About Me

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I am a SAHM mother of three...only one left home though. Paper crafting is my passion...I love creating things and saving memories. I also enjoy reading, baking, spending time with my friends and family, and walking my two furry children. My goal on my blog is to share something a little crafty, something yummy, and something fun every week. Thank you for visiting & comments are appreciated :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Craziness!

Wow! This month has flown by and been filled with caziness. As you already know, if your read my other posts, we started the month off with a sleepover to celebrate Jarek's birthday. the following week I spent getting ready for our annual Christmas open house.

I had baking to do, gingerbread houses to prep, more decorations to put up, etc. Out of our three Christmas trees only one cooerated, the other two, with pre strung lights, decided to not light up completely. I was able to repair the champagne tree, but the other was hopeless. I spent 2+ hours folling strings, checking bulbs and rearranging cords...all to no avail. So, time for a new tree!

Our open house was very fun, as ususal, but we did have a much smaller crowd this year due to the weather. Instead of our ususal 75+ we had 35-40. The little kids enjoyed decorating their gingerbread houses, the big kids sompared iPods, iPhones and other electronics while the adults made merry. needless to say....lots of leftover goodies! I made plates up for the few neighbors who were not able to make it & Jarek delivered them on Monday...a snow day!

That brings us to the last week of school before break...they had two snow day! Great, that only leaves one for the rest of winter. Jarek had a lot of fun ont he first day...snowboarding and sledding with his friends. It was so nice...they are at the age now that I don't have to take care of them...almost didn't know that I had a living room full of kids:)

In between all that I managed to do a little crafting...I made these for my crafting girlfriends...they are fuzzy socks rolled up and stuffed in a sundae dish with a candy stick for a straw. I thought they turned out cute.

These are gift card holders...I got the idea from Sandy Genovese's sight...when you pull the card open the center square flips to reveal a gift card. I did adjust my pattern...her's did not fight in a standard envelope & i really didn't want to make envelopes, so with a little math I adjusted it so they will fit in a 5x7 envelope.

Today I have to wrap presents...one of my least favorite things to do...guess that is why I am updating my blog. Ok, I have procrastinated enough...I will wrap all presents today!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hostess Gift

I needed a quick hostess gift and this is what I came up with. The scalloped circles with the spirelli I received in a swap. After looking at them for a few minutes I had my idea...I found the perfect sheet of paper in my stash and pulled out my spellbinders I used the spellbinders to cut the white & black mats for the circles, added an enamel 'thank you" sticker, some ribbon and photo corners on two of the cards....Cute!

Friday, December 3, 2010

How quickly they grow...

Last night we celebrated my son's birthday with 9 of his closest friends...and yes, thank you for asking, we are insane. This was not just a birthday, it was his becoming a teenager birthday...13!
When I look at him it is hard to believe that this young man in front of me is the same preemie I couldn't even hold 13 years ago. Oh, yes, like everything he does his birth was a little dramatic. My little guy started trying to join us over Thanksgiving weekend...he was not supposed to join us until well after Christmas. I had to be taken to a special hospital with a neonatal unit, once there they seemed determined to keep him cooking a little longer, so drugs it was. After about a week it was decided that it was time to let him out into the world. Again, bring on the other drugs....about 14 hours later there he was. Yes, he came too early, but despite that he was healthy. We were very lucky and able to bring him home after only a week in the neonatal unit. Like mom always said, we just cook 'em faster....he was fine, no problems to deal with...at least health wise.
When we brought him home we had this lovely, wooden cradle for him to sleep in...he hated it. We tried everything...crib, bassinet....then my Mom-mom suggested a laundry basket. He loved it! It was just his size and that is where he slept until he was about 6 months old. It was great for me too because I could just move him around the house. Seems like only yesterday that he would fit in that basket, now his feet hang over a twin bed!

I digress...Last night our son and his friends overtook our home. They ate...hot dogs and homemade french fries. John said they had to have homemade fries, so that was his job - fry cook. After stuffing their faces they went outside to burn it off...flashlights in hand they ran amok for about 2 hours in our yard, at least our yard most of the time. Then it was time to sing...cake and presents. We then sent them to the family room with two movies, a Wii, iPods, and snacks (you have to have more sugar:)...at 3 AM I gave in and went to sleep to the sound of iPods, DS's and a movie blaring.

I was awakened by the sound of my two beasts trying to get to the front door because the doorbell was ringing. One of the young men who stayed the night and failed to tell me that he would be picked up 'a little early' in the morning....7 AM to be exact. So I stumbled to the door to greet a mother I have never meet in my adorable fleece penguin robe...so much for first impressions. I knew there was no going back after that so I dressed and started breakfast. thank goodness I always overcook....those boys (only 7 left now) went through 34 sausage links, 28 pancakes, a gallon of milk and some other juices!

