Author: saundralparker


Last night, I spent several hours watching all of the television shows remembering 9/11/2001.  I think I’ve seen the footage from a couple of the shows several times, but I always end up getting choked up, remembering that day.  Few events in our lives stopped time like that day did.  The last show I watched was about Air Force One, and how they had little communication and thought they were targeted that day, only to find out after, that it was miscommunication and they weren’t a target.  I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been for them, not knowing what was going on anywhere, as communications were scarce, and they weren’t sure if they had a terrorist among themselves.

I went to sleep agitated, only to wake to a thunderstorm, and Honey having a meltdown.  I had tried one of her new anxiety meds the day before, and it did nothing, so the vet told us to double the dose.  Rich gave her two pills, and she was completely out of it for a lot longer than we expected….More like eight hours….And while she was still somewhat drugged, we had to go to Pittsburgh for a doctor’s appointment…Just my routine rheumatology appointment.  Nothing new.  To reward me for going to the doctor, we always stop at a really big Dollar Tree in Cranberry.  I love that store, because they always have so many things I’ve never seen in the stores in our area, and I buy a lot of new and fun things.  It’s a great way to end a not-so-fun day.


Great Favors for Guests + Wishes for Bride & Groom in a Shadow Box

I wanted to make gifts for all of the guests attending my nephew’s wedding..
I bought the shadow box frame at Hobby Lobby. I couldn’t find my specific 11 x 14″ black frame on their website, but did find a similar 12 x 12 white frame. Here’s the link:   I thought it would be fun (since the wedding is in an aquarium,) to give the wedding couple wishes, and put them in little bottles (like a message in a bottle that you’d find at sea) and we’d put them in a shadow box. That way, they have a nice keepsake from their guests, and the guests get a personalized pen to keep.  The pen has the name of the bride and groom, the date of their wedding, and two entwined wedding rings engraved on the side…
I started by having my friend Sherry (from Canada) make the vinyl letters for the frame, and then another local friend, Cora, helped by adhering the vinyl for me. I wasn’t sure I could do that without ruining the project, and Cora has a lot of experience with vinyl…
I bought a lot of things from Aliexpress for this project, and I have the links listed below:
Crystal Diamond Confetti I bought Teal, Light Blue and Turquoise, as well as Clear
Quilling Tool:
Personalized pens: These came so quickly, I was blown away.
Makeup Gold Colored Brush for blending:

I started the project by having Rich use his computer to create a heart and write the words I wanted to attach to the front of my hearts. It says “Make a wish for Mike and Melly and put it in the blue bowl. The pen is yours to keep.” I used White Out to remove the black heart that surrounded the words as I couldn’t get the black heart out when using my dies.  I copied the words (without the heart) on Georgia Pacific cardstock. I had eight on each white sheet, and then I used a heart die (I couldn’t find a link to the die I bought) and cut out the hearts with my die cutting Vagabond. I used three different double sided designer papers (two were Stampin’ Up and the third was from Carta Bella and has also been discontinued.) I used a larger heart die to cut the patterned papers, and then took a gold makeup brush and used a Stampin’ Up ink called Crisp Cantaloupe (available on ebay, link: and distressed the ink around the edges of both the white cardstock and the designer papers. I glued them together with glue sticks from the Dollar Tree and then punched a hole near the white heart on the top left side with a 1/4″ round hole punch. I used pearls I bought at the Dollar Tree and colored them with an alcohol marker in blue to match the pens, then attached three in various spots on the white hearts near the words.. I used the extra white paper left from punching out the hearts to cut strips that were about 1/2″ wide and 8 1/2″ long with my paper trimmer. I stamped a peg stamp called Simple Solid Heart, link: with Crisp Cantaloupe ink on the end of the paper strip.
The pens came in a black pocket, and I slid the pen into the pocket with the clip still on the outside. I used the hole I’d punched on the hearts to slide through the clip to hold the heart in place, and slid the long paper strip behind the pen so people can pull the slip out and write their wishes on it for the bride and groom…Once they are done writing their wishes, we’ll use the quilling tool to wrap the strip into a tight circle, then use a Glue Dot to adhere the end to keep the strip in a tight circle. We’re then going to put the strip into the bottles I bought from Amazon link: along with some small pieces of sea glass my friend Becky gave me. Once the bottles have a message inside, we’ll place them into the memory box and add more of the crystal diamond confetti around the bottles in the box, along with more sea shells I’ve bought at garage sales.   I think the memory box will make a great keepsake, and they can open each bottle at their leisure to read the wishes that their guests have left for them.  The guests will have a nice pen to remember the wedding as well..


Yesterday I spent the day interviewing Thiel accounting students for their upcoming “real” interviews.  Accountants are hired in the fall and sometimes start during tax season to take some of the burden off the existing accountants.  That’s when I had my internship and decided accounting wasn’t for me.  I need to have constant interaction with people, and like to have variety in my job, and doing taxes non-stop twelve or more hours every day during tax season, just wasn’t for me.  These students are really motivated and it’s exciting to see them looking forward to their jobs.  I’ll bet in five years they wish they were still in college, as once you start working, there isn’t a ton of fun to be had…

Today I finished the gifts for the people attending my nephew’s wedding, and finished the three videos to show you the variety of things I’ve made.  I think I’ll do one more wrap-up video, showing some things that didn’t make it into videos so far.  Next Wednesday we leave for North Carolina, and I’m looking forward to seeing my family and watching my nephew get married…

In the meantime, Rich took Bella to the vet and I had Honey…She wasn’t thrilled about not having Bella or Rich nearby, so she whined and ran up and down the hall, whining with no end in sight.  The vet had just given us “emergency” anxiety medicine, to be used when a sudden “scary event” happened to Honey.  The vet said to give her half of a pill to start, to make sure she wasn’t over medicated.  So I gave her half a pill and when Rich came home, I asked him if he saw any difference in Honey, and he said no….Naturally, one-half of a pill was like eating candy for her..It had no impact whatsoever.  We’re going to have a thunderstorm this afternoon and I’m wondering if I should try and give her a whole tablet to see if that helps at all.  It’s sad to see the amount of anxiety she has..


I accomplished so much today for my nephew’s wedding.  The shadow box is done, and the pen gifts for all of the guests are almost finished.  I’m making a video to show how I made the pen gifts and showing the rest of the things I’ve made for the wedding.  I don’t know if I have much left to do for the wedding, other than try on my dress and make sure it fits.  I can’t imagine how relieved I’ll feel once I’ve finished everything.

Tomorrow I’m going to our alma mater, Thiel College, to interview the graduating accounting majors, as they will be given their job offers by the end of the fall term.  If you have never heard of Thiel College, I’m not surprised….It’s just a small liberal arts college in Greenville, PA…I’m not sure why, but Coca-Cola has decided to make Thiel’s football team the focus of their fall advertising campaign.  I can’t imagine what lead them to our school, but I’m glad they found it.  The ad is a spoof on our football team, and to be honest, the team is not good, and hasn’t been good for several years.  About ten years ago, they were one game away from being national champions, and now they’re a joke for Coke.  Rich was captain of our team when he was a senior and the ad campaign really bothers him.  He feels it makes the school look like a joke.  I’m of the opinion that any publicity is good, and having Coke use your college’s name in all of their fall ads, isn’t a bad thing.  I think it will bring a lot of potential students to the school, and hopefully, we see a big increase in incoming freshmen next year.

So I hope if you see the ad, you’ll know that Rich and I love Thiel and hope we can find one of their bottles with our college’s mascot, the Tomcat, on it.  It reminds us of four years that were the best of our lives.

Iris Paper Folding Made Easy

I was sent the pattern and card bases from a viewer, Janice. She bought the premade bases and as soon as she lets me know, I’ll update so you know where you can purchase them.

