Saturday, December 22, 2007


Just great! Wouldn't you know this time of year when you need something the most, you can't find it anywhere!!! It just makes me want to give out a big AGGGGHHHHHHHHRRHHH!!!
I've misplaced my address book and can't seem to figure out where I put it. With all my holiday greetings needing addresses, I've had to rely this year on my Mom's address book and cards I've already received. How dreadful! I know I've missed some friends and family, but I think I'll be sending some "S.O.S. I lost my address book!" cards when I can find that darned book. That will TRULY be "better late than never!"

This year above all others seems to be so unorganized! I can't seem to find time to keep up with anything, let alone the day to day organization of my house! SOOOO...I've decided to send my holiday message through my crafting blog... I'll share some updated information on the chaotic happenings of ME.


After 1 1/2 hour commutes at my former school and some other reasons not mentioned here, I decided at the end of the year to do some interviewing and find a closer teaching assignment to my home. I wanted to stay in the county so I wouldn't have to deal with all the paperwork and shifting of retirement, funds, etc. There were just a few schools that were located less than 30 minutes from my home. With the commute, that would be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour commute-one way. I settled on one of the oldest schools in the county, where the staff and school climate appeared really friendly and welcoming. It is a school off the route one corridor and experiences an inner-city like student population. I spent the end of the school year PACKING 9 YEARS of my teaching career and transporting it by myself to a storage facility close to home...Oh, how I dreaded those days, but I was excited for the new change.

Spring break was a lot of fun this year. I drove down to South Carolina to visit one of my closest friends. I had a lot of fun hanging out with Joanne, Mark and little baby Ella. Their house is beautiful and the community they live in has that homey feel. I just loved it there. I chat with her through email and we share our experiences with new school settings and challenges...I'm glad we have each other to "vent".

I decided not to teach summer school and instead, took the summer off for myself. I wanted to take some classes, get acquainted to the staff and community of my new school, teach at a rubber stamping store, and just relax. I found early into it that it was all GO, GO, GO! The summer went by so fast! I also spent time taking teacher enrichment classes and being part of our school's curriculum development and school plan committees. Our team worked with the principals, the assistant superintendant, and select staff to develop a plan to improve student performance on the Virginia SOL tests.

Of course I had to do a little roller coastering!!! Every summer, I head to Busch Gardens with my neice and nephew and family to enjoy the roller coasters. This year, a new roller coaster opened. SCARY! is all I can say. It has a drop that goes straight down!!! Megan and Tyler love roller coastering, so it is just a blast spending the day and especially the night with them. On one evening, it started to rain when we were on a roller coaster. Rain doesn't feel too good coming at you at over 100 mph!!!

As many of you know, I love to do all sorts of artwork and crafts, and am an avid rubber stamper. My crafting motto is..."Never buy a card from the store when you can make it yourself!" I am a "hobby" demo for The Angel Company (TAC): a direct sales company that produces unmounted rubber stamps (on cling foam instead). I'm not a great salesperson so I don't really do a lot of sales. I just enjoy the teaching aspect of it and the good discounts I receive.

I was able to attend TAC Seminar for the first time this year in Kansas City. It was very exciting to be around people who have like interests and similar personalities. I roomed with a fellow "Angel" who I met online in a stamping forum. Margo is loads of fun and very creative. She brought along her angel halo, wings, and her fun personality! I never laughed so much. She lives nearby, so we have had the opportunity to meet for stamping fun and shopping as well as a fun trip to a juried art show in Maryland. All throughout seminar, people traded greetings, hugs, ideas and handmade creations with each other. I brought along TONS of cardfronts and trading cards to swap with other fellow demonstrators and came home with a boatload of good ideas and FREE GOODIES!

I also went down to Virginia Beach for a gathering of a few TAC demonstrators. We got together to teach each other some stamping techniques, chat, and have a little fun. I had met a few of them in passing at Seminar, so it was a lot of fun to get together and chat in a smaller group.

My favorite stamping store in Reston, Virginia asked me to teach a few classes over the summer. I was excited to do three classes: A shadow box class using BLine stamps, a class using Magnolia Stamps from Sweden, and a class using my personal card sketches to make quick and fun cards from a variety of stamp companies. You can see these creations in my blog. I really enjoy teaching stamping classes. I hope to have the opportunity to do it again.