Once feed they decided that they just had to play football in the snow...sorry neighbors, I did manage to keep them in until 9 AM. I am amazed at the teenage body...I wold have had on hat, gloves, scarf, tights under my jeans, turtleneck and sweater....they had on t-shirts & hoodies...crazy boys! Of course they wanted a fire after 45 minutes of outside time....a fire that they sat in front of for a total of 9 minutes, yes I counted. Oh, well...I enjoyed it.

10 Am rolled around and all remaining parents seemed to arrive at the same time...so for about 15 minutes we had doorbells ringing, dogs barking, boys running from one side of the house to the other gathering things and parents trying to chat. I think they had a wonderful time!

But that is not where the celebrating ended...after a little rest, we took him for his birthday lunch. He wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory. We enjoyed a great meal and family time. The waitress brought his dessert with a chorus of Happy Birthday accompanied by several others of the wait staff. We then went to get his final present...new shoes. Yes, my son likes clothes and shoes. We had to go to a skate store to get them, but they were the ones he has been coveting....wild colored high tops by some skate company. Now the day was complete.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's beginning to look like Christmas....I wish!

Well, December 1st rolled around and I had all these grand plans to have all my decorations up, packages ready to mail, newsletter written & cards signed.....NOT! It all went downhill after my beautiful tree would not completely light up. I bought this beautiful champagne tree for all our military decorations and I decided I would put it up first. I fluffed the branches, connected the corns and plugged it in....half of the upper portion would not light. I was sick over it...this was a brand new tree, only used one season. Well, after a quick check and no resolve I decided to set it aside and move to something else.....lights for outside. ARGHHHHH! Only 3 out of 10 sets of lights were working, my cute penguins were only half lighting up and my candy can markers had been partially crushed due to improper packing. Ok, my Christmas cheer was quickly evaporating. So, again, I decided to put it aside...everything would look better the next day. Because I had spent so much time on the decorations, dinner was not ready or even thought of. I went to pick up a pizza....imagine my surprise when I returned home to find all 20+ Rubbermaid's and boxes of decorations piled all over my family room.

This is not how I work...I like to do one box at a time, putting away the empty boxes as I go...I quickly pushed down the complaints that rose to my lips when I saw how proud my husband was that he had 'helped me'. (Deep Sigh) I decided to deal with it all...half lite trees, inoperative lights, crushed candy canes & mountains of Rubbermaid's... tomorrow; and I watched Glee.

Oh, did I mention that I am trying a new eating plan with my sister & it is very low in carbs? Yeah, so now emotional eating because carrots just don't help when you are feeling this way.

I wish I could say that I awoke the next day ready to conquer it all,but I didn't. No, I awoke to an even worse feeling of being overtaken by the evil Christmas decorations and the need for escape, so...I went to craft with a girlfriend. I was hoping some creative time would help dissolve the growing feeling of being overwhelmed and motivate me to conquer the mess in my family room. We went to a local store for a make and take. We made the cute card to the left...the Santa can move around the clock & the clock hands can move. It is an easel card...cute.

After a little bit of girl talk, creative time and lunch I did return feeling a little more confident in my ability to win this battle over the Christmas decorations. I am happy to report that the tree is fixed, most of the Rubbermaid's are unpacked and back in their proper places, outside lights are hung, and two of the 4 penguins are working. I only have to repair the candy canes and try to find the problem with the other two penguins. Now I am not saying all my decorating is done...I still have a major banister to wrap, chandeliers to drape, another tree to put up and decorate, etc....but I am on my way and in control:)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keep it simple

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated" ~ Confucius

While DH and DS were gone for 3 days and I had all these grand plans of the things I was going to get done....didn't happen. I did get a lot done, but I really think my list was a little over ambitious, so I am re thinking....

My goal this holiday is to keep things simple so I can enjoy the holiday. I always go overboard with decoration, parties, presents, cards, etc. This year I am going to try to keep everything on the simper side.

I scaled my gift list back and I am almost done with it. I have a few gifts left to get for family, but basically I am done. I ordered quite a bit online to avoid the shopping in the store experience...people & overspending avoided. I even have some of the gifts being wrapped and directly delivered:)

Cards...going to refine the list and use the cards I have in my stash. I mean really, i do swaps all the time & have dozens of holiday and winter themed cards so, why make a whole new set? to stress myself out? I will do the newsletter like I did last yer....a year in pictures. So much easier than trying to write something on each of us and make it interesting.

Parties...well I can't move Jarek's birthday so we will have two parties in December...his sleepover and our Annual Open House. John WILL be helping with the sleepover. he suggested they needed homemade french fries with their hot dogs, so guess who will manning the fryer? You got it - John!

