Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just One Thanksgiving Pic before We Launch Into Christmas!

Thanksgiving Games
Dick and Sami racing
Life is to be lived, don't you think?

Our Thanksgiving tradition is spent with our neighbor friends.. We are a group of 'misfits' who don't have family within a 500 mile radius, so we get together and enjoy a drama free day. Yep. Drama free. We potluck it and have a great late afternoon of eating and playing games...sometimes poker, sometimes board games. Oh.. and you can't forget all the fun desserts! Yum! In addition to my garlic mashed Yukons I brought a very decadent plum ginger cheesecake!!!! Oh yeah, baby...

This year was no exception...for the fun and games and great food and great atmosphere!

We had two new games this year. But the above photo shows the one that had us all in stitches.

This game involves smacking a flower 'form' box with an orange, that is stuffed into one leg of a pair of pantyhose, that are tied around your waist. You can not touch the pantyhose when you are trying to move the orange. And, you have to be careful that the back swing on the pendulum doesn't move your block backwards! Which did happen quite a lot!

Lots of hip action.. and lots of swingin'.

And boy, was it hilarious! Our group ranged in ages from 9 to 80ish.... and everyone played! The tallest boys won..a father son team that actually went against each other and just about took out my husband in the foyer! They were hilarious!!!!

We have one guy who we call 'little Bill' that is about 6' 6" or taller. He is big. And he won! His dad almost caught up to him... Too darn funny. The dad is a brand inspector.. Got to love the hidden talents of all these guys!

OK.. Now back to your regular scheduled Christmas programming!!!

Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas!!! Starting Tomorrow!

Goody Goody Gumdrops!

Yes! The Christmas season is starting! Woot Woot Woot! I do love this time of year. Just the 'magic ' of it all - sweetness everywhere - kindness, love, creating, giving, playing!! All for the celebration of Christ's birth... What a party!

So many fun things going on right now... lots of great creative playtime in so many places!!!

My favorite is Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas!! And, it starts tomorrow! Be sure to click on the link to see what's up. Tim has a link to last year's event, the first, and he also has answers to lots of questions...

Please join me and all of the other crazy Tim fanatic's as we learn new techniques, see fun stuff and watch our favorite guy 'doing his thing'! What I love about this is we can actually be working on our projects for this Christmas! Last year I made a few tags that did make their way onto gifts. My Auntie Alice (she will always be my Auntie, even if I am 46!) sent me a note last year that they hung my tag on her tree! Oh what an honor!!!! (Hi Auntie Alice!).

Tim also gives away daily goodies.. supplies that he uses to make the art and he also gives away his art! Oh my... Swoon!!!!!!

Love that guy... for so many reasons. He has a big heart, loves Disneyland, and go's all out when it comes to teaching us!

Join me!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Being Grateful - Truly Grateful

Sigh.

There is a beautiful blog that I was recently 'turned onto' my one of my fave artist peeps..

T!m Holtz was sharing some info one day, actually he was giving away a scrapbook related class that featured Jason and his wife Kolette.. Anyway, I checked out Jason's blog and have been hooked ever since. Here is a link: Jason's Blog. Today Jason blogged about being grateful he could pick his nose.

Every time I read one of his posts I cry my eyeballs out. Today there was a fine line between laughing my a** off, and crying. So I did both.

I cry because I am so darn grateful for the things I have in my life, right now, that I seem to take advantage of .. my health, my family, a roof over my head, a beautiful view, a great life style, the fact that I can sit here on my chubby rump and type.. Oh yeah. And see. And use my arms, legs, voice. All of it.

I am great at being ungrateful.

I am great at complaining about the things I don't have (I even have a list of things I want and feel so deprived because I don't have them!)...

And Jason reminds me every single time I see his blog to be grateful. To pick myself up out of the depths of blackness that I crawl into, and thank God that I have what I do have.

And yes, I am grateful I can pick my nose.
And that my son pick's his, too. In front of God and all his creation at the table. In public.

Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time for Some Thanksgiving Cards

A Side View of Eight Cards Getting Sent Out Tomorrow!
Eight fun Thanksgiving Cards. I have a few people
on my 'thank you' list - people who have made me feel special and I want
to do the same for them!
And some of them do (perhaps) read this
blog. So most of them are top secret!
( I promise to show them all at the end of the week!
I really really like these cards!)

But I'll Show You This One
Stamps are Purple Onion Designs and Hero Arts.
Patterned Paper is Cosmo Cricket (LOVE that stuff!)

