Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Gardening Adventure~A Work in Progress…

Happy Sunday to you! I hope you are enjoying a fine weekend, whatever the weather. After all the rain last weekend, I took advantage of the sunshiny day to work outside again on Saturday. I don’t have any artwork to share, but took pictures of the work in progress that is my “garden.” I am so NOT a gardener. I just pick out flowers that appeal to me,  plop and pray usually. LOL


Here’s the progress I’ve made on that corner I showed you before. Nope, I still haven’t finished weeding here yet, as you can see (and some of the “weeds” are actually marigolds that re-seed themselves every year. I just let ‘em grow willy nilly). I have finished planting all of the goodies I had picked up. I did add a few new purchases to the mix. Namely that wave petunia. I haven’t had a petunia for several years as I often find little caterpillars in mine, eating up the plant. Got tired of that, so I quit buying them. This one was so pretty though, I thought I’d try again.

Another new addition are those pave stones. Been wanting to do something like that for a long time and yesterday I picked them up. I still need to work ‘em into the rocks, but I like how it looks. Hopefully the morning glories will grow up that white arbor again.


Sarah, this one’s for you. I need to get a trellis yet, but here’s the clematis I bought. I sure hope it grows! Oh and before I could plant it, I had to clean off the bird poop that was on that wall. Oh goodness, that bird either dive bombed the side of the garage or he had bird diarrhea because there were several areas to clean.  Ewwwwww….


This is along the back fence and the area I can see out of my kitchen window. Steve had just mowed and edged this area. One of the plants (a Shasta Daisy-no blooms yet) was planted last year. The pathetic looking hyacinth may or may not come back. I waited too long to plant it. We’ll see what happens.

And now, for your viewing pleasure…I give you my sad, sad looking honeysuckle. Well, one of them, I have two. Yeah, I “attempted” to clean it up last year and it just looks horrible, doesn’t it? Oh and there’s a huge weed in there, too. Sigh. Why am I showing you this? Well, so I can show you where the bulk of my efforts went yesterday.


This is the other honeysuckle and if you can believe it, it looked WORSE that the one above before I started working on it. I didn’t take a “before” shot. I told Steve that this year I was gonna get all the dead stuff off of them in the hopes that they will come back even better. See all that green in the space in the fence? Joy of joys, those are ALL weeds, about 2 1/2-3 feet tall. Those dogs I’ve complained about with their barking? That’s where they live. I guess I’d complain too if my “home” was as yucky as this yard is.  My garden will forever be plagued by those weeds…sigh.


Anyway, all the dead stuff is off and I’ve tied up the “runners” that were at the bottom and hopefully it will fill back in nicely. And the one to the right? That’s another runner that took root. Steve told me to try to get it to grow, so I used some yarn to try to train it up. We’ll see what happens, I guess. Today, I need to tackle the other one. Hopefully, it won’t take as long.

The area needs to be cleaned up a little better, but I thought I’d share what I came up with for my newly cleaned off front porch. We stacked firewood up on the porch and it’s scratched up the wall pretty good, I guess. Anyway I tried to create a little sitting area, using items that we already had-although the girls now want kid sized chairs, too. Then I went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby in search of some pretties to put on the table. I thought these watering cans were cute. The silver one is from Michaels and the rest of the stuff is from Hobby Lobby. All of their garden stuff is one clearance (already!) so they can make room for the Christmas stuff (ugh).


Because it was hard to see in the above photo, I took a close up of the butterfly I found! Yeah, it’s missing a little jewel/gem, but who cares, I love it for its imperfection). I think it’s supposed to be a pot hugger, but I like it on the table.


And, finally here’s the barrel I planted yesterday. This is what you can see next to our porch. I adore pansies and must have some every year! They are such happy flowers, I think. I added a few new plants (to me) in the funky colored leaves plants (didn’t note the name) and some bacopa-which I just discovered this season.


Well, thanks so much for taking the tour of my work in progress gardening efforts. There’s still work to be done, like housework, I guess you are never “done,” but the bulk of it is behind me now, and after I hack up the other honeysuckle, weeding and watering should be all that is needed.

I gave Amy a tour yesterday, after she got home from her Brownie Day,  and she loved it.

But then she looked at our patio deck and asked when I was going to do something about cleaning IT up! Sigh…most of the junk is their stuff. Ah well…all in good time.

Have a happy Sunday!


