Back on Track

I made this for the sketch challenge today at SCS. I used a Hanna Stamps set, Pin Up Hanna and a quote from Papertrey Ink. The quote says "Life the life you have imagined." If my mom saw this stamp she would say "What life are you imagining, the life of a hooker?!" Regardless of my mother's opinions, I love this stamp set. I used some paper scraps I had around for the patterned paper.

I have been eager to try the lotion recipe that I found on SCS too. The recipe is: 8 oz Vitamin E Cream, 15 oz. Vaseline and 32 oz. baby lotion. You put it all in a metal mixing bowl and mix it up. Scoop it into jars with a metal spoon. If you don't use metal, you may make your plastic kitchen ware smell like lotion.
Although the recipe says baby lotion, any lotion will work. I used lotion from the Dollar Tree and Vit E Cream from Dollar General. The containers are from Gladware and I put the gingham ribbon around the lid with red sticky tape. I hope it holds, but I think with lotioned hands digging in and out, it may not be the best idea to put ribbon there. The jars looked plain without it though.
I also got some small Ball jars from Marsh, called Classic Elite and holding 8 ounces. They are not decorated yet, but will be cute, too, I think. I used all the non stinky ingredients I could find as I don't like smelly stuff, but it seems to have a light scent anyway, which is not at all overpowering, it is mild and pleasant.
We are going to a friends home for New Years Eve but I don't know if we'll make it to midnight as we really are not used to being night owls, having kids at home and all. Anyhow, I usualy don't like to be out with all the drunks on the road. I hope you all have a fun and safe night.

Stampin Tuesday

It's Tuesday and that means a color challenge at SplitCoast. The colors are Hunter, Burgundy and So Saffron. The hunter and burgundy colors have another name that goes with them, like Harvest Hunter or Baroque Burgundy, but I can't remember what they are exactly. The names that are used are from a company called Stampin' Up, if you have no idea what I am babbling about. The colors are sort of industry standards, or go to colors for the challenges. You can substitute the colors as you wish, as long as you stay in the same color arena. That's what I did, I tried to stay true but used background papaers from my scrap pile instead of SU colors. I added a few dew drops and some gingham ribbom. The stamp is from Jeanne Streiff, who is also on the Hanna Stamps Design Team with me.
Seth's friend Mike is here today. They spent the night at Nike's last night and I took the kids for the day. I fed four of us lunch today at Taco Bell for $14.09. Go me! Noah really wanted Panera, but I didn't want to bust the bank just buying sandwiches.
Thankfully there is leftover meatloaf from last nights dinner, so I am going to chop it up in tiny little pieces and pretend it is hamburger. Which it is, of course. I am going to boil whatever pasta I can find and add sauce and cheese and that will be dinner tonight. I love it when an idea to reuse leftovers makes dinner easy.
I am coming to the end of my cold (I hope) and feel much better today, but I may still lay down in front of the TV for a while.

Hanna Challenge

Now that the festivities of Christmas are over and all that is left is the Christmas explosion that has taken over my home, I thought I would ignore what needs to be done and make a card for this weeks Hanna Challenge over on SCS. The challenge was to use a Moose image with hanna accessories. I chose the Bikini Sophie stamp and the Genie Hanna set. I added a little belly button bling on Sophie but you can't see it very well in the photo.
I woke up on Christmas morning with a sore throat and have been fighting various degrees of a cold since then. I have been drinking juice, taking zinc and sleeping as much as I can. It is one of those colds that is just sloshing around in my head, affecting my hearing and giving me watery eyes and no sense of smell with mild congestion. Too much information? Sorry about that, I just want to share the misery, I guess. Scott went to work today so I am pretty much alone in my suffering.
Well, not really alone, the kids are here. But they don't care how I feel, so they don't count. They are only worried about where their next meal will come from. At this point, I am pretty sure it will come from fast food restaurant or a friend's house. I have a plan for dinner, though. It is meatloaf night. I have the hamburger thawing in the fridge and we'll have mashed potatoes and gravy, too. Mmmmm

Christmas Magic

I feel so guilty about posting a note telling you all about how fun Christmas was, and not posting any photographic evidence. You'll just have to believe me for me, I can't locate the camera.

The kids loved their squirt guns, marshmallow shooters and DS games, but the biggest hit might have been their flannel sheets and featherbed mattress pads. Okay, they aren't real feather beds, because I am allergic to down. I got them some kind of fake poofy mattress pad. The combination of soft, warm sheets and extra soft bedding made them actually WANT to go to bed and try out their new items. And best of all, they slept in till 9:30 this morning, which is unheard of around here.

