Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

How is it possible that I managed to totally ignore/abandon my blog for an entire month!! I'm so ashamed! I thought about new postings. Really! I did! Anyway, it's a new year. One filled with new hopes and new challenges. I've been working on the same resolutions since 2008 and have yet to accomplish them. Guess I'll hang on to them for one more year.

Here are some of the projects I was working on in December. The altered binder clips are soooo fun! Little works that have to make a BIG statement. Backyard Candle Co. in Washington, IA agreed to sell them for me. We had a good run in the fall. I haven't seen the results for Christmas/Winter yet. The post-it note holders were "freebie" gifts that I gave to all of the women at the family Christmas get togethers. I saw the idea at Memory Bound, a scrapbooking store in Ankeny, IA. (Such CLEVER gals there! They never cease to inspire me!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

E - I - E - I - O!

I'm so easily distracted! While in the middle of some Christmas projects, I ran across this piece of farm animal print paper from Reminisce. A light bulb came on! I shoved the current projects to the side and started working on this card. Easier said than done. First I had to find a simple barn template on the internet. My pattern was too large for a folded 12 x 12 page, so I had to make it in two pieces. Then I decided to paper piece the front. Okay, cute barn, but I still hadn't used the paper! It had to go on the inside. Writing will have to be done on the left side. Oh, well!! I'll probably not make another one of these cards, but this one is kinda cute.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't You Love It.....

......when you get an idea (this time at the last minute), you make it, and it turns out just the way you wanted?? I had one of those moments yesterday. Before going to Iowa City for the day, I decided to make a "team spirit tag" to hang from my purse. I knew there would be THOUSANDS of Hawkeye fans in town for the football game (we were going up for volleyball) and I wanted to see if my "experiment" would draw any comments. Well, (sigh) no comments, but I thought it looked dang cute hanging on my purse. Sooooo easy and sooooooo inexpensive!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ask Your Mummy for a Candy Bar

Here's Frankie's buddy! Too stinkin' cute, don't you agree?! I used vinyl wallpaper strips for their texture. I didn't ink the edges of the first one, but I did the rest. Much cuter inked (as always!). There are little white dots on the eyes that add a lot of personality, but they don't show up well in the scan. Spiders are from my never-ending supply of confetti. A plain Hershey bar lies beneath. (Disclaimer: This is not an original idea. I saw a sample done at Memory Bound in Ankeny. They had used scrapbook paper designed to look like what I did.)

Carter's Card

Here's the card I just whipped up for a little boy's first b'day. His party is this afternoon. I work with his grandma. The paper is from Reminisce. The balloons are 3-dimensional and from a pack of confetti. They were the perfect size for the front of the card. 3-d --- what fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

18 Random Things mini-book

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If only getting this project into a viewable format was as easy as the project itself!! Augh!!! Anyway, here's the details about this project. I completed it in one day, with interruptions. The pages are slid into sturdy, top-loading trading card sleeves. There is a thin layer of cardstock between the two papers to make it easier to slide in and out. I used a 4"x6" package of Dollar Tree paper for the entire project. (No 12" x 12" papers were harmed.) I also used 4 colors of coordinating paper from my scrap collection. My goal was to keep it simple - no inking, ribbon, or froo-froo. For one thing, there isn't room, unless you adhere the embellishments on the outside of the sleeve. I also forced myself to use my own handwriting - something I rarely do. The letters on the cover were cut free-hand. I should have mixed up my papers - you know, been a little more RANDOM. Don't know what I was thinkin' there. I used my Big Bite to punch the holes. I used a strip of torn brown fabric tied in a knot to "bind" it together. I could have easily put the question and answer on the same page and only done 20 pages instead of 40! Oh, the things we learn when doing something for the first time. I hope you had a good time learning some of my little "quirks"!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Card Class

I am on a blogging BINGE today!! 2 posts in one day??!!! CRAZY!
I made these ADORABLE cards at a class last weekend, taught by papercraft queen, Lynn Warner. It was easy, but allowed me to work with some products I hadn't worked with before. This experience with acrylic was MUCH more enjoyable than my last. And I LOVED the primitive stickers by Cosmo Cricket we got to use. I would have liked to ink the edges of the acrylic, but I didn't have any Staz-On with me. I'm curious as to what would happen if I applied a quick, light coat of stain get over the surface of the sticker. Would it cut that "sticker look"? I may try that this weekend. Stay tuned for the results of that experiment...........(nothing should explode, so it should be safe)!