I apologize for the weird changes in loudness as my camera kept cutting out and I had to fill with a second microphone…I know it sounds terrible and wish that it didn’t.. Luckily, it’s only a few places in the video.
When you start this process, you’ll get a black and white image of the (in my case) rocket, and a grid of numbers with a corresponding letter, below. You need to assign a color to each of the letters, so you know when you see the correlating numbers, you’ll need to use the color you’ve assigned to that letter. I created my colors by using copy paper and alcohol markers to color the paper. You might think it looks splotchy, but don’t worry, you don’t see enough of the color to notice once it’s finished. I cut my paper in 1″ widths then scored the back of the 1″ strips at 1/2″ so I could easily fold the paper...Don’t press hard if you use copy paper when scoring, or you’ll tear your paper. Normally, people use 5/8″ strips, but I went with Janice’s recommendation of using 1″ strips and folding them in half. Don’t use thicker paper like card stock, as it becomes really bulky on the back.
I took a paper pocket protector and put the explanation grid inside it (per Janice’s instructions) and laid the template on top of the pocket protector and taped it in two places so it’s held against the template tightly, yet you can take off the tape to look at the front if you want.
You’ll start on the outside images and work your way in. You’ll fold your paper in half and make sure the fold is flat, and the folded part needs to face into the middle of your project, not toward the outside, so the folds create some dimensions to the piece. Cut your paper pieces so they just cover the area of the number they are covering. Don’t jump around the design, as you need the papers to layer on each other from the outside into the center. The center piece in Iris paper folding is normally either blank, or beads are placed there, or, in my case, (and Janices) we covered ours with a corresponding color...I could have used paper to cover the tail and the star at the bottom, but decided to use embossing powder instead. I used a 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ card base and laid it under the template, making sure they were perfectly lined up. I used an embossing marker from Ranger and drew through the template with the marker, on the string and star, then removed the template and put black embossing powder over them and heat set them. I wanted the card to be for our troops overseas, so used stamp sets Printworks, Celebrate America and a set from Perfectly Clear Stamps #SSC105. I used Gina K’s ink in Blue Denim and Stampin’ Up’s Real Red ink. I used Peg Stamps ( stamp called Stars Twinkling Three (link: in both the blue and red inks all over the front of the card, then put tear tape on the back of the arrow card front, along with wet glue and attached it to the front of the card making sure they are completely lined up with each other before pressing them together. I added sentiments to the inside from the Celebrate America stamp set (that is retired and I couldn’t find online..sorry)
I stamped the back of the card with the Made by Sandy Parker stamp that I bought at Stampanda…use a coupon and the square stamp in the Molly pattern to create my exact stamp….If you don’t use a coupon, you’re going to pay almost $50 for it…I think I paid a little over $20…
I stamped the envelopes with the pegstamps Stars Three Twinkling….link:   I love using peg stamps for my envelopes, as they always make such a difference and are simple for me to use…and find. Here’s my peg stamp storage system from the Dollar Tree…it’s the perfect size box to stand the peg stamps upright. If you watch the very beginning of this video, you’ll see my storage system in detail…

If you’d like to participate by sending cards to our service men and women overseas, please send cards to the following address:
Project Support Our TroopsSupport-our-troops-2
PO Box 771
13240 Dunham Road
Meadville, PA 16335



Yesterday we went to several garage sales and I found some stuffed animals for the dogs and then went to the Dollar Tree to stock up on things I needed for the wedding…bags, tissues paper, etc.  I needed to get my blood work done for my rheumatology appointment next week,  and then it was date night….No new movies at Red Box, so we watched some things on Amazon and NetFlix…I have to be honest, I don’t think there are many great things to watch on either of those channels, and if any of you have something you think we should watch, please let me know…I think we’ve watched just about every NetFlix television series and some are good, but once you’ve binge watched those, it’s either really old movies, or things we watch for ten minutes and then flip to something new.

Today, we went to a few garage sales and I came home and took seeds out of some of my perennials and replanted them in spots I felt needed something.  I know you’re supposed to just let them fall when they may and go from there, but I like to put seeds where I want things to grow, and not rely on the wind or birds to put them where I want them.  I took the dogs outside with me, and they were nothing but trouble…Honey laid in the plants and got dirt and mud on her stomach, and being white, it’s not a good look for her…Bella, whose normally a perfectly behaved, laid-back dog, decided to roll her neck in deer poop… she had to be bathed…If you could see the shame on her face when she’s done something wrong, it’s hard to watch…All Rich has to say is “Bella, what did you do?” and you’d think he beats the poor thing.  Rich is surrounded by sensitive girls, and wishes he had a manly-man dog that didn’t slink away like they’re being beaten when you ask them what did they do….(I, on the other hand, like having girly dogs, as they are more clingy, and I like my dogs to want to hang out with me.  Is this all about me?  Maybe so….)

I found a couple of cute bird houses at a garage sale so can get rid of my old ones that are falling apart.  And stuffed animals because the dogs greet me at the door, waiting to rip a toy out of my hands…If I don’t have one, they look like they are heart broken…No, I don’t think they’re spoiled….at all.

Rich is making a peach pie (don’t ask him the recipe, as he won’t give it to you, haha) for friends who lost their father this morning.   He’s been ill for a long time, and has been in a nursing home for at least a year.  It’s hard losing a parent, no matter how old we are when it happens.  They’ve invited friends over tonight, to help celebrate his life.  I think it would be nice if we can do that whenever possible, especially for people who’ve live a long life.



