Showing posts from 2009

Country Living

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Merry Christmas!


Little Christmas Skirt

Here's another skirt I made with my tutorial - that's more ribbon by Stampin' Up! on the hem. This one is a gift for one of Chloe and Bradley's little friends. I used this same fabric to make Chloe a skirt a few weeks ago, but used bias tape around the hem and I much prefer the ribbon. Doesn't it match the polka dots perfectly?

I'd love to see your creations using this tutorial - send me a link to your blog post about it and I'll link to it. :)

Happy happy Christmas Eve!!

Darling Skirt Tutorial

My friend, Stacey, says I use the word "adorable" too much - but I just can't help it. There are quite a great deal of cute things in the crafting world that must be discussed! But, this easy skirt IS adorable and I think Chloe will agree when she opens it on Christmas. I've made a bunch of these lately and I thought I'd share the directions because it's incredibly easy to make and you don't need a pattern!

Easy-Peasy Nap-Time Skirt a tutorial by me!

I'm making a matching shirt with my first attempt at applique - but it won't be done until next week. I'll post a picture with the whole outfit once it's done.

Happy sewing!

Origami Wreath Tutorial

I can't wait to make more of these little wreaths! I need to use up all my Christmas paper so that I can buy more next year! :)

Here's one made with 12 pieces instead of the 10. I think I like the smaller one better, but I do like the non-traditional colors on this one.

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

Psssttt - there are 10 days until Christmas.

To pass the time you can make this cute little mouse. I used the Coluzzle oval cutter to cut out his body, and various Stampin' Up! punches for his ears, eyes, and nose. I used my white gel pen to add the details. For the slit I just slid my cutting blade along a small section of the Coluzzle template and then again on the next closest oval. Add a candy cane and he is all set to bring someone some holiday cheer!

5 little Christmas Cards

Here are a few little Christmas cards to get you in the holiday mood. Only 12 days left until Christmas! You still have time to make your cards and get them in the mail! :)

Everything is, of course, by Stampin' Up! (except for the blue organza ribbon and gold string, both of which are from JoAnn's).

Jingle, Jingle

Well, my boy certainly isn't camera shy! He was all about the audience - smiling, waving, and singing loudly for his preschool Christmas concert. I think he'll do fine on Saturday - the kids are dancing in the Town Center Christmas performance in front of a ton of people. Isn't he adorable? :)

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 8

Here's something everyone will love!

Day 8 - WOOT!

Have you been to It's an overstock-type website that usually has electronics and the like for sale. Usually there is a one-item-per-day deal (it's available until it's sold out and then you come back the next day for a new deal). But, today (and usually once a month or so) is a Woot-off! During a Woot-off, as soon as one item is sold out, another one takes its place. Some of the deals are amazing! Mike bought our Roombas and our Scooba from Woot! and we use them all the time. No where else can you buy pistatios, big screen tvs, and a vacuum all from one site in one day. :)

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: The gift that keeps giving - become an SU! Demonstrator

With the introduction of My Digital Studio, Stampin' Up! is now offering an all-new business opportunity with the Digital+ Starter Kit. Priced at just $185, the Digital+ Starter Kit containsMy Digital Studio softwareParty Hearty and Petal Pizza…

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 7

Continuing with the Toys for Boys today...

Day 7 - Mindflex Mind Control Game

No, this won't help you score that new tennis bracelet, but it would probably keep your man busy while you go out and get one for yourself! There are several toys like this out on the market this season. My nephew really wants the Star Wars Force Trainer because who wouldn't want to be a Jedi?? I think the Mindflex looks cooler because it is a customizable obstacle course and not just a vertical tunnel. I don't know anyone who has used either but it will interesting to see what people start saying once they are in use. Maybe it can teach kiddos with ADHD to maintain focus better? It could have some practical use!

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Stampin' Up! My Digital Studio

I know Mike wishes all of my crafts were digital - it would take up MUCH less space!! The SU! Digital Studio you can "use the same great artwork, colors, and accessory images found in our current product lines …

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 6

I haven't forgotten about the boys and men in your lives so the next couple of days will focus on toys for your boys. Because, let's face it, your man will pretty much enjoy anything your boy would.