Some of my closest friends are those I've met through online stamping groups. I don't know why, but I've always been the kind of person who is not comfortable approaching strangers, but when in the company of people who have like interests, I feel comfortable and jump out of my safety zone. Over the summer, I decided to apply for a design team position with a rubber stamping company out of California. JustJohanna's rubber stamping company is a lot of fun! Johanna's company is ever growing and if you visit her website, you'll find some of the most whimsical stamp images around. If you happen to be a stamper, I have a discount code I can share...Just email me! I was happy to receive a phone call from Johanna herself asking if I would like to join her team! WOWEEE!!! Being published 2 times in stamping magazines doesn't come close to the excitement you feel when you are accepted into a small team of exclusive designers!!! I was thrilled, to say the least. I quickly became the mad stamper...spending every ounce of free time stamping and creating exclusive designs for Justjohanna. Cleaning the house...Well, that's another story! Whew...sometimes the deadlines creeped up so fast, my muse couldn't keep up with the production line!!! LOL. When my design team term ended, I wanted to apply to the team again. I applied and after about a month of waiting for a call or list of new designers on her website, I was asked to continue on the team. YIPEEE!!!! So yes, I spend lots, lots, lots of my free time in my "CRAP" room...I would take a picture of that room, but as any true stamper knows....It's not a pretty sight!

My new school has brought many challenges and has tested my confidence as a teacher. I changed schools, grade levels and it seems like PLANETS all in one year. Several students have caused great stress and emotional challenge to me this year. I can't share much, but I can say that my school has repeatedly said that I've been doing an amazing job and they see the work I am putting into it. There were days at the beginning of the year where I just wanted to walk out, leave, and never come back. Many nights of restless sleep, an unending amount of paperwork and grading, and a house in a disorganized mess almost made me just feel like I was drowning in an abyss of unfinished business. Well, I'm seeing a turning point right now. Things are feeling better and I'm hoping for the best for the new year....That's all I can do.

Peanut is just the joy of my life! She has had some allergies this fall and for some reason, spends lots of time chewing her back legs and feet. I took her to the vet to check it out and to get her annual shots. He prescribed some medicated shampoo and directed me to let the soap soak in on her legs and between her toes for about eight minutes and then wash it off. I was to do this for three days straight and then only do it once every other week. So I went home and followed the directions. Three days later, Peanut got up from her bed in the morning and wouldn't walk on her hind legs. I looked at her paws and the pads were literally falling off! Poor baby. I called the doctor and they said something to the effect of..."You're using the soap too much!" Well duh! I was just following directions. The next day, they called to say her white blood cell count was slightly low. They wouldn't tell me anything more, but said I needed to bring her in again for a re-check in a week. That week was sure stressful. I tried to stay away from the internet because I know you get the most dreadful news there, so I just wondered and worried all week. The following week, she had new bloodwork that came back normal. WHEW...what a relief...II guess the lower bloodcount was a result of her itching...I don't know what I would have done if something terrible was wrong. She just the sweetest!

Peanut really enjoys riding to Grandma and Grandpas or anywhere for that matter. When I say "Want to go to Grandma's?" she spins around on the floor all the way to the door! As we turn the corner to their house, she starts whining and crying because she is so excited. I can say however, she doesn't like the question "Want to get your toothbrush?" She cocks her head then hangs it low...She really doesn't like getting her teeth brushed!

So, that's my life in a nutshell...Did you find my address book anywhere in that mess up there??? If you happen to know where it is, let me know. Until then, I'll have to hope that everyone receives a greeting from me in the mail at some point and for those who don't get theirs by next year should let me know!!!

Christmas Blessings to you all year!
Hoping your new year is the best treat of all!

Love Always,

oh, PEANUT SAYS... "Treat? Did you say TREAT?"


  1. Merry Christmas, Kerry!

  2. Hi, I like your cards so much and am interested in justjohanna stamps. Just wondering how many % off it is for discount code? I would love to order some for sure.

    my email: