Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beer, Hitchhiking and State Lines...

Ok, I've seen something that baffles me for three days in a row so I had to post.

I drive from my home in NH to work in MA. I'm only about 15 min. max from the border. That may seem strange to those of you who live in big states but it's the norm around here.

Anyway, for three days now, I've seen this guy hitchhiking. He's sitting on a guard rail with a 30 pack of Miller beer with his thumb out. 1) I think, who would pick up a hitchhiker these days? 2) Why would you pick up a guy with a 30 pack of beer? 3) What on Earth is he doing walking to NH to get beer before 8 a.m.? I realize it's cheaper and there's no deposit on bottles/cans in NH, but really. 4) Does he drink that case every day?! Does this seem odd to you?!

The funny thing (ok, not so funny) is when I was just a little kid, I remember driving up to NH on Sunday to get beer for my dad and we would always get a treat at the State Line Market. I now live right down the street from it. I used to think it was so far away! Then when I was 18-19 my friends and I would drive up on Sunday to get beer. You would think that we would just buy it in advance on Sat. so we didn't have to make the trip?! It just cracks me up.

Sorry for the ramble. I hope to do some stamping in the near future.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A snappy get well......

I made this quick one for a friend who just had surgery. I love this bear from Beccy's. She has a bunch of adorable freebies!

Our above-ground pool was installed yesterday and my hubby saw this big guy in the yard.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day cards....

I have gone back to really simple!! LOL I just don't have the time to spend. The images take a while to color in so then I just throw them together. I made the grill guy for my hubby (Digital Stamp Boutique - love their stuff!), then I made the beer card for my brother's birthday and also copied (gasp!) for my brother-in-law. I made the adorable Pollycraft frog one for my son who is a dad-to-be. The picture was too bright so you can't even see the black lines of the image! I'll edit with the beer and frog image info.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We had a busy one. Fri. night I went out with my old neighborhood *girls* and Sat. we had a graduation party. Then we came home and my husband started painting woodwork in the kitchen. Sunday my husband finished the moldings, sanded and then primed the kitchen. Then we had a nice dinner. I felt so bad that he worked on Father's Day but he didn't seem to mind. We have to finish fast. The baby shower is Sunday so I'll be crazy busy this week!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Love birds...

My mom asked me to make a 40th anniversary card for her friends in England. I didn't have much time but thought this Pollycraft image was appropriate. As I was putting it together, I found this ribbon that was perfect for the card! Gotta love finding stash from long ago that you can actually use! You can't see the sparkle in the hearts and the ribbon color is a bit off in the photos but you get the idea! Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wise owl.....

I made this one for my niece who just got her G.E.D. It's a big deal to her and we're really proud that she finally did it. She quit high school (not a lot of guidance from her mom and my brother isn't very involved with her life) and then had a baby. She's raised him by herself with a little help from his dad. She works full-time and going to school wasn't easy but she did it!!! Now she wants to move onto college.

The cute owl image is from Lost in Paper Scraps.

I also have to add a quick picture of one of the bunnies that has been in my yard. They let you get pretty close without running away. We're having fun watching them play.

Ok, off to make an anniversary card!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My little brother...

My little brother's birthday is today. He's six years younger than I am. I remember when my mom brought him home from the hospital. I kept insisting he was my baby. We were close growing up because we were so alike. My other brother, still younger than me but only by 18 mos., was different than the two of us so we weren't all that close. We became closer when we grew to be adults though. Now they both live kind of far away so I'm not really close with either of them. We get along great when we do see each other, but it's not very often. So I made this one for John using an image I bought from Digi Stamp Boutique.

My husband and I are so sore and tired. We stripped wallpaper from the kitchen and it was tough. We both have bad backs so we're hurting! I want to get it painted before the baby shower on the 27th so we still have some work to do tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Two for my mom....

These are just quick cards that I scrambled to make the night before my mom's bday. I had the colored image sitting around for a while on the flower one so I grabbed it and ran with it! The cute balloon image is from Bird's Cards. I always have trouble with the cloud template. It's a question of up or down. I think I chose the wrong way since my son said he loved the card, especially the waves! ROFL, they were meant to be clouds!!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Blog Candy for a good cause...

I just read this post on Kristen Catalano's blog, Scrap-Creations. Please read below. I would love it if these kids received a huge amount of cards! They need your prayers too.

(ok, I'm not so great and copying it all so please visit Kristen's blog to see the pics!!)

Blog Candy consist of: 1 pack of Basic Grey Green at Heart 6x6 paper

1 pack of Pink Paislee Queen Bee 6x6 paper

1 Penny Johnson's Stampavie Champagne Bears

1 Dee Dee from the Greeting Farm

1 Stamping Ayna from the Greeting Farm

1 Penny Johnson Stampavie bear with flowers

4 packs of Rhinestones: pink, purple, turquoise, green

So, what do you have to do to win this blog candy? it's simple, share Ethan & Bella's story on your blog. You have my complete permission to copy and paste their photos and stories. Once you have posted your blog post come back to my blog and leave me a comment that you have shared their story. This is just so important to me, I am praying for a big turn out for them.

Let me tell you about two amazing kids. Ethan & Bella

Ethan is my cousin's son. He is 8 years old .Ethan was diagnosed with Neuroblasto​ma Stage 4 on March 5th, 2005. This devastating news came just days after his 3rd Birthday. The doctors told us that Ethan’s overall chance of survival was only 25%. Who would have ever thought that his leg pain and unexplained fever was cancer.

The worst of the worst…a deadly form of cancer where there is no specific treatment meant just for Neuroblasto​ma. Instead, trial studies and experimental​l therapies were in our future.

Etha​n underwent 6 rounds of extremely high dose chemotherap​y, surgery to remove the tumor in his abdomen, a stem cell transplant and 12 rounds of radiation to the tumor site. This trial study was followed up by an experimental​l therapy at Sloan Kettering in New York called 3F8 Antibody Treatment. Ethan received 5 rounds of this treatments before becoming “Hama” positive, which means his immune system is trained to fight neuroblasto​ma cells.

Today​, Ethan is cancer free and is back to enjoying all the childhood fun and games that was taken from him for over a year and a half. Doctors have also increased his overall chance of survival to 50% (considering​ the high rate of relapse).


In November 2007, a lump was found on Ethan's left shoulder blade...lat​er to be diagnosed as osteochondr​oma, a benign tumor growth in the bone. This is in part, a side effect of having Total Body Irritation for his Stem Cell Transplant.​
Around June of 2008, several benign tumors were discovered on Ethan's liver.

On Nov. 21, 2008, we found out that Ethan's cancer had returned, Recurrent Neuroblasto​ma. MIBG uptakes were discovered in one shoulder, his leg, his spine and chest...alo​ng with in his bone marrow. There were a total of 12 spots at re-diagnosi​s

Ethan underwent 2 rounds of high dose chemo followed by a set of scans. The scans showed that the chemo was not acting effectively.​
Ethan then underwent o​ne round of maintenance chemo before becoming the first patient in a New England hospital to receive MIBG therapy (aka liquid radiation).​ The first round was scheduled the week of Ethan's 7th Birthday (feb 17th). Follow up scans show a HUGE improvement​, leaving residual uptake on MIBG scan and small traces in the bone marrow. Then Ethan underwent a 2nd round at the beginning of May 2009, scan results show "stable with limited improvement".​

At this time, Ethan only had two more spots to take care of. So he underwent more chemotherapy​y, using irinotecan, carboplatin and temodar...followed up by a much needed stem cell rescue. Results "stable with no improvement".​ At that point, we decided to allow Ethan's body to rest and put him on a treatment known for stability called ABT-751 at the beginning of Sept. 2009. However, in November 2009, Ethan's cancer showed 2 new spots of progression and we had to discontinue the use of the ABT-751.

Fro​m there, Ethan began a treatment using Temodar and Thalidomide​, which consists of taking pills at home...ever​yday. Also, at this point, I added Harmazone, a form of"Essiac" to Ethan's daily routine. La​ter, I added the use of a DHA supplement.​ Thus far, the DHA has proven to rid Ethan of his mood swings and temper tantrums.

