Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lost and Found: A Happy Ending

Don't you just love stories with a happy ending?? Especially when it is your own story and you experience the happy ending!!

About two months ago I realized I could not find my engagement or anniversary ring! It is not unusual for me to take them off, as I work in a daycare and have to pull latex gloves on and off all day; the rings get in the way. I have several little jewelry boxes on my dresser where I usually put my rings when I am not wearing them.

Well, one day I went to retrieve my rings from their usual safe storage and could not find them! My heart skipped a few beats, I calmed mylself down and told myself they have to be here somewhere! After a week or two of unsuccessful frantic searching, I told my husband that I feared I had thrown away my rings. I remembered one night in bed that the prong on one of the rings was catching on the blanket, so I removed them and put them on the night stand. I was dealing with a miserable cold and lots of used Kleenex. I assumed I had tossed the rings in the trash along with the used Kleenex. There was the possibility that I had taken the rings off in the car before I went into the daycare, but I also had used Kleenex there that I had cleaned out and that could have been when I threw the rings away.

I grieved for my rings! What made it all worse is that I had had my engagement diamond reset along with my mother's diamond, and now it meant her stone was gone, too.

Well, my Christmas present this year was a new set of rings! Larry and I picked out a lovely solitaire, with ring guards and ordered them in yellow gold, to be picked up at the end of December. My husband was a real sweetheart about the process of selecting new rings! He wanted to be sure I was happy with my selection!

Yesterday, a bright and sunny day, we were leaving to make the trip to Nashville, 100 miles away, to meet my son and his family for lunch. They were on their way home to Michigan from a visit to Atlanta for Christmas, and would be passing through Nashville. It was worth a 100 mile trip to hug the grand kids and visit for an hour with my son and his wife. As we prepared to leave the driveway, I asked my husband if he had his sunglasses. He said no, but he keeps a pair of clip ons in the car we were driving. He clicked on the overhead sunglasses container, and calmly and quietly and unemotionally announced, "Judy, I found your rings." There they were, in the sunglass container where I had put them for safekeeping before I went into work!! Of course, then I remembered having done it!! It was sureal to have the rings in my hands again!

Since my new rings have not yet arrived at the jewelry store, we probably had the option of canceling the order. But smart man that my husband is, he told me he wanted me to have the new rings anyway. When we bought my first ring, we were very busy raising children and establishing our new blended families. He said I deserved an upgrade!!

So, that's the ring story with a very happy ending!! 100_1892

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Michelle Steiner's card to me

This amazing Christmas card was sent to me by Michelle who lives in British Columbis as part of Deborah's Card Chain. Feast your eyes on all the details! 100_1889

And look at the inside! What a perfectly wondrous piece of art!! Thank you, Michelle!

It is Christmas Eve, and my wishes for a blessed Christmas and a joyful holiday season go out to all of you! God bless us one and all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Welcome to the Hero Arts 2010 Catalog Blog Hop!

Welcome Hero Arts blog hoppers! Hope you have some hopping energy left to see all the wonderful art created with stamps from the Hero Arts 2010 Catalog. I think you will agree that there is inspiration no matter what your style!! I had a great time using the new stamps and I'm excited to share the results. Thanks for stopping by and my heart would sing if you would leave a comment!


This card was made using the incredible Hero Arts Design Block Silhouette Grass. This is on my favorite stamp list! Endless possibilities: Sympathy, Male Birthday, or a Thank You as I have done.

Hero Arts S5316 Silhouette Grass
Hero Arts CL278Great Flourish Messages
Hero Arts Note Card, Endive
Memento Rich Cocoa ink
Martha Stewart Butterly punch
Ionic Studios punch
Brown cardstock and brass colored pearls


This stamp would look great with an alcohol ink background. I also experimented with using only the top part of the stamp on the bottom of the card. Cool effect!


This Row of Houses woodblock stamp by Hero Arts is another "all occasion" stamp. Think about "Welcome Home', "We've Moved", "New Home" as well as a party invitation stamp. I've used it here to just say hello.


