Thursday, September 27, 2007

all in the family

I had a great weekend in Az with my sisters. They are the cutest, craziest gals you will ever meet. They got all the good looks in the family. sigh...oh well. At least I'm the oldest so I can boss them around. Ha! (yeah, I'm the one on the far left...such a flattering position...thanks mom)I took Thor with me and we had a good time just he and I. It was interesting traveling with him...I travel so much by myself that I forget how nice it is to have someone to talk to. He is a boy of few words most of the time. In fact, on the plane, he would wake me up every time I dozed off "so he wouldn't be bored" but he didn't say much. He just wanted me awake. We did have some nice talks tho. Mostly he used the time to do a big time sales pitch for a new video game he wants.
This trip was the first time I got to meet my newest niece.
She has to be the most beautiful baby, not born to me, that I have ever seen. She has her moms big blue eyes and these perfect lips. Oh, and it didn't hurt that she actually liked me! Holding her for a couple of days totally fixed that baby urge I have been having. ;o)
While I was at my sister's house we did some canning. Yes, even she has the canning bug! We got very adventurous and tried canning Zucchini. What would YOU do if you were offered 40 pounds of it for $5? We learned a lot during this adventure. One: don't put your finger on the grating wheel if you want to keep it(your finger), Two: don't forget to add in the time for your oven to heat up when you are canning in there Three: zucchini smells really bad when it doesn't cook all the way and starts oozing out of the jars. yeck! After our 'learning' process, we ended up with about 20 quarts of zucchini. Some of it was grated, for use in muffins, bread and other baked goods, and some was sliced for using in soups. We also had several bags of grated zuchinni that we put in her freezer. I don't know how fast her family will go through it, but I would think it would last quite a while over here.
I spent most of the morning making samples for my regional presentation tomorrow, but I can't share them because my hubby left for Texas with my camera! I'll try and get some pictures from tomorrow to share. Have a great day and....wish me luck!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Conquistador of Chaos

I love to read. I read books of all kind. History, fiction, self help, biographies, decorating, and even books on organizing. I look to look at pictures of organized homes and see all the creative things people come up with. One of the best organizing books I have read was given to me by my mother. I'm SURE she wasn't hinting or anything when she gave this to me......It is called Organizing From the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. Her method to organizing is to keep things where you use them. Not a mindboggling idea, but still...makes you think, no? In her book, she talks about the different kinds of people and how they 'organize' or take care of things. One of the titles she gives is Conquistador of Chaos. This is someone that waits til things get way out of control and then they come riding in on their great white horse to charge through the mess and set everything in order. Today, as I was running all over town, finishing a placque that had been ordered three months ago, doing laundry, mopping the floor, taking the kids to the dentist, going to the post office, getting groceries, and planning what I was going to wear on my trip this weekend.....I thought to myself, "self, why did you wait until Thursday to do all these things when you KNEW you were going to be leaving Friday morning?" That is when I realized that I just may be a C.O.C. I'm thinking this isn't a good thing to be. Why? Because, even though I almost always get everything done, I am stressed out, my family suffers (or hides), nothing is done quite how it "should" be and I'm worn out! I would blame my mother for my condition, but I know she reads this so I will keep her out of it. I think it is a control thing. You KNOW what I am talking about. So, I am going to think about how to modify my life and to try and avoid the whole "last minute" thing if possible. Besides...I read something about stress being a big part of that tire around our middles. Stress makes our bodies store fat or something. Yeah, I don't need all that stuff!

I made a card for a friend and I was going to wait to post it til she got it, but...I think I will post it now and be ahead of the game. kind of. Anyway, This is another card using the Cutie pic paper paired with the Rose red designer paper. The base is celery (i had a stack on my desk,okay?!) I added a chocolate ribbon and used the defining alphabet and define your life set. I LOVE these two together. have I said that? Anyway, I liked the scallop punch with the stripes. I think I saw that idea somewhere....
Have a great day. Take some time for you and...plan tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sweetie pie

