Friday, November 30, 2007

Bah Humbug!

My husband....well, rather the army, has the knack for destroying my day just like I have the knack for drowning cell phones in the rinse cycle of my washing machine. Due to "The Cell Phone Incident" (as I now like to refer to it), I haven't been able to talk to Bryan but only one time this whole week. His work schedule has been such, that he can only call at 3 am. At my house, this would be all fine and well. Since this deployment, I have gotten used to getting calls at all hours of the day and night. But, when one is visiting their old, grumpy mother, calls on the home phone at 3 am aren't so welcome. So, Bryan HAD been calling my cell phone. That is, until it took a bath and decided that it was down for the count. Seriously...water-proof cell phones anyone? I'd be on that like white on rice. But, back to what I was saying...

I get this e-mail from Bryan tonight, informing me that he would be going out in the field for who knows how long. Wait. Let's stop here for a minute. Let me just say...YES, I KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOLDIERS THAT GO "OUT IN THE FIELD" AND FACE DANGEROUS SITUATIONS EVERYDAY THAT THEY ARE DEPLOYED. That was my husband during his last deployment. AND, YES I KNOW THAT THIS IS WHAT I "SIGNED UP FOR" WHEN I MARRIED AN ARMY MAN. So, don't start flaming me for what I am about to say from here on out in this post. Just because my husband is a soldier, and I knew that when I married I supposed to just not worry? I should just skip along happily through my life like nothing is wrong? There are actually people out there who feel the need to chastise military wives any time they cry, worry, or make any disparaging remarks against this war because, "You knew what you were getting into when you married a soldier." Apparently, this should mean that I checked my emotions at the door, and am supposed to become some unfeeling robot. Sorry, not gonna' happen.

Anyway, this time around, my husband was fortunate enough to have a "safe" job on the FOB (Forward Operating Base). Yes, I know I was one of the "lucky" ones in that regard of this deployment. He didn't leave the wire. Not for the last 10 months. Not until his new boss saw fit (yesterday) for him to start doing so. I'm not sure why this was deemed necessary nearly 11 months into a 15 month deployment. But, don't get me started...the army does plenty of things that I don't understand. I could give you a handful (or 5) of reasons that we aren't winning this war just from looking at the stupid decisions made daily by the idiots that my husband works with. But, again, I digress...

I often get asked, or told, "I don't know how you do it. I couldn't handle my husband being sent to war. You're so strong." Here's a peek at my life behind closed doors...I'm not that strong. I can't tell you how many nights I have cried myself to sleep in the last 11 months. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a soldier walking around at the mall (or wherever), and felt pangs of jealousy that they are home with their loved ones, and I had to choke back sobs. I'm not that strong. I just hide it well.

And, when one has their spouse deployed, they tend to hold onto the smallest things that bring comfort. You have to, or you would drive yourself crazy with worry for 15 months. My comfort was in knowing that my husband was safe on the FOB. It's the one thing that kept my sanity hanging on by the proverbial thread. And, now, someone came along with a sharp pair of Fiskars and snipped that fraying thread right off. It took me a couple of months after he deployed to get in my own groove, stop the crying outbursts, and just get on with life in general. I had been plugging along quite well here recently. But, with a one paragraph e-mail tonight from my husband, everything got turned upside down all over again. Now, I'm back to not hearing from my husband for days on end. Constantly wondering where he is, and when will be the next time he will call/e-mail. Back to always worrying. Back to not watching the news because, after all, ignorance is bliss. I hate seeing something on the news about a soldier dying and wondering, "Was it MY soldier?" Back to spending a week of avoiding the news, only to start watching again 24/7 because, for that last newsless week, you hadn't heard from your husband. Now, you're wondering if you missed some tragic event, and he could have been injured...or worse. Back to being stricken with panic anytime an unfamiliar vehicle pulls into your driveway for fear that it's a CAO (Casualty Assistance Officer)...I get lots of solicitors that come via automobiles at my home. Back to many a sleepless night. As soon as I lie down, my mind just starts to race. In the last 11 months, I've seen a lot of sleepless nights (hence why I am up blogging at 2 in the morning). All feelings that I had not missed, but that have now been ushered back into my life with the quickness. And, at Christmas-time no less. Thanks, Uncle Sam. Merry effin' Christmas!

So, you'll forgive me, I hope, if I'm not down with the craftiness for a few weeks. This sort of just killed Christmas for me...and, along with it, my creativity. After Bryan first left, I didn't craft at all...for months. And, hopefully, you'll forgive me if I'm not around the computer much. I'm just feeling the major ickiness. And, I tend to just turn inward when I have to deal with stuff like this.

But, thanks for reading, and letting me get this off my chest. I think I'll pop some Tylenol PM, and try to get some winks of sleep in. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Only in Alaska...

I have nothing particularly interesting of my own to share today, so I'll borrow some material from the local news here in Anchorage. This is "Buzzwinkle" (photos courtesy of Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News):

"Why 'Buzzwinkle?'" you ask. Well, this moose seemed to have made himself at home outside of a downtown Anchorage bar, and started eating FERMENTED crab apples off a tree out front. Apparently, fermented crab apples get moose drunk. (Who knew?) Anyway, in the process of getting schnockered off of rotten fruit, he seemed to have entangled himself in the Christmas lights wrapped around the crab apple tree. He managed to free himself (taking the lights along with him). And, here he is, stumbling back across the street.

Anyone who has ever been to downtown Anchorage knows that "Buzzwinkle" fits right in with the element that occupies dowtown. ;0) Only in Alaska people, only in Alaska. Oh, and before anyone, I have never seen a polar bear (except in a zoo), I don't know anyone that lives in an igloo, and we drive cars here...not dogsleds. Seriously, you wouldn't believe how many people have really asked me those questions when they find out I've lived in Alaska. That, and the people that seem to be unaware that Alaska is, indeed, part of the United States, never cease to amaze me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I feel like I have accomplished absolutely nothing today, and the day is just flying by. Well, at least I feel like I have little to show for it. But, there is evidence of some activity around here today:

I did get all of these boxes mailed off. Gina's trees, 2 owlie ornaments (needed to buy another envelope to mail out the 3rd), and 3 swap packages...all in the mail, and on their way to their new homes. That's a weight off my shoulders. I've been busy wrapping presents for the rest of the afternoon. I need to get Bryan's box in the mail. And, this year, for some reason, the post office is saying that all out of state shipments (just from Alaska) need to be mailed by December 1st to guarantee delivery before Christmas. I swear, the postal employees just get lazier and lazier. I've NEVER had to mail anything out that early. Usually, you can mail Express mail on Dec 22nd, and it would be there by Christmas Eve. So, I really need to wrap up my dad's and step-mom's stuff, and get a box big enough to mail my nieces' and nephew's already wrapped gifts.

I'm really starting to miss being in my own home for the holidays. Although I do enjoy visiting my mom, I really long to decorate my own home. My mom's a little anal about the holidays, and doesn't want help decorating. So, I have to just sit idly by and watch. The tree is beautiful to look at, though.

And, it's about that time of cell phone time. It seems that every year, around this time, my husband or I manage to completely destroy a cell phone. My husband has run over his with his truck, dropped another one in a sink full of water, and crushed one that was in his pocket during hand-to-hand combat training. Myself...I managed to wash one of his phones in the washing machine. Hey, I keep telling him to check the 500 pockets in his uniforms before he puts them in the dirty clothes. Or, more specifically, throws the dirty uniform on the floor for me to pick up later. God forbid he actually walk the extra 10 steps to throw it in the hamper. But, I digress...last year, Hazel dropped my Blackberry in the toilet at Hobby Lobby. And, I seem to have a knack for washing phones...again. Yesterday, after Luka had puked spaghetti sauce all over my new white coat, I was in such a hurry to get the coat sprayed with stain remover and wash it, I forgot to take my phone out of the pocket. *sigh* This is why I will never own the expen$ive iPhone that I so badly want.

And, speaking of badly wanting something... I am absolutely dying for these candles from Pottery Barn:

So, I'm really hoping that my step-mother-in-law listened when she asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told her a Pottery Barn gift card!

Well, I had better get back to sewing away on those damned napkins. I'm about to scrap the project, save them to finish when I buy a sewing machine (yes, I am finally giving in and buying one). I'm really getting burned out on the gift making. I'm just absolutely DYING to scrapbook. But, I just haven't had the time. Plus, I am STILL waiting for my November kit from Poppy Ink, and for some velvet Thickers that I ordered from Two Peas. The white and cream ones are perfect for wintery LO's! Like this picture that I am dying to scrap:

My mom took is a couple of weeks ago before all of the snow melted. Hazel had such a blast making the snowman! I think she's going to be sorely disappointed when we're in Alabama next year for Christmas. Where, not only will there not be any snow, but it will probably be hot as hell. Oh, well. With any luck, we'll be in Germany by Christmas 2009.

Happy Hump Day peeps! I'm off to try to tackle those napkins!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quick! Somebody buy me a lottery ticket!

Seriously. I never win anything. I could enter 10 contests where only one other person entered in each contest, and I wouldn't win a thing. Until the past couple of months, when I have won a ton of stuff. A book from Memory Makers Magazine, two $10 gift cards to, a $25 Starbucks gift card, and now this...

A handmade Bolsa clutch from Becky OH!. It won't necessarily be this particular design, but I like to imagine that it will be since it's my favorite. ;0) But, seriously...go check out Jen Wallace's blog: Indie Fixx. She's doing a "12 Days of Indie Holiday Shopping. So, not only can you scope out some cool indie gifts for those special someones on your list, but you can enter for a chance to win some cool indie stuffs for yourself (or to give as gifts). She posts a new contest every day. What are you waiting for??? Check it out!

If I was back in North Carolina, I would be down playing the lotto. But, sadly, Alaska doesn't have a lottery. So, here's hoping that my lucky streak will continue through when I get home.

In other news, I finally finished up making some pretty feltie stockings to stuff with goodies for some swaps that I am participating in:

All I have to do now is wrap the stuffins', and get them in the mail. My goal is to have all handmade gifts out the door by Saturday. Wish me luck. I'm pretty much done with everything except those darn napkins. But, I DID manage to sew one napkin all together last night. Only 7 more to go! By the way, anyone have any tips for stopping rick-rac from fraying? I've got the ends all taped right now, but I have to find a permanent solution, or these napkins won't be going anywhere for Christmas. I'm still new to this whole sewing thing, so I need some tips. I tried to Google it, but couldn't really find anything helpful.

And, Luka has learned a new trick (I'm sure much to my husband's excitement). My parents are football nuts. So, they taught Luka to stick his hands straight up in the air all referee-style when the yell "TOUCH DOWN!" He's got it down now, and does it quite often, simply because I think he's figured out he's pretty cute. Of course, once I pull the camera out, he won't do it. This is the best that I got:

So, today is November 26th. Hard to believe, isn't it? Not only because this month has FLOWN by. But because in exactly one month, I'll be 30. Eek! Back in August, Elsie posted a challenge to list so many things that you wanted to do before your next birthday. Just for fun, let's see what I have actually accomplished, and what I have left to bang out in a month.

29 things I want to do before I turn 30:
* Take some fun, scrappy pictures with Tina. Not so much. We forget to take pics every time we're together. But, I still have time to accomplish this.

* Get my hollyhocks to grow in the backyard. Ha! Due to the fact that back in North Carolina, there was a MAJOR drought after I came to visit my mom, I seriously doubt they even emerged from the ground. We'll try that again in the spring.

* Make some crafty, hand-made gifts for Christmas. Obviously, I've managed this and more!

* Join the flickr 365 days challenge (you take a self-portrait every day for a year). Did it. Got bored with it. It's just not for me. At least I tried.

* Get a new hairstyle (new color, new cut). Check.

* Go to Alaska to visit my mom. There's snow out every window that I look. So, I must be in Alaska.

* Do some modeling for Anya E.'s portfolio. Had to leave town for a family emergency before that happened. We'll try again after I get home.

* To actually go through Elsie's "52 Scrapbooking Challenges," and get one challenge a week completed. Haven't even cracked the spine. I'll be doing this come the first week of 2008. 52 challenges. 52 weeks in the year. Let's talk about this come December of next year.

* Remodel and reorganize my studio. Again with the family emergency. And, now that we're moving to Alabama, I'll be putting this off until we find a new home.

* Get my daughter completely potty-trained (going through the night without an accident). Woot! Woot! Done, done, done!

* Stop eating so much fast food...maybe only once or twice a month. Ummmm. Let's save this for my new year's resolutions.

* Start doing yoga again. Again, new year's resolution.

* Actually keep this blog updated regularly (I was always so bad about writing in my journals when I was younger. I'd start off with a bang, but then just quit doing it all together, only to start the cycle again the next year). Well, I'm still here, aren't I?

* Get my work out there more...maybe enter some of the dares or some of the scrapjacked challenges. Did a couple. Been taking a breather during the holidays, though.

* Make more crafty things with my daughter. We've done our fair share. She really enjoys it, so we'll be doing more. And, I certainly have some Christmasy ones planned.

* Finish decorating my paper mache letters for "HAZEL" so that I can put them up in her room. Had to leave these at home when I came to Alaska.

* Work on my "me" book that my mom made for me. I do have THAT with me, but I haven't touched it. Boo.

* Save up for a new lens for my camera. Not so much. Lots of unforeseen expenses this year. The money for my lens was spent on going back/forth to Spokane when Bryan's dad was dying. Now, I want a sewing machine more than a lens.

