Maureen Elanor Simpson & Zachary Alan Caro ~

The Newest Mr. & Mrs. Caro ~ with flower girls! Olivia and Zoie!~
"tied the knot" in Omaha ... so surREAL~ it was beautiful and over in a flash ... may your worries be small and your dreams be BIG ... May you live happily ever after! ~ the best is yet to come!


My wish ~ to Zac & Mo, LOVE MOM

{NOTE}: Before you start the video
>>via the PLAY arrow>>
scroll down to the
purple PLAYLIST ON THE RightT,
then you wont be listening to the battle of the bands.

.. thanks! ~ENJOY~ mY WiSh!
by Rascal Flatts

zAC n Mo ~ MY WISH for you NOV.24, 2007 ~congratulations!


Happy Birthday to ME! ~ got my 45 on!

"Soak Up The Sun"

My friend the communist
Holds meetings in his RV
I can't afford his gas
So I'm stuck here watching TV
I don't have digital
I don't have diddly squat
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got

I'm gonna soak up the sun
Gonna tell everyone
To lighten up
(I'm gonna tell 'em that)
I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up o I'm gonna soak up the sun
I'm gonna soak up the sun
I've got a crummy job
It don't pay near enough
To buy the things it takes
To win me some of your love
Every time I turn around
I'm looking up, you're looking down
Maybe something's wrong with you
That makes you act the way you do
Maybe i am crazy too


I'm gonna soak up the sun
While it's still free
I'm gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me
Don't have no master suite
I'm still the king of me
You have a fancy ride, but baby
I'm the one who has the key
Every time I turn around
I'm looking up, you're looking down
Maybe something's wrong with you
That makes you act the way you do
Maybe I am crazy too


I'm gonna soak up the sun
Got my 45 on
So I can rock on!



Altered Book ~ in progress! ~

I am really having fun with this - it is going to be a "FORGET ME NOT" Perpetual Pocket - Tag Book. It is leather bound, it was a Kansas Law book my son found (in a dumpster) ... "here Mom, Alter this! So, it's final end result, and intention will be revealed. ! the tags.. i cant wait and i am having so much fun with it! ...


Seeing RED! ~ Irish Chain! Zac's Challenge ...

Just too cute for words: Dexter~ aka: Sir Helps Too Much!
well, it is a miracle it ever got done! Now it is coming back from my Dear Friend, Karin!
i can wait ...
wanna see the TOP?


just chillin

So... i finally had some surgery ... then, today the "cherry on top" was a stubborn root canal! yea... a glutton for punishment? or what... so, that's supposed to be me, just chillin' and trying to recoup ... which means, my body may be "idle" as i can tolerate, but my mind ... well, of course, i am WRITING LISTS... i am the champion list maker. (my shirt says "jesus loves me" .. but, i am comfy this way, while i heal!)...

~ & before my surgery? I finished THE RED quilt ...so, no posts while i was working on it ... and now, it is at my friend karin's, in her quilt frame ... and i hope to bind it before the wedding...



ok... so, I've been busy, but still alot TO DO ~

* My "ScrappyStuff Studio!"
... I've tackled some of my "to do" list... {not shown}
*Envelope Book ~ ctmh scrap book supplies;
*Card Set: ctmh Best Friends papers & Arcylix stamps ... Colors: Hollyhock, Twilight, Bamboo;
and my stab at * the "deck of ME"

In Progress: Irish Chain ~ Red makes me Crazy! ~

~ in pieces...

Thinking about it ....
... & getting there ....
~ ONCE upon a Time, while participating in a Quilt SHOP HOP ... Zac said, "i want an all red Irish Chain" ... and, between stops of "bribing the kids" I let them each choose a selection of fabric of their choice if they were good, and Derek, a bit beyond a Toddler, would ask, "s'cuse me, do you have this in a FAT QUARTER?" in question to a BOLT of fabric as big as himself! Derek was on a mission to select greens & horse prints; Sam was on a hunt for pinks and butterflies; Alex hunted for blues or some 'stone' prints for his lighthouse and ... Zac would select his REDS, and sometime purchase MANY of them himself ... (or while working i would spot a NEW one fresh in off the truck) ... so, here we are... stay tuned!


Once Upon a Time: Maggies Place, AZ ~

well, i was looking for picts to scrapbook and ran across something i had actually finished once!
The Wall hanging ~ "Pathways" ... inspired by Color Magic For Quilters ... went into the "room" we "adopted" ... for the Expectant Mother's shelter... At Maggie's Place...
Our 4H group: CHEVY, found some amazing bedding which then inspired me to go through my stash ... and in hoping to use it up, i managed to make a dent, creating this "jacob's ladder" style pattern... that was back in 2000, and Maggie's opened on Mothers Day ... My youngest walked into "our room" on opening day surprised to find an expectant mother already napping in "our room"! ~

What is Maggie's Place? “Maggie’s Place is a house of hospitality for expectant women who wish to achieve their goals in a dignified and welcoming atmosphere. Following Catholic social teaching, we recognize that we are responsible to and for one another. We challenge one another to strive toward personal growth, to welcome the gifts of every person that enters our door, and to promote positive social change. In this way, we celebrate and provide for the next generation.” ... and NOW, proudly there are FOUR other homes!....

... "best start puttin' first things first..."

Take time to Enjoy the {Kenny Chesney DON'T BLINK VIDEO}

I turned on the evenin' news
Saw an old man being interviewed
Turnin' a hundred and two today
They asked him what's the secret to life
He looked up from his ol' pipe
Laughed and said, 'All I can say is'
Don't blink
Just like that
You're six years old and you take a nap
And you wake up and you're twenty-five
And your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don't blink
You just might miss your babies growin' like mine did
Turnin' into moms and dads
Next thing you know
Your better half of fifty years is there in bed
And you're prayin' God takes you instead
Trust me friend
A hundred years goes faster than you think
(So/But) don't blink
I was glued to my TV
When it looked like he looked at me
And said, 'Let's start puttin' first things first'
'Cause when your hourglass runs outta sand
You can't flip it over, start again
Took every breath God gives you, for what it's worth
So I been tryin' to slow it down
I been tryin' to take it in
In this here today, gone tomorrow world we're livin' in
Naw, don't blink
Don't blink
Life goes faster than you think....


Welcome Home Franki...

Well, aka: "CRAZY" decided to taker herself on a walk, "early" in the "late night" the other ...day? ... and made a grandpa friend, got to eat everything she is allergic to -- including sharing EGGS for breakfast... and, going without 3 treatments - because she has EPILEPSY and is on massive doses of meds... she has come home after her "sleepover" happy and well, Maybe we ought to let her SNEAK out more often -- thats what we get for needing the hose in the dark, just before midnight ... STINKER! ...
we love her, but she wears us out ... btw: she is the GOlden RetrieVer>
.. and thats the short version!


Veggie Tales; I Love My Lips ~ let me explain....

~ so, i was slightly "MIA" earlier this week, due to a SEVERE allergic reaction, which put me in the hospital, on IV's and medications.... one of those things that happens to other people, you hear about ... and it was so SURREAL!
I am glad to be alive, and continuing to try to be HEALTHY! ... with LIPS and extremities getting back to "normal"
~ take care!~



Toni needs:
Ø To be moved from the zoo; careful, daily monitoring = (hey! I resemble that statement! … I DO live in a zoo!)
Ø “To be or not to be”? = (a break).
Ø Surgery and a new club. = (curious! I need surgery! & SCRAPBOOK CLUB?)
Ø To do a live concert = (That’s funny! I want to GO to the Elton John Concert)
Ø To google in the midst of the season =??
Ø To come back to her girlfriends = (yup! More friends time)
Ø A predictable routine in a safe and comfortable environment in a loving home!
Ø a boss = (whatever, the supervision thing?)
Ø Careful daily monitoring = (of my projects & contractors?)
Ø Classroom practices in grade school = (weird! I think about that…)
Ø Advice = (whatever)
Ø Garage storage = (YES!)
Ø Creative management … (sure)
Ø Real estate (oh, fun, good luck with that one!)
Ø A new factory to make products; to get ahead of the game (on the Real Estate?)
Ø At least 30 days advance notice to get everything in its place, and set her schedule
” $1000 is due at this point! “= (really, interesting)…
~ YOUR TURN….Okay, so! Go to "Google" and search for "your first name” + “needs" (i.e. I typed in "Toni needs"). This is what "Google" says I need - (followed by my comments in parenthesis): that's how you play "Your name needs.”


so, SUMMER is almost over, that makes me SAD!
yesterday I enrolled my youngest in the SIXTH GRADE, man do i feel old...
my oldest is getting married in November ...again, i feel OLD...

I love summers with my family, watermelon and playing games at my moms @ the lake - maybe we can do MORE of that next summer, lordy, it was like SURVIVAL mode this summer.......

so, re: the BLOG CANDY =P ~~~ keep the comments coming - I am going to check my mailbox to see if my new Close To My Heart 2007 FALL catalog is there! ... reserve your's NOW! ....

Ok. i am off to organize my workspace ...if your good, i'll let you see it! ;-]

(Summer Layout: GAMES)


5 Minutes to Art

(Art by Melissa P. Hackmann)
No time to make art, you say? Here are tips to show that if you get organized and do a little at a time, you can get a lot of art done in five minutes.
1. Organize a basic, portable toolkit. Get a a small compartmentalized tote and put in supplies you use most often, such as: your favorite background stamp and a small set of alphabet stamps, a black or brown Staz-On inkpad, a fat quarter of fabric, watercolor paper, a pair of scissors, a embroidery needle and floss. Keep basic materials in a handy place, ready to go when you have five minutes to spare.
2. Make backgrounds. paint a wash on the watercolor paper with watercolors. Stamp words and/or images over the wash. Let dry… (It’s now prepped for later use!)

3. Practice your embroidery skills

4. Add to your sketchbook. Keep a fine-point black pen and/or a small set of watercolor pencils in your bag with your sketchbook in your bag. Then when you're waiting … sketch an object or write down an idea. Add a glue stick to the kit, and you can paste in fun found objects.

5. Embellish. Sew or glue a button, charm, sequin, or bead on a project you've already started, or to a piece of fabric you can appliqué onto a project later.

a few more ...
v Pre- Cut up ATC backs. ( 2½” x 3½”)…
v Dye fabric. Trims, fabric squares, cheesecloth, and other natural fibers …
v “Age” fabric.
v Stamp …. Stash fun improvised stamps in your everyday tool kit, and next time you have five minutes, stamp like crazy!
v Cut out individual letters from old magazines to use in a collage at a later time.
v Make a “sandwich” - Fuse fabric to one or both sides of a sheet acrylic felt (the kind you buy at craft stores). When you have another five minutes, slice them into ATC- or postcard-sized pieces.


bLoG cAnDy! and.....

Comming soon: Fall Idea book ~ get your idea book! ~>>>
* CTMH August SPECIAL! = Paper Picnic!

>>papers featured in the summer idea book ~
to get your Idea Book contact me ~

* See my favorite papers ~ Floral Tapestry ~ from the SUMMER Idea Book: ~>>>

Stamp set i will be playing with this week:
* Vintage Postcards!

~ok, go *take a look*, but come back...

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

and let me know what your favorites are!
Who knows, there might even be some BLOG CANDY! .... first 3 people to email or post will receive a mini album! happy scrapping! ....


~ What I am READING today ~

Inspiration Today ~ through @ Harpers Quilt shop I not only learned of the "Art Quilt Workbook" ... which i can't wait to play with, but I also I had the pleasure of meeting fabric designer & Soryteller : Sonie Ruffin, the author of "THE SOULFUL ART OF AFRICAN AMERICAN QUILTS" ... I love that she too considers quiltmaking a form of PRAYER! ... very inspiring!

TO DO: this week ~
i will be working on Zachary's ALL RED, IRISH CHAIN ...
i will select photos to scrapbook for zac/mo wedding album...
~ family ~ i will be juggling time with kids b4 school starts!


I LOVE these Books!

Getting Organized!

Book of ME: Close to my Heart products, by toni

~ Good bye Melissa, 3/08
be TOUGH! *Link~Craig Morgan* 
 Fighting Ovarian Cancer!

the "BOOK OF ME" a gift for  MELISSA
from ME, not about ME

sCraps of This and ScrapS of that ....

Fabric Scraps, Paper Scraps, Fiber scraps, ANY Scraps
... When Life Gives you sCRAP ... CreATe!

A little bit of fabric Scraps ....
Color Magic Class, Summer '06
Just part of my "to do" ~ Project List
and all that sCRAP.... Not just SCRAPBOOKING!

DRAWING, CRAYOLA'S... inspiration ~

Excerpted from the book, by Leo Buscaglia
As an individual, you must not be satisfied with just becoming like everybody else. You must think for yourself. For example, art supervisors. I can remember when they used to come to my classroom in elementary school, and I'm sure you can remember it, too. You were given a paper, and the teacher would put up the drawing in front of you and you were really excited. It was going to be art time. You had all the crayolas in front of you, and you folded your hands and you waited. And soon the art teacher would come running in, because she had been to fourteen other classrooms that day teaching art. She ran in, and she'd huff and puff and she'd say, "Good morning girls and boys. Today we are going to draw a tree." And all the kids would say, "Goody, we're going to draw a tree!" And then she'd get up there with a green crayola and she'd draw this great big green thing. And then she put a brown base on it and a few blades of grass. And she'd say, "There is a tree." And all the kids would look at it and they'd say, "That isn't a tree. That's a lollipop." But she said that was a tree, and then she's pass out these papers and say, "Now, draw a tree."
She didn't really say, "Draw a tree" -- she said, "Draw my tree." And the sooner you found out that's what she meant and could reproduce this lollipop and hand it to her, the sooner you would get an A.
But here was little Janie who knew that wasn't a tree, because she'd seen a tree such as this art teacher had never experienced! So she got magenta, and orange, and blue, and purple, and green, and she scribbled all over her page and happily brought it up and gave it to the teacher. She looked at it and said, "Oh my God...."
How long does it take somebody to realize that what they're really saying is, "To pass, I want you to reproduce my tree." And so it goes through the first grade, second, third and right on into seminars in graduate school. I teach seminars in graduate school. It's amazing how people have learned to parrot by then. Think? Don't be ridiculous. They can give you the facts, verbatim, just as you've given it to them. And you can't blame those students, because that's what they've been taught. You say to them, "Be creative," and they're fearful. And so what happens to our uniqueness; what happens to our tree? All this beautiful uniqueness has gone right down the drain. Everybody is like everybody else, and everybody is happy. R.D. Laing says, "we are satisfied when we've made people like ourselves out of our children: Frustrated, sick, blind, deaf.....

Harry Chapin sings FLOWERS ARE RED Live

~ if the YouTube video does not open, double click on the image, turn up the volume & enjoy! ~
Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.
~Leo Buscaglia

wHo AM i? ...

~ HERE I AM! ~
I went to dinner with my best scrapbook buddies, had THREE DR. Peppers .. & now, i am having the BEST TIME... putting together a play list & figuring out how to upload things! I am having a swell time! ~ So Why blog?

? ~why?... WHY blog? ...
well... call it my "accountability partner" ...
I was reading and "working" in THe Artists way and I sure was motivated, and it helped me WANT to CReATe ART EVERYDAY ... but, wow. LIFE gets in the way ... so, its about ME, '07.

above: page 1. {
Memorial album for MELISSA's family}


Summer Joy

GREETINGS! July - the month of birthday celebrations for our family! ~ So, Yesterday we visited Derek @ camp for family day... two years ago we took him "out for breakfast" a surprise to Worlds of Fun! Tomarrow marks the first day of his last year to be a "kid" ... he is a "tween" - not yet a teen, growing out of being a kid, 'be-tween' ...