Day 6 - Marshmallow Shooter

If you ask him about a marshmallow gun, he will probably claim he can make his own. But you know he won't, and you certainly don't want to make one for him! So, the nifty pump-action, LED red light "laser" sight Marshmallow Shooter that can hold up to 25 'mallows is the perfect gift for him! It combines the best of two things he loves - shooting stuff and sugary treats. (You can use the Microwave S'mores Maker with the expended bullets!) The website offers a few other shooters he would probably love, so it's one stop shopping for all the boys in your life.

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: The SU! Big Shot machine

There is SO much you can do with the Big Shot. From making your own die cuts, to dry embossing, to cutting 3-…

For the Birds

Today, I thought, would be a great day to make Pine cone Bird feeders. It was nice and chilly, too soggy from the melting snow to play outside. The kids were bored and I was tired of redirecting them over and over. So, we grabbed some quick supplies and got to work.

First, you'll need some pantry basics: oatmeal, vegetable shortening, and honey (or you can use peanut butter). You'll also need some seeds - you can buy bird seed, but we just grabbed some of the gerbil cuisine on hand. And you will, of course, need a pine cone. You need to find one that is open for it to hold all the yummy goo. You can use yarn, twine, string, fishing line - whatever you have handy for the string. I recommend tying the string on before you start smearing it with sticky stuffy.

The first step is to combine the vegetable shortening and the honey. We used about 1/2 cup of shortening and a couple of tablespoons of honey. Approximately. Add the oatmeal about 2 cups (maybe, work with me here)…

SU! on the Today Show!

EXCITING NEWS!! Stampin’ Up was on the Today Show, Friday, Dec 4
Shelli Gardner(CEO & Co-Founder of Stampin’ Up!) appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show on Friday, December 4, 2009! One more reason why I love being a part of Stampin’ Up! Here’s why Shelli was on:"At Stampin’ Up!, we believe in making a difference in the lives of others–whether they’re our demonstrators, our employees, the people who use our products, or children in need of a way to express their creativity.Since 2005, Stampin’ Up! has been honored to participate in the TODAY Show’s Annual Holiday Toy & Gift Drive.This year, Stampin’ Up! will be donating over $150,000 worth of stamping and paper crafting products to the following organizations:Child S.H.A.R.E. A Place Called Home Alliance for Children’s Rights Children’s Hospital El Concilio Del Condado de Ventura St. Joseph Center Yolo Wayfarer Center Christian Mission Metro Atlanta Task Force on the Homeless ARC of Bergen and Pas…

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 5

Are you having fun shopping? I know I am!

Day 5 - Five Silver Rings!

Do you love jewelry (or know someone who does)? How would you love FREE jewelry? Free silver jewelry and silver with genuine gemstones? All you pay is the shipping which is usually around $5-$7. Interested? Check out this link:

Free Sterling Silver with real Gemstones, no catch, no gimmicks, no obligation

I was skeptical at first, too, until I ordered for the first time. That was 4 years ago and now I order from them ALL the time. It's so much fun to give such a high-end gift without spending high-end cash! The pieces really are lovely and I've never had any problems with them. Here's the deal, though...they only showcase 4 pieces at a time. Once their allotted time is up, they are gone. They do have another online store (you can see the links on the site) where they have more high-end pieces for normal prices. But, the showcase pieces are gorgeous and affordable. Can't go wrong there! Perf…

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 4

Time for a gift you didn't realize you need! (And one that you will really want!)

Day 4 - Microwave S'mores Maker

How have you ever lived without it, right?! I don't like getting burned, and I really don't like blackened marshmallows. Plus, I can't like Mike make a fire because it would totally get out of hand. So, I have made marshmallows in the microwave for a while (easy recipe for students to follow!). But, they tend to make a mess. And not a little mess. If you've ever tried to clean dried marshmallow off of the microwave door you know what I mean. But, with this amazing tool you can have perfect S'mores. I don't personally own one, but I totally want one, don't you?

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Idea: Eat Decor Elements artwork in Chocolate Brown

How cute would this be in that space right above your stove or on the wall behind your kitchen table? Stampin' Up's Decor Elements line of decorative vinyl art is easy to put up and remove a…

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 3

I'm the kind of girl who loves to bake, cook, sew, stamp, craft, etc. I LOVE creating, but I also like saving time. If there is a tool or technique that will help me get more done in less time, I'm all over it. While all of those things can be relaxing, my time is incredibly valuable. The items featured today will help you save some time while still working your creative mojo!