I got some stamping stuff and Scott got some books and clothes and we had my parents visit for lunch. It was a nice day and I even snuck in a little nap. Then we went out for our traditional Chinese dinner. Mmmmm. I hope your day was as nice and quiet and soothing as mine was.

Oh, I almost forgot....I got a new phone. Yes, my 8 year old phone that does not even have camera capabilities was replaced Christmas morning with a phone that even has GPS and e mail. WooooHoooo!! Now we'll see if I can learn how to use it. I gotta learn to text, too. everyone else is doing it.

Christmas Joy

Any gift that looks like this:

Should not look like this when it is opened:

Seriously. What is Godiva thinking? I expected a box with perfectly segregated sections, each one softly entrusted to behold its own unspeakable wealth of a perfectly dipped chocolate pretzel. The whole pretzel in a bag thing? I can get that at Aldi Foods!
Poor Scott happened to mention the other day that one of the employees at work came into his office with a box of Godiva chocolates that another company had sent over with Christmas wishes. He sat the box out in a common area to be eaten. I was somewhat shocked that he had not politely regifted and given them to me. Shocked enough that I quizzed him all weekend about the chocolates that were left behind at the office. Would anyone be going to the office this weekend? Does the cleaning crew help themselves to food? How early could he get to the office on Monday to pick up the chocolates for me, before anyone else spied what I wanted him to do?
So, sweet man brought me home the box yesterday. It was a box of 8, and only one had been eaten. Thank God. Today he came home with the pretzels and I was expecting quite a delicacy. I am hoping they taste more appetizing than their initial appearance. I will eat the other box first and open these later, thus insuring optimal freshness.
I have taken the kids to see Bolt, took them out to eat twice in two days, have run errands with them, have been to the dollar store, Archivers , Michaels (twice!) and have now run out of ideas. Thankfully we are going to my parents tomorrow, if we should survive Christmas Eve day at home together.
They made cornucopias for the tree, as one of them read somewhere that it is tradition in some forgotten country and Santa leaves small gifts in them. Then Seth remembered that if you put food for the reindeer in your shoes, you get candy from Santa. The cornucopias will net them oranges and nuts and hard boiled eggs. The shoes will get them regifted leftover Halloween candy that I have around here somewhere. Greedy little boogers, won't they be surprised?! I tried to convince them the sleigh is loaded and Santa is officially closed but they don't believe it and I thought about letting their empty items remain empty, but couldn't be that big of a bitch in the end.

It's a Great Day for a Hot Bowl of Oatmeal

It is below zero here and wouldn't it be nice to wake up and have a hot breakfast? Too bad I used ALL the oatmeal in the house for Homemade Granola. My youngest just asked what we would leave out for the reindeer this year. Uh...well, not the usual oatmeal. I hope Rudolph likes Granola!

I used Ball jars I had on hand, recycled other jars, I even had saved some Prego spaghetti sauce jars this year. Oatmeal for everyone! Here is the recipe if you want it:

3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Oil
1/3 cup Honey
5 cups Oatmeal
1/2 cup Dried Milk
1 t. Cinnamon

Mix Brown Sugar, Honey and Oil in a small pan on the stove and cook till sugar dissolves.
Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick spray and put Oatmeal, Cinnamon and Milk Powder in pan, mix.
Add hot syrup to the pan and mix.
Cook in 350 oven for 10 minutes. Mix and let cool. It helps to mix a couple times while it is cooling so it doesn't clump togetehr too much.

Store in an airtight conatiner and it will last a very long time. Seriously, when is the last time you had spoiled granola? You can add 1/2 cup Raisons, Nuts, etc after it is cooled if you wish.

One batch of Granola will fill 2 of the 1Quart size bags or two Ball/Prego jars.

At this point the kids are seriously interested in getting their gufts and Christmas cannot come soon enough for them. As for me, I like the anticipation.


I have several friends who are Obamaniacs so when I saw the SCS Callenge to make quick and easy gift idea, I knew what I could do. I used the scalloped circle, pre cut, that I got in a pack of 6 at Archivers. I punched a photo of President Elect Obama from Newsweek and punchd out the same sized circle of Adhesive from an adhesive sheet. I attachhed the adhesive to the photo, then the photo to the back of the plastic scalloped circle. I added bling and ribbon, and there ya have it! Tree Art. Super quick and easy.
There isn't much going on lately. I am finishing up Christmas shopping, the baking is done,I have the Christmas ham, and today was the last day for painting with Maria. I guess I can nap till next week.
But then there is dinner to make. I get so tired of it. Today may just be a breakfast night, with waffles and eggs. I am not feeling mootivated to do much else, but I should open the freezer and see what falls out. Maybe there is a better idea in there. Let's hope so.

