Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Something I just had to Share...

Hello my crafty friends, I don't have anything craft related to show you, but I do have something I want to share. As you all know I lost my wonderful husband in Oct. of 2015. Still struggling, but making strides most days. Grief has a way of sneaking up on you when you think things are going well and this week it has really snuck up on me. I am struggling a lot this week and I assume it is because our anniversary is this Saturday. My youngest son also told me last Sunday that he is coming home to take me out to eat just like his dad always did for our anniversary, which made my heart smile but cry at the same time. He say's he plans on doing that each anniversary here after. Yes, I have wonderful sons, but my youngest had his dad the least amount of time and he is right in tune with me on our loss. So that might have something to do with my struggles this week as well. 

Today I ran across this blog by way of another blog and it came at the perfect time. I sat reading this post and the tears where streaming down my face. This post spoke to me in a way I never expected. So I thought I would share it in hopes that it may help someone else too. So please excuse the non crafty post, but I think you will forgive me after reading this. I will be back soon to share where I have been all last week. Still trying to catch up with commenting and emails. Came home to over 600 emails, how does that happen?!!! lol Crafty hugs, Brenda

Here is the post link so you can go to this woman's blog:

http://www.breakingyourheartopen.com/?p=145#comment-24

Here is the story if you don't want to click on the link:

I SEE YOU!

 
 February 5, 2016
   
The last time my sister, Kristen, saw her husband, Rob, he was on the way out the door to do a favor for a total stranger. When she asked why he was doing this, he said “I am paying it forward.” He and the stranger died in a single-engine plane crash a few hours later. That was nearly three years ago now, and I know it still hurts.
It is not always death that takes loved ones from us; sometimes it is the end of a relationship that feels like it should have lasted forever, the loss of a baby that was never born or never adopted, or distance from a family member who has lost their way in the world. It is my sister’s birthday this week and I wrote this post for her, but it is also a letter for all those other souls who have shown us how to live gracefully, for those who have experienced great loss and left their hearts open to love again. If you know someone like this, send them this letter, and tell them, it’s from you.

To You, My Friend, Who Still Grieves When No One Sees
I see you, Friend. I see you go about your daily life. I see you laugh and work. I see your still vibrant smile. I see you putting your best foot forward. I see you creating your newly remodeled life. I see you stepping up and helping others along the way. I see you standing there, a bit wobbly-kneed sometimes, but feet firmly planted. I see you. And I want you to know how proud I am to know you.
I do not claim to know how you feel. Who can claim such a thing? Grief is so personally wrenching, so tailor-made for our own circumstances. The devastation of your personal loss cannot be compared to any other loss. There is no mathematics of grief; no such thing as: this loss is precisely 12.63 times more devastating than that one. Because loss is loss, like zero is zero, and no amount of multiplication or division makes it any other number. It’s just zero, ground zero for trying to rebuild your life around a cannonball-sized wound in your heart.
I do know a few things about grief. I know that years later, long after you have scraped yourself on the concrete and moved on, long after you have told yourself that you are okay now, the old grief can ambush you from behind. There you are, going about your day, shopping, cleaning, driving, or doing any old mundane task and then suddenly you are utterly flattened again by grief. And you can’t figure out how it managed to sneak up on you like that. Why didn’t you see it coming? It’s like, there you were, standing on a quiet street, minding your own business and WAM, a truck plows over you from behind. And that’s it. You’re down for the count. And the really weird thing about it is that everything around you goes on, business as usual, as if nothing significant had happened. You are down and the rest of the world still sees you standing. And you get used to them not knowing you are down. And you don’t tell them, because… well… isn’t there enough drama in the world already?
But I am telling you, I see you! You are not the same as those still untouched by loss. You have something different about you, something that draws me to you and marks you as one who knows the full price of love and chooses to love again anyway. I know you are not always steady on your feet, and I know that reconstructing your inner world is pretty much a solo project. But I see you standing there, with that cannonball wound in your heart, and I am moved by you. I know you have made that difficult choice to let the wound stand. You have not filled the hole with bitterness; you have not encased your heart in concrete; you have not surrounded yourself with emotional barbed-wire. You stand there with your broken heart and you give me hope for the future. I know some wounds never heal. But I think, when I look at you, that it might somehow be okay if a heart stays that way, a heart broken open by loss, vulnerable but welcoming like yours.
There is this strange thing that happens to me sometimes. I am in some public place and I see something out of the corner of my eye. Or I hear a voice and turn around, fully expecting to see a familiar face. And it’s just strangers, and they are not even looking at me. It’s weird. After all this time, I still have moments when I feel like I have entered into that alternate universe, where your life turned out the way it was supposed to and the loss never happened. And then I feel that pang in my heart, small though it is in comparison, and I think of you. And I send you my love, letting it pass along unseen channels, hoping somehow you’ll feel it. In those moments I remember your loss, and I think of you standing there with your open heart, standing beside all the other lovely open-hearted people who have gone there before you. God, you are a beautiful sight!
So, thank you. Thank you for being there for me in spite of everything. Thank you for showing me how to stand up again and again, no matter how many times grief ambushes you. Thank you for showing me how to love when your heart is broken. Thank you for showing me what I need to do when my losses come. Because no matter how we try, none of us escapes loss; sooner or later we all get ambushed by it. But I feel more confident about the future knowing this one thing: on that terrible day, when my heart breaks, you will be there standing by me with that broken-open heart of yours. All of us with our broken hearts will stand together. And we will know that our wounds are not signs of weakness, but badges of honor, because we have dared greatly and loved deeply and fully intend to love again. And if not now, well… at least… someday… hopefully soon.
I am so proud of you. And I want you to know, I see you!


