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Friday, November 23, 2012

Forever Night Challenge #55

Forever Night Challenge #55 - Use the Color Purple

Hello sweet friends!  I hope everyone (in the US) had a good Turkey Day, yesterday.  My hubby and I just stayed home (as usual) because I'm currently too ill to go anywhere until I can get some of my health issues taken care of.  I'm still waiting to get an approval to even make an appointment for the Mayo clinic in Minnesota, and in the meantime, I'm still having serious bladder issues and can't get in to see a urologist until the 28th, so pretty much miserable over here. :p  I wanted to thank all of you that left such wonderful comments on my last post, and please know that I plan on visiting everyone's blog who left me such kind words.  I'm sorry I haven't been able to get to everyone quite yet, but I want you all to know how much it meant to me to hear from you and to  have your support.  I really love you gals (and guys)!  It really lifts me up to hear from you. :)

Now for some good news...

A long time ago I got accepted as a member of the super fun Forever Night Challenges team, but I was on hiatus as you all know, so I never really took up my term.  The lovely ladies over there decided to give me another chance and join for the upcoming term so I am here today with my first post!!!  You have no idea how good it feels to be part of a DT again and to actually push myself to get out of bed and be creative! :D  I would absolutely LOVE it if everyone would pop over there, tell them Amy Jo sent you, and become a follower.

For those of you who don't know, it's a blog that takes on a bit of the darker side of things. ;)  I really enjoy the challenges they have and I've found some really creative people over there!  Please join in our challenges.  We'd love to have you!

This week we were sponsored by Dilly Beans and I just love the image I got to work with!  At first I was going to start a mini album for all of my colored Dilly Beans images that I've worked on, but when I finished with this project I just had to hang it on my wall instead!  It looks so cute up there against my pink walls!  I still plan on making a mini album, but for now, here's my cute 8x6" picture.

Click to get a better view
For my project I started with a cereal box that I cut down to 8"x6" and covered with paper from Recollections Ravenhead Manor paper stack (purple background).  Then I added a spiderweb patterned paper from DCWV Ghosts & Goblins mat-stack that I inked and border punched along one side with the Martha Stewart (MS) scallops & dots border punch.

I used the "Cori" image from Dilly Beans, as well as on of the sentiments from "artist quotes", both available for purchase at Megan's store.  I just loved the head-shot, but I wanted to do something different so I made her a body from some fussy cut bottles (from that same DCWV mat-stack) that I glued together and then stuck her head on top.  I think it turned out pretty neat and totally "out of the box" for me. ;)  Look closely to see the spider crawling up her.  I colored her with Copics (4 different shades of purple -- even her skin is purple, with green eyes) and a white gelly pen for details.  I also added an earring, which has purple, black, and green!  It's actually an epoxy eyelet charm from Making Memories.  I popped her up off the page with pop dots.  I printed the sentiment on blue cardstock and fussy cut the words out.

Lastly I added two potion bottles from MS (love those!) and how perfect is the tombstone that reads "Mrs. Anita Newbody"??? I was thrilled to find that, cause essentially that's exactly what I did...gave her a new body. :)  The cute tombstone button is from Dress It Up.  As always, I inked all my edges with Colorbox Cat's Eye ink in "Blackbird".

I hope you all enjoyed my project as much as I enjoyed making it!  Please join us this week at Forever Night for our challenge "Use the Color Purple".  I would love to see you there!

In addition, I will be entering this project in the following challenges:

Lady Anne's Challenges ~ Anything Goes (used digi stamps)
Crafts 4 Eternity Recipe Challenge ~ R#99 - Midnight Magic (nighttime theme using stars, moons, beds, etc.)
Pause, Dream, and Enjoy Challenges CH# 47 - Anything Goes
The Octopode Factory - Words

XO ~ Amy Jo

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Oh my friends, my wonderful crafty friends, how I have missed you all!  I am so happy to see that most of you are still following me and I thank you deeply for that.  I apologize for going on hiatus with absolutely no notice or reason.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting it myself!

Since all of you here know about my condition, I feel no reason to hide why I've been gone... I've been struggling.  Struggling with the fibro, the lack of relief from the pain, the depression that goes along with it, the extreme exhaustion, and especially the weight gain that goes along with the use of painkillers.  I am also going through addiction.  Let me just say, when you have a chronic pain condition it is IMPOSSIBLE not to get addicted to the pain meds.  I am proud to say, I am almost off of Oxycodone, which was a major addiction for me and I didn't even realize it until I would wake up in the morning with the shakes and the sweats and couldn't even move until I had some in me.  Now, don't get me wrong...I am still on pain meds and probably will have to be unless by some miracle, my fibromyalgia goes away, but I am trying so hard to work through it with less addictive (at least in my opinion) medications.

