Thursday, October 30, 2008

House full of...

sick. That's what I've got. A husband who got an infection after a minor surgery. A little girl that started out with a fairly bad cold yesterday, but who woke up with an even worse one today (and a stomach flu to boot). And, a little boy that has been quite a bit on the sniffly side himself. Oh, and did I mention that mom doesn't feel so hot either? Ah... 'tis the season for colds and flus!

I really miss being little, and having my mom take care of me while I'm sick. Now, I'm on the giving side of the nursing-back-to-health. And, usually, I don't mind. I rather relish in the moments that my little ones actually sit still long enough for me to love on them, and baby them. But, when all I feel like doing is crawling back into bed myself... not so much fun. It's a happy ship I'm runnin' around here today I tell 'ya.

I did make some beer bread. Such comfort food. And, so freakin' easy. Perfect to sop up yummy warm soup with. Not so much on the healthy side, though.


Beer Bread
3 C self-rising flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 can of room-temperature beer

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

No need to get fancy with the beer. I just used a can of Bud Light from our Halloween party stash. Although, it might be interesting to see what kind of flavor a nice bottle of pumpkin ale would add. I'll have to try that sometime. Just make sure the beer is room temp, and that the flour is SELF-RISING.

Speaking of the Halloween party, it went very well. Sadly, I didn't take many pictures. I spent the evening playing busy-little-hostess. I did get some photos of the kids in their costumes before the party. Hazel as Fancy Nancy...


And, Luka as a handsome little vampire. I think this may very well be my absolute favorite picture as of late...


With all of this sickness, being creative hasn't been high on my to-do list. Actually, anything that involves getting out of bed isn't high on the to-do list. So, I'll share a little banner that I completed a few days ago...



Both of my nieces (and Hazel) will be receiving handmade banners with their names on them for Christmas this year. My niece, Paige's, banner is the first one that I have completed. I was careful to ask my sister-in-law what colors the girls' rooms are done in these days. Paige's is al pink and purple. I can't wait until Christmas to find out if she likes it! I also entered this banner in Prima's Build-A-Book contest (it was made from one of their clear scalloped circle Build-A-Books). So, wish me luck!

Hopefully, I'll be back this weekend feeling a little bit better with something crafty to share...

Monday, October 20, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

but, won't be getting. LOL! Bryan and I decided to pass on Christmas gifts for each other this year. With the economy as bad as it is and some pay mistakes made by the military, things are tight. This year, it's just gonna' be for the kids. Well, the kids AND all of the family that we have to buy gifts for. But, if we were exchanging gifts, these would all be on my list...


Bebe Moon mostly sells adorable baby goodies. But, I love that tree trunk pillow. I suppose it would go nicely in Hazel's room, but I think I'd rather keep it for myself. ;0)


Love this little necklace from Block Party Press. Truth be told, I love all of their stuff. Lots of woodgrain, people. It's a good thing.


Lauren Alane. Man, that girl can felt! Her little owlies are the cutest things ever ever! But, you HAVE to be Johnny-on-the-spot because almost as soon as she updates the shop, her little creatures are sold out. I've signed up for her e-mail list, known about the last couple of shop updates, and have yet to get my hands on one. SHe updates again in November. I'm determined to be there.


Life With Tigers was a new store to me. I came across it while searching for mushroom-related items. Their shop is full of fun stuffies. Definitely into the Etsy faves.


Oh, Little Odd Forest, how I love thee. Every last little thing in their shop is right up my alley. But, these tree trunk coasters are the bestest.


More cute little toadstools from Morninglori.


The gal that is muntedkowhai makes some fabulous crocheted necklaces. I think this one has to be my favorite.


My Imaginary Boyfriend is full of lots of felt goodness. Who doesn't need a tree trunk pin cushion? I know I do. They also have some amazing log pillows.


Doesn't it look like a little gnome could just come running out of there at any second? Petite House makes these adorable, well, petite houses. It's another one that you have to RIGHT THERE at shop update time. Again, I've always missed out.


Of all things on my list, these owls are the top of the top. The materials they're made from... wow. No two creatures are alike. They're from Skunkboy Creatures.


Last, but not least, this cute print from Stephanie Dos Reis. There is actually a whole set of fun little kitchen prints that she has. I want them all for my, um, kitchen.

Looking back at this post, I'm sensing some sort of woodland theme (aside from the toast print, and the crocheted necklace). I guess that's just what I'm into these days... without even realizing it. Ah... Etsy window shopping. It's good for the soul. Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ta da!

Here are the layouts from October's Label Tulip kit in all their glory...

