Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blah, blah, blah

Well, yesterday I blogged about my new computer and all the love I was feeling for it.... today I have yet another new computer and I am trying not to get attached just in case this one shows me the blue screen of death. I'm just not sure I can handle three deaths in just five short days. I console myself with the fact that Windows was the grim reaper for both computers, but still I feel responsible in some way, maybe I shall wear black today.

Anyway, here I sit with computer number three. I refuse to name it. I refuse to transfer photos onto it. I refuse to become too friendly with it. ( Insert childish foot stomping here) I must remind myself that it is just a computer and that my "friends who live in the box" are real people too and if I was desperate I could just pick up the phone and call most of them, although I have to be careful about that, there was a three hour phone call to England once ;)

What I am trying to say is that I shall have to give this computer a good run through before we become BFFs. How long do you think that should be? I am a very emotional/relational type and I hate to offend... maybe seven days will be long enough? Or maybe I shall have my more techy friend Christyn over for dinner to take a good long look at this computer. In any case I must keep reminding myself that I cannot become too friendly with this shiny new black box of knowledge.

I know, I know, you are all sick of my computer woes, what you really come here for are the witty PSAs I post sometimes, so without further ado I shall leave you with three PSAs for November...

Please remember to throw away the one year old turkey in your freezer on trash day, not before, because it will thaw and all your neighbors will wonder what is causing that horrid road kill smell to emanate from your garage. There will be overt speculation that you are a serial killer and that's just not good for neighborly relations. *

*You know what I'm talking about, that extra turkey that you bought last year because it was a good price and you were certain that you would roast it that winter but you never actually got around to it.

CAUTION... IF THERE IS ICE ON THE ROAD... DO NOT SLAM ON YOUR BRAKES! Seriously, this is just pointless, dangerous, stupid, idiotic, and a whole slew of other things that point to the fact you should not be driving in the snow. If this is you, consider that now may be the time to move to a nice condo in Boca.

Last but not least... Don't eat yellow snow.

Huge thanks to anyone who made it to the bottom of this post, I'm in a mood (can you tell?) and I appreciate you humoring me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten On Tuesday

It's almost Thanksgiving and my sweet friend Marti has been talking about gratitude lately and I decided it would be a good day to remember ten things I'm grateful for, so in no particular order here they are...

- I'm grateful for my sweet kiddo who is freely handing out random hugs lately, he's the best!
- I'm grateful for the people in my life who can make me laugh when I am crying. These are the kind of friends who know you so well that with just one sentence they can make you smile.
- I'm so thankful that I had a chance to drive up the Poudre Canyon with my camera this weekend, it was beautiful day spent in one of the most amazing places, all by myself; a little solitude is never a bad thing.
- I'm grateful for my clean white bathtub, it sounds so silly but I just love that colorless thing!
- I'm grateful for food on the table, a roof over my head, and a cozy bed to sleep in at night.
- I'm thankful for another beautiful Colorado day dawning outside my window, bringing with it the chance for me to go walk the canal, what a blessing to live in a state that makes building nature trails a priority. So different from Florida, but I won't go there.
- I'm thankful that Glee will be returning to TV this week!
- I'm grateful for friends who listen to your problems, laugh when you laugh, cry when you cry, and who know that you would do the very same for them.
- I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to create everyday, it keeps me sane.
- I'm thankful for all those serving our country and the families who support them, thank you for the sacrifices you make to preserve our freedom.
- Oh and last but not least, I'm grateful for baseball caps that I can throw on when I've been ditzing around on the computer instead of drying my hair ;)
Don't forget to leave your holiday wishes on the previous post for a chance at a Starbucks Gift Card!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happiness In A Cup and A Chance To Win

Nothing says "Happy Holidays" to me quite like the return of the red cups at Starbucks! I wait anxiously for the day that they will arrive and bring with them my dearest loves... Egg Nog Lattes and Peppermint Mochas! Most of you know that I drink Peppermint Mochas all year long, they always have the peppermint syrup, but the red cups make it that much better! I don't mind if I have to put in a few more minutes on the treadmill or not eat an extra piece of pumpkin pie, nope, those are the sacrifices I am willing to make for my precious red cup of holiday cheer.

