Monday, December 29, 2008

Updated Playlist

I have created a new play list. I have not set it to Auto-Play out of consideration... sometimes it can be annoying to hear the beginning of the same song over and over each time you click a new post. So if you'd like to hear the music, just scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click the arrow to turn on the play list, if you want to jump straight to a particular song, just double click it. I was trying to reproduce some of the play lists I enjoy the most on my iPod.. although I couldn't find all of the songs to add. Enjoy the music!

Stamped Plates for 2008 - Western Flourishes and Blooming Flourishes

Here are the plates I made this year...

You get the papers from then you stamp (or draw) on them, then you mail them back to make-it and they turn them into plates and send them back to you. In past years I've made plates, bowls, and trays.
Click images for a larger view.
All stamps and inks are by Close To My Heart.

Ashleigh's was a bowl. Stamp sets are Cowgirl (retired), Western Flourishes, and Hodge Podge Alphabet.
Inks: Desert Sand, Bamboo, Indian Corn Blue, and Outdoor Denim

Aubrey's plate was made using Blooming Flourishes, Blooms & Leaves (retired), and Friendship Alphabet Large (hostess exclusive.)
Ink Colors are: Juniper,Tulip, Honey, and Spring Iris

Ethan's plate was made using Building Block Alphabet, Western Flourishes, and Cowboy Silhouette.
Ink colors are: Bamboo, Desert Sand, and Chocolate.

I inked the flourish in bamboo, then rolled the edges in chocolate ink. I inked the the letters in Ethan in bamboo and before stamping inked the top and bottom in desert sand and stamped. Then I inked the letters in bamboo and stamped over the top of each letter again (easy to do with clear stamps & the full name on one block!) this intensified the color and gave a better blending of the two tones on the letters.

The 2008 on all the plates is from the Calendar stamp set.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Today, please enjoy my favorite Christmas song.

Here are some precious memories from the past. This Christmas was so dear, it was the last time I saw my Mom. She passed away the following February after having fought a 20 year battle with cancer.

Click photos for larger view.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Feeling Better - Funny Pictures

Ethan was pretty sick, yesterday. He couldn't even sit up. As you can see he's doing much better, today. He's even hamming it up for the camera.
This last picture was taken on Friday when Ethan was celebrating "No more school until next year!" His shaggy beard is a pencil topper, a prize from the school Christmas party. I just had to laugh. How do kids come up with the wacky things they do?!

Paper Pups Christmas Tags

I made these tags for my friend, Dwana, who loves dogs.

Cardstock used is Close To My Heart colors are: White Daisy, Clover Meadow, Cranberry.

Rectangular tent tags are cut using Cricut Machine and Paper Pups Cartridge with the "card" creative feature, using "scotty", "bdaydog", and "bllndog" I cut it in various sizes to get as many as I could out of a piece of cardstock. I cut rectangles of white and glued them inside the tags for contrast. I used a hand punch to punch the holes and my markers in matching CTMH colors to draw the eyes on the dogs.

The flat tags are cut using Cricut Machine and Tags, Bags, Boxes & More cartridge using the "scallop top tag" The largest size tags are cut at 5" with the regular tag cut in the colored cardstock and using the "shadow" creative feature in white. I cut the dogs (scotty and bdaydog) in various sizes the outlines (regular cut) out of colored cardstock then glued them onto the same dog cut with the "blackout" creative feature in white. I again drew the eyes with a matching marker. The extra pieces cut from the insides of the large outlines I then mounted on the same dog cut from white with the creative feature "shadow" (to create the red and green dogs.)

I used a Close To My Heart glue pen on the thin outline cuts. I also sometimes used the back side of the dogs so that some of them would face in the other direction.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Support Our Troops: Let's Say Thanks

This website gives you an opportunity to send a free printed postcard to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas showing your support and appreciation for their service to our country.

I was in The Cricut Chirp!

My Snoopy Gift Tags that I made to go on Ethan's Birthday presents were featured as a "highlighted thread" in The Cricut Chirp email newsletter on Monday December 8. As of today that post (on the Cricut message board) has had over 6,000 hits! It's very exciting to have that many people from all around the world looking at something I made. Unfortunately they have not yet posted that edition of the newsletter online. Here is a link to the location where you can see past newsletters online.

Flu Season is here

The flu has put a bit of a crimp in the Christmas preparations in our house. Ethan came down with it Saturday night and so missed getting to perform in the Children's Christmas program at church on Sunday. He was so disappointed to miss it.

He went to school Monday and I worked then on Tuesday (my day off) he was sick again so I kept him home from school. Wednesday he was better and I worked and went to my work Christmas Party in the evening... then during the night I came down with it. I've been down for 2 days now - Tuesday was supposed to have been my day to go to the post office so now I am WAY behind... On the up side, I have lost 6 pounds.

