Showing posts from 2008

Merry Christmas!


Does she really ever stamp?

Because this blog certainly doesn't look like she does. I know, I know... I've been horrible about posting crafty stuff lately. I've just been SOOO busy!

I was working on a commissioned scrapbook for a customer for a while (it turned out stunning, but I couldn't share someone else's family with you). I wrapped a gazillions presents (and next year I'm doing something completely different - more on that next week). I started re-painting my kitchen (it was country blue when we bought the house, and I've tolerated it well, but it really MUST go!) a lovely warm, rich brown called "Antique Photograph." And I've been doing a lot of crafty stuff with my kids - we made a bunch of Candy Cane Reindeer, some pom pom bears and wreaths, and we have cut out a whole heap of snowflakes.

And I stink - I haven't taken pictures of ANY of those things!! YIKES! I DID manage to get a few good pics of Chloe at her First. Ever. Christmas. Performance. Let m…

Does anyone have Santa's direct number?

My darling, precious, brilliant 4-year-old daughter got written-up at school yesterday. Only in Pre-K and already visiting the Principal's office.... I can't wait for kindergarten!

After her teacher told me what happened, I went to the principal to get the write-up, which I had to sign (of course). I apologized and said I would talk to Chloe about her very poor decision.

Me: Chloe, did you get in trouble today?
C: Nope! I had a great day!
Me: You didn't have to go visit Ms. W?
C: Oh. Well. Yes.
Me: What happened?
C: Well, S, and me, and H got in trouble.
Me: What did you do?
C: I didn't do anything! S was coloring on the potty with a pencil.
Me: Did you color on the potty?
C: No, but I helped clean it.
Me: Chloe, what are you supposed to do if someone is making a poor choice?
C: Tell them to stop. We provoke one another to good works, right Mama?
Me: That's right. Why didn't you tell her to stop?
C: I was busy drawing on the wall.
Me: ...
C: I drew a boy! He's so cute!
Me: .…

Heaven in a 9x13 pan

This morning I made homemade bread pudding for breakfast, and it was absolutely delicious! Everyone LOVED it (except Bradley who is having a MOMENT (moment=really horrible 3 weeks)). It's really easy to do, and you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already. It's delicious served warm with caramel sauce, like we had it this morning. But, it's even better cold the next day (or later today...yum!).

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:1/2 loaf of day-old bread cut into 1" cubes (or you can use plain ol' sliced bread, cooked waffles, cooked pancakes...pretty much anything bready)1 3.4 oz package instant butterscotch pudding4 cups milk3 beaten eggs1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)2 cups brown sugar2 tablespoons vanilla extract2 tablespoons cinnamoncaramel sauce (you can make your own, but we use the Tastefully Simple version)Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degreesButter a 9x13 baking pan and set asidePrepare pudding according to directions (whisk pudding powde…

Retiring List Posted!

Not only can you check out the stamp sets that are being retired when the new SU! catalog rolls out on January 19, 2009, but until December 23rd you can purchase them for 10%off!! How fun is that? Go check it out HERE!

There are some CUTE holiday sets that are on sale - just in time if you still haven't made your Christmas cards (me!).

And, of course, if you want one of the hostess sets that is retiring just email or call and we can set up your workshop or catalog show so that you can earn those sets!

Have fun shopping!

Right there! Can't you see her?

Bradley has a new friend. Her name is Bally and she's 2 (but almost 3). She has purple hair and green eyes. The other day Bradley and Bally got on a train to take a trip to England. They had fun and ate lunch on the train. Today Bally was hiding in her house in the hole that doesn't have Tiger's Eyes in it. Then she came over and they played zooming cars together. Later Bradley got mad at me for not setting a place at the table for her, because she was hungry, too! She didn't go to church today because she had a headache. But, she felt better after a rest and went to visit Santa at his house. She's a busy girl.

Chloe never had a friend like Bally, so it's new ground for us. So far it's been pretty cute. My mom tells me that I had two special friends like this - Tom and Jerry. They were both mice, though, and they fit in my hands. Of course, I only worried about them when I had to carry them - always when I had been given a directive to do somet…

Don't you think it's annoying...