This year the cups are emblazoned with the words...

We invite you to listen to your desires

and to renew your hope.

To see the world not as it is,

but as it could be.

Go ahead, wish.

It's what makes the holidays the holidays.

I know we all have holiday wishes, what are some of yours? Leave me a comment between now and Wednesday evening and I will randomly choose one of you to receive a Starbucks Gift Card!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Organized Christmas...

This Christmas I decided that I should get a little more organized. I'm hoping it will cut down on last minute baking, shopping, and general freaking out! The new QuicKutz Peppermint Album was just the right size for creating this Christmas Planner and the pocket pages will be a great place to store recipes and receipts!

Dies Used: Santa's Workshop Gift Set, Christmas Tree,
Curls Goosebumps, and Peppermint Accessory Pages

*Hi Disney Mummy, they say, To Do, To Buy, To Bake, To Give*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Someone On The Nice List Lives Here!

I am totally digging the accesory dies that you can buy for the QuicKutz Holiday Gift Set this year. Today's sample features a few of the great shapes found in the Heritage Die Set, it's perfect for making a family album, included are cameo style silhouettes, a lineage map, family tree, banners, an old fashion key, photo corners and vintage photo nesting shapes!

Dies Featured Here: Santa's Workshop Gift Set, Heritage Die Set, Jolly Gift Set 2008

This doorhanger is similar to one I made last year that was deemed a little too girly for my son to hang on his door, so in the spirit of being clean, simple, and boyish I only used a few embellishments on this one. The QuicKutz Metal was perfect for the key!

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!
I'll be back tomorrow with another idea for these fun new dies!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Santa's Workshop!

Today QuicKutz released the 2009 Christmas Gift Set Santa's Workshop! This release is AMAZING! The packaged gift set includes all the dies you need to make adorable mini albums and a fantastic alphabet, that can be used over and over on your cards and layouts throughout the year! The fabulous people at QuicKutz also released twenty other accessory dies to compliment the set and help you to design even more albums to share with your family and friends!

I fell in love with the Wintergreen album, the new Recipe Die Set, and the super cute Wintergreen Spine Set that helps you give the album so many different looks!

These cute little books containing five of our favorite recipes. I plan to put them in the Christmas stockings of our more culinary challenged relatives ;) Wouldn't recipe books like this make great party favors for a holiday cookie exchange?!

You can pick up this awesome gift set at your local QuicKutz retailer or QuicKutz.com!

Check back tomorrow for more samples!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crafting for Halloween

Yep, I'm actually crafting today! I can't share it all now, but check back early next week to see the fantastic Gift Sets that QuicKutz is releasing on Tuesday, November 3rd!

I can show you this super cute Halloween Bingo Game that I found online for Coley's class party. This was quick and easy to put together...
  1. Print Bingo cards onto smooth white cardstock.
  2. Cut apart and ink the edges with black ink.
  3. Mount bingo cards on black cardstock.
  4. Cut out QuicKutz Ghost Shapes with acid free foam to make the bingo markers!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Custom Masks with QuicKutz

I love using mists in my scrapbooking and card making! The misted look is perfect for any layout - pair this technique with a custom mask and it gets even better!

Check out my tutorial for creating masks from your QuicKutz dies and vinyl over at the QK Blog ! See you there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New SC Kit = Playtime

I love when my monthly kit from Studio Calico arrives! It reminds me of the fun care packages I used to get when I was away at boarding school. A box full of things you know you'll love, what is better than that?

I had a chance to play this morning and this is what I came up with...

... it goes along with the changes that I'm trying to make in my life. I think I'll display it in one of the frames across from my scrap desk to remind me that everyday is a new day... sure there are issues that trickle over from one day to the next but each day you get to choose, anew, how you are going to handle them.

I hope you are having a great week and come back tomorrow for a little surprise!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PSA of the Day

Public Service Announcement - 9/09/09

Beware of Facebook Hair... This affliction is growing more and more common as people begin their day by being sucked into the unending void of the networking website.

Definition: Hair that has been allowed to dry into an au naturel state. It is limp, lifeless, and unbecoming.

