Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Lead Foot's Dream

My local scrappers got together for a crop last Sunday. It had been a long time and we were anxious to get something accomplished. We met at a member's house about 30 miles up I-10 from me. I was excited to see the posted speed limit signs just outside my county to the north. There was a change made last year and I'd heard about it - but had never seen it in person. 80 miles per hour during the day (trucks 70) and still 65 at night due to all the deer in the area. I've heard it's the fastest speed limit in the US (not that most drivers don't do at least 80 or more in the lower posted areas as well...) So does this mean the average speed is now raised to 85 mph? How safe is THAT? Especially if the driver is trying to take photographs at the same time! (I did slow down - the truck ahead of me was one of about a dozen I saw the entire trip... most in my rear view mirror (wink, wink)
So, now - it's not only BIGGER in Texas - but it's faster too... It's this way almost all the way to the state line - due to the sad fact that it's an incredibly dull trip I suppose... not a lot of McRestroom's along the way... Yee Haw...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Let's Twist Again

Tonight was a trip back in time - well... actually it wasn't... it was WAY before my time and Zachary's as well. But it was a trip none the less!

It was 50's theme night at Zachary's cotillion class. It took quite a lot of talking for me to convince him that new sneakers weren't necessary - but that dress shoes would be more to the traditional dress. In the end he looked quite good - and decidedly different than the other lads in attendance.

I served as chaperon again and I'm so glad - I always thoroughly enjoy myself watching the kids and they were particularly fun in their 50's costumes - especially the girls in their frilly slips and colorful poodle skirts.
Zachary won a prize this week - for his astounding Elvis impersonation! I was impressed myself... all the other boys just did the familiar "thank ya' - thank ya' very much..." but not Zack - oh no! Nope - he actually SANG a bit of Teddy Bear - and quite well I might add. And to further impress - later in the evening he was called on to help demonstrate the "slide" during the Lindy Hop instruction and he managed it very well indeed. I was a proud mama (and very glad we'd reviewed the slide in the driveway before we left home...)
After the class he and I continued our date at Culver's for dinner and a treat. It was all well and good until he mentioned in passing that he wished kissing was allowed at cotillion... Seems he's developed a bit of a crush on Miranda - a FREQUENT dance partner (and pictured on the far right in the photo of girls above.) Thankfully he could see the wisdom in waiting to do the kissing stuff... since there really wasn't a "good" reason to be kissing a girl he's only really danced with on three Tuesday nights. Having a conversation beyond "let's run into the other couples" should be a prerequisite...
Oh... P.S. I've been such a frequent chaperon at cotillion I was asked to serve on the planning committee next year. Yay!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The V-day After

I got my new haircut on Tuesday and my mani/pedi today. I LOVE it and I feel revitalized and renewed! My hair is "sassy" (who came up with that term anyhow...) It really doesn't look that dramatic next to my profile photo - but if you take a look at my V-day photo you'll see a difference of about 5 inches (and 30 minutes morning primping time...) My feet and hands feel so purdy! I got one of those "spa" pedicures...where you sit in the massaging chair with your feet in a whirlpool. The only problem was the giggling... my feet are pretty ticklish. Oh...and the minor issue of not being able to understand a WORD that the cosmetologist said - and he wasn't wearing a mask...

Other interesting news today. I've been trying to wear my contacts again and it just doesn't seem to work. I always feel like I've got a scratched cornea after a time or two. I was ready to blame it on the lenses - but I've only worn them about a dozen times since I got them last year and I've also had issues when I hadn't been wearing the lenses. Well I stopped into the eye doc and they checked me out. Seems that I have Recurrent Corneal Erosion. I go next week for a consultation with the ophthalmologist for the San Antonio Spurs. (My dad says he's either really good or got season tickets in an out of court settlement... hmmm...)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Season of Love

Happy V-day!

I woke to find a huge box of Lindt milk chocolate truffles on my bathroom counter early this morning. I promptly hid them in the linen closet and later locked them in my truffle jar in my scrapbook room. I am also receiving some pampering treats later - A salon cut and style, massage and mani/pedi. I can't wait!

Dinner was our favorite Special K loaf, baked potatoes, broccoli, home baked Italian bread. I had a doctor appointment and got home right before dinner - the boys had completely decked themselves out in their best finery. They were such handsome lads. Jacob even did his own hair - he decided to part it on the other side for a change :0)

I gave the kids their coupon books and a little organza bag of m&m’s too from their Daddy and me. My babies' daddy is getting a huge jar of m&m's (or "pooh con books" and "en uh mems" as Mack puts it). My parents and sis joined us for dinner and we'd made them Valentines as well. Michaela had gone out with Gramma and gotten Valentines for her brothers (various gummy candies) and the boys' each purchased heart shaped boxes of candy for one another and their sister - so there was certainly no shortage of sweets for dessert. Michaela had a bit of a melt down since mommy wasn't allowing her to replace her broccoli with chocolate.

It was a very lovely day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Baby's 1st Year Board Book

As promised... This is the board book I made for the sis-in-law of a fellow church member. It was kind of a last minute idea and I just pulled apart one of my kids' old board books. (My preferred method of preparing previously loved board books.)

There is a two-page spread for the general pregnancy, two-page spread for the birth, and then one page for each month of the first year.

I used Daisy D's patterned papers and WorldWin cardstock. Most of the ribbons and rick rack are May Arts and many of the embellishments are from Making Memories. I don't remember who did the rub-ons...and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. :0)

My sketches for page layout were inspired by the QVC/CK album layouts.

Now that little Hayden is a year old I'm very curious as to what his mom did with the album. I recommended black and white photos but I've no idea what she did.

It was great fun to make and I immediatedly pulled the very same papers, embellishments and rub-ons to make another one!

A Divine Valentine

A Divine Valentine

A Valentine may play a love song for you,
but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe.

The Lord your God...will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will keep you quiet with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

A Valentine may give you flowers,
but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus

I Am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1

A Valentine may take you out to dinner,
but God has invited you to the most amazing feast ever given.

Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper
of the Lamb!
Revelation 19:9

A Valentine may bring you chocolate,
but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

A Valentine may be far away,
but God is always with you.

I am with you always.
Matthew 28:20

A Valentine may give you something,
but God has given you everything.

God gives us richly all things to enjoy.
I Timothy 6:17

A Valentine may love you for a lifetime,
but God loved you before you were born and will love you
for all eternity!

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love...
with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:3

Holley Garth ~ DaySpring

Sunday, February 11, 2007

1,2,3 Birthday!

The kids went to a birthday party today - they had a great time - it was held at the gymnastics place up the road - they love going and jumping around and I love how they sleep later!

It was a combination party - 2nd and 3rd b-days for our friends from church and 1st b-day for their cousin that I co-hosted a baby shower for a year ago. (Tomorrow I'll post the Baby's First Year board book I made for him.)
I'm hooked on 6x6 cards... it's so easy to make them two at a time (not that I'm that efficient...but I should be...)
Paper for the 1st is Sandy Lion & Making Memories ribbon, chipboard, metal words & paint. Rub-ons are Royal Brush (Jade). 2nd patterned paper, fabric tape and chipboard is Making Memories. The flower is craft supply, button is SEI & rick rack is Making Memories. For the 3rd, patterned paper and ribbon is American Crafts. The chipboard and paint is Making Memories, Ghost Stars are Heidi Swapp, Epoxy stickers are Paper Treats by Around the Block. sewing machine on 1st & 2nd is my mom-in-laws Bernina - since mine hasn't gone to the tension shop yet...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Dinner (?) Is Served

I have good boys.

This afternoon they begged me to be allowed to make dinner for daddy - all by themselves...

So I let them.
And we ate it.

