Monday, August 25, 2014

Creative Blog Hop

Happy Monday Morning my friends! Yes, we are back around to Monday again. How did that happen?! lol I have a different post for you today, a second post for you. If you are looking for my BBTB2 post it is below this post. This will be a longer post, but not overly long, so grad your favorite beverage and sit with me for a spell. It's by turn to join in on the fun with The Creative Blog Hop, which is held each Monday. A quick explanation - TCBH is the brain child of a blogger , who's identity seems to have disappeared along the way as the hop progressed. The hop includes all kinds of artists: watercolor, paint, mixed media, and cards, as well as writers, photographers, and all sorts of needlework artists.

The idea is for each of us Bloggers to get to know each other better - some describes this as a game of "Tag, Your It". Each bloggers answers four questions about themselves and afterwards they "tag" three other bloggers and so on - then it goes on with the next three bloggers. Or so it should. However this one will end with me as I did not get three other bloggers to join in with me as they all have their plates full right now. Life is just that - life - and it must go on regardless of our hobbies and sometimes it doesn't allow time for this sort of thing no matter how fun it is to do.

The hop is only held on Mondays.

Just FYI there are knock-off hops going around called "Getting to Know Me" and "Blog Hop With a Difference" , which is fine. They are structured similarly, but some have different questions, so there might be some confusions as all these hops are hopping around all over Blogland. It's all good as we get to know one another a bit better. 

So how did I come to join in? Come and meet my "tagger".

The sweet and talented Mary of Carolina Cards. I met Mary when she was surfing Pinterest and came upon something I had made. She came to my blog and left me a lovely comment and said that her mother had Lupus too. Well I emailed her back and a relationship blossomed and the rest is history! I have come to call her Momma Mary as I had said one time that I wish I had had a mother like her growing up. She said she would be proud to be my momma and thus she became Momma Mary to me. She always has great advice for me just like a mom should and I value her advice greatly. She does have one daughter that lives in FL, Momma Mary lives in SC. So that is hard for Momma Mary and her hubby not having their daughter in the same area/state as they are in. And trust me, I know how that feels! Momma Mary is a very talented card maker and does wonders with Dylusion sprays, Copic Markers, with just about anything she picks up to use on a card. Her newest toy is a Gelli Plate that she is working with and learning. She has a beautiful card on her blog using the Gelli Plate for the first time. She always amazes me with her creations!! I haven't gotten to meet Mommy Mary in person yet. We had planned on meeting last year when we took a vacation down south to see my aunts and uncles, but time was short and just didn't lend to getting together. Next time however, we will be going to meet Momma Mary first. I'm so anxious to meet her in person as I know we will get along well. Our values and believes are the same and to tell you the truth, I feel like I have already met her in person. I really love my Momma Mary! 

Now about me:

I am a 54 year mom, wife and grandma. I started life off in South Carolina, moved to MD when I was very young and went back to the south as a tween. Then we came back to MD and as a divorced adult came to PA because cost of living was cheaper for a single mother. I met my husband and have finally enjoyed having roots somewhere. My mother moved a lot and I ended up going to 13 different school not including the schools I went to twice. So it was very important for me to have roots down and my kids to go to school in one school district, which I am happy to say happened.  I have been doing crafts of some sort since I was a young child. My home life was not an idea one. I had been kidnapped several times by my biological father when I was 3 years old-which I vividly remember to this very day. I never knew him except that he was my father and a bad man. My mother is an alcoholic and was very abusive. I was either on my own for a lot of things or else taking care of my half brother and sister who are 10 and 12 years younger than me. One day in the 4th grade, I took a book out of our school library that was about making crafts. It had the how to's in the book, so one evening while my mother slept. I crafted. It was something as simple as gluing yarn around a store bought Christmas ball but I was hooked. I've been crafting every since. Reading was also a "get away" for me too and I read a lot. As I grew, my crafting projects changed. I did cross stitched, made animal pillows for the younger kids, plastic canvas, a little stamping and so on. Then one day while listening to my boys moan about how we never go anywhere or do anything I decided to get into scrapbooking so they could see that no we didn't go places that require a lot of money we did do a lot together and had tons of fun. I had no clue how to do scrapbook but thought I would use rubber stamps and stickers to help me document our lives. With 6 boys we didn't have money to go to the movies a lot, or to amusement parks and such. Now the boys love looking at the scrapbooks and they realize that we did do a lot together even though we didn't have tons of money to spend on doing things. 