Cures: There are no known complete cures for this horrible condition. If you feel you are suffering from Facebook hair please go to your nearest closet and place a baseball cap on your head. If you are capless then the CDC (Council for Damaged Ends Control) suggest you massage a leave in conditioner into your limp locks and attempt to flat-iron.

We urge all citizens to step away from the computer now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back To School Challenge

Just dropping in with my layout for the Studio Calico - Back To School Challenge. I'm barely squeaking in under the deadline but a challenge is a fantastic way to jump start any layout, so be sure to check the SC Blog for more fantastic challenges!

I finally finished organizing all the great goodies from my QuicKutz happy-mail last week and you can see the amazing Office Supply dies on this layout as well as my go to font, Chemistry!
Be sure to check out the new forums QuicKutz is adding to the website on Tuesday! The message boards will be a great place to learn new things, share tips & tricks, and chat with all your fantastic QK friends. I hope to see you there!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Oh my poor neglected blog, know that I still love you and am just busy making some healthy changes in my life. I need to get moving, get rid of the excess, not just in the rear-end department but that is on the list... I'm talking about cutting back, buying what I need, not just what appeals to me and that goes for the grocery store too... I need to nurture healthy things in my life such as family relationships, friendships, and creative paths. I am going to let go of the bad weight, the negative bits, practice being like a duck ... let it roll off my back.

I know it's a little late in the year for resolutions but I am going to make a few today...

1. Eat healthier
2. Exercise more
3. Write, I haven't in so long and it feels darn good!
4. Quit being afraid of every little thing, seriously the world is not out to get me.... I've been experiencing more anxiety attacks lately, I'm not sure why but I'm working on it.
5. Try one new thing a week... last week it was Salsa aerobics class with my sweet friends. I have no rhythm AT ALL... this is genetic as my parents don't either... after ten minutes of flopping about like a dying fish I moved onto the walking track and put in two miles.

So here is to changes and taking charge... I'll be back with more and hopefully it won't take so long!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

5 Product Challenge

My sweet friend Emily posted a 5 product challenge over at Studio Calico this week and I had a chance to play along...
Patterned Paper, Studio Calico
Metal & Die Cuts, QuicKutz
Embroidery Floss, DMC
Paint, Making Memories and Ranger

The challenge was to use one sheet of Patterned Paper, Paint, Twine or Embroidery Floss, Metal and letter stickers... cardstock and journaling with pen or computer are freebies!

The metal on my layout comes from QuicKutz adhesive metal sheets, they are really easy to cut and you can bend and shape them to add dimension to your layout. I used them with the Eliza font for the title and painted over the holly shape for my leaves & berries. I can see a lot more layouts in my future using this fun product!

I hope you are having a great week and if you join in on the challenge be sure to post your layout over at Studio Calico!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am so darn excited! I was chosen as a QuicKutz Ambassador yesterday! What does that mean? It means that I get to share my love of QuicKutz with the masses... or at least the general scrapping public here in Colorado and on the message boards!

Truthfully, I was really shocked to get the call, they had over a thousand people apply and they only chose 8, those are some seriously small odds so I feel very honored!

Congratulations to the other Ambassadors, I can't wait to start this adventure with you all!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomato Tart

I'm late in posting this due to lots of progress with our bathrooms! I can't wait for everything to be finished so I can show you the before and after photos! In the meantime I'll post this yummy recipe for you to enjoy!

Tomato & Mozzarella Tart -
recipe courtesy of the American's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 medium plum tomatoes sliced 3/4" thick

1/2 tsp of salt

1 cup of low moisture mozzarella, shredded

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tbs fresh basil, minced

Move your oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425degrees (f). Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

Place your pastry sheet in the middle of the sheet pan and brush with the beaten egg. Now begin to form the tart shell by folding over the long edges by 1/2 in, brush with egg and repeat with the shorter edges. Now run a paring knife parallel to the baking sheet around the outside edge of the tart, this will allow the pastry to rise in the oven and form the side walls of the tart shell.

Sprinkle the center of the shell with Parmesan cheese, then use a fork to poke holes through the bottom of the shell, this will keep the bottom from bubbling.

