30 November 2008

Toys from my childhood

Over the summer, I moved the contents of my parents' attic to our house. Most of the stuff in the attic, it seems, belongs to me. All summer and fall it sat in our garage because I couldn't find the time or strength to go through the boxes.

Over the weekend, I tackled this little project. I went through box after box of my old games, puzzles, and dolls. They were dusty and dirty, but for the most part, everything was still intact and just as I remembered it. It's really important to me that childhood treasures be stored carefully and with respect, so I cleaned everything up and packed it in labeled plastic containers to store in our basement. I'm not ready to part with any of these goodies!

I grew up in the 60's and 70's, so if you're about my age, maybe you'll remember some of these treasures! My Fun Flowers set (box and some of the tin molds are shown) was one of my favorite things. I loved to make all kinds of flowers and shapes with it. (Notice how these flower shapes are the same ones popular today?) I also found a few boxes of paper dolls (including a set of Dawn Doll paper dolls), my snow-cone maker (complete with instructions), a music box, my Lite-Brite (with all the pegs, of course), games, puzzles, and books. In addition to the goodies shown here, I cleaned up a dozen baby dolls and packed them away.

This is only a fraction of the things I have from my childhood. Credit goes to my mom for saving all of this for me. It's great to be able to hold these treasures in my hands and remember back on the part they played in my childhood.

29 November 2008

Winter wall hanging

For the past few years, I've done some freelance work for Better Homes and Gardens' annual Christmas book, Christmas from the Heart, which is released in July of each year. I received my copy of the latest book a couple of days ago. Meanwhile, I just finished some work for next year's book, which I won't see until next summer! :-) This beautiful annual book features great recipes, decorating ideas, and craft projects for the holiday season. The book is available on the BHG website here.

Since I now have the latest book in hand, I thought I'd share a couple of projects from last year over the next few days. One of my favorites was this winter wall hanging. I love the quote. AND I still love those American Crafts felt snowflakes! In fact, I believe I'm hoarding the few I have left!

28 November 2008

Feline Friday

Notice any similarities?
A difference: Only one was stuffed!

Post-Thanksgiving Lily says:
"My diet starts tomorrow!"

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Even though I've had a very rough past few months, I am still blessed beyond measure. I have so many things to be thankful for this year. Here are just a few, in no particular order.

I'm thankful for my blogging / e-mail / Facebook / and in-person friends, far and near, who bring me smiles every day. Some I've met and some I may never meet, yet we're all connected. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the inspiration, support, and encouragement you've offered me this year.

I'm thankful that I know what it feels like to have a mom who loves you unconditionally.

I'm thankful for a daughter who challenges me, makes me think, and is (slowly) molding me into a better person by being her parent. I'm thankful for the opportunity to help her discover who she is meant to be.

I'm thankful for blogging...how it weaves us together in a big (yet little) global neighborhood.

I'm thankful for a spouse who understands me (most of the time, anyway) and supports me. I'm thankful for our shared history and goofy inside jokes.

I'm thankful for the Butterball Hotline.

I'm thankful for Clorox wipes. Yes, I am.

I'm thankful for Tinsel who, even though she has bathroom issues, sleeps on my lap every evening and stands on my foot when she's hungry.

I'm thankful for my extended family members, who have listened to me, hugged me, and shared stories with me.

I'm thankful for fonts -- especially Helvetica, Wendy Medium, and Futura.

I'm thankful for Lily, whose incredibly loud purring and never-ending antics are a source of delight.

I'm thankful for my relationship with my dad, who I've come to understand and appreciate in new ways this year.

I'm thankful for those good-smelling plug-in things from Bath & Body Works.

I'm thankful for my faith in God, which has been greatly tested and strengthened this year.

I'm thankful I can hop in the car or jump on a plane and travel to new places.

I'm thankful for the snooze button.

I'm thankful for interesting non-fiction books.

I'm thankful for Diet Coke, without which I would have some really long days.

I'm thankful for my work, which has provided an outlet and a refuge during this very difficult year.

I'm thankful for new paint colors in our house.

I'm thankful for my dear Aunt Carole, my inspiration for all things creative.

I'm thankful owls have made a comeback.

I'm thankful for Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks.

