I left my heart in Charlotte last night. The house is quiet this morning...even though the Lad slept until at least 10 am (and later if he wasn't working), his very presence filled the house with a constant energy that being 21 brings. When awake, there is this vibe of love and laughter, the promise of youth. Now...the house is emtpy; even the dogs are subdued.
This year, he moved into his first bachelor pad house with 3 friends, pulsing the hopes and dreams of young adulthood. I followed him down to Charlotte last night, with a few pieces of furniture in my car. He and his best friend showed me around their house with such pride. Through a mother's eyes, I wondered about the safety of the neighborhood, and to tell the truth, about the cleanliness of the place. There is no cleaning service like there was in the dorm; no cafeteria to run to ; no RA or maintenance to solve problems. But they'll figure it out, just like we once did.
As I was helping him this weekend, I ran across a stack of cards I'd sent him over the last two years. He'd save them all. These small pieces of paper made and sent with love with words of encouragement from home: I love you; You're doing great; I'm proud of you; You can do it; You're best; I miss you. Statements from the heart meant to support, uplift, and bring comfort. Even though we text almost daily, and talk on the phone at least once a week, this 'happy' mail also conveys the unspoken motherly thoughts and prayers: I hope you're ok; I worry about you; Come home.
I joined Stampin' Up! to keep me busy, to give me something 'to do' with my boy so far from home. I didn't realize that a little paper, ribbon, and ink would also help me say, "I love you." I'm going to dry my tears now...and make my boy a card.
I'm so sorry there wasn't a blog last Friday. I'd spent the night in the emergency room with the Lad on Thursday night and we both came home and slept. Needless to say with the chaos, I just didn't have time to post. He's doing much better...and so am I. Though I do see how having a blogs posted in advance would be helpful on days like that!
Yesterday morning, the Lad's Lady and I were chatting on Facebook. She's all excited about moving back to campus, sharing pictures of her dorm room. It's so neat and organized, and ready for studying. There's such a difference between a girl's dorm room and a boy's. Everything matched; there were pictures and collages of family and friends everywhere. (I was happy to see the Lad in the center of the collages!) It's full of cute banners and feels like home. The Lad's room at school is full of Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Walter White posters, with mis-matched Christmas lights hung haphazardly around the room, and multiple guitars stashed in all corners. Both of them are just different reflections of 'home'.
There's a song in Rent that makes me cry every time I hear it. "Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure - measure a year?" (Wow...I can't even type it without crying). Fall, to me, is the start of the new year. Maybe it's because I've spent my life in academia, but there's something about the return to school in the Fall that brings on the feeling of a new start. And sending the Lad off in the fall makes each one of those minutes seem to last forever.
So...enjoy the card today. To all the mommas crying as they drop the kindergartner off for the first time or all of you dropping your freshman off to college...be gentle with yourself. Seek solace with friends, read a book, or do something creative. I prepped 112 cards for an upcoming class last night in just 4 hours to keep my mind and hands busy. And besides, you can't cry or it ruins the paper!
I have a secret..I don't like pumpkin pie. Never have and probably never will. And it wasn't until recently that I'll even try anything with pumpkin in it. After all, it's just squash disguised as dessert and I'm all about being forthcoming about what's in my food!
That doesn't stop me from enjoying the scent of pumpkin spice. Cloves, cinnamon, and allspice, mixed with a bit of vanilla and maybe a hint of apple and you've got the perfect fall combination! In fact, I think I just described my all time favorite Bath & Body Works candle - Leaves!
With the kids heading back to college - the Lad leaves today - and school starting starting in a week and half, I'm ready for fall. No more of this heat and humidity when school starts, please. I'm over the scent of sunscreen and cut grass. I'm ready for crunchy leaves, high school football games, apple pie...and pumpkin spice scented candles.
Today's card features the Merry Cafe (available 9/1) and Coffee Cafe Bundle, along with the gorgeous Painted Autumn Designer Series Paper (available 9/1). The cup is cut from the Tangerine Tango polka dot Foil Frenzy Specialty Paper. It's super thick and add's a nice layer on top of the card. The leaves area cut from Tangerine Tango and Crushed Curry using theSeasonal Layers Thinlet Dies. Adding the texture of the Cable Knit Dynamic Impressions Embossing Folder makes it feel all warm and cozy. It may seem like a lot of layers, but it's all worth it.
I'm sticking with the coffee theme this week. Maybe because after having my young niece and nephew here for two weeks, we all need an extra jolt of caffeine to replace their missing energy. Maybe because the Lad is moving back to Charlotte tomorrow and I need some energy and stamina to help me say good-bye again. Whatever the case, coffee is my friend this week.
Speaking of friends, this design is by my friend Selene Kempton, who shared 16 card designs with my Stamping Bee Team at a quarterly crafting meeting in June. I used this, plus 3 other desings from the Coffee Break Suite as my class August 2nd Sunday Class.
Selene has made the trip down from Boston twice in the last year to bring us new ideas and designs. And now, I'm thrilled to be able to bring you this very same 16-card event.
2017 Holiday Catalog 16-Card Extravaganza!
When: Saturday, September 16
Time: Check-in begins at 12:45, with crafting fun from 1-4pm
Where: Chatham Trades, Siler City, NC
Your $45 in person class fee includes:
There's also a "To Go" by mail option. You'll receive:
My Spooky Night designer series paper came in! I'd accidentally left it out of my [first] pre-order and And I couldn't be happier that it's finally here. It's a great mixture geometric patterns and Halloween prints - black and orange cats, witches' hats, jack o'lanterns, potions, and even a fabulous spooky tree. Even if you're not a big fan of Halloween, this paper has some lovely backgrounds perfect for fall crafting.
And for fun, I added two new black embellishments...the black rhinestones and vintage crochet trim! The trim is only 1/4" wide, and is perfect for tying bows. It's quite delicate and I can't help but think of the black lace caps worn by the cast members at Disney's Haunted Mansion.
Before we get to today's tutorial, there are a few important reminders to share with you.
Today's Spooky Tutorial: