Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Generosity from abroad

This morning we returned from the gym to find some boxes at our door. Two we dutifully tucked under the tree for tomorrow's perusal. The other box was heavily beaten up, busted at the corners. This one was from South Korea - Auntie Gina! Apparently, Gina sent the box about a week ago, and it just reached us today. She included candies, stickers, trinkets, doll clothes, kids' books, even a flag that together represent a little bit of South Korea. She even sent some Minnie Mouse ears she got from the Korean Disneyland, Lotte World Korean equivalent of Wal-Mart, bwahahaha! (ETA: Auntie Gina just corrected me - and I thought she got it at Lotte World, {grin})


Amanda says thank you, Auntie Gina

A huge thank you, Gina! We love and miss you!

Amanda has recently begun reading and writing Korean, thanks to Sunday mornings in our church Korean school. I've really seen this as a huge stepping stone in shaping her self-concept. "I'm Korean and Chinese and American," she says, careful to punctuate each culture she embodies with pursed lips and furrowed brow.

It's also helped tremendously that Amanda and I have been exploring world geography. She's definitely got an eye for maps and facts. She is quite fortunate, too, to have uncles and aunts that send her postcards from various corners of the world and supplement her schoolwork with real experiences and personal photos. We just completed a segment on South America, and she now desires to explore the Andes Mountains. {Let those dreams soar, Amanda! Someday my dear, someday.}

Oh, I can't tell you how much I love being a mom.

I've been busy with getting the business up and running - what a fun adventure it's been. I have some new card designs up on the photography blog if you're interested in a peek.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stop #3 - ScrapMatters' Black Friday Freebie Blog Train

Welcome to my part of the world, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! My family and I are actually out of town, visiting the grandparents to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Our hotel room view is just spectacular.

No amount of words truly embody the gratitude I feel as I contemplate all I've been blessed with. The material possessions are the least of the blessings... all the wonderful people that surround me in love, all the great experiences that I have under my belt... all I have in my life is exactly what I need. Thank you, Lord, for your blessings.

When we return home from this trip, my daughters and I will begin the exciting preparation of our home for Christmas. We love unraveling our {fake and pre-lit} tree and adorning it and the rest of the home. The girls have their own {lavender} tree they hang their handmade ornaments on. The advent calendar will be ready to unveil its goodies, and all throughout the house, you will be enveloped in Christmas music. I am unabashedly thankful for the true story of Christmas and will recount it nightly with my girls at bedtime. A frenzy of baking will scent the air of all things delectable!

I love this time of year.

To thank you for stopping by, I want to gift you this CD holder, made of our fabulous ScrapMatters collaboration kit, Comfort and Joy:

(Click image to download) edited: no longer available - thanks!

I actually got to design a paper and an element for the jam-packed Comfort and Joy kit - needless to say, I'm thrilled to be in such good company. You know how great the designers are at ScrapMatters.

And here is a layout with paper I designed - the precious little girl pictured is the daughter of one of my good friends, Brenda:

My blog is stop #3 - you should have visited the following stops already:

ScrapMatters Team Blog
Andrea's blog
Britt's blog

Your next stop is at Australia, home to my friend, Sharon. Tell her I sent ya!

Have a great time picking up all the goodies on this blog train - they're quite spectacular, really!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I love this hobby!

One of my favorite digi designers, Erica Zane, and I have teamed up to create this calendar that conveniently fits into a CD jewel case:

(click on image to go to the ScrapMatters store)

Here's a closer look:




Click on the image to see the calendar in its entirety:

One of my layouts was featured - it's funny how I can work on some layouts for days and they can be ho hum, but this one I whipped together in less than half an hour.

edited: layout was pulled for publication in the December edition of the Artisan Notebook - !!!

This hobby is so much fun and a good outlet for me in the midst of the crescendo of holiday busy-ness!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freebie Friday - and some news

I'm at the plate for this week's It's in the Cards Challenge, and this is what you'll be making with me:

And that means I get to supply you with a fun freebie:

ETA: no longer available - thanks!

I hope you'll play along!

And in other news, one of my projects is now completed and up for sale at ScrapMatters. Drop in your own photos and it'll be a stocking stuffer for sure:

(click on image to go to the ScrapMatters store)

Both sets of grandparents are getting this.

It's a treat to work with Britt-ish Designs! Thanks, Britt. :)

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A cool gift idea -

I am the hybrid editor and contributor for the ScrapMatters Newsletter, and last month, I got a chance to share a project I think would make a great Christmas gift (or for any occasion, for that matter).

Andilynn Designs' Flora Brushes are so lovely - they screamed for something more than to be used on a normal digital layout. So, I decided to embellish this old turtleneck my daughter had in her closet:


You can actually embellish textile, really. On bags, blankets, you name it.

Here are some supplies you'll need:

Open an 8.5"x11" document in Photoshop and place an image of choice. I offset the brush to the right:

You'll be printing the above image on the paper side of freezer paper. The easiest way to do this is to cut a piece of freezer paper 8.5"x11" and adhere it to a regular piece of paper. Use double-sided tape on the WAXY side.

