Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Snowing!

And it's beautiful! I really do love snow....with electricity and heat in my house. So here's the rest of our survival story. By Tuesday we were pretty frustrated with the whole situation. We were blessed to have friends to go be with for showers and warm soup and to have a minute to blog.

About a month ago my honey booked a Branson getaway for just the two of us. It is something we do about every other December just to see each other, do some Christmas shopping and sleep in (something that hasn't happened often since adopting the two little early risers that we did).

So by Tuesday we made the decision to call Branson and book an extra day and an extra room and just make it a family time. We also decided to leave Joel with a friend that had heat so he could come home and let the dog in and out. We packed by flashlight in the freezing house on Wednesday morning. We said our goodbyes to Joel and we headed out. We had one stop to make for medicine before leaving town. We were in the drive through at Wal-Greens when Joel called to tell us that our power was back on.

A little side note here...The getaway Jim planned involved listening to a time-share spiel aka the "three hour tour". So as soon as Joel called to tell us we had electricity we called to cancel the extra bookings that we had made. They knew our plight and I have to say they still charged us an extra $75! Ask me if they sold us anything. It's all a big racket anyway.

I used to think it would be fun to live in the Victorian times or even in a log cabin on the prairie but I must say now that I'm very thankful for all the modern conveniences of today. As I write this I am drinking hot coffee warmed in the microwave and I have homemade cinnamon rolls rising on the counter. I made the dough in my bread machine. So...the snow is absolutely beautiful and so is life.

Being without heat or electricity for the 3 1/2 days sure made me appreciate even more all that I have been blessed with and it gave me a bit of an understanding of what some people go through in the world on a daily basis. Thank you to all of you for praying for us and sending help our direction. I know thast there are still people in this area that are without power.
Here are some photos that we shot.
This was actually taken during the day. It was so dark and dreary.

Keeping warm!

Camping out in the living room.

Angie keeps busy by painting by candlelight.

Joel charged up his electronic game at a coffee house so he kept Ryan warm while entertaining him.

My poor butterfly bush that I hadn't gotten trimmed.

Not the "hot seat" for sure!

Joel took this cool photo from underneath the patio table.

Hopefully I'll get some stamping time this next week so I can start posting artwork again! To all my area friends...I pray that your power is back on and that you're warm and toasty again!

You are Close to My Heart,


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm Update

We are currently at a friend's house for showers and warmth. I have been so touched by your postings especially my downline that is sending her honey to help out! I am so tired of it all that I can't help but cry...thank you. There are trees down everywhere here and they say on the radio that wires are snapping as fast as they get them back up. I am so thankful for the linemen that are on the job because it is extremely yucky out there. It's raining again which only means more ice. It was fun for a little bit, but now I just want heat :0) Keep praying for us. We can feel it.

When we get through this I'll post some pictures. It's incredible.

Warm hugs,


Monday, December 10, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby

I am currently sitting in our car in the McDonald's parking lot checking e-mail. An ice storm has hit our area and we've been without power for over 24 hours. My honey and I have our computers so he's paying bills and checking football scores and I'm checking e-mail and blogging. How sad are we? We have ventured out to buy food that doesn't need to be cooked necessarily and to buy more candles. We actually had some "scrumptious" fishsticks cooked on our grill in aluminum foil for lunch. It was good to have hot food.

I remembered today that it wasn't too long ago that we were without air conditioning. Hmmm which would I rather? Believe it or not, this. You can always add more layers, but there comes a point when you can't take any more off or you'll scare the kids.

Stamping is kind of out of the question a. because I'm snuggled under a blanket most of the time and b. I can't really see in my stamp supplies to bring stuff to the table. We also have limited daylight with this no power thing. Hey, I'm getting good sleep though because once it's dark there's really not much else to do than to go to bed.

Well, honey is done paying bills so I'll sign off here. Time to go get supplies. They say this could last all week. Crazy, huh?

You are Close to My Heart,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Peek-a Boo Card Tutorial

Well, it's time for another tutorial. It's one I've been meaning to do and just needed to find some time to get it done. This tutorial is to make the inside of this snowman card in my previous post and also the heart card in this this post. For those that attended my workshop this past week I actually simplified this card.