And Here are Three Cards Made for This Weeks Hero Arts Challenge
This week's challenge was to use your stamp scraps to create
some Thank You cards. I made Happy Thanksgiving Cards instead.
Sometimes I'm just not good at directions!!!
And, I'm always wanting to kill two birds with one stone!
I need Thanksgiving Cards!

*******************
As you can see, I had a very productive weekend in the card making world.

I came down with a 24 hour bug (aka food poisoning!) Friday Night. Which is a real bummer. We went out to dinner to our favorite brew pup. I had a very 'hoppy' dark beer, and a fancy hamburger and onion rings. Not sure which of these three cardiac attacks did me in.. But let's just say, at 10pm, my dinner decided to come back up, and I was the only one in the house who got sick! So, since yesterday was a saltines and water kinda day I decided to 'just' work in my crafty zone... inbetween the ususal mommy and wife duties.

Thanksgiving is this week! Amazing how fast these things happen. Right now I have 2 kids wondering when dinner is going to be, what it is going to be, and I gotta go and tend to the troops (sorry, can't do 2 things at once right now)!

Catch you all later! Thanks for stopping by....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This Thanksgiving Eve - Candy Little Girls????

Hmmm.... Candy little girl???

I know.. I am a very bad influence....

This man is one of my favorite man types ... Masculine, rough around the edges, an outdoors kinda man. Take no prisoners. Work before women folk. Oh gosh, and in his upcoming movie he is an Australian Cowboy!!!!! And, as my disclaimer, I would like to say that all of these traits describe my husband to a 'T'...

(Sigh again)... Oh, but Hugh Jackman. Hugh and I go way back... so far back, that when I was describing to my little sis sometime ago that I got to see my boyfriend in one of the X-Men movies, and I kept trying to tell her his name ... I said, you know 'Jack' - that good looking famous guy in lots of movies and he plays a wolf (I, as is par for the course, forgot the title of the movie), and she said, 'Jack'? And then, with a devious snicker, 'Jack Nicholson'? And then she giggled her sweet little giggle and I let out one of my ever so classic huge Snorts!

Oh for the love of Pete! We are STILL laughing and snorting over that one! (Oh.. and for the cosmic balanced Karma world, my husband also has his Jack Nicholson moments. It's the am hair thing... and I have been known to accuse him of having devil horns and 'that Jack' face to go with the horns ... But those are other stories to be told....)

Back to this story... You see, I'm not very good at names... I have a problem with the whole word association thing... Like, if someone's name is Austin, I will call him Houston (true story).... Now a face... or, 'Aura' like Hugh's... NOT forgetting it.. just his name.

But girlfriends... This Thanksgiving Eve, November 26th is the place to be for the big screen. Run to the biggest screen you can find! The scenery is going to be awesome (I am talking about the countryside here, not the peeps) ...as well as the story. Australia is coming to town!!!

And Nic too... Nicole Kidman that is. She gets to be the leading lady (lucky leading lady I would say!). And she is just as hot. You go Nic girl.

Be sure to meet me back here after Thanksgiving and we will dish! Just for a moment though....

Right before we put up the Tree and decor and start our Advent season!!!

Fa la la la la!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It Started With the Vanilla...

Good Morning Beautiful!
(My new double burner griddle - getting it's second day of breaking in!)

So there I was... sipping my first cup of Joe, blog surfing and I saw this over at Noble Pig... You will have to check out all of Cathy's photos because it was the VANILLA that made me make the Pumpkin Pancakes this morning... Yep. The Vanilla...

You see, I have that exact same brand of Vanilla! And, I've been collecting pumpkin recipes and this morning, well, guess what we had for breakfast???? YEP! Pumpkin Pancakes Noble Pig Style!

Thanks Cathy!

And, boy, are they delish and filling!!!! Sami normally eats 5 pancakes... This morning she had 3. Maybe it was because she insisted on licking the batter bowl, spoon, and anything else with that super tasty concoction on it!

Notes: We just used our store bought syrup. And I did not separate the egg.. But the egg was from one of our chickens... extra points? Anyone??? And salt free butter!

Yum!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Distress Inks, Distress Stickles, Grungeboard and Resist!

Technique Tag
(Click to Enlarge)
Distress Inks, Distressed Edges, Stamp Resist
Grunge board, and Distress Stickles

A Closer Look
(Click to Enlarge)

I've been playing with some of my new Ranger and Tim Holtz goodies!!!! The Hero Arts Blog is all about techniques this week so I am having a blast!

