31 July 2009

Feline Friday

As a child, did you sleep with a teddy bear?

Apparently Lily enjoys the feline equivalent. I recently found her, ready for a nap, clutching some of her favorite toys in those dear little white paws. In fact, there were so many toys in her basket that it surely made for a lumpy bed.

But she didn't seem to mind. Even kitties need a little extra security now and then.

30 July 2009

College Visits

With our daughter headed into her senior year (how did THAT possibly happen?), we've been looking into colleges. She's interested in percussion/music education, so our search targeted some of the best percussion programs in the central states.

- click to enlarge -

This month, we visited University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, and Southern Methodist University, all in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She also attended a one-week percussion academy at Indiana University in Bloomington. In addition, we toured Drake University in Des Moines, where she currently takes lessons. Each school requires an audition for placement into the percussion program, so this is only the beginning of a long process.

One interesting side note is that all three Texas schools have big rock climbing walls in their student recreation areas. And we heard that there was a bit of friendly Texas competition as to which school could build the tallest one (UNT). On another note, I think the award for the cutest mascot has to go to the Texas Christian Horned Frog. If you click on the collage, you'll see the rock walls, the horned frog, and a few other highlights of our visits!

Big opportunities, big choices lie ahead. I'm completely excited about what the future holds for her!

28 July 2009

Tabby Tuesday


27 July 2009

Recipe: Krispy S'mores

It's once again time for us to start preparing for the annual state fair! My daughter will be entering a couple of baked items in the food competition again this year. She's been competing in the food division (the largest food competition anywhere in the country!) for a few years now and has amassed quite a number of ribbons.

(In case anyone is wondering, NO, Lily will not be entering the Household Pet Cat Show this year. Our cat show days are OVER!)

Anyway...In looking at photos from last year's competition, I realized I failed to post the recipe for one of my daughter's entries, Krispy S'mores. This recipe is definitely NOT on anyone's fitness plan ;-) but it is certainly tasty! Daughter received a third place ribbon in the s'mores category for this recipe last year.

Krispy S’mores

10 honey graham crackers

8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine

10 oz. miniature marshmallows

13 oz. Cocoa Pebbles cereal

12 large marshmallows, halved

Line a 13x9in pan with foil; grease the bottom and sides. Place grahams in single layer on bottom, cutting grahams to completely fill pan. Coarsely crush remaining grahams; set aside. Microwave chocolate and 2 Tbsp. butter in microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes; stir until chocolate is melted. Spread ½ of the chocolate in thin layer over grahams. Microwave remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in 4-quart microwavable bowl on HIGH 45 seconds or until melted. Add miniature marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1-1/2 minutes until marshmallows are completely melted, stirring after 45 seconds. Add cereal; mix well. Press gently over chocolate-coated grahams to form even layer. Top with marshmallow halves, cut-side down, and crushed grahams. Drizzle with remaining chocolate. Cool; cut into squares.

Makes 2 dozen.

24 July 2009

Feline Friday: Who's in Charge Here?

Isn't the one sitting at the head of the table considered the most powerful or important? Or perhaps the "head of the family"?

Well, at our house, it appears that we are sharing power. Both kitties have taken to napping on the dining room chairs, one at each "head" of the table.

And this is very appropriate, because they are equally powerful.

Equally important.

And equally loved!

23 July 2009

This is Why I Plant Flowers

I plant flowers because I think they're beautiful and I enjoy tending to them. I love the color they add to the yard.

But I also plant flowers so that I can cut them and take them inside.

A little bouquet in the bathroom...

Another one in the kitchen. Nothing fancy. But they smell glorious and make me happy.

22 July 2009

Layout: Remedy Drive concert

Here's a layout about the Remedy Drive concert my daughter attended last fall. Remedy Drive is a contemporary rock band that played at our church last fall.

I am happy that she took a camera along to the concert. You can tell that she's the daughter of a scrapbooker, because she took a picture of the screen with the band's name, plus a variety of distance and close photos. *sigh* I must be raising her right! Because of the lighting, the pictures aren't super but by cutting them down, they work as a whole and don't look bad at all.

You can see the blank area is ready for her journaling. She's out of town for the week and when she gets home, she'll be happy to see that I have a stack of layouts ready for her stories!

20 July 2009

Layout: Parade

Here's a layout I finished up recently showing pictures of our drumline participating in a parade earlier this summer.

Our fall marching band show has a James Bond theme, so our drumline proudly sported their new 007 "You Only Drum Once" shirts for this occasion.

As soon as I can catch my daughter, I'll have her add the journaling!

