Digital Kit elements from Once Upon A Gypsy by Chelsea Ann.  Available exclusively at Kitschy Digitals

Lately I've been thinking about trends and friendships.
Those might seem like completely different topics, 
but when most of your friends are in cyber space
they seem one and the same, to me at-least.
Have you felt a change in Blogland?
A disconnect?
I sure have, I also know I have changed,
well at least in term of how I blog and connect with my blog community.
I fully admit I'm a little ashamed of myself.
I've let myself become a bystander to some of my dearest friends. 
I visit blogs only occasionally, and instead of leaving a comment
or simply sending out a friendly "hello",
Yes, I am ashamed that everyday I pin beautiful inspiring images,
but don't often give a second thought to the artist, mother, and even friend 
who brought something new and lovely into my life.
I've allowed cyberspace to become an interpersonal wasteland,
which is terribly sad because I've know it to be so much more.
Through the years I have been touched so much from the friendships 
I've forged through our connected interest and stories. 
My relationships here have felt just as real as any I have ever known,
and again I am ashamed that I have let myself disconnect. 
Please know I love and cherish my internet community dearly,
and I make a pledge starting now to be a better friend.
So here is to starting a new trend,
to making new friends,
and reconnecting to old and dear ones!

 Available exclusively at Kitschy Digitals

So in other news

I just finished my 5th digi kit for Kitschy Digitals called Once Upon A gypsy.
This kit was a pain in the butt! 
LOL No seriously, it really drove me crazy from day one all the way to the end.
It started with these fortune cards I found that once would have come out of 
one of those mystical machines you might find at a fair or on a pier.
They were the starting point, but you wouldn't believe how 
indecent they were, which shocked me because 
I couldn't help but imagine
 little children trying to understand what the fortune teller foresaw of their future.
Well kids, let's just say it's best kept a secret! 
I debated for so long whether or not I ought to just scrape them, 
but I so loved their quirky generic answers and vibrant old-school printing
that I finally decided to clean them up - literally and figuratively. 
Everything else was just a matter of finding and learning the skills to 
achieve the desired end result. 
So in the end all the headaches and endless hours was so completely worth it 
because I love the way it turned out. 
So now it's time to move on to kit number 6,
and see what headaches and exciting new skills it will require. 
I'm not sure about you, but I both HATE and LOVE learning something new.

A Day Of Dress Up

I've been working on some promotional images 
for a new product line I'm working on for Yo Yo Pretties,
and while these items aren't quite ready to make their debut 
I just couldn't leave these images floating on my desktop a minute longer.
Besides today is my last day as a blond,
so I best share my current look
(minus about an inch of dark roots).
now before you all start saying 
"stay blond" like the rest of my family.
I actually went blond with the intention of going pink
but now with IVF coming up
I want to be my natural color
so that I don't have to mess with colorings
during pregnancy

If you're just jumping into my blog
this is my dear friend Tara.
Sometimes I'm not sure why she puts up with my crazy antics
but I'm sure glad she does! 

I can't wait to finally get these clips in the shop... 
but unfortunately time is never on my side these days...
but I swear they will be available in just a short 2 weeks.

Normally I do pretty well in front of the camera,
but with Tara and my Mother-in-law in tow
I was a bit too excited and giddy... 
and so most of my pictures were a total disaster. 
But I love this one with my cheesy happy smile!!! 

Thankfully Tara had her act together!

Tara was actually the one who came up with the design for the shoot.
Her AMAZING shoes were the inspiration for the clip design.
I couldn't believe she would trek through the countryside with these beauties.
If they were mine I would certainly be to scared
to even take them out of their box. 

Tie A Bow

Does Rainbow spiral of death mean anything to you?
If you're a Mac user I'm talking about that rainbow icon that pops up
when you've overwhelmed your hard-drive with to many commands too quickly. 
Well that is precisely the state I've been in...
In just the last past week
there has been news of a family members pregnancy, after which I was
blindsided by news that not only is my baby making gear not adequate
but neither is my husbands.
After that I Spent an entire day in the Maternity Ward
holding one of my foster child's parents hand 
because she had no one else to turn to.
Early this week we had our first consultation for IVF 
and just today I am unexpectedly sending our foster baby to his extended family.
I can hear Mrs. Gardiner from Pride and Prejudice saying
"Take care, my love. That savors strongly of bitterness."
In one week my poor emotions have been strung out for everyone to see
and they have been anything but pretty.
Luckily there is a silver lining up ahead!
If all goes well with IVF we will be pregnant by the end of September.
Of coarse there is only a 50% chance it will take
but after three and half years that number doesn't seem quite so scary anymore.
Infertility is an ugly beast
and I sincerely apologize to those of my friends and family
who have been affected by my bitterness and jealousy.

I hope that you will all keep me in your hearts
as my husband and I move towards this next step. 
I know that the next few months will not be easy -
if the hormones don't make me crazy
I know my own anxiety and excitement will!

I just finished this new vintage inspired baby kit 
called Tie A Bow.
I've been working on this silly little kit for over a year,
partly because it was too emotional, but also because I wanted to get every detail just right.
My dear friend Elizabeth, of Creative Breathing
sent me a felt heart years ago that had the words 
"Tie a Bow" embroidered on it.

If you are familiar with Elizabeth
you know that if she sends you a gift it is a rare and most special treasure.
Those three little words chosen especially for me,
 were exactly what I needed to make it through my dark periods.
When the only job I'd ever wanted in this life has been to be a mother
it was hard to stay focused on what amazing gifts I possessed
and that despite not having babies I still needed to live my life.
So that is exactly what I've tried to do,
and there have been wonderful and unexpected blessings
and roads that have made me grow as a person and even as a mother along the way.
If not for infertility we would have certainly not become foster parents
and while today I may want to very much throw in that towel,
foster care has blessed us and taught us so much more than I could have ever imagined.

I'm sure I have a few friends out there who have their own tales of infertility.
If you've been down the road of IVF 
you know how scary and overwhelming the process is.
It's always nice to know you're not alone,
that is party why I share so much about our personal lives
here in blogland.
I felt so sorry for myself going into that appointment,
but after walking down the halls 
where easily thousands of pictures lined the walls
I realized I was just one of many who have gone down this road,
and it gave me hope!

- on a side note, you may notice that my Tie A Bow kit is used as part of my blog design.
All my kits are available for "personal" blog use. 
Of coarse there are rules - 
you can not use them in any way to promote any commercial endeavors,
such as to promote your products, or if you make money through your blog 
via advertising or what not.
but if you think your blog may need a little love 
and along the way you fall in love with one of my kits 
 feel free to send me a note 
and I would be happy to send you a copy of the terms of usage
if the concept of "personal usage" is a bit confusing to you. 

Also the top HOPE page incorporates digi goodies from my next upcoming kit
I'm calling Once Upon A Gypsy.
Should be ready before the end of the month :D 
Stitching around edge is from Minitoko
who is also a Kitschy Digitals designer!

Raggedy Ann Party

Time flies by so fast
and with all the change our little home sees
I'm ever so grateful for the moments forever captured 
with those tiny squares of color called pixels.
I think some 15 kids have been welcomed in to our home thus far -
some leaving a bigger mark on our lives than others.
This little doll is one such little soul that I will NEVER EVER forget,
and I was so excited that just yesterday we got a very special little visitor!
Typically I can't share my kiddos faces here,
but this little gal's momma gave her blessing!
We are so so proud of this momma,
and feel very blessed that we have been able to piece together a friendship
were in the world of foster care 
things are sadly usually anything but friendly.

As with most cases,
children leave just as quickly as they come
so it's difficult to get the opportunity to both say goodbye
and most importantly to celebrate their next chapter.
So lately I've been collecting and working on little party ideas
 that are both uniquely special to each child in our home 
but also easy to throw together at a moments notice. 

I used some of the paper dolls for my Freebie 
available for instant download at Kitschy Digitals
to create a quick and easy little banner.
I've been collecting Raggedy Ann items for a while now,
(although strangely I don't have a single doll)
so it was fun to see all my little treasures together like this.
I quickly pieced together the wig 
using diy instructions from A Beautiful Mess
it took a bit longer than I anticipated
 so I was glad to find a bonnet in the
dress-up box to cover the back of her head.
I believe I painted each child's face at least 3 times!

The more I dive into motherhood the more I see myself
as a "suzy Homemaker" 
and that is especially true in the kitchen.
I was so excited when I finished this cake!
(no box and double layered!)
Sadly it didn't save me a bit of money
which was the initial idea,
but it did seem to make it extra special.
Don't you just love those Raggedy Ann and Andy flower picks!?

I really didn't buy anything for this party
except for the food and a few balloons. 
If you're anything like me you just have stuff!!!
So I just borrowed from room to room
until I had my fold out table perfectly festive.
That's one of the keys to throwing a quick party I think
Just go all out in one area,
decorating the entire house is too much work,
I mean come on it's hard enough to have the house itself clean.

Isn't this vintage 80's record just too fun!?
So far none of my kids are really into my record collection
they are too "cool" I guess.
Although it may just be a volume issue -
we really need to get some type of an amplifier 
so that the kids can really feel the music.

This little doll filled our lives with so much joy and laughter
and while we would have selfishly kept her forever
we are so happy that she is home
where she truly belongs!

"We must all have all the fun we can together!"

- Raggedy Andy