30 September 2008

A bump in the road for Miss Malia

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to post a few new updates on our little Miss Malia - she has hit a little speed bump on the road to recovery it seems ~ please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. If you are interested in sending her a card please see THIS POST for her snail mail address.

Here is the latest from Malia's Mom, Tamara:

Well no chemo this week. It’s odd to be sad about that but it was kind of a bummer. Malia’s ANC was still under 300 and she needs to be at least 575. So we will be going back on Monday the 6th and we’ll try it again. We’ll keep you posted.
Love to you all!

Okay so we may have hit what could be a little bit of a speed bump. Malia had her clinic visit yesterday for exam and chemo and her ANC, once again, is really low. It’s actually lower than last Friday so we need to be low key and not go out in public. The bummer part about that is she was really looking forward to seeing the fashion show as I promised her I’d take her to see all the bridal gowns at the East Valley Bridal Affair on Sunday and now we can’t. Hopefully I can find someone to videotape the show so she can still see it. She was pretty sad.

So the reason this may be a speed bump is that if her bone marrow does not heal quick enough (if her ANC is not high enough) then she may be a “no go” to start her last round of chemo on Tuesday. Hopefully she will have an ANC over 1000 (currently 272) but if not it will be delayed until her counts are up – however long that may be. We’ll still go to the clinic on Tuesday for labs and that’s when we’ll find out if we’re coming home or being admitted. Keep your fingers crossed that she’ll be okay on the 30th and for the worst case scenario to be that it’s not delayed for more than a week. We really want to make sure she’s well enough to go Trick or Treating on Halloween as well as for Makena’s birthday party that weekend. Send healing thoughts her way!
Love to you all!


My favorite time of year!!! So I thought it would be fun to share with you some fall'ish cards over the next few days leading up to our PPP (see yesterdays post!) ;o)

This one even has an extra bit of embellishment added -- REAL sewing!!
~TFL & Enjoy~

29 September 2008

Ooh...It's almost PPP time!!

...."Punkin Pickin Party" time that is!!! Last Tuesday we received about two inches of rain and wind. It's amazing what the patch looked like when that was all over - what was left of the leaves got wet and really fell to the ground! What's left is an acre of colors ;o) It will soon be time to pick punkins! Yeah!

I went out to the patch this past Wednesday night to take a good look around AND to hand select some different gourds and punkins for Michelle ... which I will have hand delivered to her in SD by the time you read this post!! (Hope you liked them Michelle! *waving 2U*)

It's fun to actually get to walk thru the patch now! All summer I would work on the outskirts of it and occasionally try to sneak in a bit but I learned not to go too far in as I didn't want to kill the vines by walking on them! I was pleasantly surprised to see how many ghost pumpkins appeared, yeah! They are the white ones and I was hoping for a good number of those but all summer I could only count a handful or so. But now looking I think we have about 20 ;o)

I'll post some PPPP -- that's Punkin Pickin' Party Pictures in a few weeks!!

~TFL & Enjoy~

28 September 2008

House of SU! Color -- Kitchen

...and last but not least....from the House of SU! Color!!! "The Kitchen"

I just love the way this turned out with the colors and all - it looks soo bright and cheerful! This is SU! Barely Banana ~

Once we hung the plate rack it looked a little bare so I thought it would be a perfect spot for more wall words ;o) "FAMILY God's Greatest Gift" was the saying Mom chose. Using my Cricut Expressions again I cut out FAMILY in a cranberry color using the Disney font in 5" letters. Then I used Stone Script at 3" for the overlay which is done in black.

This overall pic didnt turn out the best and I apologize -- It's really the barely banana wall color there!! I used the Stone Script cartridge here too - and I didnt write down the size of it like I thought I did but I am thinking it was 6" letters.

So there is the tour of the house that I had the privilege of choosing the colors and painting it this past winter while Mom and Dad were gone -- they had no idea of the colors I had chosen until they got home and walked in! If you would like to take a look back at the other posts showing the pictures and descriptions from the other rooms you can just click on the tag or label for this post featured below the post - that will take you right to em'!

~Enjoy & TFL~

27 September 2008

Fall Fun!!

