Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year End Review

I can't believe the year is almost over. I wish I could find a way to slow down time. What a year this has been. One I will never forget. The worst part was everything that happened with my mom. Thankfully she is doing better now and still has her leg. I hope that she will continue to do well in the New Year and we never have to go through something like that again.
The best part of the year was my Etsy shop finally took off. I found my niche with party decor for kids, specifically 1 year old's. I never imagined it would get this big. I am now doing something I love as a  full time job. I am just trying to keep up with the demand and not burn out. I need to be better in the New Year to not take so much on and make time for myself and family but it is hard for me to say no.
I have been so busy with work that I have not had much time for posting on my blog so today I thought I would share some of my favorite projects this year and some that I never had a chance to share until now so without further ado here they are.
January: Finally got the chance to try the Chalkboard technique.

  February: Monster birthday party.

 March. Monkey Birthday party.

  April: Custom invitations for a nautical birthday.

 May: Pink Party

June: Floral Birthday
July: Princess Birthday

 August : Turtle Party, Sunshine Party, Owl Party


October: Gingham


 November: Penguins for Boys and Girls, Winter Onederland

December: Birds and Ribbons and Bows

Which one is your favorite?

It was a lot of work but very rewarding too.  I am also very thankful for Emilia and all her help especially with the cutting and Rich for taking all the packages to the post office to try and solve the shipping problems. I still have a long list of party themes to work on next year so be sure to check back then. I hope you enjoy the last few days of 2013 and 2014 is a great year for us all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

November Papertrey Bloghop

Happy Monday, I hope your weekend was a good one. Today is also the 25th of the month which means its time for another Papertrey Bloghop. This month the challenge was to make a miniature paper house using the template on Nicole's blog and this inspiration photo
 I LOVE little houses and anything that has to do with them so when I saw this challenge I had to participate. This is what I came up with.

I started by converting the template into an SVG file then I added the windows and doors. Next I cut the base and roof  out of Sweet Blush and aqua digital cardstock and put them together. When I was done I used spray adhesive and applied angel dust glitter. The house really sparkles in real life. I hope you can  see it in the photo. I decorated the roof with baby pom pom trim, silver tinsel and homemade tissue paper fringe. I also added digital sheet music patterned paper reduced to 50%. Finally I finished it off  with tiny pearls, the banner from Door To Door which fits perfectly and a silver glitter star with a button hot glued to the middle. I placed the house on a  square piece of white cardstock then attached more tissue paper trim to look like snow and placed it on my cake stand. The bottle brush trees are from this Etsy shop. I also bought some matching wreaths which I was hoping to add to the circular window but they have not arrived yet. When they do I will add them if they fit and update the photo. ETA: The wreaths I ordered were to big so this is how I finished it off instead. The small photo is how it was before.

 I love how this came out. I hope you do too. I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes  up with now. I hope the rest of your week is a good one and you have a great Thanksgiving if you are celebrating this week. I know we have a lot to be thankful for this year, I hope you do too. As always I appreciate you taking the time to visit and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catching Up

Happy Wednesday.  I hope all is well where you are. Things have been a bit crazy here and I never got the chance to do an October update like I said was going to in my last post. I am going do that now along with sharing some new stuff for November.
My mother continued to have the IV antibiotics for most of October. She passed out one Saturday morning after my father dropped her off at the hospital for an infusion. Thankfully she was not hurt but nobody took her to the ER to be checked out. They took her up to the infusion center and did the antibiotics like nothing had happened. When she got home and told my sister and I what had happened we called her doctor and she said to take her back to the ER. I don't understand why then didn't take her there after it happened,. Anyways after doing numerous tests they said she was throwing PVC's but didn't think it was anything to be concerned about and said it was normal for some people. After being there for hours they decided to stop the IV antibiotics and send her home. She is still having some issues with feeling faint but no one seems concerned. She had her third surgery last Friday. This time it was for the skin grafts. I was hoping that she would not need them but she insisted on having them done. Thankfully the surgery went well and the leg had healed enough on it's own so there was not a lot of grafting to be done. She was in the hospital for 3 days this time though and went home Monday. She is not suppose to be putting any weight on that leg until Thursday but has already been doing more than she should, I just hope she doesn't do anything to ruin the graphs. We celebrated her 69th birthday on the 8th of October. With everything she went through this year we were very grateful that she was able to celebrate this one. This is the card I made her.
I got the inspiration for it from one that Heather Nichols made here.
I have been having major problems with USPS. It all started in August when they changed priority mail to 2-3 days on the labels. I have had several priority mail packages take over 5 days now and did not make it in time for the buyers parties. Because of that I will not use priority mail for orders that need to arrive in less than 5 days now. I now have to use express mail for buyers that need things in less time or they have to be willing to take the chance. Last week I found out that express mail delivery can only be guaranteed if the package is taken to the post office. They cannot guarantee it will arrive back to the post office in time if it is picked up even though they offer free pick for them. I think  that is totally crazy and is false advertising. It does not say that when you schedule the pickup. It is no wonder they are going out of business. Unfortunately FedEx and UPS are double the price. I do not drive or have the time to be going to the post office if I did. As a small business owner this is very frustrating and upsetting. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.
I was finally able to make the Christmas tag I wanted to for last months bloghop. I got the inspiration for it from Marybeth's blog during the Papertrey Bloghop last month. I wanted to make a version that would fit a gift card so I had Rich draw one up for me then I converted it to and SVG. This is what I came up with.
I used the Polka Dot Parade #9 tree and stamp set. The to and from are from the Tiny Tags Set.
If you would like the svg file I would be happy to share it just send me an email.
That's all for now. I hope to be back Monday with a project for this months Papertrey Blog Hop.  Until then I hope the rest of your week is a great one.