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Welcome Summer Break…I’m Already Tired

Hello! We celebrated our first day of Summer Break yesterday with a surprise visit to one of the all time favorite kid places, Chuck E. Cheese’s! Since it’d been at least a year since we were there last, we noticed that they had changed things up a bit and added some new games. One being this horse. Jessica loved it. You get on the horse and watch the video screen and you are involved in a horse race. Of course, she has no clue how to ride a horse for real, but who cares…she had a blast. On the second photo, Jessica is doing this funky twist that she does with her tongue. I can’t do it and she tells me it’s because I am not a kid. LOL

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Amy worked out some energy on this whack a pin game. I want to say whack a mole, but there were no moles in sight.


For some reason, this ride thing was a favorite of Amy’s. Maybe because it was a ride? Maybe she’s gearing herself up for whenever she gets to a real amusement park? Maybe she just plain old thought it was fun?! This is the activity she kept talking about to her dad at dinner. Go figure.


A visit wouldn’t be complete without feeding tickets to the Ticket Muncher. Both girls earned enough tickets to get a little something, something from the prize display.


100 Tokens = $15 (with a coupons)

Drinks = $6

First Day of Summer Break Memories = Priceless.



One would think that I would sit down and work on scrapping these memories? Oh NO, one would be wrong. I decided to do some cleaning instead (I know, I know…what was I thinking?) Yeah, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I am still sore from my efforts as I type this.

We have two car sized carport (which I love, love, love-no snow to speak of piling up on the cars unless it’s a windy storm). The carport cover extends up the ramp (not steps) to our porch (previous owner was in a wheel chair), so no rain or snow falls on us when we go out to the car. However, this lovely carport area/porch can also double as a dumping ground. And I decided to rectify this yesterday after we got home. I could have used the hose to wash it all down, but I, wanting to get some exercise (cough, cough), so I swept it all up. After moving all the junk not necessary for the porch/end of the carport elsewhere. I even cleaned the big window screens to our great room (which is a converted two car garage…the window is the size of a two car garage door opening). Sigh…I don’t know where the energy came from. Maybe the music I selected on the boom box I brought out to listen to while I worked? I even vacuumed out the cars…again! I got us some popcorn on the way home from our fun morning and the bag the girls were sharing fell over, dumping popcorn all over the floor. Sigh. So, since I had the vacuum out for the window tracks, I gave the cars a quick once over. This is in addition to the vacuuming the van got earlier in the week, after our last haul of wood. After I was done outside, again, since the vacuum was out…I vacuumed up the great room. Then I swept up the kitchen and living room and did a quick mop of the living room. What can I say? I was on a roll! Then, after dinner, we went on a bike ride. Guess I did get my exercise for the day? Week? Month?  LOL I’m sore, but satisfied with my efforts.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great weekend. Amy has a Brownie Day today where she is going to work on earning 6 badges. She’ll be gone all day. Jessica will probably have fun playing with her friends. I will probably finish weeding/planting the rest of the flowers and cleaning around the back yard. Yeah, I have no idea where the motivation is coming from, but you gotta go with it when it comes, right?


Thursday, May 28, 2009

What a Haul~Digi Layout


I was able to get this layout done this afternoon. I think you should be able to read the journaling. A neat thing (I think) on the layout is that I took close up pictures of some of the logs in our pile and used them in the layout. I like the texture in the background photo.

I used a Kay Miller template (just love those) and ended up using papers (one is recolored to better match Jessica’s pants), stitching and a button from her Jungle Boogie kit. The font is called Pea Sean.

I didn’t have a set plan for this layout…it just sort of evolved and I like how it turned out.

Thanks for looking!


Lovely RAK Cards to Share…

Happy Thursday to you! Well, the girls have completed the school year and are happily playing with their friends outside (barring any thunderstorms that appear to be looming). I wasn’t with the girls when they gave the teachers their gifts and haven’t heard anything other than the girls saying they liked them. I hope they did. I enjoyed making the gifts for them and there is great satisfaction in that.

I thought about working on a card or two on my last “kids-free” afternoon, but ultimately decided to work on a little surprise for the girls. When I was searching for the musical gift ideas, I came across a cute microphone pattern. The girls don’t know anything about it and I’ve decided to work on it while they are in bed, or otherwise not around. I just started the first one this afternoon while they were at school. I’ll share when I get them done.

Since I didn’t get a card made, I thought this would be a good time to share some wonderful cards I’ve received over the past few weeks. I sure do love my friends, and the artwork they create and share just warms my heart.