I'm thankful that I still have a sense of humor.

I'm thankful for lower gas prices.

I'm thankful for digital photography.

I'm thankful for the recumbent bike at the Dreaded Fitness Place.

I'm thankful for Picasa.

I'm thankful for scrapbooking, which allows me to document and make sense of our lives.

I'm thankful I've been in some very dark places, because now I appreciate the light.

I'm thankful for my Born sandals and my Born shoes.

I'm thankful for dirt to dig in, flowers to plant, and happy mistakes to make in the garden.

I'm thankful for my fuzzy pink socks and warm sock monkey jammies.

I'm thankful that I can write.

I'm thankful for a cup (ceramic, not Styrofoam!) of something warm to drink.

I'm thankful for music to listen to, play, and experience.

I'm thankful for my barn coat.

I'm thankful for carry-out pizza.

I'm thankful that I'm alive and well and still have a lot more living to do.

26 November 2008

Cranberry-Currant-Walnut Sauce

Many years ago (pre-parenthood), I actually enjoyed cooking and had some aspirations of being an accomplished cook one day. My downfall was that I never liked making everyday food; I much preferred cooking dishes for special occasions.

One of the recipes I made a few times "back in the day" was this one: Cranberry-Currant-Walnut Sauce. This recipe comes from the original Martha Stewart Entertaining cookbook (those of you Martha fans know how old that cookbook is). Since I'm trying to change things a bit this Thanksgiving, I thought I'd whip up a batch this year. Oh, my...It's even better than I remembered!

This sauce is really quick and easy to make, and it smells heavenly while it's on the stove. It even has sound effects: As the cranberries boil, their little "jackets" burst open with a "pop!" It's a festive sound. :-)

If you're looking for a wonderful, super-simple cranberry sauce (which you could actually eat directly from the bowl with a spoon...it's THAT good!), I would encourage you to try this one. If you make it, let me know!

Cranberry-Currant-Walnut Sauce

1 pound fresh cranberries or
1 package (16 ounces) frozen cranberries -- I use fresh
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup red currant preserves (or jam) -- I have substituted raspberry
1 cup water
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons grated orange zest

Combine the cranberries, sugar, preserves, and water in a large saucepan; heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes; skim the foam and remove from the heat. Stir in the walnuts and orange zest. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

Makes about 6 cups

25 November 2008

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Yesterday I tested a new recipe to try for Thanksgiving dessert. My mom's pumpkin pie was legendary, and although I have her recipe, I thought it would be too painful to make it this Thanksgiving. To make things easier, I'm going to try a few new dishes this year. So when my friend Connie shared this recipe for Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake, I thought I'd give it a go.

Turns out it is a Paula Deen recipe. Paula is a southern cook who has programs on The Food Network. Her recipes do not skimp on the butter, cream, or sugar!

When making the Pumpkin Gooey Cake (now called PGC by my friends Connie and Sharon), I had a few helpers: Tinsel, Lily, and a Diet Coke. :-)

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake



· 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix

· 1 egg

· 8 tablespoons butter, melted


· 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

· 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

· 3 eggs

· 1 teaspoon vanilla

· 8 tablespoons butter, melted

· 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

· 1 teaspoon cinnamon

· 1 teaspoon nutmeg


· Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

· Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

· To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

· Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.


If you've followed my culinary (mis)adventures, you know that I need EASY recipes, and this one is! Here are a some tips: Be sure to buy canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which would be way too sweet. Second, do not overbake it. I should have taken it out of the oven at 50 minutes (as indicated in the recipe), but I gave it another 5 minutes and the bottom crust got just a tiny bit too brown. It will be wobbly in the center when you take it out of the oven, but I guess that is why it is called GOOEY! Also, this cake will NOT cut nicely unless you chill it, and even then it doesn't cut smoothly, again due to the gooey, custardy texture. And it tastes GREAT with whipped cream! But caution...you should only eat a tiny piece at a time. It is VERY rich.

Don't take my word for it: Click on the link above to go to Paula's website and read some of the 2,000+ reviews for this recipe. It's a fabulously easy dessert, and it even passed the test at our house, so I'll be baking this for Thanksgiving. If you try it, let me know!

