Halloween Village Started and a Glaring Mistake and How I fixed it.

13 09 2017

Life is crazy here. If you’ve poked around my blog, you have a good idea why it’s so crazy 🙂 But I try and steal a little bit of free time to work with paper. I have crazy ideas that need to be explored sometimes 😉

During some of those stolen pockets of paper time, I go a little nuts and do something like Maple Manor from SVG Cuts. It’s the beginning of the Halloween Village Square I have in my head. It’s mostly decorated, but I’ll probably go back and embellish it some more after I have more of the village square finished.

Here’s a look at the finished (for now) manor house.

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I mentioned there was a glaring error. I’ve disguised it in the above pictures, but let me tell you what I did. See the front door? It doesn’t exactly go right there. It’s close, but not quite right. Mary designed a way cool front porch for this house. When I tried to put it on, I realized my door was too low…I guess I should have watched the tutorial all the way through, but I was too eager to get started 😉

What I ended up with, were porch supports that were too short to fit because I’d made the distance between the bottom of the porch and the top taller than it had been designed when I had to leave out the rest of the porch. Here’s a picture of the fix and disguise I came up with to offset my eagerness.

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On the right, you can see the foam tape I used to make up the height I was missing. On the left, you can see the disguise. I made the corn stalks from white paper then colored them the colors I wanted. I figured the twine needed a purpose to be there, so corn stalks it was 🙂

Other altered areas:

The paper on the roof was the design I wanted, but not the color. It was a little washed out for what I had in mind. So I used my inks and added yellows, oranges, and browns around the edge of the papers to give me the richer fall color I wanted.

Here’s a before and after of the papers.

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So why mention the mistake in the first place? If you’re just casually looking, you probably wouldn’t notice it.

No matter how good our intentions are, we make mistakes. We’re flawed. It’s what we do. But fixing those things, making something different or even better than what we started with, that’s how we become better.

Many times, what we do after the mistake is more important than the mistake. Do we trash the whole project because of one glaring flaw? Or do we fix it and make something better?

I spent a lot of time on this house. It was worth it to me to work the mistake into something better.

Our lives are so much more important than this paper house. Sometimes we mess up. It’s okay. Even the best people have made mistakes, so we’re in good company. Don’t give up. Once you know where you went wrong, fix it. Make your life better.

If this paper house is worth fixing, so are we.

The spooky pic:

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Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

Links to items used:

Maple Manor, Brick embossing folder

 

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Jesus Would Give Him Cookies – Lessons Learned as a Foster Mom

1 09 2017

It’s been a long almost 16 months since we received the phone call alerting us that the children we’d recently adopted had a new baby brother. The state asked if we could take him home when he was released from the hospital that night. We rearranged our lives in nine hours to fit in a newborn we weren’t expecting (there was no heads up from the state that bio mom was expecting).

It’s been emotional and hard and terrifying. We just never knew what to expect, but we’d heard the stories of foster families who’d had children in this situation and the child was sent home with the bio parent straight from court. We were going to court every 90 days. It’s wreaked havoc on my nerves.

But going through this situation has changed me in good ways. (Before I go any further, let me say, I’m a Christian. I’m not perfect and have NEVER professed to be) I feel like God has been tutoring me in compassion. Teaching me to not be so judgmental. Opening my eyes to the needs of those around me. Going into this, I didn’t think I needed those lessons. I thought I was doing okay.

Through this journey I’ve had to work with the team from the state to help the bio parents successfully reunify with their child – the child I fell in love with the first day. The child who helped unify OUR family in a way we hadn’t been able to accomplish on our own. The child I felt the need to protect; I had to help facilitate reunification with these parents and their child.

To do this, I had to work to see them the way God sees them. It wasn’t easy. Because I have two of this little one’s older siblings, I had a good idea of what their life was like before being removed from their family and put into the foster system.

I had to work on forgiving these parents for the hurt they caused my children before they were mine. I had to forgive bad decision making that could have lead to catastrophic consequences. I had to forgive times when my children were INTENTIONALLY hurt by, or not protected by these people.

I had to forgive before I could see them in a more compassionate way.

I want parental rights terminated so we can adopt this precious boy, but I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand what a big deal this was to his bio mom because I didn’t care. I didn’t see her as a daughter of God that was just as deserving of compassion as any other woman I know and admire and love.

SHAME ON ME.

Even though all those court dates and all that worry and anxiety were hell on me, I’m grateful for the heavenly tutoring sessions those times provided. I get it now. I understand that this is a HUGE deal. I don’t see her as the bad guy. I got to understand how she might have felt everyday she wondered if she was going to get her son back. I see her as a mother who is facing one of the most profound losses of her life.

I’ve learned that if God finds something redeemable about them, if He, the creator of worlds and universes finds them worthy of His love, His commitment, and His sacrifice, then I have to be forgiving, too. I was reminded that Jesus lived, died, and conquered death for ALL sinners. If he did it for the perfect people it would have been useless – there are no perfect people. The best we can hope for are people who are trying their best.

Today, I saw the change in me that God has been working on. I saw it in my thought process and my actions. And it has nothing to do with my little one’s bio family.

To be as brief as possible – there’s was a misunderstanding. My daughter and I were yelled at, intimidation was tried, and we were threatened (it was very specific to a situation we had today and not just a random thing that happened on the street.)

I was furious. I almost drove away, then decided that it just wasn’t okay. I drove back into the parking lot where this man worked and two giant mama grizzly bears took over my body. I’m a whopping 5’1″ and I tore back into the store and proceeded to yell back at this man (who was an employee). There are more details, and I still can’t believe I did that, but kids are my hot button and you don’t threaten them. Luckily, the man my husband and I usually deal with in the store was able to intervene and we worked everything out (at one point the yeller was on the phone to someone telling them they needed assistance with an angry customer in the store. I was the only customer in the store, so it’s possible I may have been a little scary, but again, it’s not okay to intimidate and threaten my child). In the end it all worked out and I don’t have a mug shot.