It's fall finally, right? So it's time to dig in to some of the fall projects I have been anxious to do! The first one I was realllyyyyy excited about was to CASE Sista' Mike on the most adorable gift she sent me this time last year - the cutest jar full of candy corn and peanuts!!

No, No, No, let me set the record straight even before you get the thought thru your head ....the candy shown in these jars was purchased at the store today, by me, mixed by me and added back into her jar!! LOL! This yummy combination doesnt last long at our house!

The jar on the left is the coveted jar that Sista Mike sent me last year ~ the jar on the right is the jar that I lovingly CASE'd this week!!!

Now taking a tour around the jar ~ Michaeleen was just brilliant when she thought of the way to incorporate the paper around the jar, but not clear around the jar as the standard size paper wouldnt have gone clear around anyway!! Just adorable!

Here is a peek at the back of the jars too ~

On the jar that I created I used the SU! Thoroughly Thankful stamp set. I stamped the large image on Brushed Gold cardstock using VersaMark and then Gold embossed it. Next, I cut off the top line showing the leaf and punkins' as the whole image was a bit too large for the front of the jar. I placed that as a band across the back, I tought it would look great there! I also used the three leaf cluster in that same stamp set to randomly stamp the cardstock band. I used Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive and Night of Navy stampin' pads to complete this. I then added a brad to the middle of the sunflower! Its from the SU! Earth Elements brads pkg. I also couldnt resist to use a little bit of green Stickles (that Sista Mike had sent me!) on the large punkin' too ~ just for a bit of color.

Next, it was time to put it all together! I used adhesive to tape the cardstock band to the jar and then wrapped some yummy 5/8" Chocolate Chip Grosgrain Ribbon around the jar and tied it kinda off to the side of the jar front. Then I used a little piece of 1/4" Pumpkin Pie Grosgrain Ribbon to tie on that (just as Sista Mike did!!) Then I attached the gold embossed image to the front of the jar ~ complete! Whoola!

Oh, I guess there was one more step and that was going to the store to get the goodies to put in the jar ~ as I mentioned before these were not left over from last year ~ speaking for our house this will last a few weeks at the most!! So talking about treats, have you ever tried this yummy combination of candy corn and peanuts? It really tastes like a salted nut roll when eaten together!! Give it a try!!

~TFL & Enjoy~

26 September 2008

House of SU! Color -- Craft/Laundry Room

Finally!..huh? I've had this fun project done for a while but just didnt remember to grab the camera when I went to Mom and Dad's house -- so I made it a point this week ;o)

This is Mom's Craft/Laundry room - I thought it would be fun to add this little saying above the doors to the washer and dryer ;o)
I used my Cricut Expressions machine, Cuttin' Up cartridge set on the 'holy cow' font along with hot pink vinyl for the letters! The color of the wall is Stampin' UP! Almost Amethyst and Pink Passion along with Chocolate Chip (the other wall) goes very well with it according to the SU Color Coach!

As you may rememer from this post awhile back, the other saying in this room is "Imagination is the highest kite one can fly" - that is on the chocolate chip all in this room ~

~Enjoy & TFL~

25 September 2008

Sista' Mike ~ Yer' COOL!

Check out this cool guy holding a sparkly popcicle ;o) This fun card recently arrived in my mailbox via snail mail from Sista Mike as a thanks for her recent birthday she just celebrated.

It's hard to see the detail in this pic but the cool penguin is actually popped up using stamin' dimensions and the saying 'too cool' actually sits lower than the rest of it. What great depth this adds! So it's really three layers deep ;o) She also stamped popcicles on the piece of orange cardstock as the background.

This is one cool card, indeed ;o)

Thanks again Sista Mike!!

~TFL & Enjoy~

Miss Malia ~ An Update from this past week

Good Morning!

Malia's mom, Tamara, posted a note tonight so I just wanted to share it with you here too!!

Hi everyone,I just wanted to post a little update about Malia’s clinic visit on Monday. All is well, her ANC is back up above 500 so no more shots…HOORAY! At least until we get out of the hospital next week that is. But that should be the last round of them since next week is the beginning of her fourth and final round of chemotherapy. J Last Friday I must have been having a clairvoyant moment as she did need a transfusion on Monday. Her hemoglobin was low so she got some fresh blood and it put a little pep in her step, helped her appetite, and brought back some color to her beautiful face. In fact she’s back up to 39lbs. Remember: she had started out at just over 40lbs. and went down to 32lbs. the first week out of the hospital. So this is really good! Luckily Grandma Hight had come over to watch Makena at home because what we thought would be a standard 2 ½ hour trip to clinic ended up being about 6 hours.