Last But Certainly Not Least

My friend Stephanie made this for me for Christmas and I have not hung it on the wall yet. I do have the perfect place for it, but I have to remember to get ahold of both a nail and a hammer at the same time. It is too cold to go searching through Scott's tools in the garage, so maybe it is with kindness that the memory fails me when I am in the garage.
Steph made these for us, but personalized them a bit for each of us. Mine is full of bling, which I adore. She does know me well. The colors are gorgeous in real life, it is just my photo taking abilities that look awful.
Today was a quiet day, I crafted a bit, and went to the grocery store. It is hamburger night tonight, per Seth's request. I should not worry about a menu much, I should just ask Seth what he is in the mood to eat. He always has an idea and it takes the weight of dinner stress off of me. I had lunch with some friends and made it home in time to give Noah an afternoon snack . That boy comes in and the first thing he looks for is food. I think he talks a lot and lunch and doesn't eat much at school. The theory is proven by his full lunch bag that he brings homeeveryday.
It is cold and snowy now, so I am going to make some hot chocolate and wait inside for Seth to arrive.

Christmas Glory

I am busy with the full swing of Christmas in all its glory. I have been shopping and wrapping and baking. Oh, and creating. The necklace and bracelet set are a new idea that I have been playing around with for a couple of weeks now. They are more organic than planned out. You pick a couple of opaque colors and nice dark ivory and swirl the colors together with the help of gravity. The set is going to Mary, who is Scott's Sunday school teaching partner. For years he has had teachers assigned to him who don't show up, don't care, don't want to do it. But Mary comes, and leads and is relieable, lovable, and happy to be there. Her husband is a full time artist (painter) so I think she will really like what I made for her. Plus, I sure don't want to teach Third Grade Sunday school, so I think Mary deserves a great present.
This Obama card and Christmas tree ornament are for my friend Stephanie. Sorry about the glare, I cut the photo out of Newsweek and they use glossy paper, so it shines a bit.
Mr. Obama looks good in real life in my ornament, even if he doesn't look clear in the photo. It's caused by the reflection and of the glue tape on the back of the clear acrylic. I made the ornament out of a clear acrylic block (think clear stamp holder) and a piece of an adhesive sheet. The gingham ribbon also frames the outside of the ornament. Seth was with me when Steph got her gifties today and he asked me "Mommy, did you see when Miss Stephanie got her gifts that she did a happy dance?" She sure does love our President Elect, as well as surprise presents.

Lastly, this ornament was a gift from my friend Rebecca in our Homemade Christmas exchange. I have never seen this done before, so you know I want to try it. She explained that she used a regular round ornament and put Sculpey clay around it. She added the face, made also from Sculpey and cooked it in the oven. I am amazed, and have been thinking of the possibilities ot ornaments I can make now. She also gave us some yummy Sugar Cookie mix, which I used before I took any photos. Whoops!
Tell me what you are making for Christmas. Or what you are giving, if you have something fun or surprising on your list for someone. I could still use ideas. I am never realy ready to stop with Christmas till Dec 26th!

Homemade Christmas

Look, I made a card this week....Really I did. I haven't fallen off the card making wagon all together. This was for a sketch challenge at SCS. The igloo and quote are from Amuse and the Penguins are from Memory Box.

And below is a canvas my friend Stephenie made for me last year for our Homemade Christmas exchange. I loved it so much I have been begging for more all year. Sorry about the glare, I really need better photography skills.

So when my birthday came, she said she would make me another. But then she didn't get to it. I was hoping for another canvas for Christmas. Instead I got two! I got so lucky this year. And I am very, very happy.
One is for Christmas and one is for my birthday. Now the pressure is on for Stephenie, because one season is still missing and I need it. I have the perfect spot where I want to hang them all. I hope she feels the pressure is on and gets to creating. i don't want to wait another year. Maybe I'll tell her Valentine's Day is a perfect day to show your friends how much they mean to you.