Bake the shell for 15 to 20 minutes until just golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

While the shell bakes spread your tomato slices over several layers of paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Doing this will keep your tart from becoming wet.

When the shell is slightly cooled spread the mozzarella over the bottom and then shingle on the tomatoes over the cheese. Drizzle with the olive oil and garlic. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until the tart shell is deep golden in color.

Let the tart cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle with basil, slice and serve!

I served this as an appetizer but it would be great on a brunch buffet or as a light lunch with a salad of field greens tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gathering Ideas

Well, nothing much is happening here as far as construction goes. The downstairs bath is still torn apart and the upstairs isn't much better. We've been getting bids to re-do the beautiful pink one on our main floor but they are much higher than we expected. If you see me asking for drywall advice you'll know that we have decided to do it ourselves.

In the meanitime I though I would show you a few of the items we are thinking of using in the main bathroom...

I can't decide which one of these I like better...

What do you have in your bathroom that you love?

Friday, June 19, 2009

ATC's for Alisa

Sadly we lost a Studio Calico friend, Alisa, last month. Emily came up with the idea of making ATC cards out of her message board posts, that will be made into a ATC Spinner filled with love and advice for the two young daughters, step-sons and husband she leaves behind. These are the cards I've made using her goals for the year...

Alisa's passing has made me remember to be grateful for each day and to be more present in the moment.

Treasure today,

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Yosemite Layout

We had the best time on our horseback ride in Yosemite and it's been fun to hear Coley describe it to his grandparent's on the phone! I wanted to capture his version of the trip so I had him tell me about it and used his words as the journaling. It reads: "We went on a really fun horseback ride in Yosemite to Mirror Lake. Edith was my mule and she was very well behaved, sometimes she tried to eat but not all the time. My Mom's mule, Oliver, thought it was an all you can eat buffet. My Dad's mule was named Twitch. The Corral Boss, Katie, said that Edith could probably do the trail with her eyes shut,. Edith was very tall and I was nervous at first but I felt better after the Katie took me walking around the corral on Edith. We saw a rattlesnake, that was in a swampy part, just laying there, and luckily he didn't rattle with his tail... it was sort of scary and when we came across it I patted Edith softly on the neck so she wouldn't look at it. There were crazy French hikers who ran through the brush and spooked my Mom's mule and another ladies mule and they started running... luckily my Mom knew how to ride! We couldn't go all the way to the end of the trail because there was a rock slide in March and it was blocked off. I'm really glad that I went on the ride." Coleman, Age 8, 6/09

We are off to the pool, have a great Monday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yosemite Valley at 7am - May 30, 2009

Just a picture post today, I wanted to share with you the magic of Yosemite Valley waking up!
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Time Out for A Rant

Taking a break from our trip to just rant... seriously I just need to RANT...

Before you go any farther, please know that this is not aimed at anyone in particular, this is a sore spot for me and comes at me from all directions. Don't feel like you need to comment, you don't have to, I just really needed to get this off my chest and out of my heart before the anger becomes too much.

I have one child, that's a huge blessing, HE is a huge blessing.

I know that it looks like smooth sailing with just one... only one to load into the car, only one kiddo's schedule to look after, only one to get bathed... but guess what it's not always easy...

When you only have one you get the brunt of what a sibling would get, more arguments, more questions, more need to be entertained. You also have to detox them when they come home from Grandma's because she's let him do whatever he wanted, because he is the only one... know what that also means?... it means that HE doesn't have anyone to share those fun times with, no one to go over the memories with when he's all grown up. When we go, he'll be the one picking up the pieces, alone. I know because I'm an only too.

What I'm trying to say is... Don't tell me how you don't have time for things because you have two kids, or more. Don't constantly mention that it's so different when you have more than one kiddo. Don't say, "Oh you only have one, you wouldn't understand." IT HURTS, deep down inside, where I don't let most people go.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Road Trip Recap... Day 2... Vegas Baby


10. Smoking is allowed everywhere, even in the ELEVATOR!!!

*Personal Experience* The Venetian is the only hotel we encountered where they pump some type of air freshener through the vents to cover the odor of smoke.
Oh and those people hacking in the casinos, don't worry they don't have TB, it's just that they've been smoking while gambling away their children's inheritance!