Frankie (draft)

I saw these cute little candy bar wrappers at Memory Bound and couldn't wait to make them. There's a mummy and a Frankenstein, but I've only got Frankie done. I think he needs "bolts" coming out of his neck. What do you think?? I'm open for suggestions!! This is only a draft. I'm going to make these for the gals at work for Halloween. Hy-Vee has the "full size" (as opposed to fun size or king size) candy bars for $.50 right now, by the way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

AGE is just a number.........

I'm basking in the idea that someone thinks I'm 11 years younger than I really am. How cool is that?? One of the programs I do at the library requires me to work with someone from the local extention office. I love this gal. She's young, sweet, pretty, tall and thin -- basically everything I'm not. But I love her more for her determination and desire to be successful. Anyway, as we were waiting for a meeting to start, we started talking about exercise. She has started running. I said that I was trying to get back into my cardio-kickboxing class. (She was impressed that I did this, I might add.) I mentioned that when I was going to class regularly, I wasn't skinny, but I was in great shape. (Being "uncomfortable" after hiking up ALL of the stairs at Carver-Hawkey Arena last Sunday brought the reality of exactly how out of shape I really am. Ugh.) I went on to say that my cardiologist had made the comment that I was in better physical shape than most women my age, even in my condition. (That was quite a surprise to hear, let me tell you!!) This caused her to scrunch up her face and say, "Why would he say that? You're not old?" Really??? I asked her how old she thought I was - and to be honest. I promised her my feelings would not be hurt. She said 35? (See, isn't she the greatest???) After I told her how old I really was, she said she would have never guessed that because I didn't look it. Now, I 've never had a big hang-up about my age, so I always laugh when someone is that far off. I'm thankful that I am being well preserved for the time being, but fear for the future. I'm afraid that someday, someone will look at me and whisper to a friend or family member, "Oh my God!!!! Is that Susan????? She really aged quickly!!!! She didn't look that old last Thursday!!!" Now, if someone would just say, "Hey! You look taller!" Not going to happen. I'm going to be happy with whatever my age is. Age is, after all, just a number. I really believe that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thank You card

When we took our trip to Milwaukee for the motorcycle rally we overnighted at a cousin's house in Rocklin. They were a wonderful host and hostess and we enjoyed having the opportunity to spend some time with their children. Here is the thank you I'm sending to them.
I'm not a big sticker fan, but this one did the trick. The motorcycle doesn't look anything like ours, but that's okay. I used the "rule of 3" on the front. The letters were cut using my Sidekick. The remaining sticker was used on the inside. The trim on the inside is from the fabric dept. It's a "faux leather" set with eyelets. I used it on a scrapbook layout years ago.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little Fruit Humor

I am fortunate to share my birthday with two wonderful people. One is my husband's Uncle Randy, the other, a fellow children's librarian, Tami Finley.

What prompts one to buy pear paper? More importantly, why would someone manufacture pear paper. Anyway, I saw it yesterday at the new scrapbook store in Fairfield. It's from Reminisce and double-sided. For some reason, I was challenged to create something with it. The result was this birthday card. I actually made two - one for Randy and one for Tami.

If anyone has anymore "pear" humor, let me know. I have most of a sheet left!!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I hope the gals at work appreciate these cards. They aren't funny or witty or adorned with some glossy snapshot of a gorgeous hunk of a man with a killer 6-pack, but it was made with them in mind. (I hope they don't make me a card --- I want one with the hunky guy!!!) LOL

Let's see if this layout is more successful than the last. I'm not holding my breath. Actually -- I'll drop it into a Smilebox slideshow instead. Thanks for looking!