At clinic they gave her a “Gabe’s Chemo Duck” www.gabesmyheart.com. A little stuffed animal duck that has a port in its chest (just like Malia). They also gave her all kinds of stuff to help take care of “Chemo” like a port access needle (tubey) with the needle cut off, band aids, tape, gauze, cleaning tool, etc. so that she can access Chemo’s port and administer medicines just like they do to her port in clinic and the hospital. I’ve become her nursing assistant and have had to help her give Chemo’s medicine a minimum of 15 times each day J (we call her Doctor Malia). I keep asking her why Chemo needs so much medicine (hoping that she’s not going to say that she’s been bad or something horrible like that). She just says because “Chemo needs it to get better”. At one point she did say that Chemo has lost weight so she needed medicines but I’m trying to make her understand that the medicine is not needed because of weight loss but to help keep Chemo from getting sick again.She’s got another clinic visit this Friday and then she’ll be admitted (as long as her counts are good) on Tuesday the 30th for her last inpatient chemo. We’ll still have to go into clinic for two more weeks for chemo and exams and then that will hopefully be it (fingers are crossed). We already have an appointment for her “post chemo” CT scan on 10/24 and then if all goes well then hopefully we’ll just have to go in for a one night stay for surgery to remove the port. I’d like that to be after Halloween but before Thanksgiving.

We’ll keep you posted.Love to you all!

Thanks again to all of you who look in on my blog and continue to keep Miss Malia in your prayers and remember her with your cards!

24 September 2008

Chunky Butterfly

As summer fades away here is one of the last butterflies to share with you from the season of summer stamping ;o)

This card features one of my favorite Stampin' UP! products -- chunky glitter! It's sooo fun to use ;o) Adding it to the wings of the butterfly here really makes the entire card just P-O-P!!

~TFL & Enjoy~

23 September 2008

Stamped with Confidence

Are you walking confidently in the direction of your dreams? I just love this saying -- and what better to incorporate it into a card!!

Another idea rather than making this into a card would be to frame it -- and hang it or have it sitting on your desk in your rubber room or even on your desk at work -- the ideas are endless ;o)

~Enjoy & TFL~

22 September 2008

Miss Malia ~ An Update from the weekend ~

Hello Everyone!!

Malias Mom has provided us with another update from Sept 20th -- I have cut and pasted it here for you:

Hello all – just a quick update.Malia had her clinic visit yesterday and it was a pretty “run of the mill” visit. Her weight was down a tiny bit (which didn’t surprise us as she had been vomiting and not eating the whole week prior – pretty standard for the first week out of the hospital). Her appetite is starting to come back as of today J. Her ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) is low but hopefully on the rise. ANC is basically her immune system – it’s just a number that helps gauge the patient’s ability to fight infections. Any number 500+ is no cause for concern – you just use regular precautions. Less than 500 is at risk so use extra measures to stay clear from colds and such, and 250 and below is high risk which is when you need to be very cautious. Malia’s was 282 (the lowest it has ever been which makes her very fortunate because a lot of these kids have absolutely no immune system most of the time). However, they said at that level there’s really no difference between 282 and 250. So needless to say we are just having a very mellow weekend with no outings. We need to make sure that we’re being very diligent with hand washing yadda yadda yadda. And I will be taking her to clinic again on Monday for them to redraw her blood and hopefully her numbers will be back up.I thought that maybe her hemoglobin was low because she looks so pale right now with dark circles under her eyes and she was having some bloody noses (still is), and was in the crappiest mood! Well, her hemoglobin was fine so apparently her temperament is just because she’s 3 and her attitude is just a sneak peek at what the teenage years will be like – it’s not pretty. I did ask about the results of her last AFP level (the protein level used as a marker in tumor patients) that they ran right before her last admit. And YIPEE it’s down a lot! Remember, generally, the larger the tumor the higher the AFP. Once cancer is diagnosed, tumor marker levels help determine the amount of cancer present. Higher levels usually indicate more advanced cancer and a worse prognosis. The normal amount for a healthy body is about 5 or 6 and Malia’s started at over 300,000. It went down to 1609 and now it’s down to 79.3. I really like the direction and the pace that it’s moving! They’ll do another AFP test right before the next admit on 9/30.I also asked about her CT scan she had during the last admit. It mainly showed “post operative changes” (no tumors J). I asked about the density spot in her chest (remember there was a little concern about that in the very beginning but then the panel of radiologists, pathologists, and oncologists all agreed that they thought it was a simple cyst so they were not going after it and were just going to monitor it). Well there was no change (a good thing J) so that just gives more weight to the cyst theory and that it’s not a sign that it had metastasized. There is some fluid around her liver but it does not appear to be tumor related. They said that it is most likely some seepage from the surgery and if it does not seem to be causing her any discomfort then they will likely leave it be. If it starts to cause pain or she starts having unexplainable fevers then that would be cause for evaluation. But for now it’s just a mental note.I’ll post another little update after her clinic visit on Monday and until then no news is good news, right?Thanks for all the support – we love you all. HUGS!