9. The four acre pool at the hotel will be filled within half an hour of opening, if you want a free chair, get in line early.

*Lounge Chair Tip* The chairs that do not cost $100 - $800 a pop are filled immediately... cop a squat in the sand and then start scanning the ten rows around you, wait until you see someone who is putting on their shoes and then pounce! This can take a bit but the relief your rear will feel when it's out of the scorching sand is worth it!

*Pool Time Tip #2* You can book an $800 cabana online, with a special pool package in the summers, for about $50-$100 more than your room fee. Look at it like you are really saving $700, and severe stress... trust me that little bit of money is worth it, I was kicking myself, with hot sandy feet, for not doing it!

8. Just because there are 6 elevators designated for floors 18-34, don't expect them all to work!

*Elevator Savvy* Get on the first one that opens, it doesn't matter which way it's going, just ride until you get to your floor. This is the only way you will ever survive the mobs you meet at the elevators every time. Wave at those who didn't figure that out as you go past them again!

7. The hotels never look as good in person.

The angle of the camera used in shooting promotional photos is key!

6. Just because it's an attraction aimed at kids don't expect it to be smut free.

*WARNING* It may be the size of a baseball card, but that nude woman on the front isn't a short stop! Yes that's right they have stripper trading cards in Vegas and people leave them EVERYWHERE!

5. Take no notice of the Chef's name in the restaurant title... they all serve the same five entrees, with only a slight variation on the original.

*Savvy Dining Tip* Go to the place with the longest line, there is a reason for it... we discovered The Burger Bar in the Mandalay Bay Shoppes and it was truly the best food we had in Vegas.

4. Art can be found anywhere... even on The Strip.

***Don't Miss the Luxor's Titanic Exhibit or the masterpieces at the Bellagio***

5. Always check where the monorail you are riding goes!

*Person Experience* We boarded the monorail that took you from Mandalay Bay to The Luxor and Excalibur, as we jumped on a man yelled "Next stop Treasure Island" he was still riding when we got back on an hour later! Luckily for him there was a woman carrying a giant box of Krispy Kreme donuts who was also still on the monorail when we got back on, so he won't starve! Seriously, it only had three stops, didn't they notice?!

4. Don't expect to win big... it's not going to happen... aim to break even.

*Insider's Gambling Tip* The only place you'll make money is the penny slots... I am now $8 richer!

3. Just because your hotel room is beautifully decorated don't expect everything to work!

*WARNING* The great little flat screen you can see from the tub, it doesn't work, don't get out when wet and try to mess with it, you'll be in for a shock!

2. It's called "Sin City" for a reason.

Three things that proved this...

Women in full head covering gambling away in the High Roller Room.

Amish people driving a pick-up truck with a horse buggy in the back! No I'm not kidding.

A man regaling his friend with his tales of infidelity at the wave pool... thank God the kiddo was in the pool and not by the chairs where they were.

1. Keep your expectations low.

Remember this was all made by man, it doesn't hold a candle to the beautiful creations of God you'll see on the drive there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day One... On The Road

Pack 'em up, move 'em out... and praise God that Starbucks is open bright and early and they have a drive-thru, seriously, thank you God for whomever created the drive-thru Starbucks. (Most of you know I'm not a pretty sight without my caffeine fix ;)

We left on Sunday morning and were able to drive through the Rockies on a beautiful sunny day. Perfect for spotting the six big horn sheep that we saw... of course they were right on the side of the road next to the car so it wasn't that hard to see them! That is the thing about these animals, they are never up on the rocky mountainside like you expect, they are eating the grass along the side of the road, so it's like... "Look Big Horn Sheep." you turn your head and in an instant you see them and then they're gone... you can't stop to take a photo or anything because you're whizzing down the interstate at 80mph and the giant trucks would mangle you and the sheep if you stopped. PSA to Big Horn Sheep... MOVE off the shoulder of the road up onto the mountainsides, you're going to get hit and no one can get a good picture! Although I was thrilled to see such a large number of them all together, it was amazing to think they live right here just a few miles from home.