To boot, I now have possibly another chronic condition Interstitial Cystitis, which is beyond annoying!  I don't know if you all know what that is, but for those of you that don't, it is a chronic condition in which your bladder is constantly irritated.  Basically it feels like you have a UTI, but you can't get rid of it!  I have what feels like pressure on my bladder all the time and OMG, it's extremely frustrating!  This is new... Just started about three weeks ago and I have yet to see a urologist, but my doc says there's a good chance this is what it is and for those of you with fibro, you likely know that once you have fibro, a whole onslaught of other chronic conditions may arise or go hand in hand with it.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!  Yes, I feel like screaming most of the time!

Ok, and one more complaint or rather, update... Pain meds (opiates) can ruin your teeth!!! I had no idea about all of these horrible side effects before I started taking it.  As far as the weight gain, within two years of being on opiates most people will double their weight!!!  and I did! and the fact that it's like using methamphetamine or heroin.  It will rot your teeth.  I have always had strong, albeit crooked, ;) teeth, but now they are starting to decay!  I couldn't believe it when I went to the dentist.  He's like "You must eat a lot of sweets" and I'm like "No, actually, I don't, why?"  and then I said I'm on pretty heavy duty medications and he told me that they are affecting my teeth.  Amazing that no doctors told me this before getting on it right?

So that, in a nutshell, is what's going on in my life and why I've been absent for so long.  I haven't done much crafting but I did get a custom order from a friend for a baby shower so I will share with you, that creation!




First off, I started with the cutest SVG file from Paper Piecings by Nikki (you may remember I was on Nikki's DT for quite a while).  I was so excited to see she had exactly what I was looking for!!! How cute is this cut???

The paper is DCWV Lemon Berry stack (I think that's what it's called), the sentiment is from Crafty Sprouts and I punched the ticket shape from an EK Success punch.  I used some pop dots to pop up the silhouette and the sentiment (inside) and that super cute silver/clear ribbon is from Flourishes.  I inked the edges with a Cat's Eye brown ink and used my ATG for the glue.  I also added some Stickles Pearls to the dress to make it a little fancier. ;)

There you have it!  My first project in ages and I sure hope you enjoyed it!  It's good to be back and it would mean sooooo much if you would leave your comments.  I would love to catch up with everyone!

XO ~ Amy Jo


Monday, June 11, 2012

High Park Fire - Fort Collins, CO

Hi Friends!

I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've posted!  I have just been battling with my illness and depression as well as weaning off my medications, which is hard.  I am hoping to be back in action this week and hope to make some new projects to share with you all.

Right now, we are in the middle of the 2nd largest fire ever in Colorado history and unfortunately it is somewhat close to where I live.  The air has become very poor and it's really getting to us!  We have headaches, my nose and throat hurt and my and my hubby's eyes are itchy and painful.  We are not close enough to be in direct danger of the fire, but I will share some photos with you that were taken literally right outside my door.  Keep in mind, what you see here is all smoke NO CLOUDS!!! That bright red ball is the sun!  It was blood red and huge!  Wish I had better pics to showcase it.  Click on the pics for a bigger view.


 Smoke & the sun
 Smoke as seen from outside our front door, over the neighbor's house
 Look at the color under those smoke plumes - the whole sky was lit up with orange
Pretty Colorado sunset?  Not quite!  Again, this is FIRE not clouds!  Crazy huh?



Thanks for popping in today and let me know what you think about the pics!  Say your prayers for all of the people that had to evacuate and all of the poor animals affected by this 20,000 acre fire!  Some people have already lost their houses, but it's too hard to tell how many have actually been burned.  The fire grew from 2 acres to 20,000 acres in a matter of 36 hours!!!  Inside our house it smells like a campfire.  Our windows are shut, but it's still coming in.  We may have to go somewhere else tomorrow if it gets worse because the air is very potent.  It's like being at a bonfire, but it smells like that inside and outside our house!

I'll check back in soon!

XO ~ Amy Jo

P.S.  - If you want to help please click HERE.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dilly Beans Friday Challenge - Flowers



Hello Fabulous Friends and welcome to another Friday challenge with Dilly Beans!  This week's challenge is "Flowers".  Easy peasy, right? ;)  I am thrilled to be Guest Designing again for the month of May!

For my project I used the Crinkles Daisy Framed #362 store.  I just love the Dilly Beans' Crinkles line!!! So darling! :0)

Front of Card
Closeup of Digi Stamp
Deets:  For this project I used my Copic markers in four different shade for Crinkles, three different shades for the flower, and to make the sky I used a lovely light aqua color and added the colorless blender to spots that weren't completely filled in to make it look more like a sky with some clouds.  Click the pics for a closer view of that.  I'm happy with the subtle effect. :0)

The background cardstock is from Recollections and the two patterned papers are from different Basic Grey 6x6 stacks (one is Olivia).  All other cardstock papers are from my scraps.  I used Bo Bunny brads for the center of the three large flowers, which were created with an awesome EK Tools layering punch.   I've had it for at least a year now and this is the first time I've gotten to use it!  Behind those three flowers is a strip of peach colored ribbon from my stash.

The two fabric flowers were part of a kit I purchased from Creative Charms, as were the pinkish pearl adhesive gems.  Love this store!

To finish everything off I inked around all my edges with my Cat's Eye Colobox ink in Dark Brown and used my white gelly roller for some little details throughout.

_____________________________________________________

Thank you all so much for stopping by today and keep those comments coming!  We would absolutely LOVE for you to join this challenge at Dilly Beans!  Also, be sure to check out the STORE as once again, there are some new AMAZING digis that I'm totally in love with and I'm sure you will be too!

I will be entering this card in the following challenges:
Card Makin' Mamas - Challenge #45 - May Flowers
Crafty Ribbons Challenge - Challenge #19 - Flowers
LEJ Designs - Challenge #3 - Lots of Layers (the flowers I punched have four layers including the brads, I used two layers of patterned paper for the background and the image is popped up, creating another layer) ;)
Hooked on Craft Challenges - Challenge #20 - Flowers

XO ~ Amy Jo


Friday, May 11, 2012

Dilly Beans Friday Challenge - Bling it On


Hey Sweetie Pies!  Hope everyone's doing well.  So sorry I've been behind on my postings/blog candy drawings/life, etc...  Honestly, been in bed with a horrible flare up and still those darn migraines (hmm...deja vu here or what?)!  Idk what is going on, but I know a ton of my friends are getting them!!!  Again, just want to make sure that you all know how much I appreciate all of the amazing comments I have been getting lately!  I have sooooo many of you that I want to get back to and repay the favor so please just know I am so grateful to all of you and don't mean to ignore or deliberately not respond to anyone...if it takes me forever to get back to you, I apologize, but I will do my best to do so! ;) LOL

Alrighty then!  On to today's matter at hand...  It's another awesome Friday challenge over at Dilly Beans!  Yep, I'm still guest designing and oh so happy to be doing so!  I don't know if I've mentioned this (LOL), but I LOVE Megan's digis!!! :)  No matter how sick I am (for the most part anyways), I can usually grab a digi and color in bed, which is perfect for getting my crafting fix in when I can't get up!  I have lots of images colored, but I need to actually make them into something, so for today I have only one project to show you so far.

This week's theme is "Bling It On".  To be honest, I had created this card for an earlier challenge, but didn't quite get it done in time so I took it out today and added some more bling to make it appropriate for this challenge. :)  I just LOVE the way it turned out, and I hope you enjoy it too!  Notice the flowers have rhinestones, and Stickles around those rhinestones, and I added some Stickles to the butterflies to make them a bit prettier.  I doodled on the image (as I almost always do if there's a plain background) and I thought about adding bling to that part too, but I was happy with the two toned method I had used so didn't want to cover it up.  I used a black Zig pen and a really light aqua colored Copic.  More deets below!  As always, click on the pics for a better view. ;)

Happy Spring card - front of card
 Hard to tell here, but her hair is two different colors, the butterfly is three different colors,and the swirls I added are actually black with aqua-ish shadows. 
 I love the way using Stickles around the rhinestone stickers looks in person.  Sorry so washed out here, but I would suggest trying that for a more dramatic effect. 

Deets:  In addition to what I had mentioned above, I used the Amalia & Butterflies Framed #351 digi from the Amalia collection at the Dilly Beans store.  Isn't she darling???  The papers I used are Recollections (background cardstock) and Stampin' Up (patterned paper & flowers).  I actually fussy cut the flowers from a patterened page.  I used a Paper Smooches stamp for the "Happy Spring" sentiment and rhinestones from Creative Charms collection. The blue twine I added is also from Stampin' Up.  If you need a good rep, let me know as I have a super sweet lady who takes care of me. ;)  As always, I inked around everything with my Cat's Eye ink in Dark Brown.  If you are interested in all the Copic colors I used, hit me up and I'll get you the info! 