All-State Music Festival

The annual all-state music festival was held this past weekend, featuring nearly 1,000 top high school musicians from around the state. Daughter was selected for the percussion section in the all-state band. I blogged about the audition process a few weeks ago here.

Here she is prior to the concert. Of course, she did not want her photo taken, but the Crazed Camera-Wielding Mother did it anyway. :-)

Here is one of many photos I took of the band. If you click on this photo to bigify it, you'll see her at the back of the band on chimes. She played many different percussion instruments throughout the program. During one song she went back and forth behind the band to play a few measures on one then another. Fun for us to watch! :-)

Here's a shot of the band, choir, and orchestra. As you might imagine, the concert was terrific. It was hard to believe we were listening to high school musicians.

Here's a shot of the audience. Take a look at the guy operating the TV camera. Because he was up on a very high platform, he was tethered in a little harness to the ceiling. I kept hoping he'd fly out over the band like Peter Pan but alas, he stayed on his platform. :-)

For those of you in Iowa, the concert will be broadcast on Thanksgiving evening at 7pm on Iowa Public Television, then re-broadcast on Sunday at 5pm. Details can be found here. If you get the opportunity, I hope you'll watch it. It's a great program and would be a nice way to spend the holiday evening!

24 November 2008

Kreative Blogger Award and a bit of randomness

We've had a crazy-busy past few days, which means I've been a bad blogger. Hope to get back in the saddle again this week, although it's somewhat questionable because...

sit down...

I am HOSTING Thanksgiving this year. Given my track record in the kitchen, all I can say is this:

Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

Hopefully no relatives will be harmed in the eating of the dinner. On the flip side, perhaps some good blog material will result.

Okay, continuing on...

I received this nice blog award from Toni and Sarah C. Thank you, ladies! Your blogs inspire me daily with creativity and positive messages!

Here are the rules of the Kreativ Blogger award:
  1. The winner may put the logo on their blog.
  2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award.
  3. Nominate 5 blogs.
  4. Provide links to their blogs.
  5. Leave a message for your nominees.
I am nominating Lily, GingerKitty, Fonda, Kristina, and Cheri. Enjoy!

* * * * *

Random Photo Tag

Heather tagged me recently with this fun little assignment. You go to your pictures, open the 4th folder, and find the 4th picture, and share it on your blog. Then tag four of your friends to do the same thing.

Heather may not realize how hard it is for me to be random!! lol Of course, I had to analyze how my folders should be sorted in order to generate the 4th folder -- date order, size order, date modified...I finally settled on a sort and chose the 4th photo in that 4th folder, although it may get me in some trouble with Daughter. (Which is why I'm burying this at the bottom of another post!)

This photo was taken in 2005 at the state fair. Daughter (looking QUITE a bit younger then) had created an interactive poster about the fair to enter into a youth competition. (Gosh, can you tell that she likes straight lines and grids? This may be the ONE thing we have in common!) I do believe she received a blue ribbon for her effort.

Thanks for tagging me, Heather! This was a fun exercise, and harder than you can imagine, since there is hardly a random bone in my body! I'm tagging the following bloggers...Have fun!


Sarah C

21 November 2008

Feline Friday: One Hat, Many Looks

Coy debutant, scowling mobster, wholesome American Girl, and seasick sailor...all from one hat. :-)

20 November 2008

Things I've Done (plus a few more for good measure)

I found this on Sarah C's blog. If you want to play along, just copy the list and highlight all the things you've done. (I'm kinda surprised that I have done so many of these random things! And there are stories associated with just about all of them.You know, this would make a really interesting mini-album..).

** Oops, the highlighting is invisible on some screens, so I marked the things I have done with a star!!

1. Started your own blog *
2. Slept under the stars *
3. Played in a band *
4. Visited
Hawaii *
5. Watched a meteor shower *

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world *
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited
Paris *
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch *
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning *
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of
Liberty *
18. Grown your own vegetables *
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in
France *
20. Slept on an overnight train *
21. Had a pillow fight *

22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort *
25. Held a lamb *
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a
28. Ridden in a gondola in
Venice *
29. Seen a total eclipse *
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset *
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen
Niagara Falls in person *
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors *
35. Seen an Amish community *