19 July 2009

Layout: Coldplay

All layouts are inspected by Lily for quality control purposes ;-)

I've been working on a few of my daughter's layouts so decided to take a break and put together one for for me. I don't usually make pages for concerts, but I had a few cell phone pictures and an article from the newspaper, so I knew this Coldplay layout would go together very quickly.

Even though the cell phone pics are pretty bad, they don't look all that bad when grouped in a collage! For the opposite page, I wrote some quick journaling, formatted the online article and photos I had saved, then printed it all together on a sheet of photo paper. Super easy!

18 July 2009

Layout: Praise Team

Well, I was super-productive with my scrapbooking in June but in July, my productivity has taken a nosedive. I've been busy with so many other projects that there hasn't been time for personal scrapbooking. Going forward, I have to do a better job with that or I will not finish my albums in time for graduation next May!

One thing that helps a LOT is having my daughter write journaling for pages I put together. I love having her perspective represented in our albums and, in years to come, she'll be glad she took the time to record her personal memories. Click on the layout to read her journaling.

Special note to Ki Memories fans: Yes, that is a TINY strip of Ki striped paper! That particular paper is one of my very favorites.

17 July 2009

Feline Friday: Lily's New Friend

Lily spent a couple of hours getting to know her new friend, Mrs. Moth, through the window screen. (Click on the photo to enlarge!)

Mrs. Moth, however, began to reconsider their relationship after her belly was nearly skewered by Lily's razor-sharp claw. She flew off into the night sky, never to be seen again.

16 July 2009

Tummy Thursday

We rarely get to see Tinsel's tummy. But I happened to catch a glimpse of it today while she was lying in the hallway washing her face. As she leisurely stretched, I quickly snapped a picture of those beautiful stripes.

Under no circumstances will she allow us to touch her tummy, so a picture will have to do!

15 July 2009

Under Construction!

As you may have noticed, I'm in the process of changing my blog template. Now instead of one ginormous cat in the lower right-hand corner, we have two smaller kitties in the upper left! My daughter thinks my blog now looks like a big advertisement. I assure you that I'm not selling anything! I just like the format (and especially the width) of this new template.

Please bear with me as I get things situated over the next few days. Let me know how you like the new template!

Wordless Wednesday: Cat in a Box

Editor's note: She's not really a size 6.

14 July 2009

In Bloom This Week

Every day when I'm out watering the gardens, I take note of which flowers are in bloom.

This week, there is quite a bit of color around the yard. The phlox seem to have burst into bloom overnight. I had completely forgotten that I planted a batch of pink phlox last summer (upper left corner of collage). What a nice surprise it was to see them in full bloom this week!

13 July 2009

All Boy Mini-Album

I've been missing in action for a few days as we took a quick trip out of state for some college visits. I'm trying to gear up for this ride. It's going to be an interesting one!

Earlier in the week, I put together a mini-album with an "all boy" theme for a class at Memory Bound.

I used my some pictures of my friend Katie's adorable little boys!

They could not be cuter!

Although I love my girl :-), it's fun to play with different photos from time to time! Thanks, Katie!

10 July 2009

Feline Friday: Hay, Tinsel!


09 July 2009

Pebbles Mini Album

I love projects that can be put together in an afternoon...like this one!

I made this little mini-album as a store sample for Memory Bound using a 4x6 Pebbles Share and Tell Creative Pad. This pad of matching papers and stickers is intended for quick and easy photo mats and embellishments, but it makes a super-fun mini-album, too!

I tried out the new 7 Gypsies Binderie on this project, which makes hole punching easier than ever!

I printed a few favorite "girl" photos in sepia, to match the brown in the paper...

...and added a few bits of ribbon.

Could not be easier! :-)

08 July 2009

One of my favorite places!

Today I'm posting a few pictures of one of my favorite places, Memory Bound! I spend a lot of time there planning and preparing projects for classes and store displays. As anyone around here will tell you, Memory Bound is not only a great store but a very happy place!

Here are just a few of the very wonderful people who work there: Jean, Katie, and Diane. :-)

This is a shot of the "seasonal" area of the store. Right now, it's set up for summer and Independence Day.

Plenty of ribbon, in rainbow color order, of course!

And my favorite area of the store...cardstock!

If you're ever traveling through central Iowa, be sure to stop by!

07 July 2009

Just for Fun

Here's a quiz I found on Toni's blog :) Feel free to play along!