Scott laughs because I call them "the Stephanies and Rebecca." But what is a girl to do when she has two friends who have the same name? Well, almost. One is Stephanie and one is Stephenie, but they pronounce their names the same even though the spellings are different. Our circle expanded when Katie moved here from Maryland this year. She and Stephanie have been friends since Kindergarten and she is a mad crafter, too. I feel so lucky to have such skilled friends.
(And Lynn, I am still waiting to see what you are making me. Christmas is coming!)

Great Gifts

It is apparent to me that I will have to showcase just a couple of items at a time for you from the Homemade Christmas Exchange. If I show everything at once, I'll have a very photo heavy post and nothing to write about for the rest of the week. You, my dear readers, will have nothing to read for the rest of the week. Nothing to comment on when you come here. No small doses of daily inspuration. Yes, it's much better if I tease you with a small glimpse at a time.

I am posting gifts in no particular order. Well, some of the gifts do require an appropriate place on the wall. That means I can post their photos when I get to them. This item, up first, is crying for a place in my purse. I needed to take a photo of it, before I put it away and it gets lost forever in the bowels of my black handbag. That's not exactly true, I am a minimalist and carry very few items along with me. I have a trial size hand cream, some lipstick, a green bag, a wallet. And coupons. Always coupons. And I am always losing them, and searching for them. But not now, Dear Friends!

Katie made me this great holder for my purse. I plan to use the clear side pocket for my coupons. I can put hand cream and lipstick inside the carrier so they don't roll around and get lost or hidden in the depths of the blackness of my purse. And the little clip on the side?! I just love it. I can clip it in place and know immediately where my beloved essentials are. WoooHooo I love ths gift! You can visit Katie at Blue Kitty Designs to order one of these, or one of her other designs. Look her up, she's got really cool handmade gifts, and you know you want some.

This card is from Stephenie. She is such an original artist and her designs always blow me away. She can always come up with things I would never think of on my own. I just love this design. It is so perfectly Christmas. Steph also gave me some handcrafted wall art that I will showing off later in the week. I cut and measure and match everything to a fault and Steph just crafts away, very out of the box to my thinking and comes up with some of the best designs ever. Prepare to be very impressed as the week goes on.

The Advent Season

This is for a Hanna Stamps Challenge, to make card with Hanna dancing. A couple of the more recent releases lend themselves well to Hanna being a dancing lady, so I decided to be different
and use an older set, Rainy Days. I decided Hanna could be dancing in the rain. Can you tell I am tired of cold weather and ready for Spring?
Yesterday we started with a trip to "early church", which means going to the 8:30 AM service. It was a Communion service and the kids were well behaved, which made it wonderful. I felt relaxed and rested and ready for the week. That's a good thing as we rushed home after Sunday School so I could cook lunch for some of my best girlfriends.
I made chicken tettrazini (so very yummy if I do say so myself!) and spinach salad. My friends brought cheesy bread and chocolate cheesecake. We had our Homemade Christmas gift exchange. This is my favorite day of the year! I really look forward to seeing what everyone makes. I'll have to post photos of what I recieved later. Let's just say I was thrilled! We all got lots of good things and I loved every last bit of it. Usually we meet at a restaurant, but we decided to do it at my house this year. It was nice and relaxing and non-rushed.
I ran out the door afterwards to go back to church for the Advent Party. It is a pitch in, so I took more salad and the kids played games, did crafts, saw Mary and Joseph, and sang Christmas Carols. I am in a festive mood, now. Watch out everyone, I may just carry some mistletoe in my pocket and give everyone a big kiss when I greet them. Christmas is coming and I say, Bring It On! I Am Ready!!

Bling Brings Me Joy

I used stamps from papertrey Ink this morning to creat my challenge card. I haven't posted it over at SCS though. I keep thinking I can do something better with this. The challenge is to make a monochromatic card using only snowflakes for embellishments. No patterned paper, and the sentiment can only be one word. This card is full of bling, which looks good in person but looks like a cheap prostitute once photographed for the internet. You can barely see the word, Joy. The paper is from Doodlebug Designs and has snowflakes embossed on it.

Today will be a fun day. The kids have a half day of school and I am meeting my friend Rebecca for lunch before the house fills with children. I have some painting set aside to work on, but I don't know if I'll get to that. We'll probably go out for dinner as Noah has a friend spending the night and we like to take him out. He is a gracious and kind child so we like to spoil him a bit. I did give the Guinea pigs a bath. Scott found a video on bathing them on YouTube, so I tried it out. They did well and are squeeky clean fresh today. Maybe next time I will use the blow dryer (on low) as they stayed damp so long I thought the little sweeties might catch a cold.