Friday, October 25, 2013

October Papertrey Bloghop

Happy Friday. Today is the 25th of the month and the Papertrey Bloghop. This is the first time I have been able to participate all year. I told myself I was not going to buy anymore holiday sets this year but when I saw the new little polka dot parade tree set by Melissa Bickford  I had to have it.  I put out a request in the forum to see if someone could order if for me and Linda from NC responded.  After that I saw the theme for the Bloghop this month which was to make at least 5 holiday gift tags I knew those stamps and dies would be perfect to use for the challenge. Unfortunately they did not get to her until Tuesday and are still on the way to me so I was not going to participate but after some brainstorming I came up with another idea using things I already had. This is what I came up with.

8 Hanukkah gift tags to represent the candles we light each night. Hanukkah starts on Thanksgiving this year. They are calling it Thanksgivukkah.These tags would be perfect to add to a small gift each night. They would also make great birthday tags too.
I started with tag sale # 7. The candles are from the Wishes Come True set. I bought that set with Hanukkah in mind. The numbers are cut from the block alphabet dies. The pattern paper come from this digital paper pack.
I hope this has given you an idea for Hanukkah. It is kind of like a Jewish Advent Calender.
I will be back soon with my monthly update and when my little tree arrives I will post what I make with it. In the meantime I look forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with. I hope you have a great day and as always thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Recap

Happy Saturday.  It's hard to believe that it is the end of September. It feels like it flew by. We woke up to a chilly morning and no heat. It is suppose to be in the 70's again tomorrow though so we are going to try and get through until monday to call for repair.
The month started out great with my 1000th sale in my Etsy shop on September 3rd. I never thought I would see that number. This just proves that you should never give up and all my hard work is finally paying off.
The middle of the month my mother had another surgery. She ended up with an infection in her ankle bone. She was on IV antibiotics everyday to try to resolve it but it was not working so they removed about 1/3 of bone. Turns out the biopsy did not show an infection though which was odd but she continues to have IV antibiotics every day with 2 more weeks to go.The rest of the leg is still continuing to heal but the bone infection has delayed the skin grafts. We are hoping she will not need them now and the leg will heal on it's own. The last thing she needs is another surgery. She will find out in October though.
The beginning of the month also brought us torrential rains with a good portion of the state flooding. Thankfully we were spared down here but it is sad to see all the loss. During that time I ended up with an ear canal infection and had to go to urgent care. Not sure if the weather had something to do with it or not but the pressure changes did not help. Before that I had another bad experience with my primary care doctor so I will be finding a new one.Why is it so hard to find a doctor that wants to figure out the problem instead of blowing it off?
This month I added an airplane party theme to my shop which includes a hat, high chair banner, cake topper and photo clips. I used the cut files from this SVG set for the airplanes reduced by 50%
 I also completed this boy version of my best selling girl shabby chic set. .
I used Betsy Veldman's tutorial for the 3D stars but added Gesso to mine to make them look more shabby,.
That's all for now. I hope your weekend is a good one.  I will be back next month with more to share.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August Recap

It is hard to believe it is already the end of August.  The summer has gone by way to fast. With everything that has happened with my mom and my Etsy shop being so busy I don't feel like I had much time to enjoy it. Hopefully next summer will be better.
The month started with our 19th wedding anniversary on the 3rd. I am still out of ideas for cards to make for Rich so I bought him this card from this Etsy seller.

