Friday, August 31, 2007

Cherry Cheesecake

First off let me say, I totally respond to your comments, so leave me a little love and let me know what you're looking for! Someone on the Creative Dreams blog asked about the musical elements I used to make the band page, and while I can't share them because I didn't save them (D'oh!), now that I know you'd like some I'll see what I can do. The more I see what y'all dig and what you use, the better my downloads will be. :)

Now, I wasn't going to post these papers until I had the whole kit done, but I'm hitting a roadblock with the elements, and I thought that the papers are pretty cool on their own.

I found this color palette on
Kuler; for you designers out there, it's a great website to play with color combos and to find inspiration. This palette was created by a user named donald.agarrat, do a seach for his gallery, he's got some great palettes in there!

There are 15 papers in this pack, 5 textured solids, and 10 patterned papers.
You can download them here.
Hopefully I'll get some playtime this weekend, and I'll be able to finish the elements to match these papers.
Until then, Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Retro Red and Black

Turns out, I was right about my day yesterday. I dropped CJ off at school, came home and put Boo in the tub, and next thing I know my cell phone is ringing... No one but my kids call my cell when I'm at home, it's because they can't remember our land line number, but my cell is an easy one. So I knew something was up right away. The power was out at school, and they were closing the school for the day. I ran back upstairs, yanked Boo back out of the tub, got her dressed in record time, and headed back to the school again.

I got to thinking about it though... Did they ever cancel school for power outages when you were a kid? I can remember sitting in darkened classrooms reading the chalkboard from the light coming in the windows. We never got sent home in the middle of the day unless we were puking or the building was on fire.

Yesterday, the power was out for less than an hour when they made the decision to send the kids home, and by the time I got there to pick up CJ, it was back on. They said they were sending them home anyway because they didn't want to risk it going out again...

Risk? Risk what?!?!

It was a beautiful day here yesterday, cloudy but warm. The kids weren't going to freeze because there wasn't any heat. All of the classrooms except one have windows, and that class could have easily gone to the commons room that has windows. I think the biggest risk for the school is that the teachers would have had to rely on books and chalkboards to teach the kids instead of PowerPoint presentations and videos.

It's an odd world we live in...

Anyway, on to the artsy stuff. I had someone ask for reds on the Creative Dreams blog yesterday, so I pulled out this old kit I made and dusted it off. It's the very first kit I ever tried putting together, and I posted it on ASB awhile ago, but since it's my first I'm sure you'll find things I could have done better. the papers are cool though, and that's the most important part, right?

I made the kit so that I could do this layout for my band:

So, without further ado, here it is:

This kit contains:
3 Solid Papers
6 Patterned Papers
2 Ribbons
9 Embellishments
You can download the whole kit here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Preppy Kit Freebie

I wasn't going to post this until tomorrow, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. With the kids starting back to school on various days this week, I'm never sure when I'll have a chance to sit down.

Last spring, some of you might remember, I took a bunch of pictures in my garden. This one of my Columbines was by far my favorite:

I just love the colors in this picture, so I ran it through a palette generator, and came up with the inspiration for my next kit.

This kit contains:
4 Textured Solid Papers
8 Patterned Papers
4 Twill Ribbons
3 Fibers
7 Embellishments

You can download the papers here.
And the embellishments here.

I hope you enjoy it!


And a Layout

Sorry I didn't have this for you earlier. I didn't think about putting together a sample layout until after I'd posted the kit... DOH!

Digi Scrappin'

So here's the deal... I've decided that this blog is becoming pretty bogged down with my personal psychosis, and people who come looking for papercrafting stuff have to wade through a lot of weird junk to get to the good stuff. So I decided to make a blog just for my artsy stuff.

Awhile ago John and I were playing with some blog software, we were thinking of adding blogs to ASB but it was way too much of a pain, and so I had this premade blog sitting there that can now be put to good use. So if you want to skip the personal stuff in my life you can just go to Creative Dreams instead!

I'll still be posting my artsy stuff here too, I think, so if you like reading my twisted tales along with my attempts at creativity, you can keep dropping by. :)

Ok, so on to the good stuff. I made a digi kit! Well, actually I've made a couple, but this one is packaged up and ready to be shared. So here it is...

It's called "Spumoni" because the color palette reminds me of Spumoni ice cream.
This kit includes:
4 Textured Solid Papers
10 Patterned Papers
5 Twill Ribbons
14 Embellishments
3 Overlays

You can download the papers here.
And the Embellishments here.

I'd love to hear what you think!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Six months...

**Disclaimer - This post is more than likely going to be filled with not so happy stuff dredged up from the depths of my brain. If reading about other peoples psychosis isn't your thing, then you don't have to go any further. It's ok, I don't mind, and no one will think any less of you. :)

Tiana's done with her first adjustment. It went really well, and it's nice to see her nearly straight again. There was very little pain this time around, within a few days she was mostly back to normal. She's still a little stiff, but hasn't needed so much as an Advil since the day of the surgery.