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied *
38. Seen the
Leaning Tower of Pisa in person *
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David *
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen
Old Faithful geyser erupt *
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight *
46. Been transported in an ambulance *
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person *
50. Been to the top of the
Eiffel Tower in Paris *
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater *
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the
Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited
60. Served at a soup kitchen *
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies *
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason *
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check *
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy *
70. Visited the
Lincoln Memorial *
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in
Times Square *
74. Toured the
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in
London *
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the
Grand Canyon in person *
80. Published a book
81. Visited the
Vatican *
82. Bought a brand new car *
83. Walked in
84. Had your picture in the newspaper *
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House *
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous *
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one *
94. Had a baby *
95. Seen the
Alamo in person *
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone *
99. Been stung by a bee *

Now I am going to add a few of my own, off the top of my head. Note that these are all bold! :-)

· Worn two different colored shoes (at the same time) *

· Worn your shirt inside out *

· Called someone by the wrong name *

· Driven the wrong way on a one-way street *

· Driven on a “buses only” street *

· Thought about stealing a cat *

· Actually stolen a cat *

· Assisted with a hemorrhoidectomy (don’t ask) *

· Got lost going someplace you’ve been before *

· Eaten frosting straight from the plastic tub *

· Dropped your driver’s license into the toilet *

17 November 2008

Can I just say...

...one more time, how much I love these things?!

I realize I've blogged about them before, but some things are so good they bear repeating.

So what the heck are they? These are quilter's templates, cut into pieces of various sizes. The pieces represent photos, journaling blocks, or other elements you might place on a scrapbook page. When I first started teaching scrapbooking classes, it occurred to me how similar the process is to playing with a flannel board (remember those?). In both cases, you move elements around until you have a design that pleases you.

When I start a layout or create a sketch, I start with a blank sheet of cardstock, then play around with these pieces until I find a design that I like. The pieces help me visualize if a photo enlargement might be helpful, or how to arrange a collage of photos. If I play with these pieces first, I can be pretty confident that I'll like the results when I go to print my re-sized photos or crop already-printed photos.

My first set of templates was made from chipboard. Then I upgraded to plain plastic templates. Then my friend Sharon (a former quilter) tipped me off to these quilter's templates with grid lines sold at fabric stores. They are perfect for this application.

If you want to make a set for yourself, just pick up 2-3 quilter's templates and cut them in the sizes you most often use. Punch a hole in each corner with a Crop-a-Dile, then store them on a metal ring.

Anal retentive? Maybe. Helpful? Very.

16 November 2008

Story of My Life

With all that has happened around here in the past few months, I've fallen way behind in my de-cluttering and domestic efforts (and we all know that domestic chores are far from my strong suit anyway). Out of desperation, I finally hired a person to do a one-time deep cleaning of our house.

Of course, I had to spend a week "pre-cleaning" for the cleaning person. A lot of what I had to do involved de-cluttering. This is really hard for me, because I'm a sentimental person who hangs on to a lot of stuff I shouldn't.

In preparation for the cleaning person, I squirreled away a lot of my clutter and put the rest in decorative baskets.

So I had to laugh when I saw this "Rhymes with Orange" comic strip this morning. The photo was obviously taken in our living room. :-)

14 November 2008

Feline Friday: Crafty Cat Burglar

Hmmm...I feal like dooing krafts tonite.
I see sumfing I wants on mama's crap-buk table.

Furst, I shud be shur the koast is cleer.
Okai, no one sees me...

If I strech reely hard, I can gets it all by myself...

Uh-oh! Mama cot me wif her kamra!

Mama, I just wanted sum ribbun to make Tinsel a prezunt!

11 November 2008

Two Peas Blogging Challenges

I haven't been doing the blogging challenges on Two Peas lately, so I thought today would be a good day to comment on a few (especially since I have no more stories of bug-eating cats!).

#1: Have you started to make your Christmas cards?

The short answer: No.

I hope I can get started on that project by the first part of December and not wait until December 20! :-) For the past couple of years, I've made most/all of my cards using leftover bits of Christmas stuff. It's a great way to use up odds and ends, and I plan to do that again this year with one exception: My friend, Connie, has put together an adorable Christmas card kit for purchase, so I'll be making her cards. I'm looking forward to following Connie's directions and not having to think so much! lol

I always write the dreaded holiday letter to send out to friends and family, so I'll have to get that done to include with the cards.

#2: How do you feel about celebrating your birthday?

The short answer: I hate it.

Birthdays make me sad in general. I guess it's the evidence of getting older that I don't really like. Yes, I'm in denial. :-) But if I don't FEEL older, why do I have to BE older?

#3: What do you have on your Christmas list?

The short answer: Nothing.

Spouse and I don't exchange Christmas gifts. If there is something we need for the house, we'll buy that, but for the most part we don't give gifts. Santa brings a few small trinkets for our stockings...if we've been good!

None of us cares for the materialistic aspect of Christmas (in fact, I've actually seen our daughter cry about this on Christmas morning), so we've been trying to refocus on the significance of the holiday. For the past few years, we have cut way down on gift-giving at Christmas. We truly do not need any more possessions, so we adopt a family and use our money to buy gifts for them. We go shopping together and have fun picking out goodies for each person on the list. We're planning to do it again this year.

Without the stress of shopping, we find that we can focus on the real meaning of the holiday. We have more time for decorating, baking, attending Christmas concerts, and just enjoying the season. Most importantly, it's a really good feeling to wake up on Christmas morning and know that you've helped a family have a brighter day.

10 November 2008

Nom, Nom, Nom....

You may recall that we've recently had some windows repaired and completely removed, resulting in more than a few little critters taking up residence inside our house. Last night, I was working on the computer when Lily started jumping at the wall. She had spotted a bug up near the ceiling and was trying her best to capture it.

Before removing the bug from the house, I decided to lift Lily up so she could get a better look. Here is sort of what the 1.5" bug looked like (I guess he was a box elder bug, but his legs seemed awfully long for that):

Well...I had no sooner hoisted plump Lily up to see the bug than... SMACK! She grabbed him with both front paws and stuffed him in her mouth!

In an instant, she swallowed the poor bug WHOLE, without chewing!


I was at once disgusted and concerned about what Lily had just done. Sure, Lily's mommy was a farm cat, but she leads an indoor life. She does NOT capture her own food (other than an occasional stray Cheeto). She has certainly never eaten anything alive and potentially pesticide-laden! This wild behavior caught me completely off guard.

I gingerly sat her down on the floor. Our Lily stood in the middle of the room with a bewildered expression on her face, then....

BOING! She sprang straight up in the air!

She walked a few steps, hesitated, then...

BOING! Up she went again!

This walking and jumping continued for a good 30 minutes. Seriously, when I got past my disgust, it was the funniest thing I'd seen in a long time.

Our Lily: Gotta love her. :-)

08 November 2008

Envelope album

Here's a little envelope album I've been working on for a class at the store where I teach. If you've never attempted one, they are fun and easy to make! I used paper and die-cuts by My Mind's Eye to give the album a cohesive look and feel.

There are actually a few different kinds of envelope albums. One type is an accordion-type album, where the flap of one envelope is attached to the next one, allowing the envelopes to fold up like an accordion. Instead of an accordion, this one is more like a pocket or mini-album, with openings on the side.

You can make an envelope album out of any size envelopes, even tiny coin envelopes. The concept is simple: You seal the envelopes, then cut off one side of each to make a pocket. You cover the envelopes with cardstock or patterned paper, then hook them together somehow -- I used little strips of cardstock. (If you've ever made a tag book, the concept is very similar.)

As you can see from the photo above, the envelope pockets each hold a pull-out photo/journaling mat.

Oh, I can tell right now that this class is going to be fun! :-)

07 November 2008

Feline Friday: Ladybug Patrol

We had some work done on the windows in our house this past week. While they were being repaired, several were completely OUT at the same time. Fortunately, it was lovely weather but lots of things blew in...such as dust, leaves, and approximately 1,000 slow-moving ladybugs looking for a place to spend the winter.

The ladybugs are mostly hanging out on our ceiling, which makes them somewhat difficult to capture. They are, however, providing endless hours of entertainment for Lily, who remains convinced that if she reaches high enough, she'll be able to catch one.