I have been continuing to work on wedding things.  I might make a video to show the end results, as I didn’t video many of the projects.  I bought a very inexpensive rose covered band with a veil attached for the bride to wear to the rehearsal dinner.  My sister thought it would be fun for the bride and groom to have something fun and bridal to wear to the dinner.  I bought my nephew a long black tie (thinking it would match anything) with LED lights that surround the outline of the tie.  The LED lights weren’t sewn on properly and stopped about two inches from the top left side of the tie, so I had to fix it by pulling on it gently and sewing it to the tie.  If I was smart, and clearly I am not, I would have used a clear fishing line to sew it to the tie with, but for some reason, I thought the tie is black, so I should use black thread….not thinking that once the lights are on, you’ll be able to see the thread….bottom line, you can see the thread and I decided not to fix it…I probably should have, but just didn’t have the fishing line or the inclination to do so..(call me lazy)….The veil with roses, on the other hand, were pretty, but the roses were spartan and needed something…I found out that the bride and groom are wearing navy blue for the rehearsal dinner, so obviously the tie isn’t going to look great, so I wanted the bride to match her clothes to make up for it.  I colored flowers navy blue with alcohol markers and added some glitter covered white flowers I used in my sister’s corsage.  In the end, the bride’s headpiece for the rehearsal dinner is going to be really lovely, and I’m proud of it, and it will make up for my nephew’s sad LED tie….I did glue a starfish to his tie, though, to include the wedding theme.

I’ve also been working on the gifts I’m making for the guests.  I had Rich print hearts with instructions for the gift.  I’m asking guests to write a wish for the bride and groom and put the wish in a blue bowl I’ll be providing…The pen will be the gift to the guests…it has the bride and groom’s names on it, as well as their wedding date.  I’ll put the wishes into small bottles that contain sea glass and have a cork closure, so they can read the wishes at a later date.  I’m putting the bottles into a personalized shadow box frame and will use it as a decoration during the reception.  Once I printed enough hearts for the guests at the wedding, I realized that the color I chose clashed with the pens, so started over.  I used white-out to remove the black surround of the heart, and then die cut each heart individually.  I used a larger heart die and patterned paper to create a background for the white hearts, then before I glued them together, I distressed the edges of both papers with a coral color ink.  The bride likes the color coral, and it doesn’t clash with the blue pens.  You’d think I’d have blue patterned paper to match the pens, but sadly, it’s an odd color blue, and I just couldn’t make it work, and didn’t want to buy more paper, since I have too much already.

Yesterday, we went to lunch and a movie with friends.  The restaurant wasn’t the same as the last one I talked about, but the experience was kind of similar.  This particular restaurant has chosen not to use straws unless you ask for them.  I struggle lifting a large glass full of liquids, so normally use plastic, so I don’t have to use a straw.  But when I’m in a restaurant and they give me a huge glass, I have to ask for a straw, so I did.  The waitress came over with a straw (unwrapped) in her hand.  She was holding it about an inch from the top, and for some reason that really grossed me out.  Does it bother anyone else?  I’d love to know how you feel about it.  We ordered our meals, and I usually order something smaller, to save room for popcorn (I have my priorities in order, clearly…) and decided to have the soup of the day.  Rich and our friends ordered a sandwich that’s called a wedge…It’s made by using pizza crust cut in two wedge shape (for the top and bottom) and is like a submarine sandwich, with the exception of the crust.  Normally, Rich loves this sandwich, and for some reason, our order took a long time to get to us.  Our friends ordered an appetizer that never came, and when our food came, Rich’s sandwich was hot, but our friend’s was cold and the bottom had turned mushy from the wait…My soup wasn’t even lukewarm, but tasted good.  I think I said this when I talked about the last bad restaurant experience….I don’t say anything negative in restaurants, as I grew up with my mother complaining often and, mainly about cold food….I guess I find it embarrassing.  I don’t care if others in our party say something, Rich and I just don’t.

I think what happened, was the cook/chef only saw one sandwich, so only made one, and then when it was time to bring the food to us, the waitress must have brought it to his attention, so the rest of the food just sat there, while they made the other sandwich.  It was clearly long enough that their sandwich bottom couldn’t be eaten without a fork and knife, and my soup, well, I already told you….was cold.   Maybe I’m cursed, since this is three separate meals at two different restaurants, and all note worthy.  On the other hand, it does give me some funny stories to share with all of you.

The movie was one our friends chose, called “Good Boys.”  Rich said it was PG rated, and it (in the trailers) looked like a funny movie about preteen boys.  I’m not a prude,  but I think if someone took their kids to it, they would have a lot of explaining to do after the movie.  They had so many sex toys, and a large variety of them, that it was unreal.  The boys used the “F” word a lot.  If I had to guess, I’d say at least thirty to forty times in the movie, and maybe more.  It was at some point, uncomfortable to watch.  Maybe that was the point, and, I wish we hadn’t wasted the money to see it.  We talked about the movie when we were leaving, and said it would be a difficult movie to watch with your teens’ or preteens, or worse, on a date.  And after writing and reading this, I’ve decided, I’m definitely getting old.  Or am old, whichever way you want to look at it…