1. What is your current obsession? Catching up on years of scrapbooking in time for DD's graduation next May

2. What is your weirdest obsession? Using a knife to cut up many foods I eat, although I really don’t think it’s all that odd to cut pizza with a knife

3. What are you wearing today? Shorts and short-sleeved shirt

4. What would you eat for your last meal? guacamole

5. What's the last thing you bought? Thai dinner

6. What are you listening to now? Silence!

7. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Pralines and cream

8. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished, anywhere in the world, where would it be? Paris

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Paris

10. Which language would you want to learn? Hmmm...in addition to brushing up on my French, I’d learn Italian. Equally impractical.

11. What's your favorite quote (for now)? The certainty of misery is better than the misery of uncertainty.

12. What's your favorite color? Green

13. What is your favorite time of day? Late night

14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe? My Born sandals

15. What is your dream job? Lots of them: writer, designer, instructor...

16. What's your favorite magazine? Don't have a favorite, but I still subscribe to Martha Stewart Living

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? I’d put it toward our new front door.

18. Do you admire anyone's style? Scrapbooking-wise? Cathy Zielske

19. Describe your personal style. Scrapbooking-wise? Definitely clean and simple, minimalist.

20. What are you going to do after this? Should consider going to bed.

21. What are your favorite movies? Don’t really have one. Sound of Music, maybe?

22. What's your favorite fruit? Blueberries

23. What inspires you? Good design

24. Do you collect something? Not actively. Would like to collect cats!

06 July 2009

Store project: My Friends Rock!

In addition to teaching at Memory Bound, I also get to design our monthly page kit and other projects for the store. It's very fun!

This project, "My Friends Rock", is a simple layout using a variety of MAMBI papers. I think the paper's pink and orange color scheme is great for tweens or teens. I couldn't resist using my daughter's show choir photos, since they matched perfectly!

04 July 2009

Layout: Let's Dance!

According to my calculations, I made 22 layouts during the month of June. That has to be some kind of record for me! If I'm going to meet my scrapbooking goals before our daughter's graduation next May, I'm going to have to make that kind of productivity a regular thing!

In an attempt to jump start my personal scrapbooking, I've been taking an online class (Got Sketch 104) with a couple of friends. The layout below is based on one of the sketches from that class.

This is one of many, many show choir pages I've made recently. These photos were taken at the open rehearsal prior to the start of the season. The kids all wore "boy" and "girl" shirts to each practice. Look closely at the pics and you'll see a couple of "man" shirts worn by boys who thought that was a more appropriate label. :-)

Ki fans: Note the judicious use of some older Ki paper! Not to worry...still plenty left!

03 July 2009

Feline Friday: Too Close for Comfort

Why, look at these nice kitties lying in the sun together. So sweet!

But Lily, like an annoying little sister, just cannot leave well enough alone. Tinsel begins to have second thoughts about this seating arrangement.

Just how far away from Lily can she scoot without falling off the bench? :-)

02 July 2009

Uncle Sam Hats

My mother-in-law recently asked me to make some favors for her bridge club. Since it's July, she requested Uncle Sam hats with a dollar bill attached. (I know nothing about bridge, but apparently her club gives away $1 prizes to the winners at each meeting.)

I wasn't quite sure how this project would go until I found this paper by Reminisce at Memory Bound. Since it had both stripes and stars, it was perfect for the hats!

Before cutting it, I made a "prototype" hat using scrap paper. Once I was sure of the dimensions, I cut off the star border, then cut a 5.5" strip from the red striped portion of the paper.

I created a cylinder with the red striped paper, carefully sealing the edges with Tacky Tape. Then I adhered the blue strip around the base of the cylinder. So far, so good.

Next, I cut red cardstock brims and adhered them using a fine line of Diamond Glaze, then let them dry for a couple of hours.

My plan was to attach three punched stars to wires which would stick out of the top of each hat, but the engineering dilemma was how to secure the wires so that they would stay in place. After thinking about this for awhile, I got the idea of putting a blob of HandiTak in the bottom of each hat into which the wires would stick. It worked!

I cut a "lid" for each hat and punched a small hole in it. I cut the wires and poked them through the hole and down into the HandiTak. Once the wires were stuck, I carefully glued the lid in place with Diamond Glaze and let it dry.

To finish the hats, I accordion-folded a dollar bill, secured it with wire and attached it with a glue dot to the top of each hat. I added some Stickles around the base to hide any blobs of Diamond Glaze, plus a few more dots to the stars for trim.

I'm happy with how the hats turned out. I hope the bridge club ladies enjoy them!

01 July 2009

The Big Reveal

This video was made by my friend, Mollie, who was our fearless leader in the Scrapbooker X Organization Challenge. I must warn you that some of you may recognize Scrapbooker X. If so, feel free to give her just a little grief the next time you see her. :-) And don't forget to ask her how she's enjoying her "new" space!

Turn your sound on and enjoy!