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A friend just bought her first house - how exciting!! Earlier this summer I picked up a chipboard house mini book at Michael's from the $1 section. Using only one of the panels, it made the perfect card. Rather than trim down another panel, I made the back out of chipboard weight cardboard.

Disclaimer: For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to post pictures in the correct order and where I want them!!! Assistance would be welcome!)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I had the unfortunate opportunity to attend an aunt's funeral last week. While we weren't extremely close, she held a distinct role in my childhood. I can remember going to her house and cabin, the neat and tidy way she kept her home, and the way she carried herself. She was a beautiful woman, with a striking porcelain complexion. She always looked as if she belonged to the "country club" set. She was given a very nice service by a pastor that new her well and a family that loved her dearly. The best part - if there can be a "best part" of a funeral - was that some of the members of her Red Hat Society club came in their notorious purple and red regalia. They looked spectacular! I made a point to tell them that I was glad to see them dressed as they were. Aunt Mary would have loved it and expected nothing less. The ladies had a reserved pew, which was 2 rows up from me. And even though I couldn't see past the red straw hat wrapped in a purple boa, I was still glad they were there. After all, there's not much to see at a funeral.

I always come away from a funeral thinking of the way I want my funeral to go. Actually, after attending several, I have decided that I don't want a funeral. I want to donate my body to the state university for research. If my family wants a memorial service, that will be up to them. Some people need that "closure". I do not. There are too many aspects of a funeral that I disagree with Now I just need to put this wish in writing..........

It was nice to see some family members that I don't see very often. Stories were exchanged as were hugs and promises to keep in touch. We never know when fate will bring us together again, but we hope it's for a happier occasion.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Wedding Contributions

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This is a little "rough". I'm still learning. These pictures show a few of the things I created/arranged for a recent wedding. I just realized the favors and invitation pictures are missing, so I will post them later. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Smirnoff Never Looked So Good!

I've been wanting to "alter" a 6-pack for quite some time. My sweet friend Joni's birthday gave me the perfect excuse to do so. Pretty simple, but still pretty cute.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Just Call Me Axl Rose

I drive a 2008 Nissan Xterra. As far as I know, I'm the only one in Mt. P. who has a charcoal grey one. I work until 8:00 on Mondays. For the past 4 Mondays, there has been something left on my car or under my windshield. The first time it was a half sheet of paper. I didn't notice it until I was on my way home and it blew out when I flipped on my wipers. I figured it was a relious tract or some kind of "please join us for vbs" flyers. Then there was the book. It was old and ratty and extremely dirty. It was on my running board. I flipped it open with the toe of my shoe - that's how gross it was. It had a bunch of newspaper clippings and photos stuck inside. Not wanting to touch it, I kicked it to the curb. I figured someone thought we might need it at the library and left it for me. Didn't think too much about it - just that it was weird someone would put it on my running board. Last week, as I was driving home, a large yellow envelope flew off when I turned on my wipers. Again??? Someone stuck something under my wiper again? It was so far down I didn't even see it. (Yes, I can see over my steering wheel, thank you very much!) So tonight there was an envelope. It said "To My Loving Husband W.A.R." Okay, so now I'm thinking someone has mistaken my suv for someone elses. I was kind of afraid to touch it, but I put it on the floor of my car. To my knowledge, no one wants to kill me, but I wasn't about to open it. Four weeks, four "tokens". It kinda creeped me out so I drove to the police station and told the officer my story. He opened the envelope ----- and laughed. "I'll bet this is from Charlene. Do you know Charlene?" I do know Charlene. She's a few bricks short of a load - actually, I think her cart might be empty. She lives across the street from the library. As he looks over the letter he tells me that it is, indeed, from Charlene. He goes on to tell me that she thinks she's married to Axl Rose. "The Axl Rose from the band???" "Yep." She even signed her name on the letter using his last name. Oh, boy........ Anyway, he told me he'd try to convince her that my vehicle was not Axl's and she was to stop leaving notes and things. BTW - Axl Rose's birth name is William - hense the W.A.R. I've been mistaken for someone's cousin/sister/aunt before, but never Axl Rose!!!! Too funny - tooooooooooo weird!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What I Learned Today

Weather forcasters don't know squat! Okay, that's not entirely true. But still, we were told 75 and sunshine for the afternoon. Cloudy and 64 is what we had. I have learned that when taking off for an afternoon on the motorcycle, one should pack for all weather types. I could have really used my chaps today and maybe a heavier jacket. It wasn't unbearable, but it was chilly. We made a quick trip to Cedar Rapids to run a couple errands, then ate at Eggy's on 965 in North Librerty on the way home. First time at the restaurant. The tequila lime spiked tortilla soup was kickin'!! The fajita wraps were good, but I thinkI'll try something else on the menu next time. So much to chose from! Garlic mashed potatoes AND wild rice as sides --- how will I choose??? I was going to post a pic and web address, but they don't seem to have one.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'll Tile the Floor! What Fun!

This story takes place in the upstairs portion (1/3) of the garage where I have my scrapbooking/card making stuff. I refer to it as the Paper Studio.
Awhile back I decided that I was going to have to put something down on the floor. Small scraps, embellishments and what-nots refused to be swept up off of the plywood. It was impossible to clean. Not wanting to invest a lot of money in this project and wanting to do it myself, I decided that using the peel and stick tiles was the way to go.
As I pondered the color possibilities offered to me by Menards, I decided that, with white walls and a black wrought iron railing, that a black and white checkerboard design would be quite striking. A few red tiles dropped in now and then would make it extra fun. (Red tiles were not available, even as a special order item, I found out later.) While eating dinner at The Vine one evening, we enlisted the help of some bored waitstaff in calculating how many tiles would be needed for this project. By the end of dinner, my new floor was etched into the top of my styrofoam take-out box.
A trip to Menards followed, where a very knowledgable (or really good college student employee loaded my cart with 2 boxes of tiles and an additional 20 tiles of each color which he painstakingly chose from the lot. A gallon of sealer, verbal instructions, and I was good to go. A couple months passed.
Last Tuesday, having the day off, I decided to tackle the "floor project". After cleaning and sealing the floor, I was anxious to get started. I opened one box. Black tiles. All shiny and perfect. I opened the second box. Black tiles. All shiny and perfect. WHAT??? WAIT!!! THAT'S NOT RIGHT!! After a mini-meltdown, I decided I would just have to make it work. After all, I did have 20 white tiles. After drafting three or four alternate layouts, I decided on a strategicly random layout consisting of 5 blocks of 4 white tiles.
The process was not as easy as I thought it would be, nor was it as quick. I nearly finished the floor that Tuesday afternoon, but had to quit to get ready to babysit. I had two walls of tile to go, but they each needed to be cut and I didn't have the energy to tackle that project. One evening after work, I cut the remaining tiles and installed them. So now the room is complete. It's not perfect, but I can live with it. By the time I get everything moved back into place, the imperfections won't be noticed - I hope! However, now that I have decided to take our spare computer out to the Paper Studio, I've decided to tile the dormer space where it will sit. According to my calculations, another 40 tiles to lay and then I will be truly done.
I hope to post some pictures in a day or two.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank You Moms

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all af you wonderful mothers. Without you, I would have not job. (well, it sort of works like that)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tis the Season

Have you heard the rumble? The weather has warmed up and the motorcycles are out! They sound like bees in the distance. Last weekend my husband and I made the most of the warmer weather. On Saturday we attended the open house festivities sponsored by Hawkeye Harley in Coralville, IA. ( They had an awesome group (2 guys) performing! They did several Jimmy Buffet numbers and played some serious guitar and harmonica. Watch for Fry Daddies ( to play in your area. It was a little breezier than we expected, so we didn't ride too far from home.

On Sunday we hooked up with another couple and headed for The Chrome Horse in Cedar Rapids, IA. A totally cool biker bar that suffered terrible damage in the flood last summer, but has been restored and looks fantastic. The atmosphere and food are both outstanding. ( The horseshoe shaped bar adds an extra touch of class and uniqueness. Following lunch we decided it was too nice to go home, so we headed to Sutcliff, IA, home to a great little biker bar. There were plenty of bikes and bikers there. Most were sitting outside, enjoying the day. They have an interesting bridge in Sutcliffe. Unfortunately, the floods of last summer knocked out the first span, so you can no longer take your food and drinks out there to enjoy. Hopefully it will be restored.