Once the design is printed on the freezer paper, you will cut it out using your Xacto knife. My design was very intricate, so it took me forever:



Don't forget to keep the negative space pieces. Because my pieces were tiny, I collected them in this cup and numbered each piece:

Now iron the freezer paper onto your garment. Do you see where I noted the placement of the negative pieces?


Place a piece of freezer paper under the place you will be painting, then lightly load your brush and stipple the area (If you add textile medium to your acrylic paint, I hear the design will last through many more wash cycles without fading):

Peel off the freezer paper design once the paint is dry:

And voila, you're done:


Sunday, November 2, 2008

At the pumpkin patch

A few LOs from our time at the pumpkin patch with our visitors, Auntie Betty and Uncle Josh:

credits: Cinnamon Designs' Happiness kit

credits: The Gypsy Chick's Gorgeous kit.

We miss you guys!

Photo session at the Train Depot

These sweet girls and their parents spent a balmy afternoon with me hanging out for a photo session. Here is one of my favorite images:


It looks like a storybook painting to me. Please check out my JOYrevisited Photo Artistry blog to peek at their photos.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Knee deep in photos and projects

What a good problem to have. :) Recently I had several photo shoots, and soon I'll have a ton of photos to share once I complete my edits. I did finish one family's - here's one of the photos:


Be sure to visit my JOYrevisited Photo Artistry blog to see more photos.

I'll be sure to share more later this week. Have a good day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Amanda's love notes

Left on her Daddy's computer desk:

She drew a picture of me on the left, Abigail in the middle, and herself, sleeping in their bed.

Translation of note, entitled "Asleep":

Dear daddy,

I like to cook
Watch T.V.
with you,
and make apple
with you.

Love, Amanda

I love to see her mind trying to grasp the grammatical information we're going over in her studies. She likes to spray commas all over her sentences, needed or not - it's so sweet. She regularly melts the hearts of her parents on a daily basis with such notes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

House creative... and a freebie

Our home is constantly in artistic flux. Ron has someone's ailing computer and its minute parts splayed out on his tech bench, Amanda is making yet another "I really love you" note to her parents or friends, Abigail is scribbling on herself or the table, and well, there's me wrestling with pixels and paper.

I love it all.

I will have to do a "day in the life" to capture all of this some time. Until then, I just have some photos of some recent projects of mine:

another party hat-

Amanda's First Year badge album-


and a card made with a photo from this photo shoot-

Here's the card template freebie, if you're interested:
(Click image to download) ETA: no longer available - thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Presenting my new business

With much joy (and a good dose of fear and trembling in the middle), I present to you:

(click image to be taken to the new business blog)

It is newly hatched and not quite yet polished, but I hope you will share my journey on this new road.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Amanda the writer/composer

A few months ago, we had bought a computer that didn't work out for our needs. So the plan was that we'd drive home after church and return the computer. We'd driven separate cars, so each parent took a child. Well, I thought Ron said we were to meet at the store, so I happily booked it down to the store and waited in the parking lot. Then I got a worried phone call from Amanda asking, "Mommy, where in the world are you?!?" {Hi, my name is Heather, and I have listening issues.} I went back home then.

That evening, Amanda breathlessly dropped this paper into my lap:


As you can see, it was borne out of our computer returning event. We laughed a lot when she sat at the piano and played her piece. I especially like "dooet".

A few days ago, she wrote this note to her friend Brooke, who's been out of town for a few months:


Translation - Dear Brooke, gymnastics isn't as fun without you. P.S. Emma is in class.

They're all buddies from her gymnastics class. Waving to Julie here - hi! Tell the kids we miss them! Hurry back soon.


Today I'm in an especially reflective mood... for those of you that didn't know, Amanda is being homeschooled this year. I'm thinking about some of the incredible highs we've had when things click, and some not-so-sharable lows when they don't. But overall, homeschooling has helped me fully own up to the fact that regardless of who is teaching my daughters, Ron and I will always be the first and last teachers in their lives. Pretty heavy stuff. The joy of learning is so sacred - is it possible we can do our girls justice?

Having been an educator of other people's children for over a decade, it's easy to get stuck in a mode, spouting off maxims and formulating education plans with relative ease. But when it's my own kids, WHOA. The stage fright is extreme. Here is where homeschooling has realigned my thinking again. When it comes down to it, children are created by God to learn, so long as their basic needs are met. And boy, has Amanda been teaching me that. The key is whether I am providing a nurturing environment that lets Amanda's God given gifts shine, OR if I'm forcing my will, my ideals, myself onto her. That isn't to say I shouldn't equip her with morals and standards... it's just easy to get in the way of something so natural.

Always hopeful that God fills in the gaps. :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stop #2 of the Freebie Blog Train

Happy World Card Making Day! You've reached the beautiful Pacific Northwest at this stop. To thank you for coming, here is my gift to you:

(click image for download)

I rummaged my craft closet for a few supplies: jewels, white butterfly rub-ons, glue dots, and my trusty Xacto knife to cut out the pretty blossoms. The digital papers and blossoms are courtesy of Scrap'it Designs, her About a Girl kit.

Here are some close ups:
(back of the card)

You should have reached my blog from the ScrapMatters blog. Your next stop is at my friend Kari's blog. Tell her I sent ya!

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