* Get one of the new d reeves clear acrylic albums, and actually make something out of it! Got the album. Haven't had time to play with it. I was going to make Bryan a mini-album for Christmas, but I'm running out of time. Maybe for Father's Day?

* Get my house all neat and tidy before I go to Alaska for 4 months, so that I come home to a perfectly clean home, and not have to worry about anything. Well, it's as neat and tidy as it could be when we had to rush out of town for Rick's funeral. I'll still have lots of cleaning to do when I get home. :0(

* Get my septic tank pumped (Yuck! But, for some reason, I keep forgetting to do it, and it's about that time!) We'll be taking care of that come January.

* Pay off my credit card. Debt free, and proud!!!

* Have a garage sale, and get rid of all this baby stuff that we don't need anymore. Again, with the leaving town in a rush when Rick died.

* Spend some quality time with all of my old friends back in Alaska. Lovin' every minute of it!

* Get my filthy Jeep cleaned out! Errr...the whole leaving in a rush thing AGAIN.

* Do a few more RAK's (random acts of kindness) here and there. I'm well on my way to completing my first one. Had lots of fun with RAK's this year. I need to get Gina's finished tonight, and pop it in the mail. That will probably be all until next year. Well, except for the little things that I try to do everyday.

* Get started on some entries for next year's Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame and SOY contests. I've got 2 pages done, and a couple more in the works. But, I'm not sure if they'll be going to those contests yet.

* Buy a new Holga camera (what the heck happened to my old one?), and take some pics with Tina. Don't quite have the money for that right now. Maybe next year.

* Pull out my Sublime Stitching patterns, and get to cracking on some embroidery projects. I think I'll be saving that for next year too.

Not bad. In my defense, there were a lot of things that didn't get done because Bryan's father died, and we had to rush out of North Carolina in such a hurry. And, instead of going back home, we just came up to Alaska to visit my mom for the rest of the year. I'll definitely have quite the list of "30 Things" before I turn 31, though. LOL! Well, I'm off to do some more sewing. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Back to the grind...

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I am thankful for...

1. My two happy, healthy babies.
2. My marriage to such a wonderful husband. (I love you, B. Hope your Turkey Trot run went well, and that they actually fed you some decent food today. We miss you, and Thanksgiving just isn't the same without you.)
3. The fact that I finally get to be a SAHM, and enjoy watching my kiddos grow up.
4. The time this deployment has afforded me, to spend time with friends and family that I haven't seen in a very long time. Especially her.
5. My health.
6. To have a warm home to come back to every day.
7. A rekindled friendship with a grade school friend that I hadn't seen or heard from in about 14 years (until she found me on MySpace). See...MySpace isn't ALL that bad! This girl gets me. She's my kinda' peeps. Love ya', K! Can't wait until Feb...we're gonna' do it up for your big 3-0! I figure, if I'm not doing anything for mine, I'm really going to enjoy yours! ;0)
8. And, finally, I'm thankful for the time and ability to create.

And, in light of the time and ability to create, I'll share with you my little owlie ornaments that I finished up last night for the Red Velvet Art ornament swap.

I had fun making these, and I might just have to make another one for myself! Those sequins around the eyes are my favorite part. They're part of my grandmother's old sequin collection. They're at least 30 years old. I don't even know if they make sequins in that shape anymore, and I was just waiting to find the perfect project to use them on. The brown polka-dotted felt is from Creative Imaginations' new Creative Cafe. And, I got the blue fabric from Purl Soho. It's part of the Chocolate Lollipop collection by Anna Maria Horner. You have got to check out these glimpses of her studio. Amazing! I love all the inspiring!

Well, I am going to take a quick cat nap before the big eating fest begins. Happy Thanksgiving! :0)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

I just got back from running some last-minute holiday errands. And, I'm proud to announce...I am DONE Christmas shopping. Yay! I wanted to get the last few things on my list before the madness that is Black Friday. I do have a couple of gifts to finish making. But, at least the shopping part is over with.

And, I finally got some scrapping done. 2 LO's completed, and 2 more that I'm still working on. One came out so well that I am saving it for a contest. So, I can't share that with you. But, here's another one. It's not my favorite ever. But, oh well, what can you do?

My favorite part is the journaling. It's lyrics from The Nightmare Before Christmas song "What's This?":

Hopefully, I can come back with more to share tomorrow. At least I'll be able to show you the cute little owlie ornaments that I am making for the Red Velvet Art ornament swap. They're coming out so cute! And, they gave me a chance to play with the new polka dotted felt from the Creative Cafe at my LSS.

We have no huge plans for Thanksgiving. Usually, I cook a big dinner, and we invite all of the single soldiers at Bryan's work. But, obviously, due to the deployment, we won't be doing that this year. Instead, I will finally have the chance to relax and enjoy someone else's cooking. I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kindness isn't dead!

