Friday, May 27, 2011

7 days challenges.

so this week hasn’t exactly been the ideal week for me to sit and get everything i want to do, done.  that would be the life..

but i have managed to get a couple challenges tackled!

simply delightful copy

this one used a freebie created my linda of “in the making design”.  so sorry, if you didn’t grab it, you didn’t get it. :(

the frame is from liv.edesigns (here).

the stitching is from splendid fiins (here).

the font is “lobster” (here).

paper bits are a freebie (upcoming) that i need to tweak before i share…

(so watch out.)

this is love copy

i recently took pictures of ashley, to document her “student of the month” status (so proud of her!!) and this theme, “this is love”, was the perfect fit for just a couple of these pictures.

the paper is from kitschy digitals (here).

frame is also from kitschy digitals (here).

there’s that stitching again (here)…

the staple i extracted from the frame in the above layout (frame here).

the fonts used on this layout are: “pea carrie script” and “never let go”.

(i distressed those too, just a little, so they would look chalked and aged.)

i am hoping to get my craft/studio/sewing room all done (as far as paint goes) so life and programming can return to normal soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another milestone for the middle child.

Our little Ashley graduated from kindergarten.


It’s quite bittersweet.

She is learning so much, so fast.  It is fun to see, but sad that the innocence of life is slowly fading away.

She will be gone all day next year.  I’m not sure who will miss her more, me or Peyton.

She is just plain growing up.

That kinda sucks.

But isn’t she cute?

Even with her dress on backwards, she was a doll.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Just a reminder: seven days in may begins today!

(How’s that to start you week?)


Go check out the general forum to play along.  I know that I will be there..  well, in between the coats of paint drying, making teacher year-end gifts, going to the dentist..

So come and hang out with me there!

I did last year and had a blast, got addicted, quite frankly, but it was entirely too much fun.

(And you’ll score some freebies!!!)

As for new product, I have a few…

(They are all delightful.)

Splendid Fiins:

sf_perspective copy

(Click on layouts for list full credits.)

Carina Gardner:


Be watching for a post about baby hunger…

Last, but certainly not least, Cosmo Cricket:


I have many more project ideas in store with this collection.

So, will I see you in the forum, or what? ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Lynn has been asking more and more questions about babies, where they come from, and male & female relationships.

It is a time of life that I knew would inevitably come, but one that I hoped wouldn’t show up for a couple years more.

I answer these queries as they come, with little bits of information at a time, following her cues and prompts.  I haven’t broken down each part and how it functions, just some basics.

“Moms have eggs in their ovaries…  dads have sperm in their testicles…  they meet inside the moms body to form a baby.”

Now, I haven’t told her exactly how this all “gets together”..  just term it as “sex”.  She doesn’t need to know the “ins and outs” of it all. 

(No pun intended.)

(That was kinda a doosy.)

Anyway, Lynn knows some basics.  Just enough for right now.  As more questions come, I tackle them.

So a couple of weeks ago, we were watching “The Office”.  Michael was headed-off to Denver, Dwight was kinda ticked about it.  As a parting gift (of sorts) he gives Michael a plate of “Rocky Mountain Oysters”.  Now, if you know Michael, you’ll know that he dug right in.  He was chomping on those things.  I mean, he was really eating them up!  Right in the middle of his chewing, Dwight reveals that they are really bull testicles.  Get it..  Rocky Mountain Oysters….

Lynn turns to Merrill and asks:

“Dad, what are testicles?”

There was a little pause. 

I anxiously awaited his response.

He made his way through a decent explanation, one that was a bit, um, stumbled through?  He even told her about scrotums. 

(I have to admit that at this point, I was trying my hardest to not let my laughter out.) 

After he finished his explanation, Lynn gave a little, “Oh…” then I turned around and said, “Lynn, remember we talked about testicles?”

I re-iterated just a little bit about our past conversation and a little light went on in her eyes.

“Oh!  Yeah!!  I remember now.”

She skipped away totally satisfied.

Merrill just looked at me and said, “You couldn’t have jumped in sooner?”

one down.. (re-visiting peanut butter cupcakes)

cupcakery 005

so i said, just the other day, that i needed to re-visit this cupcake with a glorious idea that hit me..  sometime, i can’t remember when.  it was most likely when i was ready to fall asleep.

(those darn glorious ideas hit me then or when i am in the shower..  at least i can write them down when i am in bed.)

i originally tried this recipe in the fall and we all loved it.  after that trial, i had the idea to add some reeses (big ‘uns) to the actual cupcake.

yeah, i didn’t get around to trying that one out until, well, last week.

they were winners.

so when my next glorious idea hit, i knew i’d better test drive it (so to speak) soon.

that, and one of the guys who works for merrill didn’t get his peanut butter cupcake due to the fact that merrill ate it.

(i think that means they are kind of good.)

so here goes…

i start out with my most favorite boxed triple chocolate fudge cake mix ever (still haven’t found the perfect chocolate cake recipe to make from scratch that stays moist…).  i tweak it a little by substituting 1/2 cup softened butter in place of the oil.

then i divide the batter among my cups and get an assistant to unwrap, and not eat the regular sized reeses peanut butter cups. 

(not eating them now is key.  tempting, i know, but very important.)

you take that little cup of yumminess, and place it on the top of the batter.  press it in until the top of the cup is level with the surface of you batter.


cupcakery 002

pop those in the oven and let them bake according to the recipe.

after they have cooled, they will look flat.

(but they are delicious, so don’t fret.  frosting will make up for the flatness soon.)

we had one, that didn’t get “reesed” (totally just invented that word..  you can even see it up there!!) and you could tell which one was missing the secret surprise.

it was all fluffy and junk.

then lynn ate it assuming it was like the rest.  she was greatly disappointed.  but she should have known.  there were no chopped peanuts on top!

(that is our code of sorts.)

which is okay, i am sure that she was the culprit who got into the jumbo bag and ate the one cup that we were going to need to reese all of them.

cupcakery 004

so after they have cooled, frost them.

when i say “frost them” i really mean that you should frost them with this:

Peanut butter frosting

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

so, you can go on ahead, and pipe that on the way it is OR…

you can do what i did..

i substituted the regular old peanut butter (delicious, but boring in comparison) with a cup of this!!!

cupcakery 003

it is a bit of an addiction lately…

cupcakery 006

i really wanted to add dark reeses to the cupcakes, but would not (no way!!) settle for the miniatures.  i wanted the big’uns.  i couldn’t find them.  i will have to attempt it again, i guess.

(i am sure everyone will throw a fit of epic proportions..)

now these are good the “regular way” but SO good with this little tweaking.

(i finished off the frosting.  right out of the bag…  can you picture that?  me, mouth ajar, bag of frosting inserted..)

when i asked merrill if they were good, i got quite the reaction.

now that frosting recipe makes enough to generously frost a little more than a dozen, so we made some of each…

(and to further try to convince you to go and make them yourself, here’s some pictures to help with the convincing.)

cupcakery 001 cupcakery 008 cupcakery 009

yeah, don’t forget those chopped peanuts either.  you know, “code” and all..

oh, and i have been told that a glass of milk is a great addition.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

more ashley.

so ashley’s hand is “better”.  it is a great camouflage of bruise, not so puffy, and not broken.  (yay!!)  she can make a beautiful fist, wiggle each finger independently, and use it like she did before (but hopefully not as the meat in a bowling ball sandwich again).

i am very guarded with her still, worry a little more than i normally would when it gets bumped or knocked (or even hit, because peyton figured out that that is ashley’s weak spot now).

so last night, ashley fell off the kitchen chair in some sort of balance, gymnast maneuver, and started to cry. 

the freak-out mother took over, asking quite frantically what happened, repeatedly, think “machine-gun” speed.

ashley just looked up at me, crocodile tears brimming in her eyes, and a little sob escaped her.

“mmmmm-mom..  (sob)  iii-i-i huuu-(sooooob)urrtttt mmmmm-yyyyyyy (sob)(sniff) i hurt my…  A-S-S.”


she spelled it.

leave it to my middle child.

i am so thankful she didn’t say it.  peyton was right there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

More for your Monday.

Time to show off some of the loveliness that exists at Jessica Sprague…

(Don’t forget that “Mondays in May” are still in full swing there!!)  

Jodie Lee has released some beautiful stuff today.

Here, I used her “Botanique Brushes” to create everything from the background to the sweet little stamps.

blossom copy

(Click on layout for list of full credits.)

Last week, we had a RS meeting that we chose Faith to be the theme.  We paired it with gardening (‘tis the season) and I made these cute plant picks for the tomato plant handouts, and one to go in each of our speakers thank you plants.

Cosmo Cricket was made for this people…

may 13 003 may 13 007 may 13 009 may 13 010


For the tomato plant ones I simply designed them in photoshop, printed out my stuff onto presentation paper, cut them out, use a little double-sided tape, plus a popsicle, and the help of a good friend.

For the larger ones, I did pretty much the same thing, but instead of double-sided tape, I mod-podged the papers onto either side of a little “woodsie” (found at craft stores).  I sanded-down the edges after it dried and top-coated with more mod-podge.  I used Tombow multi adhesive (the green and white guy) to glue the popsicle stick onto the back.

(Here’s the link for list of full credits on those babies.)

We also had some of these….

may 13 011

This one is asking for me to toy with it..  can I add it to my list that is today?

may 13 013 may 13 015 may 13 016 may 13 017 may 13 018

As for the state of homelessness, among other things in my life..  changes are in the works in my neck of the woods people..

Lots of changes.

All of them good! 

(I swear…)

Summer is coming, life needs to get a little more organized, streamlined and a bit easier, I am thinking…  blogs might get a re-boot of sorts.  “Furious Orange” (the color of the vomitastic wall in my basement) will no longer be so vomit inducing, hopefully starting today.  Then there’s a tutorial I am putting the finishing touches on..  those cupcakes I mentioned toying with..  and some sewing patterns I bought.  I want to do them, but I don’t without a space to leave them when I need to, you know, to cook, clean, wipe bums.  Stuff like that.  Oh!  And pictures..  LOTS Of pictures to share.

See, I told you good, and exciting.

P.S. Gear up for “7 Days in May”.  It starts next Monday…  I am severely looking forward to it.


It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

what to do while your files are transferring to your new external hard drive..

why you rack your poor, tired, probably bloodshot brain, to think of updates to blog about.

let’s see…

ashley’s hand is a magnificent shade of purplish/green.  still can’t make a fist, well, because it is still swollen awesomely as well.  no blood-filled bubble, but an awesome contusion.  her splint “accidentally” came totally unwrapped yesterday.

(yeah, you buying that too?)

get this..  peyton asks merrill first thing this morning, right after her little eyes pop open (in our bed..  bed hog), “daddy?  will you turn on simpsons?”

his answer: “i can’t right now, but they will be on later tonight.”

her response: “yesssssss!”

the kid also drew a mural on ashley’s wall, probably the same time ashley’s splint and bandage get up was “accidentally” falling off of her hand, with the markers from the dollar bin at joann’s.  they don’t come off the wall unless you really work for it, and when i say “really” i mean reeeeeeeaaallllly work for it.  the wall is now dull.  it needs paint.

(so does my obscene basement.)

so i think i will buy plenty of paint.


(i do have plans for that…)

lynn lost another tooth.  she freaked-out, saw her own blood (all two drops of it on a tissue), turned a whiteish/green and i promptly made her lay down.

there is another one that is on the brink of falling out.

she won’t let me near it.

i plan on “flossing” her teeth tomorrow.

(insert evil laugh here.)

while sitting in sacrament meeting sunday, ashley looked over at an older gentleman in our ward, one who has a good, full white beard, and asked me, “mom, is his name lonesome dove?”

well, if you haven’t watched that particular mini-series, you don’t get that.

you might not get it if you don’t live in our ward and know who i am talking about.  it made me laugh, pretty hard, and well, that is all that matters.

so here i sit..  and type..  while forty-something gigabytes transfer to my new, gigantic, external hard drive. 

why am i doing it now?

well, because i just edited the cutest pictures i think i have ever taken (well, i love them now, like, a lot..) and i have this nagging feeling that as soon as i go to bed, start to dream about happy things, something will inevitably happen to my computer and all will be lost.

i took these pictures yesterday.

i edited them all today.

hard work.



not my buddy.

am i making sense?

free cell is a good way to spend this time.

Remember these kids?

Maylee and Jaxon…
I took their pictures as wee little cuties (see here, here, and here..) and got to take their, get this, 6 month pictures yesterday.
6 months!?!
Turns out other people’s kids seem to grow up too.
(Sad fact, I know.)
But they sure were fun..  squealing (Maylee), followed by crying (Jaxon, poor guy!), and kissing (Maylee again!), with lots of smiles and two very cooperative babies was a lot of fun.
maylee&jax_03_vivid  maylee&jax_09_b&w maylee&jax_10_vintage maylee&jax_07_vintage_burn
Jax was a trooper, well, because, let’s face it, he put up with Maylee and all of her spunk..
jax_02_vintage burn jax_07_b&w
Maylee was especially a trooper.  She thought she was so done..  she was ready for a nap and then I got this brilliant idea to slap a ruffly bum cover over that diaper, set her in my newest (new to me at least) chair, and snap some sweet pics of her (and her rolls).
maylee_03_old maylee_09_b&w maylee_13_b&w
She so put up with me in a fantastic way!
Now you may insert your own comment on the level of my baby hunger now…

Monday, May 9, 2011


I {heart} faces has the perfect theme this week.
(It’s like the plan it or something…)
I was taken back into many memories of breath-taking moments shared between mothers and their children.  Some of them I was lucky enough to capture, others I can only wish that I was able to.
One of my all time favorites is my sister-in-law and niece…
Head over to I {heart} faces and see what other sweet moments are posted..

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances.

