Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quilling on Cards

Happy Sunday to you! I hope you have had a nice weekend, winding down from the holiday hustle and bustle.

I had to clean up my corner today before I could do any new creating! Yikes, it's amazing how much stuff can be piled onto a table. LOL

I picked up a book today, with a 50% off coupon, called 50 Nifty Quilled Cards by Alli Bartkowski. I have been interested in quilling (or paper rolling) for some time, had the tool, but for some reason or other my previous attempts didn't come out too well. I tried again today. Here are the results....

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I also stopped at Archiver's on my way home from Joann's and picked up some shimmery blue cardstock. I had a coupon for 5 free sheets and I guess now you can pick out any paper and just pay the difference of what they allot for the free cardstock.

I think they are pretty straightforward cards, used the Snowflake folder in the Cuttlebug, used a Martha Stewart snowflake punch and some bling. I had another 50% off coupon and picked up some inexpensive cardstock, that didn't have a white core, at Michaels. I got a variety pack. The quilling paper they sell in a tube is $6.99 for just a few colors (granted you get a total of 250 strips of 5 colors in each tube), but with the coupon I got 70 sheets of all the colors I'd want for $6.50 (with the coupon), a better deal I think. I just have to cut the paper into 1/8th inch strips, which isn't a big deal.

This is all I got done today. I guess you could say I'm "easing" back into creating cards. LOL

With that, I'll close for now. I hope you have a great start to your week and you are happy, healthy and creative as 2008 winds down.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whirlwind of Activity...

Happy Saturday afternoon to you! One might think that life would slow down a bit after Christmas. And for us it usually does, but this year has been a flurry of fun activities. On Christmas Day Steve's buddy, Dave called and invited Steve and I out for an evening of fun and friendship. Dave had procured tickets to go see Jeff Dunham. If you don't recognize the name, rest assured, neither did I.

This guy is a comedian and ventriloquist. And, apparently, a pretty popular one at that. We went to the 10:30pm show and it was a very full house. Steve pulled up this You Tube video for me to see and then I went ooooohhhhhh, I know who he is! If you don't check out the video (which is fine) this guy does a bit with a character known as Walter, an old curmudgeon. He also does a bit with Achmed the Dead Terrorist (a skeleton puppet), Peanut (some purple looking puppet with a yellow tuft of hair and you could see his belly button) and Joe, a drunk hick. Very, very funny show. The guy is amazing. We also got to walk downtown and see the horse drawn carriages and the holiday lights beforehand. A very nice, albeit late, night for those of us who normally are in bed by 10pm! LOL

Then, this morning, the girls were invited to a birthday party for a good friend of Jessica's from preschool. The party was at a local bowling alley! I'd never been into this particular one before (it's just a couple of years old) and was quite impressed with the setup. Very state of the art, clean and roomy, as opposed to the small, crowded alleys I've been to in years past. Steve went along because I think he wanted to watch the girls bowl. I took my camera along and here are just a couple of shots that didn't come out blurry. Amy scored a 102 and Jessica, a 63...not bad for girls who have very little to no bowling experience...of course the bumpers helped.

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Jessica had a hard time with even the lightest ball, being the peanut she is. I'd never seen the contraption you see in her picture before. She started having a really good time once she used that thing! Amy got a few pointers from another girl who is on a league and I think her form was pretty decent! She even bowled a strike and a couple of spares. A gal who made balloon animals showed up mid-way through the party (she was a friend of the birthday girl's mom) and all the kids got whatever animals they wanted. All in all it was definitely a fun party.

Now we are home for a quiet afternoon. I just wanted to share a couple of more things and then I'll sign off.

I received a very neat gift that just makes me smile when I look at her from my buddy Erin. It's a beaded Crazy Lady and it even has my initial attached. Thanks so much, Erin! I love it!


And finally...Jessica has been so patient waiting for her crocheted poncho. I spent a good couple of hours yesterday searching for super bulky yarn, as required for the pattern Jessica picked out. I was surprised at how little super bulky yarn is available. So, I ended up buying some of the same type of yarn I've been using for neckwarmers and am making it work. Here's the progress I've made so far (and I love how well the colors work together). You can even see the large hook required for this pattern, which is called a ripple stripe. The first stripe is done and I'm working on the second. The orange looking yarn will be the bottom stripe. Jessica picked the color order she wanted for the stripes.


