Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank You Notes

You know you need these. Christmas is over. The new year is tomorrow and it is time to get out that thank you note to Great Aunt so and so before she gets upset that you didn't send one.

We seem to have forgotten about these in this day of emails, twitter and blogs. I've always sent them. Even before I made cards, I sent them. I think it is important as well as kind. I also think it is becoming a lost art. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love the internet. Always will. But, you will never find me sending an e-card or a thank you over the internet instead of a proper paper card or thank you. I also still write notes and letters. Yup, I'm one of them. I guess it makes sense seeing as how I have a card shop, love paper and collect pens. But I think there is a grace and respect in a hand written thank you for a gift that you just cannot convey over an email.

So, this is the first in a line of Thank You card sets in my shop that you will find. There will be more in the next week or so as I make more to put in there as well as for me to send for my own Christmas gifts.

Happy New Year and be safe everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Trip Away

Duckie. Check!

Color wonder markers. Check!

Cars. Check!

Leapster. Check!

Ok, mommy, I'm ready to go!

Stasiu, my 4 year old is taking his first trip away from mommy. He is going with Nana to visit Mimi, Uncle Tim and Cousin Isaac in Virginia. He was so excited last night he was bouncing on the bed as I packed his suitcase. He wanted to make sure he had all his favorite toys. He cousin, I'm sure, will have tons of good toys and books, but Stasiu didn't want to leave without a few favorites.

They left early this morning and will be back in about a week. Mommy will get plenty done around the house. Plenty done on the shop. Plenty of snuggles with the baby. Plenty of time missing Stas.

But, he will have a blast.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blog Candy--Cosmo Cricket Giveaway

How would you like to win $150 worth of Cosmo Cricket stuff? Do I have your attention now? Well, hop on over to Life as Lou's blog and enter to win. She has collected a huge amount from Cosmo Cricket as well as some from her stash. You have until January 2nd to enter.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Bird Candles

This is one of the crafty gifts I made for Christmas. I actually made it on Christmas day. I know, I cheated, but I got these beautiful bird stamps in my stocking and had to use them instead of what I was planning on using. I picked up some decent candles at Target and they came with the leather rope and wooden bead--I think they added to the candle look so I kept them on. One thing I did learn by accident was if the candle has a rougher finish the stamped image actually goes on a bit better than if the finish is smoother. I've made these several times and had always used smooth candles. The rougher ones just produce a better finish.

I then turned the candle over and stamped a floral image on. I'm very pleased with how they turned out. I think I may add these to my shop.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Dude! I got a Dell!

So, I have been using a desktop for a few years now. It is nice, but makes it kind of difficult to snatch computer time. It is in my craft room on the second floor and I get to hop on either during nap time or when someone is home with the kids. My craft room is also spill over guest space and is occupied from time to time (like now) so my time on my computer is also limited.

I have been telling my husband that when the kids are old enough to have their own, I'd like to get a laptop then give them my desktop to put in the "common room" for them to start using. They aren't old enough yet, but he got me one anyway!

The funny story behind that is he asked me one day about a month or so ago if I wanted a smartphone or a laptop. I said laptop. Then I IM'd my friend Molly the same question to which she answered, laptop, laptop, laptop. Mostly because we don't actually talk on the phone, we IM all day. Most of my friends and I IM or email to talk to one another. Plus there's the etsy shop, artifire shop, blog and all the ohter things I do. As a joke, he texted her asking what to get me for Christmas. She of course said laptop, thinking he really wanted to know. She had no idea I was standing there just having fun with her and feeding him responses. Anyway, she told me later saying how she put the idea in in his head... Cute!

So, I was awake before the chickens again this morning. I should sleep tonight--I took my last dose of prednisone last night so hopefully it will be out of my system and I will sleep like I should. I got up, loaded firefox and a few other applications and am sitting at my kitchen table enjoying myself. When my husband gave it to me, he joked it didn't come with tech support--ha ha! My guru will hopefully work on it some while I'm out shopping today.

