Friday, February 28, 2014

it's time for CALVINBALL!

are you ready for some CALVINBALL?  what?  never heard of it?  if you're into scrapbooking, socializing, smack talking, and a general, raucous, happy good time, then come on over and JOIN US!

p.s. if you join and mention that i told you, i get a bonus point for a new recruit!  and new recruits get a bonus point as first time players!  see!  fun game!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

menu plan: blue and gold donuts

you probably assume that i'm cooking up a storm even when i'm not blogging about it.  that sad truth is that is not the case.  something about the weekly discipline of blogging about it keeps me doing it.  otherwise, what we eat is way too haphazard.  must do better, right? 

and while we're talking about my shortcomings, i might as well go ahead and admit that i do not get things done ahead of time.  like making blue and gold donut cupcakes that i've never made before.  i definitely should have had a practice run earlier this week.  i had this great idea to squeeze the juice out of the blueberries in the freezer and add that to the cake mix instead of the water that the recipe called for.  it truly was a great idea, unfortunately, the cake mix that i had was yellow.  butter yellow + blueberry purple = grey sludge.  they tasted good, but we're not appropriate for a public appearance.  i totally had to buy a box of white cake mix after church and attempt round two.  these turned out better, but still need some work.  the glaze is thanks to an emergency phone call to my sister.  it's just confectioners sugar with lemon juice drizzled in till it reaches the right consistency and then add a drop of yellow food coloring.  maybe now that i've christened the donut pan, i will actually research and bake a real donut recipe.  maybe.

the good thing about being a mom is that the kid thinks my paltry efforts are amazing.  he loved  squishing the blueberries, he loved eating the donut cupcakes, and he proudly hauled the box into the blue and gold banquet for the silent auction.  i love that kid.

this week's menu plan:
sunday - blue and gold banquet
monday - rotisserie chicken, potatoes, and green beans
tuesday - cooking with tammy (tortilla soup?)
wednesday - dinner at church
thursday - bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches
friday - open
saturday - potato soup and grilled cheese (i WILL find a potato soup recipe this week!)

project life: finally using those core kits

my friends and i have been swapping project life core kits over the past year.  i probably have portions of six kits.  maybe more.  i love them, but i just don't use them.  until now.  i've finally figured out the problem.  i've gotten so used to scrapping with a kit that it's hard to work without one.  doh.  i know the project life core kits are indeed kits unto themselves, but for an embellishment driven scrapper, it's just not enough.  well, a couple months ago, i joined freckled fawns embellishment kit club, oh deer me.  it's the perfect merger!  these pages were all done with the sunshine project life kit and bits from oh deer me (mostly the february kit).  yay!

i'm also pleased to note that i'm making progress in using my stamps.  i used  five stamps from the febraury kit here.  woot!  the little gold crowns above were made with embossing powder.  they actually say "he" and "she."  so cute.

once again, it worked out that i had a layout to work on next to a project life page.  i challenged myself to use the same set of products on it, the sunshine core kit and the freckled fawn february kit.

i ended up using one 3x4 card and three 4x6 cards.  major bonus as the 4x6 cards always seem harder for me to use in my project life pages.  i think i tend to fill those slots up with pictures mostly.

and now i must get back to scrapping!  i think i've gone two weeks without doing anything.  eeps!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

masterful scrarpbook design: office hours today!

hello friends!  i'm having "rule play" office hours tonight as we wind down a great two months of seminars and classes at masterful scrapbook design.  looking forward to chatting!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

jbs mercantile: i love you

i had a few spare moments before bed the other night and wasn't in the mood to scrap, so i took the time to tidy my photo files from the last six months.  i unearthed this unshared layout from way back in october.  look!  it's radiant orchid, lol.

it was created with my september jbs mercantile kits.  bonus.  jenni has several of the past kits on sale right now.

quality literature: clover

back in my north carolina days, a friend found a cookbook by this author at a yard sale and bought it for me.  she cleverly modified the cover a tiny bit, so that it was my own name, "doris sander."  we laughed.  i need to find that cookbook, because i know i wouldn't have gotten rid of it in my moving purge last year.  it was a gift, after all.  i think that might be where the few handwritten recipes i wanted to keep are located.  i'm still searching for a good potato soup recipe, and i'm thinking one might be in there.

