows me to display my coloring card favors proudly, they become part of the decor, and they each wish everyone a "Happy Thanksgiving".  Here is a closer look:

Now everything will go in a box and put away until the day before Thanksgiving.  As you can see I already have a table cloth, center piece, candles, bowl for fruit, sign, and activity already to go.  Now on to Christmas!

If you’re interested in purchasing the items used in this project and more, then tune in on November 14th to Create and Craft for their first ever feature of Deflecto’s new Event Kit. The perfect kit for your next party, get yours before they’re gone! Click HERE find where to watch!

 The Create and Craft Event Kit:

I hope you enjoyed my project!  Please feel free to leave me a comment!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Coffee & Tea With Deflecto

If you are like me, you have very little counter space so any new appliance or gadget that gets prime real estate on your counter is an item that you use or need all of the time.  I have one of those pod coffee makers and love it, however I have no room on my counter for any of the racks that are currently on the market.  The carousel type rack takes up too much of a footprint and the ones that you can set the coffee brewer on top of, don't work for us because our cupboards are too low.  So when I first discovered Deflecto's Stackable Caddy Organizer, not only did I want to purchase them for my crafting items, I had a new idea!  I now store all those coffee pods in a Stackable Caddy Organizer!  And because you get a large, medium, and small container in each caddy I expanded my idea and put my pods in the large container, tea bags in the medium container, and sugar packets in the small container.  The best part is the entire caddy and contents go in a cabinet and don't take up any counter space.  When hubby and I are up and drinking our morning coffee or tea, we pull the caddy out, open all the lids, and set it on our stove.  When we are done, we close the lids and put it away no fuss, no muss.  I would have actually labeled all of my containers using vinyl and my cricut, however I sometimes use this same container to entertain my fellow crafting friends, and I sometimes swap out the items in the individual containers for something like chocolates and tea cookies.  Maybe I just need to buy another Stackable Caddy Organizer so that my inner crafter can cut some vinyl on my cricut and label everything to include a crafting tea and coffee day!  This weekend I had some crafty friends over that featured my coffee/tea bar and I took a few pics, so let's look at my system.  It is officially fall now so I had a bit of a Halloween theme going on: 

Below are all the containers open for easy access for my guests.  You can see the coffee pods on the left side in the large container, the tea bags in the medium container on the right side, and the smallest container holds sugar packets.  If you try and replicate this, your first question will be, how in the world were you able to make the lids stay open like that?!? 

Easy peasy and here is my secret, I add twist ties on each end to hold the lids up:

Here is what everything looks like when you remove all of the containers from the caddy:

And here are the containers removed from the caddy with the lids opened:

My gal pals can pick what they like and go over the pod coffee maker and brew coffee, hot chocolate, hot water for tea, ice tea, etc......  and come back to the table and add some sugar and cream if they like.  This works so well because usually they are all in different phases of brewing and making their beverages.  I sometimes put out all the same cups, however mostly I put out a variety of cup choices so they are busy debating over who gets which cup.  It really is a lot of fun and it assures my pod brewer does not have my gal pals waiting for their favorite beverages. And isn't this a fun idea for the upcoming holiday season?!?

Defelcto's Stackable Caddy Organizer has solved a storage issue in my home besides being one of my favorite go to crafting organizers.  I love that I can open the containers with one hand, whether I am crafting or making my favorite coffee or tea.  I love that the units can all stack and lock together and, I love that all the containers are clear so I can see what is inside.  Clear storage has become important to me because if you can see it, you will use it!  Also Defelcto sells a mounting bar, so all of those containers can hang on the wall if you like, how fun is that?!?  Also each container can be purchased separately, so if you are in love with a particular size you can buy as many as you like and let them stand alone or mount them on the wall with the mounting bar.

