Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday, September 27th

Warning - this is going to be a short post. I have a stamp class in 15 minutes...

Geez, the past week has flown! I did travel last week to Chattanooga for the SU Regionals. I had a most wonderful time. I stayed at the Chattanoogian with Dylana Goatee and Shelley Hunt. We met up with my upline, Susan Polcari of Chattanooga for the Regionals. Then I had 3 guests attend the Regionals too! There was Imogene Thomas of Metone, GA and Sue & Mike Bosco of Decatur, AL.

Miss Imogene knocked my socks off by signing up to be my newest downline. She got the $ 99 special PLUS a few stamp set of her choice, plus I get a free stamp set of my choice! Woohoo!!!

I will be back later with photos. I am having troubles with my desktop and that is where they are stored. I want to share Regional photos and a cute cartoon with you.

Front Row:   Dylana Goatee, Susan Polcari and me
Back Row:  Shelley Hunt, Sue Bosco, and Imogene Thomas

Now this week on facebook there has been the cutest cartoon that really applies to all SU demos (and customers) that I have to share with you.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fab Friday Challenge # 2

Okay Miss Mindy set up a color challenge this week for the Fab Friday Challenge.
This was a color combination outside of my normal playing field. I was not really sure how to accomplish a nice looking card with such dull colors. I love each of these colors with OTHER colors but together?????

I wandered around looking for inspiration when I found another challenge, and decided to pair them (at least the starburst portion them together). So it was a 2 for 1 morning for me!

I am rather pleased with my outcome of my card for both challenges!
I happened upon this starburst design over at  and thought VIOLA! That is what will make these colors pop together. Julie gives a great informational tutorial how to achieve this starburst pattern, complete with photos. I will only recap what I did to create this card on my blog. Run over and visit Julie for the tutorial.
* DSP from the Neutrals Color Collection (Sahara Sand, and Basic Gray) and from the Subtles Color Collectin (So Saffron). I used all 4 pattern designs from these collections (or at least they are sitting on my desk to make a few more of these cards) cut 1.5" x 4" to form a rectangle. Then cut in half diagonally to create the starburst.
* Very Vanilla cardstock cut at 2 1/4" x 5" to form the base for the starburst
* DSP from the Neutrals Color Collection  (Dotted Basic Gray) cut at 2"  x  5"
* Very Vanilla cardstock cut 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" to form the mat
* Sahara Sand cardbase cut 4 1/4" x 11" - then folded along the long side at 5 1/2"
* So Saffron ribbon
* Scrap of Very Vanilla for the sentiment
* Scrap of Sahara Sand for the sentiment mat
* Stampin Dimensionals
* Stamp Set: Blessings from Heaven
* Inks: Sahara Sand for sponging,  Basic Gray for sentiment
Okay, let me confess about the matting around my sentiment. I reached in my scrap area for a piece of Sahara Sand. The scrap I pulled had previously been punched with the Decorative Label Punch. I decided to use that edge for visual interest.
Speaking about my scraps, have I ever showed you how I store all my lovely SU Paper?
I use those white cubes you can get at Walmart or Target. My wall is slightly different these days and my stamps are else where. Anyway, my wall of paper is right behind me at my work table. I simply turn and can reach each and every piece of paper to make my choices.
I use four of these 12 x 12 paper holders for each of my white cubes. I place 2 colors in one paper holder (so each cube has 4 paper holders and 8 cardstock colors). For instance, I put Daffodil Delight and So Saffron in the same holder. I arrange it Left to Right like this:
8.5" x 11" Daffodil Delight cardstock
12" x 12" Color Collection DSP in Daffodil Delight
12" x 12" Daffodil Delight cardstock
SCRAPBAG for Daffodil Delight  (more about this in a minute)
SCRAPBAG for So Saffron (more about this in a minute)
12" x 12" So Saffron cardstock
12" x 12" Color Collection DSP in So Saffron
8.5" x 11" So Saffron Cardstock
Okay to the left is a SCRAPBAG storage folder. It has 3 openings inside it. Each side has a small pouch for scraps and the center can hold up to a 12" x 12" piece of paper. This is how I store my usuable scraps. Been doing it this way for about 3 years. Find it works the best for me. I can always find the correct color scrap, I waste less paper, and it is neat and separates my 2 colors in my paper holder.  These bags do fit inside the paper holders (to the right) that we sell.
Also, let me point out I take my Color Collection DSP pads and put each color with the matching color of cardstock. I find it is easier to locate, I use more of the Color Collection DSP's, and it is so handy to have it together instead of searching if I still have a sheet or a scrap of a certain color. I keep the DSP scraps in the SCRAPBAG along with my cardstock scraps.
Soon as I get a few free minutes I will update my photos of my current scrapbook room. I lived in my house for 2 years before I hung anything in my scrapbook room. I wanted to get a feel for the room before I made that permanent decision. I love how I have it right now. There are 30 white cubes behind me on the shelf. Bottom row is retired DSP (and boy do I have alot of it!), 2nd and 3rd rows are SU current InColors, DSP and Cardstocks. The 4th, 5th and 6th rows have baskets in them that store all kinds of things (like ribbons, etc). That is only the wall behind my desk!

