Saturday, November 30, 2013

haiku 1110

late fall blossoms
trimmed in winter white
sparkle on, summer, sparkle on

Friday, November 29, 2013

winner! winner! turkey dinner!

before i forget for another second, the winner of the "your december story" class is:
  1. We are excited for our annual evening of Gingerbread house building! Even now that two of my boys are teenagers, they still love this fun, artistic and festive tradition and it certainly provides me with some GREAT photo ops!
    Reply Delete
lori, please email me at and i'll get your class pass sent to you!

thanksgiving week has been delightful per usual.  g is spending it in arkansas with his tia and primas and having a wonderful time.  they have already sent me a photo for project life and i'm currently awaiting his nightly phone call.  while i miss him, it's also nice to have a little time alone, although i haven't really had much time alone since i have so many wonderful friends.  wednesday i spent chatting with christy and managed to create three christmas layouts with the december jbs mercantile kits (peek below).  she is apparently a good influence on me.  yesterday was spent at sherri's.  in a word, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  and the thanksgiving mini-album was a big hit with everyone.

today i have remained in my jammies while online cropping with more peeps from get it scrapped!  i've had lots of computer-y type work to do, so no scrapping today, but even work is nicer with someone(s) to talk to.  i did manage to leave the house briefly for a walk around the neighborhood.  i'm trying out elise's #mileaday challenge.  i thought it would be good for me as i've been such a slug since the days got shorter and colder.  you can see that i remained in my jammies though.  the neighbors don't care.  maybe you can also see that santa needs to bring me a new pair of running shoes.  ha! 

tomorrow i must tidy the house and then chelle is coming over to scrap.  glad i'm caught up on my computer work!  my little sweet potato comes home tomorrow night!  hooray!  just in time too, as sunday we have to go work on our cub scout float for the christmas parade.  and then lillie is taking me on a goodwill scavenger hunt, so g will have to play minecraft with her boy i suppose.  i don't think he'll mind.

did you catch the little peek of the jbs mercantile papercrafting kit?  i think that santa stamp is fairly irresistible.  but if you need more incentive, if you sign up for a november membership (still available with the mini-album kit and you have one more day) you'll get a bonus add-on kit AND all subscribers will get a bonus $25 goodie bag from jbs with their december kit.  WOW!!! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

jbs mercantile: thanksgiving mini-album

i got my thanksgiving mini-album hostess gift completed with time to spare!  hooray!  my plan with this is to take a photo of all the family units present at our thanksgiving gathering, print a group pic, and have someone from the group journal a gratitude on the facing page.  i think it will work, and i know the hostess will love this reminder of thanksgiving 2013.

i used the november jbs mercantile mini-album kit almost exclusively for this project.  i did add in a few pieces of fancy pants ephemera from the artisan add-on (sold out) and ledger paper and cream cardstock from my stash.

the interior pages all follow this same format.  the back is splatted with tim holtz broken china and mustard seed distress ink.  two 5x5 inch pieces of patterned paper are layered on next.  then on the left is a sheet of 4.5x4.5 inch ledger paper and on the right a piece of 4.5x4.5 inch cream cardstock.  the photo you see here was just thrown on for the photo.  i'll be taking all new photos on thanksgiving day to fill the pages.

it's so fun to have a gift all ready for giving!

there are still a few of the kits available at jbs mercantile, and don't forget about our awesome november membership special!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

menu plan: enchilada soup

i made the enchilada soup recipe last weekend.  it was very pretty.  g said it was good and ate two bowls.  it was a little too hot for me.  i had a fine sheen of sweat on my upper lip and could feel the warmth radiating from just behind my sternum.  perhaps i should have followed the recipe exactly instead of using a pack of taco seasoning instead of the spices listed?  or maybe next time i should skip the spices altogether, as surely a little salt and pepper is sufficient with all that bell pepper, onion, rotel, and enchilada sauce?  things to ponder . . .
not gonna lie.  i'm having a lazy week in the kitchen.
the menu plan:
sunday - leftovers
monday - pork chops, etc.
tuesday - school spirit night at zaxby's
wednesday - dinner at church
thursday - leftovers from international food festival at school
friday - open
saturday - potato soup
p.s. i tried the carnita leftovers (with all the broth and veggie goodness) over rice last week and it was amazing!  definitely a keeper!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Your December Story: Blog Hop + Giveaway!

i mentioned in my december goals that i wanted to get christmas layouts done for the "missing years," 2009-2012.  well, 2009 is in the book!  actually, 2003 (the year my son was born) through 2010 are all now in "the book."  i've transferred all my christmas layouts to a jolly red album that i plan on displaying every year at christmas time.  i think it's going to be a great new tradition for remembering all the special moments of the most wonderful time of the year.

