Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Tails...or why I've not been crafting much lately

I grew up with a menagerie of various four-legged critters - cats & dogs of all ages and breeds, a bunny, some newts - even a skunk (de-scented, of course!)  My family has a long, multi-generational history of animal rescue.  So it made absolute sense to me that my husband & I would adopt a rescue when we were ready for a dog.  Gracie was a very sweet Labrador mix, and the whole family was heartbroken when we lost her to congenital liver failure a year & a half ago.  It took us awhile to decide that we were ready for a dog again and thought we had made the best, most informed, deliberate decision when we brought Finnegan home in July.   

This is the reason I want to share this story - sometimes rescue adoptions don't work out, through no fault of anybody's, the adopters', the dog's, the rescue's.  Sometimes it's just not the right fit.  About five weeks after we adopted Finn, we started to notice signs that he was becoming too overprotective of our family.  We live in very close proximity with a lot of other people, and with young children, we have a lot of young visitors to our home.  I spent a lot of time (much of it in tears) talking to a dog behaviorist, my mum (who's rescued and fostered a lot of dogs), and the owner of the rescue.  The consensus was that Finn was making the work of protecting us his full-time job.  We tried various behavior & environment modifications with little improvement.  With very heavy hearts, my husband & I returned Finn to the rescue.  As we turned him over to his new foster mom, we noticed a complete change in his body language.  We could see him physically relax, and he seemed to release a lot of pent-up stress.  This transformation, along with the understanding of the rescuers, assured us that we had made the right decision in bringing him back. 

One thing we had learned from our experience with Finnegan, though, was that we are indeed a dog family.  Our hearts and home were still open to providing a loving place for a rescue dog.  Every day I searched Petfinder looking for that special one.  Then checking a local rescue's Facebook page, I saw a listing for Labrador Retriever mix puppies.  A Lab would be a good fit for our active family.  We had experience with the breed and getting a puppy would enable us to properly socialize and train it.  We went to meet the puppies, filled out the application, and came home with this little guy, 8 week-old Plinker:

It's been quite a ride raising a puppy again, a very joy-filled ride.  Plinker is 14 weeks old now and full of energy and curiosity.  He's intelligent and is quickly learning basic commands. He loves fetch and taking long walks, especially when there are a lot of college girls about to fuss over him. :)

There's good news about Finn too.  He was adopted and has found his forever home!  We are so grateful to both rescues for giving dogs and people their much-needed second chance.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Page Counter Using Cricut & Cinch

My son's second grade class is quite a group of voracious readers.  They've been keeping track of how many pages they read, and so I made them this counter to keep track of their pages as a whole class.  The count for September was more than 6,000 pages!

I used the Cricut cartridges Create a Critter for the bookworm & Base Camp for the letters and numbers.  The patterned paper is K&Company's Hopscotch. 

I love doing these little projects for the kids' school.  The teachers & students are always so appreciative.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Robot Party!

For his 7th birthday, Ronan decided to celebrate with a robot party at our house. 

I made the invitations using a digi stamp from Maureen Manning at Mo's Digital Pencil and the sentiment is from Cricut's Robot Party cartridge.  I colored the image with Copic Sketch markers.

We played "pin the gears on the robot."  A game I made using a piece of poster board, a variety of cardstock, and various parts & pieces from the Robot Party cartridge, as well as some different shapes from my punches.

These are the cupcake toppers I made, also from the Robot Party cartridge.  I layered the circle designs, then added lollipops to the backs with glue dots.  We thought the sparkly silver sugar crystals looked "roboty."  

The kids all seemed to have a good time.  It was pretty hot, as it tends to be on July 13th, so I kept them well supplied with freezie pops and cold juice pouches in between games of Red Light - Green Light (with the twist of having to walk like a robot) and Robot Knock Down.

Now we have to switch "gears" and start thinking about what to do for Shannon's Medieval-themed birthday party in October.  :)


Monday, July 30, 2012

My Heart & Time Have Been Stolen...

By this big, sweet, scruffy guy:

In the spring of last year our 12 year-old lab mix passed away, and we determined that we weren't going through that again.  Then, about a month ago, I saw this dear furry face listed with a rescue owned by one of my mum's friends, and I just couldn't get his face out of my mind.  Within less than a week, we went from not being sure about owning a dog again to it's hard to remember what things were like without him.

So please, meet Finnegan, our 2 year-old Irish Wolfhound mix. 

He is well loved & happy to be home!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kids' Stuff!

I love crafting for my kids and their friends.  The images are so fun and the colors are bright and cheerful.  It's just good, happy, playful stuff!

This is a birthday card for our little next door neighbor, using Stampin' Up's Under the Big Top and Toy Box (retired).
A birthday card for my son's classmate, using Unity's Cuter than Most set and a sentiment from Stampin' Up's Favorite Teddy Bear set (retired).
I tucked this card in my 6-year-old son's backpack.  Papers are Cosmo Cricket's Togetherness, and the sentiment is from Stampin' Up's Three Little Words set.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Cards & Gifts

Our kids' school has an entire week in March dedicated to teacher appreciation. Here are some of the things we gave our teachers:

For the art teacher: Flowers & a vase made from a spaghetti sauce can and a pack of colored pencils

For the music teacher (who raises chickens): A card with a funny vintage image of crowing lessons along with a bag of her favorite trail mix

For the first-grade teacher: A thank you card with a voucher for Stampin' Up products

For the third-grade teacher: A pretty floral card with a gift in her honor to World Vision to provide education for a young girl in a third-world country

For all of the teachers at the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon: a decorated apple as a little token and table decoration

And to all my teacher friends & family out there, a special thank you for dedicating your lives to the education of our children.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Thinking Pink

One of my dear friends just gave birth to her fifth child (her first girl!) a couple of weeks ago, and I think attending her baby shower combined with Valentine's Day put me in a pink kind of mood.

Baby shower card for my friend:

A thank you card for my daughter's prayer partner at church:

A thank you card for our school secretary (for helping clean up my daughter after she fell into a "mud pit" during recess while playing tag with an intrepid band of first graders):

I must have been subconsciously looking forward to St. Patrick's Day as well, since there is quite a bit o' the green in these cards too!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back Up & Running!

Hi everyone! It's good to be back. Shortly after my last post, my computer blew up. It's one of the hazards of working online most of the day. My dear techno-savvy hubby has set up my Netbook as a temporary solution, so I can get my work done until I get a replacement PC.

I have a lot of things to share with you. I just need some time to get my projects photographed and organized. In the meantime, here's a birthday card I made for my sister-in-law. She likes buffalo (buffaloes??), so what image is better than this skating buffalo from the Birthday Bash Cricut Cartridge? I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be on her next card.

Who would have thought a buffalo could be so cheerful & feminine??

Hey, thanks for sticking with me through my 'puter troubles. I've missed you!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Life is Tweet Cricut Canvas

My first canvas & my first craft project of the new year!

Our newly remodeled powder room needed a little extra homey touch, so I made this canvas to hang above the towel rack. The evening light isn't great, but at least you get the idea.

Cricut Cartridge - Straight from the Nest
Patterned Paper - Foofala (multi floral); DCWV (yellow)
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Wild Honey & Fired Brick; Memories Direct - ink daubers
Accessories - felt ric-rac - Offray; buttons - Stampin' Up!; foam adhesive dots - Darice; Mod Podge

Thanks for stopping by today!