Things are moving in a positive direction ~ Thank God!!! Thanks to all of you who remember Miss Malia in your prayers and who have been sending her well wishes with cards by mail -- you are all soo very much appreciated!! If you need her address please refer back to THIS POST for all of the deets ~

Stampin' Huggs to all of you ;o)

21 September 2008

Birthday Sparkles

This is such a fun combination -- birthday, cake, glitter, ribbon AND stamping!!! I am not sure what more a girl could ask for ;o)

The actual birthday cake is stamped twice -- once for the background that has the candles and then again in real red, cut out and added to the top of the identical background cake with stampin' dimensionals. Glitter was also applied to the popped cake as well -- gotta have that bling.

I'm thinking this could be either a guy card or a gal card because of the colors used -- what do you think?

~TFL & Enjoy~

20 September 2008

It's Almost Punkin' Pickin' Time!!

Yeah!! It's almost time to pick the punkins!! I wanted to share with you a few recent pics of our little nephew, Jack. He really had fun sitting on the punkins and running around the patch!

In this picture I had asked him to sit on the larger pumpkin behind the one he is sitting on here -- he had to scope it out first for himself before making that decision ;o)

THEN he decided that it was a-0k to do that -- so the baby pumpkin is his foot rest ;o) Also, this is THE picture I submitted to a local TV news show (via www.) which share different pictures on the air -- they chose this one to share with the state during a weather report! Yeah!!!

Here he is with his Dad, my brother, checking the corn! Jack says it's ready!

It will be fun when it's finally time for him to really pick out which one(s) he wants to take home with him -- and then to get them carried/loaded in the truck as I am sure he will be picking the larger ones ;o)

I have already started the selection process for next year -- we will have some of the same and some different -- whoo hoo!

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your fall too -- it will be here MONDAY!!!!

~TFL & Enjoy~

19 September 2008

Thinking of You

So what do you think of the new images that were released in the new Stampin' UP! catalog that are similar to this SU! stamp set? I just love this one -- and this is double stamped to give you the look of a shadow in the background...what a cool touch! The butterfly has a bit of bling on her wings too ~

~TFL & Enjoy~

18 September 2008

Striped Wipe Technique

You've seen brilliantly colored backgrounds in the SCS gallery, and now you can recreate the look on your own, without a brayer!!

Pull your supplies out and get to creating ;o)

Supplies you'll need for this project:

Dye based reinkers
Baby wipe
Glossy cardstock

Here is a link to the full tutorial that Beate has created for us over on SCS!

Check out the awesome gallery that SCS has created just for masterpieces of this sort!

~Enjoy & TFL~

17 September 2008

the little things

Summer is about over -- where did it go? I am not so sure myself!! As they say, 'time flies when you are having fun!'

Remember along the way to ENJOY the little things --

I just love the fun look to this card ~ it's guaranteed to bring a smile to all faces who look ;o)

~Enjoy & TFL~

16 September 2008

Life is....Good!