i actually didn't know this author had written a novel as well.  i happened to come across it in a discard pile at my morning high school and decided to bring it home.  i finally got around to reading it this past weekend and enjoyed it immensely.  it's a quick read; i think it's probably considered a young adult novel.  i finished it in 2 evenings.  what i loved about it is that it reminded me so much of my youth, growing up in the deep south.  it's actually even set in the 80's, although, thank goodness, you won't find any overt references to 80's pop culture in it.  it's a very gently told story of two cultures learning to live together more gracefully.  it's written in a series of vignettes that hop around from topic to topic, but always weave together with a purpose in the end of each chapter.  yes, i did indeed enjoy it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

one little word: jbs mercantile february gallery updates

here's the next installment of my holiday album.  i think january is mostly completed and now i'm starting in on february.  i am absolutely having so much fun with this project.  i think it might be my most favorite scrapbook project ever.  this is the intro to february, created with a couple amazing pieces from the february jbs mercantile antiquarian kit (the dt gallery has been updated, btw.  be sure to check it out for some more amazing inspiration!).

 the rest of these pages are mostly from the january kits.  i finally got my intro page done!  hooray!

this page makes me SO hungry.  i challenged myself to make a soup a week in january and now i'm thinking i should still be making a soup a week, like, forever.  love, love, love soup!

crack me up.  i do not like peas.  some of you may not be aware, but black eyed peas is a southern tradition to bring luck if eaten on new year's day.  i don't need that kinda luck.  ha!

my seminoles winning the rose bowl and national championship.  oh that was a happy day!

and this page on the left is an idea that i've picked up from corrie jones.  i love the way she makes a page about herself each month.  i've decided to borrow that concept for each month in my holiday album.  last year i challenged myself to take a pic of my son and i each month.  this year i want to continue with that, but i'm going to add journaling about what we're each doing/loving that month.

when i started this project, i had no idea what direction it would take.  now with a month under my belt, i've got some definite ideas about what i'd like to include each month.  these are:

a pretty, festive intro page for each month (and probably an overlay with it too)
a photo of my son and i and the accompanying journaling
a page of quotes for the month
a page of recipes
a calendar with birthdays
holidays highlighted

so, so fun.  this has helped me stay on track with my one little word and is actually making me feel happier each month.  no kidding.  :)

happy presidents' day!

what are you up to?  lucky me!  public school teachers in our county have the day off today!  woot!  i celebrated by dressing g and his little buddy up as abe and george.  bwahahaha!  they were not so much impressed.  abe was easy as we still had the hat we made for g's pumpkin project.  george i wasn't sure about, but a friend's dh mentioned baby powder.  eureka!  unfortunately, i didn't check my settings, so the photos turned out a little grainy.  i knew i wouldn't get redo from the boys, but oh well.  it was still fun.  next year, i might attempt dressing the cats up a la the dainty squid.  that might be easier than playing dress up with two minecraft consumed boys.
currently, i'm listening to a friend's new podcast: ScrapGals.  i LOVE it!  this first episode is such a walk down memory lane for me.  tiffany and tracie have such a warm camraderie and the gift for gab just flows.  i have to go run a few errands, but when we get home this evening, i am looking forward to hearing their thoughts on love and mini-albums.  i'd also like to do a little scrapping myself.  you?

happy (belated) valentine's day

i have been sleepy for the last several days and have just not had the energy to blog after all the day's regular activity and work are finished.  i think i slept well enough last night and i'm two days into a new prescription for iron pills, but i still figured i'd better start presidents' day with the valentine's day blog post just in case the sleepies hit again later on.

i simply can't skip valentines' day even though i'm three days late in posting it, as i'm sure i'll enjoy reading and remembering it next year.  here is my february mantel.  you're right!  it's a stripped down version of christmas.  turns out the base pieces are just so easy to adapt for the next holiday.  i also kept my flower bedecked stag.  he may stay up through spring.

i crocheted all these cute little hearts and strung them on a length of crochet thread.  this pattern was simple and quick, quick.  the pompoms i bought and strung as well.  these sure came in handy for the school's photobooth.  and i was proud that they got a trip out in public.

i had gabriel draw me a new picture to tack up.  he is so sweet like that.

and i bought myself flowers.  i'm not sure why i never do that.  i mean, i buy the kinds with roots all spring and summer, but for some reason i have been resistant to purchasing cut flowers.  perhaps i will turn over a new leaf.  they are very pretty and happy.

valentines' day itself was a happy one too.