After my younger son was in school, and with most of his bothers grown, I got a job at our elementary school. I always had volunteer in our school district and wasn't looking for a job but a job landed in my lap. I LOVED my job!!! To me it was the perfect job, summer's off, working with sweet students that I just love and being out the house with adults as well as children. But it came to an end when my health issues over took my ability to work and keep up with my family at home. So I resigned and have missed it and longed for it since. Now I stay at home taking care of my husband who was diagnosed with colon cancer last Oct. He will be doing lifetime chemo, so it is a long and somewhat rocky journey but one we are making together with confidence and faith in our Lord that things will go well. I also sent my "baby" off to college a little more than a week ago. I can tell you I wasn't ready for an empty nest, but like always life marches on. We have 7 grandchildren which are such a joy to us and we love having them over to spend the night with us. 

I love riding the 4 wheeler with my husband to see how his crops are growing, I love to read, to mow-yes you read that right, I love to mow the grass, I also love to hang out in our pool and on the deck or in the hot tub, when able I love to tinker in the flower beds, I do a lot of cooking and baking which I enjoy too. I just don't always enjoy the clean up end of it but don't dread it either. I used to help hubby out on the farm some with hay and straw or to fill the drill up with whatever he was planting at the time. That how ever isn't something that I can do now. I still help out but  by guiding him when he is backing lots of equipment into the shed or by hooking and unhooking equipment and such. lol I think I'm easy going and easy to please. I'm very much a home body and a tank of gas can last me well over a month or more. I do enjoy getting out some, but my love is my home so when ever we do go away I'm always so happy to get back home. I guess the old saying "home is where the heart is" is really true, at least for me it is. I am a country bumpkin who is plain and ordinary and I love my life as it is a good one. One I never thought I would have as a young child. 

So now hubby and I are starting a new phase in our life of being empty nesters. It will be a new thing for us as we have never been "kid-less". When we married we had "yours, mine and ours". Although I will have to say that even though I didn't give birth to all 6 boys, they are all mine in every sense of the word. So this new life with just hubby and I is a little strange, but one I am looking forward too. Besides are we every kid-less??? I know our youngest will be back home each summer and with the cost of living he won't be moving out anytime soon on his own I don't think. I am looking forward to it just being hubby and I but it's a little scary too as my life was devoted to being just a mom and a wife. I know that I will enjoy having this time once I get used to it. Hopefully it won't be as demanding as raising a family. lol Although I've enjoyed raising my sons. 

I've so enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people here in blogland. Everyone is so sweet and kind and I feel as though they are my friends even though we haven't met in person, they are still every bit of a good friend as the "real" people in my life. I enjoy seeing their crafty projects and can spend a great deal of time on the computer. I have taken one of the 5 bedrooms over for my crafty space and I love having it all to my self. My youngest and hubby got me a nice flat screen tv for my room so I can sit in there and craft away as my body allows all the while having the tv on to watch.  It's my own little haven to get away to while hubby farms. 

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know me some and I hope I haven't bored you to tears!!! Now on to the interview questions:

1.  What I am working on now?  Nothing specific, although I do have projects that I've started and have never finished. So my goal is to get those finished. I also have DT projects that I need to do weekly and I want to do a mini album for my DIL of her baby shower to our youngest grandchild. But my biggest goal is to rearrange my crafty space and paint the room and get better organized. My crap crafty goodies was plopped into the room as my son wanted the basement bedroom that was my crafty space. So he moved my crap crafty goodies up to his old room and it was just kinda thrown in there with not much thought and it really isn't working for me. 

2.   How does my work differ from others in my genre?  I don't think my work differs all that much. I'm not fancy with my projects and I tend to craft more on the plain side. I also love to copy or CAS other's but always give credit where credit is due. Or at least I hope I do! I hope that people are flattered because to me it is the highest form of flattery. I know I would be so flattered if someone wanted to copy something I made. lol  I love layers, shabby chic and just about everything but I don't do that. I tend to lean towards CAS cards and layouts. Clean and simple just always catches my eye when I see a project that is clean and simple. I will try out a new technique from time to time, but also know my limits of what I can and can't pull off. lol So I will just continue to admire the people who can do the techniques I can't. 

3.   Why do I create what I do?  Well that is easy, I create cards, layouts and home decor because my boys, DIL's and friends love it. I love making my family happy, I love looking back on memories and I love seeing the joy in other's eyes when they get something they really love from me that I've made. It gives me pleasure to please other people as well as myself. Creating gives me something to do while my hubby spends many hours farming the 4 farms he farms after work. But mostly because I enjoy it and because of the pleasure my family gets from my creations.

