Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writer's World Wednesdays-Fifty Shades of Child Pornography

Several things combined this week leading up to this post.  Fair warning, if you are here for a short and sweet, fun and fluffy post, turn back now.

Here are the events:

  1. Romance Writer's of America's annual convention.  Several of my writer friends attended so I was seeing pictures posted in their Facebook feeds.  In the past, I've heard some of them describe the workshops as being overly abundant in the area of how to graphically write sex scenes to capture a reader's imagination.
  2. I overheard a "statistic" that men are the fastest growing audience of romance novels because the level of graphic sex in them is mental pornography.  I only overheard this statistic and a quick Google search didn't turn anything up so I'm not claiming it's true; I'm just saying it contributed to where my mind went.
  3. First release of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie trailer which also exploded in my Facebook feed both with excited, "Can't WAIT!" and, "This is HORRIBLE!".
  4. This news article on recruiting special op's veterans who have seen the worst war can dish out to track down child pornography perpetrators.  The entire article isn't long and is worth reading, but here's the bit that unnerved me the most:

There are more than 500,000 individual computers in the U.S. storing or transmitting hard-core images and movies of infants and toddlers being raped, according to Cooper. Seizure of those computers and arrests involving their owners leads to the direct rescue of actual child victims in more than half the cases, she said.
“Much like trading baseball cards, this crime is predominantly fueled by predators interested in "sharing." The images themselves become the currency in this global trade,” said Cooper. “The demand for new images of children being raped fuels the demand for new and more violent, sadistic images which can then only be met by the rape of additional children.”
“This isn’t a profit-motivated crime,” says Arnold. “It’s twisted. They are collectors and it’s more fun to share. It’s evil.”
There are a hundred ways to weigh in on the "Fifty Shades of Grey" argument, but here's my question: From where are the above-mentioned perpetrators of child pornography drawing their inspiration for "new and more violent, sadistic images"?  Would women be clamoring to read the book or see the movie if the heroine was seventeen? What if she was twelve? How about Seven? Or three? Two months old? Where does the line between what's acceptable to our collective society and what's perverted get drawn?

As a writer--as a Christian woman who writes romantic stories--where do I draw the line?  I firmly believe that God invented sex, created our bodies to enjoy it, and set boundaries allowing us to freely enjoy it.  I don't find anything objectionable in describing how a kiss or a touch can be exciting to the senses as long as it doesn't cross over the line.
But where's the line?
My line is different than yours. My line is affected by how, when I was a young girl, I read innocent Harlequin Romances that led me down a path to more and more graphic descriptions. My line comes from a place where I can no longer read anything that delves beyond what would be considered unrealistic by most because it's sin for me.
As a writer--as a Christian woman who longs to pass wisdom and a Godly example to those who follow behind me--where do I draw my line knowing that even the most innocent descriptions can lead a reader to seek out something "more realistic"?
As a writer--as a Christian woman with a enough sense to know that I can't make choices for others--should I compromise on "my line" to sell a book? What if a publisher wants more? What if they want less? Is my line the standard, or is it what's acceptable to the publisher who knows their audience better than I do?
Not a lot of answers today--not for you and not for me. But I encourage you to ask your own questions and set your own lines with your children and your children's children in mind.
Until next time,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hello Friend

A friend of mine says she's not creative...except for writing notes which she's not done in forever.  I thought I'd put a quick set of note cards together for her so she is inspired to start writing again.

Stamp: Verve Friendly Phrases
Paper: CTMH Veranda
Washi Tape: CTMH Houndstooth Lagoon
Accessories: Crochet Flower (CTMH) and sequins (Hobby Lobby)

I used the sketch from Case This Sketch: #86 and the Tic-Tac-Toe challenge from CAS-ual Fridays using "Dots, White, Sequins"

It doesn't get much easier than this.  I hope these bring a smile to her face and to those who receive a note from her.

Until next time,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hot Air Pattern Play

Online Card Classes is having a sale this weekend (see post below for link), so I've been playing with a couple of their older classes.  This card is from Pattern Play.  I'm linking it up to Heart2Heart: Some Like it Hot since it uses hot air balloons.

Stamps are from Holiday Tags, everything else is just background paper.

Is that too cool, or what!

Until next time,

Online Card Class - Playing Catch Up

Online Card Classes is having a sale this weekend so I bought myself two back-dated classes and the upcoming Stretch Your Stamps 2.  Today was spent watching the Inspirations Showcase.  Oh. My. WORD!  I can't believe the number of techniques she takes you through.  It inspired me to create this:

I am adding this to the Simon Says Stamps: Emboss It challenge.

The roses are by PSX with a date of 1997 on the side.  The sentiment is from CTMH.  I white embossed the roses onto watercolor paper and went to town with Tim Holtz Distress Stains in Broken China, Peeled Paint and Spun Sugar.  I got these three colors in the clearance bin at my Hobby Lobby a while back because much of the Tim Holtz stuff, while fabulous in it's own way, is not my normal style so I didn't want to spend a fortune on it.  I supplemented with CTMH inks in Smokey Plum and Tulip to create the deeper shading to the roses and add some purple to the background.

I used Create a Shade Pearl Paint and water in a spritzer to create a glimmer mist.  I sprayed that over the top of my embossed roses and then started painting with the distress inks.  The secret to this one was to layer more and more color after allowing each layer to dry.  As you can see from the close up, I wasn't terribly fussy about keeping my color within the lines.  With this technique, the sloppy look totally works.

Between this card and the multiple techniques used in the Inspirations Showcase, I might need to invest in some more of the Distress Stains and inks.  Love, love, love how this turned out.

Until next time,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sending My Love

My mom is really going through it right now.  She is one of seven children who get along to varying degrees.  This one doesn't speak to that one, that one doesn't speak to a different one, but all of them speak to her and use her as the family mediator.  Blech!  I called her the other night and she was almost in tears.  I'm pretty good about sending encouraging cards to my friends, but I tend to think of my mother as something of an emotional rock.  Today I thought I would put together a simple card using Freshly Made Sketches to let her know I'm thinking of her.

All supplies are in italics are CTMH.
  • Stamps: Cityscapes, Adventure USA, and Say It In Style
  • Ink: Whisper, Gypsy, and Cashmere (pigment); Momento Tuxedo Black
  • B&T Paper: Smokey Plum (left side under white panel...same effect could be done with sponging)
  • Accessories: Slate Ribbon, Liquid Glass (aka, Glossy Accents) over top of car, Black Sharpie for car wheels, gray watercolor pencil  for shading on buildings, foam tape to raise white panel, and Glue Runner to pleat ribbon before sewing to white panel.
I had a different idea when this card began but it morphed.  Then I got fingerprints on the edge and had to trim it down.  Then I fussed a little more with this, that, and the other until it ended up as you see.  The reason I needed the watercolor pencil over top of the buildings was because I did second generation stamping and, after the metamorphosis, it needed more heft.

I hope this helps my mom know that, though we are thousands of miles apart, I can still send her my love.

Until next time,

Friday, July 25, 2014

Color My Heart with Jubilee

This week at Color My Heart we are using colors from the Jubilee paper packet set to retire in a few days.  I must admit, this paper packet wasn't one I thought I'd use much when it first came out.  WRONG!  The more I play with it, the more I love it.

Both the tag and apple are from the Artbooking cartridge.  I started by inserting the tag at 4.5" then added the apple at 2.5".  I positioned the apple inside the tag then cut.  This process was easier to do with my Cricut Expressions machine but still doable with my new Explore.  You have to do a little more finagling, but it's possible.

I wasn't fussy with cutting my strips of Jubilee paper.  They are random widths and lengths and aren't perfectly flat. Some strips layer over the top of others.  The points don't meet exactly, either, which is why there's a little heart gem covering them up.  None of this is noticeable so it's not worth pulling your hair out as you put a card like this together. 

Once the sunburst pattern was done and trimmed, I placed lots of foam tape around my apple tag and laid it over the top of the sunburst.  I used small bits of foam tape to make sure the areas around the leaf and stem will stay up.

The sentiment was positioned to create a triangle of red with the baker's twine, heart gem, and sentiment banner.

I am also linking this up to Simon Says Stamps for the Emboss It challenge.

And now for my confession...I made this card on Sunday.  It was one of those lazy mornings because our choir is on summer break.  Thinking I had all the time in the world, I decided to work ahead on my CMH Design Team projects.  When I looked at the clock again, it was 10:25  and I was still in my pajamas.  It takes fifteen minutes to get to church and my husband had promised to pick someone up at 10:45 so I had five minutes to take a shower, get dressed, and fix myself up.  Yep...skipped church.  I'll be hearing about that for weeks!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writer's World Wednesday-Shopping and Other Totally Off-Topic Stuff

I went shopping yesterday.  For clothes.  I probably do that once every nine months and it's almost always jeans know...the stuff that goes underneath.  This time I needed a dress for an upcoming ball.