I had a fantastic Mother’s Day yesterday.
I didn’t know that one mom could get so many cards!!  I have to have the sweetest three girls ever..  oh, and the “Ninja” that Merrill “got” for me.  (Or that I got for myself and told him that it was from him.  Thanks Merrill!!  Aren’t the smoothies and daiquiris yummy?)  See, great guy too!
We spent the morning much like any other Sunday morning, taking our time getting ready, herding girls to get their hair fixed, packing the church bag, counting fruit snacks..  practicing to sing in sacrament meeting..  you know, the “usual”.  Yes, the usual indeed, peppered with cards and a few more hugs, kisses, and “I love yous” than usual. 
After church, we had a family get together for mother’s day.  It was originally to be held at my brother-in-law’s house, but due to rain, was moved to my mother and father-in-law’s house. 
(First and second unfortunate circumstances.)
The plan was to eat, and visit for just a bit, so we could make it to my mom and dad’s house, and get the kiddos home in time for a bedtime that wouldn’t be offensive to our Monday.
We arrived to find that the grill wasn’t getting hot enough to cook the food to a consumable point, so dinner was a little later than initially planned.
(Third unfortunate circumstance.)
The food was finally ready, and people began eating in stages.  We started with small children, they are the most vocal about eating, and moved forward.  By the time the adults were eating, the kids were done and off playing.
During the clean-up process, just as we were readying ourselves to leave, a cry came up from the basement.  It was attached to Peyton.  Being offended, somehow, and not having had her Sunday nap, she was tired and I was trying to console her.  Then a second cry started in the basement.  It was Ashley.
It wasn’t good either. 
It was a cry with a reason behind it.
While trying to befriend a bowling ball, save it from getting knocked around at the opening of the ball return by another arriving bowling ball, that other ball came to make her hand the meat in their bowling ball sandwich.  Little Ashley’s hand didn’t look so good.
(Okay, so the pictures suck..  they were with my phone.  Yes, suck indeed.  Just imagine a skin bubble filled with a quarter cup of blood on the back of her hand, okay?)
The whole back side was puffy, half of it a bubble of tender skin.  Ice was applied and we took off.
Merrill and the girls went home and Ash and I went to the E.R. 
She was afraid.  Her fears were expressed as I was putting ice on it at grandpa and grandma’s.
“I don’t want to die!!!”
She really didn’t want to go to the hospital, and she told me why today.
“I thought they were going to cut my hand open with scissors.”  That little explanation was followed by a shudder.  Albeit a cute shudder.
On the short drive to the hospital, I called my mom to wish her a happy mother’s day, and to tell her why she wouldn’t see us that day, give her a big, fat I.O.U. and to tell her I loved her.  I think that in that moment, prayers were sent up from all around.
I know there was a non-stop prayer in my heart, silently uttered in my mind, repeatedly.  Lynn told me that when they got inside the house, they prayed, Peyton told me that she said a prayer too.  I have no doubt, that there were many prayers offered on behalf of my little girl. 
We said a prayer too, right before we went into the emergency room.  And I mean, talk about flashbacks!!  That was where we entered the hospital the morning we had her.  Right above the entrance was where the helicopter landing pad is, right below where our room was while I recovered after she was born.  Just another day for this mom.  That hospital holds so many memories..
She was more calm as she saw just how many kind people were there to help her. 
I can tell you that I was asked seven times (no exaggeration) if I was her mother.  Seven times by seven different people.  I was tempted to show the last couple of those askers my c-section scar to prove it. 
(She cheered-up pretty quickly.)
We played “I spy” to kill time (she loved that turn-of-phrase), and I told her all the stories I could think of that were hospital related. 
The doctor there was a good guy.  He talked about all things “Tangled” to her while he took care of her.  His initial assessment was a broken blood vessel, what with the bubble on the back of her hand..  but ordered X-rays to be sure.  As he left the room that first time, he asked her if she had any questions for him.  She just shook her head.  He said, “Not even about what I like to do when I don’t have to work?  How rude!”  That got a giggle.
Then the radiologist came, asked Ashley a few questions, asked me if I was her mother, and asked if we were really bowling at grandpa and grandma’s.  (“Who has a bowling alley in their house?!”)  Then she asked if Ashley wanted a ride down to the radiology room.  I think that was her favorite part of the whole visit, being wheeled around in that wheel chair.
(I must also note that I was trying to not be the over-excited mom, taking pictures of the whole process..  but my, but she was so darn cute in that chair!!)
I am not a radiologist by any means (but I have seen a few X-rays in my time…  thank you Peyton.), but hers looked normal to me.  I was hopeful…
They looked “normal” to our doctor as well, but he was still concerned about her mobility.  She couldn’t manipulate her hand in some of the ways that she needed to, the swelling was an factor in that, sure, but he was concerned about her age and the development of her bones, things he might not be able to see that second.
He decided to splint her, immobilize the hand so the bleeding would stop, and if there were any breaks they could begin to set.
As he started fitting her with her splint, she asked him, “Does a force field come with this?”  Totally caught him off guard and their silly exchange only continued.  He was a nice guy.
So at the end of our day, as we were finally leaving that place, Ashley tells me, “It was the worst and the best Mother’s Day ever.”
“How was it the worst?”
(Like I didn’t know.)
“Well, I hurt my hand.”
“How was it the best?”
“I got to spend lots of time with just me and you.”
So as I look back, sure, it was a series of unfortunate circumstances (much like in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.  LOVE that movie…) and if one thing had been different, maybe this wouldn’t have happened to our little Ash.  You know, the bowling ball sandwich stuff and the following events.
Had it not been raining, we would have been outside, at a different house, one that doesn’t have a bowling lane in the basement with an over-excited ball return.
Had the grill been hot enough, maybe we all would have been eating together.
Had we all eaten together, maybe they wouldn’t have run off to play, or needed to go by the exciting bowling lane and over-excited ball return.
If we had been able to eat earlier, maybe we would have been gone, to the other grandma’s house.
If any one of those things had been different, maybe, just maybe, Ashley’s little hand wouldn’t have been there trying to move a bowling ball.
See, what if.  Maybe.
But if things had gone that way, then Mother’s Day 2011 would have been just another Mother’s Day.  It wouldn’t have been the best and the worst and Ash and I wouldn’t have been able to spend time as just us.

