Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I am generally a positive person, beyond the view that the glass is half full I also envision how the fresh cool water feels as it flows into my mouth, down my throat and refreshes my entire body. I like finding the positive spin to life and it's ever surprising events.

2014 began fair enough. Youngest daughter Amanda was away from home serving an LDS mission in far away Long Beach, California. Our other seven children were all in varying stages of life and it's challenges and joys. Bruce and I became empty nesters for a moment.

Bruce and I adjusted well to just the two of us at home. We had done this before when Amanda had been attending school in Cedar City for several months during the previous year. This time it was a tiny bit different than before. I was working in my dream job as a Corporate Scrapbook Artist- at half the pay I was used to, but I was happy since honestly I would gladly do that job for free if that were realistic and Bruce had just retired on the last day of 2013. We were happy to say the least!

Bruce smiled a lot in the beginning of 2014, especially when he planned little adventures with our children and especially the grand kiddos. Bruce was enjoying serving in his church calling as Sunday School President. It was just enough responsibility to keep him busy, but not too much to make it a chore. He purchased an annual pass to the city rec center and went nearly everyday. He enjoyed the time to scan photos, create photo books, read, work on geneology, read, memorize scripture passages, watch movies, fix dinner for me and basicly take each day one at a time and enjoy the little moments.

It was early February while I was at work (I got paid for playing with paper remember) when I received a phone call from someone I had never spoken to before and was informed that my daughter Amanda would be coming home the next day. This was a surprise since the original homecoming date wasn't for another ten months. It was not a big surprise since we were aware that she was having some medical challenges.

I do not remember if I left work early or not, but there were several things I wanted to get done before we were to meet Amanda at the airport the next afternoon. Siblings needed to be notified, welcome home signs and banners made, and I had to decide if I possibly had time to put her bedroom back to how it was. 

You see- very shortly after Amanda left for California her brother, Aaron and his family kinda moved in. Our guest bedroom is downstairs, which is very convenient since we also have a small bathroom and a living-room down there which makes it fairly comfortable and private for guests. We also have my craft room and a book room in the basement. There was no way I could possibly change the location of everything in my craft room so Aaron convinced me that he could move the book room upstairs (which was also where I hid all the unpacked miscellaneous boxes from our move 3 years previous) and bring Amanda's room downstairs for his three small children. Of course this made sense to put his children close to him and his wife and i consented.

Aaron organized a small army to make the room transition happen in one afternoon. Which it did, with a few minor adjustments. Not everything from the book room belonged in the book room so some of the items such as frames and art went into my craft room. Many of the unpacked packed boxes became a fortress at the bottom of the stairs and Amanda's things found places in totes and closets. Those totes ended up in my craft room. (Believe me when I say NOTHING more could fit in my craft room!) Why, do you ask, didn't anything get moved to the garage? Aaron's family belongings took up half of the garage, that's why.

We are adept at making changes and accepting inconviences and we enjoyed this experience and Bruce and I loved having grand kiddos in our home. This truly became a fun chapter in our life!

So back to the original story and dilemma- Do I stay up all night and attempt to move Amanda's room back upstairs where she left it? How she left it? Wasn't I already tired and stressed with the sudden change of her coming home? Is there even enough hours between now and then to accomplish that huge of a task? How deflating would it be to Amanda to arrive home and not feel 'at home' in her own home? Wasn't her life being changed suddenly and in an unexpected way? 

I decided that there definitely was not enough hours and that I should use the time I had to make the guest room into her room. I did what cleaning and beautifying I could and with the loving help of friends we speedily made a 'welcome home' banner to string across the front of our house. :)

I felt elatedly happy that my daughter was coming home!! 

Life is good and full of surprises. Good surprises!

2 B continued. Love Karen



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Masculine Page With Feathers

My son, Chris Huntsman with his dang cute boys! 
This page was so much fun to do since I tried so many fun techniques.
I water and ink washed the back ground wood paper, 
then stitched and distressed the edges,
used Cricut to cut a background overlay,
which I inked with pigment inks and dauber
to achieve an ombre effect.
The same inking technique was used to achieve the 
shaded hue on the 'also, I love you'.
And then more stitching right thru the middle of the phrase.
Rock-n-roll technique was used on the fussy cut flowers.
I used this same inking style on the feathers-
choosing both colonial white and kraft paper
added to the uniqueness of each feather.
Add a staple and tie on some bronze thread-
ta-DA! A page to show off four awesome guys!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dear Santa

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer