Today was hard,
Acceptance, is a hard state to reach,
and I'm sure I'm not alone when I say
that it can very much be a day to day endeavor 
of both the inner spirit and the physical body.
This winter my husband and I will have been
trying to conceive a child for 4 long years.
We've dealt with many emotional, and physical 
trials, and hopefully we are on the very last leg of our journey,
but I often wonder what our path to acceptance would be like
if for instance we were born of an early generation.
Today science plays such a big role in our lives,
and I am immensely grateful for its part in my own life -
from the anxiety medications that get me smoothly through each day,
to my operation earlier this year
that may have given me a fighting chance to motherhood.
Today was hard,
I can't express truly what it's like to hand over your hopes and dreams
to a handful of "nerdy" doctors. 
You are emotional on so many levels
and to top it off your on meds that make you weepy and 
uncontrollably sensitive. 
Each day I fight to find the strength to keep positive
and excited about the upcoming events.
Most importantly I try to find the courage to 
accept that "what will be, will be".
I've not been a spiritual person in my young adult years
but I'm certainly searching now for meaning and comfort
from someplace outside of myself.
I hope you will all continue to pray for us,
your words of encouragement these last few weeks have truly lifted my spirits.
Today I may feel scared and frustrated, but tomorrow can be better.
It's a day to day struggle as I said before,
but that's what is so beautiful about the human spirit
we strive for JOY among all things.
Wallowing can only last so long, for
alone is the key to happiness. 

So Speaking of baby joy, look what heaven just delivered to the word.
Her name is Emily and she was very eager indeed to meet her family 
surprising mom and dad by arriving 5 weeks early.
But she's perfect and I am so very thrilled for my dear friend.
It's always such a very special treat when I get to see one of my creations
being worn by such a sweet darling angel.
This was my very first Newborn cap, and I adore it.
If I get blessed with a baby bump and it's a girl 
I will be making these none stop without question. 

Link back to Everyday is A Holiday for this weeks Art Journal lesson 
and to visit the other lovely bloggers who are most certainly on journeys of their own. 

Circus Party time!

Today has been the longest of days,
I'm juggling projects these days like a crazy person.
Just two and a half short weeks until 
implantation day... I really hate that word 
"implantation" BLAH!!! 
I need to come up with something fun to call it like
Bun in The Oven Day or My Eggciting Day 
LOL am I pathetic or what?
Anywho, painting the house is still project numero uno
around here. I'm thankful to have a painting deadline
because otherwise I could easily drag this project on for months.
& oh joy of joys tomorrow I start the stair walls.
We are talking high high high.
In the land of arts and crafts I've been busy too,
my little mind especially.
I had to start writing daily list just to keep focused and on task
but while I would like to ditch one project or idea for another some days
it's very important to me and my silly anxiety 
to not leave project incomplete. 
I find it very difficult to pick up an old project and finish 
it with the same enthusiasm that I started with
and that was SO true with my Circus Party kit.
This little kit was my very first ever kit, 
and believe it or not my very first go with Illustrator.
That being said, my files were a MESS,
I can't believe how much I've learned sense then
but still this kit had something special
and I knew it deserved a second go.
I added new friendly characters, among them you'll find
a jump roping lion and a peanut loving elephant.
The new kit includes 5 fun new papers and ready to print files
for making a circus themes flag banner for parties.

These are so great because they whip up so quickly!
I made mine in probably about a half hours time last night.
It will be great for the foster kiddo's
 birthdays and/or going home celebrations.

I also wanted to share with you some party invites 
I made using some of the elements from the kit.
(sorry the Ring Leader girl isn't included in the kit)
These were a bit labor intensive because of all the mounting
but they are supper adorable
and I can't hardly wait for an opportunity to come along 
to send them off to friends and family.

My Circus Party digi kit is available 
exclusively at Kitschy Digitals!