Okay, I know it's Writer's World Wednesdays, but the only "writerly" thing that happened this week was a rejection.

Anyway...found a dress and jeans in the same store.  Got crafty stuff from Hobby Lobby. Went to a second-hand store and found the exact pattern of dishware my husband (then fiancĂ©) talked me out of thirty years ago.  I've been kicking myself for not getting it ever since.  So, when I found a set of eight in pristine condition with a few serving pieces for $60, I bought that, too.  Then I went to the Commissary for groceries.

Four stores in three hours!  I swear my credit card was giving me funny looks.

But check out those dishes!

Now, I'm not a "dishes" girl.  I have fancy china for fancy company (meaning it rarely gets used) and everyday stuff which is plain, boring white with nothing--absolutely nothing--on it.  I don't have Christmas china or Thanksgiving dishes or Summer Sunflower plates.  I don't even have Polish Pottery which--in Army circles--is sort of like never having experienced a deployment.  Polish Pottery is a right of passage and I have none.  Because the truth of the matter is I like plain white china...just not boring white.  I have been looking for new everyday never thinking I would find this basket weave pattern again.  And to find it in such great condition with a full set for eight...unbelievable!

And the ball gown was the second dress I tried on at the second store I visited and was under $100.  I was on a roll, I tell you, a ROLL.

Maybe I should have bought a lottery ticket.

I promise to be back to business next week, but I had to share my fun find with you all because, frankly, my husband still doesn't like this china pattern.  I knew he wouldn't but, thirty years later, I bought them anyway.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spreading Birthday Joy

Quick post tonight.  My friend, Amie Kiger, posted about a boy who wants to get cards for his 6th birthday on July 25th.  I put this together and it will go out tomorrow.

The hedgehog is Stampin' Up!, background paper is CTMH, and I colored with Copics.

If you would like to contribute to the cause, here's the address:

Danny Nickerson
P.O. Box 212
Foxboro, MA 02035

If you want to read about Danny's story, follow this link:

Lets spread some cardmaking joy!

Until next time,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Altered Tea Can

I love tea.  LOVE it!  And my favorite is Chai.  So it will come as no surprise that I shelled out an outrageous $14.95 for Oprah Chai Tea at Starbucks a couple weeks ago.  I think I got four cups of tea from what was in there, but that's because I also like my tea three and four bags of tea strong.  At any rate, I had this great tin left over so I decided to decorate it and combine this weeks Color My Heart's Sorbet, Sweet Leaf, and Indian Corn Blue challenge with Heart2Heart's Spice of Life challenge.

The rosette, flower, and leaves were made with Artiste, the letters were made with Art Philosophy.  The patterned paper is from a retired paper pack called Caboodle.  It uses Crystal Blue instead of Indian Corn Blue, but since the polka dots are so small, I figured I was okay.

I filled the center of the flower with beads secured with Liquid Glass--an absolutely critical supply to have on hand for a project like this.

The Sorbet ribbon was from a retired CTMH Red Collection, and the white is from Hobby Lobby.

The best part about this tin is it still has the wonderful Chai aroma. Every time I open it the spicy scent brings a smile.  I don't think I'll be buying another tin, though.  Yummy as it was, I bought it as a celebration for getting my novella turned into the publisher a day early.  Call it a splurge.  Now, I'll just settle for lifting the lid and inhaling while I drink my much more modestly priced Chai from Stash Tea.

Until next time,

Friday, July 18, 2014

Watercolor with Copics

I stumbled across a new technique, although I'm guessing someone somewhere figured it out before I did.  However, I've never seen this done before so I'm claiming it as my own.  It's very, very difficult...NOT!  Let me show you the card and then I'll explain.

I colored with Copics on the front side then turned my hearts over.  I was getting ready to stick them down when I suddenly thought, "I like this side better."  See, told you it was terribly difficult!

I'm entering this in the CAS-ual Fridays, Curtain Call, and Runway Inspired challenges.

Kinda fun, huh?

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Writer's World Wednesdays-Acknowledgments

I'm working my way though all the people I'd like thank for how they impacted either my life or my writing.  The first was my father, so now it's time to acknowledge my mother.

There is no single story that stands out for me with Mom. That's probably because there are so many of them.  Mom was the one who spent the most time running me around to violin lessons, ballet, orchestra, play practice, swim lessons, camps, and anything else that took my fancy.  My parents strongly believed in giving their kids every opportunity to learn new things.  The only thing we absolutely HAD to continue was music, everything else was optional as long as we stuck with it through the whole season or production.

Mom was the taxi driver.  She was also the one who made sure my siblings were there to cheer me on and I was there to cheer them on.  And she was the one who kept track of whether or not I'd done my practicing, finished my homework, and had all the equipment I needed for whatever was next on my schedule.

I won't say that failure wasn't an option, but I will say she never accepted less than our best effort.  What it taught me was that success didn't fall into your lap. You had to work for it.  I started doing something because I thought it would be fun.  After a while, it stopped being fun and just became plain hard work.  But it always got fun again once I achieved some proficiency at it.

There was a point in the writing of this novella when wanted to call the publisher and say, "I'm sorry.  I can't do this.  You'll have to find someone else to take my slot."  I literally heard my mother whisper, "You'll do no such thing. You started this, young lady, and you will finish it."

So, thanks Mom.  Thanks for never letting me give up when it got too hard or stopped being fun.  Thanks for teaching me that success is usually just after the point at which you want to give up.  And thanks for fostering a family where we cheer each other on.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Christmas in July

I will get Christmas cards done.  I will get Christmas cards done.  I will, I will, I will!

Let's see if that works, shall we?

Here's a card I  made using this week's Mojo Monday sketch and the color combination from The Card Concept.  I think this style qualifies as Clean and Layered. Maybe?

Supply list:
  • Stamp: Verve Joy to the World
  • Paper: CTMH For Always
  • Rose Sticker: CTMH For Always
  • Accessories: Uh...from all over the place but probably mostly from Hobby Lobby.
I trimmed the edges from both the doily and the sticker.  They were just a tad too large for the design.  The only other fussing I did was to mask the sentiment to get the white embossed part on the black circle and the part stamped in black pigment ink on the sticker.

One Christmas card down, about sixty-nine to go!

Until next time,

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy, Happy Birthday

This week at Color My Heart we have some fun, summery colors: Gypsy, Lagoon, Pear, and Sunset.  It took me days to figure out what to do with this one.  I was going to see if I could come up
with a Christmas card just to be different, but in the end, I went with a birthday card.

I used pigment ink to get the nice, strong color.  For the hanging words, I stamped BIRTHDAY onto a piece of cardstock using Keyboard Alphabet leaving plenty of room above the letters.  Then I cut the sides and bottom leaving a long piece above each letter.  I could then glue the tabs to the back of my top panel (4.25x4.25").  For the sentiment, I used Card Chatter - Birthday.  I masked off the bottom half of the stamp and inked one "happy" in Lagoon and the other in Pear.

To add the Baker's Twine, I first punched a tiny, half-circle on the sides of my top panel.  I forget where I saw this technique, but I love how it holds the twine in place.

The best part about a card like this is it's useful for all ages and any gender.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Writer's World Wednesdays - Meanwhile, Back in the Real World...

This week has been all about getting back to the business of real life.  I spent almost two months buried in my novella project and let everything else possible slide.  I still went to church on Sunday and choir practice on Wednesdays; I gave violin lessons on Mondays; and I occasionally went outside to do various and sundry other things.  But, for the most part, I was upstairs typing, editing, or on phone calls with other writers. 

My poor husband bore the brunt of my isolation.  I told him at the beginning of June I was going to need him to take care of me.  He came home from work, made me dinner, delivered it to my desk, and buried himself in the TV room or his office for the rest of the evening.  Praise be for pizza delivery.  I think we had it more this past month than the past twelve combined.

This week I performed in a community choir concert, went to a 4th of July celebration with about 70 other people at a friend's house, went out for dinner and a movie with my hubby, played in the orchestra for a kid's dinner theatre production, and cooked like the Apocalypse is coming tomorrow.  This morning I'm heading out for our Summer four-week study at PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel). 

 (My PWOC sisters gather to watch me sign my first contract with Barbour Publishing, April, 2014.)

All of this was exactly what I needed.  I'm not a huge socialite; I much prefer lunch with one or two other people as opposed to a crowd.  However, after such an extended period of isolation, it was good to get back to life in the real world.

Until next time,

Monday, July 7, 2014

OWH VCMP - Day 3 Challenges

Well, this weekend's OWH Virtual Card Making Party is officially over.  I'm a little worn out.  I was planning to participate in every single challenge, but I ran out of steam and it's time to get back to work on a full-length novel I'm hoping to sell in September.  I did get a card made yesterday for the Critter Love challenge.

The puppy is an old CTMH stamp called Sunny Pup.  He just makes me smile.

If my characters stop talking to me before it's time to get to violin lessons, maybe I'll squeeze in a few more of yesterday's challenges.

Until next time,

Sunday, July 6, 2014

OWH VCMP - Teen Time

I hope you all are having an amazing weekend celebrating and participating with the OWH Virtual Card Making Party.  If you are starting with me, you've missed a whole lot of fun.  Click HERE to be re-directed to OWH for a complete list of all the challenges.

My assignment was Teen Time, or how to make cards for teenagers without having to buy a specific teen stamp set. To make teen cards, I take a clue from teenagers themselves: the are messy and slightly off-kilter!

Here's my first messy card:

For this card, I started by using Tim Holts Distress Stain in Broken China and Peeled Paint to create the big blobs under the sentiment.  The next layer was embossing paste through a home-made stencil.  (See next paragraph for instructions). After the embossing paste dried, I squished more Distress Stain onto an acrylic block, picked it up with a paint brush, and tapped the brush against my index finger to get it to splatter.  I held my index finger directly over the blob part.  This gave me the most concentrated color under the banner.

To make embossing paste, combine 2 T flour (I used Softasilk Cake Flour), 1 T water, and 1/2 t. Acrylic Paint.  I used colored paint (it's actually greenish instead of tan), but you can easily use white paint and colored re-inker.  If you want to be fussy, you can always add your re-inker to your tablespoon before (gently--oh, so gently) adding the rest of the water.

Now, lest you think I'm just that smart, I found the instructions for making embossing paste here.  I had a ton left over so, if I were doing this again, I would cut the recipe in half (BTW, 1 Tablespoon is made up of three teaspoons, so half of the water would be 1.5 teaspoons).  Oh...and be sure you immediately get rid of the excess and clean your dish or leave it to soak.  This stuff is designed to dry hard and you don't want to ruin a dish.

The stencil was created by cutting an overlay pattern from the CTMH Artbooking Cricut Cartridge.  I used 100# cardstock so I cut my overlay twice by positioning one overlay image directly on top of the other.  The machine cuts once, comes back and cuts it again, and it gives you very crisp edges.  I actually cut two overlays (meaning the machine made four passes of cuts) because I figured my template would only be good for a couple uses and I needed to make three cards.  I got two uses before it became too globby to use again.  If you don't have really heavy cardstock, you can glue two overlays together to create the necessary thickness.  (This process works better if you have a plastic stencil, I just haven't invested in many of those yet.)

I also used a little Washi tape along the edges of my mat for extra security.  When you do a double cut, the last thing you want is for your paper to shift around on you.

To make a messy card work, you need to have a few very crisp things.  I used a white on white border, and my banner is pristine, sharp, and uncluttered.  It is also placed 1/3 of the way up the card and is wide enough to cover 2/3 of the card.  Using that thirds principle is crucial when you create a card which - even though messy - is technically Clean and Simple (CAS).

Here's "messy" card number two:

This one uses the same basic "make a mess" principle but without as much actual mess.  This one started by sponging pink through a stencil and adding brown stamped words over top.  To get the edges of the words sloppy, I blotted with a damp towel creating a semi-circle on my stamp before pressing to the paper.  The sponging was also done in a semi-circle shape.  Like the first card, I wanted my thickest and darkest ink under the focal point.  After the sponging and words were done, I stamped chevrons in darker brown at the 1/3 mark to draw the eye.  Again, I wanted to create a juxtaposition between sloppy and crisp.

The sequins are held on with Glossy Accents to be sure they don't come off.  I made sure it squeezed up through the center hole of the sequins and overlapped that edge.  Those puppies ain't goin' nowhere!

Here are a couple "off-kilter" cards:

Both of these are more gender neutral.  To create my off-kilter top panel, I started by cutting a piece of white cardstock at 4.25x5.5 inches.  I laid it over my card base and pinched tight with my finger, turned the top panel and card base upside down, and drew a pencil line where the top panel overhangs the card base. Then I used my guillotine cutter to trim where the pencil lines were drawn. I started with the long edge then cut the shorter edge.  If you are off by a little, you can always use scissors once you've mounted the panel to your card base.  I think there is an actual die cut on the market that will do this for you if you prefer more precision.

LEFT (Green Hello): To get the arrows in a straight line, I made my top panel but didn't glue it down to the card base.  I lined the base and panel up then used a ruler to draw a straight line.  I stamped arrows along the pencil line and used them to line up the rest of my arrows.

RIGHT (Red Hello): I stamped the pattern of the card base with all the word bubbles, but you could very easily use patterned paper instead.

Now, lest you - once again - think I'm just that smart, here are a few of the incredibly talented stampers whose ideas I have shamelessly copied.
Well, that's all from me.  I can't wait to see your off-kilter messes!

Until next time,
**************An InLinkz Link-up***************
You have to click through to see the cards for this challenge.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

OWH VCMP Day 2 Challenges

I decided to do one post with all the cards for today's challenges instead of one at a time.  To save time, I'm not listing all the supplies.  If you'd like to know how I made something or what stamps I used, please leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer.

Day 2, Challenge #1 (Things with Wings)

Ladybug wings covered with Liquid Glass (aka, Gloss Accents) and smoothed with my finger to create shiny shell.

Day 2, Challenge #2 (Circle + two banners), 3 (For the Boyz), and 5 (Travel) it's not a full circle and the banners are different than the example, but I still think this qualifies for Challenge #2.  At least that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Day 2, Challenge #4 (At Least Three Textures)

I was trying to do something fun for the background of the plane card above by stamping a map.  Well, then I got to fussin' and the more I fussed the worse it got.  So I dropped some water droplets over the top and cut it down to a small panel for this card.

Day 2, Challenge #6 (Red, White and Blue Christmas)

Now it's time to leave the craft room and get ready for dinner and a movie with the hubs.

Until next time,

OWH VCMP Challenge #6

I slept really well last night.  I think it has something to do with the sense of accomplishment from yesterday's participation with the Operation Write Home Virtual Card Making Party.  I finished all six of the challenges even though I didn't post this one until today.  Challenge #6 is to use the same image/idea to create two cards: Christmas and a more general Winter.

Time to get going on today's challenges.

Until next time,

Friday, July 4, 2014

OWH VCMP Challenge #5

Okay, okay...I know I said I was going to get ready for a BBQ on my last post, but I had to check the latest challenge.  It's create a background.  This one was quick and easy because I had a leftover piece of paper created using shaving cream and reinker!

Now I really AM heading downstairs to take a shower and get out of my pajamas.


Until next time,

Three Challenges in One

I am combining two OWH Virtual Card Making Challenges (#3-Paper Piecing for Kids and #4-Red, White, and Blue Birthday) with this week's Color My Heart Challenge: Crystal Blue, Pacifica, and Barn Red.

Time to get ready for BBQ and fireworks.

Until next time,

OWH VCMP Challenge #2

Card #2 of the OWH Virtual Card Making Party is a Thank You.  I am combining it with the Less is More Challenge: Recycling.  I often get note cards as thank you gifts and I can't ever bring myself to send them.  Honestly, the paper is there!  I used pieces as background and texture paper for this card:

Cake is baking, time for Challenge #3

Until next time,

OWH VCMP 2014 - Challenge #1

Okay...I'm off to the races with the OWH Virtual Card Making Party.  There won't be a lot of commentary, so if you have questions about how I made something or what supplies were used, please leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer.

Here's challenge #1 His & Hers:

I used OWH Sketch #231

Off to get #2 done between making a cake for festivities tonight.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writer's World Wednesday-Surreal Moments

This week was packed with "somebody pinch me" moments.

It started last Wednesday.  My first check from a publisher arrived in the mail.  When I showed it to my husband, he said, "I guess that makes you a professional writer."  Something about the words professional and writer used together to describe me made my heart flip.

On Friday night, one of the authors for our collection posted the links to Amazon and goodreads.

There's my name.
Spelled correctly.
With "(author)" behind it.
For everyone who clicks the "more" button to see. 

I was so excited, I woke up my poor husband to listen to me squeal.  He graciously listened and even got out of bed to go see.  True love!  I graciously got out of bed an hour later to keep from waking him again because I was still tossing and turning.

The final moment came when I pushed the send button on Monday afternoon.  Writing a book is like condensing birth, the terrible two's, teenage angst, and high school graduation all into six months.  There were moments I wanted to drop-kick this story and other moments of great joy and pride.  Sending it to the publisher was like leaving a child at college.  I've done my best, now I pray for it to be polished under the tutelage of professionals so, when it graduates, it can stand up to the criticism of the world.

And, after I pushed the send button, I looked around my house and decided it was time to push a few other the ones on the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, washer, and dryer.

Until next time,