Don't forget, this is a challenge, meaning, we would LOVE to have you join in!!!  Head over to Dilly Beans Friday Challenges and help us Bling it On!!!  Let them know who sent ya. ;)  Thanks to all the lovely gals over there for letting me join in the fun!

XO ~ Amy Jo

P.S.  Join me this weekend in a great Mother's Day blog hop!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Dance Blog Hop - May 5th, 2012


Good morning friends and thanks so much for joining us today for Gill's blog hop, "The Dance".  If you arrived here from the lovely Jamie then you are in the right spot!  If you just happened upon my blog today and want to start at the beginning (a very good place to start), then you'll want to click HERE to check out her blog.

For today's project I decided to go a little off-kilter.  I had this really cutsie Cricut ballerina card designed, but then I got tired and didn't want to fuss with all those layers so instead I chose this super cute stamp from Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps.  OMG, I just LOVE their stamps and bought a bunch last time I went shopping.  So happy to get to finally use this one! ;)  Hope you enjoy!  As always I do a photo with flash and then one without so you can see the depth of the colors.  I made this card with scraps around my craft room that I just grabbed!  I wanted to see what it would be like to make a card quickly without too much thought (which is where I usually get hung up) and I must say, I'm pretty content with how it turned out!

 Click the pics for a better view


If anyone wants any details on products I used let me know and I'll post 'em, otherwise, I'm pooped!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I'm your final stop on this hop ***(oops, looks like we may have a last minute addition - please go to Lisa's Blog to see her project for this hop)*** and would be so honored if you would leave a comment and become a follower if you're not already!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Dilly Beans Friday Challenge - Texture

***For the Save the Earth FCCB Cricut Crawl, please click HERE.***

Hello to all my new and old followers alike!  So happy to have you on board! :)  It's time for another Friday Challenge over at Dilly Beans!  I am so super duper excited as Megan has kindly let me stay on as Guest Designer for the month of May!!!  I'm still hoping to be a part of her amazing team and am soooo honored that she is letting continue this month! :0)

Today's challenge is Texture.  For my project I created a card with lots of texture, featuring the Ragdoll Ruby Digi (#297).  I just love the way this turned out and I hope you do too!  Be sure to check out the store because Megan has added lots of new adorable digis recently!

 Closeup of Ragdoll Ruby

Full card (be sure to click on the pic to see the texture)

Deets:  For this card I used black Recollections cardstock that I embossed with the Seeing Spots Cuttlebug Folder, using my Big Shot machine (for all textured items on this card).  I used some Ranger Ink Distressed Stain in White Picket Fence to give the black a more grungy feel.  Then I sanded over the dots with an emery board to make them really noticeable.  Next I took two three inch squares of patterned papers from the Basic Grey 6x6" Stack, Marjolaine.  I embossed the arglye one with Swiss Dots Cuttlebug Folder and the Lime Green Patterned Paper was embossed using the Mesh Cuttlebug Folder.  I then added black ink across the swiss dots to make them pop up a bit and I added distress stain (same as above) to sink into the "impressed" pattern on the lime green paper.  Afterwards I ran my silver Creative Memories pen over the top to add even more  dimension and I sprinkled some lime green glitter over this piece before it completely dried.  I wish you could see it in person!  So much better than in the pics! ;) 

I used my Copics for Ragdoll Ruby in two shades of blue/green and lime/olive green, as well as a touch of gray for the bow. I then fussy cut her.  I love how she turned out!  I popped her off the page with 1/4" pop dots. 

I cut a small tag from a tag making punch I have (Marvy I think) and used a Paper Smooches stamp for the sentiment.  Then I inked around the edges with Black Cat's Eye ink.  To finish off the card, I added several layers of paper and fabric flowers with large silver brads as their centers.  Then I used that same silver Creative Memories pen to doodle around the whole card and voila!  There you have it! 

Thanks so much for joining me today and if you would like to take part in the challenge and see what the awesome DT has created please hop on over to Dilly Beans!  C'mon...You know you want to! ;)  *nudge, nudge*

Since you're here, leave a comment!  I love getting them! :)

XO ~ Amy Jo