Showing posts from 2007
This is the book club selection for this month. I need to re-read some of it. There were some points that made me think but I continued reading and didn't stop to ponder.

The book is written in first person switching between the two main characters. While it flowed fine, I didn't like this initially. The book is about relationships, primarily friend/friend, however, it also covered husband/wife and parent/child. The two main characters are Anne and Olivia (Libby).

Anne - a young woman in her 20's just moving to Brewster, introduced as being outgoing and bubbly in her greetings. Her husband works in insurance and they are expecting their first baby. Anne tries to get to know Olivia (Libby) and her attempts are futile. At some point, Libby's daughter wants to take piano lessons and Anne is her teacher. Through various happenings, Anne and Libby end up being friends. Anne discovers a lump on her breast, learns it is cancer and ends up with surgery and chemo only to…

Near & Far

I've had my out-of-state Christmas cards mailed off at the end of November. I thought I would have my in-state cards mailed in the early days of December. I have 7 cards made now. About 20 more to go. I've been procrastinating and lacking that creative mojo that one needs to create.

Today I looked to see what the sketch challenge was on SCS. I liked the challenge but didn't have any brilliant ideas. Finally after considerable time I decided on a set and colors to get going on those lovely Christmas cards. What I was trying to do would work no matter how I tweaked it. Finally I sat looking at what I had, thought of today's challenge and lo and behold, it worked. It seemed a little plain with what I chose so I ended up adding ribbon and while the entire star can't be seen I thought it looked good with it on there, not to mention it ties in the sentiment.

Stamps: Star-studded Season, Holy Triptych
CS: Watercolor, Artichoke, Pomegranate, Holiday Harmony DP

Hung Up on the Holidays

This card is a total complete CASE of a card I received last year. I loved the simplicity of the card and, of course, the sparkle.

Stamps: Hung Up on the Holidays, Peaceful Wishes, Many Merry Messages
CS: Sahara Sand
Ink: Vintage Violet, Always Artichoke, Craft White
Misc.: Coluzzle Oval, Violet ribbon, DD glitter, glue pen

Is this a cool thank you or what?!

One of the lists I'm on recently had a stamping extravaganza. I had some edge distressers sitting around so I sent them in to be used as prizes. I always wonder how people come up with the prizes, especially since I never hear of donations or money being collected for them.

Anyway, Friday was a pretty hectic day spent in the kitchen and doing emergency shopping because I didn't buy enough ham for a funeral dinner I had organized for that night. Before I left to set up for the dinner I checked the mail and saw I had 3 pieces of happy mail. I didn't have time to open any of it and left it on the table. At 2 a.m. that night I remembered that I had mail and went to open it. Imagine my surprise when one package had a $30 stamp set in it. This was a thank you for donating the distressers. How cool is that!?!

This set is 3-step Daisy by Kitchen Sink Stamps. I had looked at the set before but wasn't dazzled by it. I didn't realize it was a 3-step set. Once I look…

Please Stop Laughing at Me

Another book club book. I have to confess that when I read the editorial reviews, prior to reading it, I was less than excited. It seemed like it would be a rather depressing book and as of late I've been into historical fiction and the book club has been more light reading. Still a book you could finish easily in two days.

It was interesting to read it and consider my own school days. I don't think the bullying was ever to this extent, at least that I'm aware of. I had a time in 8th grade where I stood up for someone and was picked on for it. It dropped off, perhaps because I was right back at them. The person whom I stood up for, we were friends through high school and I never got any more guff for it.

It is interesting to consider her experiences. There were times it seemed logical that she responded or felt the way she did, other times I couldn't help but to think that she was foolish, naive and immature. Given that she was given a fresh start two times, …
Stampin' Up! sent out a stamp set to all demonstrators. It will be a hostess set in the new catalog. Who doesn't like free rubber?! I wasn't too excited when I opened the package on Friday, Saturday it seemed a little more appealing. I attempted a card that is totally not my style. For some reason, I have ideas for designs but I just can't seem to get in the groove on colors. Perhaps I've been working on Christmas too long and those color schemes are in my head too much.

Giant Cupcake

Wilton has a very cool pan where you cook a cupcake in two parts, spread some frosting to put them together and decorate as you wish. The pan is going for $45 to $66 on ebay, Wilton is sold out. I never understand how the company that has their name on something can be out. Perhaps if it were new and the under-estimate the sales, but 5 months later. This shouldn't be an issue.

For no reason whatsoever, I made a cupcake. I loved how it looked with the sprinkles.

Another Christmas Card

This is one is super easy to do. Especially seems easy when you CASE it. No clue what blog I was at that I saw it, but I loved how quick it looked. Indeed it is and it is a perfect card to share with the ladies at church. I've had to come up with very simple cards and for the most part there isn't coloring on the five cards I have. Mostly stamping and sponging on two and coloring on two. Not even watercoloring. You can't get any easier.

This card uses artichoke, river rock, pomegranate and vanilla CS.
Very simple card to do. I love the wide grossgrain and the DP is gorgeous and fun for Christmas.

I've been looking for simple cards to do this year. I have 41 cards made so far, which is just over 1/4 of what I will be needing.

So many people are moving right now. It is surprising at this time of year to hear of people moving. The good thing is they are moving to somewhere better for them and their family. It is when you are working side by side with them that you realize how much of a void will be there when they are gone.

Smoky Chicken Chili

This recipe was in the October issue of Southern Living. It is yummy. I ended up adding a can of corn to the chili.

Prep: 15 min.; Cook: 1 hr., 15 min. Pick up smoked chicken from your favorite barbecue restaurant to make this dish, or use a barbecue-flavored rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket.

Ingredients 2 poblano chile peppers, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans zesty chili-style diced tomatoes
3 cups shredded or chopped smoked chicken (about 1 lb.)
1 (16-oz.) can navy beans
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12-oz.) can beer*
1 (1.25-oz.) envelope white chicken chili seasoning mix
Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges, baby corn, sliced black olives, chopped red onion, tortilla chips
Preparation 1. Sauté first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minute…

Leave It to Claire

This is the book club book of the month. The book is a quick read. I woke up at 3 a.m. Saturday morning and having slept for several hours already, I didn't have any hope of going back to sleep so I read until I needed to get up and make breakfast at 6 a.m. I finished reading it while watching the Red Sox kick the Colorado Rockies out of the park. I must admit I was so engrossed in the book at one point that I missed three runs and the excitement over it. My husband was stunned that I could block it out.

What was the book about? Claire is a single mother. She is a Christian author. Her mother lives 3 doors down and she depends on her mother to help out with her kids and do the extra "mom" type of things while she works on her books. She ends up needing surgery on her wrist which will make it impossible for her to work for 6 weeks. Her mother moves to Texas to live with her brother's family just before Claire's surgery. She is on her own.

Claire makes a li…

Holiday Blitz

Stampin' Up! recently had a Holiday Blitz promotion. I love the textured cardstock. The designs were fun and while I didn't have all of the stamps that they used, I was able to improvise on the "JOY" card and basically do what they did. Very fun Christmas cards. What I liked most was being able to whip out so many cards in a short amount of time.

Oh my!!

Every Wednesday after school we go to the library and then I drop off the older two at piano lessons and I take the twins to park to pass an hour of time. This past week was no different. While they were playing on the playground equipment I sat on a bench and looked through a book that I had checked out. While reading, I felt something on my arm. I went to brush it off and lo and behold, it was a tarantula! I'm horribly afraid of spiders but a tarantula! I made some sort of squealing noise and one of the girls asked why I screamed. The first swipe wasn't enough, it was still there but after several quick swipes it was gone. I wanted to see where it was on the ground just to be sure it really was off of me. I couldn't find it in the grass. In all honestly I didn't look too hard. I really didn't want to see it again. I switched benches and continued to be freaked out for a bit. I checked in my pocketbook a couple of times to be sure I wouldn't be ca…

No picture

A couple of days ago I was talking with a friend and by the end of the conversation there was no way not to look at yourself and see your faults and how you respond to certain situations. It wasn't a time where you would be patting yourself on the back, but instead asking, 'why am I like this?' After pondering the question for a bit I thought I figured out the why and I called her to talk more. We both ended up feeling better and know of yet another thing we need to work on. I made a card for her. I was going to write the many reasons why I love her to help her feel better about herself. She seemed bothered by her internal analysis and, like so many, she can beat herself up over small faults.