Remember with Defelcto and the Stackable Caddy OrganizerCreate. Store. Create More. ™ 

I hope you enjoyed hanging out with me and my gal pals for our coffee and tea crafting party!   Please leave me a comment and if you have any questions regarding this post please ask! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Deflecto Design Team 2016-2017

Last year I was on a great Design Team, Scrapmuch?, and it was a ton of fun!  At the end of my commitment, I was asked to stay.  However real life interrupted.  The holidays were coming, my daughter was going to give birth, and I was off to Minnesota for 2.5 weeks during the holidays to spend time with my daughter and her family.  I had menus to plan and holiday cards to craft in bulk.  I had gifts to buy and pack and gifts to order and ship.  I then returned home to a record breaking snow in Maryland of over 30".  Anyway, as Spring started breaking I was thought it might be time to try and get on a new design team.  While going through this search, I was also searching for a new job.  It sure is a ton of work to apply for these two things at the same time, run a home, work a full time job, and craft my heart out!  I did it though and in the end, when it rain it pours!  I got a new full time job and got accepted to a new design team within a week of each other.  Whew!  My life is in high gear again!  I am so looking forward to doing more blogging again and sharing all of my fun creations with people.  

I am now one of the newest members of the Deflecto Design Team for 2016-2017!!  Here is our promo photo:

Don't we look fabulous?!?  I think we will make a great team and I am so looking forward to working with these ladies and Deflecto.  If you would like to check us out on the Deflecto Blog, click HERE and please bookmark us to see all of our latest creations to inspire you.  You won't use it if you can't see it and I believe Deflecto is all about transparency!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Montana Traveler

I have been making this crazy fold out page thing with my Creative Memories Album because I had so many photos when my youngest grand daughter turned one.  The kids (the adult ones) did this whole photo shoot thing amid gorgeous scenery to include mountains and babbling brooks.  Needless to say, I had a ton of photos because I printed them all!  Which is actually an okay thing because to achieve my folding 12X12 pages I had to complete 10 layouts to assemble it and make it work.  (If you want to see what I am talking about and use Creative Memories albums, leave me a comment below and I will post about this really cool technique!)  So here is one of the five sets double sided layouts I did:

Don't these look fun?  My cardstock and scrapbook accent paper is by Recollections.  The cute border punching on both pages was using a Fiskars Border Punch.  (I am a Fiskateer and have the scissors to prove it, are you?!?)  My chipboard embellishments are by  3 Birds, the little butterflies are Little B, and the florals are K&Company (I think!).  My big butterfly was cut using a Cottage Cutz die and then I added some rhinestones from my stash.  The journaling spot was from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags (love them!) and I matted all my photos using Perfect Layers.  I cut my arrow from my Cricut Explore and I cut my banner embellishment from my WRMK Banner Punch Board.  And last, but surly not least, the glitter stripe on the second page was created putting down a line of 1/4" Scor Tape and removing the liner and sprinkling some gorgeous purple glitter on it and burnishing it down with my finger so I have some beautiful sparkle.  I sure so love everything that blings!  

I hope you enjoyed my layouts!  Please feel free to leave me a comment below. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Turning 1

My little grand daughter technically just turned three last week, however I just completed her first birthday scrapbook pages.  She is growing up so fast!  She had a great time at her party yesterday complete with a bouncy castle and birthday cake and blowing out candles.  I wish I did not live so far away so I could have been there.  Here are the two pages I did for a double page layout: 

The paper was American Crafts and Recollections.  I matted my photos using Perfect Layers and added ribbon from my stash.  The title is American Craft Thickers, the butterflies are cut from Cottage Cutz dies and Anna Griffin glitter paper, and the journaling spot is from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags.  All the other embellishments were put through my Minc machine.  

I hope you enjoyed my layout!  Please feel free to leave me a comment!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Deflecto Caddy Organizers

This past Saturday, I had a workshop with a lot of my crafty friends.  We had such a blast!  We had a wonderful lunch and we actually each had a glass of bubbly to say goodbye to a couple of ladies that have been coming for quite some time.  We also had giveaways!  Every time you completed a project, you got a ticket in a drawing for some fun crafty stuff.  Needless to say, we all crafted our little hearts out.  I also do a segment of "show and tell".  I show off new techniques and/or products when we meet.  Since we had to cancel last month, I actually had three products to show off and one technique to share.  One of the products I shared was my absolute favorite of the bunch and everyone loved it so much, I thought I would share.  