my day started with a gifted breakfast at mcdonald's
i then helped orchestrate gifts between young love at my morning high school
my students remembered me with chocolate and flowers
i helped run the valentines' day photo booth at the afternoon high school
my son reported that his valentines were a hit again this year
my dad called to chat
g and i caught dinner and a movie at providence cinemas
the lego movie was much more entertaining than i expected
i bought myself flowers and girl scout cookies on the way home

life is good.  i hope you were able to find some sparks of loveliness in your day as well.  :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

quality literature: the shack

i'm sure that if you've heard of "the shack," you've heard good things or bad things or both, depending on your religious circles.  if you've not heard of it, it's basically one man's views on various aspects of theology told through a somewhat radical fictional story.  my sister actually mentioned it to me over a year ago and it was recently brought back to mind by a speaker in a wednesday night class on loss at my church.  i honestly feel like this isn't the place to share my thoughts on what i may have liked or disliked about the book.  that would do better in a one-on-one conversation.  "the shack" is a book that should be left to speak to each individual on a personal level.  i think i will leave it at that.

incidentally, i was feeling stressed last night about a work conversation that had gone on earlier in the day.  i woke up at 11:30 and flopped around in bed for the next three hours, not thinking about much of anything, but not being able to sleep either.  i also finished this book last night.  its final message of forgiveness is pretty powerful, but human stubbornness runs deep.  this morning i woke up tired, crabby, way late, and still struggling with inner turmoil.  i pulled into the drive through at mcd's on the way to work.  as is often the case, i was irritated by someone who neglected to read the traffic signs in the gas station parking lot and was going the wrong way to get in the breakfast line up.  i went ahead and let him in ahead of me.  i wish i could say that i did it graciously, but i did not.  i did it, because at 43 i've trained myself to choose kindness as often as humanly possible.  i ordered my hotcakes, large coke, and a chocolate chip frappe for one of my student's to give to his girlfriend.  at the checkout window my credit card was declined, not from insufficient funds, but because the man in front of me left me the message, "i've paid your bill, jesus loves you, and happy valentine's day."

i am so grateful for the clear reminder that i am loved.immeasurably more than i can ask or imagine.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

valentine blizzard

per usual, we are assembling our valentines in the 11th hour.  if you were around last year or the year before, you know that we're working our way through the plastic animal collection from his younger days.  this year's contribution is the lizard.  we found 29 in his stash.  his 4th grade class is a bumper crop of 26.  luckily, we've got it covered.

i struggled quite a bit coming up with a catch-y phrase for his cards this year. indeed, i did not come up with one. pinterest only yielded "iguana be your valentine" and "leaping lizards! it's valentine's day!" now both are relatively cute in their own rights. the problem lies within me and my literal mind. the lizards we had were mostly anoles with a few basilisks, chameleons, and bearded dragons. maybe just two or three iguanas in the lot. i have a degree in biology. you see the problem, right? and then, well, "leaping lizards!" only makes sense to me if i include a photo of little orphan annie. children of the 80's would get it, but g's classmates would not. dear me. i finally stumbled upon this cute poem by shel silverstein and inspiration struck. it's not exactly valentine-y, but it fits the current climatic conditions well enough. we're going with it. truly, you can't really go wrong with a shel silverstein poem.

in case you are interested (for next year, of course), here is last year's valentine design (above)  and the year belore that (below).  while i am a dud at the christmas party each year, i strive to be an overachiever for valentine's day.

fifth grade will be my grand finale.  ugly bugs.  i know you can hardly wait.

podcast: this memory keeper's life

i was a guest on this memory keeper's life podcast this week. you can download it for free HERE.

i'm also participating in the current issue of masterful scrapbook design.  we're discussing "rule play."  here are some peeks at my class samples.  the topic has been so inspiring that i can't seem to stop creating layouts based on the class prompts.  being a scrapping rebel is so much fun!  you can see a couple of these bonus layouts in full HERE, and HERE.  happy scrappies!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

snowbird, groundhog, and mr. president, sir

well.  we got a snow day, but we got no snow.  again.  i shouldn't complain too much as i got a day off work, but still.  i wanted to see snow this winter.  i know, i know.  i hate the cold, so asking for snow is kinda counter productive in my case (except for the time off work, lol).  still.  i like to take pretty snow pictures.  this bitter cold with no snow is just depressing.  i guess snowbird has forsaken tennessee.  in desperation, i turned to for a little glimmer of hope.  something.  anything.  and oh my.  what did i see?  next week is heaven.  monday 57°, tuesday 54°, wednesday 60°, thursday 64°, friday 67°.  hallelujah!  could the groundhog be wrong?  i sure hope so!  i might even paint my toenails on presidents' day.  :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

one photo and twenty words

it was a very good pot pie with only three minor inconveniences. 

"no, thank you." she said to the peas.

linking up with creating paper dreams.