See you Thursday for another Art Journaling post

Leap: Week 3 of Art Journaling with Jenny and Aaron

I had to laugh to myself because one of the steps in 
(don't worry if you haven't been participating 
- we've just reached the 3rd week
and you can easily "leap" right in!)
is to "Consider your work"
well this week I worked on the same layout ALL week
and my approach was simple - release my inner demons on the poor pages!
I think there was a period when my layout may have been considered "pretty"
but by about the third day I was not feeling as if I had any pretty to give back to the world.
As you can well imagine "hormones" got the best of me this week.
Mostly my little moments were on the humorous side
in fact I cried buckets of tears day to day 
while laughing historically at myself and the situation 
at the exact same time.
A sight to see I dare say!

A New Digi Kit, & A Fresh Coat of Paint

Happy Monday to you all!
After a long battle with a terribly pesky cold,
and adjusting to my new and exciting hormone injections
I'm excited for a fresh new week.
I spent most of my weekend in bed watching movies
but I did manage to wrap up my latest digi kit
A Sweet & Sinister Affair.
I believe I mentioned not so long ago
that this theme was rather out of my realm,
well I kept pushing through
and I'm quite thrilled with how it turned out.
A few of my personal favorite embellishments include
a converse shoe tag,
an Elvis like ghost emerging from a vintage victrola,
and a very charming bat balloon. 
Besides just a Day of the Dead weddings 
I imagine this kit could be used 
for many other evens and project themes.
For instance you could make some darling bridal shower
invites and decorations.
Or how about making a halloween banner?
Maybe you could even incorporate it into a gothic themed baby shower?!

Kit is available for immediate download at Kitschy Digitals!

Before I got hit with this dreadful cold I was painting like a crazy woman.
My hope was to finish the entire main story level of our home
before "becoming pregnant" but I've completely lost the enthusiasm
needed to pull off such an ambitious project all on my own. 
But I'm thrilled at-least to have finished the heart of our home
the living room and kitchen. 
You can see the living room before paint here
Sense then we've acquired new furniture
and I've given the hutch a new weathered wash of color.
You may also notice that I've tried to de-clutter the space a bit...
LOL however while noticeable to us 
you may not see much difference yourself. 
Our home in Portland was a shmorgishborg of colors,
from pastels to black! 
I'm trying to change my reckless painting ways
and really reflect of how each color will play
 into the overall look and feel of our home.
My sweet husband who has always been such a god sport
is especially pleased with my "adult" color choices
this time around. 

Well I'm quite exhausted, time to throw in another tape from 
A&E's Pride and Prejudice series I found at the thrift shop last week.
Please let me know if you have anything you wish to ask about my new kit
and/or about my little home.
I'm always so happy to hear from you all!


Chelsea Ann

X Marks The Spot: Week One of Art Journaling with Jenny and Aaron

Who needs a fancy therapist?
Art therapy is my prescribed 
drug of choice :)

I was so excited when Jenny (of Everyday is a Holiday)
 contacted me about her and Aaron's
that they are graciously hosting over on their lovely blog.
At first I thought "no way do I have time for this right now"
however that train of thought didn't last long
because ultimately
I wanted and NEEDED this artistic distraction in my life.

See, tomorrow I start my hormones for IVF
and I'm not exactly thrilled about it...
Don't get me wrong I'm excited about what the end result
may (thinking possitive - WILL) bring
but I'm terribly anxious and nervous about the entire process too.
So a little IVF "baby" journal started to take shape this week.
I'm still too nervous to write anything,
fearing I will wreck all my work
or perhaps a bit embarrassed that I'm not all that clever with words.
But I'm sure I'll get there,
and I bet Jenny and Aaron will have lots of advise 
and great tips and techniques in the coming weeks.

I didn't really expect to 
LOVE Art Journaling quite so much
but I couldn't hardly wait for the pages to dry.
It's gratifying to translate my fears and frustrations into something pretty.
Tomorrow morning I go in for Shot Orientation ;(
I really haven't a clue where I'm going to find the inner strength to face my fear of needles
and the idea of having to administer them myself,
but I don't have much of a choice... 
This girl wants a baby!!!