Maybe you’re thinking that I don’t come off looking all that Christ like. And maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal if I hadn’t just spent five hours opening up and baring my heart to the internet. And I agree, at that moment I probably wasn’t very Christ like. But I’m human. I’m fallible. I’m going to mess up.

I process things by talking them out with friends. The consensus is the same – the man was wrong. Some have said he deserved it.

Maybe.

But maybe he deserves something more. Something better.

I told a friend that I was thinking about taking in cookies tomorrow. I don’t feel like I properly forgave the man. I just wanted out of the building, I didn’t want to be around this man (99% of the time, I go out of my way to avoid confrontation). He heard the insincerity in my one word answer of, “Okay.”

I know at that point, he was probably trying to do damage control and save his job. But you know what? He still deserves my forgiveness.

My friend said he owed ME cookies. But here’s the thing, I DON’T NEED COOKIES. I don’t know what this man’s life is like, or what his story is, but my guess is that it’s harder than mine. There’s a reason he reacted the way he did. Maybe someone showing him a moment of grace will change, even just a little bit, how he sees the world around him and how he treats other people.

Some say he doesn’t deserve cookies. But I don’t deserve all the things Jesus did for me, and yet,  He still did them. I’m so grateful He looked at me and found someone worth saving.

I think Jesus would give him cookies.

 





Chocolate Purses

30 08 2017

So they’re not *really* made from chocolate, but they’re full of little chocolate bars 🙂

I made them for the principal and guidance counselor at the elementary school.

Even if my boy has an unexpectedly good transition/year, it doesn’t hurt to be kind and thankful for all the things the people in my son’s life do for him and other children 🙂

I used double sided paper for these and used my Silhouette to cut them out. They’re small, so they were pretty quick and easy to put together 🙂

Links to the files I used:

Flower, Hobo Style Bag (left), Adele’s Purse (right) (this purse includes a flower, but I used a different one)





An Oops and a Sympathy Card

27 08 2017

To be clear, the sympathy card has nothing to do with the “oops” in the title.

We found out about the passing of a woman we used to attend church with. They moved, but people were able to find a current address for them.

This card is for her husband and the rest of the family, but mostly for him. They’d been married for quite some time and I can’t imagine the hole her passing has left in his life.

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The oops came in when I tried to use the sketch pen in my Cameo to write on the already colored image. Apparently, going over an inked area is not what the pens are made to do – luckily, there are other really great things they do really well. It’s just this specific situation I had trouble with. In case you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s not you. It’s not the pen. It’s the ink already on the paper. Probably. That’s my assumption. It’s the second time I’ve run across this specific set up 😉

The sketch pen got enough on the paper that I was able to use a zig pen and fill in the rest. Even though it didn’t work the way I initially imagined, I think I would still do it the same way because I couldn’t do this by hand without the help of my Cameo.

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Oh, and to do this, I used my pixscan mat – yay pixscan!

The background paper is also from Silhouette. I used the print and cut feature for this. It’s so much easier than going through all the actual paper to find something that would work. Don’t get me wrong. There’s still a huge place for real paper 😉

Thanks for stopping by

xoxo

Stamp, Background pattern, Words





Because School Started

27 08 2017

I am now super duper busy ferrying children all over the place.

The three driving kids share a car and we have to plan out the week ahead of time and post the calendar next to the car key. It looks like a map for lost treasure with all the arrows and notes on it.

Then there’s the three school kids. They’re mostly easy to take care of.

Then there’s the one at home…he needs some ferrying around sometime, too.

And the point of all those words is – I DON’T GET TO SIT AT MY DESK ANYMORE, well, until later at night. And not being able to create is driving me a little nutty.

So now, I’m looking at hand lettering. It’s something I can do while the baby plays during the day when its just him and me at home. I can also work on it while I’m in the car rider line waiting for my guy to get out of school. I decided to buy the hard bound, spiral book I found and I’m so glad! Now I don’t have to drag a lap desk around with me 🙂

This is what I’ve been working on 🙂 She has you trace the letters then try them on your own. A few more drills similar to this, and then on to joining the letters to make words 🙂

(Shhh. I cheated and already read that part. But practicing is good)

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Thanks for stopping by

xoxo





Babies Are Great Excuses to Make Awesome Things!

27 08 2017

Like this bag! I used the same papers I used for their baby shower gifts (you can see that, here and here).

The bag was pretty easy to make (there’s a video tutorial on the site) and seems super sturdy.

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I added a little extra to the sides by embossing them because I could 😉 Inside was a Royals jumper for the baby and candy for the parents and big sis 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo





Preemptive Thank You

27 08 2017

If you’ve read the last few entries on my blog, you know I’m pretty nervous (an understatement) about my 5yo starting kindergarten – it’s not the normal nervous.

With his history, we understand why change is hard, but that doesn’t make the process easier. So, I made a small batch of 3×3 cards pop-up cards. I plan to send one each Friday to tell his teacher thank you.

I still have to think of something cute to send the principal and the guidance counsellor – also, a preemptive thank you and just a regular thank you for all the help they’ve already given me.

Here’s the collection of cards to use for his teacher. It’s a little thank you for a big job 🙂

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I went a little pop-up cray-cray. I upgraded to the Silhouette’s 4.1 (and some other numbers, but I think those two are the important ones right now). It has a new feature that allows easier design of pop-up cards. I’m a little obsessed with it 😉 I also think, it would have been easier to start on bigger cards instead of these little ones, but it all worked out 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! And don’t forget to say thank you to the people in your life 🙂

Tea cups, swan, tags