On the menu: Kabobs with vegetarian hot dog chunks, veggie burger pieces (not cooked too much...didn't want them too warm...) cheese, cucumber and olives. For dessert? Marshmallows of course. Jacob made the dessert kabobs himself. The poor thing - as he "slid" them down the skewers they would leave their insides behind until there was almost nothing left when they got to the end... at least for the tiny ones. He was so proud that he'd even popped one on the end to keep us from poking ourselves in the eye I guess...

We had very LARGE bowls of ice cream for second dessert.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Out To Play

I’m going out to play tonight! One of the homeschool moms has started a cropping group two Tuesday nights a month and I’m feeling much better and I’m going head out for a break.

It’s been a rough month for sure. I’m still having some pain in my left arm but it’s MUCH better after my chiro visit yesterday. They now think there are two overlapping problems – one with the neck and back spasms and one with pinched nerves in my shoulder since I’m still having numbness in two fingers. The arm still aches but NOTHING compared to what it was…it was like having labor pains in my arm all the time (which sounds a little weird…) that kind of pain you just rock through you know? My neck is much better – still not 100% on my range of motion but it’s not in constant pain any more.

The best news is my babies’ daddy has signed us up for insurance. Still can’t afford the monthly premiums but in the long run this year it will be cheaper – especially since I’ve been seeing doctors for 2-3 visits every week for the last month! It’s looking very much like I’ll be able to have surgery sometime this year to reduce my problems…

I started back to the gym last week – boy is THAT different… after having not been for nearly a month – my left arm is so weak that I’ve gone from 30 reps at 30 pounds down to about 5 reps with 10 pounds on some of the upper body machines. It’s definitely a re-strengthening process.

Prayer is good medicine – got lots of people praying for me and I sure appreciate it!

It will be good to get out tonight – haven’t been much of anywhere for a month except the doctor. I haven’t even been down the road to Wal-Mart for more than a month!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Head 'em up move 'em out - Rolos!

Here it finally is. My Rolodex swap card. It's a week late - but I didn't feel good - so nyah!
Actually... I forgot to photograph it before I sealed all 30 in the envelope... So I had to make another. Try to ignore the extra holes where my darling daughter tried out the sewing machine...

Friday, February 2, 2007

Scrappy Valentine's Day

I wrote my last article for an online E-zine - but the publisher didn't honor our agreement and didn't publish it. So - to get it out there I'm publishing it myself! I will include the whole thing - so it will be a little different than a regular post from me... And now, without further adieu... I give you Love...

Love Is…

Remember those “love is…” cartoons from the 70’s? Bear with me while I reminisce. The cute little naked, yet decent, couple taught us many things about love – probably the most memorable strip was run the week before Valentine’s Day in February of 1972 and said, “love is… being able to say you’re sorry.” Now and then my mom would cut the one-panel strips out of the newspaper and they would be hung on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror and more than a couple of them got decoupaged onto a painted wooden plaque. (Wow, that stuff is old…) I remember sitting there thinking, (in my 100% polyester striped T-shirt) “love sure is a lot of things.” What’s that famous quote? Something like, “love isn’t one thing – it’s a million little things.”

Because love is a million little things I’m taking a new approach to Valentine’s Day this year. I’m not buying any little gifts or cards. This year I’m going to put my money where my mouth is, to borrow another phrase from the 70’s, and actually give a bit of myself this year. I couldn’t think of a better way to do that but with one of those gifts that keeps on giving – a coupon book.

These are really quite easy to make using a basic matchbook format. The hardest part is coming up with the coupons and I’ll help you with that too! You can purchase your matchbooks from a company like Daisy D’s or Basic Grey, but it’s not difficult to make your own. I used a 4 x 12 inch strip for each of my coupon books to keep it really simple. The coupon pages inside are printed on a 5.5 X 3.75 inch page with a half-inch margin on the top, right and bottom and a 1.75-inch margin on the left.