Next we descended into the Western Slope of Colorado, beautiful wine country, yep we grow grapes for wine here in Colorado, really it's not all shoot 'em up at the OK Corral all the time... we can be refined too ;) We stopped at a "50's Diner"... the inside was very authentic, but the fact that it was in a strip mall sort of threw me off. They did however have really good hashbrowns and for me that's what breakfast is really all about... the carbs.

This is the part where Coleman shook up a Sprite, "to get the fizz out" (he is totally his Mama not liking the fizzy bite of soda just the sweet syrupy part). We had to pull over to change his clothes, and talk about our need to buy a carpet and upholstery shampooer.

After all that excitement we drove into the canyons of Utah. Amazing, truly, every five miles or so they change color and it's a dramatic landscape unlike any you have ever seen before. My favorite was the dark maroon red cliffs, truly breathtaking, God is an artist!

We continued on stopping at the strangest gas stations and Burger King you could ever imagine. Sadly there were no more Starbucks to be found. We drove through places like Beaver, Utah... silly name pretty place, on our way into Las Vegas.

Twelve and a half hours after leaving home we saw the towering hotels of Vegas rise from the desert ahead of us. Of course it took another half hour to actually arrive at our hotel, but I'll save the rest for tomorrow. It will be a sort of top ten list if you will.

Thanks for lasting this long, see you on The Strip in the morning.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Feel So Blessed

The internet is a powerful thing, I have found so many wonderful friends through the world wide web. I'm blessed everyday to connect with woman around the world who love the art of scrapbooking as much as I do. These are funny, warm, caring women who struggle with everyday life, motherhood, and marriage just like me. There are days when we connect over kids, recipes, friendship issues, and loss. True friendships can be built through the keyboard and screen.
The MB's and blogs are the modern day equivalent to the long letters my Gram used to get in the mail from her friends. The beauty of the web is that I get to keep up with these girls everyday, I know how they are feeling on any given day and I get to share what I am feeling. There are a lot of naysayers who think the web is only a dangerous place, but for many it's a life line to women around the world who are mothering at home all day alone or who are stuck in a town where nobody really "gets" who they are and the hobbies they love.
I was given this super cute friendship award from two amazing women Danielle and Debbie. Check out their blogs I guarantee you will come away with a smile on your face and in your heart. Thank you ladies!

The guidelines for the Lemonade award are:
Comment on this blog.
Cut and paste the award logo and use it in your own blog.
Nominate 5 blogs you feel show great attitude and gratitude.
Link to your nominees within your blog post.
Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.
Link back to the person who gave you the award to show your appreciation.

And here's a little about the Friends award:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to five bloggers.

I choose:
Emily Pitts - she has great designs, yummy recipes, and makes me laugh
Kirsty Wiseman - she is honest, loving, hilarious, and takes amazing photos
Christyn Holmes - she inspires me everyday
Becky Olsen - this is a woman I look up to in a million different ways
Sharyn Tormanen - she has great ideas in all different areas and her photos are brilliant

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scrappin' Away

It's blazing hot here, and due to the fact that heat and I don't mix, I am slow to post this week. I just wanted to pop up these layouts I made. The first one was for the Studio Calico scraplift challenge... it's my lift of Scarlet's "Simple" layout. I'm really happy with the way it all came together, that Sassafras Anthem paper is rockin' but I wasn't sure how to use it... all become clearer once I cut it up and really started to play with it. I was finally able to use the soccer rub-on from Basic Grey that I had been hanging onto for the last three years! I loved that set, so much so that I accidently adhered part of it to the bottom of my foot yesterday!

This second layout is something I've been wanting to document for some time, it's the beautiful flowers that bloom every spring in our yard. We have a house that will be 50 years old this summer and these bushes and trees have been here since the beginning, I feel so lucky to have such mature and beautiful landscaping in a state where it takes that long to get "real" trees! This yard was the whole reason we bought this house, it called to us and we just grin like cheshires every time we pull into the carport and see the apple tree and yard spread out before us. I was thrilled to use some of the wonderful buttons April sent me on this layout, they are so cool and I've been saving them until now!