Now, if you all recall, I won the RAK of the century when Mr. T!m Holtz gave away an entire set of Distress Stickles! Well, this last weekend I finally got to the Big City and made a side trip and purchased some Tim Hotz Idea-ology Grungeboard as well (seems like the perfect marriage)! I have had my eye on the Seasonal Plain set, and let me tell you...

Grungeboard is HOT! It bends, it's thin and it doesn't make you want to pull your hair out when you use it (I have chipboard issues...we go way back!).... Oh.. and all those darn rumors about stinky grungeboard? I could not smell a thing! (This stuff actually reminds you of suede... )

And, the Distress Stickles? Wonderful! Take a look at that adorable little grungeboard tree on the tag! See how shiny and sparkly and vintage the 'green and yellow' are? Distress Stickles my friends... in Peeled Paint & Scattered Straw! I am in love... sigh.... Thanks Tim!


What I did:

The Grungeboard Tree
  1. I inked the tree with Ranger Distress Ink Shabby Shutters, then applied a layer of Peeled Paint Distress Stickles... To even it out I used a paintbrush and my fingers! Note: Leave it to dry...
  2. I then added the Scattered Straw Distress Stickles around the tree edge.. Let dry again.. Overnight!
  3. Then added the Hero Arts gems on the tips of each branch...
The Tag:
  1. First, I stamped my pine bough with versamark, then applied Clear Embossing Powder and set with my Heat Tool.
  2. Started working in from the tag edge with inking tool and inks... just alternating colors until I got the look I wanted.
  3. Distressed tag edges.
  4. Applied Black Soot with the inking tool around the edges.
  5. overstamped with little holly stamp in Black Soot
  6. Added Twill
  7. Added ribbons, bow, hemp
  8. Added tree (I used my Tombo Adhesive)...
Recipe:
Distress Inks: Shabby Shutters, Black Soot, Fired Brick
Tag: Office Supply Store - Manilla
Hero Arts Supplies:
Sparkle Clear CL244 Holiday Messages (the little holly stamp), Clear Design CL236 Joys of the Season (the pine bough); Orange Gemstones
Versamark; Clear EP; Basic Grey ribbon (loop) & button, SU Ribbon; Hemp. Favorite Things twill - unknown!

Little Tree is from Tim Holtz' Seasonal Plain Chipboard (my first time using it!)
Distress Stickles in Peeled Paint and Scattered Straw!

Thank you for looking! I have more to share on the 'Marriage of Distress Stickles and Grungeboard!'.. Let's just say I am experimenting and finding out some real fun stuff!!!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inspired By Lisa Carroll - HA Challenge - 11/3-11/9

Inspired by Lisa Carroll
This is my take on Lisa's Card
Lisa's card can be seen here!
Lisa was one of the super talented gals featured on the Hero Arts Blog!


Last week's Hero Arts Challenge was to create a card inspired by one of the featured gals that had their own day on the Hero Arts Blog. I chose Lisa Carroll. I just loved her use of lavendar and black and white! So while I was in the big City of Boise, Idaho I just 'happened' to end up in Archivers and did some shopping!!!! (I also bought some grunge board which I will feature with my Distress Stickles tomorrow!)...

Card Recipe:
My goal was to turn the DesignBock Tree into a winter tree. I used Dazzling Diamonds and a white inksentials pen for my snow.


Supplies:
Hero Arts Stamps: Design Block Tree; Clear Designs Joys of the Season (little tree and sentiment).
Lavender scallop cs from Archivers; Black CS Bazill and SU.
White Inksentials Pen
Inks: Versamark, Black Stazon.
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter from SU.

Thanks Lisa!

Tomorrow we find out who the winners were! Boy, lots of great work to be seen!

For Big Girls Only! - Fat Book Page Recap

Fat Book Page: Famous Women
Just playing and having fun...


Fat Book Page - Pin Up
Yep. There she is.. A Varga Gal!
Not much left to any imagination!


Fat Book Page: Torn and Tattered Wings
The Front
(my favorite page, actually!)

The Back of Torn and Tattered Wings
(click to enlarge and read journaling)

So.. you remember that 'little' (read: EPIC!) swap I was in where we submitted 2 sets of 10 Fat Books pages per month for 5 months? Like, during the summer when things are extra busy around here? Hello!!! Why didn't anyone hit me over the head before I said yes?

Ok.. Yes, it was worth it.. Yes it was fun.. Yes it was awesome to see all the other creations that some super duper talented folks made! And our hostess? The Mostess!

But... It's over baby! And I got everything in on time!