It is pouring outside today! I mean, buckets of rain are falling. It is awesome! I love this time of year. I know, there is the whole 'hurricane' thing, but...the storms are awesome here! Since I grew up in the southwest and we had little to no rain for most of my life, the rain still facinates me. I love the rolling thunder and splashing in puddles!
I drove my kids to the bus this morning because we were running late, and well, because it was pouring. Yes, I am a nice mom now and then. The kids were so cute running from the car to the bus with their little backpacks over their heads. Trying so hard to stay dry. Ben cracked me up tho when he darted through the rain only to purposely jump right in a puddle before he got on the bus. Yeah, his teacher is going to love me for that one! I can just hear his little shoe squeaking all day. Good think I am going in to the school today, I will take him some new socks. Silly boy!
I had some, let me rephrase that. I MADE some time yesterday to stamp. I say it that way because, like the rest of you, I have LOADS of things pulling on me all the time. I don't just have extra time laying about that I can choose to stamp in. I MAKE time to stamp because it makes me happy! I love to create. I love to make cards, scrapbook, and alter things. It is my happy time. I NEED that happy time so I can be happy doing the things I don't really like to do. Like, laundry. So, if you are one of those people that say you don't HAVE time to stamp....MAKE time! End of sermon! On to the projects. ;o) This first card is my group swap for this month. Sorry if I am ruining the surprise for you guys....I wanted to show how versatile this Sweetie Pie background paper is. I just love it! It is two sided so there are loads of options using it. This is two different pieces of the paper cut to fit the top and bottom. I didn't layer the whole thing because of that whole paper hoader thing. I snailed a ribbon across the front and folded it back for a sleek look. The bling is a SU Ice Rhinestone brad. Love those! The focal point is from the hostess set perfect presentation. I stamped it on whisper white with Rose Red, cut it out, mounted it on Celery and used the 2-way glue pen to put some dazzling diamonds glitter around the edges. I mounted it with dimensionals.
Now, this card is using same paper, but totally different. Someone sent me a stack of prestamped Bella images a while ago. I just love this one. Of course, I was the model for this stamp. It looks just like me. Especially with my new hairdo. Yes, I have a fro these days...I love it most the time. And the figure on this gal....well, okay, that is what I should look like...just add the effects of 6 babies on this gal and you get the real picture. ;o) The base of this card is also Celery and I used the same papers as the other card. I got this card idea from Amy. The card is held shut by sliping the image under the slot punch. The flowers are punched with the dasiy punch and 1/4 circle punch. I added some dottage with my white gel pen. I added some bling on the flowers, a stripe and her shoes with the 2-way glue pen and dazzling diamonds. This picture is a bit blurry I am noticing....sorry about that! hopefully you can still see how cute it is.
Well, I'm off to get ready for the day. Rainy days are best spent curled up with a good book but life calls! Have a stampin great day and....make some happy time for you!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shimmer and shine

It seems the holiday season starts a little earlier every year. It always amazes every year when the Halloween stuff is out right after school starts. This year, I notice the Halloween stuff has Christmas decorations at the edges. Are we in sucha hurry? Well, if you plan to make your own Christmas cards, it is never too early! I haven't actually started mine, but I have been thinking about them. Here is one I came up with Saturday. What do you think? I'm also looking for a wow idea to share at the Orlando Regional, so I won't tell you how I did it. Leave me a comment so I know if it is a'wow' or not. It is super easy. Well, okay, semi super easy. ;o)

In family news, we are enjoying a day off of school today. Why? It is listed as a teach prep day/hurricane day. I'm thinking they were pretty darn confident to 'plan' a hurricane and wanted a loophole so they could still have a day off. After a whole month of school, the teachers do probably need a day to regroup and decide if what they had planned for their class is actually going to work with the class they got. Thank goodness for good teachers. I had thought about home schooling but when I was pregnant with number 4 and had three little ones under the age of 5....I decided I was way out numbered! the time they turn 5 they are already smarter than me so what would have been the point?!

Our "puppy love" saga continues. Yesterday, with the help of Sarah's new 'Soda fountain classics' cd, we taught Fantine to dance. She is a natural! She just cracks me up with those little back legs.

She can really shake her booty!

When she finally got worn out,(and it took a while!) Sarah and Ben tried the dancing thing together. They were adorable! I just love it when the kids play together! Sunday is our family day. Nobody gets to have friends over, we don't watch TV or play video games and we only watch 'certain' movies. Thus, the kids are left with each other for entertainment. When the weather is cooler, it turns into trampoline day. It is still pretty muggy and rainy these days, so we turn to dancing, board games, pillow fights and lots of baking. I love it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blue Springs