Housewarming...well I have learned a couple of things after doing these for several years.
First, anything tastes good covered in chocolate...bring on the chocolate fountain! Simple prep and easy to watch during the party.
Second, if you only have one non-alcoholic beverage the children will drink it and be happy. Where's the punch bowl?
Finally, it does not really matter if the treats are homemade or store bought, people are just not that observant when it comes to sugar, so....why work for days making beautiful desserts? Cookies, brownies and mini cupcakes are perfect...no utensils required and easy to bake ahead of time.
If I follow these thins I can then focus on my guests and supervising the gingerbread house building. Anyone know an easy way to remove dried royal frosting from table tops? That stuff is like cement when it dries!

Decorating...I am going to actually go through my decorations as I unpack them and only put out the ones I love. I may be giving some away, because as I sit here I can think of several things in the boxes that we never put out. They need a new home.

Hopefully this simpler way will give me a chance to enjoy the holiday instead of stressing and running around like a chicken right up to Christmas day.

Now for swaps...did these last night...

These are for a Cricut Cut swap....

I really like the "Key to my Heart" set, I already have a layout in mind. the cuts are from the Sentiments cartridge. I left them a little plain so the recipient can alter them to their layout....ink, glitter, etc.

The fleur de lis are from the home Accents cartridge...this is one of my favorite shapes. I really love the glitter paper I used, it is a champagne color.

Can't wait to see what the others do.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rainy day, silly dogs & a lot of crafting!

It rained all day yesterday...made for a very damp & chilly day. My silly dogs would not even go outside unless I accompanied them with an umbrella. Are we just a little spoiled? The funny thing is that they both have such thick fur that would not even feel the wetness, it is their paws...they do not liek to ge ttheir paws wet. Silly dogs!

With my boys gone and the weather outside, I was very productive....I completes two sets of cards for swaps, two sets of tags for swaps and did all the cuts for two Cricut swaps. I will finish the Cricut swaps tomorrow & hopefully get my Thanksgiving pictures scrapbooked...more pictures:0) So, here is what I did today....

Items from an Element Swap. I made the title block for this one. I am excited to do a layout using the elements, they all turned out beautiful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Toast...

"Reflect on your present blessings,
of which every man has many,
Not on your past misfortunes,
Of Whish all men have some."

~Charles Dickens

Well, we are not spending a traditional Thanksgiving today, we did celebrate earlier with my parents. We had a wonderful day, with all helping to make our meal fantastic. Dad used his creativity to come up with a pumpkin mousse pie - yummy! Mom helped with the turkey - delicous! John cleaned everything up, washing the dishes & putting them away. Jarek did whatever he was asked. It was a yummy meal with family....and it was our first without Mom-Mom. While we didn't speak of her, I think she was on all our minds.

Today while everyone else is eating turkey with their family, I am trying to catch up on things before the holidays hit. Swaps to finish, invitations to mail, packages to mail, fall decorations to put up, birthday party to prepare for, gifts to buy.....the holiday season is in full force!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day....I am off to my scrap book room to creates...pictures later.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful Thoughts

" He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." ~ Epictetus

As the holidays approach it is so easy to get caught up in all the craziness...shopping, parties, spending, visiting, etc...So today, before the holidays are on top of me I want to take a minute to reflect on the things I am thankful for...and hopefully I will refer back to this blog entry when things just get too out of hand.

I am thankful for....
1. My husband, even though we have our ups & downs, go head to head a lot of the times (because we are so much alike) I know he loves me & will be there for me. He is my other half, no one else could complete me like he does.

2. My son, he is my sunshine....even if it gets covered over with stormy clouds sometimes. He is a caring, loving young man and I am proud to be his mother.

3. My parents, without them I would not be the person I am today...strong, independent, caring, self sufficient woman. They have always been there for me to support and guide me along the way.

4. My sister, who is one of my best friends. As we have grown older, we have grown closer.

5. My step children, even though they have brought a lot of heartache to my life, they have also brought joy. I only wish we could be closer now.

6. My mom-mom, who is no longer with us, she taught me a lot of things ...some good, some not so good :) I am glad my son got to know her and that we had her as long as we did.

7. My friends, who give me the support I need when I need, who know my likes & dislikes, share in laughter and tears, know me for me.

8. For having enough....enough food, money to pay bills, shelter, etc. We may not be rich but we have enough for ourselves and to share a little with others in need.

9. My fur babies, Thor & Colonel, they are my best friends most days...their unconditional love just can't be beat.

These are in no particular order, just as they came to mind...this is not all of the list, but just the beginning...I will think on this some more today and might have to adjust the list....

So, as the holiday approaches, what are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Iris Folding Fun....and other crafty things.

Yesterday I spent time working on swaps...and playing with Iris folding...

These are cards I made with the stamped images I received from a swap.