Hero Arts H5328 Row of Houses
Hero ARts CL380 Truly Appreciated 6x4
Memento Rich Cocoa Ink
VersaMark ink
Ranger Clear Embossing Powder
Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Gingham ribbon and buttons unknown
Pop dots


It would be fun to paper piece different colored roofs
Maybe turn on some lights in the windows
Separate and rearrange the houses, maybe vertically

Note: My dh wants to know how come I haven't sewed the button on his shirt, but sewed 5 buttons on this card. He just doesn't understand!


Aren't these little dolls the sweetest? They're from the Hero Arts 2010 catalog clear set Sweet Wonderful You. Perfect for cards to any little girls you know! I've tucked the littlest dolls behind the sentiment and they can be pulled out to play with. There's a suitcase image that comes with the set which adds the option to make bon voyage themed cards! Great images for coloring or paper piecing!


Hero Arts CL381
Hero Arts CL380
Cosmo Cricket, BoBunny and Reminisce card stock
Memento Rich Cocoa Brown ink
VersaMark ink
Ranger clear embossing powder
Flowers and brads unknown
Copic Markers
Diamond Glaze
Sewing machine


Would be fun to stamp, color and cut out extra outfits and use the images as paper dolls.

Well, blog hoppers, hope you have enjoyed your visit to Livin' the Dream! I have had more fun than should be legal playing with the Hero Arts 2010 Catalog stamps. Hope you've been inspired and tempted by the cards I made.

Next on the hop-a-long is the incredible
Tim Holtz

Remember, if you find a link that doesn't work, you can always hop back to the Hero Arts Blog for a list of direct links to all the blogs in the hop!

More cards I made this year.


This is an image I stamped at a friend's house last year! Decided he needed to get dressed up and on a card!


This is the blue version of the red card I posted earlier.


I had fun doing this one!! This is a stamp I bought for 75 cents at a resale two years ago and I finally took it out of its wrapper to see what it could do. I cuttlebugged the background on green card stock. Stamped the flower again and colored it with Copic markers. Mounted the second flower with pop dots. Then added two layers of crystal lacquer. Didn't make many of these! But I love the way it turned out.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From my mailbox!

Look what Linda the Letter Carrier delivered to my mailbox last week! I have been privileged to make friends from many countries on the Hero Arts Blog! And they have shared their beautiful Christmas cards with me!


This one is from Cathy, who lives in England.

This lovely tag was sent to me from France by Jacqueline.


And this beauty came from Paula in Australia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finally, some Christmas cards are made!

My cards this year are more a tribute to the stamps themselves than anything I have done. Because I had 50 cards to make, I went with simple stamping and heat embossing with gold or silver embossing powder. I am thrilled to call this project finished!


I have had this Stampin Up stamp for several years, and it is a favorite.


This is a new stamp from Stampendous. I really try to send cards that remind us of the real Christmas story!


When I saw this little bird in an online shop, I knew I had to have him. Sorry I didn't keep the information about where he is from so I could credit the artist. Now that I have a blog, I will keep better records!

That's it for today! There are three more designs, but I will save them for later. I am totally unable to make 50 cards the same!! Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coming Attraction!

Did you notice the new Blinkie announcing the Blog Hop taking place December 18th? It's all to celebrate the new 2010 stamps from Hero Arts! Lots of prizes and excitement. Also, hop on over to the Hero Arts blog to learn about the "Kiss the Frog" fun taking place NOW!! More chances for prizes. Just go here: Hero Arts Blog Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Tags Challenge at Hero Arts

Christmas tag
Gingerbread Tag

I haven't been very creative lately and it's been worrisome! I've been hoping it's because I have been fighting a sinus infection and preparing for Thanksgiving company. Today I finally had a couple of ideas for Christmas tags that weren't already used by the super creative stampers on the Hero Arts blog! Both tags were stamped with the Hero Arts Design Block Flourish and embossed with white empbossing powder. The best part? Super quick and easy, yet distinctive enough to set your packages apart from all the others under the tree! I can mass produce these ... just as soon as I make my Christmas cards. I know I am way behind, as I have already received several Christmas cards!

It wasn't stars that fell on Alabama last night!


Alabama license plates bear the song title "Stars Fell on Alabama", but last night SNOW fell on Alabama! This is the scene we woke up to this morning. It was only 6:30 a.m., but I handed my dh the camera so he could take photos of this rare sight! This is the first snow we've seen on our lawn since moving here four years ago. You people up North may notice how considerate Southern snow is; it did not stick to roads, driveways or sidewalks!