When my parents came for Labor day and birthdays a couple weeks ago, we had a ball! It is always a treat to have family around. Since I have been married I have only lived close to family for a couple of years. I feel like we miss out on so much! At the same time, if we didn't live all parents probably wouldn't have been to as many states as they have. I think we have broadened their horizons. ;o) We decided to spent Labor Day at Blue Springs. The boys had gone camping there, but the rest of us had never been. We hooked up with some other families from church and headed out early. We are not usually big on long days at the beach. The sun really gets to us. Okay, the sun really get to my husband! I just get worn out in general. We figured we would stay a couple of hours. We stayed for about four hours! It was just wonderful! The water is beautifully clear and cool. It was great for all the kids. They swam, ate, rode in canoes, looked at the alligators...yes, there were really alligators!, played on the playground and even kicked the soccerball around a bit. It was an all around great day. Nobody got sunburned (an amazing feat for us!), there was no sand, no salt, and lots of shade. There was a big house...historical I suppose, that I was thinking would be great to just move into and stay in! The kids are begging to go back. I'm sure we will...some is over an hour away tho. Darn!
We really enjoyed visiting with my parents and it was an extra fun treat to have my nephew here as well. It was his first trip without his mom and dad and he did great! He didn't have a chance to get homesick...we kept him busy! He and Thor are only 2 weeks apart in age and they had loads of fun!
I promised to share another card I made Tuesday night. This is a stamp set I decided to buy because of it's "artsy" style. As I was looking through my stamps, I realized that I have a lot of the
same style of stamps. I decided to broaden my horizons with this set. It is a really pretty set. I do like it. I spent a lot of time watercoloring on this one....I dont' think I will do a lot that way. I stamped it with Staz On Black onto watercolor paper
and used the watercolor crayons to add a bit of color directly to the stamped image. Then I used my aquapainter to blend the colors. I think it might be easier to use the watercolor pencils because of the detailed image, but there aren't as many color options with the pencils. I don't know if you can see
the background but I did stamp the lace background 2/3 of the way down in the artichoke. I think I will try this set with embossing. That is a nice quick way to make a classy card. Have a happy one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Hot and Wild Time

My nose is running, my eyes are burning, hands are pruney...what? No, I'm not sick, I'm canning again! I ran out of my homemade salsa this weekend. Horrors!! I tell ya, after making my own....I don't want that store bought stuff any more! I just happened to be passing my favorite veggie stand and they had tomatoes! So, I decided to fix my "no salsa" problem today. Of course, they didn't have any I ended up getting those at the grocery store. These are not exactly a high ticket item so I didn't mind. I got two boxes of tomatos, a mere 50 pounds, but I only managed to finish one box today. I guess I know what I'm doing tonight!

Last night I stayed up and stamped a bit. It is so nice to be able to stamp AT my desk! I didn't even have stuff on my lap! Amazing! I have everything I need within arms reach. Well, except all my stamps, but...I can lean over really far and reach a lot of them. I am still attempting to slog my way through a lot of my paper scraps, so here we go! This 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 card is made with a pretty in pink card base, some retired SU Love Ya patterned paper and vanilla cardstock. I used my cutter kit to cut the curvy edge on the vanilla cardstock. The elephant is stamped with Bliss Blue, the heart flower is made with the M3. I used celery to draw the stem and leaves and the regal rose to make the heart. If you don't know how to do this, just use the tip of your brush marker and push down to make each hump of the heart, the tip of the brush meets at the bottom of the heart. Clear as mud?? The ribbon is the tafetta cream. The buttons are from the SU SS collection from a few years ago.(more scraps!)

This card just made me happy! So.... I made another one with the same Wild about you set. This one uses another retired Patterned paper. I know I am not the only one missing this Spring Showers paper. It was my favorite!! (that probably explains why I have so much of it left!) I stamped the giraffe with basic brown onto watercolor paper. (yes, I think I need a refill for that pad....note to self...) I used my aquapainter to add some bliss blue around the giraffe. The spots are colored in with the blender pen and ink from my chocolate chip pad. I double mounted him onto saffron and chocolate chip. The brown stripe is chocolate chip paper. I scalloped the bottom of the front of the card with the corner rounder. The brads are some cheap ones I picked up at Joanns for a dollar or so...they are light blue. The wild about you is stamped with chocolate chip and punched out with the word window punch. When I was done, I went back and highlighted the eyelashes with my black journaling pen so you can see them it possible to 'highlight' something with black?? something to ponder today....
I did another couple of cards but I will save them for tomorrow.
Here is my recipe for salsa:
25 pounds of fresh beefsteak tomatoes chopped into fairly small chunks
4 yellow oninons pulverized with my Pampered Chef chopper
8 Jalepenos (same as onions)
4 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons minced dry garlic
2 Tablespoons Black pepper
I mixed it all up, put it into quart jars and cooked them in my oven at 275 degrees for 1 hour. I start with a cold oven and set the timer for 1 hour. They only have to cook for 45 minutes, but...this way I don't have to heat the salsa first. This stuff tasted pretty hot before it was cooked....I'm SO looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New addition!

We have had several dogs over our families history and I swore I would never have another one. But recently, I have been really thinking it would be a good idea. My kids are all getting older, no more babies, and I am home alone alot. Just last week I had a couple days when I was really jumpy. Every little noise was making me nervous. I hate that feeling! I started thinking that having a dog around might ease my nerves a bit. My kids have been begging for a dog for years! It is pretty easy to say no to them, but when my dear hubby started hinting that a dog would be the perfect gift for his 40th birthday....I knew I was going to have to give in.