First up, I received this beautiful Mother’s Day card from my lovely friend, Barb, of The Buzz and Barb’s Project 365. Barb is truly inspirational in how she lives her life. She takes such joy in the every day moments and captures them so well in her Photo a Day project. You’ve got to take a peek the weekly round up layouts she shares! Her artwork is top-notch and well worth the time it might take to look at and soak in. Thank you so much, Barb for thinking of me!

This next card is from my buddy, Erin of Inky Smiles. Erin and I have been getting to know each other so well through our frequent chats on Google Talk. We laugh, we support and encourage and even challenge each other. Oh and she’s so good to my Amy, who wants to chat with her every time she sees that Erin is online. I so appreciate her love for life, crafting and enthusiasm for well, everything! And I got to meet her in person, which was fantastic! If I remember correctly, she used either Liquid Glass or Clear Embossing Powder on the flower. It’s so pretty in real life. Thank you, my friend.


Then there is this gorgeous card from Christi of Blessings on Paper. Oh my heavens, Christi blows me away with the absolutely detailed and beautiful cards she creates. She is a self-professed “slow” stamper/creator and may not get as much time as she desires to create, but oh boy, when she is able to, she’ll knock your socks off! Her posts are full of humorous  chit-chat (often at her own expense) and so much charm. I really enjoy reading what she has to say and seeing what she has to share. I was so fortunate to meet her in person last year. She’s a home-schooling mom (I bow to her because I know I would have the patience for this) who planned a field trip to our local Butterfly Pavilion and she graciously invited Jessica and I to join them on their excursion. She’s just as beautiful in person as she is on her blog! I remember seeing this card on her blog and commenting on it…not knowing she made it for little old me. Thanks, Christi!!!


Hopefully this gorgeous artwork will suffice for now. Thank you ladies, I so appreciate you! 

Thank you, as well, to those who read my ramblings and look at my artwork. Your comments are heart-warming and encouraging and I truly appreciate that you take time out of your busy day to see what I am up to in my little corner of the blogosphere.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Final Teacher Gift Wrap-Up

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I spent the morning working on this project (I had to make 3 of each). I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. I went round and round in my head about how best to wrap up the gifts and ended up with your basic bag. I was going to decorate it all up, but what I was seeing in my head was not translating well to paper.  Oh well. I think simple is good, too. And the teachers can re-use the bags if they want. *Ü*

My inspiration for the card came from Nichole Heady’s post here (scroll down just a bit). I used the Teacher’s Apple set (such an awesome set for this purpose), Polka Dot Basics and the little apple from the Limitless Labels set. I used some brads from Hobby Lobby’s Spare Parts line, some hemp from CTMH, some ribbon from my stash and Nestabilities, Label One dies. The colors are Holiday Red, Garden Green, Olive, & Chocolate. I used just a bit of Kraft cardstock, too.

Now I need to get some housework done, so I will close for now. Hope you have a great rest of your day!


A Musical Gift…

Happy Wednesday to you! You all know how impressed I’ve been with the music teacher at our school and I’ve been searching for something “musical” to give her to show my appreciation for her dedication to the students.

I came across a crochet pattern on Etsy and thought it was cute and something she might enjoy. What do you think?

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I have to be honest and tell you know that I know next to nothing about music notes. (Maybe that’s why what she does impresses me so…) The only one I know for sure is the treble clef. I’ve asked the girls numerous times what the notes are (and even some parents at the school) and they’ve told me over and over again, but it doesn’t stick. The only thing I can remember is the girls saying ti-ti and ta-ta. So, if you are musically inclined, you’ll have to tell yourself what these notes are…whole note? Quarter note? Eighth note? I dunno! I DO know I thought they were cute. LOL And since I didn’t have much in the way of musical stuff in my stash…I made do with something I did know!

I thought about making this piano…but figured it would take more time than I had when I was searching for ideas late last week. Maybe for next year?

I’m working on the cards/wrapping for the gifts. I’ll probably be back later to share those.

Oh and here’s a layout I made of Erin and I. I joined the Stampin’ Out Alzheimer’s (check out Kim’s blog here for some info) fundraiser and picked up a free digi kit as well as a template for some of the challenges on the site and this is what I came up with…

Gotta get Jess to school…thanks for stopping by!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Look Who Stopped By!