Dear Reader,
Scroll down you will find a place to comment on this post and read comments by others. If you know Kristen and loved Rob like we did, you can post something about them here. If you have lost a love one, you can leave them a message here as well. Somehow I think they will get it. If you are wondering what my sister is doing these days to cope with her loss, you can check out to her website at stillwithyou.com. It is a beautiful and very personal project she hopes will help others cope with loss.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Love You More Today...Cardz TV Gallery

Hello my crafty friends, it is my turn to post over at Cardz TV Gallery. It's February and so that means that Valentine's Day isn't far off! It will be a hard month for me since hubby's passing. Our anniversary is the 13th of February, that will be a hard day. But on the 14th we have a granddaughter who will celebrate her 2 birthday. I know hubby will be looking down on us both. My love continues to grow for my husband even though he is no longer in this physical world with me, so this sentiment is so true for me. I do love him more today than yesterday.

Some of you who visit my blog regularly will think that this card looks a little familiar to you Well that is because I made 4 base cards with the houndstooth pattern on it because I have challenged myself to always make more than one card at a time this year so I can build my card stash up. To see the card similar to this one, click here. I made two of these Valentine cards to place in my stash and made two of the other card. 

Thank you for taking time out of your day to come and visit me, you always make my day brighter with your visits and comments. Crafty hugs, Brenda







Recipe:
Outside sentiment-Cardz TV Stamps "Love Ya"
Hounds tooth squares-My Creative Time "Build a Banner" kit
Envelope-My Creative Time "Mini Stitched Envelope" Die
Hearts-My Creative Time "We're Better Together" Stamps and Dies

Monday, February 1, 2016

I Scream, You Scream....BBTB2 Challege

Hello crafty friends, hope you have had a great weekend and that the week is off to a great start as well. I am still taking each day as it comes, can't really look forward to the future yet or even conceive the future without my beloved. I know it will come one day, but for now I am best taking each day as it comes. 

Today is Monday, so that means a brand new challenge is going on over at BBTB2. I am hosting this week and the theme I chose for my DT Sisters and you is to use ice cream on your project. Did you know that on the first Saturday of February it is "Eat ice cream for breakfast" holiday?!! I can't make this stuff up people, it really is!! lol Sooooo, this is why I want to see ice cream on your projects. Go over to BBTB2 and see what inspiration my design team sisters have for you and then link up a project with ice cream on it with us. 

