Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I made 2 more of the wreaths and I am going to make one more before the end of the night!

Just wanted to say that I have a goal. I wanted to get to 100 sales by December 31. I need 9 more. Just 9 little more sales. Anyone out there that would love a lovely card, or scrapbook album or even some die cuts?

I am planning on doing some different things coming up this year. I hope I can focus on my Etsy shop a little more, but the hubby will be starting radiation and chemo January 5, and we won't know how it will affect him. I might be very busy, but we'll see how it goes. I am just thankful that he's going to be okay.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowman wreath With Slice Design Cards!

Some of you who might read my blog and scrapbook may know that I am a HUGE fan of Making Memories' Slice, which is a digital die cut machine. It was released last year and it was the first digital die cut machine I ever wanted. My hubby got it for me for Christmas last year and I've thoroughly enjoyed using it. Why? Because the graphics are adorable and classic. There is GREAT value for what you pay for, and the possibilities are endless.

A week or so ago, Making Memories sent me an email and an idea for using some of the Design cards. They showed a picture of the most beautiful wreath of flowers and I was smitten to say the least. I told my hubby that I wanted to make it, and I had all the materials on hand. All I needed was the wreath forms, which I purchased at Michaels.

I used the Wedding Design Card, Mistletoe, and the FaLaLa Cards.Instead of full flowers, I decided to try it with snowflakes and the snowmen. It came out beautiful! I wanted to share it with you. I loved it so much that I am making a few more with Christmas paper!
Materials used:
Paper-light blue, navy blue, white, and precious metal white paper (Recollections, Hobby Lobby)
Glue Gun
Glue Stick (about 1 1/2 was enough)
Slice Die Cut Machine
Wedding, Mistletoe, and FaLaLa Design Cards. Noteworthy and Basics 2 also have a lot of flowers; my preference was for the Wedding Design Cards flowers, but I am trying out the other ones too!)
Obviously, the glass mat and adhesive.
Gemstones (rhinestones in clear and blue)
brads in blue and clear rhinestones, and blue brads
flower gemstone for snowgirl's hat
White Acrylic paint, optional--to paint the wreath form

I cut several 2, 2 1/2, and a few 3 inch flowers and snowflakes from each of the cards. I layered some of the snowflakes and many of the flowers. I used glue to adhere the layers and then used a glue gun, as recommended in the email, to adhere the flowers, snowflakes to the wreath form. Before I glued everything together, I painted the wreath form with white acrylic paint.

At the bottom of the wreath, I added 2 snowmen that I cut from the Mistletoe card. I added a hat for the boy, and the girl has a hat too. I also cut out a scarf for each snowman. I used an archival black marker to draw the faces on the snowmen.
Altogether, it took me probably 6 hours to cut and layer all the flowers and probably about an hour to adhere them. It sounds like a lot of time, but I also was multi-tasking--updating my Etsy shop and chatting with friends! :)

Here is a few pictures to show you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Good News! and Cuteness too!

YAY! Something good finally came out of Dh's diagnosis. He got admitted on Friday(that's not the good part) for having an allergic reaction to one of his seizure meds. He developed a rash so hot you could almost cook an egg on it. Poor guy, but he's home now and feeling MUCH better. Anyway, they finally told us what he has. He has anaplastic astrocytoma. I don't know a whole lot about it, but I am sure we'll know more tomorrow when we see the oncologist. The dr. said it's a Grade III, BUT, with treatment he should live a long, and great life. So that's AWESOME.

We are so relieved and happy, of course!

Anyway, I was doing a photo shoot for my Etsy shop. Miss Princess Nosy Pants had to be nosy and get a few shoots in there too. I like how many of them came out-the lighting, the cuteness on her face (even though I know she's thinking of her next plan to destroy something) and the way she is laying. She drives me bananas sometimes but her cuteness takes the cake! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gratitude and Cancer

The past year has been a huge roller coaster of emotions, ranging from frustration, fear, sadness, anger, hope, and I don't even know what else.

I wrote the last post about my hubby's and his illness. We finally got a diagnosis. When the neurosurgeon came out of the operating room on November 18, it never occurred to me that he *really* did have cancer. It was in the back of my mind that it might be a reality, but never it *being* a reality. It frightened me and shocked me to hear the diagnosis. It was incredibly devastating to hear.

It's certainly NOT something I wanted to have to tell my husband that night. He wanted to know, and he doesn't want things to be sugar coated. So I did. I said it. It took nearly 4-5 more days before I could say it while he was fully awake. It's in our vocabulary now.

This experience and something else that has happened has led me to want to relay this message.

The word cancer has turned my world upside down. It's an incredibly frightening word because there are so many unknowns about it. Where does cancer come from? Why does it happen? What's the prognosis? What's the treatment like? Will it hurt? Will it make him as sick as I have read? Why are there so many unknowns? How long will it take? Is it safe? I could go on forever, but I think you get the picture.

To those of you who complain on a daily basis that you have no control over your life, or you can't find a job, or you can't buy something you want right now, or that someone is doing something you don't like or whatever minor transgression has been placed on you, take a second look. Take a second look at the things that you take for granted.

Be grateful for what you do have and for the ability to have that choice. I feel like we have no control. We didn't ask for cancer, we can't control the fact that it's here. But what we can do is control how we think about life now. Regardless of the prognosis, NOTHING is more important than the time you spend with your family.

I lost my mom suddenly in 2007. It was very traumatic for me, and obviously very heartbreaking. I miss her terribly. But, since her death, my perspective has changed tremendously on the idea of gift giving on Christmas. It just doesn't matter to me. Sure, I cherish the gifts hubby or family have given me, but when I think about the gifts, what's behind it matters to me. The hospital where hubby has had his surgery is very close to the college my mom and I went to, and it brings up so many fond memories. The things hubby has given me have also brought fond memories. Whoever stated that kids don't remember the gifts they receive for Christmas or their birthday is right on the money.

I remember a few of the gifts my mom bought me, but I have far, far more memories of the places we went, things she did with us and just silly, random things. The same goes for my hubby. He always gives me a gift, but there is a story to it. Now that our life has changed, something just is different.

I told him that I didn't want anything for Christmas this year b/c I already got it. I wanted him to survive the surgery and more than that, to be able to still walk and talk. I got it. That's what matters to me. We can't control that he does have cancer but I can control how I view it.

We don't what's going to happen, but I intend on looking for things to be grateful for. I intend on spending as much quality time as I can with him. Right now? I am grateful that he is recovering from the surgery so well. I am grateful that he can give me a hug. I am grateful that he loves me despite all of my faults, especially having a hard time NOT sweating the small stuff. I am grateful that I have so many family members who are supporting me through this ordeal and the incredible kindness, and support from Internet friends too.

In short: Be grateful and cherish what you do have. The material things aren't important. The people around you and the memories that you create with those you love are what matter.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Can we please have time off for good behavior?

I remember watching a movie on Lifetime a few years ago. Lori Loughlin played a young woman with 2 young children who divorced her cheating husband. Her husband in the movie failed to pay child support. She ended up with various things happening to her and I remember the one line in that movie, "Do I get time off for good behavior?" (to that effect, anyway!)

Anyway, I kind of feel that way. I was talking with my husband and we discussed me posting the situation he is in at the moment and he said I could write about it here. He is generally very private about his life, and like I said, I don't really like discussing personal details online, but today I am feeling stressed and freaked out.

About a year ago, he started having these issues with numbness and tingling and was admitted to the hospital for evaluation. It was found through a CT scan that he had a stroke. Without going into too many details, there was a debate as to whether he really had a stroke. A week later he was hospitalized again.

Anyway, fast forward to last week. He was feeling miserable and having a terrible headache, so he decided to go to the ER to see what is going on. Seems he has a tumor in his brain, near a blood vessel. They don't know what kind of tumor it is, but they need to do a biopsy to see what it is.

We are both scared, and needless to say, stressed out. We are confused, and frustrated by all the talk of whether it was a migraine, a stroke, a tumor, an infection or what. He got terrific care from the last hospital--everyone was thorough, and explained things well. The dr. were AWESOME there.

He got admitted somewhere else due to issues I'd rather not discuss here. He's having the biopsy on Thursday and tomorrow we will speak with the neurosurgeon to discuss options and outcomes.

Since we have been married, it's been either me or him that has had some sort of major health issue. It was almost expected from me though b/c since I was little, I've had numerous health issues to deal with.

I've had numerous flare-ups from a back issue, surgeries to correct congenital defects in my ears (and numerous ear infections that turned into mastoiditis) to a knee injury that led to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, to now an 11 month battle with tendinitis that has me in tears some nights.

My hubby has had his fair share of issues too--he tore the rotator cuff in his arm, some "normal" routine illnesses like kidney stones and pneumonia to now a brain tumor that we have no idea what's causing it.

To some extent I can accept *some* crazy issues with our health, but could it PLEASE stop for a couple of years and let us enjoy some happiness?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember to never take your family for granted

As I have mentioned before, I don't really like to post my personal life issues for the world to see. Just to keep it short, but a family member of mine is having a serious health crisis.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who have offered your well wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts for us. I also wanted to say, as I stated in my title, never take your loved ones for granted. Love them no matter what. Stick by them. Again, always love them!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Picture Help Needed!