4.  How does my creative process work?  Well that's a good question! I have to say that I'm really a "fly by the seat of my pants" crafter. A theme can get my creative juices flowing, and if a theme doesn't then I go to Pinterest to see what is there to inspire me as well as lots of blogs. I will also start with my pictures if I'm doing a layout for my inspiration. Cards, well they just kinda evolve as I work on them, I don't always have a vision in my head for them. I love using sketches for layouts as well as cards cause to me they take the thinking out for me but it doesn't take any of the creative process away. When Mr. Mojo is gone on vacation, nothing inspires me. lol  But to me if you have a sketch or inspirational photo you can always come up with something.

Now this would be the time that I would introduce you to other bloggers that I've tagged. But since I was unsuccessful at tagging anyone because of the demands of life I will just tell you thank you for stopping by today and I really hope that I didn't bore you to death! I hope you have enjoyed learning more about me and will come back to sit a spell with me again. Please consider popping over to visit Mary of Carolina Cards to learn about her life as well as some others. It has been lots of fun learning more about other's out in blogland. Crafty hugs, Brenda


Carol L said...

In spite of having an unhappy childhood, you've turned out to be a great wife, mom, and grandmom and I love that you were able to rise above the difficulty and carve out a happy life for yourself! That's amazing!! I love your style of cards and your sincere love for crafting and I'm always inspired by the things you create! You're a tower of strength for your DH too, and I wish you a long and happy life together!! Have a great week!
hugs, Carol

jimlynn said...

Brenda, your post is absolutely wonderful!! Very well written and I feel like I've already met you in person now! It's great.

DIANA L. said...

What a wonderful post Brenda, It is so fun getting to know you. Have a blessed day
DIANA L. BBTB2 DT member

MaryH said...

This is a super post! You wrote up your life's story very well indeed, even though I knew some of your history before now. Loved seeing how you wrote it, and thoroughly enjoyed your answers to the 4 questions too! You made me feel very humble at the nice things you wrote about me being Momma Mary. I am very proud of the person you are, and feel extremely blessed that I got to share a lovely friendship with someone as special as you are! I think everyone who reads this post will feel the same way about you! You've overcome some very large handicaps early in your young life, and that survival helped you to become a strong, emotionally stable person. Your family is so lucky to have you at the head of it, because you are definitely a giver! One I'm proud to call my daughter! Love & Hugs. And thanks for being one of my tags in this fun blog. Momma Mary

Lisa said...

What an absolutely beautiful post, Brenda!! I really enjoyed getting to know more about you and your struggles and joys!! I'm glad you were able to overcome your childhood. Thanks for sharing your story with us!! Have a great day :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

Anita in France said...

What a lovely post, Brenda, thank you ... you truly are a counter of blessings ... a shining light! God bless you and DH as you enjoy your temporarily empty nest together! Anita :)

Irish Cherokee said...

Very well written Brenda. TFS. - Jim

vic said...

Hi Brenda wow this is so interesting and you should be very proud of who you are today :) I can't believe your father kidnapped you that's terrible :(
Thank you so much for letting us read about your life your amazing :)
Vic x

Veerle said...

Hi Brenda,
I finally found the time to hop over to read your TCBH pieve. Waauw what a bumpy road your childhood has been. I loved reading your post and getting to know you a little better. Thank you for sharing and I am very glad to read you could find stability in your life. You can be proud of yourself Brenda that despite your terrible childhood you managed to give all your children a warm home and a warm home to your grandchildren now.
Have a nice day and I hope to see you again soon. Hugs Veerle x

Veerle said...

Hi Brenda,
I finally found the time to hop over to read your TCBH pieve. Waauw what a bumpy road your childhood has been. I loved reading your post and getting to know you a little better. Thank you for sharing and I am very glad to read you could find stability in your life. You can be proud of yourself Brenda that despite your terrible childhood you managed to give all your children a warm home and a warm home to your grandchildren now.
Have a nice day and I hope to see you again soon. Hugs Veerle x

Jaren said...

Loved getting to know you more! Your cheerfulness and sweet personality comes out in everything you write and make!

Karen said...

In spite of all that you have been through Brenda you are one of the nicest, sweetest and kindest people I have ever 'met' huni! I am so glad to be a friend, even though we live many miles and oceans apart. It is lovely to know a bit more about you! It's lovely to hear you create for your family because they it love too which is exactly why I create, well that and the urge that I get to make something with my hands! Karen xx

Sue said...

Hi Brenda wow! thank you for sharing this with us all it was an amazing read..lots of huggles Sue xxx

JD/ Jill said...