I used her favorite colors on the card and it had lots of bling. It was rather simple looking, just a square card. I had a large flower that took up most of the card, which I pulled apart and made a flower center with a few layers, using the True Friend stamp from Stampin' …
I like the colors, some watercoloring doesn't seem to be showing up as well in the photo. I always have trouble coloring the city. I wish I could give it more of a glow. The sketch is from Splitcoaststampers today. I like it and plan to try later with another set.

The kids are in Halloween mode. One of the twins would like for Skinny Cows to be handed out for Halloween. I told her it would melt and have to be eaten right then.

"Maybe we could use a small freezer to give them out with."

"That would be heavy to carry around. "

" I mean a small one that would only hold one Skinny Cow."

"That would be nice then you could take them for a treat to school after lunch."

"I wonder why nobody has invented it yet?"

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I have two things to be done with by Thanksgiving: 1) my MIL's albums. There are 2, one of her childhood and one for her 1st marriage and kids; 2) 150+ Christmas cards. I'm putting in an order soon and I need to look through my cardstock and see what I may need, so I've started coming up with ideas and CASEing some I've liked. The above card I made 15 of last night. I received a card like it in July when I was in a Christmas cards swap. I love lighter blue and red together but I think it was the sparkle that really make me love it. I love fine glitter.

Look at Frosty now . . .

Frosty has been around in the Stampin' Up! catalog since 2001. There are only so many things you can do with it. Last year someone posted a card to a list I'm on and I loved the new look for Frosty. Last night I finally made the card. I like the card. My husband tells me, "the snowman looks kind of plain with all of the embossing and glitter." While I should listen to his opinion on it, I'm more impressed that he used proper terms regarding stamping with me.

Going . . . Going . . . Gone!

Just yesterday afternoon I made a short wish list with links. This morning I came across a promotion code for 15% off the stamp set I wanted. I went to the site and it was gone. I was so bummed. I sent my husband the link for this set over a month ago, closer to two months, so he could get it for me. He never knows what to buy on those gift-giving occasions. He never bought it. I ended up on ebay this morning and bought it there.

My Wish List is Growing

My birthday isn't for a few months, however, I keep coming across things that I would like and I don't want to buy them right now due to all the clothes I have bought and need to buy for the kids, the sports gear they need for their fall sports, birthdays, travel and a wedding. It seems we are being hit non-stop. There is also the lovely expense of my dental work. By the time all is done, it will be time for Christmas.

Here is my list:

1. Mario Batali 6 qt. Italian Enamel on Cast Iron Essentials Pot (color: Espresso)

2. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy

3. Ancestry's Red Book

4. Crafty Secrets Kitchen Classics-Retro

Wanted . . . Revised

So, I'm liking the revision and the rest of my clan favors the original card. A couple of more weeks and I will be able to order Bronc Buster. I love that set.

Cards of Aloha

It has been another odd week. My schedule is so busy that I can't fit in any appointments. Sadly, Sunday I sent an e-mail asking to give up the cards I send for Cards of Aloha. I just can't keep up. I can do the minimum, but I'm used to doing more than that. Lately time hasn't permitted anything but the minimum and that doesn't seem fair to the kids. Today I sent them their last note. I'm sad. I've written 3 of the kids for 5 years and the other 3 I've had for 4 years. While writing I felt sad and yet relieved that I wouldn't have it hanging over me that I need to write and feeling guilty for not doing so.

Card for my BIL

Last night I was working on sympathy cards. I like what I came up with but it seems to winter-like using dark colors. (Cranberry and Choc. Chip). I needed to make a birthday card for my brother-in-law and I didn't have any ideas. I chose Wanted again. I really want the Bronco set but I'm not ordering it until October. I needed some inspiration and used a sketch challenge. I think I'm going to have to alter it a bit before I can send it off. It needs more. It is nice to be stamping again.

Toys and more toys . . .

We have several birthdays coming up in the next 6 weeks. All three are looking forward to their birthday and starting to think about what they might like for gifts. There have been commercials recently advertising a baby that swims. Both of the girls would like this.

"Where are you going to use it?" (The commercial shows a swimming pool.)
"In the tub"
"You don't take baths anymore."
"We will!"
"There won't be much room."
"I really want it."

This baby is made by Zapf. Back in the early days when I had no experience with potty training, it was recommended to buy a baby that had a toilet and would 'pee' to show your child how to do it. I did this. Let me tell you it didn't work. What works well for a boy is tossing some goldfish crackers in the toilet and having a little target practice. Keep an eye on him that he doesn't toss the goldfish crackers on the living room floor and take aim though.