I used Mojo Monday 431 sketch. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day and visiting me. Your visit is much appreciated as are your commented. You bring much joy to my day when you visit! Crafty hugs, Brenda




Recipe:

Cricut Sweet Shop cartridge, print and cut
Outside sentiment and face on bowl of ice cream-My Creative Time "You Make Life Sweet" stamps and dies set.
Inside sentiment-My Creative Time "We're Better Together" stamp/die set and Maymay Made It "Happy" stamp set
Hearts-WPlus9 "Borders and Backgrounds" stamps
Sequins and glossy accents



Sunday, January 31, 2016

With Sympathy

Hello crafty friends, hope you are having a relaxing Sunday. I made a little resolution to myself to make more than one card when I am making cards. So my challenge is to make at least 2 cards, but would prefer to make 4, assembly line style to place in my stash. I didn't make 4 of these cards, but did make 2. So I'm pretty happy about that, but unfortunately I will be using one of them. But that's ok, cause I made two and the other one can go into my stash. Since the passing of my beloved husband, I have found this saying and I just love it because one night early after his passing, my husband's cousins came over and we got in the hot tub. While sitting and talking, I see a shooting star. No one seen it but me. Then I switched seats and saw another shooting star! No one but me saw it again. Next thing I knew there went another shooting star for the 3rd time. You guess it, I was the only one who saw it. I believe my beloved was sending me a message, then I found this saying and fell in love with it as it seem to have meaning to me. They have angels with this saying on the angel and I plan on getting one for my bedroom because it just reminds me of this time when I saw the 3 shooting stars. You might be asking why I saw 3 shooting stars. Well, Dwayne always gave me 3 kisses before leaving the house, whether he was going up to the farm, off to work or where ever. It was always 3 kisses, so I think he sent me the 3 shooting stars! Yes, that was my amazing husband....

Again I used Mojo Monday Sketch 431 for this card as well. Thanks so much for taking time out of  your day to visit me. I truly appreciate you visit and your comments as well. You certainly make my day brighter for me!! Crafty hugs, Brenda




Recipe:
Cricut Create a Critter Cartridge-"stars", the cloud I hide and didn't cut
Cricut Wild Card Cartridge-"with sympathy"
CardzTV Stamps "Basic Borders" for the inside star border
My Creative Time-"3 Stars" Stitched Dies
Stampin' Up-"Love and Sympathy" stamps-I believe that this set has been discontinued
Cricut Explore Write feature "Baby Steps" font for the saying

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snowflakes, lots and lots of Snowflakes-BBTB2 Challenge

Hello my crafty friends, I hope if you were in the path of this storm you made it through it safe and sound. I had originally had this scheduled to post because I was afraid we would lose our power with this snow storm. But we didn't. We did however get 28 inches of snow dumped on us! I was so happy to have my youngest and his friend get home from college on Friday before the snow storm hit. It started around 5/6pm on Friday. Woke up to lots and lots of snow on Saturday. Still coming down like crazy, but my son and friend went out to shovel the back porch and walk open. Then they "waded" through the snow drifts on the tractor path to get to the farm. Once there they got the doors open to the big shed and got the loader tractor out and pushed snow at the farm and home. Then helped a neighbor, all the while the snow continued to fall at 2 to 3 inches per minute. Finally called it done for the day. Woke up this morning to a beautiful, sunny day. My son got the tractor again and pushed more snow and snow drifts at the farm and home. Then he went up the road and plowed a another neighbor out. In the mean time, I shoveled the front porch, couldn't open the door, and shoveled to the driveway from the front porch as well as opened up a path to the pipes that they oil man uses to deliver my heating oil. My neighbor came by and finished helping me get this done. Then my son and friend came home and we had supper. After supper they dug open the mail box so the mail could be delivered. It was his 20th birthday, so celebrated that and then off they left to go back to college. These boys worked hard this weekend! Thank God, because I don't know when I would have gotten dug out since my other son was still snowed in at his house. He lives about 25 minutes from me and thought he would be able to get to me on Saturday to dig me out. Nope, didn't happen. He was still snowed in late this afternoon! I would rather mow grass than shovel snow. lol So I'm done, where's spring?! And yes, youngest son and friend got back to college safe and sound. a 2 1/2 hour drive and I can watch them drive all the way home on my phone, it even tells me how fast they are driving. Such a piece of mind to watch them get there. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. Feeling frosty??



My back porch/patio after the guys shoveled Sunday.

 My youngest clearing the driveway on Saturday.

 This was our visibility, sometimes worse than this on Saturday.

 This is my front yard on Sunday.