We are trying a new thing at LT and, instead of doing a lift from our monthly guest designer, we are taking turns selecting a layout from the member gallery each month to lift. This month, we selected the talented Mette Kallander. Here's her original layout:


And, here's my take:


My mini-book from Ali Edwards' "A Week In The Life" project:



You can view more of the album here.

This month, our challenge at LT was to create a layout or project that was inspired by fabric. I selected this dress of my daughter's:


And, this is my page:



Finally, a page inspired by the song "Shopping Trolley" from Beth Orton...


Lovin' that song lately. So, I'll leave you with this little video...


Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Last of the sneaks...

Here are the last 2 of my sneaks...




Not a whole lot of projects this month (by the numbers, anyway), but that mini-book in the first sneak here took FOREVER and a lot of product! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the final project come reveal night. So, be sure to tune in to LT tomorrow night for the full reveal at 6pm PST. I'll be there... with bells on. ;0)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just a couple...

I promised a couple of sneaks tonight, so I will deliver. There is a mini-book and another LO that I wasn't able to take pictures of today. So, for now, these will have to do...



And, here's a page I did for the current challenge at Say It In Scrap. The challenge was to scrap "What was I thinking?!?"


I had the "brilliant" idea of putting a little boom box in Luka's room after he was born. It was used, at the time, to play soft lullaby music to help him sleep. As of late, it has been used to blast Hazel's music selection of choice (lately... Beth Orton), while she dances wildly about, singing at the top of her lungs. Don't get me wrong... it's adorable... at first. After about the 100th round of Beth Orton's "Conceived" being belted out, it gets a little old. Just a little. Yup. No more Beth Orton for me. What was I thinking putting that in his room?!? LOL!

Well, I'll be back tomorrow with the last of the LT sneaks. See you then!

apples & oranges

So, we finally made it to the apple orchard this weekend. It may have been a 4 hour drive up into the mountains, but it was oh so worth it. Just look at all of those apples!

And, to think I was worried about it being a little too late in the season to have much left to pick from. We ended up with a half bushel of apples. And, in case you don't know what a half bushel is... let's just say it's more apples than I know what to do with. We've given some to a couple of our neighbors, and even managed to pawn off some of our stash on these little guys that lived at the orchard:

Anyway, anyone with any exceptional recipes using apples, please send them my way! I'm already planing on an apple pie in the next couple of days. Perhaps an adventure in apple butter-making. We'll see.

We had so much fun at the orchards. Everyone got in on the picking...




And, Hazel found this littlest of applets...

She promptly declared, "This is my little friend, and I shall call her Lily." She has yet to put it down since. The child is weird... what can I say?

Anyway, after we hauled back our apple treasures, had them counted and bagged, and picked up some fresh-pressed apple cider (YUM!), it was off to the pumpkin patch (here's where the "oranges" part comes in). Look at this perfect selection we had to choose from:

These weird little fellows immediately struck Hazel's fancy...

Luka was drawn to this enormous guy...

Seriously. That was the biggest pumpkin I have ever seen available at a patch. We couldn't even lift the freakin' thing! Of course, Hazel had to have her picture taken with it too...

Apple and pumpkin pickin' is hungry business! After a couple of hours at the orchard, we drove back into the town of Flat Rock, NC. Little did I know, this was one of the towns I had recently read about in an issue of Souther Living. I immediately recognized this store from the article, though...

Inside The Wrinkled Egg, there was a fabulous restaurant. It was a little rustic deli with a brick oven that they fired pizzas in. It was very reminiscent of some of my favorite sandwich and pizza spot in Anchorage. Places like that are nearly impossible to find in this neck of the woods. And, the food was soooo... yummy! Hazel and Luka shared some hearty baked potato soup...

And, Bryan and I shared a delicious BBQ chicken pizza...

It was a fabulous trip... one that I hope to repeat on a yearly basis. I hope everyone else had as wonderful a weekend as we did. Stay tuned tomorrow for some Label Tulip sneaks!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rah! Rah! Sis-boom-ba!

So, Monday was Hazel's first cheerleading demonstration. It was at The Lee County Fair. Pretty small potatoes, but she is just getting geared up for the big competition season ahead. They don't even have their uniforms yet, so they just had to cheer in their warm-up gear. It was so much fun to watch her! Unfortunately, the lighting really sucked, and I forgot to bring my good flash. Not to mention, I couldn't get right in front to get any pictures. So, I ended up with some crappy ones at best. *Note to self...stake out front-row seats ASAP, and bring pro flash to next competition.