Back in the Saddle Again

I haven't been to the dentist since we moved here. I never had a problem going to the dentist until that last time. It put some fear in me. I'm finally biting the bullet and going to get my teeth cleaned today and I will need some additional work done. I left the last dentist with more work to be done, I just couldn't overcome the fear. I guess I fear having no teeth when I'm older more so today is the day.

Everything is getting back to a schedule and we are adjusting to the home schedule and the demands of various teachers. I'm surprised by the the amount of homework that has been given already. With all of this, we need to revise how and when we do things.

Orange Sticky Rolls

Read below for the ordeal, but here is the recipe.

Orange Sticky Rolls

Orange Glaze
1/2C frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4C brown sugar
1/4C sugar
3T unsalted butter

Orange-Cinnamon Filling
1/2C brown sugar
1/4C sugar
2t cinnamon
1t grated orange zest
1/8t ground cloves
1/8t salt
1T unsalted butter, melted

Biscuit Dough
2-3/4C flour
2T sugar
2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
1-1/4C buttermilk
6T unsalted butter, melted

Grease 9" cake pan. Bring all glaze ingredients to simmer over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens and clings to back of spoon, about 5 min. Pour into prepared pan. Cool until glaze hardens, at least 20 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350. Combine all filling ingredients except butter. Using fork, stir in butter until mixture resembles wet sand.

For the biscuits, whisk together the first 5 ingredients; set aside. Whisk buttermilk and butter in a small bowl (mixture will clump), then stir in flour mixture until combined.…

Orange Sticky Rolls . . . FIRE!!

I had some buttermilk left over from another recipe and I didn't want to waste it so I pulled out a recipe I've been wanting to try. First off, let me say that they taste really good. I was pleased that it wasn't a yeast roll needing time to rise.

What went wrong with the recipe? I did a lot of things wrong. I started preparing it and I realized that the twins had a dentist appt. and I was down the wire time-wise. The glaze cools so it can harden and not be a lot of liquid absorbing into the biscuits, preventing it from being dough-y. When I was putting the rolls into the pan one stuck and I ended up breaking the skin so the liquid was flowing again. When I went to put the pan in the oven I discovered that I never turned it on. Now I'm in a pickle. It couldn't wait for my return and my son had never taken anything from the oven. Since I hadn't made these before, I didn't know how much liquid there would be when they were turned and I didn't wa…

First Holiday Card This Year

I received a SMAK (small act of kindness) a week ago with this fold. I thought it was too cute when I opened it and wanted to make one myself. I thought of a snowman straight off for some reason. Perhaps it is too hot here.

Sets: Cold Play, Sincere Salutations
CS: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Purely Pomegranate, WW
Ink: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Groovy Guava
Misc.: Adhesive rhinestone, snowflake wheel

The Blue Bayou is 4-1/4 x 8-1/2, scored at 5", 2-1/4 square for offset square
Purely Pomegranate is 3 x 8-1/2, folded in half
Soft Blue, 4 x 3-1/4 (the snowflake panel), and 4 x 2-3/4 (pomegranate card)
WW is 3-3/4 x 3 and a 2" square for snowman.

The bayou has the fold on the left and the pomegranate has the fold on the right, adhered onto the bayou. Super easy card and fun to do. Plus there isn't a lot of space for writing when you use the pomegranate for the greeting and that is great when you are a person of few words.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies!!

What is better than peanut butter and chocolate? I made these brownies today and they are delicious! I think there are three left. They were enjoyed by friends and my kids.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

1/2C butter or margarine, softened
2/3C sugar
1/2C brown sugar
2 eggs
2T milk
3/4C flour
1/2t baking powder
1/4t salt
1/4C creamy peanut butter
1/3C peanut butter chips
1/3C baking cocoa
1/2C semi-sweet choc. chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and milk; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide batter in half. To one portion, add peanut butter and peanut butter chips; mix well. To the other portion, add the cocoa and chocolate chips; mix well. In a greased 9" square baking pan, spoon chocolate batter in eight mounds in a checkerboard pattern. Spoon seven mounds of peanut butter batter between the chocolate batter. Cut through batters with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick in…

What a hoot!