I am having a really hard time lately taking pictures for my Etsy shop. I wanted to switch my "studio" around this weekend so I would have more room for my light box and lights.

Today I took 267 pictures and they all came out super, super dark, and I have no idea why they aren't working.

Here are some of them, and if you have suggestions or ideas of what's wrong feel free to make a comment! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kitties and Exercise

Welll today was the day the kittens are scheduled to get spayed. Dusty gave us a nice little exercise today. She's so silly. I knew she would be difficult to get into the carrier, but I didn't know we'd be chasing her between the kitchen and the living room 15 times before we caught her.

We had to move the fridge, the dryer/washing machine, and 2 curio cabinets so we could catch her when she was ready to run to the other side of the house. Hubby and I are a little nervous that she might run to some hiding spot at the vet clinic, but no phone call yet, so they must have handled her okay!

The dog and the other cat are wondering where their sisters are, too. Snowball, of course let us know this morning that she went without food overnight!

I miss them already though :(. At least it's only about 10 more hours until I see them.

Anyway, not much else has changed in my world. I'm getting busier with Etsy lately, and that's awesome! ;) I am getting ready to make a whole bunch of birthday cards and some gift sets to put up on there too. I am hoping that Christmas will be super busy for me on Etsy! :)

I think I might make chocolate chip cookies tonight. I am also making lasagna for dinner tonight. I've had a taste for it for quite a while now!

That's about it for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kitties and More kitties!

Yesterday I posted about my silly pets. Snowball is my first cat that I ever owned. She's a Persian--white fur and big blue eyes. It's been said that many white cats with blue eyes are deaf but she defies that--she is in no way deaf. She comes when called. She loves a cuddle every now and then, and she has the best manners. She never jumps up on my unless invited. She's quite vocal at times too--when she meows, she sounds like she's saying "Ma-Ma"!

Then there's Pip; that's Pipsqueak for short. We got him shortly after we were married. Dh brought him in the door. We were getting our screen repaired, so he just put him in the opening and I heard this tiny little squeak come from the tiniest little kitten mouth. So adorable. That's how he got his name--he never meowed like cats do; he just sort of squeaked.

He thought it was fun to wake me up at 2 am to play. He was always smooshing his face into mine, sitting on my pillow/on my head, pawing at my face to get me to get up and play. Eventually he grew out of that. Sadly, last December, he walked out somehow, probably while I was letting the dog out, and he never came back. Pip--if you are out there, we hope you are being well-taken care of and hope you know we miss you! :(

There's Chico now. He's a brownish-black chihuahua. He's one of the most loyal dogs EVER. He follows me everywhere, he sleeps with me, and he's a good protector, though sometimes I think he's too overprotective.
He has a little bear that he likes to take to bed with him. He cracks me up with that little bear too because he is so gentle with him. He picks him up like it's glass that he doesn't want to break. It's a very different scene from his stuffed cow. He shakes the cow, which by the way, is almost as big as he is, all over the house, growls at it, and smooshes it into the ground. So silly, but that's what animals are for right? So we can call them silly!

Princess is our next kitten. She was found behind a relative's house, and she looked so much like Pip, that we had to have him. We missed Pip terribly and while he can never be replaced, Princess could practically be a close relative to Pip. She is incredibly rambunctious and silly. She was so tiny and needed to be fed by bottle. She would crack us up when feeding her--she would put her paws around the bottle and try to feed herself. Eventually she did really hold it for a few seconds. Then she'd drop it. She LOVED her milk. She knew it was coming in no uncertain times. She would also make noises to tell us she LOVED her milk. When she got old enough to feed her solid food, she did the same thing. She was funny because she was little enough to fit inside the bowl, and had to climb in there to eat b/c she was too little to reach!

We named her Snowy at first because we found her in the snow. Dh decided to change her name to Princess, then it was Princess Snowy. Later I ended up calling her Princess Nosy Pants because she has a HORRIBLE habit of wanting to know what you are doing every few minutes. If I move from my computer, she wants to know what I am doing in the new spot. It's hard to get mad at her b/c she is so darn cute-especially with this little freckle on her nose. Maybe we should have called her Freckles!