I have recently discovered Deflecto, and funny thing I am finding that they are not new, however maybe new to our industry.  Just this past Sunday, I opened a package of recently purchased magnetic vent covers to use to house my over sized Anna Griffin dies, and who were they made by?!?...................yep, Deflecto!  Here is the product everyone went nuts over, their Caddy Organizers.  Here are some pics:

This is two of them connected together:

Here are the medium and small one and as you can see, I still have room for more stuff:

Here is the large one with rulers, scissors, pens, etc... :

And lastly, this is both of my Caddys side by side and unhooked from each other:

So let me tell you just a bit more about these, now that you have seen the photos (and please refer back to them as needed!  You can literally hook and stack these Caddys to the ceiling because you can unhook them at any place or point to grab the Caddy you need.  The three containers actually "hook" into the base unit, and get this! can buy rails for them to mount on your walls and hang them up in your craft room.  See those square "divets" on the top of the cases?  That makes for easy stacking because you can also buy all three containers separately so if you like one particular size, Deflecto has you covered.  These would be great for all kinds of crafters from paper crafters to needle point.  Recently, I am all about clear storage and I have been making my craft room a bit more user friendly, because if you can see it you will use it!  In the last photo, do you spy those bins behind my Caddy Organizers?  Yep, another great product by Deflecto and for another post.

If you have any questions regarding this product, please post a comment!  Also, if you would like me to go into more detail, a comment!  I can sure take some more photos and share some more features about this product that was all the rage this Saturday!  

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Happy New Year 2013!

So I thought this was such a cute photo of my daughter and my grand daughter, it should be the last photo I scrap in 2013.  (I am now scrapping away in 2014, but as usual I am always very behind!)  

Aren't they just the cutest?!?  All the papers and embellishments (with a couple of noted exceptions) are from Hot Off The Press.  The glitter paper and Thickers are from American Crafts and the journaling spot is from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags (Holiday Edition).  

Please leave me a comment below!  The next time I post, I am going to tell you about some cool products I found by Deflecto.  I am really loving their items for crafters!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Simple Pleasures......................

Sometimes the simple things of life are just hanging around, looking out a window, reading a great book, or just hanging with your family.  Oliver has a lot of those moments and sometimes none of them at all, depending on his mood.  This is a layout featuring a few of his simple every day things:

He loves looking out the window to see all the birds and the wildlife doing what ever is going on that day.  And when he is just a house cat, he loves hanging around with all of us.  I often wonder what his day is like while we are at work.  I do ask, however the response is usually under interpretation. 

For this layout, the papers are Recollections and American Crafts.  The ribbon is American Crafts.  The journaling spot is from Project Life cut down a bit, inked, and corners rounded.  And those cute embellishments are something new I discovered in Michaels.  They are a thick kind of chipboard and kind of fake wood that are dimensional (as in thickness).  I ran both of those pieces (cat and butterfly) through my Xyron upside down and then added glitter.  My next plan is to add gilding flakes with my next use of these as I bought several sets with different themes.  I sure can't wait to play some more with these!

I hope you enjoyed my project!  Please leave me a comment!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Furry Friends

Oliver and Neil (the shepherd in the top left photo) have really taken to each other although Neil still growls at the cat when he has any kind of food and Oliver only just wants to sniff what Neil has.  On the flip side, Neil has no bones about nosing the cat out of the way to get at Oliver's food bowl.  I keep thinking one day, Oliver will smack him on the nose when Neil does!  Gus (the golden retriever in the bottom right photo) is just tolerant of Oliver.  If Oliver had come into our lives several years ago, Gus and he would have been the best of friends.  Old age is creeping up on my Gus and he is getting a bit persnickety in his old age.  They are the subject of this layout:

Since the photos where kind of neutral, I decided to do a black and white layout.  I love black and white layouts and cards.  They can really be so dramatic.  The white background paper is Bazzill Dotted Swiss.  The glitter dot paper is DCWV and the patterned paper is Anna Griffin.  The blue glitter mat paper is American Crafts, the bow is Anna Griffin, the journaling block is a Project Life card, and the bling is Recollections.  The title is from The Paper Studio alphas.

I hope you enjoyed my layout!  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. 


P.S. Today is my son Jonathan's 27th birthday, who is my youngest child.  I love you punky!  Happy Birthday baby!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Critter Christmas

This was a really fun layout to do and brought me to the end of 2013.  I am so happy that I am now doing scrapbook pages in 2014, but as always I am a couple of years behind.  I am trying to cut that down to just a year behind so I try and scrapbook every Saturday although sometimes I am making cards as well.