I was all prepared to blog today about how down in the dumps I've been feeling lately. How my kids are driving me absolutely nuts. How one of my husband's close friend's marriages is crumbling. And, how having to hear about said crumbling marriage day-in and day-out is really starting to weigh on my husband. It also reminds me why, exactly, I really don't care for a lot of the military wives I come in contact with. And, how much I miss my husband...especially this time of year. There's just been so much yuckiness lately.

Then, lo and behold, the random act of kindess bestowed upon me by a complete stranger, completely changed my mood. There I was, standing in the parking lot of the post office, struggling with 2 gigantic boxes to mail to Bryan, and a stroller to boot. I had no idea how I was going to get all of that crap inside, and was just getting ready to stuff the larger box back in the car, and resign myself to the fact that I was going to have to stand in the dreaded post office line TWICE to get both of the boxes mailed out. Then, this older woman approached me, and asked if she could carry my boxes inside for me. Wha? I can't tell you how many times in the last few weeks I have struggled through doorways with a stroller, a walking 3 year old, and myself. And, people have just stood there and stared. Looked me in the eye, and done nothing to help. No opening doors. Nothing. And, here was this woman that was carrying my boxes inside for me. And, although I know she'll never read this, to her I say thank you, thank you, thank you...a thousand times thank you! You have no idea how much that meant to me, and how it was all I could do to choke back the tears to thank you. You have restored my faith in humanity...even if only for today.

I don't have any craftiness to share (yet again). I'm just busy putting finishing touches on a lot of projects. I haven't touched a scrapbook LO in weeks. So, to that end, I'm going to set aside the Christmas gift projects tonight and have a little me time. I'm just going to scrap 'til I can't keep my eyes open! And, hopefully, I'll come out the other end with some paper pretties to share tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll share my little ones' Christmas pictures.

And, my little man. Doesn't he look like, well a little man?

And, my beautiful little girl...

Well, I'm off to watch I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. I love me some Adam Sandler, and I need a good laugh!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

GinaJam come on down!

You're the next contestant on The Price is Right! Just kidding. But seriously, you did win my RAK! So, just e-mail me at, and let me know if you want the idea book or the feltie trees. Thanks to everyone who checked out my new stuff, and entered the RAK. I certainly appreciate all of your kind words. :0)

Nothing much exciting going on around here this weekend. I went to the Christmas Craft Emporium yesterday, and I found NOTHING! Bummer. There were really only 2 things on my shopping list. Neither of those 2 things were included at any of the booths this year. Anchorage seriously needs to re-vamp their craft shows. There was absolutely nothing appealing there.

And, now I'm sick. Again. The kids managed to pick up another cold from who knows where. Of course, they passed it all on to me. In light of that, I'm off to bed with my stack of napkins that are just begging to be sewn. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Where's a Longaberger basket when you need one?

I have an aunt that used to sell Longaberger. So, inevitably, EVERY year for Christmas, we all received various Longaberger gifts. That's all fine and well once you start to reach, well, my age. But when you're 18, 19, 20...who the hell wants a bunch of baskets for Christmas? Not this girl. They're still totally not my style. But, now that I'm a little older, and my aunt long ago stopped selling the stuff, I WANT ONE! Just one. A big, more shallow one, one without a handle. One to put all of my pretty fabrics in to display in my craft room. *sigh* I suppose I'll have to do a little post-Christmas shopping for myself on eBay since I don't know actually have a Longaberger hook-up.

Still, no completed craft projects to share. But, I'll give you a peek at these lovely woodgrain napkins that I am making for a friend. You have no idea how hard it will be to give these away. I love them so! I might just have to make some for myself after the holiday. Although, since I can't use a sewing machine, and these are all going to be sewn by hand, they are taking FOREVER! Please, oh please, someone show me how to use a freakin' sewing machine!

I've also been crafty in the kichen...

Bryan had spent the first 9 months of his deployment telling me not to send chocolate because it melts. And, he has spent the last month begging me for homemade fudge. So, I finally obliged. Here's hoping to it not melting into a puddle of chocolate along it's journey to Afghanistan!

Tina and I went out for sushi and a little light shopping last night. Unfortunately, my kids are both sick, and were acting like little terrorists. Sorry Tina! I need a vacation. A long massage, and an even longer vacation...sans kiddos, of course. But, who are we kidding? That will never happen!