Please excuse the poor quality of these photos, I was talking on the phone while taking them, apparently chatting and still photography don't mix... who knew?!

Oh and I finally got my sewing machine working again, I just needed some English instructions and all is good, as you can see I went to town with it on the above layout!

Hope you are all having a great week.

If you get a chance take a stroll around your nearest garden center, I did that with my dear friend Emily yesterday and it was just so refreshing to be surrounded by new growth and beauty and I came home with lots of ideas for the parts of our yard that need a little TLC.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Studio Calico Challenges

I love Studio Calico for so many reasons but one of them is that there are tons of great challenges to be found there! Each and every challenge helps me to think about scrapbooking in a different way. The current challenge on the blog is to scraplift several layouts from April and Scarlet.

I started with April's layouts, both of which featured some fantastic use of white space!

Off to work on lifting Scarlet, she is a genius with patterned paper pairings(that's a tongue twister)! I hope some of that will rub off on me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Perfect Summer Dessert

It's finally warming up here in the Rocky Mountains and to celebrate I wanted to share with you this fantastic dessert recipe that requires no baking, meaning no heat in the house from the oven, but yet gives you something warm to put over your ice cream... that's the ultimate combination for me, something warm and gooey over cold ice cream!

Ala PW I took some photos along the way to spice up this post. So with no further ado... Summer Berries with Dumplings... adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe

1 pound frozen berries, I used mixed and strawberries
1 tbs = 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbs butter, melted
1/2 cup milk (could use buttermilk and leave out 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

In a medium skillet cook the berries, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, water, and four tablespoons of sugar over medium heat for 14 minutes, a little less at sea level, until they are slightly thickened and bubbly.

While those cook combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and two tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl with a whisk. Add in the milk, 1/2 tsp lemon juice. and butter...stir until just combined, there may be a few specks of dry flour still, don't worry, if you go too long the dumplings will be tough. *here I used lemon juice as the acid normally found in buttermilk, you can omit the lemon juice if you are using buttermilk*

When the berries are ready divide the dumplings into six big dollops and space evenly in the pan, sprinkle them with the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Cover the pan tightly with foil and turn the heat down to low for 15-18 minutes, you will know the dumplings are done if they are "dry" on top, meaning the dough does not come off on your finger when poked.

Serve over vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

We have also cooked this on our grill along side steaks and it works great!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

They Didn't Ask Him

This weekend, while eating hot dogs outside our local Lowe's, we saw our neighbors, now I would like to point out that we live right next door to these people but only ever see them out at restaurants, or in this case hot dog carts! After enjoying our lunch and chatting for a bit they asked us if it would be okay for them to move their boat down to the back of the yard along our shared fence line. I appreciated them asking because their yard is the only one that we really see due to having just a chain-link fence separating us.

"Sure no problem." I replied.

 Well, by that evening the boat was moved and someone at our house isn't happy about it... 

Edgar is not pleased at all by this turn of events. He spent a good half hour barking and growling at the boat, sometimes quietly sneaking up on it and then exploding into a barking rage. The boat was unfazed... this infuriated Edgar even more, by the time we cornered him and brought him inside he was shaking with anger. I guess the neighbors should have asked him!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Patti Picklicious Cards

I am truly blessed to have a wonderful friend named Kirsty Wiseman. I had no idea she was a scrapper when I emailed her on Facebook, all I knew was that she had one handsome red Dachshund and I wanted to tell her so. Later on she made a comment about me being an SC Girl and I thought... oh she must subscribe to Studio Calico too...this is where that dog from the V8 commercials comes and knocks me on the head... um no, she is on the SC Design Team, DUH! (In my defense I had just joined SC) Anyway, I have had the pleasure of chatting with her via the internet and learning more about her life and the fab Patti Picklicious CD's she designs, they are amazing! I had the pleasure of playing with her first release today and I thought I would share some of the cards with you...

Her CD has even more designs, greetings, labels and the cutest little Patti girls. Check it out, it's fantastic, and it will turn you into a card maker in no time!