We found this sweet boxer mix at the SPCA here locally. We had picked out a shepherd the day before, but when we saw both dogs in action with Ben, was pretty clear she was the one for us. She is totally calm yet playful, house trained, quiet, and just loves all the kids! The first day she was home she was a bit nervouse I think because she would not lay down. The poor thing was shaking she was so tired! I finally sat on the floor and she laid beside me. She is getting more comfortable every day. We are still working on a name for her. Any suggestions??

I have set a goal to use up my scraps. Or at least....shrink them a bit. I made several cards this weekend using only scraps. Here is the first one and...well, okay! I cheated!Great start, right? I had just got a SU shipment with my new True Friend set and the Apple cider paper so...I did use a piece of the AC paper. I love the rich colors on there! The rest of the paper is from my scrap stash. The card base is Vanilla, I put a strip of craft under the edge of the AC paper and pierced along the edge of both papers. The focal is stamped onto vanilla using the M3 and mounted onto old olive cardstock. I used Really rust, old olive, and chocolate chip markers to color directly onto the stamp. The ribbon is (also from a new roll...shoot!) the new vanilla tafetta that I colored rust with my rust marker. I LOVE how it looks in person! This new ribbon is awesome!! I stamped "friend" from the same stamp set by just inking up that word with my chocolate chip marker.

Okay, so this next one really does use all scraps!
I used the same True Friend set on this one. This set has a great medallion stamp that I just love! I started the card with a base of Not Quite Navy and stamped that medallion with the same color ink. I went for that instead of Vmark becasue I wanted it a bit darker that Vmark would have made it. I put a strip of patterned paper...SU from days gone by....across the middle and wrapped a strip of white tafetta ribbon around that. I tied another smaller piece of ribbon on the strip I had put down. This is a good idea if you are not sure where you want your knot to be. You can slide it around when you do it this way. The focal point is stamped in NQN onto vanilly cardstock and mounted onto a scrap of NQN. I wanted it to stand out from the background a bit so I pushed the edges of the NQN into my Vanilla pad to give it a bit of an edge. I stuck the Focal point on with my dimensionals. I colored in the U with a bordering blue marker and then added crystal effects over it. Just to give it a bit more character. All in all, an easy card that is pretty darn cute I think!
I'm going to go now and finish the scrapbook page I'm making from scraps. Keep posted!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sneek a peek

I have been having a great month! School is back in session, the kids are happier with the schedule (and so am I!), we had a couple birthdays this month, my parents and nephew came to visit, and I did some more canning! Whew! No wonder I haven't had time to post on here! ;o) I have actually been spending quite a bit of time cleaning my office. Something I do pretty frequently. It all started with the patterned paper. I am embarrassed to say that I think I am a paper hoarder. Anybody out there have this disorder? I love the patterned paper that is available today. I (apparently) buy quite a bit. But, I don't use it because, if I do...I won't have it anymore! So, I buy more so I can use it and still have it, but...let's just say, I have LOADS of paper! I organized all my patterned paper into two groups. SU and Non-SU. Just to keep it simple. I have about the same amount of both of those categories. I had no idea! I also organized all my scraps of cardstock. Holy cow! I am not going to be cutting full sheets of cardstock for quite some time. I've got to use this stuff up!

This may not be an earth shatterning idea for you, but this is what I finally came up with to corral all my scraps. I am so excited! I purchased this plastic two drawer file size organizer at KMart, along with some hanging files. I used the word window punch to punch a piece of every color I have. (These are all SU) I put one on each folder and sorted away. (It took forever!!) I just grouped the colors into the four color families. It feels so great to have this under control! My office isn't the drool room that some crafters have, but I am so grateful that I have a space to do my crafting in. It is upstairs in the room over the garage and has the peaked ceiling, so I don't have much in the way of wall space, but so far...everything is fitting. Here is another shot of it. The plastic drawers on the left are full of stamps. Five towers full. The ones straight ahead house all my punches (two drawers full) and my white scraps and my accessories like brads, eyelets, buttons...and loads more. I can't believe how much stuff I have! It makes me want to just go in there and craft for days!!

I did manage to make a card today as well. I pulled all of the materials for this card out of my scraps. (yay for me!) The card base is made from kraft cardstock. I layered three strips of the SU spring showers paper across the front. The striped piece was a bit on the 'white' side, so I used my stipple brush to distress it with some chocolate chip ink. I did some faux stitiching along the seams where the papers met up. The scalloped piece is from the Wanted set. I stamped that onto kraft paper and distressed it and the thanks as well. I had the flower from the pretties kit that I had played with previously that was just the right color so I used that (it counts as scrap since it was already colored...) I stuck the scalloped piece on with dimentionals, took a large glue dot and tore it in half (does that count as scraps??) and used half to stick the flower down and the other half to attach the 1/2 pearl. I stuck the Thanks on with snail but then went back and stapled it as well. It felt great to be using scraps and to actually be able to get to my desk!