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My good buddy, Erin of Inky Smiles blog! Wow! How cool to finally meet her in person! She and her hubby, Brent and their furbaby, Sadie were driving home from visiting her family and they “just happened” to be traveling close to where we live. She called and of course we had to get together!

This is how cool blogging (and Google Talk) really is! It  felt like we already knew each other and it was fun chatting for a bit while they caught their breath for the next leg of their journey home. Thanks so much, Erin, for making that call and taking the time to stop by.

Amy was absolutely giddy and silly over meeting her chatting buddy in real life, as if you couldn’t tell from the photos. LOL

What a great way to end the weekend. Kathi, you’re next, right???? *Ü*

Sick Amy-Digi Layout

Can you stand one more? LOL

This layout is my version of this one by Kay Miller. Her work inspires me so! Wish I had an inkling of her talent.


Journaling: Amy came running to me crying after school one day. She wailed that she just wanted to go home, which was very unlike her. I discovered she had a fever (103.5).  A trip to the doctor diagnosed strep throat, which surprised us all as she didn’t really have the regular symptoms. But a swab test confirmed it. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long for her to get back to her perky self.

I modified the template I chose quite a bit and added the oval shape so I could add journaling. I’m pretty pleased at how it came out. Of course, using another layout as inspiration helps a lot!

Template: Collection 16 (layout e) Kay Miller Designs (modified a lot)
Kits: Ouchies, Ouchies Lil Bits, and BooBooBlather by Mary Fran at NitwitCollections
Font: Pea Jamie *B*


Thanks again for stopping by!

Monkey Girl~Digi Layout

Here’s what I finally came up with for the pictures of Amy climbing the tree…


I thought I’d try making it just a tad larger so you could see it better. Please let me know if this is too big, though.

I tried doing this one as a 2 pager, but the template I chose as my starting point just wasn’t doing it for me. I closed the layout down and did some crocheting instead, so my brain could simmer on what I wanted to do. This morning, I scrolled through my digital templates and kits and found one called Monkey She, Monkey Do, and it flowed from there. One of the fun things I did (at least I thought it was fun) was to add the little girl monkey to the tree image. I used my eraser tool in PSE 7 and took away some of the tree so that she looked a little more natural, like she was meant to be there. I liked the result. I didn’t think it needed much journaling, other than the title and date, because the layout itself shows what is going on. Also, I couldn’t figure out a spot for any journaling anyway. LOL


Template: Collection 16 (layout e) (Kay Miller Designs)
Papers: Monkey She, Monkey Do (Kay Miller Designs)
Elements: grass-Wild About You (Kay Miller Designs), tree-Family Ties (Kristin Cronin-Barrow at Sweet Shoppe Designs) monkey-Monkey She, Monkey Do
Fonts: Tanglewood Tales, Chopin Script, Pea Jamie*B*


Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a great day today. Remember  the armed services members and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy all that America has to offer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jessica in the Tree~Digi Layout

Well, of course, when I wandered outside to plant some more flowers, the ominous rumbling of thunder  put an end to that thought. Since that idea didn’t work, I wandered over to my computer and worked on a layout. What do you think?


Template used: Kay Miller Designs Collection 28d (Slightly modified)
Papers/Elements: Kristin Cronin Barrow’s Flourish kit from The Daily Digi Files 4 (which is sort of like a Grab Bag-I couldn’t find a preview link)
Word Art: PaisleePress & TaylorMade Collab kit B-Side (Oscraps)
Fonts: Pea Jane and CK Ali’s Doodles (letter b for the heart)


Not sure if we’ll be able to grill today as it’s been raining for the past few hours. We’ll see…

Thanks for stopping by. Who knows…maybe I can get another page done today? If so, I’ll be back.

Brain Dump & Amy…The First~Digi Layout

Happy Sunday to you! I hope you are enjoying your  weekend. We’ve got no major plans for the weekend, just hanging out, letting what comes our way evolve. This post may get long, so hopefully you’ll stick with me. It may become what some call a “brain dump.”

My Saturday took a fun, meandering path. I started out, as usual, reading my blogs, and got inspired to work on some scrapbooking after reading my friend, Wendy’s post about scrapbooking here. I hope you’ll take the time to read what she had to say. It’s truly inspiring. Thank you so much Wendy for sharing your heartfelt thoughts!  You’ve reminded me about why I want to scrapbook and that I need to make more time for it. My friend, Barb, among others, is doing a 365 photo a day project and creates layouts documenting the everyday moments of her life. She’s even created a blog to showcase those layouts here. I’ve been admiring her work all along and may work on a similar type of project for our summer adventures.

