PICTURE OF ME

PICTURE OF ME
Marilyn McLeod - There's always time to share!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Writer's block, bathing birds and thunderstorms.

Hi friends....... you may wonder what I've been up to this summer? I haven't posted for 5 weeks! That's not like me.  Where have I been you say. Did I fall off the face of the earth?

I suppose it's not unusual for some bloggers to only post once a month or so in the summer, but I was posting every week or sometimes 2 or 3 times a week! What happened you may ask?
 
I'm stuck..... totally stuck.  I think I must have "writer's block"!  So here goes... a totally jumbled blog in no particular order.... just trying to get my "mojo" back.



I've been trying to do a blog post for the last month but the words just won't come! I've taken pictures to post, produced some "crafty" projects, and watched tons of YouTube videos. I can't seem to get inspired. My mojo took a hike.  I can't seem to be witty and funny. I don't FEEL witty and funny.  I can't even think of another WORD for witty... or funny! The words are stuck somewhere "out there". In one paragraph, other bloggers can be more witty and funny and entertaining that I can even THINK about being right now! What I think and write seems so dull and boring and mundane (to me anyway). 

 I have my blog open right now, and am writing my post and gotten this far, so hope I can get it finished.  I feel prickly and stickery like the "bunch grass" above. At a loss for words. Can't find a word in my brain to express what I want to say. I was trying to find another word for "bunch" so I could say 'I feel like a _______(word?) of bunch grass', but do you think I could come up with another word from my brain for "bunch"???? No!

So I guess I'll say I feel like a wad of bunch grass. That's the only word I can think of!

Swaying in the wind.... that's me..... with nowhere to go.
Well........I may have sort of an excuse for not writing or being inspired to write. We have been house hunting for FIVE months! Yes five!...... I think we've looked at over 100 houses here in La Pine! We've even looked in other towns within a 50 miles radius.  I think my brain has become frazzled.

We still haven't found the "just right" place for us, and we took a risk and didn't sign another 1 year lease where we rent now, and we have been given notice to move out by October 5th!  So we are packing up our house WITH NOWHERE TO GO at this time. Life can be so interesting and full of challenges, can't it????

My brain is stuffed FULL of house hunting facts, figures, equations, pictures, data, emails, websites (Trulia, Realtor.com, Remax), documents, scans, statements, information, and everything else that goes along with looking at houses and obtaining a home loan.  So I guess I've earned a little "brain fade" these last few weeks. 

And I think I've earned the fact that I feel a little worn out, overwhelmed and crazy!


Yes, we've even had some rain!
And the birds love taking baths in the rain:





So I decided, to maybe get me started posting again, (even though we STILL haven't found a house to buy that fits us or that we're emotionally attached to), I would just post a few pictures I've taken in the last few months. 

We had a beautiful rainbow last May.


I wanted to post photos of our gorgeous flowers (like every other blogger seems to be doing these days), but guess what? we don't have any flowers this year! Who has time to plant flowers when they're house hunting every day? We only have a few little perennials that came up all by themselves that survived our last winter's 32 degrees below zero temperatures! 

The chives that run wild in my front flower bed did make an appearance though, and what a lovely appearance:


Chives did put on quite a show for a couple of months.
And actually, ONE of my flowers also did make an appearance.... my Crocosmia bulbs that I brought from our house in Washougal.... and they survived our 32 below temperatures. They will definitely go with me to "wherever" we move to. Oops! posted this picture above! Oh well, it's so pretty I'll post it again.



And we've had some outrageous thunder storms and sunsets:



What's that saying? Pink sky at night, sailor's delight? Well.... no sailors around this high desert country, but what a delight our pink skys are! Everything turns pink.

Pink fences.

Pink pasture grasses.
 And then there's the gold skies.... oh so many of them during July and August:



And amidst all the thunder storms, rain storms, birds bathing and house hunting, my creative and writing mojo has blown away with the wind. I miss staying in touch with my followers and I miss posting some of my fun projects.... I haven't even DONE any fun projects, except for a few things that I saw on YouTube!  

I WAS on a roll for a few nights making "no cut and no glue" little boxes. What fun they are and I "was" going to do a blog tutorial on them, but that idea flitted right out of my brain. Maybe when my mojo comes back, I'll do a tutorial on these cute little boxes. In the meantime, here's the YouTube video by Papercraft Button on how to make these. I changed them up somewhat by making the lid shorter on the sides so the box would show more.


And one of these days, maybe once we get moved to "somewhere", then I'll post a complete tutorial on this darling easel card with a drawer, in a box, with a tiny mini album inside (that I made before my mojo took off and deserted me)!  


So gals, I really HAVE been busy... overwhelmed really...... and writing this post has maybe helped me a little bit to coax some of my mojo to come back... Please mojo... come back!  I need you! 