Day 3 - The Tastefully Simple Cozy Comfort gift set

Have you tried Tastefully Simple yet? If not, you are really missing out! I use a lot of the spices for every day cooking and the dip mixes for entertaining. What you really have to try is the Bountiful Beer Bread. Warm, crusty, sweet, and savory - and crazy simple to make and bake. I like to start a loaf when I get home from work and it bakes while I deal with getting the things situated (back packs off, potty breaks, walk the dog, get dinner started, etc). Even if I'm just making some quick chicken breasts and salad, this bread compliments…

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 2

It's Day 2 of shopping, so you might think you have plenty of time before Christmas, but don't forget to calculate shipping time!

Day 2 - Lush Christmas Candy gift box

Sometimes Mike and I opt to just get a few things we really need (like the year we needed a refrigerator) and get each other little trinkets to fill the stockings. Whether you need a little gift for a co-worker or a bigger surprise for that special someone, Lush has the right gift. You might think you've enjoyed a nice shower or bath before, but until you've experienced Lush soap, you know nothing of squeaky clean relaxation! From bath bombs and bath salts to ultra smooth soaps to cosmetics to skin and hair care, Lush can provide the perfect bathing moment. Right now the shipping is free with every purchase over $75 and you get a free stocking stuffer with every $60 you spend. My kids like the "Honey I washed the kids" soap and I love the Butterball Bath Bombs.

Bonus Stampin' Up! Gift Ide…

12 Days of Christmas Gifts - Day 1

If you are like me, you have all your holiday shopping done already (well, almost!). But, if you are like everyone else in the world you might have a few little things left to pick up. For the next 12 days I'll have a post about something someone you love will need, want, or just have to have! Hopefully it will give you a little help and motivation to get that shopping done before it's too late. We'll talk about gift wrap later! :)

Day 1 - The Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker.

Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE this thing! It is high quality Pampered Chef Stoneware that comes in either this great white (which I have) or a lovely Cranberry (which I bought for my mom). It is amazing and I cannot imagine my kitchen without it. You can cook an entire chicken in about 25 minutes! It's perfect for frozen chicken breasts - I buy them on sale, season them, and freeze individually. Then, when I want one I just pop it into the Baker, cover, and microwave for 20 minutes. They are freez…

Forget the Magi!

I love (LOVE) decorating the Christmas tree(s) - we always have more than one. I use one for all my hand-crafted paper ornaments and display it in my workshop room. We have a main tree in the living which holds the bulk of our ornaments. And then we usually put little trees in the kids' rooms.

I enjoy unwrapping each ornament and finding the perfect place for it on the tree. I love the sparkle and shimmer of the glass in the soft tree light and the way the ornaments feel so delicate. This year my kids really helped for the first time and they did a great job and had a ton of fun. They didn't bunch any up and just like their mom liked to search out the best place for each bobble. I taught them how to put the hooks on the branches the right way, and how to showcase the special ornaments by a light, and how to hide Daddy's Star Wars ornaments at the back of the tree. Except for one.

I have this great collection of little glass ornaments of the nativity. There is Mary,…

Big Foot

Zeke is almost 5 months old and HUGE. He went to the vet today and he weighs in at 40 pounds - it's always a bit scary when the vet is frightened by how big his feet are. He is on some new medication to help his skin allergies, and hopefully help him feel better! Isn't he a pretty boy? :) He'll be on the antibiotic for 30 days and then we can take him back for his "alteration." Merry Christmas, dude. Snip!

Bonus picture:

Crazy ears, crazy hair. Ready for a nap!

Stamping with Old Friends

Last night at my Stamp n' Scrap Night we skipped scrapping and made several Christmas cards and gift tags. There were a few special guests, too, which always makes it more fun. First, my friend Dora Lee came with her two adorable daughters. Dora and I have been friends since high school where we shared many wild adventures. We've always stayed in touch, but we haven't seen each other in probably 12 years. Here she is stamping with her 3-year-old:

The other special guest was the daughter of my friend, Leslie. Leslie and I have also known each other since high school and are really lucky to live right up the road from each other since we both love crafting! She is a scrapbooking diva and I totally wish I could scrap like her! Since we were just making cards she asked if she could bring her daughter, who is in 2nd grade. Like her mother, she was brilliant and creative.