And a final jabber subject. I haven't mentioned it much recently, but we still have a mouse roaming around. I've got 7 or so traps out and even rebait them, but this critter keeps avoiding them. I've discovered he is taking food from the dog's bowl and going into the bottom drawer on my stove to eat.'s lovely to open the drawer and see evidence he's been there amongst pots and pans. I clean out the drawer and he comes back. Well, yesterday evening, as I was pulling out pots for making dinner I saw he'd been in there once again. I made a comment to Steve and he looked behind the stove and saw the mouse. He pulled out the stove and it went running off toward the fridge and microwave stand. That led to Steve cleaning out all the accumulated dirt and debris behind these two pieces as I was trying to get dinner together. As he pulled out things that had fallen behind the tall microwave stand, out shoots the mouse (apparently...I was busy with dinner prep). Steve said it bumped into my foot (ewwwwww) and even the dog's leg and the darn dog didn't even react! (he was watching me however, hoping for a dropped piece of food, so I guess he was distracted). Steve said he ran toward our dishwasher and it looked like it jumped into an opening in the dishwasher, but he didn't go INTO the dishwasher. Don't know where he ended up. Drat!~foiled again~by a mouse. I have to remember to put up the dog food bowl at night.

Now that I've probably bored you to tears, I'm going to close and veg for a bit.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I truly hope your holiday was as magical as ours.

Amy wrote another letter to Santa, asking for bunny slippers, and left it by the fireplace. And do you know, Santa wrote back on fancy paper? I have proof! Click on any photo to enlarge it...

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And...just in case you are interested...Steve took the girls out for a bit yesterday. They each had $5 to spend from their stash. And they EACH came home with slippers! (not bunny slippers, but still!) They were so proud of them and planned together to wear them when they came out to open presents (in addition to their know what I meant).

My camera was having a very difficult time focusing but here's what Amy did when she opened her bunny slippers...

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100_5400 Excuse the runny nose on this shot...she's got a cold, but won't admit to it...

She was SOOOOO excited and immediately started hopping. As she saw them she is the one who said...The elves must have knitted these JUST FOR ME! (how awesome is that?<-----that's me not her saying awesome-I just loved that she KNEW the elves worked on them.)


So well worth it!

The magic is alive and doing well in our house.

Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Couple MORE Critters...

I think it is safe to say I am "hooked" on making these little guys. LOL Here are the latest two (made last night and this morning), given to a couple of great kids, Aaron and Julia.




Aaron got the lion (isn't that mane the cutest?) and my girls insisted Julia would love a hot pink kitty (they were absolutely right). I tried a new pattern for the kitty and made a few modifications from the pattern, like using safety eyes instead of felt, adding the mouth and making the collar a little wider than just a chain stitch. Becky, the mother of these great kids makes us yummy sticky buns every year. She also made this lovely ornament:


I tried to get a picture of it on the tree, but the camera wouldn't focus for some reason. The colors are three of CTMH's  new colors, Creme Brulee, Tulip and Juniper. She used the stamp set Victorian Snowflake.  Thanks, Becky! I love it!


I've not done any serious baking for the family yet (hopefully some will get done today), but the girls and I worked on decorating gingerbread houses and making Puppy Chow yesterday. I've never made the Chow before, but it's super easy and oh so yummy! I saw the idea on a blog somewhere, but I know the recipe has been around for ages, I had just never tried it. Here's Amy shaking the powdered sugar onto the coated cereal.

Puppy Chow

1/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips (or whatever kind you want to use...I made a batch with Butterscotch chips and one with semi-sweet)
3/4 cup peanut butter
8 cups Crispex or Rice Chex (rice type cereal)
2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the butter, chips and peanut butter in the microwave. Mix. Pour over the cereal. Stir to coat the cereal. Put coated cereal into a large bag with the 2 cups of powdered sugar and shake, shake, shake, to coat. 

That's it! Enjoy!


The girls are just starting on their houses in this photo....they'd work for a bit, get tired of it, play something else, come back to it for a bit and so on. I'll take a picture of the finished ones and share a bit later.

One last photo before I sign off and start wrapping presents (yes, I KNOW....Last Minute Lucy, remember?). The Bunny Slippers are DONE!!!!


Yes, as of about 5:30-5:45ish am. I worked on the other one last night, but it just wasn't coming out right and I had to pull it apart. I went to bed and got a good night's sleep and this morning it went together so smoothly! Yea!!!!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Thanks so much for the encouraging comments and for plain and simply reading my ramblings!

Big Hugs!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bunnies, Bunnies, Bunnies!

Happy Tuesday morning to you! I have some bunnies to show you today, as if the title of my post didn't alert you to that.

First off, here are a couple of bunnies I made for the girls this past weekend. They are little like the kitty I showed you last week, about 4 inches tall. They come complete with hats!

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The girls are quite happy with them. They have also gone through my book and picked out various other critters for me to make for them, so don't be surprised to see these little guys continue to show up!