One evening this week, I caught Lily on Ladybug Patrol on a table in my scrapbooking area, occasionally sitting up on her haunches like a bunny. She looked like a bobblehead as she followed the ladybug's every move.

No worries, Mrs. Ladybug. I think you're safe!

06 November 2008

Class Project: Recipes from Home

I'm teaching another recipe album class at the end of November at Memory Bound. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the product I originally wanted for this class, so I had to make a last minute change to the Teresa Collins Bon Appetit line. I hadn't really looked at this line until a few days ago, but I really like it! It turned out to be a great product line for this project.

We always get a kick out of the fact that I've taught quite a few recipe album classes over the years, but I'm really not much of a cook myself. I tell people that they're on their own for recipes! :-)

05 November 2008

K&Co Gift Boxes

Today I would like to introduce everyone to a really nice product just released for the holiday season: K & Company Gift Boxes. These gift box diecuts and tags come in a 12x12 tear-out tablet (buy it here at Memory Bound's online store).

There are over 40 double-sided boxes in all, plus many double-sided tags. The jewel-toned colors and patterns are beautiful. These high-quality boxes have a vintage feel and would make wonderful enclosures for gift cards, favors, candy, or trinkets. Included in the tablet are several boxes of each design, making them perfect for decorating place settings on your holiday table.

I decorated 12 sample gift boxes with tags, ribbon, and a few little doodads for an upcoming class. What fun! We scrapbookers know that the package is just as important as what's inside, right? :-)

04 November 2008

Making kits

I spent a good part of the afternoon today making kits for a couple of classes coming up this weekend at Memory Bound. These are the kits in progress for my "It's a Beautiful Life" gratitude album class. I planned this one way back in July, and I'm excited that the class date is almost here. This "staggered" edge album is simple in concept...it's really the Bo Bunny paper that makes it. I love this fall line!

I also love seeing kits in progress on the table. It's like new boxes of Crayons!

I think I've posted this project before, but in case you missed it, here's what the completed album looks like:

...and a couple of pages inside. I used sepia photos.

I'm looking forward to a great class, and some great conversation about things all the good things in our lives.

03 November 2008

My beloved Born sandals

I've added a new feature to my blog: The Daily Sandal Report. Check it out on the right side of the page.

You see, I love my Born sandals SO MUCH that I never, never want to take them off. ** I could sleep in them (and probably have). I have a brown pair and a black pair, both exactly the same, so I never have to be without them. I'm really attached to them because Born discontinued this particular style of sandal, so when they wear out I can never get another pair! (Of course, my plan is just to have them continuously repaired at the shoe place.)

**No, that organic-looking woman on the Born website is not me.

The only trouble is that we happen to live in the Midwest. From late November until the end of March, we have something called WINTER, which involves a lot of snow and ice. This weather is not conducive to sandal-wearing.

Unless, of course, you wear socks with your sandals. My teenage daughter has threatened to disown me if I ever do that. (Of course, I do it anyway, but I just make sure she doesn't see me!)

This week, we're having a very warm spell...and the sandals, which were put away for a short period, are now BACK ON THE FEET! I'm looking forward to at least another few days of sandals before the next cold spell.

Look for Daily Sandal Reports for as long as I remember to do them. :-)

Lily's lid obsession

Lily seems to have developed an obsession with the clear plastic lids from hairspray bottles. Quite often, I find her nosing around on the bathroom counter looking for a stray lid, or reaching into the top drawer hoping to find one hiding there. When she finds a lid, she'll carry it IN HER MOUTH around the house. I have never been able to get a photo of her with a clear lid in her mouth, but trust me -- it is quite a sight. From a distance, you can't see the lid, so it looks like she's just walking around with her mouth wide open. :-)

Extreme cuteness aside, I've explained to Lily that it is not safe to put lids in her mouth. A lid could easily get caught in her teeth or lodge in her throat. Whenever I find her with one, I have to take it away, and that makes her sad.

So every evening, I find her scouring the bathroom looking for new lids to steal. She's obsessed!

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On another note, thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to my questions about scrapbooking classes! When I submit my article, it becomes property of the magazine, so I will not be able to share it with you directly. But eventually it will be posted on the magazine's website, so I can post the link at that time. Again...many, many thanks!