I got a peek at "Your December Story" and I'm giving away a free pass
I checked out lesson 1 of Debbie Hodge's Your December Story this weekend, and I want to tell you about the class and give you a peek at how it's inspired me. And I'm giving away one pass to the class. (If you already purchased the class, you'll get a $24 gift card good for any other GIS/MSD classes.)

Your December Story is shaped around the Hero's Journey
This December, like Dorothy dropped into Oz or Alice tumbled into Wonderland, you will receive a call to adventure. You will move from the ordinary world into a one of magic and tests as the holiday season arrives.

Many of the most-loved and best remembered stories play out in a story form described by Joseph Campbell as "the hero's journey." This class has prompts and page ideas for visual storytelling that have you telling Your December Journey, from the heralds, to the challenges, mentors, special tools and the return to the known world and what you take forward.

You can take the journey and get a $10 gift card . . .
but only through midnight Wednesday, November 20th. When you purchase "Your December Story" by midnight PT, Wednesday, November 20, you also get a $10 gift card that you can use for Get It Scrapped and Masterful Scrapbook Design classes. Click here to purchase Your December Story and get the $10 gift card.

This is what I think of the class and how it inspired me
I'm so glad that I got an early read on Debbie's latest class, Your December Story.  It is amazing, as usual.  In fact, I think the only thing that I would change is to let you all have access to it earlier!  It has totally boosted my Christmas spirit up two or three notches.  I actually got my Christmas CDs before Thanksgiving, and have already begun tackling my long list of December goals!  Thanks, Debbie, for the added holiday sparkle and motivation this year!

See how the rest of the blog hoppers are using this class (and get 20+ more chances to win)
Put your name in the drawing to win the class
Leave a comment telling me a new or old Christmas tradtion that you're excited about this year. I will draw the winner on Thursday, November 21, 2013.  Happy hopping!

Friday, November 15, 2013

jbs mercantile: november gallery updates

november gallery updates are live at jbs mercantile!  i used the mini-album kit to begin this album that i intent to use as a hostess gift for the annual thanksgiving feast that i attend this year.  my plan is to make a basic design for each page, get group photos taken of all the families in attendance, and then have each family write a note of thanks to include along with their photos.  i love it!

and now i need to tell you to not do what i did.  i mean, you can do the inky fun in the background.  that's okay.  i used three colors of tim holtz distress stain (i'll get those for you when i get home).  the blue and yellow i simply splatted and blew (i blew a lot).  the third i used the end of a paint brush to dab at the ink pad and then do the page.  i also sprinkled a little heidi swapp color shine in gold lame (and blew that too).

now the thing to not do.  i broke THREE needles sewing on this cover.  it looks nice, but it was sure destructive.  the first two i broke by trying to sew too close to the binding.  i finally had to sew that last feather separately and then glue it to the page.  the third needle i broke by sewing too fast over the chipboard thickers (which were on the chipboard cover- that's a whole lot of thick).  i finally used the hand crank on the machine to stitch through the last few letters as i was afraid of breaking my last needle and then not being able to scrap for the rest of the night.  i mean, i can't scrap without my machine!  but, no, i wouldn't recommend stitching on that chipboard cover.  sigh.

you can catch more of the design team's amazing work in the gallery!  there's new stuff from corrie, jill, leah, betsy, Amanda, and staci.  go, go, go!

p.s. don't forget to check out the november flea market all decked out in red and green!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

haiku 1109

dawn illuminates 
a harsh edged beauty
laced upon the frozen earth

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

good blog reads

this is the honest abe pumpkin we decorated for g's fall book report project.  so cute.  and now a question.  has fall been acting strangely in your neck of the woods?  we actually had snow flurries today.  ack!

here are a few more blogs i've found that you may want to check out while huddling in front of your space heater.  (if you're warm and toasty on the other side of the world, i envy you right now ;)

the nerd nest. a hodge podge of diy projects (by both husband and wife), project life style memory keeping, books, cooking, and what have you.  just what i like. 

anne-marie loves. another eclectic.  she is a very, very newlywed, who does a mix of simple diy projects, photography, style posts, and a stream-lined version of project life.

kiki cuisine. i know some of you remember jamie waters.  well, her oldest daughter is in college and blogging now!  it's a charming little foodie blog with some super cute ideas. 

occasional crafter.  this blogger tats!  she does other textile crafts as well, but she tats!  i've been so curious about learning to tat ever since bringing home a vintage ivory tatting shuttle still attached to a gorgeous tatted lace-edged handkerchief from my granny's house.  maybe i will now.  this is a great resource.

blue bird baby.  a lovely photographer with a beautiful home and a simple living vibe. 

love'n fresh flowers.  bffs with floret flowers.  gorgeous flowers.  nuff said. 

the seasonal bouquet.  a creative collaborative project between love'n fresh flowers and floret flowers.  more gorgeous flowers.  happiness. 


december goals

this weekend i started thinking about christmas and decided that i needed to figure out my december goals early.  if i don't have a plan before the month starts, then it will all just get away from me again.  for example, this photo is from 2011.  i started a really cool vintage journal your christmas album that year and got completely derailed by day 14.  i'm hoping to tidy up all those sorts of loose ends this year, so i can start christmas 2014 with a clean crafty slate.

so, here are my christmas crafting goals in order of when i need to start them:

1. dig out all my christmas cds.  i think i bought a new taylor swift one last year that i haven't even listened to yet!  i think the carols will enhance my crafting.  :)

2. make a new garland for my christmas mantel and get the mantel set up.  i've got lots of cute things pinned to my holiday crafting board, but haven't decided yet what i'd like to make.