A double-sided cardstock makes the best cover. That way you have a nice design or color on the inside when you open it and the heavier cardstock will hold up better to opening and closing. For the 4x12 inch matchbook, mark lightly with pencil on the inside long edges at 1.25 inches, 7 inches and 7 3/16 inches. Next score the cover at these marks and then fold up (toward the inside) on all your score marks. Punch two holes in the bottom (short) flap a half-inch from the top edge and 1 inch from each side. When you’ve printed your coupons you can line them up inside the cover and mark where the holes will need to be punched in the coupons themselves. I used brads to secure my books but if you used a thinner paper rather than cardstock for your coupons you could probably staple them together. I have 12 coupons printed on cardstock in each of my coupon books.

This first book is great for a husband. Some suggestions for coupons might include:

One “honey-do” free Sunday – Enjoy checking nothing off your list
Favorite Home Cooked Meal – 3 hour minimum notice requested
Three quiet hours by yourself – I’ll take the kids, you stay home alone
An evening by the fire after the kids are in bed (mallows and cocoa included)
One 30-minute foot rub complete with hot soak and lotion
One evening on the town sans kids (subject to scheduling with the grandparents)
One manicure and hand massage
Movie of your choice (even an action flick full of explosions)
Couch Cuddling (no expiration date)
One uninterrupted 30-minute nap
One 30-minute back rub
Three hours “one on one” with one kid (must redeem equal time with each)

You could also make a “lover” themed coupon book with items like chocolate covered strawberries, whipped cream and bubble baths. I’ll let you get creative on your own there…

If you’re going to make a “lover” coupon book – you’d best prepare yourself for “kid” coupon books too. Here are some kid appropriate coupon books I made for my three little loves.

Consider the age of the child when making up the coupons. In my kids books I included very low cost easy to do coupons. You could certainly go great guns here and include theme park or museum tickets, trips to the park, or meals out.

Some ideas for kid coupons might include:
One extra serving of dessert
Your favorite Mom-Cooked meal (three hours notice requested)
A back-rub at bedtime until you fall asleep
One extra chapter or story at bedtime
Staying up 1 hour past your bedtime
Sleeping in Mom and Dad’s bed for one night – Even if there’s not a storm
Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning
Deluxe ice cream sundaes for dinner! Including whipped cream and cherries
Movie, popcorn and smoothie night (you pick the movie)
Pretend sick day – lay on the couch and watch movies all day and sip Sprite without a plastic bowl
Hotdogs roasted in the backyard fire pit (s’mores included)
A new craft project – we’ll go to the store and you can pick it out

When making up your coupons be sure to cover your backside with the fine print! Include an expiration date (generally one year from the issue date), a note about how often the coupon can be redeemed (some only once, and maybe some once a month) and that little line about only using one coupon at a time.

Maybe a coupon book isn’t the way you want to go. Maybe you prefer to just give a card but still want to give a little of yourself. When you REALLY care enough to send the best - you’ll make it YOURSELF! Everyone loves to receive a card you took the time to make for him or her. It really does include a little bit of you – and I don’t just mean on the envelope flap…

This monochromatic design is for a good friend of mine that has her birthday on Valentine’s Day. It’s always fun to find a way to incorporate the two greetings for her. I particularly like how this pre-made card from Die Cuts With a View opens top to bottom at the upper third edge.

Here the shimmer of the new Bazzill Bling cardstock gives this card an extra bit of zing even though the design is fairly simple. The letters and heart are chipboard, which also make it stand out.

This simple design utilizes iron on letters that you just might have left over. How many X’s do you have left in that growing collection of yours?

I think I’ll print this out and leave it by my husband’s lunch box… do you think he’d make a handmade card or coupon book for the mother of his children? A girl can dream…

And I'll leave out my farewell... which was very sweet and cleaver.