I'm catching up and sharing with you my last four pages... one is very 'for adult eyes only'.. My apologies! You should have seen me making it! Under wraps!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sheetload's Blog Candy Blowout!!!!!!!


So! Remember when I posted all those Studio G stamps I purchased from Sheetload (the Halloween and Thanksgiving ones) and they sold out very very fast? And I RAK'd lots of them over at 2Peas during SOF during my Fat Book Page Challenge????

I remember lots of you wanted them!!!

Now is your chance to get your cute little inky hands on some! As well as some other super cute stamps! See those up there in that photo?

Here are the deets:
SheetLoad of Cards (http://sheetload.blogspot.com) is giving away the goods!

To see the post with all the info on how you and three other inky pals can win, visit this post:

AND this post specifically on How To Win.

Awesome awesome awesome!!!

I hope some of my friends win!!!!



Monday, November 10, 2008

In Honor of several Hero Arts Artists and a Respectful Blogger... Anne Gaal

I am humbled by a fellow blogger whose attention to detail is absolutely amazing. Ann Gaal, of Gaal Creative is just amazing! She includes links to people, places, and things.. Meaning, when she makes a card, not only does she list a 'recipe' (how she made the card) but she also links up all the products as well as any artists who she got her inspiration from!

Thank you Anne, for taking the time to be so detailed. I know it must take lots of time to do this! And, it's all for your readers! I mean, if we like a certain product, all we have to do is click on the link! Ditto with techniques and other artists. You are so thoughtful, talented and sweet!

And, I find I must follow in Anne's steps and take the time to thank and honor several ladies that were featured last week at my favorite place to play.....


Last week several talented artists were featured on the Hero Arts Blog (see, I'm trying the Anne Gaal technique!)... These ladies are fellow stampers who love to play with their stamp and scrapbook supplies and because of their great talent, they were picked by several of the Hero Arts Artists to be featured on the Hero Arts Blog...

These Ladies are:

Ashley Marcu, Kelly Rasmussen, Donna Mikasa, Lisa Carroll, and Julie Dudley. And, their respective Flickr Photostreams can be found here: (Ashley, Kelly, Donna, Lisa, Julie).

Please go visit each and every one of them and see their amazing work!

Congratulations to all of you! Your work is amazing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We're Back! Back in the Saddle Again!

Smile Everyone!
In Cabellas' on Saturday - Boise

Nothin' like a free museum to play in!

Goofing Off at TGIF
Favorite Restaurant #2. Jake decided since it was Friday, we
had to go to TGIF.

Playing at the Discovery Center - Boise
Hello! What an awesome place!
The kids were entertained for hours on Friday!
This is Jake practicing his wizard skills.

Too Darn Tame Geese!
A herd of them came up to visit us..This is near the Discovery Center,
and by Julia Davis Park. Awesome place.

Playing at Red Robin
Favorite Restaurant #3. Dude! They had all sorts of fun art on the walls.
Including a Led Zepplin poster!

Playing at Red Robin!
Sami took a series of very goofy photos of me.
I'll share them one of these days.
Killed me. We were laughing too darn loud.

Breakfast of Champions
Our fab hotel had a great free breakfast lounge.
Sami and I would sneak down each morning at 6am to get our warm drinks,
in our cozy clothes and slippers, and load up on goods,
and bring it back up to our room. Later all three of us would go down again for
real food! We did add waffles and fruit.



New Under Armor Getting Broke In
Oh did we shop!
REI (Under Armor, Gloves),
Target (Winter Clothes, and new Bath Towels), Big 5 (new swimsuit for Sami),
Archivers (2x - they kicked us out Thursday night
so we returned Saturday during the big holiday event)!
Toys R Us, Petco (the kids love to go
check out all the funky critters, it's a mini zoo) and lastly,
Cabella's to tour the displays.


Playing at Olive Garden
Favorite Restaurant #1
Oh the wine? That's mine!
***************

We are home!

We had such an awesome get away... We left Thursday, about noon, and our first stop was the kid's school - for teacher conferences. I banged those babies out (it was the reason the kids were out of school!). I am so glad I did the conferences before we left - I got to hear how marvelous both kids are! Jake is reading at a 6th grade level and already has all his points for next quarter, and he is a math wiz! Sami is a delight to her teachers, and she is also good at math and all subjects. Her main teacher wants to push her more.. Gosh! My little heart sang for my kids! So, along our 3 hour drive I was scheeming on how best to reward them....

Let's just say, we all had a great, relaxing, spoiled rotten trip doing the things we all love! Sami and Jake love to swim - so each morning and evening, they swam until they did not want to swim anymore! A first, really. Normally I pull them out after an hour. I'm getting smarter. This time I was the mom with her speedo and scrapbooking gear! I did a swim routine first, and then scrapbooked the majority of the time afterwards! Hello!!! What a brilliant idea (if I don't say so myself!)... And I got lots done (I am putting together Ali Edward's December Daily Album)! I was in heaven doing my thing and so were the kids! Oh the joy of it all...

One highlight was another parent, whom I actually know, was in the pool area with his 2 daughters (a popular get away place) told me I am a beautiful swimmer! Oh gosh... I tell you.. a girl sure forgets the things she is good at and has tucked away as part of her 'before kids and marriage' life! Note to self: Do more of the things that I am good at and love!!!!

We really had a wonderful time. The trip length was perfect. We left Thursday and came back Saturday late afternoon. No stress. Lots of laughs. Lots of peaceful moments.

I'll share all my scrabby pages in another post!



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hit the Road, Jack!

Hi friends!! Today is November 6th, a Thursday..

My kids are out of school until the 12th so we are 'hitting the road' for a little adventure... Just the three of us. On the way out of town I'll stop at the school for our Conferences - it's the end of the quarter, hence the ridiculously long break (couldn't they have added a few days to Thanksgiving instead????) Oh, and they only have 2 days of school next week.. Why bother I say? Why bother!

If I was really adventurous we would blow this Popsicle stand and really really really hit the road! Disneyland would be awesome, or someplace nice and toasty warm, or even St. Louis to see my little sis, or my favorite stomping grounds in Chico, CA. Actually, I did check into a CA trip but all my peeps are too darn busy for us! Fine.

So, we are packing the swim bag and snow gear... Just in case.

And, we woke to snow on the ground, and it is snowing as I type. Another reason we are not driving to CA! If it's snowing here, it's raining there... And I am not a 'drive in the pouring rain in the big city' kinda girl. Did that 2 years ago, and gee, way too many accidents on Hwy 17! CRAZY Californians!!! You guys are maniacs on the road!

We should be back Saturday or Sunday. Or Monday or Tuesday. Depends on my mood and tolerance of two kids in the back of the car. And the snow. And the rain. We will see what the great world has up it's sleeves for our little trio.

So have a great next few days!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall O'Ween

Here a a few photos (playing with canvas again!) from Halloween and Fall here in our neck of the woods.

Halloween night was somewhat a disappointment.. The build up was more fun than the event. Seems that we spent more time fretting about our costumes than the actual time it took to trick or treat! We were lucky that it did not rain during our outing.. We had a deluge before we left! And it rained all day on Saturday, and rain is just in our forecast all week long... no sunshine. Rats.

Sami was having issues with her costume. She wanted to be a vampire, but did not like her makeup, so she took it off, and she did not like the fangs, so she ditched those, and her long black nails were not cooperative so I wore them (until I tried to drive!)... and then she ditched the cool glow in the dark gloves!

Jake was a wizard.. on his terms. And, he balked at putting stars on his cape. He had a real cool hat but he ditched it. I do like the star he made for his belt buckle.

I think we are outgrowing Halloween... Perhaps it's time to switch to hosting costume parties instead. I love Halloween parties!

Anyway, we went to downtown Baker City, 17 miles away, to trick or treat downtown. My kids sure are shy when it comes to this sort of thing! They kept hanging back instead of getting 'int there' and trick or treating.. and I could barely hear them speak!

On the way to town we stopped at a house in Haines that is always decorated super cute!!! Thank goodness someone was home! On our drive home NOT ONE neighbor (they are spread out in about 2 mile intervals) was home! We got skunked... Drats...

But the kids have enough loot. Seriously. We are not a real candy family. We still have Valentines Candy and Christmas Candy and Easter Candy!! I need to just toss the stuff.

Anway, when we drove up to our house I could see Mr. Sexton getting into the 'treat handing out' position. He didn't know it was us! So I had Sami and Jake get out of the car and run up to the door to trick or treat - at our own place - while I parked the car in the garage. It was the best part of the whole night! They were actually excited and running, and giggling.. The only time during the night! Their capes were flying when they ran.. I wish I would have caught it on film...

At our house we had just 2 little trick or treaters, not counting Sami and Jake. I am tempted to go drive around the neighborhood and deliver all our treat bags... We have tons!

So that's it. Our Halloween recap.

Now onto the next adventure or 2!