A Much Quieter Day

The challenge of the day was to incorporate an envelope into your card/project design. I took the challenge quite literally and decided to showcase the happenings of two envelopes if they are interlocked together. The front (above) is made to open when the ribbons are untied.

Once you open the project you will find the two envelopes have created pockets inside the card. If you want to make a matching set, once you decorate the front you can put matching smaller cards an envelopes inside. I put a Hanna Card on the inside to show how the pockets look, but I plan to make little coupons for my husband for Christmas. The Hanna card is coming out from the right side of the holder, the left side is slightly hidden, but is holding envelopes.
Join us for the Release of new Hanna sets tonight on SCS at 9PM and you can see what the other Design Team members have made, too.
Today was quiet, I started with painting at Maria's house, which is always nice and relaxing. Before I knew it, we'd left the house and were out shopping at Costco. I got some gift cards there which helped cross some people off my Christmas list. Who knew Costco sold discounted gift cards? It was like discovering something new and wonderful in the universe for me.
I also had lunch with Scott and I am hoping I do not still smell like the Indian buffet. He loves to go there so we go a lot for lunch. Me? I like Max and Erma's across the street. I just prefer to sit down and be waited on, I guess. Dinner will be easy tonight as I am only warming up Ravioli that I got at Costco. I wrapped some presents today and the kids are playing nicely in the house. Okay, there are 5 kids in the house, but they are not near me, so they must be doing okay.


Whew. I made this card for the challenge of the day. It's a sketch challenge on Wednesdays so I had to go by their example and see what I had to work with. I used a combination of the two new hanna sets, pin Up and Belly Dancer. I would give this card to my husband, but I just don't feel like it right now.

I had a busy, busy day. I got up early to get this card made and ran out the door as soon as Seth got on the bus. His school has a public forum to celebrate the kids who are on Honor Roll and who have won a Guiding Principle Award. You have to embody one of the five Guiding Principles which are Honesty, Respect, Hard Work, Responsibility, and something else. I never can remember them all. He won for Hard Work. He also got a pencil for having perfect attendance. It's all craziness to me, but the school does it, and as long as Seth gets some award, I try not to mind sitting shoulder to shoulder with other parents in a hot packed auditorium/cafeteria.

Then I had to go meet my mom for some Christmas shopping and lunch. I got home right before Seth got off the bus. I let her drive, which I may never do again. She tried to pass a big truck on the right side just as the lane merged, then she gave a lecture about his bad driving. I am alive, and it was her money spent shopping, so once a year the kids can get gifts from "Santa."

Scott came home early, which NEVER happens, but it was just to complain about work and employees. We ate a fast dinner and I am off to Stamp Camp tonight. I hope I get to sit down tomorrow.

When Moose Hit The Road

Today the color challenge at SplitCoast is to use Sahara Sand, Very Vanilla and Black. Not quite Christmas, but it works for me. The van and RV stamps will be released Thursday night at the Hanna Stamps Release Party. I added a little to the two stamps, a golf club tied to the top of the van, a martini in hand of the moose, some clouds in the sky. This should be a reminder to all of you who camp, don't leave your vehicles unlocked, you never know what might happen.

Scott worked hard to get outside lights up for us. I found Seth in the living room putting up the Christmas tree. He said Dad was too tired to do it, so he decided to do it himself. He did it right, too.When I went to look for Scott, this is what I found. Yep, he was laying around while his kid did all the work!

The house is decorated inside and out. Now, if only we could get some shopping done!

Self Portrait

This is a new set from Hanna Stamps. Doesn't it look just like me?

Okay, maybe not. But many of you who read my blog don't know what I look like in real life. A girl can dream, can't she? Hanna Stamps will be releasing three new sets and two new Riley Moose stamps on Thursday at their Release Party. This is just one os the sets to come. You have to admit it's fun. Maybe I'll make Scott a little card with it. HeeeHeee
This is a real picture of my house. I woke up for church yesterday and we had gotten a light dusting of snow. The snow was still falling when I took the photo. Actually, the snow is still falling right now, but it is not giving us more than just little fairy like flakes with little accumulation. It did put me in the Christmas spirit. I went out to shop at Target. I came home with mostly nothing once again. Unlike my friend Lynn, I did not lose that lovin' feelin while standing in line, and I came home happy to have hot cocoa and watch the snow fall.

Seth made a snow dog and insisted that I post it on the blog. We are proud of his crazy little artistic self.
Since this is release week, I'll be updating a lot, so I'll see you soon.