Friday, February 7, 2014

good blog reads

hello friends!  how is life treating you?  it's quite nice here.  i do have a bit of a cold, though.  you know how colds are.  i had been ignoring it all week and then a kindly coworker asked how i was and that's all it took.  colds are pesky things; once you acknowledge them, they think they can burrow in and stay a while.  hmph.  yesterday was parent teacher conferences at school, so i had to work from 7am to 7pm, but this morning only 8:00 to noon.  it was actually nice to get several things done without the kids there.  i feel more on top of things now and that's a very nice feeling.  my little sweet potato got to spend the night with one of his besties last night, so my cold and i made an early night of it.  8:00pm to 7am.  wow!  that felt amazing!  now i am looking forward to baked spaghetti that i did not bake myself and an evening jaunt to michael's (hello! i don't even have to drive) to check out the new heidi swapp goodies that everyone's been instagramming.  it's still cold around these parts, but there's another forecast of snow at the midnight hour.  perhaps we'll wake up to a blanket of white.  my camera is anxious for that.  i hope you have a lovely weekend ahead.  if you're looking for a little extra reading material, here are a few new blogs i've stumbled upon recently.  it's an exceptionally good batch.  enjoy.  :) breathtakingly beautiful photography (not a blog, but worth the time to see and be inspired). boho chic and lots of home decor. photographer, casual outfit posts, this and that, and a few chickens. stunning paper arts. awesome. real. eclectic. home life. a little boho. awesome. eclectic in a kid centric sort of way. a blog written by two teens with aspergers (and their moms sometimes write a little too). way witty.  beautiful photography and thoughts.  and a bit of travel.  more pretty pictures of every day happenings.  and i believe another australian blogger.  i seem to gravitate towards australian bloggers (and bloggers with pastel colored hair, although this one, to my knowledge, does not have pastel colored hair.  what can i say?  more pretty pictures from the southern hemisphere.  the foodie ones make me hungry and yearning for summer.  perhaps that is why i'm loving the blogs from the other side of the world right now.  it's summer there! beautiful lifestyle photographer (and videographer!)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

52 weeks: january squares

i'm five weeks into my 52 week project and loving it!  how fun are these squares?  and looking at them, i am totally amazed that i can document my life in color.  radical!

i'm making two squares per week to ensure that my granny square afghan fits the queen size bed with room to spare.  go big or go home!  for the second square, i'm simply reversing my color sequence for variety (or in the case of the black one, flipping the colors).

week two:  my seminoles played in the rose bowl and winning the national championship!  i actually stress crocheted these during the game.  and ironically, it was the first national championship game that i've ever watched them play in as i was living in guatemala in 1993 and in honduras in 1999.

week three:  represents my kitty, chichi.  she's grey and white with green eyes and a little pink nose.

week four:  martin luther king, jr's birthday.  i so appreciate the way he lived his life.

week five:  coming home (basketball homecoming) at my morning high school.  go bears!

i know the color mix when they are all together is rather outlandish, but i like it.  i just love color.  i mean, who doesn't love opening up a 64 count box of crayolas?

i'm going to enjoy watching this stack grow this year.  :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

quality literature: the girls of atomic city

i highly recommend "the girls of atomic city." it is packed with science, history, and sociology, yet reads like a novel.  i was mesmerized and learned so much.  it has also made me ponder many things.  to borrow a harper lee quote that has been circulating on pinterest of late, "the book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one which makes you think."  i believe she would approve of this one.

and on a side note,  i have finally learned how to borrow books electronically from my public library.  why have i never bothered doing this before?  it has revolutionized my reading schedule.  shebang! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

jbs mercantile: february reveal

the kits are live over at jbs mercantile and the design team gallery is loaded with lots of pretty things.  per usual, i cut into the antiquarian kit right away.  i just always find that the motifs in there really speak to me.  this month it was the little ads for women's wigs and hair care products.  i had a hard time cutting into them, but i felt like that woman went perfectly with this layout.  i didn't really want a picture of myself distracting from the one of my son sleeping (on the night before he turned ten, TEN!  how can that be?), but i think the little illustration works well to represent me.

i am also still into the patterned paper barcode words and used another on this layout, "be loved."

and it worked out nicely again to use the same supplies on the facing page in my project life spread.

i worked in some more of the vintage hair care ads with my little pinterest buns and used some of lisa dickinson's exclusive (aqua) patterned paper to separate the birthday day pictures from the rest of the spread.  the numbers for "10" are leftover from last month's kits.  i'm getting a lot of mileage out of those.

and i've used the exclusive scattered hearts stencil already too!  i added little heat embossed hearts to a couple of the tickets.  so cute!  if you're looking for more inspiration today, head on over to the gallery.  you'll see the girls are "in love" with this month's kits.  :)