Monday, October 31, 2011

Holley's Story

Hi, My name is Holley.

The cause of my seizures is unknown, however it is suspected that a severe illness as a young child when I was 2 years old was the cause of damage in my brain. The illness gave me a long term and extremely high fever (104-105 F) resulting in partial paralysis. At the time my parents were told that if I indeed lived, I would likely be physically and mentally handicapped. Of course, I healed wonderfully and to every one's amazement, there was nothing seemingly wrong with me. Doctors now think that a young brain is able to just rewire itself, so children can often heal in these cases.

As a young child I was often thought of as a "day dreamer." I can remember telling my parents by at least age 7 that I had "weird feelings" in my head. I didn't know how to describe what was happening to me. Thus, I spent a lot of time in school going to counselors, no one ever thought of it as a medical issue. Academically I was an excellent student often with straight A's.

The only time I encountered a doctor before college was in high school, I finally figured out that what was happening to me was not some feeling, but was a seizure (or so I thought). I said this to my family doctor who shrugged and told me, I would outgrow it and not to worry about it. Shocking when I think about this now, but I let it go. (At the time I would have partial complex seizures for 3-5 days at a time.) BUT, I really didn't know any better and things like the Internet for research just weren't available. The school library leaves a lot to be desired on current medical information. Frankly, I was being given a full scholarship from the USAF to go to college, so if the doctor says it's not a medical issue, so be it at the time.

In college is when the seizures really took control of my life. I went from minor absence seizures and partial complex seizures to full out grand mal (tonic clonic) type seizures. I ended up in the hospital of course, because that is what people always do, and in medical treatment for the Air Force. This was three years into college, so I am almost 20 and still not getting any form of medication for my seizures. Very quickly my body began to shut down and the seizures were taking over as the stress level in college was growing immensely. The military tested me multiple times until I had seizures at the AFB. After that I was discharged and lost my scholarship. Fortunately though, after that I could promptly start going to see a neurologist to be medicated for having seizures. I did not have anymore tonic clonic level seizures, just partial complex seizures. So medication for me was a mixed blessing. It was clearly helping some, but never seemed to make a difference in the day to day seizures that were an issue.

I got funding to complete college from the Texas Rehabilitation Commission. I was already 3 years into my BS in Electrical Engineering. Despite some setbacks due to medical issues and bad semesters physically, I was able to complete college thanks to the funding and the wonderful support of the folks who worked at the TRC. One more horrible incident that hit me in college was a severe level overdose on the epilepsy medication. So much so that I again ended up in the hospital. It's a constant battle for those of us who don't get full control of the seizures from our medication, which causes our medication level to get raised. I woke up with triple vision and loss of depth perception. I had been sick for weeks and again went back to the student clinic at the University. I was immediately sent to the hospital again.

My reason for going through all this is, I still succeeded. Despite the epilepsy and the setbacks, I still did well. Epilepsy doesn't define me. I still completed my college degree. I still got my BSEE. Despite several bad semesters due to health issues and several periods where professors encouraged me to just quit or drop out. I still made it. It was frankly shocking at their calous treatment since one bad semester could be immediately followed by a 4.0 semester. You are still often remembered as the "problem student." My senior semester my final project was "Photorefractive Crystal Curing on Barium Titanate." My university became the 7th place in the world where that achievement occurred. After that, the same professors who were encouraging me to quit and leave the department were now patting me on the back and asking me to stay on for a graduate school scholarship. My final work was nominated to the National Science Foundation that year and received an Honorable Mention in the Engineering Category. Many schools recuited me after that despite my 2.99 GPA. I didn't chose to go back to school. My experience at college was not positive.

So my engineering career got started and I worked as a Test Engineer writing software in LabVIEW with hardware systems for all sorts of military, aeronautics, science and technology projects such as: F/15 E Lauch Box, C5 Aircraft Engine Tester, C-5 Multiplex Box, VXI-DASS, International Space Station Test System, Dell Fan Test Systems, Tensor Automated Calibration System, Energy Star Compliance Testing. Just fast paced work and amazing technology projects. Work often included long days, nights and weekends, high stress and major deadlines. My health was slowing declining, my seizures were increasing and my medications were increasing. I worked companies in San Antonio, at NASA, and Austin, TX.

By 2006 I was maxing out on medications, at three medications per day. The doctor added Effexor XR to control my mood as my dose of Keppra was changing my mood constantly and causing outbursts similar to panic attacks that I had never had before. I was also having excessive sleepiness. I had started to sleep 10-11 hours per day and gained at least 30 pounds over the last 2 years. Days when I would have seizures became horrible. I couldn't have any activity, any tv, radio, anything that my mind would consider stimulating. This could even include art, reading, or walking outside. I had to sit still in the dark during those days. Like a prisoner in my own body. I was starting to get dizzy and vision problems when outside. I would get severe eye pain (like something was stabbing me in the eye).

By 2009 I had declined even worse, the current doctor I had sent me to an Epileptologist, Dr Sami Aboumatar of Austin Epilepsy Clinic. At the time I went to see him, I was taking maximum doses of 5 medications, weighed 195 pounds, slept 12-14 hours a day, was in a pretty strong level of depression (but the previous doctor had been working on my Effexor dosage), and still had regular seizures. I couldn't really leave my house or even sit next to the window if the sun was shining in at times. Of course, it seems so bleak now, but at the time, that was just life to me, so I couldn't see it as bad, or even as sad. It was just life, and so I was making do with it. I still loved artwork, I loved my husband, I loved work, I enjoyed lots of things and I avoided lots of things that would make me sick....

My first appointment with the doctor, we went through my medical history, standard practices, then he's talking about the next steps and starts off with the process for testing. I didn't really understand at the moment what he was talking about. I asked him, he said, "You're very sick. You need Surgery." I guess I knew deep down that he was right and that I did need it, I was just stunned that is what has happening RIGHT NOW. I was not at all suspecting that is what this appointment was for. He kept on with his talking. I stood up and walked straight to the door. The doctor is staring at me now. I turned around, "Excuse me for a minute, I need to get my husband." After that, I can't recall much more of the appointment. I can recall asking my husband in the elevator when we were leaving what was going on. We had an MRI scheduled and a week long EEG scheduled for the following week.

I went home and cried. I called my boss and told him I needed some time off. I called my family and my church. I told them I had always resisted surgery before now, but NOW surgery was clearly my best option and everyone please start praying that testing and pre-surgery trials go well. Surgery was now 100% my goal no matter how afraid I was. It was my opportunity to get better. This I know without the doctor saying anything to me. The doctor knows you are so overwhelmed at the appointment that he doesn't speak about anything past just your first test. I did research; about the surgery, about my doctor, about the surgeon, about the testing, and I did a lot of praying.

I won't go into a lot of detail about the testing done, but going through the testing does make you feel better than just a doctor telling you, "Oh, you need surgery." The testing is extensive and detailed. They are looking at every aspect of your brain, every possible location through tons of tests to determine where your seizures occur, if they occur in the same place, and so forth. There are very specific things they are looking for that make you a good surgical candidate. They also give IQ testing and personality testing to determine your state of mind, your personality and attitude (so you can be tested post surgery and compared). They take detailed MRIs. They test your brain for dominance to determine if you left side or right side is stronger, ensuring that the surgery will be taking place on the less dominant side. It's a lengthy process to go through, but it also adds a small comfort level with the doctor and to see how carefully they are working on your case.

So after all these series of tests, the doctor will actually set you up to meet the surgeon and then you will set up a date and time for surgery. In my case, I was having a mass remove on the left hand side. This area was CLEARLY visible in my MRI. I have had MRIs before and never had a doctor see anything. When Dr Aboumatar showed my MRI, it was shocking. He says, "Do you see it?" I looked at him, stunned and pointed at this HUGE (ok, maybe big as a quarter) and said, "THAT?" of course I can see it! I have had SO many MRIs in my life, how come I have never had that show up?

At any rate, that would be the area removed. Because of it's critical location, the left temporal lobe, extra testing and surgery would be required to ensure that the surgeon would remove the least critical areas. The Temporal lobe is used for memory recall and word association along with several other key features. That increased the amount of time necessary for hospital stay for me including the time in ICU.

Surgery Day, I was so nervous and so ready to get through it. I don't of course recall anything, I was prepped and taken into surgery at 6:30 am and saw my family late that night. It's not an easy surgery. There is a lot of pain. They are working on your brain and they need to ensure you are remaining conscious and lucid at some level so they do give you pain med, but not nearly the amount you probably would want. It's certainly do-able. It's a time when prayer comes in a lot and whatever you use for relaxation is handy.

After my second surgery, I spent another week in the hospital healing and was allowed to go home. In the beginning, recovery can be slow, mostly because of general trauma from a head injury. I spoke a little slower and had to think carefully about what I wanted to say, but it all came back pretty quickly. Most importantly, I didn't have any seizures! Immediately following the surgery or during recovery. That was wonderful and something that I thanked God for constantly. Everyday, sometimes every minute. "Thank you God, for giving me this 10 minutes of pain free, seizure free life."

The real miracle hit me about 2 months after my surgery. It just struck me that I felt better. Not better than yesterday, not better than last week, not better than 2 months ago, better than YEARS ago. Better than longer than I could remember back to. I can remember telling my husband that. I could remember laying there in the hospital bed helpless and hardly able to move being so weak. After healing, I decided that would NEVER be me again. I went outside one day and started walking.

I learned almost immediately that I no longer had eye problems. Before the sun would hurt my eyes. I would get horrible headaches being outside. Now I can go outside without sunglasses. I started walking and didn't stop. I had been a prisoner in my own house for YEARS. Really, for years!! Not anymore. I couldn't wait to jump out of bed, put on my tennis shoes and get out of my house. Initially I was doing about 10 miles per day, 5 days a week. That was 3 hours. That quickly went to 7 days a week.

There's something that walking seven days a week will give you--I dropped SEVENTY pounds! Just from walking. I basically went straight back to my normal size that I was from age 16 to 31. It took me 6 months of walking everyday to go back to my original size. And, I have stayed that size for the year since. Now I do 15-20 miles a day, and it's a joy everyday.

I have also realized a lot of other things I gave up at some point, like concerts. I used to love concerts. Then I stopped going to them because the flashing lights and noise would give me the worst headache. I would dread going to them because I knew I would be miserable half way through it. Four months after surgery I was pushing up to the front of a stage in Austin. I had forgotten how much I love concerts. I stopped doing engineering when I was waitning to have the surgery and then healing from surgery. Afterwards, I started doing the work I love, art! I started designing for rubber stamp companies, now I do what I love. I have learned to just appreciate every wonderful day that I have.

After one year of being seizure free, I got to start the process of reducing my medications. I have reduced the Synthroid I take (due to the weight loss and increase in activity), and three times now-the amount of Keppra); I have also had a wonderful change in my blood tests. My white blood cell count has been abnormal for years. Since surgery, the count has been rising and is very close to a normal level now!! My body is healing. Both photos shown here are me at 1 year post surgery.

Epilepsy doesn't control me anymore. I encourage everyone to take control of their life. Don't be afraid. Talk more to your doctor. TELL your doctor what is going on and what you want. If you need to, write it down and hand it to him. Tell your doctor the truth. If you are not getting help from your doctor, GET A NEW DOCTOR. If you don't understand your doctor, get a second opinion. Your life is so precious. Don't waste a moment more.

(CLICK HERE) to return HOME---If it's Feb 2014--Blog candy celebration is happening meaning blog candy is going out everyday! So go to my home page and check out a posting each day of the week to sign up for some blog candy.  This will go on throughout Feb 2014, new prizes everyday!!

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween everyone! Time for you to go out for a trick or a treat, or perhaps both! Tell me which it is you want, or if it's a day late, which it is you got! I suppose I am looking for a little treat tonight, starting with seeing all the little kids in their costumes coming to my door and ending with a quiet night curled up in the arms of my hubby. Maybe I can find an outfit just like this Tickled Pink Vampire girl.Project Materials: Cardstock (K&Co, Bazzill, Neenah); Rubber Stamp (Tickled Pink); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Embellishments (OTC); Ribbon (Michaels); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue Dots, Glue All); Color (Copic Markers);

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm gonna make you a potion

Here's a super cute witch from Whiff of Joy who's gonna whip up a special potion for you to treat you to a Happy Halloween. For me, the potion will be for my nephew Christopher who is turning five. WOW. Happy Birthday! For all those of you who follow the blog I am sure you have heard me speak of him. He's the sweetest boy ever! He and his sister Regina joined our family almost 2 years ago and their adoption was completed this summer. I hope you have the best Birthday ever Chrisopher!! Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Bling, Neenah); Rubber Stamps (Whiff of Joy, Text-Sweet Pea Stamps); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Fiber(JoAnns); Bling (Michales); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Ribbon Glue); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Color (Copic Markers);

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Frank says Happy Halloween

Here's Frank and he's here to say "Happy Halloween" everyone. Isn't he adorable? was a tough choice to decide whether to color him up in orange for the pumpkin or greens, but I think this green card came out wonderfully.
Project Materials: Cardstock (California Paper, Neenah); Stamp (Stampendous); Ink (Memento); Color (Copic Markers); Punch (Martha Stewart); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Glue dots);

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zoe and Adrianna say Happy Halloween!

Here's two wonderful images from Sweet Pea artist Nikki Burnette. This stamp is "Zoe" (Plate #120) and she's stunning. I added a wonderful Happy Halloween sentiment from the Halloween Sheet #1. I colored the image in beautiful copic markers and added some lace from Istanbul, Turkey and some adorable felted crows. Doesn't this put you in the Halloween mood?

As if you are not ready for Halloween yet, here's the amazing image that I spoke of last week, Adrianna from Plate #189. Isn't she beautiful? I fell in love with this image as soon as I saw it. It was the first stamp in the package that I had to make a card with. I think she will also be useful for Thanksgiving and given the right coloring, even christmas...when do we all want pumpkin pies? I know I want them all fall and winter season long! YUM.

I added a great saying to the card "When witched go riding and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, 'tis near Halloween." I had to add the perfect little black cat to the card and some tiny black buttons to give it a little highlight. What a fun holiday card!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Who says Happy Halloween? This adorable little girl from CC Designs, that's who. She and I want to wish you a happy week and a happy Halloween. Isn't she a dear? I have colored her up and made a sweet card for her to share with you all. I can't believe we are coming to the end of Oct. This means I only have the rest of the week to share all my Halloween theme cards! Get ready....Project Materials: Carstock (AC, Neenah, Bazzill Swiss); Rubber Stamps (CC Designs; Saying-Sweet Pea Stamps); Buttons (Grandma's Button Bag); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Fiber (Doodlebug); Adhesives (pop dots, Glue dots, Glue All); Color (Copic Markers);

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Witchy Poo

Here's a great witch from Tickled Pink! She's wishing all of you a Happy Halloween. Isn't she stunning? I just love Halloween stamps and I have been having months worth of fun sharing all my halloween theme images with you. I had to get a few wonderful newbies from Tickled Pink this year.
Project Materials: Cardstock (Neenah, AC, Bazzill); Stamp (Tickled Pink); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Punch (Martha Stewart); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All); Color (Copic Markers);

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day of the Dead

Here's a remake of great image that I used recently, it's called Day of the Dead by artist Melia Newman of Queen Kat Stamps. Day of the Dead is approaching and is an important celebration of those deceased by many cultures. Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Neenah); Rubber Stamp (Queen Kat); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Bling (Pebbles); Color (Copic Markers); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue Dots, Glue All);

Monday, October 24, 2011

Squigglefly Challenge: Saying Thanks

Here's a fun card for the Squigglefly challenge this week. Saying thanks...I picked a funny image for this theme, a tukey with a message "Eat Beef". Then I added a "Thanks" message in the background using white chalk ink. That's a real Thank You card...this cute image is from Squigglefly Digi stamps and is called Eat Beef.How about playing in the Squigglefly challenge this week? hop over to their blog and create your own Thank You card. You can be eligible for a prize if you use any Squigglefly image. There's several freebies you can get from the Squigglefly store. Try one out.

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Bling, Neenah); Digistamps (Squigglefly); Stamp (Thanks-Studio G); Ink (Colorbox Chalk); Punch (Martha Stewart); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All);

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Have a witchy day!

Here's a sweet witchy card from Stamping Bella. I colored her up in purples and used two sheets of bling in purple and green to create the card. Isn't she full of Halloween? I added a fun saying from Sweet Pea Stamps, "I am batty over you!" You know who you are.Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill Bling, Neenah, AC); Stamps (Stamping Bella; Saying-Sweet Pea stamps); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All); Color (Copic Markers);

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Addicted to Stamps Blog Hop

Welcome to the October Blog Hop for Addicted to Stamps! This is the company's first official blog hop and the design team has a lot of great projects to share. Please hop along as you may see some extra blog candy thrown in along the way.

Addicted To Stamps will pick a Grand Prize Winner! (Drawn on Monday) The winner will win 3 digi stamps of your choice from our store. To be eligible for the blog candy, you need to do 3 things: (1) Follow the Addicted-To-Stamps blog and become a member; (2) Like the Facebook fan page; (3) Comment on all the blogs including the main one;

Sound good everyone? Here's my card share, it's a wonderful Halloween theme image from artist Sheri Baldy. Isn't she the cutest vampire girl?
The next hop on the Addicted to Stamps blog line up is Jamie.....CLICK sure a leave a comment here and then continue through the hop and leave comments on each location. Best of luck everyone. I hope one of my followers is the winner. Be sure to check out Addicted to Stamps awesome store!!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Archivers, Neenah); Stamp (Addicted to Stamps); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Ribbons (Hobby Lobby, Michaels); Buttons (Grandma's Button Bag); Trick or Treat (Around the Block); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Glue Dots, Ribbon Glue); Color (Copic Markers);

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sweet Treats for You!

Here's a great card using one of the newest designs from Crafter's Companion. This stamp set is called "Chocolate Box" and has an adorable image. It will be released soon and available for purchase at the Crafter's Companion website. I also used some wonderful paper from the Fairyopolis paper pack.Here's an enlarged image of the stamp, colored with Copic Markers. Isn't it a sweet design? The stamp set comes with several wonderful sayings. The stamp I used says "Sweet Treats", but the set also includes "A Gift For You" and "For Mum." The available sayings make this stamp set perfect for all sorts of wonderful occassions. I used beautiful fall theme colors but also with a rich valentine theme. There's a lot of deep reds and very dark pinks included. I added some wonderful ribbon, pretty flowers, and gorgeous lace to top off this card. I hope it inspires you to grab your Humphrey stamps and make a card today!

Crafter's Companion Products used:

Paper from Fairyopolis Paper Pad

Humphrey Stamp set "Chocolate Box"

Ink-Memento Tuxedo Black

Double Sided Adhesive

Copic Markers

EZ Mount and Storage

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sitting With Teddy

Here's a beautiful stamp from Sweet Pea Stamps by artist Elizabeth Bell called Sitting with Teddy. As the saying on the card says that's "as good as it gets." Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our lives could be as simple as that nowadays? Just sitting down with our teddy bear and realizing that life is now as good as it gets? Ah, growing up can be hard. But I will say, sitting down and making this card makes me smile and think, yep, this is as good as it gets!Sweet Pea just released some new images from Elizabeth Bell too, be sure to check them out, they are all on sale at the store this week. I can't wait to get mine.

Project Materials: Paper (K&Co, Bazzill, Neenah, AC Metallic); Rubber Stamps (Sweet Pea Stamps); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Bling (Micheals); Punch (Martha Stewart); Buttons (Recollections); Saying (K&Co); Color (Copic Markers); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All);

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mischievious Fairy

Here's a great stamp from Addicted to Stamps called Mischievous Fairy. Isn't she a delight? She looks pretty mischievous, doesn't she? Makes me wonder just what she has in mind. With all the Halloween theme items I am seeing everywhere, it makes me think, hmmm, this would be such a cute costume to wear. Can't you imagine the expression on the little kids faces if you opened the door dressed up as a fairy?Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, AC, Neenah); Image(Addicted to Stamps); Color (Copic Markers); Lace (JoAnns); Ink (Colorbox Chalk); Buttons (Grandma's Button Bag); Adhesives (Pop dots, Ribbon Glue, Glue All, Glue Dots); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities);

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eyes of an Angel

Here's a beautiful image called "Eyes of an Angel" by artist Heidi Drake of Queen Kat stamps. I love stunning woman theme stamps, esp angels. I just know the angels are around me. Be sure to check out the new images that Queen Kat has released esp the one's from Heidi Drake!

Packages from the blog candy went out including CathyLynn, Trish V, and DJ. Hope you like your prizes!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Archivers, Neenah, AC Metallic); Rubber Stamps (Queen Kat); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Punch (Border Punch-Martha Stewart); Button (Grandma's Button Bag); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue dots, Glue All), Metallic Dots (EK Sucess); Color (Copic Markers);

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here's an adorable image from Squigglefly Digi Stamps called Candy Corn girl. Isn't she a sweetie? I have been loving using up all my halloween images these past couple of months and now I have to hurry up and be posting all my halloween cards before the holiday comes!Squigglefly is having a great contest over on their blog, so check it out. They give away a prize every week if you use one of their images. Stay tuned this week for more great Halloween theme cards. This week's challenge is about fear. What's so scary about this card you ask? I say Candy Corn! YUCK! What kid wants to get candy corn in their Halloween pumpkin. HA! Now make your card and go play in their contest! Squigglefly is also having a Mega Giveaway, click HERE to read the details.

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, K&Co, Neenah); Image (Squigglefly); Punches (Border and Corner punch set by Martha Stewart); Text (Doodlebug); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All); Ink (Colorbox Chalk); Color (Copic Markers);

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trick or Treat

Here's one of my all time favorite characters--Fluffles. I have always been a huge Fluffles fan. I had to use this adorable stamp to show a great image for Halloween. I can't wait to see the little kids walk the neighborhood this year to get candy. They are all so cute.

Did you win blog candy? Please check tuesday's posting and see if you name is listed! If so, I need to get your address so I can mail out your prize! email me at

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Neenah); Rubber stamp (Stampendous); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Button (Jesse James); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Glue Dots); Color (Copic Markers);

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Halloween, I wanna be a....

A princess...but not just any princess...some type of Gothic looking princess. That's me. A princess with a crown and a staff, but also striped hose and boots too. That's me. A fun tu-tu and half shirt with a skull on it. Yep, that's me. This image is perfect for me. I just love this depiction by amazing artist Cristy Croll, I think she must have known me as a kid, lol!
Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill Swiss, Neenah, ); Rubber Stamp (Stamping Bella); Punch (Martha Stewart); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue all); Color (Copic Markers);

Friday, October 14, 2011

Broom riding Tilda

Here goes Tilda flying through the night. She's got tricks and treats both....I hope she just hands out treats to those around her though. Isn't she adorable? I just love this Magnolia stamp. I have been so into some great lime green addition this Halloween, so I had to add some flair to this card with some wonderful hint of green everywhere. That bat on the huge fabric brad in the center of the flower...oh, so adorable!! Makes me think of Austin which is just a bat friendly city being home to one of the largest urban colonies of Mexican free tail bats in the world.

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Bling, Neenah); Rubber Stamp (Tilda-Magnolia); Ink (Memento); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Ribbon (Michaels); Flower (Recollections); Brads (Karen Foster); Twist (Doodlebug); Tab (Around the Block); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Glue Dots, Ribbon Glue, tape); Color (Copic Markers);

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I can see clearly now....

So in celebration this week, I made this adorable card using this great image from Queen Kat stamps. This image comes from the Creepie Cuties, which are among my favs. I found this funny saying, which is SO much funnier (and maybe odd) to those of us who have gone through actual brain surgery and had a chunk of our brain removed. "I can see clearly now, the brain is gone..." More than that, but those of us who have gone through that and then had such a huge and dramatic change happen after the surgery. I will say the doctor got a laugh from it, but deep down, I know he knows exactly what I meant.
There's still blog candy winners whom I haven't heard from, if you won, check and let me know!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Neenah); Rubber Stamp (Queen Kat; Saying-unknown); Ink (Memento, Studio G); Bats (Sandy Lion); Ribbon (Target); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue all, Ribbon Glue); Color (Copic Markers);

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

Here's a wonderful Sweet Pea card from artist Connie Fong. This stamp is called Cherry Blossoms (CLICK HERE) and is found on Plate #185. Isn't she stunning? I didn't add a lot of extra flair to this card as the image itself is just beautiful. I can't wait to get more of her images so I can share them with you!Check out her Halloween theme images on the Sweet Pea website! Did you sign up during any of the wonderful blog candy contests last week? The winners were posted yesterday!! Better scroll down and check the list for your name! If you name is in RED, email me your address at if you name is in black, then i already have your address or your won a digi stamp and your prize will be emailed to you! CONGRATS! Thanks to everyone for playing and a HUGE thanks to Sweet Pea stamps and Addicted to Stamps for Prizes.

The following prizes were mailed today: Lorraine, Chrisann, Melisa Marie, Becky D, and Glennis!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Neenah); Rubber Stamp(Sweet Pea Stamps); Ink (Memento); Ribbon (Heidi Grace); Buttons (Martha Stewart); Adhesives (Glue All, Glue Dots, Ribbon Glue, Pop dots);

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day of the Dead

Here's a stamp from Queen Kat artist Melia Newman called Day of the Dead. Being from San Antonio, TX this is often a much celebrated day in the culture there. It's not a scary or spooky holiday, it's a holiday in which the deceased are remembered with fondness and joy.Speaking of Celebration, the doctor's appt went quite well! Not only did friday's appt turn up good news, so did monday's. At this point my blood test is almost back to normal (from a rate so low that they kept pushing me to get cancer tested) and they have again agreed to lower my medication! WOO HOO!! I will be announcing the winners of all the blog candy contests today. I will add them this afternoon. I wanted to give everyone through the end of the day to sign up (as I am writing this at 10pm on monday night). So, come back and check, as the winner list will be added right here:

BLOG Candy Winners--see your name, email me


USA-- Cathylynn
International--Jackie from Puerto Rico
BONUS Winners: DJ (USA) and Irene D (Indonesia)

DIGI stamps from Addicted to Stamps-- CrafterKHush, ShellAKStamper, PAT (*Your prizes will be emailed to you directly by Addicted to Stamps)

UM Rubber Stamp from Sweet Pea Stamps--GLENNIS

DIGI Stamp from Addicted to Stamps-- Trish, LovesCraftsForever (*Your prizes will be emailed to you directly from Addicted to Stamps)
Clear Stamp from Addicted to Stamps--

Sun *unmounted stamp grab bags
US - ChrisAnn
International Winners- Trish,

Monday Bonus
Melissa-Marie M. and Becky D

Monday, October 10, 2011

Squigglefly Challenge: Happy Halloween Kitty!

Isn't she a cutie? Looks like she's ready for her trick or treating huh? Today is a Squigglefly challenge and the challenge is to use stripes in your card. I though perhaps the tiger costume itself was a bit stripe-y, but I also added some fun stripes into the card by using a bit of black and white striped paper on the card. This adorable stamp is called Nerdy Girl Cat by artist Marlene S.Be sure to check out the Squigglefly Blog and play along in their contest for your chance to win a prize! You can make a card and use any Squigglefly stamp. You can even download a freebie from the Squigglefly site and try it out!! Use that freebie in your card for the contest and your could win a gift certificate to the store.

Today is the big day from all the blog candy contests of the last week! I am off the Doctor! Hoping for only great news and of course only expecting great news from him. I will get up at 5:30 am to actually WALK the 8.6 miles to his office to see him. WOO HOO! Never could have done that before surgery. If you haven't signed up for blog candy, go back through ALL of last week's posting and leave comments on each one of the contests (last monday, wed, thurs, fri, and sunday!!). Winners will be picked tomorrow and you are eligible to win multiple contests.

Project Materials: Cardstock (California Paper, Neenah, DCWV); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Digi Stamp (Squigglefly); Rubber Stamp saying (Sweet Pea); Bling (Michaels); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All); Color (Copic Markers);

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Paper Temptress Cyber Mummy Susie

Here's a wonderful Halloween theme card using totally NON-Halloween theme colors. YUM. I took a great image that I loved and colored her up in great mummy colors, and of course, had to add a little flair with some bright pink hair! Then I went to my wonderful stash of paper from Paper Temptress to find perfectly matching papers to go with her. Isn't this card adorable? These papers are great! All these papers come from Paper Temptress. The base of this card is Pop Tones Sour Apple (Click here) ; The image is stamped on wonderful Ultra Smooth Heavenly White Premium (Click Here); That yummy pink paper is called Sorbet Watermelon (Click here); The black stripes are pieces of Eclipse Black (Click here). This image comes from artist Heather Valentin of Addicted to Stamps and is called Cyber Mummy Susie. She is available as a Digi-stamp or a clear stamp image.

This week has been great, if you haven't signed up for blog candy, be sure and go back through the postings all the way to monday Oct 3rd and leave a comment on each day that offers candy! There's great giveaways and winners will be announced on tuesday, so go sign up! Today's little candy will be some UM stamps, so leave a comment today for a chance to win a grab bag of rubber stamps!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Paper Temptress); Image(DigiStamp-Cyber Mummy Susie by Heather Valentin of Addicted to Stamp); Punch (Martha Stewart); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Color (Copic Markers); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All);

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Standing Surprise

Here's an adorable Pop-up card using Crafter's Companions Ultimate tool, their newest SWALK stamps and wonderful papers. In a flat position, when opening their card or when you hand the card to your friend, they will not know what to expect. Here's what they will see when they first get their card:

When they "open" the card by pushing the corners down, it actually forms a wonderful free-standing display which shows the adorable little boy plus a hidden message!

Here's a photo showing the base once the card is standing and the surprise message hidden by the card.

This adorable SWALK set comes with the boy's image, the sayings and the adorable snail stamp. The cute puppy is also a SWALK stamp from the Best Pals set. You can use this image by masking the stamp and taking just the part of the stamp needed on the card. In this case, I just wanted to use the adorable dog because it went perfectly with my card's saying.
Doesn't this adorable image just melt your heart? I know he just makes me wanna put on some rain boots and go jump in some puddles too! I hope this creation makes you want to create something fun using your Ultimate Tool with the adorable new SWALK sets that just came out. Have a great weekend!

Cheers, Holley

Crafter's Companion Products used (CLICK Product name to go to their Website)
The Ultimate Tool
The Ultimate Tool DVD
Pearlescent Paper
in green and blues
SWALK Stamp Set Snips and Snails
SWALK Stamp Set Best Pals
Memento Ink - Tuxedo Black
Copic Markers

Double Sided Foam
Tape Runner

Friday, October 7, 2011

Witchy Susie and more great candy!!

Here's a great image from Addicted to Stamps artist Heather Valentin called Witchy Susie. I love this character. I colored her up in HOT pink. Isn't she delightful? I have several of the Susie images from this artist. So happy to say that Addicted to Stamps is promising more great candy today! Go to their store and check out the wonderful goodies. Then leave a comment here about what you love in their store. This time take a peak at the clear stamps that they sell too and lmk which artists stamps you like! A winner will be picked from those who leave comments today. Winner will be announced on tuesday! Today's the first of the doctor's appointments as I will be going to the Oncologist to find out my current status! The appointment is 2:15pm! Let's all think good thoughts today. I am of course hoping only for really good news.

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill Swiss, Neenah); Digi Stamp (Witchy Susie by Heather Valentin-Addicted to Stamps); Saying (Stickers-Doodlebug); Trim (JoAnns); DieCut (QuickKutz); Ink (Colorbox Chalk); Color (Copic Markers);

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meet Grendalyn (More blog candy!!)

Here's a wonderful image from Sweet Pea Artist Terra Bidlespacher called "Grendalyn"(Plate #182). Isn't she great? I love this artist's work. If you click the link and see Terra's coloring and design of the image, you can see that this image wasn't necessarily meant as a halloween theme image, but if you look at my coloring and card layout here, that is exactly how I used it!

Sometimes I think it is great to see how another person uses an image when I get a stamp and how differently they may color it and make it look. Take a peek on the Sweet Pea Website and see how the artist makes this image look compared to my card today. Hope this card is putting you in the Halloween Mood!!

So, what would be more fitting than a Sweet Pea stamp as blog candy today? This stamp is a gorgeous one from the same artist who made Grendalyn, Terra Bidlespacher. The stamp is named "Journey" (CLICK HERE). You know you want her!! Just leave a comment today, all winners will be announced next week (tuesday).

If you haven't been following the blog all week, you definitely need to scroll down and sign up for great blog candy on Monday and Wed, then stay tuned for the rest of the contests. Read up on monday as that's the whole WHY we are having a celebration this week!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Neenah, AC, DCWV); Rubber Stamps (Sweet Pea Stamps); Ink (Memento); Die Cuts (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Color (Copic Markers); Webbing (Hobby Lobby); Skull Ribbon (Target); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Ribbon Glue);

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vampiress, More Blog Candy!!

Continuing along the Halloween theme, here's an awesome Vampire stamp from artist Sue Rundle-Hughes of Addicted to Stamps (CLICK HERE). She looks like she is ready to take a bite...if you look closely, you can see her fangs.

They have some gorgeous images at the Scrapbook Stamp Society group and a Gallery where you share and view everyone's creations. I think I should go stick this Vampiress there! Also, if you check them out on Wed nights on Facebook, they have a great show of new stamp images and a sale! Tell them that Holley sent you (it's usually 6pm central), here (tell them Holley sent you :) Tonight--they will show all the new designs followed by a great price special that you will definitely want to hear for the after event sale click this link: Addicted to Stamps Facebook event;

Now...on for the BLOG CANDY today, check out the stamps at the Addicted to Stamp store (CLICK HERE) and when you leave your comment today, tell me what your favorite DIGI stamp is, if you can't narrow it down to just one, tell me who your favorite ARTIST is...there's just so many of them. I must confess that I am HUGE fan of Heather Valentin, I love the Mitzi Wiuffs, the Sherri Baldy images...oh, so many!! It's a tough choice. I will say the first stamp that I HAD to absolutely get my hands on was Cyber Mummy Susie! Leave your comment including your fav stamp or stamp artist from Addicted to stamps and be eligible for a prize. Prize winner(s) will be announced on TUESDAY.

Project Materials: Cardstock (Archivers, Neenah); DigiStamp (Female Vampire-Addicted to Stamps); Bling (Prima); Lace (Istanbul, Turkiye); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Ink (Colorbox Chalk); Color (Copic Markers);

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Eyes of an Angel

Here's a stunning image from Heidi Drake of Queen Kat stamps that I paired with some gorgeous lace that I got while in Turkiye and some beautiful metallic paper. I colored her in wonderful shades of blues with a pale pinkish hue to her wings. So elegant. She's called "Eye of an Angel". Be sure to check out all of Heidi's images at the Queen Kat store. If you haven't signed up for the blog candy, be sure to scroll down to yesterday's posting and leave a comment!

Project Materials: Cardstock (Bazzill, Neenah, DCWV); Stamps (Queen Kat); Ink (Memento, Colorbox Chalk); Lace (Istanbul, Turkiye); Ribbon (Michaels); Die Cut (Spellbinders Nestabilities); Adhesives (Pop dots, Glue All, Ribbon Glue); Color (Copic Markers);

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Halloween Tilda! It's Blog Candy time!!

Well, here's just the cutest little Tilda witch and she's here to announce that Halloween is just around the corner and it's time for some blog candy!! It's gonna be a short contest with the winner announced next tuesday. There will be a winners on USA side and International Winner. The pics shown yesterday (top) is USA pack, second image is International pack. So just leave a comment and let me know if you are USA or International. So start leaving your comments here now!! I may start to get extra generous and have to pick a couple extra winners, so I included extra photos with just some additional goodies that I need to toss in to the prizes and when I want to send more prizes :) I also got the coolest new halloween trims with hanging bats, pumpkins...oh so dear.

So, why the candy? I am planning on two huge Doctor appointments, which is why I get in the celebration mood. The first one is friday afternoon, when I go to see the Oncologist Dr Donor. He's been pushing to have a bone marrow test, but I have been of course resisting. Due both to the painfulness and seriousness of that test. The last time I visited him my blood count turned out better for the first time in more years that I can recall. A real miracle! I hope for even better testing this time, which may finally put any thoughts of cancer testing to rest.

After that I go see my favorite doctor, the one who fixed my brain just over 1.5 years ago, epileptologist Dr Aboumatar. Hope to only hear good things from this doctor as the time after brain surgery goes on. We will see on next tuesday how much celebration I am feeling!! Truth is, I am feeling so wonderful that I will be celebrating no matter how the doctors appointments go. I know how much of my health I have been given back. I know how horribly sick I really was before the brain surgeries that saved me! Let's celebrate with some Halloween Joy!

Just leave a comment, would be great if there is an email so I can contact the winner(s), let me know if you are in the USA or International as I will pick at least one winner from each, probably more :) Also, I may sneak in some other shorter contests for a little candy during the week, so you wanna keep an eye on the postings each day!!

Cheers, Holley

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Live Laugh and Love

Welcome everyone! Today's card shows a great stamp that I just got from Unity Stamp Company. What a beauty. I can't believe we are already in October now and still facing 100 degree temperatures here in Texas. Wow. one of the hottest summers ever and horrible drought. I think I am as tan as the woman here on this card....well, maybe not THAT tan, but pretty close.Here's a little hint about what this week holds...a little blog candy surprise...some wonderful cards using Tilda, Sweet Pea, Addicted to Stamps, Tickled Pink....
Oh, gonna be a good week. Stay tuned. Do you need a sneek peak?

Are you ready for some fun???

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Best Pals

Here's another wonderful newly released SWALK set. Today is the 1st of the month, so the Crafter's Companion USA blog is starting a new contest for the month. They give away a great prize every month, so go over and do a project to participate!

This month's theme is friendship, so I thought this SWALK stamp really fit the bill. Who's better friends than a little boy and his dog? Go by the challenge blog to participate and read all about this month's prize!

Also, in case you missed yesterday's posting, there's a great prize going on the regular Crafter's Companion Blog too! Just go there (CLICK HERE) and check the Sept 28th entry, look for my card (see one image below), check it out and you will see that Crafter's Companion is giving away 6 wonderful sets of SWALK stamps! WOO HOO. Sign up as that prize is going to be given out next week.