I have some cute Cricut Christmas Tags that I'll when I feel better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Snowing!

It looks so pretty. Little bits of frozen fluff, drifting around in eddies of wind. I feel like I'm in a snow globe.

It doesn't snow in Houston, so this is quite a treat. It rained earlier so everything is wet and the flakes melt as soon as they land, but it looks so pretty floating around on the air.

It was snowing again - much harder when we came out of church tonight. I had to wipe it off the side windows of the van so I could see out and it was thick enough that I had to drive home pretty slow because my headlights were casting so short a light. This was my first time driving while it was snowing.

Ethan was trying to catch snow flakes on his tongue - I just could NOT get the snow to show up in the pictures during daylight. I had much better luck after dark.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Green Beans with Bacon, Onion and Almonds

I made these green beans for Thanksgiving. I haven't worked very much with fresh green beans. Mom always made them, but for some reason I never really did. These were easy and came out great! The recipe is from Cook's Illustrated November 1996 (the America's Test Kitchen people.) The almonds are my addition.

This rich dish is a nice addition to a holiday table. If you like, substitute pancetta for the bacon.

1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off.
table salt
4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, minced
Ground black Pepper
sliced almonds

1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to boil in large saucepan. Add green beans and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook beans until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside for up to several hours.

2. Fry bacon over medium heat in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Remove all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat from pan. Add onion to fat in skillet' saute until softened and golden, about 5 minutes.

3. Add beans and almonds to pan. Toss to heat through for 1 to 2o minutes. Crumble bacon over pan, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Monday, December 8, 2008

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Version

Now that Ethan's Birthday is over and I have turned my attentions to the holidays, I have begun to feel overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done. I feel like I get a late start every year.
I got this in an email from Wanda, a dear encourager, from our Tuesday morning ladies group. It was so good I wanted to share it with everyone.
Thank you, Wanda, for sending this to me!

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies,preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas!
– Author Unknown.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wii Fit Accountability

02/02/09 Monday 15 minutes of Wii Fit, today. Stationary Bike while dinner cooked 15 minutes while I listened to the latest podcast from thefringepodcast.
12/08/08 Monday 30 minutes of Wii Fit, today. I got Ethan to do 30 minutes too.
09/02/08 Tue. 30 minutes of Wii Fit, today.
*Today I achieved 10 hours of total Wii Fit credit and a GOLD bank to track my minutes*
08/27/08 Thur. 11 minutes of Wii Fit, today. I concentrated on balance, today.
08/27/08 Wed. 30 minutes of Wii Fit, today. I did all 15 yoga exercises.
08/26/08 Tue. 9 minutes of Wii Fit, today. *I'm down over 3 lbs since last Monday.
08/24/08 Sun. 36 minutes of Wii Fit, today.
08/22/08 Fri. 30 minutes of Wii Fit, today. *I'm down 2 lbs since Monday.

Email not working

My email quit working so if you haven't heard from me, that's probably why. I don't get an error message and I'm still receiving emails... but on Friday night I discovered that emails I send are never arriving. I'm not sure how long this has been going on.
Anyway if I left you hanging in an email conversation... I probably replied and you just never got it. I hope to be back to normal soon, but am losing hope as the days progress.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Paper Pups Evensong Miss You Card

I haven't had my Cricut out in awhile, but playing with it the other night has got me creating again. (Click image for larger view)

This card is made with papers from Close To My Heart's Evensong paper pack, the red patterned paper is the back of the green patterned paper, very nifty. The ribbons are from the Holiday Designer Ribbon Rounds tied onto a clip from the Holiday Mini-Medley Accents Collection. The "i" is dotted with a flower sequin (used to be in the White My Accents Collection), with a sparkle on top. I used the back end of a paint brush and Create-a-Shade Pearl Paint to put dots of pearl over the dots on the green paper and in the center of the sparkle. Buttons are attached with liquid glass and are from the Holiday Craft Buttons Collection. I used 3d foam squares under the dog image to add some dimension to the card.

All supplies are Close To My Heart

The dog and "Miss You" are cut using a Cricut Machine, images are from the Paper Pups cartridge, I was inspired by the Quick Start project in the product handbook.

Cuts are:
LeashDog - Cut at 3" out of Black Cardstock (this is the outline)
LeashDog - Cut at 3" with Blackout Feature from White Daisy Cardstock
Miss You (Shift of leashDog) Cut at 1 1/4" out of Black Cardstock

I used the CTMH Glue Pen to assemble the pieces and adhere the letters, I also sometimes use the Write N Rub pen - it's like a ball point adhesive pen and works wonderfully for very small pieces.
Rather than try to adhere the tiny bits of cardstock for the eyes, I just used the scrap piece that was cut from the center of the outline as a stencil, I placed it back into the outline and used my black marker to color in the holes for the eyes onto the white cardstock.