Blogger and I don't always get along so once again you'll need to click on the pictures individually to see the typed out directions. I'd love to see your renditions of it so send me a picture when you get one done. With your permission I'll post it!

Life is never dull around our house. This week has left me very little stamping time. I have a sick kiddo and an extra kiddo (makes 6 all together). Oh and I also have a new CTMH catalog to thumb through. Between those three things, I'm not getting much done!

You are Close to My Heart,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blog Candy Winner!

Good Morning! I have to tell you that I enjoyed reading every post regarding your most treasured Christmas presents. I showed them to my husband and a couple of you got him choked up as well. If you haven't read them go to the post below and click on "comments".

I really love Christmas and I really love finding just the right gift for someone but I have to tell you that I've actually received a gift far more precious than my bracelet that I mentioned. God sent His son Jesus to the world to save me from myself! I walk in freedom and sister, that is sooo precious. He gave that gift to everyone that will receive it and I know many of my readers have received that gift. If you want to know more about that free gift and how to get it please contact me!

So now to announce the winner of the blog candy...........JO you are the winner. I put all of your names into and your name came out on the top of the list. Please contact me and let me know where to send your new stamp set!

You are Close to My Heart,

p.s. Guess what arrived on my doorstep yesterday? I'll give you a hint...there's 200 of them and they're not all for me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm Surfacing!

Please, please pardon the lack of posting. I don't know what it was. I just didn't feel creative and I was even having a hard time getting into my office to stamp. What's up with that? I think it was the massive cleaning spree I went on that kind of took it out of me. My office is still in need of some weeding and organization, but I need to get on the ball for workshops this coming Saturday (in only a couple of days ). I am going to make it though, thanks to Stacy who is helping me create this month. If you're coming to card workshops then you're in for a treat. I have some other cards that Stacy has made that I'll share with you later :0)

For now, here's a sneak peek at a couple of projects. The snowmen are from a set called "Snow Friends" which is the stamp of the month. I pretty much took the design from the example in the book for the front. I used a blending pen and the stamp pads (vineyard berry and ocean) to color the snowmen. I also used grey wool with a blending pen to create the shadow look. You probably can't see it in the photo, but there's fun flock there for snow. The inside is kind of fun with a peek-a-boo window. One of these days I'll blog it for a tutorial.

The second one is made from elements from that day that Stacy and I stamped with not much success (see this post). I had actually made the base of the card that day too, but forgot to photograph it. While talking on the phone (to Stacy of course) I absent-mindedly laid her tag on my card. It was perfect! I added the words on the tag tonight with an inside message ("Joy to the World Jesus is the reason for the season") and it was done just like that. UGH! I hate it when cards take so long! This one took almost three weeks! It's made with the Everlasting paper pack and the words come from two different sets..."No Greater Love" and Christmas Scripts". The flourish is from a set called "Legendary Moments" which has nothing to do with Christmas. I love being able to use my stamps for lots of things.
So now for BLOG CANDY since you all have been so faithful and have hit this blog over 5000 times! I have a brand new "Magical Season" valued at $22.95 that I will give away to a random poster. I'll try and get a picture of it tomorrow. If you want to see some of the images from the set check out this post. To win this set you need to post the most treasured Christmas present you ever received. I received one last year from my husband. He had a bracelet made with the birthstones of our kids...all five of them. The reason it was so special was because we were in the middle of adopting the two youngest ones. It got me. I cried. My family is so precious to me!
You are Close to My Heart,
p.s. I will draw for a winner on Monday December 3rd. I want to get it out as quick as possible so the recipient can use it for Christmas! Consultants, you are welcome to post your most treasured gift ever received but I ask that someone who is not a consultant wins this :0) Thank you for understanding.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Creativity Has Returned--At Least for Stacy!

I knew Stacy would go home the other day and keep working until she got some cards cranked out and boy are they cute! She's been a stamping queen! I on the other hand, have still done diddly. I just need to get going again. Stacy was sure an inspiration. Take a look! Wow!

I have been crazy, busy and will post a blog candy soon. You all are so awesome to come and visit. Stay tuned.