My moms leg was continuing to heal so she could have the skin graft surgery done but she has an infection in her ankle now. She has to have IV antibiotics every day for a week. We also found out she is severely anemic so no surgery until those things get resolved. Part of the problem with the anemia is she is not eating well which is causing it. We can't make her eat though. Emilia has even been cooking special meals for her but she is still not eating enough. We also had a issue with the home health care. They threatened to stop caring for her. They wanted me to convince her to go back to the hospital which was not necessary so they didn't have to do it. Crazy. When my mom found out about it she was very upset and rightfully so since they were making decisions for her without her consent. Thankfully they are still coming but not another word was said about it which I find very odd. I just wish her leg would heal so she could get her life back. It does not feel like that is going to happen anytime soon though.
My sisters birthday was on the 20th. This is the card I made for her. It is a CAS from the one Betsey Veldman made here. My sister loves roses so I knew this would be the perfect card for her when I saw it. I changed the sentiment which was from Brithday Bash. It has been a long time since I made a card it felt good though.

I decided to go with a farm theme in my Etsy shop this month. It has been on my list of things to make for awhile now and I finally got a chance to do it.
This is what the invitation looks like when opened

I love how these came out especially the invitation. It even folds flat for mailing.  You can buy the svg file here. The diecut images are from My Scrap Chick and SVG Attic.  Who says girls can't be farmers too.
That's all for now. I hope you enjoy your labor day weekend and will come back next month when I will have more to share then.

Monday, July 29, 2013

July Recap A Long Road Ahead

It is hard to believe it is the end of July. The summer is going by way to fast. A lot has happened since I last wrote. The month started with the visit to a specialist about my moms leg. What happened at that appointment was a total shock to all of us. This doctor, if you even want to call him that walked in the room after being over an hour late took one look at my moms leg and then said " It's to bad that I am the one that has to tell you that you are going to lose your leg" The whole time she had been sick no one had ever told us that. Unfortunately I was not there or I would have let him have it. My sister gave him a piece of her mind though and they left. I was on the phone with my mothers primary care doctor immediately after that and she was able to get her into another doctor the next week. Thankfully after looking at the leg he recommend that she have it debridement to remove the dead tissue something my sister asked the other doctor about doing but all he wanted to do was cut it off. It is amazing to me who is allowed to be a doctor in this world. On July 16th she had surgery to debride the leg and thankfully he did not run into any bone or tissue and was able to save it. It as a day surgery so they let us take her go home later that day, I kept begging her to let me get some help for her at home that night but she refused. When my sister and I got her home she passed out on us twice so I had to scramble to find some help anyways. Thankfully I was able to find someone at the last minute so we could go home after being with her most of the day. She made it through the night but she only allowed me to have help for her until the middle of the next day. The rest of the week she was on her own with our help but was still very weak. She has not been eating much either. Unfortunately Medicare will not pay for non medical help that is all out of pocket so that limits the amount of help I can get for her too which really sucks. My sister and I are doing as much as we can to help her but she makes it hard because she still refuses any other help and tries to do to many things she should not be doing on her own. She has to go back for skin graphs in about 6 weeks. This doctor is still optimistic that the leg can be saved but we are not out of the woods yet. The skin grafts will be even very painful and will require her to say in the hospital for 5-6 days so they can manage the pain and make sure the skin graphs take. She is not able to take any strong pain meds though. She is getting by on antinflammatory and Tylenol. At this point all we can so do is  pray the leg continues to heal correctly so they can do the skin graphs. In the meantime trying to keep her from doing much, getting her to eat and taking her meds correctly is the biggest challenge at the moment though. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for her so far and has taken the time leave me comments here. If you could continue to pray for her and all of us that would be much appreciated. There is still a long road ahead all we can do is just try and take things one day at a time.
Besides everything going on with my mom I am still swamped with Etsy orders.I did make some time this month to come up with a new Nautical party theme that I have been wanting to make for awhile now. This is what I came up with.