A Sneak Peak of this Months Digi Kits

This month is busy busy busy!
I'm trying to tackle the very very big job of painting the mail level interior of our home
before "hopefully" becoming pregnant this September. 
I don't especially like painting, but it helps to have a deadline,
and with all the hormones that are going to be pulsating through my body
 throughout the next month
I think BUSY is exactly what I need.
I'm terrified of what all the medication for IVF is going to do to me,
I struggle so much as is to keep my hormones in check
and not drive myself and my poor family in crazy.

I've also got a lot on my plate this month in the digi kit department.
This month I hope to re-release my Circus kit
which started it all for me many years ago.
I want to redesign the entire kit, with new backgrounds,
and texture free graphics.
But I still think I need to make the original available as-well,
but I'm struggling with how that all should work.
Oh decisions decisions.... hmmmmm
well anywho, I'll figure that out in time,
but in the mean while I'm also stretching WAY out of my comfort zone
once again with a Digi Kit I'm fondly calling
A Sweet and Sinister Affair.
Think Day of The Dead meets Kawaii Sweetness.
Here's a little sneak peak

In truth skulls and such are not my thing,
in fact I'm not even sure what ever inspired me to start this crazy kit
but I always think it best to finish what you start so I'm
working past some creative blocks, and piecing this one together day by day.

How about you, what's keeping you busy these days?

Yay or Nay for School Uniforms?

I'm certain that all across blogland us girls are 
gabbing of the approaching school year 
with probably an even amount of both excitement and dread.
As we currently stand today we have no kiddos excitedly fretting 
about going back to school (and in our case - a new school)
but all that could change in a blink of an eye.
I think just last year I enrolled 5 children in school.
I don't know it's all getting a bit fuzzy for me anymore.
All I do know is when I do have school aged children
I wish I could just set up my own personal office right their in the school's lobby,
because with endless out of school appointments, 
and all the time I spend with the teachers and faculty trying to catch my children up,
and/or get them the appropriate services,
I really truly feel like I'm on the staff.
One thing I've taken from my time working with foster kiddos 
is that our schools absolutely fail these children.
I'm not saying that individual teachers don't do their job,
its the bureaucratic bull*** that enables these children 
from receive the recourses they desperately need. 
If anywhere in their paper work the words
"environmental" appear than children automatically become disqualified for 
special education services... I could go on and on and on
but this post really isn't about all that.... 
but I do think it's an important topic in general.
With classrooms that are fuller than full to the brim
it hurts your children to share a classroom with
kiddos who are disruptive and absorb so much of the teachers attention.
The majority of my kids should not be in the general classroom,
and it absolutely breaks my heart that they are forced to sit there day after day
trying to control their behavioral issues 
and understand even a fraction of what's going on in the classroom. 
Anywho I digress, I think we all know that our school system doesn't work,
so let's talk about the things we DO love about school.

When I was a kid I LOVED back to school shopping,
and I wore a school uniform so I can't even begin imagine how fun it really could have been.
But no matter it was still exciting to go shopping with mom
(which was a rare treat for me)
and without fail I always believed my new clothes would somehow reinvent me. 
Needless to say that was never the outcome, 
but we do live in a society where clothes make the person.
So what do you think of school uniforms,
personally I'm all for them - but our public schools don't require them.
As a foster parent who see's the harsh realities of life for some kiddos
I think it's a brilliant way to discourage bullying, or even favoritism.
But don't get me wrong, as a creative person I see the flip side -
I certainly don't like being forced into any molds myself...
So please do tell, what are your feelings or experiences with uniforms?

Last year I started getting custom requests to make Yo Yo accessories
to coordinate with school uniforms. 
I just adore how they turned out, and sense then my fabric stash has grown immensely
so I can't hardly wait for the opportunity to create more one-of-a-kind creations this year.
 I've also acquired tuns of sport themed embellishments perfect for all you school sports enthusiasts. 
The beautiful little school girl in these darling images is modeling my new
  french clip style of Yo Yo pretties. 
See more examples and product details by visiting the custom section of my shop. 
I'd also like to THANK my little model and her family 
for the lovely images courtesy of Tom Chase Photography

Examples of some custom school themed headband creations I made last year