As always, I seem to forget to take pictures when I go out with Tina. What's with that, anyway? But, I did take a picture of this cute little find from last night's excursion:

I LOVED My Melody when I was little! I'm so glad that Sanrio is reintroducing her! She such a cute little ornament, isn't she? And, speaking of ornaments, if you haven't already joined the Red Velvet Art ornament swap, you should head on over and check it out! I signed up a couple of days ago, and have several ornament designs in mind.

During our shopping trip last night, I also discovered a new favorite store: aerie. Seriously, if you don't have one where you live, check out their online store. They have WONDERFUL Christmas gifts for the pajama lover on your list. Personally, I could live the whole winter in a comfy pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. I bought these sweats last night: comfy! I don't want to take them off. And, these slippers...

I resisted the urge to buy them, but YUM! They are so cute and cozy!

Well, I am off to the Christmas Craft Emporium, and a quick trip to my LSS to check out the new Creative Cafe. Oh, and don't forget to enter for the chance at my Christmas RAK. Today's the last day, and I'll be picking a winner tomorrow. Just leave a comment here, if you haven't already. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

They're coming home...

My husband's old unit in Alaska has been deployed to Iraq for 15 months. They started coming home this week. I'm in Alaska visiting my family for the holidays, and everytime I see footage of the returning soldiers on the news, I'm always scanning the crowd for familiar faces. Then I realize, I won't know anyone. The few people that we knew that were still with the 501st won't be coming least, not on those planes. Two young, single soldiers that served under my husband were killed. Two of our close friends were seriously injured in roadside bombings. One of them, I'm not too sure how he's doing. The other is now almost completely deaf, medically discharged from the army, and having trouble finding a job. And the fifth guy is firmly entrenched in a murder investigation. You never really think you know anyone that would be involved in something like that. You never really think that the last time you saw someone would be the LAST time you saw them. In light of Thanksgiving being next week, it makes me incredibly thankful for what I have in my life. It makes me thankful that my husband has a relatively safe job. Well, as safe as anything can be in a war zone. I'm thankful for my two healthy babies (even if they drive me crazy some days). ;0) And, I'm very thankful for all of my friends and family who have been so supportive this past year. Really, the things that I complain about are so petty in comparison to what's really going on in the world around me. So, tell me...what are you thankful for this year?

I'm still in the middle of several projects that haven't been completed. So, I don't really have any craftiness to share today. But, I'm hoping to finish up some napkins that I am making. Maybe pics for tomorrow. For right now, I'll show you some pictures that I took of the snow here:

I've really been loving the pottery here. The stars pattern is one of my favorites:

And I love these canisters:

I can't resist polka dots. I really have to have this teapot:

And, if all my coffee-loving friends on my gift list weren't already taken care of, I would definitely be ordering some of these:

Well, that's all for today. I'm so stoked for tomorrow. Tina and I are going to the Christmas Craft Emporium. And, hopefully we can get a yummy bite to eat before hand. Maybe some sushi? Yum. Don't forget to comment on my previous post for a chance at my Christmas RAK. :0) Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's this!?!

These pictures of Luka playing with the Christmas lights really reminded me of that song from The Nightmare Before Christmas. You know...the one when Jack first discovers Christmas Town? He was fascinated!

And, there was a good reason that the pictures of the felties didn't get posted yesterday. I didn't have any brown paint, and I ran out of white embroidery floss. But, I finally managed to get to Michael's, picked up what I needed, and got these done. So, withour further ado...

I had so much fun making them, and I love how they turned out! They're made with the Noel chipboard buttons and tiny ribbons from Love, Elsie. Such fun colors!

And, in the spirit of giving this holiday season, I've decided to offer up another RAK. I was going to wait until December to do this, but I need more time to get the supplies, and whip up the gift. So, I'm going to give away either a set of these felt trees, or another one of my Christmas idea books from the previous post. It's the winner's choice as to which one they want. So, "What do I have to do to win," you ask? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Simple as that. You have through the end of the day Saturday. And, I'll randomly draw a name on Sunday. I just wanted to do something nice and Christmasy for all of my bloggy friends. :0)

I probably won't have much craftiness to share for a couple of days. I really need to get back on the making of gifts. The last couple of things that I have made, have been for me. But, I should have some more goodies to share in a couple of days. In the meantime, I have more pictures to post. I just purchased a package of Photoshop actions, and have been having a blast playing around with my photos. So, I'll be back tomorrow to share!

Oh, and I almost forgot. The gift (or two) for the day...books. I went to Borders today to pick up the most recent copy of Adorn (I gave up on Michael's). And, while I was there, I stopped into the childrens' book section. Of course, I HAD to buy this for Hazel for Christmas. After all, it is one of my favorite movies. And, the illustrations in the book are gorgeous!

