Sunday, February 28, 2016

Be Brave and Embrace The Change Layout

Today I'm sharing another in the series of layouts in memory of my Oliver.  This layout is the first one in which he wears his feeding tube.  The tube would be an important part of our lives for his final six months.  When I found out that the insertion of the tube was the only way we could have hope of any sort of long-term survival, I reluctantly agreed to it's placement.  I was horrified that my beautiful perfect boy would have an ugly red rubber tube sticking out his neck and a bulky collar to hold it in place for the rest of his life.  I had been orally syringe feeding him prior to the tube insertion and following the diagnosis of the Pancreatitis and small cell intestinal lymphoma.  I quickly learned that until the chemo takes control of the lymphoma, that it would be very difficult for him to absorb enough calories to gain back some of the weight he'd lost.  The tube was a life saving device for us, and when I saw how bravely he accepted it, it didn't bother me so much.  He was the same beautiful boy he'd always been and the tube quickly became just another part of our journey, and it remained in place until his passing.  I loved my brave boy, and I miss him so much every day.  He was so much a part of my life, and his passing was so devastating, that I'm not the same person I was before.  It's as if a big chunk of me is just missing.  Thanks so much for looking!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My Gecko Galz February Samples and your Free Digital Stamp!

Welcome Crafty Friends!  Today is my monthly feature day on the Gecko Galz Blog, and I also have a free digital stamp to share with you just for stopping by today.  You will find it at the bottom of this post.  Remember to stop by the Gecko Galz blog every day to pick up a free digital stamp at each Creative Team member's blog on their feature days.  You may also enter our monthly challenges with the chance to win a $25 shopping spree in the Gecko Galz Etsy store.  Details are on the Gecko Galz Blog.  The challenge theme for February is Hearts and Kisses.  Thanks for looking!

I love the bold graphics and colors in this vintage Valentine card.  Please see products below.
Wonderland digital paper pack (Red Queen)
Hocus Pocus digital paper pack (Cast a Spell on Me)
Also from the Hocus Pocus paper pack I used Alchemy to die cut the hearts and flourish
Love is in the Air digital collage set (main image)
When I saw the new retro Valentine images and background papers, I immediately thought to create a pocket letter.  They are very dimensional with some of them popped up on more than one level depending on the embellishments.  These were so easy to put together once I cut out all the images from the collage sheets.  Other than the images themselves, I added rick rack and buttons, sequins etc.   I had some stickers in my stash and I stuck them onto plain white cardstock then cut them out leaving small white borders.  I did this so that I could pop the stickers up for dimension and the white cardstock border added some contrast.   Because each piece is removable from the pocket, you could easily use these as Valentine card toppers using pre-folded note cards and just adding the topper.  Product links below.
Oh Cupid mini paper pack
Valentine Wishes digital collage set
My last sample was totally unplanned.  and more or less created from stuff that was already out and around my desk.  I had previously printed the image and I happened to set it down on top of an unfinished wooden plaque I'd picked up at Michaels ions ago.  The die cut frame behind the image I had cut for something else and hadn't used it.  The rest came easily when I opened up my "purple" embellishing drawer and my "pink" embellishing drawer.  I use two Gecko Galz background papers and then added some stenciling on top of that.  I was thrilled to find the purple feathers by Petaloo in my purple drawer that matched the image so well.

Vintage Visions digital mini paper pack (music notes VP3)
Wonderland digital paper pack (Alice)
Artful Ladies digital collage sheets
Chalk Board Sentiments collage sheet set

The pink butterflies are by Renea Bouquets
Below is your free digital stamp for February!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Layout - I Miss Your Face

I created this layout yesterday, another in memory of my brave boy Oliver.  He was very tired that day and a trip to the vet the following day revealed a likely kidney infection.  Following a course of antibiotics he was feeling better than ever a couple of weeks later.   I created the layout largely from my scrap pile with mismatched papers from various other projects.  The background and the fussy cut hexagons and hearts are from the DCWV Vintage Collector Stack.  I made the blue flower from scalloped punches and a sheet of paper that I had misted and sprayed ions ago and never used.  I made the layout title in my word processor.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 8, 2016

I Missed You Three Times Today

Today I'm sharing a layout of my beloved Oliver.  I took hundreds of photos of him during the course of his illness, but it's taken me awhile to be able to scrap him without slobbering tears all over the pages.  