You are Close to My Heart,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

One of Those Days

Well, in case you're one of those that thinks I'm always soooo creative, here's proof that I'm not. Stacy and I stamped for close to three hours and we didn't have diddly squat to show for it. My table is 9 1/2 feet long so you can see what a mess we made. Seriously, we each worked on one card apiece. Neither card was working. At one point we even traded to see if the other could get it. No luck there. They ended up in the trash. Here's ALL that we have to show for our afternoon. It was just one of those days, but you know what? It was fun anyway. It was fun being with my sistah and fun laughing at each other. It was definitely worth the time. Tomorrow is another day and I'll bet the creative juices will be flowing again. We will not be discouraged!

You are Close to My Heart,

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Got Mail!

I received the prettiest card in the mail yesterday from Christi Milliken. She was sending me a thank you card for the cutting tool she won for my give away last time. This card is just beautiful especially in person! Thank you Christi! I'm sure that I will be using it as a pattern for more cards in the future.

I've added a new link on the left side if you're interested in the Wickenkamp grand adventures. We sure have a lot of fun around here. Stop on by and I'm sure that in no time you'll feel like you know us so well! If you tried the link earlier I fixed it so now it works.

It's almost blog candy time again. When the hit counter at the bottom says 5,000 I will post another chance for you to win some goodies! I so much appreciate all those that take the time to stop by. Don't forget to tell Christi what an awesome card this is!

You are Close to My Heart,

p.s. Sorry for the repeated notifications (if you subscribe). I was trying to get the Wickenkamp Grand Adventures link to work!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Quick Card Tonight

I snuck into my office this evening to try this card that I had seen on the Palmtrees and Pogosticks blog. I would have never thought to put snowflakes in red and green, but it's cute in a whimsical sort of way. These snowflakes are from "New-fallen Snow" and the message is from "Christmas Scripts". I added a bit of cranberry ribbon and it was done. There weren't many layers and there was absolutely no sponging which was a bit of a change for me.

Remember how I said I had snuck into my office? It wasn't long before Angie was at my left elbow wanting to make a card too. When I took my picture, she wanted hers photographed as well. She's definitely a stamp lady wannabe. It's fun that we have stamping and making cards as one of our common interests. Oh, by the way, I WAS going to try glittering this card, but in light of my stamping helper I decided to forgo it. Wonder why?

You are Close to My Heart,

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Got to Play Today!

My office/closet has been a pit since I "picked up" from my last workshop. I wasn't ready to put everything away since I had some unused packets and they were all Christmas cards. What better way to get a little start on the season! Stacy came over and we made up the rest of the cards. We're pretty much covered in glitter from a snowflake card (I didn't show it because it's similar to the ornament a few posts back.)

The card on the left I'm pretty sure I saw someplace and I did a little bit to make it my own. If it's yours, let me know so I can give proper credit. The card on the right says, "is your friendship" on the inside. Both are made using the October Stamp of the Month. The small plaid paper is from the Everlasting paper pack and I pulled the big plaid from Route 66. The colors are Cranberry and Ponderosa Pine. I hope you're getting a good start on the holiday!

You are Close to My Heart,


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Now, That's a LOT of Stamps

Ok, no artwork tonight. Circle around. It's story time. I am a lunch clerk at our high school. I am in charge of taking money and making the deposits. It's a job I really love. I was sitting there doing my thing and a co-worker to my boss ichats me to tell me that I need to call Kim the finance lady. That would have anyone wondering for sure, so I finish up with first lunch and give her a quick call on my cell. She's very distraught. She had received a notice from the IRS to garnish my wages because of back taxes owed from 2004. But, here's the kicker. The Social Security number is mine, but the name is definitely not. Ok, would you be worried? Yeah, me too. All she would say is that the IRS wants a LOT of money.

I found out just how much money they wanted when I went over after work. The IRS wants (are you ready for this? Sitting down?) $76,216.72. No, that's not a typo. I had started getting a good headache at work just thinking about how my social security number got out there and how in the world this would get fixed. That number gave me a migraine.

She gave me all the paperwork and so for the rest of the afternoon Jim and I chased around trying to get things straightened out. First stop was to the Social Security office where you sit for quite some time. Plus (and I'm not trying to put people down) there were some rather "interesting" characters there. I am afraid I'm scarred for life. I happen to glance in one direction as a large man was getting out of his chair. The word "plumber" comes to mind. AUGH!

Ok, there they check and the only record of jobs on that social number...MY social number...are of jobs that I've held which is a good sign. From there we split up. I had another errand to run so Jim ran to the IRS office where he's not met with the most friendliness. He had my driver's license and SS card in hand so the lady just assumed that he was just trying to get out of paying that astronomical figure. When she figured it out she lightened up a lot. It turns out that someone else is going to have a VERY bad day soon. Whoever had typed my number in for this person had transposed two numbers. We have a letter to turn in to central office and all is well that ends well. Can you EVEN imagine owing that much money? Now that's a LOT of stamps!

You are Close to My Heart,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pretty Simple Card

Quick blog tonight...I'm just working on Christmas cards tonight. This set is called "No Greater Love" and I love how the Mary and Baby Jesus stamps. It's almost like from a newspaper or something. It's hard to describe, but it's neat. The paper is from the "Everlasting" paper pack. I'm working on cards for the upcoming card workshop and thought I'd take a minute to let you see one thing we'll be doing. That's it for tonight...

You are Close To My Heart,


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yes, I Know I Have Glitter on My Face!

You probably can't tell from the photos, but this snowflake ornament is covered in glitter (and so am I!). I took four stamps (in large to small size) from the New Fallen Snow set and stamped each twice. I cut each of them out really close to the lines. Divide them into two piles and work with one pile at a time. Each pile will have one of each size. Starting with the largest snowflake, I glittered the outside. Then I added a foam square to the back of the next size snowflake (but I didn't take off the protective paper on the double side yet) and added glue around the outside edge. Now, using the foam square as a "handle" I was able to dip it into the glitter and then add it to the biggest snowflake. I continued on until I had half an ornament. Then on the backside of the half I attached ribbon to make a hanger for it. Then starting on the other side I repeated the steps above until it was a 3-D ornament. I'm not sure we'll be making these for workshop because of the time factor and all the glitter--I'd be finding glitter until Valentines Day if 10 people made these! I just thought you might want to try one for yourself at home so I went ahead and posted it.

You are Close to My Heart,

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Only Kind of Mask I Like

I was getting ready to put away all the stuff from the first scrapbook workshop tonight and I decided to make a tutorial on masking. It has nothing to do with Halloween because like I've stated before...I'm not much of a Halloween girl :0) When you need one object to appear in front of another you would do masking. I can never get the pictures to cooperate with me as far as appearing beside the correct text so I've typed right on each picture. You'll need to click on each one to get a better view. Now hopefully they'll all upload :0)

You Are Close To My Heart,

UPDATE: If you have questions please don't hesitate to ask in the post section and I will answer them there as well. If you want you can also e-mail me at .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Better Photos? Trying Again

Ok, I wasn't happy with the way the colors turned out on my fall layout last night so I took it outside today and tried to get some in natural light. Well, as it turned out I'm lucky to get these two pictures because the wind kept blowing them off the table! URGH! With natural light comes other natural elements. Oh well, trying again anyway. Don't forget you can click on then to enlarge them.

You are Close to My Heart,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall layout

For those of you that know me, you'll know that Halloween is my least favorite time of year so coming up with a Halloween themed layout for workshop was a stretch for me. Don't worry...if you're signed up and don't like Halloween either we can make some very easy changes.

The primary set used for this layout is called "Autumn's Gifts" with a couple other stamps thrown in. The paper set is called "Expedition". We're going to be doing a really fun technique using water color pencils. I feel like such an artist when I use them (but I'm really not!). Another technique we'll be doing is masking (see pumpkins in front of the fence). That would make an easy tutorial which I'll think about putting on my spare time LOL! Really, I'll work on that. Anyone know how I made the checked paper?

For this layout I used a pattern out of the new Imagine book called "In the Groove". It's a pattern that allows you to make a quick and simple layout or you can take it up a notch which is what I've tried to do here. Thanks to Stacy and her suggestions for what I had done earlier today I now like this layout!