A Pixie-Licious Monday

Mondays in May have begun at Jessica Sprague..

What is a “Monday In May”, you might ask?

May is the month of celebration at Jessica Sprague, a month where goodies and good deals are in abundance.  Every Monday, you can buy one item from one designer and get another item, from the same designer, for freee!!

So, to tempt you…

Cosmos Cricket’s latest release, “Pixie-Licious”:

cc_life is bliss copy

(Click on layout for full credits.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

let the countdown begin!!

i am one of those kind of moms..
the kind that would rather have her kids home more than anything!
i sincerely look forward to summer..  this year we are counting down in style.
got kinda crafty (despite the fact that i am currently homeless, craftroom type homeless, that is..) and made these.
i used crystal wilkerson’s “sweet summertime” papers, mod-podge, acrylic paint, my trusty sander, some contact paper and black vinyl, and my cricut (doodletype font), and these wood blocks (that heaven knows i have plenty of..).
(see all those cute papers?)
i sanded my blocks pretty darn good, if i do say so myself, and then gave them just a coat of white acrylic paint.  while that was drying, i cut my papers and rounded all the corners.  those got mod-podged on the blocks and then top-coated with more mod-podge after they dried. 
i used the contact paper as a stencil after i cut out the numbers with the cricut.  i spaced between each number and then used my rotary cutter (think my fabric rotary cutter..  sooo easy!) while the contact paper was still on my cutting sheet to separate the numbers.  peel, stick, and paint!  i did find, after doing one set with the foam brush, that it is best to use a little paint on the brush and then a scrunched-up paper towel to pounce the paint around where you need it.  it ends up looking aged and not so bold.
one block gets 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on it and the other gets 0, 1, 2, 6 (which upside-down works as your 9), 7 and 8.
the lettering was a bit too tricky at 3/4 inch to use as a stencil, so i just cut out vinyl and stuck it down.
i top-coated it all with more mod-podge and let it dry.
then i sanded some more..  i like that distressed look.  they looked perfectly cute the way they were, and they could be left that way if you want. 
but i sanded more, roughed them up real good.  then i brushed them off, and mod-podged another protective coat.
i love mine…
and well, if there is a day this summer break when my kids drive me nuts, like to the breaking point..  i can let them all know how i feel by flipping them around…
summerblocks3  :D
p.s. there are some great deals happening over at jessica sprague..  a sale starting today and going through sunday for insd (international scrapbooking day) all scrapbooking supplies are 25% off.  if you spend $20 or more, there is an additional 10% off!!  and then there’s one that will last the whole month of may (hello!!  birthday month there!!).  buy one item, and get one of equal or lesser value (from the same designer, no mixing and matching) for freee!!!
see, go have fun..

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring in my step.

It’s a new week.  I fully intend on it being better than the last one.

I am feeling so much better!!  To add to that, I have a ton of energy and a list of things I want to do/need to do/would love to do to prove it.

But to start off the day, a couple of layouts using some of the newest releases:

(As always, click on layout to see full credits.)

Cosmo Cricket:

cc_honeybun copy

And Elle’s Studio:

es_this moment copy

Hope your week is as awesome looking as mine!