You know, life IS Good ;o)

I just love this stamp set ~ it has a bit of a whimsical fluff to it, don't you think ;o)

It may be hard to see but there is a bit of bling on this card -- both on the girl walking her dog as well as the hardware that has been added on the bottom of the chocolate chip bow ~

Happy Wednesday 2U!

~Enjoy & TFL~

13 September 2008

Malia is Home ~ again!!

Hi Everyone ~

I just wanted to pass along the latest on Miss Malia ~ it sounds as though things are going as well as can be expected which is a huge relief and even a bigger blessing!! The following is what Malia's Mom posted tonight, 9-12:

Hooray, we’re home…just discharged yesterday (9/11) and only one more inpatient round left. We just need to finish out the remainder of this round (2 more clinic visits with Vincristin pushes, labs, yadda yadda yadda) and then we’ll be admitted on 9/30 for the last infusion of Cisplatin followed by the other two chemo drugs, two more weeks of clinic visits, and regular meds. And if all goes as planned, then she will move into the monitoring phase and out of the active chemotherapy phase J…it can’t get her soon enough!!

Malia is doing great (outside the normal apprehension to taking her many medications at home as well as the upcoming distress about the regular daily shots that we’ll have to start tomorrow…ughh!). All in all this admit went fairly smoothly - she had another CT Scan on Tuesday after we were admitted, they ran the AFP monitoring test on Tuesday at the clinic (both results I will ask the doctor about next week in clinic) and other than a couple of vomiting episodes in the hospital it was a typical inpatient stay. I made sure to take the camera with us and take pictures of her at all her favorite spots to visit at Phoenix Children’s: the train, the coyote, the car, the fish, the wall of lights, etc. so I can put in her scrapbook and document the more enjoyable things she experienced at the hospital.

We are so excited for Halloween! We had already picked up some ruby slippers for her and her Dorothy wig arrived just before this hospital stay. When we arrived home yesterday, the Dorothy costume had also arrived and HOLY COW does she just look absolutely adorable in it! She was so excited to see herself as Dorothy J and with the last inpatient chemo ending in the beginning of October, then the last two pushes of chemo (Vincristin) should be over and done with at least 2 weeks before Halloween and Makena’s birthday party. It will be a great time to start celebrating! We will just have to make sure that they don’t schedule her surgery to remove the port-a-cath before. Hopefully we can get it out that second week of November so that it will start becoming a memory by Thanksgiving – another reason to be thankful for!

Malia’s clinic visit is next Friday so I’ll be sure to post whatever info we receive about the CT scan, AFP test, etc. shortly thereafter.

Again, we want to thank everyone for all the continued support, cards (from all over – beautiful hand-made cards as well from Stampin’ Up friends around the country), gifts, meals (from friends and co-workers of friends that we haven’t even met!). It all means so much to us and it truly has helped tremendously.

Love to you all!
Thanks to all of you who have sent Miss Malia a card -- they are soo thankful to each and every one of you ;o) AND I soo appreciate it too!!!

Stampin' Huggs~

12 September 2008

Got Cards?

I do! Lots of em' ;o) I have had a little bit of time the past few nights to work on replenishing my stash -- I needed some more sympathy, wedding and bridal shower cards so I was able to get some completed to fill these slots.

Here are a few pics I took tonight in my creative space -- each of the plastic shoe boxes are full of hand stamped cards that are for sale!

I have about another shoe box full of cards to complete - then I will be caught up once again ;o)

~TFL & Enjoy~

11 September 2008

DVD Tin Scrapbook

This photo album or mini scrapbook in a tin would make a perfect gift for a special friend or, just keep it for yourself. Our friends at SCS are at it again with an awesome tutorial for this very project!!

Supplies you'll need for this project include:
Patterned paper
Paper cutter and scoring tool
Jumbo eyelets
Clear envelopes

10 September 2008

Eastern Blooms Treat Basket

Isn't this just adorable?! How fun!! Our friends over at SU! really have got us hooked on the big shot now, don't they?

What you will need to complete this fun project:

Eastern Blooms stamp set
Kiwi Kiss card stock
Whisper White card stock
Kiwi Kiss Classic Stampin’ Pad
Stampin’ Up! Accessories•
Kiwi Kiss/Very Vanilla satin ribbon
Button Bouquet
Linen thread
Stampin’ Dimensionals
Sizzix Big Shot™
Sizzix Basket & Blooms Bigz XL die
Brown felt
~TFL & Enjoy!~

05 September 2008

Faux Tearing

Sooo...ya' don't want to cut into that fancy patterned paper for a card? Create the illusion of a torn layer with sponges and scrap paper!

