Saturday, August 29, 2009

Live Life to the Fullest


So I just had to participate in Travelingmama’s latest Inspiration Challenge. She and her little “traveling tribe” are truly living life to the fullest in their Moroccan adventures, but what’s most inspiring to me is their new endeavor to make life better for the children of Morocco. Check out their story here.

My card design is a combination of several of Travelingmama’s pictures - the long strands of thread that stretch through the medina and the shimmering beads that fill jars and dangle from hooks. I thought that this particular sentiment summed up the idea behind the card perfectly – “live life to the fullest:” to make the most of every day, always remembering that each one of us possesses the ability to make a difference in someone else’s life. Some days we may have to look a little further or work a little harder, but the opportunities are there if we want to find them.

Card Supplies:
Georgia Pacific white cardstock; Studio G stamp; Brilliance Graphite Black ink; embroidery floss; beads; dimensionals

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anywhere But Here


I’m having one of “those days” today. The kind of day where you can’t stop thinking about the things you’re missing out on back in the States: friends, family, the whole “back to school” flurry, your home Community… and of course that leads to missing more specific things, like going (in your own car!) to Wal-Mart, that big wall full of (English) magazines at Barnes & Noble, the $1 stamp bin at Michaels, music departments packed with every imaginable genre of English music, a Turkey Artichoke Panini & Turkey Chickpea Chili combo from Panera Bread… Even though it’s only late August, I’m jonesing for all of those iconic American “autumn” things: pumpkins and mums and scarecrows and leaves and yards decorated for Halloween. Yesterday I even bought a set of Studio G Halloween stamps on e-bay. Really, what in the world do I need Halloween stamps for?! I don’t have any children; China doesn’t celebrate anything remotely like Halloween; in fact, my family really didn’t even do the whole Halloween thing when I was growing up. But for some inexplicable reason I feel compelled to find even the tiniest way to participate in that little bit of Americana.

I think it’s just that fall has always been my favorite time of year. The crisp, cool air; the smell of burning leaves; wonderful rich colors everywhere you look; cardigans and caramel apples and warm pumpkin bread. It’s birthdays and bonfires and new clothes for school. It’s costume parties and warm soup and long walks outside. A few of those things can be replicated here; most can only be tucked away as a lovely memory to be relived over a cup of coffee. In four years I’ll have my chance at another American Autumn, and I’ll relish every glorious moment. But until then, I’ll just have to find my own little ways to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

Don’t get me wrong – I love China, and I know this is where we’re supposed to be. But life isn’t always sunshine and roses (no matter where you live), and this is just me being transparent, putting a little of myself out there. I wouldn’t give any of this up for the world; but it’s good to be able to vent a little every now and then.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009



This card is for a special friend who is coming to stay with us for a few days. We met her soon after we first came to China back in 2004, and our friendship has continued to grow ever since. I always love it when friends from out of town come to visit, as it gives us an excuse to get out and do some of the more touristy things that we always seem to put off. It’ll be a week of walking till our feet hurt, shopping, trying new restaurants, and of course lots of pictures. I just hope the rain clears up!

I followed through on my vow to use my Slice more often; I actually used three different design cards for this project (the frame/label, flourish, and flower were all cut with the Slice). I even pulled out my Cuttlebug to emboss the pink frame. And it may be hard to see in the pic, but I added some subtle Versamark stamping to the flourish diecut (it just wasn’t popping enough on its own). It actually all came together pretty quickly; I already had the basic layout in my head, so all I had to do was pick out the papers, cut and assemble. A little Gilmore Girls in the background, and it was quite the relaxing evening!

Speaking of the Slice, have you seen the new design cards they just debuted at CHA? I think my favorites are Vintage Findings and Mix & Mingle. Their designs just keep getting better and better.

Now I’m off to finish tidying up the guest room (which doubles as our office)… I can’t wait till our guest gets here!

Card Supplies:
Stamps: Friends ‘Til the End (Papertrey Ink), Bridgeport (SEI); Ink: My Mind’s Eye pigment (brown), Versamark; Paper: K & Company “Contemporary Papers,” My Mind’s Eye (pink), Georgia Pacific (white); Accessories: Making Memories Slice/Noteworthy/Basics 3/ Just Chillin’ design cards, Cuttlebug/Swiss Dots folder, corner rounder punch, ribbon, rhinestone, dimensionals.