This letter to Santa appeared late last week (the class has been working on friendly letters):100_5354

Well, Santa's little helper got busy trying to find some bunny slippers. This is NOT the time of year to be finding them. If she had asked the Easter Bunny, I'm sure there would have been a plethora to choose from. Had she asked for Cars slippers (oh why can't she be fixated on those this year?), success would have been so very simple. But alas, a pair of bunny slippers is what she appears to really want.

So, I give you the first of two slippers made by momma elf.

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Momma Elf can only work on these when the girls aren't around. Momma Elf was worried that she wouldn't finish in time, so she she was supremely relieved when the girls headed next door to play with the neighbor boy for a couple of hours. She got one slipper base finished while they were out. But Momma Elf was still worried, because in addition to making these, she still had presents to wrap. So, Momma Elf snuck off to Archiver's last night to get an extra hour or so in of crocheting until the girls went to bed. Then Momma Elf came home and got to work finishing up the bunny's face for one slipper. She woke up early this morning to get the one finished and thinks it is seriously cute! She is confident now that she can finish up the other slipper tonight (and if she's lucky, the girls will go to the neighbor's house again for a bit). Momma Elf's only concern is that these are not what Amy had in mind. But hopefully, if they are not, she can be told that Santa's elves had to make a very special pair just for her since bunny slippers are the Easter Bunny's specialty, right? Momma Elf sure hopes that these will suffice.

Momma Elf will close for now, so this can get posted before Amy wakes up. Thank goodness she doesn't read my blog! But I couldn't wait to share this because I'm tickled pink that I have been able to muster up something. I used a basic slipper base and finagled the head based on what I've been making recently.

I hope the magic of the season is alive and well for you!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy-Gifts and Gift Card Holders

I don't think the recipients of these read my blog regularly and if they do, act surprised when you get these! LOL

First up is a note card holder set, the template for which I got at Papertrey Ink. Lauren Meader is a phenomenal creator of all things good and she has started designing and selling templates at PTI. When you purchase the template, you also receive a pdf booklet with ideas on how to use it. Very cool. She also showcases amazing projects (different than what's in the pdf). This is one talented and creative woman! Anyway, I chose to use the All Boxed Up template (not sure if the link will work-if not, go to PapertreyInk and click on templates) to create this gift set:100_5342 100_5341

I chose to make note cards, rather than full out cards. It's a quarter of an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of cardstock and will fit in a standard invitation envelope. The paper I used is DCWV, solid is from the Summer cardstock stack and the print is from a newly released pack called Sweet. I used a Martha Stewart border punch. It's more simple than I would normally do, but being on a time crunch, I had to go easy, no stamping. I think it came out very pretty, though. The ribbon is a wide grosgrain I picked up at the dollar store, of all places. I wanted to make a second set, but simply ran out of time.

I had some gift cards to send, and I like to dress them up and here's what I did:

100_5348 This is the same design as I did previously. I just used different colors. Holiday Red (CTMH) and white and grey. The pattern paper is from Martha Stewart, as is the punch. I found some snowflake embellishments at Walmart and thought it, along with a bit of bling in the form of a rhinestone added a nice touch.


I saw this next idea at Archiver's and thought it would be fun to recreate. Unfortunately, the store was out of stock on the stamp set, but I made do with what I already owned. LOL Like that was a big stretch. LOL They used a die to cut out the pattern, but who needs a die when the dimensions are so straight-forward? I just traced the sample onto paper and took it from there.

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These are pretty simple, overall, but I liked the presentation. The dp is Basic Grey's Wassail line and the cardstock I picked up for free with a coupon from the store. The ribbon, which is difficult to see (sorry) was ONLY 29 cents a yard!

Unfortunately, they were also out of the epoxy brads in the Wassail line (the brad you see on the front of the card holder). But I like my version just fine. Hobby Lobby's Spare Parts Embellishment line goes on sale for 50% off regularly. The last time it did, I picked up these brads where you could add letter stickers to create words. I picked up a pack for the brads, not the letters. I snipped off the prongs, added a pop dot to attach it to the front. A 1/2 inch circle punch is the perfect size to fit on the top of the brad. Very cool! One of the appealing parts of this to me, other than the overall cute design, was the tag on the inside. The stamp set had Just For You lined up in a circle and a snowflake in the center. But the store didn't have anymore of the stamp set. (boo-hoo) But I have a Just Rite Stamper set (or two-who's counting) and I created the Just For You myself. I added a punched circle instead of a snowflakw to coordinate. The border punch I used is Fiskar's Threading Water.