Across the room there are 20 more white cubes that store retired cardstock and my collection of other contraband companies for my scrapbooking needs (like Arkansas Razorback paper, Bo Bunny, Life Stories, etc.), and some have drawers that store my machines like Xyron, drawers with adhesives (okay I confess I use only Tombow and the tape for my ATG gun) and other sudries. There are catalogs and notebooks too.
Then I have one wall that holds my cricuts cartridges, my SU stamps (which take most of the space), my embellishments and at the very bottom my Dreamkutz machine and Circuit machine. Near my desk is a white bookcase that only holds sizzix dies.
There are 2 long tables with 4 really padded chairs for my stamping friends in the classroom area. I got new lightening in the room this summer. I call the lights, my airport runway lights! That room is bright even at night.
See I really do need to update photos of my space to share!

Friday, September 14, 2012

On my mind....

Today my mom is on my mind. I will tell you Kleenex might be needed if you read this post. If you don't need a good, soul-refreshing tear jerker crying session, SKIP THIS POST. That's your final warning because I need to talk about her tonight.
I would like to share our last Christmas together with you and  tell you what made her so amazing to me. This layout is very special. All the photos were taken in December 2005.
 The first photo you see on the upper left of the page is my mom, Franca Redini Bridges, and my brother-in-law, Mark Skorupa (Jenny's husband). Sadly both are now deceased.
The bottom left photo is of mom and Laura Jill Hill (Jenny's daughter). The bottom right photo is of my brother, Bruno, my mom, and Cody Brandon Bridges (Bruno's son).

Top left is my sister, Jenny Skorupa and our mom. Top left is of my brother, Bruno Bridges and our Mom. Bottom left is of me with my mom. Notice all the red cardinals? It was my mom's favorite bird -- she collected them. When we see a cardinal, we always say Mom is looking out for us.

My mom was born on March 12, 1930 in Parma, Italy to Elsa Bussolati Redini and Guiseppe Redini. She grew up in Tuscany in the city of Pisa. She was the oldest of 8 children (5 girls and 3 boys). She was working at Camp Darby, an US Army Base (it is outside of Pisa) when she met my father, Joseph Kindell Bridges, III of Holly Springs, Mississippi. In October 1958, when I was only 7 months old, we moved from Italy to Fort Hood, Texas. That Christmas,  Mom found out she was expecting my sister Jenny.

In February 1959, my father was killed in a head on collison near Fort Hood. My mother decided to stay in the USA and raise the 3 of us children (Bruno 5, me 11 months, and Jenny who was not born yet). She did not speak English at that time. She sacrificed herself not returning home to her parents, brothers and sisters. (In fact, she only went back to Italy once -- it was in 1985). I just cannot imagine not returning to my family.

We moved to Helena, Arkansas, a riverboat town along the Mississippi River about 75 miles south of Memphis. Mom struggled to learn English, which she did learn via the use of encyclopedias and an Italian-English dictionary. It was her 3rd language. She spoke Italian, French and English.

I remember Helena being a melting pot of different nationalities when I was a child. My mother and her friends had a group. They called themselves the Heyena Club. There were so many wonderful ladies in that group: Isabel (Brazil); Anna (Belgium); Mimi (France); Lisa (Germany); Zee Zee (Yugoslavia); and Clara (Egypt). There were many more! Sadly all have passed away with the exception of our dearest Isabel, who now lives in Leesburg, Florida.

Mom's  first job was at Bobbie Brooks Garment Factory, where she worked from about 1960 to 1973. Funny thing, as a child in Italy, she was sent home from the sewing school and her grandmother was told never to send her back. She was incapable of learning to sew. For someone incapable, she made her living on that skill.

When I was in high school, she went to work doing alterations at C.E. Mayer and Co. in Helena. Later she opened her own alterations business. First, she rented space in New Way Cleaners with Pat and Lee Williams. Then a few years later, she and her friend Barbara got together. Barbara owned antique store called On the Levee Antiques and she did not want to be alone in the store. So a portion of the store was designed for mom to have her own business, Franca's Alterations. They were good friends. Barbara was like another daughter to my mom. When Mom died, we had Barbara sit with us in the family section.

My mother and I did things together. She learned to finally drive when I was 15, and got her license and first car. I have to say all thanks go to Lisa Mathis, who taught Mom how to drive! Mom learned to swim the summer I was 17.

She was just a hoot. She spoke English with an Italian accent and a Southern drawl on top. LOL She never conquered the English "th" sounds because it does not occur in Italian and the fact she had scarlet fever as a child and it damaged her hearing.

In the fall of 2005, she quietly went to the doctor and had tests ran for a couple of months before she said a word to anyone (and she was living with me at that time). One Wednesday evening in early November, she asked me to take off work the next morning because she needed me. That was super rare. She instilled a strong work ethic in her kids -- you went to work unless you were in bed sick --- no taking mental health days or fun days. And if you did not go to work (or when we were school age,go to school), you did not go anywhere else. Tough luck if you got better later that day. You were staying home.

Anyway I got the day off and inquired why she needed me. I was shocked when she told me I needed to take her to the hospital for a lung biopsy the following morning. Then she proceeded to tell me not to tell my brother and sister. OMG -- not tell them? Thankfully sis called and knew something was up and Mom fessed up.

The doctor told me after the biopsy it was lung cancer. But at the time we did not know how far along it was. That was November. We went to his office Thanksgiving week to get the results. I remember leaving thinking all was well; she would get some treatment and it would be okay. He was sending us to Little Rock to see an oncologist. The appointment came in mid December. It was a Friday afternoon around 4 p.m. They explained what a port was and what the treatment would be for her lung cancer. They told us the staging. Then I asked how long would we do treatment before recovery. Then the shock -- they explained she was Stage 4 and terminal. I remember just crying so hard while driving Mom to my sister's house. I could not believe I was going to lose my mom, my mentor and my best friend.

I simply begged this poor woman to take the chemotherapy to give us more time together. The doctors stated she would live only 6 months without it and live 12 -18 months with the chemotherapy. Bless her soul, she took the treatment for me. She started in January 2006. She passed away June 2006. Six months -- that is all I had her for--- I had her take this terrible treatment to gain months and we gained nothing. Her quality of life exchanged for quanity --- when she got neither.

Poor little Mom. She was 4'10" and 90 pounds on her final day on Earth. She had just gotten hair back on her little head. Looked like a black buzz cut. Mom did not have any gray hairs at all. That final weekend, I remember telling her how much she looked like my brother, Bruno. She informed me, that NO, she did not look like Bruno. Instead it was Bruno that looked like her. The treatments caused her to lose 30 pounds in those 6 months.