Brenda, what an amazing lady you are...You have had some big obstacles come into your life...but
you have managed to overcome them. I so admire your courage and your talent with your beautiful work...
Having just found your blog, I have a lot more to see...
Thank you for your nice comments and for joining my blog...which I am going to do here...when I finish my post...

Tina Campbell said...

Wonderfully written post Brenda. Wow you have had an life that you grew up into a beautiful person, God has been with you for along time. It's amazing what he shows us or puts us through to better ourselves. I can relate to the alcoholic parent my Dad (not sure if he abused me though a lot of my past is blocked out) It's wonderful that you took a bad thing and created a life full of wonder with creating. Hugs my friend and a empty nester can be fun at times :)

scrappymo! said...

This was so nice to read your story. You triumphed over adversity and your strength and creativity to find a way to do just that, shines through.

I am so glad that you agreed to do this post. It was lovely to read and i feel like I know you so much more!
Crafty hugs

Bonnie said...

It's nice to get to know you better, Brenda!

Sheila H said...

Yours is a beautiful story, Brenda. You're a survivor. You're strong, courageous and very loving and caring. Thanks for sharing.

cm said...

My sweet Brenda~your post (which I've read four times already) is heart-rending, heart-touching and heart-melting! You had me experience a full spectrum of emotions: tears and sadness for your turbulent, tumultuous childhood; anger that people tried to do you harm; smiles at your 'secret' crafting; and all out joy that you've found joy, peace and stability with your husband and family. You're like a phoenix rising out of the ashes! You've overcome incredibly challenges, and as a result, know what it is you want for your family, by knowing what you don't want (does that make sense?). Your creative process was such fun to read (sounds like me: evolve as we go along) and your crafting haven...ahhh, a mini paradise! My corner of the kitchen counter pales in comparison - but at least I have 'some' space! Love your post; love knowing more about you; love you!! And about that note I've been promising: I've not forgotten! Once I get my husband packed off to his officiating role at Tour of Alberta on Monday, I'll be in touch!! Hugs to you, wonderful Brenda!! You are such an inspiration: as a wife, a mom, a card-maker, and especially as a warm, caring, resilient and awesome woman! That family of yours is blessed to have you...and so are we!

Veerle said...

Hi Brenda, I was looking for an email adress but couldn't find one so post my thing here.
Thank you for your nice comment on my sketch card. BTW all the papers are handmade only the blank cards are not homemade. All the little squares are made from blank cardstock. I'll try to remember what you said about the use of a sketch, but as I said my brain is always jumping around like a mad man to get a grip on all the ideas that are bouncing up and down in there. Yep gets quit croudy in there. LOL LOL
If you woul like these brushes they are in promotion now on the website of Joanna Sheen and she does ship outside the UK even for free if you buy for £9 I believe.
Thanks again for your visit, hugs from Veerle x x xx

Jules said...

Hi Brenda

I have been having a big catch up on your blog.

I was so sorry to read about your hubby and the huge disappointment you both had .. .. let's hope things are "back on track" quickly.

Then there is your youngest Son at college now. That is one huge change and milestone - especially that empty nest feeling. I wish your Son well in his new life adventure and studies.

I hope you are coping with everything OK. You sound like you have managed to put a positive spin on everything and that goes a long way.

Lots of things to learn about you from the blog hop mission too. I love the thought of the scrapbooks you made in years past to remember the fun times you had with the boys. You sound such a lovely close family.

You asked about the patio. It is still a work in progress. Hubby comes home from work and does an hour or so each night on it if the weather allows. It is such a long job. He managed quite a good stint today.

We just hope the weather is kind for a few more weeks in the hope it can be finished before Winter sets in.

Love Jules xx

Darnell said...

I don't know what made me open the comments as I scrolled below your most recent post. I guess I'm never sure of my memory any more. Sure enough, I didn't see my comment, but I could swear I left one. You must wonder why I didn't follow up on Mary's tag of you!

I thoroughly enjoyed your interview, Brenda! You had me engaged from the first word to the last. I feel sort of like an auntie in your family with Mary, as I, too, have medical issues and had a terrible childhood both at home until age 12 and then in a foster home. It's wonderful that you have such a positive attitude and you are so grounded in spite of your beginnings! You should be so proud of how you made your own adult life turn out and how you raised six marvelous young men!

It's been a pleasure to get to know you through this incredible Blogland!! Hugs, Darnell

MackieMade Paper Creations said...

It is so nice to get to know more about you! You are amazing!!!