Finally, we took in Dusty, who is Princess' twin sister. By twin, I mean literally her twin. The look almost exactly alike. It was hard at first to tell them apart unless we looked right at them. That's why we got different colored collars--so we could learn to tell which one is which. It's getting easier the older they get. Princess is so darn rambunctious, so I know it's her if she's running all over. I know it's Dusty if she runs and hides. She's got a narrower face than Princess too. She's also Miss Fraidy Cat. I mean the textbook case of fraidy cat too! She runs and hides anytime there is a strange noise. But, she has the sweetest face. I don't know if it's because she's so easily scared or what, but she just warms my heart. (Well anyone that knows me knows how fond of kitties I am). She does cuddle at night though.

Without further ado, I am going to try and post some pics of my cute little pets!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Terrible Blogger

I know I said I would update my blog more often, but I have a problem. I just don't know what to say! I am not into airing personal things on the Internet. Besides that, it's not very interesting, is it? :)

Not much is new at the moment. I am still working on my Etsy shop and constantly finding things to create that will sell. I've made a ton of Halloween items-a haunted house, some tags, cards, and some wall decor (door hangers and a sign). Check out

The kittens, dog and senior kitty also keep me busy during the day. Lots of entertainment-the kittens chase each other all day long. Sometimes they take naps together, but Dusty likes to sleep behind the fridge. How she gets out of there I'll never know. She is easily spooked by noises though. However, she has the sweetest look on her face though! Her twin sister is a very odd girl. She's just as adorable but so so wacky. I am not sure what planet she really came from--she is just so silly. I thought Pip was wacky but she tops the wackiness. She runs all over the place, thinks she owns me, and occasionally thinks I am a chicken sandwich (i.e. biting my hand).

Snowball is old now, and she just basically thinks the kittens are two silly children whom she can't be bothered by! :) That's all I can think of!

Monday, July 13, 2009

SALE! and other ramblings


Hey everyone, come and check out my Etsy shop. I added some new stuff and I have a section that is 20% off. Lots of really nice stuff.

Etsy Toot for me! :) I got an email from a wonderful person who let me know how much she enjoys my shop. She wants to advertise on her blog. I am returning the favor and advertising her shop here.

Her shop is:

She sells lots and lots of cute Vintage books and other vintage stuff. Her shop reminds me of when I was a little girl, and my mom would cuddle us and read a book, usually Stuart Little. Fun shop and lots of cool stuff. I hope you check her out! ;)

I joined Facebook this past weekend. It's pretty cool, but hard to keep up. There isn't much new lately. I've been updating my shop the past few days and we had some family functions lately too.

My home party went really well. I was excited but a little nervous. It was fun though and had lots of fun!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wow! How Cool!

Etsy is having a Christmas in July Sale coming up this week and there are 2 blogs about how it started. I am getting excited to offer my deals up this week. Only a couple of days and I will share the first surprise sale!

Read about it here:

and here:

That's all for tonight. I'll be getting stuff ready for the sale and for my show, so I'll be busy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Long Time NO see! Christmas in July sale

I'd like to try and keep better track and update my blog more. I also would like to make it a little more user-friendly and more interesting to read. If you have a comment or suggestion, I am all ears!

I am thinking of moving my focus of just Etsy and scrapping to possibly that and everyday life. The last few months have been pretty crazy. I have spent most days creating and making more stuff for my shop and thinking of new ideas to WOW! my customers. I've also spent some time trying to figure out how to better promote my shop to people.

My sister has generously decided to let me use her home to have my very own craft show, coming up this week. My brother-in-law came up with the idea to help expand my business, so I am going to go for it! I am nervous a little; not because of not having enough material but to speak a few words to her friends, some of who I don't know or haven't met yet. I have to bite the bullet and just go for it. I have confidence that my work will sell itself, but I need to work on feeling confident to talk in front of people I don't know, and not show how painfully shy in real life I am.

If anyone reads this, please wish me luck this week! :)

My Etsy shop has been open for a year and a half now. In that year and a half I have learned a great deal about running a business. I've learned what works, and what doesn't. I've made many improvements and changed many a things since being owner of Paperika. (see my shop at: I've studied for months how to take better pictures.

I have some news to share about Etsy. Every year, the sellers participate in a seller wide sale, called Christmas in July. We can have a sale however we want.Some sellers have sales on just Christmas stuff, some have sales in their whole shop, some offer free shipping. Last year, I made a special price on some Christmas items.

Etsy's seller-wide sale is going to be later in July, but I am beginning my Christmas in July sale on July 8, which is the date of my home party. I will be offering some special discounts on Christmas items, anything having to do with the cold, and some older inventory I'd like to give a new home too a little quicker! So watch my shop. Each week (and perhaps some surprises within the week) I will feature a special sale. I won't spoil my plans here. You'll have to come and check out my shop to see what's in store! :)