For a county fair cheerleading demonstration, the arena was PACKED! I was a wee bit worried that she would freak out at the last minute, and not want to go on the mats. On the contrary, she was quite the little show-stopper. She went out there all smiles...totally gang-busters. That's my girl!

I had never seen the routine all put together, and was really impressed with how well such tiny little girls did with their routine. They don't let the parents stay to watch during practice... it distracts the little ones. So, other than the nightly solo practices in our living room (you really don't get the full effect...lol!), I had no idea what to expect. It was adorable. I had to choke back some tears... little girl is just getting so big.

Now, I love a good fair, but this one was rather lacking in most departments. No good food. Not many animals. No rides for small kids. And, only a couple of games. But, leave it to Luka to find the one cow in the place that wants to lick his face. I have no pictures of the actual face-licking... or the hysterical screaming that ensued. But, this little guy was the culprit:

And, these ladies gave new meaning to the game of "chicken fight":

They spent the better part of 10 minutes seemingly trying to peck each other's eyes out. There were even about 4 more hens that joined the brawl eventually. It was all a rather sad sight to behold.

I wish I had some cooler fair pics to share, but like I said... it was rather lacking. I'm hoping to have lots of fun snaps to share after our apple orchard adventure this weekend! Laters...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

not much to say

We've been really busy, but not up to much. Does that make any sense? It seems life is currently full of tedious, time-consuming chores and not much fun stuff to share. But, we all have those times in life, don't we? Not to mention, every "fun" plan we have tried to make, was immediately ruined by the army. Ah, such is military life. But, I determined, come hell or high water to get to that apple orchard in the mountains this weekend. Bryan has secured a 4-day pass, we've saved up some money, the camera batteries are at full-charge, and we are ready to go! I can't wait until Saturday!

In the meantime, I will be doing lots of creating with my October Label Tulip goodies. This kit...oh, this kit...it is the best. I love every single little piece of it! I honestly have to say, it is my favorite LT kit of all-time. I just got it yesterday afternoon, and I'm already half-way through a mini-book using my whole "Week In The Life" project that I followed from Ali's blog last week. That project has been so much fun, and such an eye-opener. I can't wait to share my mini! If you'd like a sneak at some of October's goodies to tide you over, you can check out the tutorial for these flowers:

They are made entirely from product in this month's kits, and the tutorial can be found on The Label Tulip Blog. That's right... the LT blog is back up and running. It's been a few months, but the new Tulip Girls have come along, dusted the old blog off, and got it lookin' pretty! We'll be taking turns posting 2-3 techniques, projects, or challenges each week. So, be sure to check back often! This is my week and in addition to the flowers, I have a fun Halloween project to share, and another technique. Stay tuned!

And, speaking of flowers, check out my paper bouquet at The Chatterblog. So much fun to make! I'm thinking these might work their way into a nice little Etsy adventure come the first of the year. ;0)

In all of the busy-ness lately, my blog reading and e-mail answering has gotten neglected. I haven't forgotten about any of you. And, since Bryan is on yet ANOTHER 24 hour shift tonight, I'm thinking some catch-up might be on the schedule. Or, maybe I'll just stay up all night playing with my Label Tulip goodies. Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Feelin' a little woodsy!

Well, I finally finished up my banner. I'm really lovin' all the woodgrain and friendly woodland animals that have made themselves at home here. I hadn't really thought about it until yesterday, but that old banner had been up there for just about a year now. Eek! I think it was time for a change. I'm still not finished (or 100% satisfied), but I'm working on it. And, thanks for the tips Lisa... it's a work in progress.

I haven't done a whole heck of a lot this week. At least, it doesn't feel like I have. I did manage to finish up my ATC's for the "Skulls & All Things Spooky" swap over at SIS...

I procrastinated a little on those, so it feels good to have them on their way to their new homes!

Anyone else participating in Ali's "A Week In The Life" project? I have found it really challenging photo-wise, but I am really enjoying the experience. I'm thinking that the finished project might be seen popping up in my Label Tulip projects for October. Our goodies should be on their way to us in the next few days, and I cannot wait. October's kits are GORGEOUS! And, they have a couple of things in them that I have been wanting to get my hands on forever.

Speaking of Label Tulip... I am hosting a Christmas ornament swap over there. You can check out the details on that here. Sign-ups are open until October 20th, so get on over there and sign-up! There will not be a limit to the number of swappers...the more the merrier! Not a Label Tulip subscriber? No problem. You can still participate in the forum. You don't have to subscribe to participate in the swap, either. But, the gals there are great, and after you've checked it out...how can you not fall in love with the fabulous kits that Cindee and Cathy put together!?!

Well, that's it. That's all I've got. Happy Thursday!