...that some of the items that were supposed to be a Black Friday special are still on sale? My sister and I were at Kohl's at 4am for Black Friday and I went today to use my Kohl's bucks and everything was still on sale. Now, granted that some things might sell out, but most of the stuff that I bought was still at the store in plentiful supply and still quite reduced.

Kinda irritating.

Fleece = good

Even though I was sick and pitiful last week I did manage to get a couple of projects done.

Every year my kids take a Christmas photo with their cousins (my sister's kids) and we give a large print to my mom for Christmas. One year we had the kids in matching holiday dressy-dress clothes, another year we did candy cane stripey pajamas. This year the kids are wearing jeans, white turtle necks, and these:

Everyone gets their own warm fleece scarf. Alyssa's is first (she's 1), then Bradley (3), Chloe (4), Alec (6), and Alexis (10) (yes, my sister's kids all start with "A" - her husband has 4 siblings and they all start with "K"). I sewed them all over two days last week, with plenty of naps in between. The most hilarious thing was Bradley wanted to be near me the whole time I was sewing. He just played with his trains on the floor as I sewed away. Once I was done he asked me to keep sewing - I thought he liked being close to me while I was working. I tol…

Not quite what I planned

Friday the 21st I was looking forward to a week off of work - a week filled with outings, crafting, and spending a lot of quality time with my kids. It started off well - Mike and Matt got my Christmas boxes down for me so I could start decorating.

Enter the bug.

Saturday around lunch Chloe and I started running fevers, and by nap time I was bed-bound. We didn't even go to church on Sunday because Bradley, Chloe, and I all had fevers. Poor Mike was trying to take care of us and stay the heck away from us as much as possible. It was wretched. Bradley was fine by Sunday night, though, which led me to believe that Chloe and I would soon recover.

Not so much.

Bradley cheerfully went to daycare on Monday. (Well, sort of cheerfully, there was this little situation - starting on Thursday the 20th he woke up at night calling for me. I went, and that's when the trouble started. He regressed and would SCREAM for several hours before finally falling asleep, only to wake up screaming again ev…


Here is my 3rd Design Team entry for November. This little 3x3 card is made with Bazzill card stock for the base, Graphic 45 Designer Paper, Brads by American Crafts, SU! card stock, and the SU! scallop punch.


I didn't stamp anything on this card!!! I hope I'm not coming down with anything....

November Design Team Card #1

When we submit our projects for the A Scrap Affair Design Team, we have to submit at least one layout and one card. The time around I did two cards and one layout. I'll post the 2nd card later this week.

In the meantime, here is the first card I made. I really like square cards - gives me more surface area to embellish. :) The paper is from the Playtimes Past Collection by Graphic 45. Those little wooden soldiers are actually from a piece of patterned paper - I just cut them out using my trusty SU! Paper Snips. I haven't found a better pair of scissors anywhere! The card stock is by Bazzill and the brads are Making Memories.

I used my SU! Crafter's Tool Kit to punch the holes for my stitching, and I just used plain ol' embroidery floss from my massive stash to do the sewing. I inked all my edges with SU! classic ink in Chocolate Chip. The tag was made with my SU! Key Tag punch (I don't think I could ever own enough SU! punches!). The sentiment stamp is al…

Our own Splatter Platter

What's a Splatter Platter?

Well, when I was a little girl my mom had a Special Day plate. It was big, and bright white with brilliant red lettering which read "Your Special Day" in a fancy script. We were allowed to use the Special Plate on our birthdays. That was it. And, boy, did we feel special when we were allowed that precious day!

A few weeks ago when I ran my booth at the Gingerbread Market, I met another small business owner, Erin Haggard. Erin is a delight to talk with - full of joy and creative ideas. Her business is Splatter Platters. Click HERE for her website. She hand paints special occasion ceramic. From platters commemorating weddings, favorite sports teams, and special name plates, welcome plaques. Pretty much you are only limited to the combined imaginations of you and Erin. And I can guarantee that her imagination is wild! :)

Here is the plate she custom made for our very own family Special Day Plate. A few of the samples she had on display had …

November Design Team Layout

I had my First Fridays monthly Stamp n' Scrap at my house last night and I finished my November projects for the A Scrap Affair Design Team. I'm going to run them over to the store this weekend, so I figured I'd better take some pictures of them first!

Here is my 12x12 layout.

The papers are from the new Playtimes Past Collection by Graphic 45. They are perfect for the holidays, but chose to do something a little different. The card stock is by Bazzill. I used my SU! start punches, Crop-o-dile, ribbon, glue dots, stampin' dimensionals, 2-way glue, and crafter's took kit (for the holes for the stitching). The buttons are just from my stash, as is the embroidery thread. I DID use my new foam stitching pad (In Stitch'z by Bazzill) - it is one of my new favorites. I really like to do stitching on my cards and layouts because I think it gives some nice texture and dimension. This pad is great because it's 12.5 inches long and 6.5 inches wide - so no more mo…

A contest and some recipes

The kids and Mike carved the pumpkin on Saturday (we didn't leave it out on Friday night) and I collected all the seeds to wash and dry so that I could roast them today.

And what could be more fun than a Guess How Many Pumpkin Seeds there are contest? Your prize will be some Pumpkiney colored goodies, by SU! of course!

So, here are the pics of the seeds... Leave your guess in the comments and be sure to post about it on your blog (let everyone get in on the prize!). The contest will end Friday November 7th at 8pm. I will announce the winner on Saturday. Whoever gets closest to the number without going over will be the winner.

And no post about roasting pumpkin seeds would be complete without the recipes, right? I made 3 different batches this year. What I do is add the oil (2 tsp or so) and seasonings to a plastic baggie, then toss in the seeds and shake until they are covered. Pre-heat the oven to 250, and line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread the seasoned seeds out in a single laye…

O Christmas Tree

Chloe started telling me waaaay back in June that she was going to be a Christmas Tree for Halloween. I laughed and told her that was a great idea! Little did I know that she was not going to give up on her brilliant idea. As fall approached and I started looking for costumes for the kids, Chloe insisted that she needed to be a Christmas tree.

Bradley, of course, was easy - I found a cute Thomas the Tank Engine costume online and it was shipped lickety split. I tried to convince Chloe to be one of the other cute costumes I could buy, already made. I offered every princess, fairy, animal.... None would appease her.

She explained how much she LOVES Christmas and Christmas trees. She was special and would be so so sad if she couldn't be a Christmas tree.

So after the excitement of Bradley's party died down, I got to work. And, of course, I'll share with you how to make your very own Christmas Tree Costume.

First, you need 1.5 yards of Green Glitter Felt (on sale last weekend at J…

What are YOU thankful for?

It's the season of Thanks, and Shelli Gardner (of Stampin' Up!) has a contest on her blog that asks us to craft something that documents what we are thankful for. You can visit Shelli's blog HERE.

I was already working on a little project, so I'm going to enter it in the contest.

As you know, I did my first craft fair in my new neighborhood a couple of weekends ago. Not only did I do great selling my hand-stamped items, but I sold quite a bit of SU! products and made a lot of new customer contacts. I had a door prize, and I'm sending every single person who entered a little mini card, plus a letter from me thanking them for visiting my booth and giving them my SU! contact information. (Visit my SU! blog by clicking the link on the right if you've never done it!)

So, one of the things I'm thankful for is my customers! Not only are they loyal customers, they are a great source of inspirataion and creativity. The theme of my blog is "sharing the joy of cr…

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy.

After an getting up early in the morning, not taking a nap, and enjoying a wild party, this three-year-old boy knows how to wind down.

Mama loves you, Bradley.

How To Make a Thomas the Train Pinata

...when you still can't find one after searching all the local stores, recoiling at prices online, and having no desire to experiment with paper mache.

Step 1, settle for a non-Thomas pull-string pinata in the right color scheme. Hi, Spidey! You are too scary and will soon be banished. (Bradley is scared of "the spidermans!") Only $8 at a party supply store.

Step 2, cover image with Stampin' Up! card stock in the very-nearly-Thomas-blue In Color, Pacific Point. Tape edges. The kids aren't going to notice it...they are three for goodness sakes!

Step 3
, make an old school compass thing. You know how the cute carpenters on DIY network always do it! Grab a string, ruler, and pen - make your circle to cover the scary scary Spiderman. Cut it out and glue to front of pinata with hot glue.

Step 4
, scan the front of your Thomas scrapbook. If your child is as obsessed as mine I know you have one.

Step 5
, smack some Thomas scrapbooking paper, your newly scanned and crop…


Monday evening I thought I was coming down with a sinus infection, so I went to the doctor and he prescribed some antibiotics. Tuesday I felt okay in the morning, but was getting tired by the afternoon. I was exhausted by the time for our normal Wrangling the Children to Bed routine. I even fell asleep in Chloe's bed while Mike was finishing up with the kids' bath.

(aside: isn't that great? Mike always does the bath while I lay out the clothes and just relax for a bit. In the morning I make breakfast and he gets them dressed (I do hair). That's why I was nuts when he was in England! And, also why I will forgive him for the following...)

Mike thought it was funny, so he took a picture. Ha ha. My first question was, You took a picture of me while my children were in the bath ready to drown while not attended?! But, he took it after they were out of the bath and doing the potty routine, so no call for a hangin'.

Well, after the kids were down I put myself to bed only t…

More from the craft fair...

I had my first craft fair in my new neighborhood on Saturday and it was loads of fun! Not only did I have some great sales, but I met some darling women all interested in stamping and scrapbooking. I'm working on the little note cards I'm sending to everyone who entered my door prize, I'll share one later this week.

In the meantime, here's some more pics of some of the things I was selling. The 3x3 boxes and the lip balm holders, btw, sold out! I actually had to make a few more for gifts. :)

Here are some of the checkbook cover designs:

All supplies are SU!, of course, except for the naked check book covers (which I purchased from an online vendor). The checkbook covers were popular, too. I sold serveral to moms who were buying them for their daughters who were getting their FIRST checkbooks. I remember how thrilled I was when I got my first checkbook - it was plain and simple and not one ounce of cute. I was SO jealous of girls who got the little designer checks and …

National Day of Remembrance

Today is the National Day of Remembrance of Pregnancy & Infant Loss. (click the banner for more information.)
31% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Many of these happen so early in the pregnancy that a woman might not even know she miscarried - these are more commonly known as "chemical pregnancies." But, chances are with this percentage rate you or someone you know has probably suffered this loss.

I had my first miscarriage July 2, 1999. Thus began my long journey through infertility, loss, and miracles. I had several subsequent chemical pregnancies, and 3 more miscarriages. Although I now am Mommy to my two darling children, the pain of pregnancy loss is still quite raw for me.

It's not something one can "get over." And although time does allow for healing and renewed joy, there is always a shadow when I think of lost due dates, birthdays that will never be...

I have many dear friends who I met through infertility and pregnancy groups online who are still i…

He's the #1 Blue Engine, don't ya know.

When Bradley turned two last year, my friend Natalie bought this for him. Thus began a love affair like our house had never seen.

What started out as one little "twain" with a house turned into two twains, because Thomas needed a friend. So, Thomas and Percy and Bradley were total BFFs. Then Chloe wanted a girl train, so Molly entered the picture. And then I had to get more track, because seriously - that roundhouse did NOT come with enough pieces to build cool cool rail systems.

We are now the proud owners of pretty much all the major engines (Who needs those stupid ol' diesel and narrow line engines? Psht! Not us! Steam all the way, baby!) We are lacking Edward, Henry, and Toby of the Major Eight. Molly isn't a major character, but she was the one Chloe wanted first (she has Emily, now, too). Even Mike has his own Gordon, and the kids always argue over who gets to play with "Daddy's Train!"