It all started with the party hat then evolved from there. I am really happy with how it came out I hope you like it too. I  hope to add a new theme each month so be sure to check back.
We celebrated Rich's birthday on the 24th. I did not have time to make him a card and I am running out of ideas for cards to make him  with birds on them so I bought him this card from this Etsy Seller 
The Kesterel is his favorite bird so this was the perfect card for him.
One more thing I wanted to share before I go. 
Our container gardening is doing well. This grew in our pepper plant. I didn't plant any sunflowers so these must have come from the birdseed. I love sunflowers so this was a very welcome surprise.
That's all for now I will be back next month with another update hopefully sooner if time allows.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Recap - The Month of Hell

I feel like I have been living in a hellish nightmare the last few weeks. My mother got very sick the beginning of June and almost died. My families life has not been the same since. Below is the story of what happened. It is pretty long so if you don't want to read it I understand just scroll down for the crafty stuff. I am posting this here because I use my blog as a journal as well and am hoping that my story might help someone else from going through this.
It all started on June 8th when my sister took my mother to Rose Hospitals ER early that morning because she could not stop shaking and had been saying her leg hurt a few hours earlier. After doing some tests they could not find much wrong so decided to send her home with antibiotics for a possible leg infection. She could barely walk and was confused by the time she left there but they let her go anyways. My sister took her home put her to bed and left.
A few hours later my sister called to tell me what happened. I called over to my parents house to see how things were. My dad answered the phone and said he had called an ambulance because she fell trying to get out of bed. I talked to her on the phone and she said was not going to the hospital. I called my sister and we raced over. When we got there we found her on the toilet white as a ghost. We called the paramedics back again and this time we made them take her back to Rose hospital. We sat in the emergency room for over 6 hours with her. During that time my mother was in a lot of pain disoriented and kept trying to get out of the bed. I spent most of that time taking care of her myself because the nurse was not around much. They finally admitted her to the ICU about 6 but nobody was really telling us what was going on. Her leg was looking really bad at this point though. When we finally got to see her in the ICU she was still trying to get out of bed,was disoriented and in a lot of pain. They still felt she could make her own decisions though so nothing we said really mattered. Both my sister and I was exhausted by that point and mom was telling us to go home so we left.
A few hours later we called to check on her and they said she was stable. My sister forgot to ask something so I called back to asked that question and was then told they were intubating her. We raced back to  the hospital to find out she was now septic. She spent the next 5 days unconscious and unable to talk.She almost died. During this time we also found out that she never updated her will from 1997 and had my father down as her medical power of attorney so I had to get a medical proxy to make decisions for her because my father and sister didn't want to do it. On Sunday we thought she was doing better but got a call shortly after coming home and was told they thought she had a heart attack. Thankfully she didn't and her heart was just stressed from the sepsis. The had to put a balloon in her heart to help it work though. It was horrible to see her that way. They finally found out that it was a strep infection a few days later and were able to treat it with the right antibiotic so things started to get better physically. After 5 days they finally pulled the breathing tube. She was still out of it from all the sedation though and was talking about crazy things like there was a turkey in her basement, which we knew was not true but at least she was talking again.
A few days later they moved her out of ICU. She could not walk though because she was to weak and the leg still looked terrible. She was trying to get up on her own again too. Instead of calling my sister and I come and calm her down they moved her to a room with other elderly sick people to watch her because they now thought she was risk to herself. By the time we found her there she was a even more confused and upset and we were again besides ourselves. We demanded they move her back to a private room. They did but then then insisted we have 24 hour sitters to watch her. We finally found someone to stay with her and were able to go home. It was very costly though. She kept saying she wanted to come home but we knew that could not happen because she couldn't walk and we don't have the money for 24 hour care. She finally agreed to go to a rehab instead. That didn't last long though. The leg started to get infected again because they didn't send her there with any antibiotics. She was out of her mind again by that time too. She was saying she was going to call a cab to take her home and I found out the rehab could not stop her. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My sister, niece and I raced out there to try and stop her. By the time we got there the head nurse was trying to talk her into go back to the hospital. She finally agreed to go to Aurora Medical but still said she was going home afterwards. My sister and I spent the next 6 hours trying to get them to keep her. They kept telling us that because she could answer simple questions like her birthday, who the president was etc., if she wanted to go home she could. We could not believe what we were hearing. She was also mean and nasty during that time too. I finally called Rich to come and help us. He had been at an important meeting but thankfully it was over by then. When he got to the hospital he tried talking to her calmly and told her that he would take her home but only if she show us that she could walk. When she finally tried she couldn't even stand on her own which we knew but that finally convinced the hospital to admit her and not let her leave. Thankfully one of the ladies that stayed with her in the rehab was able to come and stay with her again so we could finally go home.
The next morning my mom called me and it was like a different person. She was back. The antibiotics they gave her were helping and she was more like herself again. She ended up in that hospital for 3 days. She fell twice while she was there because she won't say down for long. She still wanted to come home though so I began arranging for home care. I spent hours getting everything arranged and then she called and said she changed her mind and was going back to rehab but a different one this time. This rehab was not as nice as the last one though and she only lasted 2 days. We finally brought her home on Tuesday the 25th. The rehab did not send her home with any meds though. I finally got that straightened out after hours on the phone. She is able to get around house using a walker but we are still having to watch her though because she tires easily and can get confused. Next week she is going to see a new wound specialist about her leg. Hopefully it will be okay until then and they will be able to do something to help it heal. My biggest fear is the infection will come back again especially since they don't have her on antibiotics anymore.
I don't know if our lives will ever be the same now. I never thought about something like this happening but will do my best to get things in order so if it happens to me Emilia never has to go through something like this. The saddest part is that I found out we don't have any control over our own parents unless we have their rights taken away which is not really an option for us right now. The same goes for our children when they turn 18. Something needs to be done to change this. We should be able to help our family members in situations like this.  All we can do is just take things one day at a time right now and hope my mother continues to get better. If you have any extra prayers I could definitely use them right now.