To celebrate the snowfall, I set the breakfast table with the snowman dishes and hummed "Frosty the Snowman" while cooking up our eggs and bacon. Glad we celebrated when we did as the snow was gone by 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You can win this blog candy!!


Jenn Biederman has generously decided to give away the prize she won on the Hero Arts blog for her digi card!! Click on her blog to find out the details! And while you are there, take a peek at the wonderful work Jenn does!

Thanks, Jenn. You are a sweetie!! You are a very talented sweetie!

Turkey Scramble


Here's the Thanksgiving company posing for a group photo before they set off for the golf course and a frindly scramble! If the folks in the photo were numbered from 1 to 8, reading from left to right, (1) is the new man in my daughter's life, Dan. (2) is my DH. (3) is youngest son, Scott. (4) is daughter Kathy. (5) is my nephew Ken. (6) is Scott's girlfriend Sara. (7) is my first-born, Todd. (8) is Ken's wife Ikwe.

We had a great visit! Our family plays cards and board games when we gather. Someone pulled out a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle which was worked on over two days. We had a hilarious game of "Beyond Balderdash" and stayed up one evening until 1:30 am playing Hearts!! Lots of laughing, sibling bickering and memory sharing! I love it when someone starts a conversation with, "Mom, remember when ...." and off we go, down memory lane!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it is all ready. The vegetables are prepared, the turkey stuffed, the dinner rolls rising. The kids are bustling about preparting themselves for a day of food, family and football. Pretty soon it will be smelling good in the house and we will gather around the table and count our blessings. My heart is singing! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My kitchen philosophy!

My kitchen philosophy

When I saw this little sign in a store, I knew it belonged in my kitchen! It went well with the black and white theme I have going; but it also expressed how I really feel about having a kitchen!!

I don't bake Christmas cookies anymore ...


because I make these rolls that the whole family loves! They have replaced cookies for the holidays; they have been used as a test to determine if the new love interest fits in with our family; and they are jealously coveted to the point of sibling squabbling!! I made 90 rolls today and I don't know if that will be enough. Wish you could smell the yumminess.

I would share the secret recipe, but then I would have to send you to a witness protection program. There is one member of the Hero Arts blog family who somehow talked me into sharing the recipe. I haven't slept soundly since.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ...


THANKSGIVING!! Our family gave up traditional Christmas gift giving many years ago when kids were in college, young families were getting started, and Mom and Dad had everything they needed! But a few years ago, we began playing a game involving wrapped gifts, of limited financial cost, and had so much fun, we do it every Christmas we are together. Well, this year, those of the family who can, are coming for Thanksgiving from Wisconsin and Minnesota to our home in Alabama. So, even though it isn't Christmas, everyone wanted to play "the game". So, here are my gifts, ready to join in the fun! The decision to play the game was last minute, so DH and I scooted to the mall and within one hour we had selected seven gifts! Can't tell you what's in the boxes yet, but here's a hint: one of the presents flies!! Can't wait to see the surprised faces!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New Zealand Beauty

Dawn's card and goodies to Judy

This is the lovely card and bookmark I received from Dawn Turley who lives in New Zealand. Dawn also sent a New Zealand themed notepad and a bit of Christmas ribbon. Dawn and I, and many others, took part in Deborah Nolan's Card Chain. This is my second time to participate and I plan to do it again! It is a joy to go to the mailbox and find such lovely cards! (I am having a little difficulty with this card, however. It seems to want to stand on its head A little adjustment issue from no longer being down under!!) Thanks, Dawn and thanks, Deborah for making this happen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Found this meaningful widget on The Vintage Moth blogsite.

More from the Graphics Fairy

Is this not the cutest Christmas Fairy? Hope she makes you smile!

Do you like my new turkey?

That turkey countdown to Thanksgiving gadget is courtesy of The Graphics Fairy, a great site offering free vintage clip art. You can find the Graphics Fairy here:
I haven't had time to explore it too much, just liked the turkey countdown!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Did I mention I play bridge?