And, for any military family that has young children, this book is ADORABLE!

I know several families of deployed soldiers that mail a book to Daddy while he is deployed, have one of his buddies record him reading the book, and mail the recording back home for the kids to enjoy. This would be the perfect book for something like that! Both books are available at

That's all for today! I'm off to read the stack of new holiday mags that I picked up at Borders. :0) Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bring on the Christmas!

So, I took a nice little weekend break from blogging, but definitely not from crafting! I've got a lot of new stuff to share with you this week. But, since it was such a big project, I will just share my completed Christmas Idea Book:

I am forever tearing and cutting Christmas ideas out of all the holiday magazines. I have folders full of recipes, crafts, gift ideas, and decorating tips. And, finally, I have a pretty place to organize them all. The book was made almost entirely of the new Love, Elsie Noel line (with some Thickers, and various odds-and-ends thrown in for good measure. Look! I even sewed some of the chipboard buttons down the spine of the book:

I covered some manilla envelopes with patterned paper, and put some velcro fasteners on to keep them closed. Now, I have a place to slide recipes and craft patterns:

There are a ton more pictures of the entire project. I won't bore you with all of them here, but if you want to check them out, look here or here.

There were lots of other Christmasy-type things going on around here this weekend. Even nature is feeling the holiday spirit, and dumping snow on us for the past couple of days! Let's see...did a little Christmas shopping with Tina yesterday. And, I managed to chip away at the gift list that I have remaining to buy. I got these ADORABLE plates, and set of linen cocktail napkins for my great-aunt and great-uncle:

And, this cute little guy is a dip bowl with a spreader.

I'm going to buy some dip mixes to go with it at the Christmas Craft Emporium next weekend. I love the Christmas craft fair here in Anchorage. I haven't been in years, and I'm so freakin' excited!

I spent last night crafting and watching Deck The Halls. Seriously cute movie. It's the first Christmas movie in years that I have actually like. Well, I guess that's not true. I love The Family Stone, and The Holiday. Deck The Halls was one of my Netflix that I have right now, but I will definitely be buying it! So, if you're looking for a funny movie to put you in the holiday mood, check it out! :0)

Instead of just sharing one gift idea today, I'll share this online store Spoon Sisters. Seriously. In love with this store. They have TONS of great stocking-stuffer ideas! Like these ADORABLE olive candles. I'm a martini FREAK! So, I just adore these little fellows:

Or, these awesome little skully key caps (they're definitely on my wishlist!):

Or, how about these beer bands?!? I actually own some of these. Like wine glass charms...for the beer conisuire.

I could go on and on about all of the cool stuff on this site, but I will just let you check it our for yourselves. :0) I hope everyone had a great weekend! I'll be back tomorrow with some felt goodies that I made...

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I'm so excited to finally have a blog header! You have no idea how long this took me. I thought I could just whip the design out with the quickness. I had it all planned out in my head. But, you know, it hardly ever goes down on paper the exact same way. And, I wanted it to be P.E.R.F.E.C.T. So, I took forever working, and reworking all of the elements. And, at about 4 o'clock this afternoon, I had something that I adored. That new Love, Elsie Zoe line is killer! I love, love, love all the bright colors! Gorgeous. And, oh so fun!

Then, trying to get it sized correctly for my blog took another minute...or 90. But, yay! It's finally here! That's about all I had time to wrap up for today, though. It all just took a little longer than planned. But, as soon as I get the kids in bed, I have another project that should get completed to share tomorrow.

Took the kids to have their Christmas pictures made today. They are adorable. I'll share them as soon as I get them in my e-mail. We also got some good Christmas shopping in. And, Gymboree's new holiday styles for little girls...AMAZING! I wish I had the money to buy a ton of it! But, I managed to pick up a couple of cute pieces for Hazel. That was about all for today.

So, here's the gift for the day. I am totally diggin' on I found this site back in the beginning of the year, and still have yet to order from them. They are kind of pricey. But, you send them your photos and can have them turned into Warhol-inspired pieces:

Or Lichtenstein-style:

They also do some more customized styles, and even silhouettes. Their work is amazing! Just send them your photos...of anything...people, pets, whatever. Pick your style, and they'll print it up for you...even on canvas! I wanted to have one done of my mom's schnauzer as a Christmas gift for her. But, I'm running out of money. So, maybe I'll save this idea for her 60th birthday in February. It's definitely something that I will be getting done of our dog...if we ever get one.

Well, I'm off to read blogs while the kids finish up playing before bed. Adios amigas! Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I know, I know...