With all this going on I have still managed to continue working on orders for my Etsy shop.
 It has been really hard trying to keep up but I am managing, some days I was getting up as early as 5 a.m to get the orders done and take care of my mom and I am not usually a morning person.  Today I wanted to share my pink and grey chevron collection. It all started out with a custom order for a  matching hat and name banner.

Pink and grey chevron seems to be a very popular trend because they have become a big seller in my shop and I have done many more variations since. Below is a  tea party which included a chevron tea pot, high chair banner, 12 month photo banner, smash cake topper and cupcake toppers back in May.

I have also done a teddy bear version.

 In the middle of June I did a banner for a baby shower where they revealed they were having a girl. I added onesies to this banner.

 In July I will be doing pink and grey elephants and owls as well and will share them with you later. That's all for now.I hope next month will be a better one and I will get to post more.

Monday, May 27, 2013

May Recap

Happy Memorial Day. It is hard to believe that almost a month has past since my last update. Time has gotten away from me again, it has been a busy month. Here is a quick recap.
Lily had her surgery on the 8th to remove one of her back toes. Thankfully it was not cancer. It turned out to be a benign tumor and bone infection. The surgery resolved the problem and is back to normal now. She has compensated well for the missing toe and is not having any problem's getting around which is good because my back can't take carrying her around anymore.
It is finally starting to feel like summer here which is good because we are trying container gardening  this year. I will keep you posted on the progress. So far the cucumber plant has gone missing though. It was the only plant we put directly in the ground and something dug it up. 
 I know you are probably tired of me talking about hats, but I want to share these great photos some of my buyers have been sharing with me. They are professional photos of their kids wearing the personalized hats with their names that I make.

I also got a hat order for a dog's first birthday! The buyer send me this photo of him wearing it. Love it!

I hope to make more dog themed hats in the future now.

The hats the kids are wearing in the photos are personalized with their names using the block alphabet dies from PTI.  This is what the personalized girls hats look like close up.

Since I shared a collage of the boy hats in a previous post, here is collage of all the bright girl colors I have done so far together too.
These hats are available in my Etsy shop and as you can see they make a great photo prop.
That's all for now. Hopefully I will get to post more next month.  If you have the day off today I hope it is a good one and the rest of your week is great too.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shabby Chic

Happy Saturday. I hope you all  had a good week. Spring has finally returned here. We had more snow this month than we did all winter. It has been the worst April I can remember weather wise. Hopefully May will be better.
Our little dog Lily is going to have surgery next week to remove one of the toes on her back foot. She has been having probelms with it since the first of the year. She had been on antibiotics to treat it a few months ago and we thought it was resolved but it has come back and they are not sure what it is now so they have decided it is best to take it off. Hopefully what ever it is will have been caught early and taking the toe off will get rid of the problem. Doggie Prayers are welcome. :)
I am still swamped with orders in my Etsy shop but today I want to share with you my shabby chic party package.  It all started out with this hat which has become one of my biggest sellers.
That hat lead me to designing all these other items to go with it. A high chair banner, a smash cake topper, cupcake toppers, thank you favor tags, and a wall banner.

Click on the photo to see the items close up. There are lots of little girls out there enjoying these items which makes me happy.

That's all for now. I hope the rest of your weekend is good one.