As ideas were simmering about what I wanted to create, I decided to take the time to do some shopping for flowers, finally.  I’ve not been very motivated to work outside yet, but it’s starting to build.


Here are the flowers I picked up and worked on planting. Sarah, do you see the clematis I found? It’s a little bitty plant right now, but hopefully it’ll grow up to be big and strong like hers shown in this post. I’m thinking of putting it under that window in the following picture.

This is where most of them went. I still need to take a photo of the after. I ran out of time because we had a birthday party to go to. Notice, there are still weeds in the area. I’ll get to them…eventually. LOL

The girls had a great time at the birthday party for John, Susi’s son. Susi is an inspiration to me. She throws THE best parties for kids. She comes up with great games for them to play. For this one, she and the kids set up an obstacle course in their back yard using chairs, benches, tires, a mini tramp and their play house. For another game, she had them tie a balloon to their ankle and they had to run around trying to pop each other’s balloons. It was great. Very simple and creative, using items they had around the house. I loved it, as did the girls. Too bad I didn’t take my camera. Oh well, the memories will stick.

After the party, it started to rain, so my planting time was over for the day. I was going to work on a layout, but got distracted by some other things.

After dinner, Steve surprised me by saying he wanted to go see the new Star Trek movie. We asked our neighbors across the street if they’d mind watching the girls for us. They were already watching their granddaughter, who is just a bit older than Amy, and the girls get along great, so they enthusiastically said yes. We went to a type of theater we’d never been to before. It’s by our house and is called Cinnebarre. You go in, sit down and order what you’d like to eat from your theater seat. You can get a meal if you like or, (thank goodness) popcorn and a drink. Very different, but neat. I hadn’t thought much about going to see this movie, as going to any movie is not something I think of to do.  While not a zealous fan of the show, I did enjoy watching the tv series (how do you make that plural, there were so many off-shoots of the original?). It was a great, entertaining movie that I really enjoyed. I’m glad I agreed to go on the spur of the moment.

This morning, I decided to try a layout…it’s very simple, but heartfelt. So, if you got this far, I hope you like it, too.

Amy Tree

Thank you for stopping by. I’m sure you got more than you bargained for when you did. Hope you don’t mind…too much.

I will finally close for now. I’m hoping to get the whole font thing resolved soon. I’m in contact with the Live Writer people…


Friday, May 22, 2009

Butterfly, Flutter By…

I did it…I managed to sneak into my crafty corner and get a card made. Yay! And this is an embellishment I’ve been wanting to use all week! Ahhhhh…feels good. When I saw this card, I almost swooned.

Look at the butterfly (yes, that’s what it is, if you weren’t sure) that I crocheted myself! Isn’t it pretty? Well, I think it is and I can’t wait to make more of them, in different colors. And you know me, I always share where I get my info, so here’s the link for the pattern


The pattern paper is from DCWV, Butterflies and Blossoms, Heavenly Blue cardstock is from CTMH. Lemon Tart is from Papertrey Ink. I also used some velvet ribbon from Michaels and Fiskars’ Apron Lace border punch. Thinking of you is from Verve’s Artful Elegance set.

I’m just tickled pink at how this one came out…

Thanks for stopping by!

(who really needs to find out how to get my fonts to work in this updated Live Writer…)

Latest Crochet Project Completed!

Good Friday Morning! Are you ready for a long holiday weekend? I think I am, except the weather isn’t supposed to be very summer-like here. I guess we used up our quota of warm, sunny weather for the week. There’s a chance of rain each day this weekend. But, on the positive side, it shouldn’t snow!

While I haven’t been able to get to my crafty corner this week, I have managed to get “some” crocheting done. When I saw this pattern on Amy Gaines Etsy Shop, I just couldn’t resist. Wasn’t sure how the girls would react, but the other morning they were playing with the robot and alien (with the robotic voices), so I guess they like them. Yay!

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Last night after dinner, Jessica promised she would try to ride her bike without training wheels. She’s been really hesitant to attempt this. And she still hasn’t really done it yet. She went in a circle, with Steve holding the bike,  then said she was done. So, I guess, technically she did try.


Amy wanted to show me how well she could now climb the tree in our front yard…


Which led to a couple of nice shots…




And one who goes up, must come down, somehow…

Have a great day! Maybe I’ll finally make it to my crafty corner today…