Overall a piece of cake... No sweat... Right? Yea right...

This whole thing has caused me to become very introspective, examining myself, what kind of person I am, what kind of parent I am, and more importantly, what the hell is wrong with me.

Ok, I've been sitting here staring at my screen wondering where to go from here without sounding like a whiny twit. That's really not how I want to come across. My idea isn't to try and gain sympathy, or even understanding, it's merely journaling therapy for me, getting it out of my head so that maybe I can walk down a path of normalcy for a little while. I could do a private journal I guess, but what fun would that be, and maybe there's someone out there like me (fat chance I know) who might get a little comfort in knowing that they're not the only nut job on the planet.

So onward bravely I wander, damn the torpedoes, and if I whine then so be it.

In the weeks leading up to Tiana's surgery I often wondered if I'd deal with this differently if I didn't have this lovely serotonin imbalance in my brain. The lengthening is supposed to be a pretty minor surgery, and really it is, so why doesn't that comfort me? Why do I look at my child like this may be the last time I see her whole? Why do I count the days with dread? Why do I see these vivid pictures flash through my head, pictures of my baby in a wheel chair, or the nightmare images of her in a coffin.

What the hell is wrong with me?

There's some comfort in knowing that while I may be a little father into the deep end than others, I'm not all that alone out there.

You can see it in the eyes of the other parents at Shriners, that terrible fear that no matter how minor the surgery, your child could easily become a statistic. Sure, the odds are in your favor that everything will turn out alright, but the odds were in my favor that I'd have a normal healthy baby without any muscular-skeletal defects too. The parents sitting in the waiting room, or out in the smoker's corner, have learned not to play the odds because sometimes you lose. We don't have the option of bowing out of this messed up game when we've had enough, or wagering just a little bit to play it safe. Once we're in, we have to stay until it's done, and with each hand we have to bet it all... When we lose, we lose everything.

That's what's doing me in right now, and for the last couple of weeks... I didn't want to play this game, I was forced into it. Now that I'm here, I can't stop it, can't back off, I have to see it to the end, no matter how it plays out.

I've had enough... I want to quit, I can't do this anymore. I want whatever twist of fate, nature, or God that made my kid this way to fix her with and be done with it. I don't mind that she's not the perfect healthy baby that I dreamed of; I can live with her being broken, but I can't live without her. I don't care anymore if it's character building, I don't care if we'll come out on the other side of this stronger, better people. I want to be able to take my kids health for granted, I want the fear to go away. I want to lay down in bed at night and not count the days to the next time my child will have to go under the knife. I just want it to stop... Is that too much to ask?

You may be sitting there thinking that in the grand scheme of things I have it easy. Life could have been a lot worse for me and my kid. She could have been born with a thousand other problems that would make things a lot harder, a lot scarier. Trust me, you don't need to tell me this. I've met the kids that are worse off, seen their parents chain smoking while they're in surgery, talked to them in an effort to figure out how they get through it all. I hold them in awe for their strength, but this isn't a road they chose either. Most, just like me, are hiding in a locked bathroom every once in awhile, crying while the shower's running, and railing against this long hard path they have to walk and the fates that put them there. We keep ourselves together because it's what our kids need us to do, but that doesn't mean we like it. They don't begrudge me my feelings, they understand it, and as we sit together watching the clock, we all know that fear cannot be contained by how minor a doctor ranks a procedure. When you've already lost to good odds, you know that something as simple as a tonsillectomy can go terribly, horribly wrong.

So I live a diet of avoidance and repression... Tamp it down, don't let it control you, don't let your twisted imagination gain the upper hand. As life moves inevitably forward, and the surgeries get closer I push everything into the back of my mind, emotion, deadlines, anything that may cause me the tiniest amount of stress. Because one little crack will cause the dam to break, and then I'm in the bathroom with the shower running again.

Some people in my life are finding they're having a hard time dealing with the month or so that I'm completely unavailable to them in any way. They may talk to me, but I'm emotionally distant, unresponsive, and pretty much in a comatose state. My body may be moving, but the mind is in another place. To these people that I love dearly, and who I know love me back, I can only say I'm sorry. If I could be any different, if I could walk away from this, if I could be a normal person dealing with life in a normal way I would do it in a heart beat.

I can say this now, share these feelings, because Tiana's a week out of surgery and I have six months until the fear and anxiety grip my life. Three weeks or so before her next surgery I'll be repressing again and you'll be lucky to get anything more than "I'm fine" out of me. No amount of Lexapro is probably gonna change that. Sorry...

Anyway... I wanted to say more today, but it's almost time for me to run. Maybe tomorrow I'll share the rest. There is more to this story, this unsolicited glimpse into my psyche, but this is probably enough for anyone to digest in one day.