I miss my mom. After 6 years, I still reach for the phone to call her and tell her a story or an event that happened. Every once in a while, I have one of these tear jerker sessions missing her so badly.

Tonight's came because I went to see a friend whose daughter is in ICU. I know that triggered it. Life is simply so fragile.

My favorite photo of Mom. I took this at On the Levee Antiques in June 2005. A year later I would be saying goodbye to her.

These are some of the beautiful black and white photos of my Mom in the 1950's. I have this layout hanging on the wall in my living room. I have one wall that is nothing but family photos and layouts. I walk past this everyday and THANK GOD for her.

The Bridges Family circa 1977. Front row: Bruno and Franca. Back row: Arlene, Charlotte (Bruno's wife) and Jenny. Taken in Helena, Arkansas.

Thank you for letting me introduce you to my mom.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Card Classes

Tonight I start the 1st of my series of September Card Classes. I opted to teach the classes here in my home and only have seats for 4 persons at a time in my craft room. Oh, I could teach only 2 classes a month at my sister's therapy room since it holds 12 persons at a time. But that means, (1) I have to pack up and cart everything to her house;  (2) the class lacks the informal one to one hands on teaching I prefer; (3) and if I forget anything, there is a BIG PROBLEM!

So I opted to hold 6 small card classes and 2 small scrapbooking classes over the month of September. I chose to hold classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and 2 non-chemo Saturdays. That way everyone has an opportunity to attend class.

This month I am bringing back TECHNIQUE CARDS. Each stamper will get a package of 5 cards to make in class, one being a special technique of the month PLUS they will get a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card with a small sample and directions how to do the technique. This will allow them to put the samples cards on a ring or in a book, and create a technique album to refer to later on.

This month we are doing TRIPLE TIME STAMPING by Dawn Olchefske as our September Technique. I chose to use French Foliage as the stamp set for the technique.

Personally, I chose not to have ribbon or a bow, but I will have ribbon available for any stamper that choses to add it to their card. I thought French Foliage really lent itself to Dawn's Triple Time Technique.

We are also doing:

1.  A male themed card with The Open Sea
2.  A female themed card with Bordering on Romance
3.  A children's themed card using Punch Art
4.  A waterfall card using By the Seashore

I cannot wait to see some of my stamping friends. It has been so long since I have hugged their necks and them over for a visit! Have a great day,


Monday, September 10, 2012

Convention 2012 Card Candy Part 2

Welcome to Monday morning. I am so pleased to say that it is a good morning for me. I had my #72 chemo treatment on Friday and sometimes I am still yucky on Mondays. Today that is not true -- hallelujah! Let's get this show on the road ... I still have 12 more Card Candy Samples to share with you. Today I will share the final 4 entries from String 1 of the Card Candy Swap!