My layout tells a story going counter clockwise from the bottom right of the page.  The bird is singing to the music notes, and my Oliver's journey is ending with nothing left to do but to leave for Heaven.  The balloon and dragonfly lead the way towards the blue bird and finally reaching Heaven at the upper left of the page.  Continuing down the othe side to the bottom tells the story of missing him.

I used paper from DCWV Primrose Stack and Collage Art stack and lots of stash items, mainly from the Scraps of Darkness kits I had been hoarding.  The chipboard is from one of the kits and is by Blue Fern Studios.  I sponged gesso onto the chipboard then used a little gold shimmerz paint followed by a script stamp with clear embossing ink and perfect pearls.   The dragonfly is by Renea Bouquets.  I'm entering this layout into the current sketch challenge at Blue Fern Studios blog.  I am also entering my layout into the February mood board challenge on the Scraps of Darkness and Scraps of Elegance Facebook community page.  I drew my inspiration from the railroad tracks indicating Oliver's journey and the rainbow colors representing the Rainbow Bridge.   Please see the Blue Fern sketch and the Scraps of Darkness mood board below.Thanks for looking!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Happiness Was Time With You

When I took this photo of Oliver on Oct. 27th of last year,  I had no idea that in ten days he'd be gone.  For more than 2 1/2 years I'd treated him aggressively for chronic kidney disease, chronic pancreatitis, and in his last 6 months he was on chemotherapy for small cell lymphoma.  Unbeknownst to me and his internist, a more sinister cancer lurked in his right kidney.   Somehow, when the radiologist and oncologist saw something suspicious in his last ultrasound, that info never got to me.  Finally, following several days of hospitalization, I learned of it, and a more aggressive chemo was attempted on his last day in the hospital.  It was too late, and on November 6th of 2015, I had to let him go.

I wanted to scrap this silly picture, but I had hard time with the colors in the blanket.  I decided that a colorful collage would be the best way to scrap it.  Although I love to collage, it's not my usual style in a layout.  It was also the first time I'd been able to look at his photo without having a total breakdown.  His death was the most gut wrenching loss I've ever experienced.

Anyway, I found this fun sketch on My Creative Sketches, so I thought I'd enter it.  I used paper from the DCWV Collage Art Stack.  The dictionary sentiments and some of the papers tucked here and there are from Ephemera's Vintage Garden, A Happy Place collection.  It's one of my favorite collections and I've used bits of it on several projects.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Customer Challenge for February at Gecko Galz!

Welcome Crafty Friends!  It's time for a new Gecko Galz Customer Challenge!  Please join us for the current challenge "Hearts and Kisses", accepting entries from February 1st - February 29th.  There is only one rule.  You need to use at least ONE product from Gecko Galz.  It can be one of the free products, stamps, collage images, or digital background papers.  The winner will receive a $25 Gecko Galz shopping spree!

  Don't forget to stop by the Gecko Galz blog to see what the rest of the team created this month.  We hope to inspire you to enter the challenge and win!  Don't forget that throughout the month, the Gecko Galz blog features samples created by the team.  The projects this year are "anything goes",  featuring both our new products and our existing products, so there are a lot of ideas to inspire you.

Below is a sample project that I have created for this month's "Hearts and Kisses" challenge.

This project began with a 5" tin that I picked up from the dollar store a couple of years ago.   I had given it a couple of coats of Gesso at that time, but then set it aside when life got in the way.  I kept seeing it when I'd un-bury a pile of scrappy stuff, and it was just begging to be altered.

I lined the inside with Gecko Galz Vintage Visions paper.  I know I use this paper all the time LOL!  It's just so awesome, very vintage and aged, and complete with the look of old yellowed tape in random areas.  I even made the rosette flower from leftover scraps when I was done.  That entire collection is so versatile,  I love it.! The main image is very vivid and colorful and is also by Gecko Galz.  The rest of the piece was just stuff from my stash, much of which I've had forever and don't know where it came from, but I will list of some of it below.  Thanks for looking!

Gecko Galz Vintage Visions digital mini paper pack
Gecko Galz Love So Divine collage sheet

Parchment flowers at top by Craft Supplies 4 U
Red velvet millinery flowers at bottom by Mary Not Martha on Etsy
Chipboard heart by Gina's Designs