I promised some crafty eye candy for the next several days. Heck, it will actually probably be for the next several weeks with how much I have in the works! But, I'm at a bottleneck people! I literally have about 20 projects that just need to be pushed through. And, there are about 10 ideas that I haven't even started on yet. But, alas, there will be no eye candy today. *sigh*

This is mainly due to the fact that I have been out of the house all day, shopping guessed it...crafty and scrapbooking supplies. I spent a wad on the new Love, Elsie Zoe and Noel stuff at my LSS! I wanted it ALL, but I was fairly good with my purchases...under $100. But, I have such grand plans for it all. I also made a long stop at JoAnn's for some odds and ends. And, even went to Michael's in attempt to purchase the new issue of Adorn that was SUPPOSED to be on shelves yesterday. Per usual, Alaska stores are behind schedule.

I also had to make a trip to the pharmacy for some much needed relief. I have a wretched nervous stomach, and horrible anxiety. I've dealt with it on and off for most of my adult life. I worry. All the time. About everything. I worry about big things, small things, things that I have absolutely no control over, I worry entirely too much about what other people name it, I worry about it. I worry until I make myself sick to my stomach. And, that, in turn, makes me lose my appetite (which, obviously, only amplifies the stomach ache). It's been a while since I've been through one of these spells. But, I have been reeling all week long. And, I don't like to take the anti-anxiety meds. They make me all wonky. You know what they say...sometimes the cure is worse than the sickness. How true. But, I've had ENOUGH of the stomach ache. So, now that I have some meds in-hand, I will hopefully get some relief.

And, I promise to come back tomorrow with something nifty to share. And, is everything goes as planned, I will FINALLY have a blog header up here! It's about time, right? Anyway, in honor of my promise of gifts recommendations, here goes:

Cheryl & Co....ever hear of them? If not, you have got to check them out!

Those cookies are TO. DIE. FOR. There is always someone on my Christmas list that gets a box of these. The frosted sugar cookies are the yummiest! And, if you have a deployed soldier on your shopping list, they ship to APO/AE boxes at NO EXTRA CHARGE! Most food gift companies don't ship to APO/AE's at all...let alone without charging extra. Just one more reason to love Cheryl & Co.

And, since I didn't have any craftiness to share, you get 2 for the price of one on the gift guide today. I love this. Seriously. Love it. For the single girl on your list...

The Perfect Man Coloring and Activity Book. Priceless, and available at Retro Recess.

And, I just have to leave you with this because it absolutely scared the hell out of me. Everyone familiar with the child craft product Aqua Dots? I'm painfully aware of them because every time Hazel sees them advertised on t.v., she reminds me that she wants them for Christmas. Seriously, people...don't buy them, take them away from your kids if they already have them, and spread the word. The glue that was supposed to be used was replaced (in Chinese factories, no less) with a dangerous chemical that, when ingested, metabolizes into GHB. That's right people, the date rape drug. It has already killed or seriously injured at least 3 children in the US. Here's a link to the article. Pass it on.

Sorry for the horrendously long post. If you've made it this far, thanks for joining me today. And, I'll see you tomorrow with some crafty yumminess!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As promised...

Finally, some craftiness! I managed to crank out my Christmas cards in the good old-fashioned assembly lineage. Here's my favorite style:

And, style #2:

And, style #3:

These have to be my favorite Christmas cards that I've made ever, ever, ever! I love how they turned out. And, anyone who knows me, knows that the sewing machine and I are not on good terms. So, yes, that's hand-stitching on those cards. All 20 of them! That was some serious time in front of the t.v. sewing away! :0) There is a 4th style, but I need to finish up the prototype tonight. I'll post it up tomorrow. Wow! I can't believe that I'm alreaady done with my Christmas cards, and it's not even Thanksgiving! That's a total first for me. I still have to write in them, and I hope to have them in the mail the week after Thanksgiving.

And, here's a gift that I made for someone special.

It is modeled after a project that Heather did over at Poppy Ink. Although, I did add several of my own touches. For one, I used a circle punch on this design of Love, Elsie's Jack + Abby line, to punch out the "shingles" for the roof. I was never quite sure what to do with that paper, but I'm so glad I came up with that idea! I really like the look it gives. And, the door to the house is on hinges. It opens to reveal a special message for the recipient. I had tons of fun making this little project. Thanks for the inspiration, Heather!

And, in the spirit of the Christmas shopping season that is upon us, I will try to include one unique gift idea in each of my posts between now, and Christmas. Although, this isn't really a gift, I am in love with this wrapping paper from Whimsy Press.

And, their pom-pom ribbon is irresistable!

Well, my bloggy friends, that's all for today. I'm off to crank out some more creativeness. Stay tuned...