Man, it doesn't look like too much right now, does it? But it took me most of the day to get these done!

Breakfast time! Gotta go for now! If I forgot something, just ask and I'll come back and answer...

Thanks for visiting!


Last Minute Lucy Lives!

What was I thinking when I decided (rather late, I might add) to hand-make a bunch of holiday gifts this year? I spent most of the day yesterday finishing up getting gifts made and packages wrapped and finally got them to the post office last night at around 7pm. I can officially say I mailed them on December 20th, but whether they get to their destination before Christmas remains to be seen. I even got my photo cards addressed and a cute (I think) little letter written and printed out-thanks to Big Picture Scrapbooking and a "class" on writing holiday letters. It wasn't fancy-pretty, but it got done. The girls helped by putting labels on the envelopes and stuffing some of the envelopes before they tired of the job.

I have to share though, I experienced my first post office mailbox "rage" when I dropped off the cards. Across the street from our post office is a line of mailboxes where you can drop off stamped letters and such. I pulled up and saw two other cars like me, who must have waited until the last possible second to get the cards in the mail. I pulled up to the second of two mailboxes for stamped letters and realized the box that I was going to use was too full to put my cards in, so I backed up just a little to the other one that wasn't quite as full. I about jumped through the ceiling of the car when the person who had pulled up behind me laid on their horn! I looked in my rearview mirror and saw this lady gesturing wildly behind me and obviously yelling at me (she must have thought I was going to ram into her car-I just inched back to reach the other mailbox). So I mouthed, RELAX! She looked like a madwoman hopping around inside her car. So the little evil person in me who occasionally rears it's ugly head showed up and I just SAT there looking at her in my rear view mirror and I kept saying...Relax, it's not worth it, into my rearview mirror! It was only for a second or two, honest, but, oh boy, if I thought she was mad before (for what? Having to wait a second or two to get to the mailbox???) I thought she was going to blow a gasket, now. Seriously, people, she was that ticked off. She got OUT of her car and jammed her letters into the mailbox all the while yelling at me. Can you believe it? Oh man, I'm sure she needs some sympathy and a chill pill for getting that worked up over dropping off some cards in the middle of the morning. She sped off out of the parking lot and zoomed around the corner and I hope she didn't get into an accident. I pulled away just shaking my head that people get THAT worked up over having to wait for a mere few seconds to do what they want to do. Looking back, if I was a better, more quick thinking person, I would have pulled out and gotten behind her so she could get this very serious job of putting letters in a mailbox done a few seconds quicker. People are amazing, aren't they?!

Oh and then last night, after I mailed off my packages, I went to Kmart for hubby who said the girls picked out some jammies they liked that were on sale. I made it to check out area and realized they had TWO lanes open and about 30 people waiting to be checked out. Was I thrilled? No, but I knew I'd eventually get to the cashier, so I waited. The people behind me though, fidgeted and complained to each other and even went so far as to seek out a manager to complain. I saw the look on the cashier's face...she was dog-tired. So I waited patiently and even read a good chunk of a People magazine (always fun) and when I got to her I was sympathetic and said I knew I'd get to pay soon enough. I think she appreciated that.

I am not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination, but at this time of the year when everyone is scurrying around trying to get their things done, I just wish patience wasn't the first thing to fly out the window. I hope the complainers and yellers and fidgeters realize doing so doesn't make things go more quickly or smoothly. It just raises the blood pressure and makes things less enjoyable for others.

I came home from Kmart to see my husband and girls working on decorating the Christmas tree. Now that's what makes it all worthwhile. I just sat in the car for a few moments, looking through our big picture window and enjoyed the view.

Happy Holidays to you! I hope you are ENJOYING the season! I'll be back in bit with another post showing some of the things I created yesterday in my flurry of activity-didn't want any negativity in this post to take away from the fun stuff!



Friday, December 19, 2008

Chocolate Gingerbread House

Happy Friday evening! I can honestly say I am exhausted. I want to go to bed right now, but if I do, I fear I'll be wide awake at 3am! So, I'm posting because my eyes need a break from the projects I'm still working on.

I volunteered in both girls' classes today for their Winter Parties. Amy's was first thing this morning (breakfast type foods) and as the girls and I entered the school, we were greeted with a crowd in the lobby by the office. I mean wall to wall people! It turns out the teachers decided to sing carols to the people entering the building. It was SO cool! The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, as did all the parents. What a festive way to start the day.

I had all the stuff I needed to bring, but wouldn't you know...I forgot my camera! Gasp! It's because I had ALL that other stuff to bring and on my mind. Oh well. The kids had fun and enjoyed making the marshmallow snowmen. I realized in my effort not to give the kids too much frosting...I actually gave them a bit too little and some of the snowmen looked a tad 'interesting' shall we say? They didn't really care, all they wanted was to eat them! LOL

When I brought in the goodies for Jessica's party (which I was too early mind is so scattered) I remembered the camera. And here's why I wanted to be sure I had it.

Look at this!

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And NO, I didn't make this! LOL Amy's teacher made it, actually, for the class. What is so cool about this (other than the fact she made something like this for the class) is that this gingerbread house is made of chocolate!!!! The walls, roof, and even the Santa! She told me that she has chocolate molds that she used to create it. She's had the molds for a long time, and I sure have not seen anything like this (she thought I could find it/something similar at Michaels. She also told me that inside the house was candy for the kids. They were going to break it open and eat it later in the day. I just think this is a very cool idea and wanted to share.

Jessica's party was at the end of the day and they had sundaes in addition to the marshmallow snowman activity. After the kids were done her teacher put some music on and the kids started dancing off some of the sugar. Then she played a song that you move to according to what's sung. Thumbs up, thumbs back, feet apart, knees together, bottom up, tongue out, eyes closed, and turn around. But it built up each time. By the time one is done, the legs can sure feel it. And because it's such a silly sight, the kids LOVE it. Jessica's teacher encouraged the parents to join in and I was the only one who took her up on it (because I think it's fun to act kid-like and goofy).

So, it was a pretty good day. But I'm absolutely pooped. So, I think I am going to close this post and head to bed.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the sweet comments and emails about the critters I've been creating. I was worried I might bore you with them. I'm glad you are enjoying them. Have a great night and start to your weekend!


Daisies, Kitty, & Cupcake...

Happy Friday! It's Friday? Seriously? Where did this week go? It whizzed by so fast, my head is spinning. LOL

Jessica got pinned yesterday and is officially a Daisy. It was cute to see the girls say the Girl Scout Promise. We had a potluck after the little ceremony and I must admit, the cake pops were a hit.

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Here are a couple of pictures of the girls working on the cake pops, which went MUCH more smoothly than on Tuesday. (Mommy got smart with a little experience under her belt-LOL)

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Notice the larger pans for the sprinkles. Ummmm yea, I had a ton on the floor the other day. Those little puppies can BOUNCE! I also moved the melted chocolate TO the table to be closer to the girls when they were ready for sprinkling. But again, we barely got done in time to head to swim class. But at least I didn't have to rush to get them done for Daisies!

And for your viewing pleasure a couple of more critters I've made:

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The kitty is for Amy's friend, Hattie, who adores kitties.

And technically, I guess this one isn't a critter, but it's still cute, no?


I am getting closer to being done with all the hustle and bustle of getting gifts ready for the holiday. I still need to work on getting my cards addressed, but getting to today is a huge accomplishment!

I didn't mention it the other day, but I also put together a digital project, but I don't know if the recipient reads the blog, so I'll have to wait to mention more.

Okay...that's it from me for now. I have to finish getting ready to help out at the school today. Whew!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a great TGIF!!!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brownies and Cake Pops

Happy Wednesday morning!  LOL Both girls have scout meetings this week and they include investiture ceremonies and a potluck. I had been seeing Cake Pops show up in the blogosphere and thought they were a really cute idea. Reading how to make them sounded pretty easy, too. Since I can't take home-made goodies to school, I thought they'd be fun and festive to make for these pot lucks. What was I thinking?! LOL

Basically to make these you bake a cake and let it cool completely. Then you crumble up the cake. Then you mix in a can of frosting and let the helpers help themselves to the leftovers.100_5304

100_5305 Then you chill the mixture (for 15 minutes supposedly-but we had to but the mixture in the freezer for longer than that because we were on a time crunch to get them done in time for Amy's meeting. Roll the batter/mixture into little balls and jab a lollipop stick into them. You melt chocolate, and dip the cake pop into the chocolate (praying it doesn't fall off into the melted chocolate-don't ask). When the chocolate has dripped off and before it sets decorate with sprinkles. Stick the pops into some styrofoam so they can cool/set upright and this is what you end up with.

100_5316 Sorry I didn't take more pictures of the process, because it was kind of funny, but it was taking longer than I thought to get the pops dipped into the chocolate because it took longer than I thought for the mixture to chill. These are the three that were left over after the potluck. We still have Jessica's to make, so maybe I'll take more pics then.

And here are some shots from the ceremony. Don't mind Amy's messy face...she had spaghetti and always enjoys it very much!










She earned her first few badges last night and was quite excited.

Okay...I had wanted to get this posted last night, but was distracted by other things. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by.