Ok, if you're coming to this workshop it would be a great idea to bring a chocolate pad and while you're at it, you can throw in an Autumn Terracotta pad as well. I got all through with this one and realized that it mostly uses chocolate which will make for a wait to get stamp pads if we only have mine. If mine is all we have then we'll play nice and share :0)

It's late and tomorrow is another long day so goodnight and...

You are Close to My Heart,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

And We Have a Winner!

Is it really already Saturday? I did select a winner on Wednesday but I'm just getting around to posting tonight. How sad is that? Thank you to all of you and your wonderful suggestions. My honey had the best one though I have to say... "How about I get the air fixed?" He had the fix-it guy come over and we're all cooled down again which is very helpful for my mental well being :0) So now we'll be good to go on the next workshop night (thank you Ann for offering...I would have taken you up on it!)

So, our winner is Amber Korn! picked #3 and so Amber, I can either mail your cards to you, you can stop by and pick them up or I can give them to you at the unit meeting in a couple of weeks. What works for you? E-mail me to let me know.

Speaking of unit meetings, I showed you lots of fun stuff from the last one but I didn't have a picture of Gwen's Halloween project until now as she so graciously e-mailed a picture to me. My camera was dying (note to self: don't forget the batteries!). So here is her cute little card using some plastic spiders. It's Bootiful! Thanks Gwen!

Now that it's cooler in the house I'm getting into the creating mood again so be on the lookout. Besides that I'd better get in gear because there's a scrapbook workshop coming up on Thursday!

You are Close To My Heart,

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Going to a Beauty Pagent!

Ok, well I won't be participating as a contestant. I'm heading to a college in Miami, OK where the contestants are having a pampering night and I'm providing one of the stations for them to visit. (Is that right Tammy H.?)

Stacy braved the heat at my house and came over this weekend to do the prep work for it. We made up enough packets to see 35 girls in a period of 2 1/2 hours so we'll see how we do! We might be doing stamping aerobics to get them all done.

For those of you keeping up and commenting on my heat situation I want to thank you for your encouragement. It rained today so the house is very bearable! Thank you Jesus! Don't forget you can still post your reason for me to be thankful for the heat until the 10th and then I'll be drawing for someone to receive 10 stamped cards :)

UPDATE: This was a girls night out for the homecoming queen candidates at NEO college in Miami, OK. There were 32 candidates each representing a different club at the school. So that means that between Stacy and I we helped them make 32 layouts! The girls were great and each layout was unique and beautiful. Good luck to all you girls this next weekend!

You are Close to My Heart,

Friday, October 5, 2007

I really want to stamp BUT...

Our air conditioner needs recharging. It has a slow leak in it so my honey doesn't want to charge it up until next spring. So, in the meantime our house is very hot and humid probably close to 80 degrees. I want so badly to stamp, but it's too hot to even move! My stamp closet doesn't even have air that moves at all. The bad thing is that it makes me very crabby. We need a break in the weather soon or well, I don't know what. I'm even thinking that if the weather doesn't get cooler by the time workshops come around that I might have to cancel them or move them to someplace else. Anyone want to volunteer their house for an extra two punches on your card? What in the world did we do before air conditioning? I'm trying to think on the positive side so here's my Top 10 reasons to do without air conditioning.

  1. Angie's curly hair is really cute!
  2. I don't have to shave my legs as often as I do when I'm cold. Maybe I'm the only one, but cold air just negates a good shave for me.
  3. I think I have a new weight loss program. We'll see when the weather cools off. I'm too hot to eat and I think I'm sweating it off.
  4. I'm drinking more water than I have in a very long time.
  5. It does cool down to liveable after about 9:00.
  6. "Sorry honey, it's just too hot to run the oven. It's PBJ's again :0)"
  7. I'm really considering that cute little younger looking haircut.
  8. It's actually cooler outside so the kids actually will go out and play.
  9. The house doesn't get as messed up because we're all just laying by the fans to get cool.
  10. Going to Wal-Mart doesn't sound all that bad. At least they have air conditioning!
You are Close to My Heart,
p.s. Please post more reasons for me to look on the bright side. I will pick a random number with and send the winner a stack of 10 stamped cards! Let's see, today is Friday so let's go through next Wednesday the 10th. Post away!