Card Candy # 5

This lovely card candy sample was made by Sheryl Wheatley (SCS name: swheat 77). Let me also tell you that Sheryl was in many of the Convention Swaps with me. Each and every item she made was fantastic. She pays such attention to detail. If you ever have the opportunity to swap with her, you will be so pleased!
Stamp Sets:  Create A Cupcake and A Word for You
Paper: Whisper White, Pink Pirouette, Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Wisteria Wonder, Daffodil Delight, Red Glimmer Paper, Silver Glimmer Paper and DSP in the above colors
Ink: Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Wisteria Wonder, Daffodil Delight, Pink Pirouette, and Black Stazon
Punches: Owl Builder, Cupcake Builder, Word Window, Modern Label, Scallop Trim, Decorative Label, and Dotted Scallop
Other: Sponges, Baker's Twine, 2 way Glue Pen and Dazzling Diamonds
Card Candy # 6
This entry was made by Pat Lund of Medford, Oregon. (SCS name: 1OldHen).
This was Pat's first trip to Convention and her first time swapping. She is a new demonstrator that started last fall under my downline, Gail Etchie.
Stamp Set: Kidoodles
Paper:  Primrose Petals, Midnight Muse, Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit, Raspberry Ripple, Basic Black, Natural White and Be of Good Cheer DSP.
Inks: Primrose Petals, Midnight Muse, Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit, Raspberry Ripple, and Basic Black
Other:  Apothecary Accents Framelits, Circle Punches, and 2 3/8" Scallop Circle Punch
Card Candy # 7
This entry was made by Laura Fernsler (SCS name: istampustamp). 
Stamp Set: Jolly Bingo Bits
Paper: Real Red, Gumball Green, Soft Suede, Whisper White, Pool Party
Inks: Soft Suede, Gumball Green, Real Red, Black Stazon, Pool Party
Ribbons: Chocolate Chip 1/2" Scallop Ribbon, Pool Party 3/8" Ruffled Ribbon,  Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Ribbon, Wild Wasabi 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Real Red 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon and Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine
Punches: New Mini Scallop Circle Punch,  Large Oval, Scallop Oval, Extra Large Oval, Extra LargeTag, Postage Stamp, 1" square Punch, 1" Circle Punch, 1 1/4" Circle Punch
Card Candy # 8
 I made this entry for the Card Candy Swap.
Stamp Sets: Mouthwatering, A Word for You, and Friendly Phrases
Paper: Whisper White, Real Red, Garden Green, Pretty in Pink, Elegant Eggplant
Markers: Garden Green, Real Red, Elegant Eggplant, Pretty in Pink and Basic Black
Punches: 2 1/2" Circle Punch, 2 3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 2 1/2" Circle Punch, Decorative Label Punch, Scallop Oval Punch and the Extra Large Oval Punch
Other: Mini Wooden Sticks (from Hobby Lobby) and Stampin Dimensionals.
I hope you enjoyed viewing today's swap items. I will be back with the final 8 Card Candy entries over the course of this week, sharing 4 at a time. Right now, I need to move clothes to the dryer, and head to the shower. I have a long day today and an IEP meeting right after school on one of my kiddos. 
You have a great day!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Convention 2012 Card Candy Swap

Back in January 2012, I signed up for a Card Candy swap at SUDSOL with Bobbie Ganley. I was really not sure what I was getting myself into with this swap for Leadership. Oh my goodness! It was one of my favorites of Leadership.

So Convention 2012 rolls around, and I decide to host this swap at SCS. I was so pleased with the results of the swap! In fact, after the swap, I ended up staying at the swap table an hour because their were so many people taking photos of the swap items (Card Candy) and asking for my card and if I was going to host this swap again next year (You betcha!)

What is card candy you ask? I compare it to "handmade jolee's". You can give them to your hostesses as gifts, use them as door prizes, or save them when you need a fast card.  I want to share with you a few of them I got  in the swap. There were 2 strings of card candy with 8 ladies in each group. I have been working over 30 minutes to get them posted to the gallery at Splitcoast but it is not working today. Let me share a few of the 16 card candy entries today. I will share all 16 over the next week, so bear with me.

Card Candy # 1 -
This entry was made by Liz Rydwin (SCS Name: Red Apron).