This a title block I made for an Elements Swap...I really like the grapic look of it. I used Storybook to cut the bracketed boxthen added the holly from another cartridge. Then I added crystal effects to the berries.

These are the cards I did with Iris Folding...I experimented with different layering of the ribbons... oh, I used ribbon instead of folded paper.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Crafty Friday

Today I decided to get all my swaps done & work on a few layouts....

These are all for swaps on my facebook group...I really like the Pilgrims' hat, it is from "Celebrate with Flourish" Cricut Cartridge. The card is a combination of two elements for a swap...I used an embossed background and a stamped image to make the card.

These are my Halloween layouts, one for the family book & one for Jarek's album. I used items from an Element Swap...I still have to complete the title block on the one...can't decide on the title though.

This is the layout I did for our trip to New Orleans last year...better late than never:) I did a double flip layout so I could get all the pics in. I still need to journal....hence the empty spaces.

Finally, I did the corn maze pictures. I had this idea in my head and I actually managed to get it to look the way I wanted. I free handed the corn...I started tearing 7 inking strips, then I layered them until I got the look I wanted. For the corn cob I tore an oval of yellow & then embossed it with the Cuttlebug folder, bubbles. I inked everything. I think it came out great.

Tomorrow I am going to try to finish the corn maze page (journaling) and do the bon fire page. Then I have few more swaps to work on.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Happenings....

Me & Teri by the fire

We had a busy, fun, and a little exciting Halloween weekend. Our friends, the Freeman's, came up for the weekend and we had a lot of things planned.
On Friday we had a bonfire and made s'mores. The kids were excited and could have stayed up later, but we had them settle down early because we had a full day ahead of us.
Saturday we started the day with a big breakfast.  After cleaning up we separated with the boys going to visit the Air Force Museum and the girls going shopping.  The plan was to meet back at the house at noon. 
At 12:30 the boys arrived home with lunch...only 30 minutes late:)  After lunch we loaded up and headed to the corn maze.  We spent a couple of hours exploring the maze, shooting the corn cob cannons, and taking a hayride. 

Ethan & Jarek  in the corn maze

Once home we had  just a few minutes to rest before we had to carve our pumpkins & finish getting ready for our pre-trick-or-treating party.  The kids were rather creative with their pumpkins...the boys made 'puking pumpkins' which were quite a hit with several trick-or-treaters taking pictures! 

puking pumpkins

While the children were getting into costumes, Teri & I finished getting the food together.  Unfortunately, we both had accidents int he kitchen...she sliced her fingers and I managed to actually cut my tip off....OUCH!  Fortunately, we somehow managed to not get blood on any of the food or work areas.    David, Teri's husband, jumped in and finished chopping while we were bandaging up.  Never a dull moment!

Goodies for the party...candy apples, my favorite!
The kids plowed through their food and then hit the streets...the boys went off on their own and the girls went with the dads.  They all were back in the house by 8 and we ended up with an extra child for the night...oh, well...what is one more?

The kids...all dressed & ready to hit the streets.
The next morning brought an end to our wonderful weekend, well mostly wonderful....but not before Teri made biscuits and gravy for John.    After the Freemans left we spent the day relaxing and watching silly Halloween movies.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October swaps...girls craft day....

Because I have been busy trying to declutter, I have not had much time to craft, but I did participate in two swaps & attend a girls' crafting at Juanitas....

These are my cards from my Facebook Group, Divas, swap....the theme was 'Happy Holidays", as you can see from the group shot some people thought outside of the box. It is always fun to see what others come up with.

Below are the items from my Divas Layout elements Swap....I did the paper pieced tree. I can't wait to do the layout with these items...

Finally, these are the two cards we made at Juanita's....
She taught us the iris folding technique. Very simple, and very pretty. The egg card is done with paper, while the ornament is done with ribbon. I prefer the ribbon only because it eliminates a step...no folding...but they are both beautiful. Thanks, Juanita!

I have sooo many projects laid out to work on...I am almost done with my organizing, then I can get back to them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall is in the air....

"Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower." ~Albert Camus

After working for 3 days straight on cleaining out junk and getting things together for donating, I decided to take a break. I took the dogs & my camera and went on a fall walk. It was a beautiful day...sunny with a slight breeze, not too hot or cool...just right.

This weekend I decided to take Jarek's school pictures...we just do not have good luck, so I got my camera & we went to the park to find some interesting backgrounds. This is shoot #1...

He has already decided that shoot #2 will be at the skate park with his board....I think these will be fun and really be an expression of who he is right now.

I have been working on many projects, but finished none. Unfortunately they will not get done until after this weekend. Fortunately, we are having company this weekend & will 5+ kids int he house to celebrate Halloween. This will probably be Jarek's last trick-or-treating year, so...I am going to enjoy it. We also have company coming is for the weekend, so I am expecting to have a busy, tiring, but terrifically fun weekend!