I do see that I'm as wordy as usual, so that's a good sign, isn't it?


 I'll try to post again in a few days (or weeks?). 

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

THE ART OF GIVING.... AND HONORING ERIC.

This post is in honor of my son, Eric James Fossum, who passed away 5 years ago today.  I miss you sweet Eric.
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I saw a post on Facebook the other day, by the family of a sweet little boy named Danny, who has an inoperable brain tumor. His 6th birthday was July 25th.  All he wanted for his birthday were cards in the mail!

 
Danny loves getting cards. Here's the link to the story: Danny Nickerson story.  He has already received over 30,000 cards! The post asked that people send cards for his birthday. I was a little late, but got one done and sent today.


I used a darling sheet of paper full of all sorts of little critters and that had this chalk-like saying that I cut out. The row of animals on the bottom came from a different 6x6 pad! I thought a little boy would love all the animals.

I decided to make the card interactive, so on the inside I put a pocket along the bottom and put some tags in that he could write on (with a little help I'm sure), and a teeny tiny little pocket album with little tags inside.


This little album was made from a 6x6 piece of paper and is 2" tall and 1-1/2 inches wide! Very tiny but room inside for some little tags he can write on or put teeny photos (with help I'm sure!)
I had made the album a few weeks ago, which is a tiny version of the one sheet wonder pocket album that I love so much. Normally it uses a piece of 12x12 paper. This one was made with a piece of 6x6 paper and then I added the little paper edge for the spine. I thought it matched perfectly to put inside this card, and I stamped Danny's name on the front. What child doesn't like to see their name in print?


Here is one of the tags that I put inside. My husband said when he was a little boy, around 8 years old, someone wrote this out for him and asked him to read it. Can you figure out what it says? I thought it matched the little owls I stamped everywhere! He said he has never forgotten that saying, so I thought a 6 year old boy would love it too.

Below are the tags that I put inside the card. I had some journaling tags that I had printed with my computer. I put sticky tape on the back so he can write on them and then stick them somewhere (his bed? his mirror? the wall?). I thought he would get a kick out of drawing or writing on little cards!




This shows how tiny the album is. The card measures 5x7.


I think you can still send Danny cards. The address was posted on Facebook, so I'm putting the envelope here with his address on it.

This was so much fun to make and it felt good to give a little something to a sweet little boy who asked for so little, and ended up getting so much.  And I thought of Eric the whole time I was making this cute little boy card, because he was such a thoughtful and giving young man.





Maybe you can make or send a card to Danny too.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hexagons and Sunflowers.

In honor of the warm summer days we're having now in Central Oregon, I thought I'd try a fun little hexagon "quilted look" card. For some reason, I love hexagons!  And how does this card remind me of sunflowers you ask? Read further.......  

I used a bright golden yellow for the card base (A2 size). I then cut a piece of scrap cardstock approximately 5" x 3-3/4" to lay my hexagons on. I cut out 19 little 1 inch hexagon shapes using my Cricut cutting machine. There ARE hexagon punches out there so that would also be an easy way to do this.  In fact, a hexagon punch is definitely on my wish list!

I picked summery colors for my hexagons in about 6 different designs. I used double sided paper so only chose 3 colors and used both sides of the paper. Remind  you of sunflowers yet??

Here's a close-up of the cute little hexies all snuggled side by side. 

All I did was start adhering the hexagons on my piece of cardstock, starting at the center top, and working outward. I used fast drying glue but you could also use adhesive tape. Just let them hang over the edge on the sides and bottom, and when it's mostly covered except for little side areas, trim all the sides and use the little leftover pieces to fill in the side areas.  Very fast and easy! 

Another fun thing I did was to emboss the finished piece once all the hexagons were adhered and it had dried. I have one Cuttlebug embossing folder and no embossing machine!  A Cuttlebug machine is on my "wish list". So I got the bright idea to use my pasta machine (which I originally bought for flattening out polymer clay, and have never used for that!) to run the embossing folder through.  I had seen this done on You Tube somewhere.

 
I set my pasta machine so the folder would just barely run through, put my pieced paper in, and cranked it through (it was hard to crank but it worked with some elbow grease). And voila! a beautifully embossed piece!

My little sentiment is one I thought up and printed out from my computer onto some nice white cardstock. I trimmed it and matted it on black. I also used some black glitter paper for a strip down the right side and the little scroll that I cut out using my Cricut cutting machine. The hexagon covered piece of cardstock is matted with black cardstock measuring 5-1/4" x 4". I love the black with the sunny yellows and oranges..... so like summer and reminds me of sunflowers! 

From BeginningAGarden.com

On the inside, I glued a piece of white cardstock with a little leftover strip of hexagons that I had cut off to make the 5x3-3/4  piece fit better onto the black cardstock.