Stamp Set: Priority Mail
Cardstock: Whisper White, Garden Green, Summer Starfruit, Gumball Green, Primrose Petals, Island Indigo, Raspberry Ripple, Midnight Muse, Basic Gray, Gold, Real Red and Baja Breeze
Ink: Primrose Petals, Versamark, Midnight Muse, Basic Gray, and Baja Breeze
Punches: Curly Label, Postage Stamp, 1 3/8" Circle, 1 3/8" Square, Modern Label, Large Oval, Scallop Oval and Scallop Circle
Accessories: Stampin' Dimensionals, Gold Embossing Powder, and Dazzling Diamonds.
Card Candy # 2
This entry was made by Kathy Kartak (SCS Name: kkrab5)
Stamp Set:  Tea Shoppe
Cardstock:  Whisper White, Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, and Elegant Eggplant
Ink:  Gumball Green, Elegant Eggplant, Primrose Petals
Markers: Primrose Petals, Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit
Punches:  1 3/8" Circle,  1 1/4" Circle, Word Window, Modern Label, Large Oval, Scallop Oval and Decorative Label
Accessories: Labels Collection Framelits, Basic Pearls and Rhinestones, and Dazzling Details
Ribbon: Daffodil Delight Seam Binding and Primrose Petals Stitched Satin
Card Candy # 3
This entry was made by Shelia Jamison (SCS Name: jamisonandco)
Although Shelia did not list her ingredients, I will attempt to list them for you.
Stamp Sets: Mixed Bunch and Papillon Potpourri
Cardstock: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, and Basic Black
DSP:  Daffodil Delight Dots, and Real Red Stripes
Inks:  Basic Black, and Real Red
Accessories: Rhinestones, Pearls, White Baker's Twine, Real Red Button, Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons
Punches: Blossom Punch, and Elegant Butterfly

Card Candy # 4

This entry was made by Micki Sewell (SCS Name:spanishteacher)
Stamp Sets: Loving Thoughts, Word Play, The Open Seas
Inks: Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy, Cherry Cobbler, Sahara Sand, and Early Expresso
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler and Not Quite Navy
Punches: Extra Large Tag and Decorative Label
Big Shot: Two Tags Die
Embellishments:  Baker's Twine in Early Expresso and sponged in Crumb Cake
There you go, the first 4 of the 16 card candy entries in the 2012 Card Candy Convention Swap. I will host this swap again at the 2013 Convention!

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fab Friday Challenges

I have a sweet online friend, Mindy Backes, who has started a Fab Friday Card Challenge. Her card challenge blog is . Go by and check it out. Hope you will try out some of challenges yourself.

I have never entered a card challenge, but I felt that it was the right time to start. This morning I printed off her challenge design off the blog and went to my work table. Here is her challenge for this week. 
I just got a new box of Stampin Up toys yesterday, and one of my sets was Animal Talk. So I went and made a very simple card for this challenge. Here are my results:


* Gumball Green cardstock cut 4 1/4" wide and 11" long. I scored  it at 5 1/2" along the 11 inch side.
* Whisper White cardstock cut 4 1/4" wide and 4 1/4" deep.
* A strip of Gumball Green Dotted DSP 4 1/4" wide x 1" deep
* A strip of Whisper White Cardstock 4 1/4" wide x 1/2" deep
* A Rich Regal Button
* Some twine
* Scallop Trim Border Punch
* Gumball Green Classic Ink
* A square punch to create the flag on the sentiment
* Stampin Dimensionals
* Stamp Set    Animal Talk


1. Prepare the card base, score and fold.
2. Use the Scallop Trim Border to cut the design on one end of your 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" cardstock.
3. Add the Gumball Green Dotted DSP across the bottom of your 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" cardstock near the Scallop Trim Border design. I left about 1/4" of white paper showing (not counting the actual punched design).
4. Now stamp the sentiment from the stamp set Animal Talk in Gumball Green Classic Ink. Remember to leave at least 1 inch white space on the right side of your strip of Whisper White. This leaves you plenty of room for the button.
5. Take a square punch and punch out a flag on the left side of the sentiment strip. You can adhere this strip to your DSP with adhesive or Stampin Dimensionals.
6. While you have the Gumball Green Classic Ink pad available, stamp up the frog design and stamp the image in the center of the white space still available on your Whisper White Cardstock.
7.  Add twine through your button and tie a bow. Attach button to the right end of your sentiment with a Stampin Dimensional.

This is a very simple card to recreate. Plus the design will allow you to use other stamp sets just as easily. For example, try the cherry basket image in the stamp set Cherish Friendship (page 93 in your catalog) perhaps with Cherry Cobbler paper. Or the cute dumptruck image in the stamp set I Dig You (page 90 in your catalog) perhaps using Night of Navy or Real Red cardstock.