Af​ter 4 rounds of Thalidomide​/Temodar treatment, On March 18, 2010 scan results showed massive "widespread" progression throughout Ethan's entire skeletal system, from his shoulders down his arms, down his spine and chest cavity, to his pelvis, and down his legs, right down to his ankles.

We then decided to try out a new phase 1 protocol using both IV and oral cyclophosph​omide, with Avastin and Zometa. This treatment is primarily used for bone metastesis.​ Unfortunate​ly Ethan's LFT's remained too elevated to remain on protocol.

Sc​ans were conducted in Vermont, as preparation for a new study. Results show even more progression to several area's in skull and soft tissue mass on spine. Radiation was conducted to the orbital area and spine, along with etoposide and velcade treatments.​ Biopsies were perfomed for DNA and RHA testing for Personalize​d Medicine Study in Vermont.

Well, today we received devastating news. The Brain tumor has more than doubled in size and is now causing focal seizures. They will do radiation for comfort only at this point. Things are not looking good for Ethan and he is in need of prayers and whatever happiness we could give him. Ethan & his sister sierra love to receive cards. If you could find the time to mail them a card, I am sure it would bring a smile to their face. Particularly Ethan, as he is in Boston Children's Hospital continuing with radiation. If you would like to mail them a card you may do so to:

Ethan Smith and Sierra Smith

27 Donna Street
Nashua, NH 03060

If you would like more info and would like to stay up to date with Ethan you can visit is journal here:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethansmith

Meet Bella Tucker
Bella Tucker is an 8-year-old girl who attends South School Elementary in Londonderry, New Hampshire and is a member of the Phantom Gymnastics team. Bella came down with a near fatal infection on Easter Sunday. Doctors gave little hope for this third graders’ survival, but after five days in a coma she miraculously survived Streptococcus Pneumonia Sepsis with DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation).

Unfortunately, her survival from this infection was not without significant cost. The infection caused extensive tissue damage, and on April 27, 2010, Bella underwent quadruple amputation surgery and is currently facing an extremely long and hard recovery at Children’s Hospital in Boston with extensive rehabilitation to follow, as she learns to live life without her limbs.

Fortunately, Bella has the love and support of her three older brothers and younger sister during these trying times. The family is suddenly faced with significant challenges, many of which can be eased with financial help. For example, their home in Londonderry, New Hampshire will need extensive modifications to accommodate a wheelchair. Bella's mother, who is also her primary insurance holder, must be by her side during the extensive rehabilitation process and therefore she will be unable to work, causing the family to lose significant income. Since her mother will be with her during this process, the family needs funds for daycare of their other children. Lastly, she will be faced with medical challenges for the rest of her life.
Bella loves receiving cards and they would be sure to make her smile. I am currently awaiting her address, but you may mail her cards to my address until further notice.

Kristen Catalano

c/o Bella tucker

5 Baymeadow Dr

Nashua, NH 03063

You may visit Bella's webpage at :http://www.bellatucker.org/

I know we all have some cards sitting around, it would mean so much if you could get one out to Ethan and Bella. They need all the smiles they can get right now!

Thanks so much

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Been a long time...

I don't know what happened to my nice easy life. I can't seem to keep up these days and I'm not sure why. I'm scrambling to make cards last minute and I hate that! I made some monogrammed cards and a shower card the other day and they came out pretty good. I finished the bridal shower card the night before the shower! I didn't take the time to photo them. The bride-to-be raved about the card and then saw the monograms in the bag. She went nuts! I was so happy to have everyone ooohing and ahhhing (they're obviously not stampers). It's worth the effort I put into them. My cousin, the bride-to-be's future SIL piped in and said, "You should have seen the scrapbook she made me for my baby shower!" It made me feel good.

Anyway, I need to squeeze in a card tomorrow for my mom's birthday on Tuesday. I have the day off because my hubby is having a procedure. I'm thinking good thoughts and he's thinking negative. It's always the way. I hope all goes well and I'm right.

Just had to add these photos without the whole face. I didn't get permission from the gorgeous bride-to-be so I cropped the photos. My aunt sent us the album today. p.s. the white bow is just holding my cards together.