It was an enjoyable day spent with friends. We were blessed by good weather and careful drivers.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Slow News Day

The Mt. Pleasant News must have been having a slow news day this past Tuesday. I spoke to a local Rotary group on Monday evening and then, much to my surprise, was an article, complete with picture, on the FRONT PAGE of Tuesday's paper!! It took up about a quarter of the front page. Good grief. Check it out at You'll have to click on Mt. Pleasant News and then search by my name.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Silent Auction Goodies

I'm going to a conference at the end of the month. It's attended by primarily children's librarians, like myself. Last year we held a silent auction and did fairly well with the proceeds. i had a good time putting together some theme baskets and some (greeting) card sets. This year i've created a couple of journals. I've got some other stuff too, but it's not ready for posting. I bought these journals at Michael's for $1 each and used what I had in my paper studio to jazz them up. The "gossip" journal has a bunch of ribbons tied to the spirals at the top and bottom. Too cute!! I hope they bring at least $3 each!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One Piece At A Time

I had planned on writing this post on Friday. I was going to start out by saying that life at our house would be somewhat different over the next several days. No meals would be prepared, laundry would not be done, mail would not be read. Why? I started a puzzle last Thursday night. It was 750 pieces. By Thursday evening, a mere 2 hours after opening the box, I had the border and part of the skyline done. Another couple hours on Friday and I had even more done. I wasn't even going to bother sorting the pieces, like all skilled puzzlers do. I was just working from the box. "Hey! This is easy!", I thought to myself. 3 hours on Saturday and an hour this morning and it was done! I think that's the fastest I had ever done a puzzle of that size. By myself, too! That's right - no help! (The cat tried to rearrange a few pieces.....) The puzzle is called City Lights: Las Vegas Gold II. It's put out by Ceaco Puzzles.

While cleaning today, I decided to get rid of a bunch of my old puzzles. I was going to take them to Goodwill, but I think I'll take them to the hospital. I'm hoping they'll put them in a few waiting rooms. I encourage you to do the same.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's talk about clothing.....

I have some definite opinions about certain types of clothing. Working with the public, as I do, I see just about everything. Today's topic is flip-flops. Socks and flip-flops (or Birkenstocks!!) is not a good look. I don't understand why people need to wear them (flip-flops) in the winter. Where I live, winter involves snow, ice and below zero temperatures. Flip-flops are simply not appropriate. For those who wear them almost daily, I hope they realize what they are doing to their feet. if you're wearing a sweater and flip-flops, you're in the wrong shoes. Parents: If you're wearing shoes and socks because of the temperature, please don't let your children leave the house in flip-flops.

As long as I'm talking about shoes, I'd like to mention something else. Everyone needs to own a full length mirror. Seriously. If the hem of your pants is above your ankle bone, they are too short. Ladies, this applies mostly to you. They have "tall" lengths now. Read the tag.

And white socks do not go with everything. If I must see your socks, please make them match your pants.

(Please know that these are strickly my opinions and said mostly in fun. I have to write about something and this topic is easy. There will be more!)

So, have a laugh this week as you notice what's going on around the ankles of those you cross paths with.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I need to begin by saying that the journals I gave my fellow conference goers were a big success. They wasted no time in snapping up their favorite. I got the one with the "bling".

I have to admit that I follow a few blogs. It's really kinda fun! One that I pay very close attention to belongs to Susan in Arizona. She teaches classes for a bunch of gals called "Heidi's Group". The challenge for their April meeting is to design a checkbook cover/sleeve. I couldn't resist the challenge myself - but I decided to do a cover for my pocket calendar. I'm showing the front and the back. (The yellow is actually lime green.) Try it yourself - then send me a picture!!) Special thanks to Susan and the members of Heidi's Group for letting me swipe your challenge!! I hope you dont' mind.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Altered Journals