Give this technique a try. It's so fun! Since I love quilting with fabric, anything I can do to make my card looked quilted I really enjoy.  I thought of putting some little stitch marks around the hexagons but it might have been too busy looking.

I think some squares of pieced hexies would look great on a scrapbook page. Can you think of any other ways to use this technique?
 
And speaking of hexagons, I'm just about ready to post my tutorial for my awesome HEXAGON BOXES. Coming soon!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June online gathering reminder.

SORRY...... THIS BLOG POST IS NOW OUTDATED AND MY ONLINE GATHERING IS CLOSED. Marilyn

Just a quick reminder of my current June, 2014 Birthday Celebration (mine!) online gathering. Specials and FREE STUFF from my stash are listed below beginning with a $10.00 minimum order.  THIS IS A WIN WIN SITUATION!

Shop HERE on my website during June, 2014, join my online gathering (you are automatically joined if you shop) and you will win something free from my stash, as follows (can be mixed and matched if you want):

$10.00 order - free one of my custom cards of any theme you want.

$20.00 order - free two of my custom cards or a free fat quarter of fabric (tell me your color choice).

$30.00 order - free two of my custom cards AND a free fat quarter of fabric, -or---- TWO free fat quarters of fabric, -or--- the Make it From Your Heart design book Vol. 1 (value $7.95) from CTMH.  See it HERE.

$40.00 order - free four of my custom cards and a fat quarter of fabric  -or--- a little boxed set of SIX note cards made by me - see below:



$50.00 order up to $80.00 - ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE from my Etsy shop, MyPinkPaperCottage.  If the item you choose from my Etsy shop is priced below $10.00, then you can have TWO choices from my Etsy shop! 

Vintage children's fabric from my Etsy shop.
Fabric "vintage kitties with lace" large gift bag, toy bag or lingerie bag from my Etsy shop.
In addition, if you order $50 in products from my website during June, 2014, you are eligible to buy the stamp of the month set Kaboom for just $5.00, and you are also eligible to purchase one of the special collections of fun products worth up to $65 for just $30.00! (see my June 6th post on my blog HERE to see the special collections).

"Kaboom" - June, 2014 Stamp of the Month Set.

$80.00 order to $100.00 - Any one item you choose from my Etsy shop (any price) plus two additional items priced below $10.00 from my Etsy shop.  AND, a FREE stamp set entitled A Chocolate Affair (was the August 2013 Stamp of the Month valued at $17.95).
This stamp set if FREE with your $80.00 and above order!
$100.00 order and above - Any TWO items of your choice from my Etsy shop plus two more items valued at $10.00 or under, -or--- instead of the two items valued under $10.00, FOUR of my custom made cards of any theme you want.

If you place an order, then I'm OK with mixing it up for the free goodies.
One of my FREE cards.
Place your order through my website my website HERE (and at the top it says "start here") and you will automatically be joined to my June Birthday online party. This online party lasts until midnight on June 29th (my birthday!) so you can order from now until then.
AND.....now....... let the drums roll.....!!!... if my online party totals $150 or above, some lucky person who placed an order of $25 or more, will be entered in my drawing to win $25.00 in free products from the Close to My Heart Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book.  You can view it online HERE on my website. Go check out all the wonderful goodies CTMH has to offer.

I will track who orders, and will email you to see which free gift you would like (so be sure to include your email when you log in to my website).  If anyone wins $25 in free products, I will email you to ask which products you want. These products are limited to paper packs, stamp sets, ink pads and some embellishment sets, and all products now listed in the Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book are WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.


So there you have it. PHEW.... is that enough free stuff??? 

Remember, there are wonderful GIFTS to give from the Close to My Heart Idea Book, even if you personally aren't a crafter.  There are darling card kits, frames, jewelry, and My Crush books for teens (they love them!) and adults, plus the awesome Picture My Life kits and albums for those who want to put together a photo album QUICK. 

Here are some gift ideas:
Base and Bling Silver Pendants - Z1962 (add to the Base and Bling Necklace, and choose from one of the "style sheets" photos to insert into the pendant).


Base and Bling Dreamer charms - Z1955 - to add to your Base and Bling Necklace.

Base and Bling Rhinestone charms - Z1978 - to add to your Base and Bling Necklace.
 
Ivy Lane Cardmaking kit - G1079.


Hip Pics Album - Z1956 - great gift for someone to add their own photos and bling.

My Crush Bluebird 8x10 album - Z1856. Pages of Kraft cardstock and decorated pages, just ready for someone to add their own photos and journaling.

My Crush Modville album - Z1855 - another color scheme 8x10 album with Kraft cardstock pages and decorative pages ready for photos, clips and journalling.


Come on.... join the online party! Go HERE to shop now! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.



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