Instructions for Matchbook cover:
1. Cut a piece of double-sided cardstock 12 x 4 inches.
2. Mark with pencil, score with a stylus or bone folder and fold up at 1 1/4 inches, 7 inches and 7 3/16 inches.
3. On short flap measure in 1 inch from each edge and down 1/2 inch from the top edge and punch small holes for brads to go through.
4. Set word processing program for a 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 page. Set margins at 1/2 inch for top, right and bottom. Set left margin at 1 3/4 inches. Type coupon text & print on cardstock.
5. Line pages up – centered inside matchbook and mark for punching holes. Remove from matchbook and punch two holes in the bottom of each page.
6. Ink edges of matchbook, decorate with rub-ons, stamps, or chipboard and secure pages in book with brads. Brads should go through short flap on front of matchbook and the coupon pages only. Use adhesive to stick the last coupon to the matchbook back at the brad attachment.

PP for “My Perfect Match” North Shore Barrel Double-Sided Cardstock, (Scenic Route Paper, Co.)
PP for “Sweet” Starburst “You’re a Natural”, Stripe/Hot Pink, Magnolia, (My Mind’s Eye)
PP for “I Heart U” Starburst “Sisters”, Pattern Stripe/Hot Pink, Magnolia, (My Mind’s Eye)
PP for “Love Match” Starburst “Little Blossom”, Dots/Brown, Magnolia, (My Mind’s Eye)
Cardstock for coupons (Stampin’ Up!)
“Evolution” Alphabet Stamps & Handle, Fabric Covered Brads & Hole Punch, (Making Memories)
Fabric Covered Brads, Spare Parts, (The Paper Studio)
Mini Marks Accents, Book One Rub-Ons, and “Jane” Trade Marks Rub-Ons (American Crafts)
Chipboard Heart, (Heidi Swapp)
Red Magic, Versa Magic Multi-surface Chalk Ink, (Tsukineko)

Instructions for “Happy V-day B-day” Card:
1. Cut patterned papers to cover top and bottom flaps on front of card. Stamp paisley on bottom striped paper then sew around edges of both papers.
2. Run ribbon through Xyron and adhere to bottom edge of top patterned paper.
3. Adhere papers to the front of the card.
4. Fit heart shaped brad into flower and adhere to card.
5. Journal and doodle on tag, tie with ribbon and adhere with glue dots to card top and flower.

Pre-Made Card, (Die Cuts With a View)
Patterned Papers, (Bo Bunny Press)
Paint, Tag & Ribbon, (Making Memories)
Heart Brad, Spare Parts (The Paper Studio)
Paisley Foam Stamp, (Junkitz)
Flower, (Craft Supply)
Black Pen, (Sakura)
Platinum Brush Pen, (Zig)
Sewing Machine, (Singer)

Instructions for “I {heart} U” Card:
1. Cut Bazzill Bling cardstock to 6x12 inches. Score and fold in half to make 6-inch square card.
2. Cut patterned paper to 5 ½ square. Cut right edge with pinking scissors.
3. Sew around edges of patterned paper with machine. Adhere to front of card.
4. Paint chipboard letters i and u with black paint. Adhere to front of card as shown. Adhere chipboard heart with black foam dimensional tape.

Black Tie Bling Cardstock, (Bazzill Basics)
True Love Words Patterned Paper, (Flair Designs)
Chipboard Letters, (Basic Grey)
Chipboard Heart, (Heidi Swapp)
Sewing Machine, (Singer)
Dimensional Foam Tape, (Unknown)

Instructions for “XO” card:
1. Cut double-sided cardstock to 6x12 inches. Score and fold in half to make 6-inch square card.
2. Run ribbon through Xyron and adhere to bottom third of card front.
3. Iron on X and O over ribbon.
4. Apply rub-on flowers.

Starburst “You’re a Natural”, Stripe/Hot Pink, Magnolia, (My Mind’s Eye)
Ribbon, (Making Memories)
Iron On Letters & Iron, (Heidi Swapp)
Mini Marks Accents Book One, (American Crafts)

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