All the first-time stampers had a wonderful time and everyone got to take home some cute cards and ta…

Chloe was here

Can you tell that Chloe has been in my closet?

I just don't know where on earth she gets those tendencies from.

Fun with Glitter!

Chloe had the best homework ever this weekend! She was supposed to enlist her family's help in decorating a turkey coloring page to hang up at school. She wanted to go for a bling-y turkey, and I was more than happy to provide the shimmer!

We used a LOT of glitter, glitter glue, 2-way glue, and flocking velvet. Even Bradley helped pour on the glitter. Chloe colored him, first, with colored pencils. Then, we used 2-way glue and glitter (by SU! and Doodlebugs) on his feathers. His feet, and (what's that thing called?) wattle? thing are flocked. We used Crystal Effects on his beak and to stick on his googlie eyes.

Here's a close-up - you can really see the glitter and flocking:

I wish *I* had homework like that. I guess there's not much I can add glitter to in grad school work, huh?

Still waiting...

Well, my computer is still not working - so I'm updating from Mike's laptop. He's going to work on it today, so then hopefully I can get caught up on my card posting, because I have a TON of cute stuff to share! :)

Happy Birthday, Bradley Allen.

It doesn't even seem possible that it has already been four years since my sweet little boy was born. How did he go from this...

to this...
to this...

to this...

to this...

Before I could even realize that my little baby was a toddler, and now a rough and tumble boy-child?

He's always been my little cuddle bug - and now more than ever I cherish all the hugs and kisses he offers because it won't be long before he won't want to be seen with his mom, let alone smother her with kisses.

He's a gentle child, always trying to help others and caring so much about everyone. I hope he never loses those qualities.

He's funny and clever and loves to laugh. And, oh, the sound of his laughter! He brings me out of dark moods quicker than a shot of serotonin!

I cannot imagine my life without him - my little miracle of a child.

Mama loves you from here to forever, Bradley-boy. Happy birthday!

Down on the Farm

We spent the day at Dewberry Farm yesterday, and had a blast as always. It's been a tradition for a while now - check out pics from previous years here. It was WAY more crowded this year than every before, though, so if you are going to head out I highly recommend you buy your tickets online ahead of time. We pack lunch and the kids eat the car because even the lines for food are crazy. This year the wait for one turkey leg was over 30 minutes!

Here's Bradley on the tractor - his favorite part of the experience:

We went through the Corn Maze for the first time ever and it started out fun... with Mike in the lead we made it to the center of the maze and the lookout tower pretty quickly.

But then we tried to rely on Mike to get us out. Yeah.

So, I had to take over the lead and I got us out after Mike had led us back to the center THREE times. Scenic route and such. Gah! What IS it with men and directions? :)

We finally made it out to the actual patch, and the kids all had a g…

Hello, Daisy!

Chloe is officially a Daisy Girl Scout. :)

Birthday RAKs!

My birthday is Sunday and I'm just glad that the weather is nice. Last year my birthday got Iked - so this year I'm happy to spend the day with my family in the calm. This week, though, has been far from that. Everyone has been sick - Mike started it. The day after he brought home the Zeke he went to bed for 4 days. He went to the doctor on the 1st, and it's a good thing - because it turned out he had the flu. He was quarantined which left me to raise children and creatures alone. The gerbils are easy, but the puppy and children require considerably more care. :)

Mike was sick all last week, and had barely begun to recover when Chloe came down with her first bout of upper respiratory junk of the season and she had to miss her first 1/2 day of school for a doctor's appointment. Then last weekend I started in with the flu-like symptoms, just in time for my niece's 2nd Birthday Party - which was at our house! All this week has been pretty much miserable, thank …


Ezekiel ("Zeke"), born July 1st.

He's an 8-week-old Dane/Lab and he's Mike's anniversary present. Apparently he's my anniversary present, too. Hmm. I could have sworn that "fashion jewelry" was the modern gift for 11th Wedding Anniversaries. I don't see "puppies which need to be taken out every 2 hours through the night" anywhere on the list. *yawn*