Not only do we have all these little Thomas Take Along toys - (T…


There is this great place just west of Houston called Dewberry Farm - they have all kinds of amazing Fall activities for kids, including a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. We've been taking the kids for the past 3 years and we all love it. If you live in the Houston area I highly recommend you take a little trip out there. We usually go in the evening when it's not as crowded and the weather is a bit cooler.

Here are some pics...

This is Chloe and Bradley the first year they went (2006):

And here they are with all three of their cousins this year. I swear I took this picture 8 times and not ONCE are all of the kids looking at the camera!

The second year we went Bradley was just beginning his tractor obsession (and we had a John Deere party for him that year!), so he was ecstatic about the chance to sit on this big green machine (but a bit nervous when Daddy backed away so Mommy could take the picture and not have to 'shop him out of it later!).

And here he is this year - still lovi…

Spooky Smackers

I love making these little lip balm holder cards as gifts; they make wonderful stocking stuffers and totally dress up a little $1 Avon Lip Balm. And I'm making quite a few to sell in my upcoming craft show! :)

The punches, stamp, ink, card stock, ribbon, and embossing powder are all SU!, but the patterned paper is LYB. I won an amazing Little Yellow Bicycle door prize at our 24-hour Scrap Pink event at The Scrap Affair. It was SOO much fun and the prizes alone were fabulous! You really have to make your way down there if you live in the Houston area and check them out.

This weekend we took the kids to the Fort Bend County Fair. I'll have to unload my camera and share some pics - there were several "firsts" this time around.

A sad good-bye

Gypsy came into our house as a very frisky 9 month old ferret in the fall of 1999. I bought her for Mike because he had always wanted a small furry friend - he wanted her to ride on his shoulder, do tricks, and live forever.
Ferrets are considered an "exotic" pet and they are not exactly easy to care for. They need to bathed often (even when "descented," they still have some powerful oil glands!), played with daily, cage cleaned daily, and they need a LOT of attention. Ferrets usually live around 6-7 years when properly cared for, though some live for much longer.
Most ferrets are not well cared for - because of their frisky and curious nature if not well attended they can become aggressive and not at all friendly. Gypsy was spoiled. SPOILED. She got new toys all the time, and even had her own stocking from Santa! She was litter box trained and would come when called. She never bit (not even snapped at) anyone - she would even play with our Great Dane when we had hi…

3x3 box and cards

Even with all the clean-up and Ike stress, I still have a craft show that I'm supposed to be preparing for! I thought we wouldn't lose electricity and that I would have a nice birthday weekend to work on getting a lot of projects done, but not so much! Over the past couple of days, though, I've been able to hit the ink again.

In addition to representing my SU! business at the craft fair, I'm going to be selling a few little items that have sold well for me in the past at other shows. Here is one of the little trinkets. This is a simple 3x3 box that holds 4 mini cards and envelopes. The lid slides off the top.

I am trying to use all of my retired paper, so you will see a lot of it over the next few posts! I have put myself on restriction - I can't use any of my new paper until I go through my stacks of retired paper. I *AM* going to donate a lot of it to a friend, though, so that will help (and it's NOT cheating!!). I used Old Olive, Whisper White, Sahara Sand, and…

Worst. Birthday. EVER.

On the eve of my birthday, we sheltered in place per orders and waited for the storm. We had evacuated for Rita, and had returned to a home with only minor wind damage and power intact. So, while I wanted to be prepared for the worst, we not expecting much excitement.

We had been told that we were not in a area that would receive much damage - we were a pass through community for people who were dealing with mandatory and voluntary evacuations. We had water, lots of canned goods, flashlights galore. We lost power at 5:30pm on Friday, September 12th and it didn't come back on until Tuesday September 16th.Our plan had been to leave the kids in their rooms until the storm got bad, and then go get them and bring them down to the makeshift bed in our walk-in closet (our only interior room without windows other than the powder room!), but since the power went out so early, we had to put them in there when they were still wide awake and anxious.

They only slept for a couple of hours, becau…