I learned bridge as a young mother from my friend Sheila and her husband. They loved to play the game and were willing to make bridge players out of my husband and me so that they would be able to continue playing the game. Our bridge playing came to an end when we moved away and our busy life no longer included time to play cards!

When we retired to Huntsville four years ago, my sister invited me to play in her monthly bridge group. I was terrified! My bridge skills were pretty rusty, but this group of women was very welcoming and patient and I was surprised how much I remembered. Sheila taught me well!

I now play about once a week, in four different bridge groups. My husband plays in one of the groups, also. We have met some lovely people who are excited to meet new bridge players. It seems to be a lost art! And that's a shame, because it is a great card game!

When groups gather to play bridge, besides cards and a score pad, every couple needs a tally. This is a little card that opens and has space for the players' name and the score earned in each round. At the end of the evening, the scores per round are added and the highest total wins!

My sister and I are hosting two tables of bridge tomorrow evening and I made four tallies, one for each couple. I have made tallies for this group before and everyone enjoys them, usually tearing off the front cover to keep and only turning in the part with their scores!!


I used a stamp set called "Autumn Beauty", designed by Theresa Momber and purchased from Gina K. Designs. The set includes images of sunflowers, wheelbarrow, and rural mailbox, along with Thanksgiving sentiments. I chuckled as I stamped "Happy Fall, Y'All" on the tallies. Couldn't be a better sentiment for my friends in Alabama!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What's making me smile ...

I have been collecting Copic markers for several years and finally have quite a collection! I have been frustrated because I could not duplicate the incredible results I have seen while visiting various blogs. I guess I thought if I just bought more markers, I would improve my coloring skills! (My golfer husband thinks like this, too. If he just had the right golf club, his game would improve!)

Well, I sat in front of the computer, played several tutorials over and over and I finally made some cards using Copic markers that make me smile!


This one is a Magnolila stamp called "Tilda in Overalls". The background paper is Basic Grey "Bittersweet".


This one is called Tilda Holding a Fall Bouquet, also by Magnolia.


This one is Shy Kiki.

I bought the stamps online from Little C's, located in Hawaii. The fresh ocean breezes wafted out of the box when I opened it. I am grateful to these sweet girls for motivating me to practice, practice, practice with my Copics!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Have fun! Buy me some dishes!"

With those words, I sent my dh off to a yard sale in our neighborhood! I was too cozy in our warm bed and my hair was too scary to venture out in public! Why would I say, "Buy me some dishes"?

Well, back in our old life in Madison, Wisconsin we went garage saling almost every Saturday morning. We were out of the house by 6:30, out to breakfast by 9! We had such fun and found such bargains. It became quite a story within our family about the sets of dishes we bought! I would give away the current set to one child or another and enjoyed the variety! Our "good" china was a wonderful garage sale find.

Well, when we retired and sold everything, all the dishes were gone! Since settling in Alabama, I have had the same set of dishes for four years! A record! So, feeling nostalgic about the fun we had garage saling, I told my dh to "buy me some dishes".

I almost fell over when he walked in the house with a gargantuan box! And he told me there were four more!! He had acquired this entire set of dishes, service for 16, with SIX serving platters, FIVE serving bowls, a soup tureen, two gravy boats, two sugar and creamer sets, a large pitcher, two salt and pepper shakers, cereal bowls, soup bowls and mugs! There is even a four piece canister set!!

We took this photo after unpacking the boxes and before we ran the whole batch through the dishwasher.

I spent the morning cleaning out the cupboards to make room for all these dishes and I now have to spend time at my sister's home, making room for my "old" dishes that we both love! It was hard to part with my current dishes, but my sister lives just down the street and I can visit them!!

Oh, by the way, this whole set of dishes cost $20!! Negotiated down from $25!!!


My first post!

Well, I finally left my comfort zone and entered blogger land! Hopefully this will be a happy place and I can share a little corner of my life.

I am a happy participant in the Hero Arts blog and post my entries to their challenges in Flickr. Here is a card I did recently:

Contemporary Christmas

The image is a Hero Arts stamp called Pine Bough and I love owning such a versatile stamp! In this image I have embossed it with white embossing powder and stamped it on a background created wtih a mixture of alcohol inks. Love it for its cheerfulness!

Besure to check out for a great blog as well as contests, videos and great ideas!

See you next time!