Supplies you'll need for this project:
Scrap paper
Brayer with foam attachment or sponges
Removable adhesive

Our friends over at SCS are up to it again -- providing great stamping ideas and inspiration for all of us!

Here is a step by step tutorial for this technique

Check out the gallery just for faux tearing here

~Enjoy & TFL~

04 September 2008

Miss Malia ~ An Update from this past week

Here is Miss Malia (right) with her little sister, Makena

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to share the latest with you on little Malia ~ we received the following update from her Mom tonight ;o) Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers and cards to Malia!!

Another good week behind us, as a matter of fact, today officially marks the half way point of Malia’s treatment…HOORAY!!

We had her regular scheduled visit to the clinic this morning and all is well – blood count, ANC, and weight! The exciting thing about that is that she has not had her NG tube since Friday morning. We had taken it out to replace it (the connections just weren’t holding anymore) but she was in so much distress about it that we told her as long as she took all her medications and ate when she was supposed to then we would wait until that evening when Kyle came home from work to replace it. She opted for that scenario. Well she was eating so well throughout the day (still not to what we would like but definitely more than she was previously) that we told her if she kept it up that maybe we would be able to keep the tube out. She really likes not having it J. So today’s clinic visit was exciting not only because half her chemo is over but she kept her weight up on her own which means we can keep the tube out as long as she continues to do what she has been. YIPEE!

Next Tuesday we will be admitted for her 3rd round of chemo and from my calculations, as long as there are no delays in the remainder of her therapy (admits from infections, low ANC, etc.) then there should not be any reason why she cannot go trick or treating for Halloween, which coincidentally is Makena’s 1st birthday (HOLY COW! How did that happen?!). Anyway, she wants to be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz (Wendy will be Toto J) and the rest of us have already received assignments from her as to who we will be. So I’ve already ordered all the components of her costume…I just need a doggy costume for Wendy, a Scarecrow costume for Daddy, and a ballerina costume for Makena (she’s part of the Lullaby League). Malia wants me to be Dorothy with her but I said there can only be one Dorothy so I’ll probably be the Lion or the Tin Man. She says that we don’t know anyone mean and ugly to be the witch but everyone else in the family has been casted (whether they know it or not). So, if anyone has any good ideas on how to dress Wendy (her faithful sidekick doll from Peter Pan) in something that looks like a doggy costume I’m definitely in need of some ideas.

We’ve already reserved our spots on The Polar Express after Christmas. The Grand Canyon Railway has a big thing they do every year where the kids wear their PJs on the train which takes them to the North Pole to see Santa. Along the way they listen to a reading of the book, drink hot cocoa, eat cookies, etc. When the train arrives at the North Pole, Santa boards and gives each child a special gift (I think it’s the jingle bell) and then the train goes back to the station. She’s super excited about that and we’re also scheduling a trip to Disneyland in the beginning of next year. So we’re planning our celebrations for when this is all behind us and she’s getting more and more energized as each day passes.

Thanks again to everyone for the continued cards, gifts, well wishes, and love! She just received a wonderful blanket from Jason (her uncle/my brother in California) and his mother, Michelle – thank you guys. I put it in her prize box (she gets to choose a prize every time we go to clinic or go to the hospital) and that’s what she chose today for having her clinic visit. She loves it and wanted to bring it to clinic with her but since it is 105 outside I talked her into leaving it at home. She also received a singing/musical card from our cousins in Oregon which sings “A Spoonful of Sugar” which she is also having a ball with! She brought it with her to the clinic today and she kept playing it over and over last night making Kyle and I both dance to it with her (thanks Mary! J).

I’ll be sure to post another update when we get home from the hospital. Until then, keep sending positive energy to Malia. Let’s keep her as healthy as possible throughout the remainder of her therapy so we can be over and done with this as soon as possible.

Love to you all!

03 September 2008

Whoo! Hoo! Wednesday

Happy Wedensday to all of you today! I just have a funny haha to share with all of you today ~ ENJOY!!!