Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happiness is Homemade

How was your Halloween?  It was a busy day, but a quiet night here!  We only had about 30 or 40 trick-or-treaters, but we had a blast looking at their cute costumes and the pure joy on their faces.  My favorites are the tiny ones that toddle up or come rolling up with their parents pushing their strollers.  So adorable! Definitely one of my favorite holidays!

As October comes to a close and the page of the calendar turns to November, Thanksgiving is already on my mind.  That's what inspired today's card.  I just *love* apron stamps, so this was a great excuse to use one of my favorites!

So much has changed since last year, I must admit that I am filled with a sense of adventure and also a little uneasiness when I think of revising our collection of favorite family recipes to try to make them allergen-friendly.  I really wish I could just "cheat" for one meal, but the elimination-provocation diet doesn't quite work that wouldn't be worth risking a reaction and feeling yucky for a week afterward.  I'll have to find a way to keep it "legal" and as close to the original character of the recipes as possible.  Quite a challenge with limited ingredients and also limited experience as a gluten-free/Paleo baker, so I am thinking I need to start early and experiment!  ;)

Flourishes "Fresh Baked" stamp set
Memento Nautical Blue ink
Spectrum Noir markers
Authentique "Strong" designer paper
Twinkle Goosebumps bling
1 mm and 2 mm foam adhesive dots
craft blade and mat

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Keep Calm & Carry On!

I am happy to finally get to play in one of the SCS Hope You Can Cling To challenges this month!  Way back when I was a physical therapy intern, I did one of my rotations at M.D. Anderson, so this cause is one that is near and dear to my heart, especially since my mom had her mastectomy last year.

My card is for Joyce's "Subway Art with Heart" challenge.  This Flourishes stamp set was a good fit for it.  Lately I can really relate to the sentiment, "Keep Calm and Carry On!"

Flourishes "Just My Type" stamp set
Wplus9 "Damask Delight" background stamp
Memento Tuxedo Black, Angel Pink inks
pink tinsel-edged ribbon
a button from my stash
sparkly black twine

Of course, since Mom's surgery, I've been particularly conscious of the need to do my monthly breast exam, and also my annual mammogram.  It was a scary thing to find a lump at the beginning of this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  It took a whole lot of "Keep Calm and Carry On" to not run with that fear and let negative thoughts take hold...after a couple of weeks of extra doctor appointments, mammograms, and an ultrasound, I got the all clear.

One of the positive things during all of that was the praise I received from my nurse practitioner for my progress on my gluten-free journey.  I had not seen her since my annual physical in March, shortly after I went completely gluten-, dairy-, soy-, corn-, and refined-sugar-free, about three weeks after I had injured my gastrocnemius muscle.  She was really impressed that I've lost a total of almost 50 pounds, all through lifestyle modifications alone. In fact, she was even able to half the dosage on one of my medications!  It tickled me when she told me that if I weren't blogging about my journey, I should be!  Well, here we are!

I'm very grateful for her encouragement, and for my Functional Medicine doctor who has been advising me along the way.  I am still having reactions to an as-of-yet-unidentified  food trigger, so he has instructed me to further modify my diet by removing "nightshades,"  which includes tomatoes, potatoes, paprika, chili powder, and peppers, including cayenne...thankfully peppercorns are still on the menu!  At this point it is rather like hunting for a needle in a haystack, especially since sensitivity responses (unlike full-blown allergies) are a delayed reaction (usually extreme fatigue, headaches, facial swelling, and sinusitis).  Our next step is to do some food sensitivity testing so that I can get the remaining offending foods out of my diet and allow my digestive system to heal, which will in turn boost my immune system.  I feel so much better already, but I'm looking forward to feeling really healthy!

Thanks for visiting, and for reading about what Life's been like lately!  Blessings to you!

Monday, October 28, 2013

How Sweet It Is!

Today's SCS "Tear and Distress" CAS challenge was the inspiration for what turned out to be a not-so-clean-and-simple vintage Halloween card with a pocket for some yummy Hershey's!  I love getting extra mileage out of supplies, so I often will use holiday printed designer paper with non-holiday stamps...or vice versa! This particular paper pack has a few polkadot and chevron prints that would work for other occasions, and both stamp sets will also work for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when paired with other Fall or Winter papers.

It was really sweet to stamp today, even though I can't have that Hershey's!  ;)

Flourishes Fresh Baked stamp set (sentiment)
Wplus9 Damask Delight stamp set (flourishes)
Authentique "Thrilling" designer paper
Wplus9 Timeless Tags 2 dies
Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Tim Holtz distress ink, markers
pompom trim
hemp twine
2 mm foam adhesive dots
scor tape
Scor Pal

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday ihp!


i {heart} papers is thrilled to be celebrating our 5th birthday this month! To celebrate we’re having 5 days of savings! From October 21-25 check our SALE PAGE for steep birthday savings on hundreds of items, some marked down as much as 50%!

We know there’s no way we could have made it this far without each and every one of our loyal customers sharing their IHP love with their friends or following us on Facebook, Twitter, our blog or through our newsletter. We will also have a giveaways on the blog and on Twitter during these days (they’ll be linked from Facebook too but since giveaways aren’t technically allowed on Facebook we have to do it on the blog!) so be sure to check in daily to see how to enter.

But wait! There’s more! Most customers know that Kate is a huge dog rescue advocate, volunteering for a local dog rescue, transporting dogs in need and doing rescue work on Facebook. October happens to also be Adopt A Shelter Dog month, as well as the birthday of one of Kate’s dogs, BooBoo and the Gotcha/Adoption day of Mr. Barbo. So, in honor of all of that, IHP will be donating 10% of all sales during the birthday sale to Home For Good Dog Rescue, Eleventh Hour Rescue and Pilots ‘n Paws.

For today's birthday card, I found inspiration in ihp's logo colors and shapes...I chose some pastel designer papers along with some of my favorite Wplus9 stamp sets which include hearts and flowers.  I started out following today's Mojo Monday sketch, but strayed a bit to accomodate the long, narrow sentiment.  

Memento inks (Sorbet Scoops, Snowcones assortments)
1mm and 2mm foam adhesive squares 

Thank you for supporting IHP for 5 years. We’re so happy to celebrate this milestone with all of you!