 My backyard on Sun., there is a picnic table between the two trees, buried.

 Out my back door, with the door open on Saturday, it was piling up against the door.


Ok, enough of my rambling. We were challenged over at BBTB2 to use a snowflake on our project by the talented Susan. Well, I should have did a snowflake layout since it is snowing like crazy and I will be taking pictures. But at the time I did my project I didn't know we were going to have a huge storm, so I have a card instead. It was Pinterest inspired and you can find that inspiration here. Ok, it was more like a down right copy, I admit. I couldn't help it, I feel in love with it. I was going to make my snowflake white and for some reason, I made it silver glitter. Don't ask me what I was thinking, but I forgot I was going to make it white like the Pinterest one. Yea, still not on my game I'm sorry to say and don't think I will be for a while yet. Anyway I used a lot of snippets on this one. The only thing that isn't a snippet is my card base, which is 4 1/4 X 4 1/4. So this card will still fit in an A2 envelope. Ok, it's your turn to create some dazzling snowflake projects to link up with us. 

As always thank you for stopping by and visiting with me a spell. You comments always make my day and leave me with a smile on my face. Crafty  hugs, Brenda

Edited: Joining in with the challenges:
Rudolph Day
Snippets Playground






Recipe:
Cuttlebug embossing folder on the 1 1/2 inch squares
Winter Wonderland Cricut cartridge for the snowflake
Some random shear white ribbon from my stash
Random clear gem
Sentiment from a SU set, sorry I don't remember which one

Monday, January 18, 2016

Penguin Cold-BBTB2 Challenge

Hello my crafty friends, I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was so, so. Hard to know what to do with yourself when you don't have your mate around anymore. I helped our cousin take down Christmas trees at her house and her dad's house on Friday and then on Sat. I went to mass in the evening. 

Since it is Monday, you know that means it is a brand new challenge over at BBTB2. This weeks challenge is hosted by our talented Kelly. She wants us to use penguins on our project. So I made a little card. Well, it isn't the standard A2 card. Instead it is a 4 1/4 x 6 1/4 card. Kept it pretty simple by doing a print and cut on the Explore. I stamped my houndstooth pattern on some snippets of white cardstock. I also curved my sentiment on my block to match the curve of the penguin's head.  Recipe will be at the bottom. 

As always thanks for stopping by. It's always great to get visitors. You always  make my day a happy one. I will be by to visit you real soon too. Crafty hugs, Brenda

Thanks to a blog buddy, Lisa, I can enter this into the the Thankful Thursday challenge over at DLART. It is to use the colors yellow, black and white. Thanks Lisa!

I also want to enter into the Snippets Playground challenge of using snippets. 




Recipe:
Penguin-Create A Critter, print and cut on Explore
Hounds-tooth pattern-My Creative Time Build A Banner Kit
Snowflakes-My Creative Time Winter Flake Dies
Sentiment-Cardz TV Snow Day stamp set
Glittery Paper-Die Cuts With A View glitter paper

Monday, January 11, 2016

Brrrr, Baby It's Cold Outside! BBTB2 Challenge

Hello my crafty friends, I am trying to find my new normal since my beloved husband's passing. So it is back to creating for my DT's. Not sure how it will go, but it can only help me to create some again. 

Today is a new challenge over at BBTB2. Our sweet Melanie has chosen our theme of hats, mittens and scarves because baby, it's cold outside! At least it is cold here in Central PA. Although yesterday was 55 and today it is only in the low 30's. How does that work?! We have been very fortunate that we haven't had hardly any cold weather or snow so far. I think this is my kind of winter! So for this challenge I made some pocket cards by printing my cards on my Explore. The cartridges I used will be under my pictures. For now, I just have some filler cards in the spaces instead of pictures. I will put pictures in later, I have tons of snow pictures to scrap. 

Thanks for joining me today, I always love when you come and sit a spell and enjoy a hot drink with me. Your comments always, always make my day and I will be back to visit you too very soon. Crafty hugs, Brenda





Cartridges Used:
Holiday Cakes - mittens Colors were changed on the Explore
Mr. Frosty for the patterns on the card shapes
Snow Angel - brown/blue hat
Winter Woodland - blue/pink hat
Snow Friends - snowman

 

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