Still have to get the IM up and running though...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Boys

Every year for Christmas, I get the boys pictures taken and give them to the grandparents. It's expected. I once asked if I pictured them out. I received furious head shaking and was told NEVER! Ok, good. So, we usually go to Picture People or somewhere like that and I'm usually pretty happy.

This year, through my friend Katie , I met a photographer who also is joining our mom's group. She is Uh-Mazing! Let me explain just how hard she worked.

On the first day we went to the park with a very
non-cooperative baby. He saw stairs. He wanted to climb stairs. And. Nothing. Else. The air was cool and crisp and my 4 year old turned into a puppy and decided it was playtime instead. Still, she got some great shots.

The next day we went to Furman University. It is a beautiful campus and there are no stairs! The baby was cranky but not climbing the stairs. We had to have been there for over 2 hours getting shots of these two guys. She was so patient with them and it seemed like her camera was always going.

In the end, the results were breathtaking! We gave the parents matted 8x10s of the top shot. The best, best item is the cd. This was Jen's idea. She took all the shots and put them on a cd. "What a Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong is playing. I watched it the first time with my mom and my friend Jennie. We got teary. Heck, I'm tearing up now thinking about it. It's beautiful, it really is.

So, if you are in the Greenville, SC area, her name is Jen Rogers and you should really check her out!

Blog Candy Alert

One of the blogs I follow is Stampin' With Di. She has a very fun site and designs for Hanna Stamps and Molly Stamps. Well, she has a HUGE blog candy giveaway going on right now. This one is good till Friday, so be sure to enter. It includes a Snail refill, Sakura Quickie Glue Pen, a Stampin' Up! Decor Elements Applicator Tool , Bold Bright Brads, a roll of Alpine Felt Ribbon, Assorted Die Cuts, Hand Stamped Cards, A pack of 6x6 Patterns Pack of DSP, plus 3 stamp sets: Organic Grace, Best Yet, and Spring Song.

All you have to do is head to her blog and leave a comment about your New Year's resolution for stamping. She will use a random generator to pull a winner out!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hubby's Christmas Present

My husband, Chris, is a great guy. He is an especially great dad.

Two summers ago, we painted nearly our entire house except for his office, our bedroom, bathroom and my office. While I was in Florida with the kids, he finished our bedroom (insert "awwww" here) and we are just trying to decide now how we are going to finish our bath and I am still undecided on my office.

We had a color picked out for his office. We've had it since we painted the entire house. It is to be the
same green as the dining room. We just never got around to it. I knew Chris wouldn't. You see, if he has a free Saturday, he is doing something for me like fixing something or watching the kids all day so I can do something. Or he is playing with his boys 4 and 16 months. He loves to just spend all day with his kids. He is that kind of dad--the best kind.

So, I decided that his big gift from me would be to finish his office. I hired Super Jim, our handyman to paint and move all the heavy crap--and there was a LOT of crap. He started early yesterday and is coming back today to finish. I have a couple more surprises in store for the office, but that will have to wait till Chris sees it. Did I also mention he also reads my blog?

He's a great guy, isn't he?

This is part of the dining room. We have company and can't eat here yet!

One coat up!! Isn't it wonderful??

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cards and the Lost List

For various reasons, these cards didn't make it to my shop. These and styles from my shop are getting sent out to family and friends as soon as I find my list. My list, you may ask? Well, I finally whittled it down from the 80+ post wedding list I had been doing the last 6 years. Yes, they were all handmade last year. This year I am only sending out to those that have to get them (close friends and family) and to those we normally swap cards with. I am down to a respectable, and manageable 38ish.