Here are the three journals I altered. Each had an individual design, but I added another paper design, ribbon, and embellishments. I'm going to a convention with two other women and thought I'd surprise them with these. They will have first pick and I will take what's left. I hope they like them!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Conscience Won (or Warm Fuzzies)

Sometimes doing the right thing gives you warm fuzzies all day. I could have had a free lunch today. I had a coupon for a lunch special at a restaurant I'd never been to before. When I gave it to the gal at the register, she glanced at it quickly, stuck it under the counter and cheerfully told me there would be no charge today. I asked her if she was sure. She said that since I had brought in the coupon that lunch was free. I took my receipt and went to find a table. As I was eating, I tried to picture the coupon in my mind. I was pretty sure that it didn't say "free lunch" anywhere. The girl at the register was young, probably a college student. The phone was ringing off the wall while I waited in line and I heard her say they were short 2 people today. She was clearly rattled and doing the best she could to keep up. After my meal, I went back to the counter. An older, "manager-looking" gentleman was working the register. I was able to catch the girl as she returned from delivering an order. The man overheard our conversation and together they looked over the coupon. No "free lunch". I told the girl I didn't want her to get in trouble when the register came up short at the end of the day and that I wanted to pay for my lunch. She thanked me for my honesty and looked to the manager. The manager said "Just give me $2." "No", I said, "I want to pay for my lunch. I don't want her to get in trouble." "Just $2", he said. So I gave the man $2 and left the restaurant. I could have easily left without paying, but I knew my conscience would bother me for days. Sometimes you just have to do the "right" thing. So know I'm having a "warm fuzzie" moment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lucky Me!

I have two things to be happy about so far this week.

On Monday, as I was driving to work (a paved county road), I saw an eagle. I know we have them around here, but I've never really seen one up close. I saw a large bird flying above the fence line and as I approached, it turned slightly, revealing it's white head and tail feathers. Since no one was behind me, I slowed down to watch this magnificent bird. it circled an area over the ditch, getting lower and lower. As I slowly drove away, I looked in my rearview mirror and watched it land on the shoulder of the road. It must have seen something in the area to eat. Very cool.

On Tuesday, my husband called to say that a box had been delivered with my name on it. I hadn't ordered anything, so I asked him to read the return address label to me. Bazzill. Woo hoo!!! I'd won!! You see, I'd visited the Bazzill Basics website a week ago and happened on a Cosmo Cricket give away they were having. All you had to do to enter was send them an email following their specifications. 5 winners, chosen at random, would receive one of the new Cosmo Cricket lines. How easy was that?! i'm going to make/send them a "thank you" card using my new cardstock and paper collection. Seems fitting.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cards I made last year

Oops! I should have flipped the "birthday" cards so they were going the right direction! But, hey, you get the idea. I'm just beyond excited to have gotten a couple of scans added to the blog. It only took 2 hours!! Wanna see me do the "happy dance"? No, probably not. Nevermind.....

Psycho Kitty

My cat, Dexter, is quite insane. Just now, as I was sitting at the computer, he came up to me, sat by my chair, and meowed at me. I know the "meow". I've heard it hundreds of times. It's the "I need you to follow me" meow. Our little game of follow the leader can lead to two places. Either the back door, because he wants outside (a treat for this house kitty) or to the food bowl. I just got back to my computer from our little jaunt to the food bowl. Here's what takes place once we arrive. Dexter sits in front of the bowl and looks up at me. I pet him. He turns around, takes a couple bites of food, then looks back up at me. That's my cue to pet him. We do this until I get tired of the game and go back to whatever it was I was doing. We do this ALL THE TIME!!! I mean, seriously, who has a pet that begs to be stroked while eating??? It's unheard of!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bad Karma?

I don't know what the deal is with me! Yesterday was a disaster at work and now the Blog Gods won't let me add a picture. Maybe it's a sign that I need to get up from the computer and go work on the 250+ wedding invitations that need a cute little saying, bookplate, rhinestones and textured heart on the front!! Yes, I'm sure that's it. Maybe I'll be rewarded, when that task is completed, and be allowed to download a piece of clipart!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Okay, now what!

Please be patient while I learn this process!