Happy Birthday, Annie Ruth!

FMS90-TLCThe sketch challenge this week at Freshly Made Sketches was just the perfect inspiration I needed to complete a birthday card commissioned by my friend for her sweet mom. (Linda C challenged us to make a square card, but I had to go with a rectangle.)

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With its large center panel wide open for interpretation, I knew I could add the lovely Elegant Bird die cutout as the star of the card. Birds are among Miss Annie Ruth’s favorite creations and design choices, so it was the logical pick to fill her birthday with cheer. I think it helped that the dsp is called Cheerful Treat, too! Bold Concord Crush (retired, but available to print as needed via MDS!), bright Melon Mambo. and crisp Whisper White definitely spell happy.

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There’s very little in my card that isn’t retired SU. I didn’t plan it that way, but I enjoy getting to “use up” all my stash of lovely SU papers and helpful tools, and I just plain ole don’t get rid of anything, because I never know when I might find the perfect elements I need to complete a project. The large Melon Mambo button here retired, I don’t know–a couple seasons ago, I think!

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I finished out the inside of the card with a poem my friend wanted to use, stamped a couple of little roses, and left a spot for her to sign. We had a discussion just today amongst the Pals chat group about how we finish the insides of our cards. I hadn’t really thought about it before the conversation, but I guess mine are finished….or unfinished…as the need/purpose of the card dictates. It was nice to have a specific, requested sentiment to work with here, so I know it’s exactly what my friend wants to say. I echoed the papers from the outside of the card here as well.

I did manage to use the current–and also uber-perfect–Bird Builder Punch to adorn the envelope. If I wanted to make this card with all current product, I could use a couple of these sweet birds on my card front, to replace the Elegant Bird die piece. I think I’d use the luscious Venetian Romance DSP, too.  hmmm….I might just do that when time allows!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! –Terri

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A different kind of celebration…

Happy Fathers’ Day. Especially to my Dad in Heaven….his first there.

I had just started this little blog this time last year…and had no idea that the card I’d make for Daddy then would be the last one I’d be able to give him to celebrate this particular holiday.

Fathers Day 2012

This card was the only gift Dad would take. He loved giving and receiving cards, but wasn’t ever big on getting material things, and even moreso since he was “simplifying his life” as he dealt with serious health issues, including the cancer that finally claimed him in January this year.

For whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to make a Fathers’ Day project this year–not even to honor the other sweet and wonderful men I’m blessed to know who are themselves great dads. It’s just too painful. My relationship with my father was a complicated one–definitely not always perfect. But despite his imperfections…and my own…I loved him and know –for good or bad– he helped shape me into the person I have become. And I was blessed to learn from him–both from his wisdom…and his mistakes. And I knew, finally…fully…without any doubts, that he loved me, and all of us, too.

I made this page in December last year to honor him (and my Mom)…as the little girl in me mourned the impending inevitable outcome of the 2-1/2 year battle Dad had with cancer. IBNDC009-002It’s very fitting that the photo of Dad and me is when I WAS a little girl.  I didn’t have too many photos of us together as I aged. Daddy used to be the photographer in the family, and then I took on that role in my late teens. So, one or the other of us was usually behind the camera–hard to get photos together when that’s the case. As I was going through my father’s things after he passed, among the very few things he chose to keep as he pared down his life and belongings were photos I didn’t even know he had and barely even remembered being made….and among them WAS a photo that included the two of us. It also included my late husband and my late stepmother, and is also the ONLY one I have that includes my brother and his wife as well, so it is utterly priceless to me. Finding that amongst Dad’s treasures was worth all the tears I had to shed dealing with his paperwork.

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My Dad, circa 1966

Also among Dad’s things were several other more recent…and much older…photos I had never seen (or forgotten about). The funniest one, by far, is this crazy one of him, which was taken at my beloved aunt’s house at Christmas-time. Dad is wearing one of my cousin’s hats and aiming a toy gun that cuz got for Christmas that year. I definitely inherited my sense of humor from Dad. It’s one of the “things” I’m grateful to have to remember him by.

I miss him. We didn’t have any “unfinished business”, thankfully. My last in person conversation with him took care of that–as the eldest, he knew I’d be taking care of things when he passed. I promised him before I left him that day that I would make sure his wishes were honored–that unless he indicated otherwise, I’d make sure he was allowed to live out his life on his own terms–which meant being in his own home, living his life his own way.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do, because he was in a lot of pain. But I kept my promise.

The last words we spoke to each other were on the telephone shortly before he died. The conversation ended with “I love you”. Every conversation with our loved ones should end with those words, because we never know when those will be the last words we share.

Today–right now, at 4:00 in the morning, as I deal with my insufferable insomnia– I don’t feel very creative. But, despite the sadness, I do feel very blessed. And later today (hopefully after I get some sleep), I have the privilege of making a birthday card for the mother of a dear friend. The timing is not lost on me here.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today, sad though it may be. But I’ll honor my father by promising that I’ll remember I’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of blessings to count, and a lot of life to live. –Terri

Happy birthday with MDS Monday

Happy Birthday MDSM17

Happy Birthday. Those are words we tend to take for granted. This year, at my area’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life, I had the honor of coordinating the Survivor Dinner activities…and of being reminded just how precious birthdays are. The theme I chose was somewhere along the lines of ‘the biggest birthday party you’ve ever been to’…and we made decorations, had a great dinner, and I even had the privilege and pleasure of presenting a handmade birthday card (provided by some wonderful papercrafting friends) to each cancer survivor present at the Dinner. As a survivor myself, it was a dream come true and a night I won’t soon forget (and not JUST because the weather ended up being a very poorly-behaved party guest for the after-party Relay event!).

My scrapbook page is me, in all my silly glory, wearing the “official birthday tiara” (hah!) and posing amongst some of the decorations for the evening. The layout for the MDS Monday challenge seemed perfect for preserving this goofy picture.

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(I hate having my photo made, but admittedly needed to have it included in the chronicle of the festivities this year.) And I liked the added challenge to attach text to our punch shape.  Needless to say, my choice of Epic Day dsp pretty much begged for a hexagon punch shape to work with. (All the items used here, except the buttons, are from the Epic Day/This & That kit.)

–And here’s a bunch more MDS fun I had, creating a large banner (strung together by tons of ribbon) to hang across the stage area:
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–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! –Terri