Except I sat at the kitchen table with my husband,made and amended the list. And now I can't find it. Woops. I am hoping it went to the recycle bin tucked under some newspapers. As soon as the family is awake, you know where I'll be--in the garage digging through the recycle bin like a crazy lady.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Teacher Gifts

For the first time, I made teacher gifts. My oldest is 4 and we just love his school and his preschool teachers. He is in a wonderful program and is thriving and loves going to school. I pulled the idea from my my shop but used different papers and added the pens.

For the pens, I didn't want any white showing from the background paper so I basically designed it myself by sponging and stamping it. I think it looks much better darker and without any white showing through. Plus I wanted it to match the post-it-note holder. I've seen bic pens used for these but I use the RSVP pens. Its more work, but I think its a better pen. It writes better and being a pen and paper junkie myself, it's something I appreciate.

The sentiment at the bottom says "the little things", which I think is appropriate.

Their other gift was chocolate chocolate chip cookies that my son and his daddy made. I think they may have been a bigger hit. One of his teachers made a comment about getting them home and stashing them before her family saw them. They are the best cookies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Joseph's 4th Birthday

This past Saturday we had 2 birthday parties to go to. The evening one was at our friend Joseph's house who turned 4. His mommy outdid herself. It was all based on a storybook favorite of his about a boy who goes to space. She put stars up in the living room, the kids wore their pjs and brought sleeping bags for story time, then we had pizza and cake.

After gifts, we went back into the living room for a star hunt. She had taken glow sticks and the glow-in-the-dark stars and put them all over the living room and given the kids adorably decorated bags to collect them all. That was their goody bag. Needless to say, we've had abut a zillion glow stick hunts since then! The party was so much fun.

I knew the party was based on stars but got lucky with the spaceman theme, too. Hey, the stars can align for me as well! This is the card I made for the Big Guy. I had this really fun Basic Grey paper and just cut out the space ships. I also like adding dimension to the inside and did that as well.

It's been a bit since I actually posted something I made, so here it is!

Enjoy earth creatures!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

BNR Buy and Replace Treasury

I have been remiss in my posting duties. I shouldn't say duties because I actually love blogging. My personal goal is to post every day or every other day at the latest. However, we at case RoseBushDesigns, have been sick. The oldest has a productive cough, the youngest picked up a stomach virus and his main goal is to go through as many diapers as possible in one day. Me? I have the trifecta of infections. Sinus, double ear infection and bronchitis. We are a joy to be around. Thank God we aren't sharing!

So, 4 year old wakes me up at flippin' 4 am wanting to snuggle. I'm not sleeping well anyway thanks to the trifecta, so I'm up. I figure I'll put in some face time with the computer. Get some emails caught up on, do some Christmas shopping, buy some books, hit etsy and such--have I mentioned the newest addition (my niece)to the family will be a GIRL!!! As I'm about to buy some toys on etsy I go to the treasuries first. One of the funky things is they never--never start on page one. Whenever you go to there, it plunks you down somewhere in the middle. This time, it plunked me down right into the middle and I happen to see a gold star! What a nice thing at 5:30 am! In etsyspeak a gold star means you are featured in a treasury. Being featured means you will hopefully get more traffic to your shop. Now, this treasury is a BNR, or Buy N Replace. The idea is one buys something from it (that they just adore) and and an item from their shop will then be featured in the treasury. A nice way to give everyone some love.

So take a peak while it's on; it will be up till friday. Here is the link: BNR Treasury.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Red For The Holidays

The South Carolina Etsy Street Team put together this wonderful treasury and I happened to be featured in it! Don't the reds just get you in the mood for Christmas? Great job TeamSC!

Go on over to Treasury West and give it some love.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cyber Monday

Today is the day to let your fingers do the shopping for you. There are a lot of good deals out there. A lot of Etsians are running specials as well as tons on the web. Don't forget my all time favorite site, When you go there make sure you visit Hot Deals under the Forums tab.

My shop ( insert shameless plug here) is running a special as well. Everything is 25% off with free shipping through midnight tonight.

Have fun and make sure you have plenty of coffee!