I am so sorry that this photo is not better.  I did not realize it was a bit on the blurry side and I already glued it down in my Creative Memories album.  All the "boys" had a great Christmas that year and we still had our Gus. The paper is My Minds Eye and Bazzill.  The journaling tag is from Anna Griffin's Totally Tags Christmas collection, the embellishments are Dazzles and the ribbon is from my stash.  I used a Martha Stewart borer punch on my border paper and Perfect Layers to mat my photos.  I hoped you enjoyed my layout!  Please leave me a comment!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Easter Birthday

I have a new crafty friend and she lives in my neighborhood!  This means I have someone close by to craft with.  She is a beginner card maker and I have been helping her along with her craft.  I consider myself a scrapbooker and an accidental card maker, so one day I am sure she will surpass what I have taught her and she will teach me a thing or two about making cards.  I just do it because I already have the supplies so why give Hallmark my money when I have already spent money on all these cool supplies?  Her birthday is on Easter this year and I could not decide on the type card I wanted to make for her.  Then I had an idea, make two cards!  This was a really great idea because it allowed me to do some different techniques and she will have two cards that she can study and try out something new when making her next card(s).  This is what I came up with:

The purple card is for Easter and I cut out all five of my Spellbinder Cross dies and layered them on top of one another with clear foam squares.  I also cut out some leaf dies and an Easter egg die.  I embossed the purple paper with one of my Anna Griffin folders and added some rhinestones to the corners after using a ticket punch to knock the corners out.  I used a tags and butterflies from Anna Griffin's Vibrant Vellum Embellishment kit.  It is hard to see, however the inside leaves and egg is glittered with some clear crystal Martha Stewart glitter.  For the birthday card I chose black and white to make it a bit elegant and used a pop of pink in the ribbon and pearls.   I love black and white scrapbook layouts and cards!  I did a lot of paper layering and used my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder to do some embossing. The flourish die on the front is one of Anna Griffin's and the ribbon us from my stash.  The interior carries over the swiss dot folder and the ribbon and I added a pretty butterfly die.  I hope she will love these cards and I really can't wait to give them to her.  I hope you enjoyed my cards.  Thanks for stopping by and leave me a comment if you like.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I sure can't believe not only is it 2016, but almost February!  Where does the time go?  And here I am, still scrapping in 2013.  Although to my credit, I am in November 2013 and I should be getting into 2014 very soon.  As hard as I try, I am almost always two years behind doing my layouts.  I guess as family events keep happening, we keep taking pictures and it never!  This is truly a good thing because I do love to scrapbook.  I thought I would share this layout with you of Oliver:

The cardstock is American Crafts, the patterned paper is punched using an Anna Griffin edge punch, the title is American Crafts Thickers, the tag is Anna Griffin's Totally Tags (I really wish I bought two sets of these because I use them all the time!), the cat embellishments were given to me by a friend (they were not in a package so I have no clue whose these are), and the butterfly is from Anna Griffin's Vibrant Vellum Embellishments.  

I love the bottom photo in this layout because it is of Oliver (on the right) playing with one of his five siblings.  I had such a great time playing with all the kittens that day.  Momma cat and daddy cat were very understanding and let us all play together.  Kitten antics are just the cutest!  

I hope you enjoyed my layout!  Please feel free to leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Private Cricut Classes In Maryland!!! Scrapbooking Too!!

I am the owner of two Cricut yahoo groups, Cricut Lovers is the one I started all on my own (there is a link on my blog if you would like to join!).  I have been a little surprised to find out how many people watch the demos, infomercials, etc...... buy a Cricut, and have not even taken their machine out of the box! I can't help all my group members, however I can help anyone who lives near me. If you own a Cricut (any Cricut) and would like me to teach you, I would love to give you a private class! I will teach you about the care of your machine, cutting, and features on the cartridges you own. I use to own an online scrapbook store (Cutters Creek) and have owned almost all of the machines released. I currently own four different Cricut machines (Create, Expression, Imagine, & Explore). Yes, there is a fee, however it will depend on the distance I need to travel so, email me at and we can figure out times and cost. I will even bring some cartridges you may not own so you can play! We will have a lot of fun and by the time I leave, you will be so in love with your bug, you will cut, cut, cut, cut...... I live in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, so email me if you are serious about learning about your machine.  We will have so much fun and how great would it be to make a new crafty friend!!

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