I went with a couple of friends to see this movie last night. I didn't know anything about the movie, just that others had said it was good. I enjoyed the movie. It was really odd to see John Travolta dressed as a woman. A fun part for me was the singing in the audience of the theatre. There was a point in the movie with all of the dancing that you just wanted to get up and dance yourself. Still don't know if I would buy the movie, but it was a lot of fun to watch.

The Quilt

About a month ago, I told some ladies at a church we visit when traveling that I would make a baby quilt for their collection. I intended to do this while the boys were at scout camp. I never bought the fabric and I wanted to take my time at the store looking at patterns, so it wouldn't work with the girls with me.

I finally bought the fabric two weeks ago. I started sewing it Monday. A dancing squares quilt. I boogered up. The sides ended up with green, the top and bottom had yellow. I cut it off so it would all be green. What to do now? I needed to come up with an extra 6". I ended up making mini dancing squares. The whole thing was quite a headache for a couple of days.

I finished it last night. I like the cheerfulness of the quilt. I don't like the pink strip. It seemed off with the purple, which made the pink out of place. All I can say is a lot of care went into it. I was challenged by having to stay within a certain measurement.
I bought a package of these pens when they first came out. I tried it once and didn't find that it worked very well. I gave them to my husband and suggested he take them to work. He took one pen and the other two have been sitting in the laundry room for over a year. I was eating some cherries and some juice dripped on my shirt. I have a dinner group tonight and I want to wear the shirt I have on. I got out the pen and gave it another shot. It worked. I'm so surprised. I can't help but wonder why it didn't the first time around.

I'm taking cashew chicken to the dinner tonight.

Cashew Chicken1T sesame oil1/4C rice vinegar1/4C cooking sherry or apple juice1t garlic powder1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken, cubed3T cooking oil3C broccoli florets1C thinly sliced carrots2t cornstarch1/3C soy sauce1/3C hoisin sauce1T ground ginger1C roasted salted cashewsCooked riceIn a large bowl, combine first four ingredients; add chicken and toss to coat.Cover and refrigera…


I got an order from SU on Tuesday. I wish I felt more like playing. I trimmed the Wanted set last night and just stared at it. Nothing really hit me. I read on SCS that the scallop punch fit perfectly around the large circle design. Very cool. I stamped it, punched it and thought, now what. It wasn't until today, when I should have been cooking that it hit me that I also purchased the Sanded background stamp and that would work perfectly to give it a little more rustic look. I really like the way the card turned out. I'm not sure about mellow moss and river rock together, but it worked out okay.

What you can't really see too well is that the main image has the Sanded BG stamped in versamark. I also did the small design with the versamark and then lightly went over it with some chalk to make it a little more visible. The scallop design also has the sanded background.

Head Lice!!!

I never had head lice, never expected to have to deal with head lice. Always knew it was a possibility that one of the kids would get it through school or friends. This week Ben was at scout camp. Another boy from another troop came to camp, knowingly, with head lice. Through rock climbing and horseback riding, he managed to spread it to other boys. While Ben didn't participate in either of these activities, somehow, he came in contact with someone that did. I received an e-mail Friday announcing that 7 of the boys from our troop had lice. I was e-mailed later that Ben was indeed one of the lucky 7.

Fast forward to Sunday. I told my husband to take him for a haircut. No one would cut his care. I was surprised because I know of places here that will. I didn't let either of them in the house Sunday night until I checked there head. Well in Ben's case, I didn't need to check it. I cut his hair by the light of the patio, it was almost 10 p.m. I went through hi…

Where did the week go?

I had these grand visions of getting a lot of cleaning, stamping, cleaning, cooking, stamping and did I mention cleaning done this week while my husband and son were as Scout camp. I did get some things done that I wanted to, some things I started and never finished. There are things I never even attempted. I didn't cook at all. Dinner was very basic every night, although the girls did not complain about having to try something new. It was a relaxing week. I had to deal with some issues as the president of an organization. I read a bit. I did some research for a class I'm teaching in August. The girls and I went to dinner one night, we had a party another night, we even went bowling this week. I spent some time dabbling with digital scrapbooking again. I still prefer the traditional method. I even updated our family site.

It is Saturday. I'm working on laundry so I will be ready when they return tomorrow to tackle all of their gear. I will have to tackle some …