3. organize my christmas album.  i've gone through all of g's albums and pulled out all the christmas layouts, so that i can put them in one album to display each year at christmas.  there are several layouts that need minor repairs, and no christmas layouts after 2008.  i need to get one layout made for each of those four missing years.  i really like having albums like this that are more condensed snapshots of how g has grown from year to year.

4. buy a christmas blooming houseplant.  we always had a christmas cactus when i was a kid.  i've had the sudden urge to get one of those or an amaryllis.

5. journal your christmas.  i started a multi-year album in 2011 and i'd like to make some progress on it this year.  i don't have to necessarily finish it as it has a variety of photos from my childhood and gabriel's.  i'd like to at least finish the 14 pages i started back in 2011 and add a couple from this year.  i thought it was strange that i never shared any of the album on my blog, and when i dug it out of storage last night i realized that i never shared because i never journaled!  doh!  i'm hoping to get some of those pages finished this weekend so i can share.  it has a really neat construction.

6. christmas cards.  i don't plan on making a massive amount, but g and i had our portrait taken at church and i ordered a sheet of wallets, so i'm thinking to make 8 or 9 cards to send those out to family and a few close friends.  maybe it will be just enough to get in the spirit of an all out christmas card binge in 2014?  do you all send christmas cards anymore?  sadly, it seems to be a dying art and it was something that i thought was so magical as a child.

7. project life.  with all the other projects planned, i've decided to forgo making a separate december daily this year.  i'll be using the get it scrapped! "your december story" class for writing prompts and housing them in my project life album.  i'd also like to get december done in the project life 2012 album.  it's only a page or two, i think.

8. christmas tree and outdoor lights.  maybe get it early this year?  maybe get some new outdoor lights to add to the collection.  find a fun new ornament for the tree.  deck the halls!

9. christmas cookies.  g loves to decorate sugar cookies every year.  i thought i might try this recipe off my holiday food board.  i also want to make a batch of grandma's peanut butter cookies to send to the family.  they love getting them, especially papa.

10. teacher gifts.  i'd like to make a little something cute for g's teacher.  i flaked on this last year and felt bad.  maybe i'll make a little something for his third grade teacher as well.  and then, being a "special" teacher myself, i'd like to make a little something for his music, art, pe, and library teachers.  too much?  pinterest to the rescue?  perhaps.

11. pretty gift wrap.  i've seen so many cute ideas for gift wrapping on pinterest.  i'd like to wrap something pretty.  even if it's just one thing.

12. one little word 2014 album.  i've already got my word for next year figured out and i'm way excited about it!  i want to get a little album prepped to record next year's word all year.

13. 52 week project.  i saw this 52 week project several months ago, and immediately decided that i was going to make a granny square a week in 2014 then sew them into an afghan when they were all finished.  i'm still excited about the idea and need to choose a pattern and do a little practice/prep work before january.

14. christmas all year in 2014.  i love the idea of giving handmade gifts, but never do because it takes too long and time always gets away from me.  i thought it would be a majorly good idea to make something each month in 2014, so that i'd have some handmade gifts to give for christmas next year.  i need to sketch out a month-by-month plan for this.  i love making lists.  ;)

Monday, November 11, 2013

quality literature: the floatplane notebooks

i finished "the floatplane notebooks" last night.  it is set in the time period leading up to and encompassing the vietnam war, but is vastly different than "the things they carried."  this one is mostly about the individuals in one north carolina family and how life, including war, doesn't change them.  they are southern quirky to the core and remain so throughout the novel.  the story is about fitting back in to this family, war wounds and all, whereas "the things they carried" is about a man who carries the war inside himself every day for forever.  i think this is part of the beauty of literature.  there are so many perspectives and so much to think about.  life isn't black and white; it's lived in full vivid color with lots of grey.

i loved the style of the book.  it reminded me quite a bit of the stream of consciousness genius of william faulkner in "the sound and the fury."  i felt like i got to know the characters really well.  there are several instances of racist dialogue that might be off-putting to some.  being southern myself, this are a part of my history.  i believe recording who we are and who we were is important.  the book didn't end in the profound crescendo that i would have liked, but life isn't always like that either, is it?  i was definitely intrigued by clyde edgerton's style and am putting several of his other titles on my to read list.

menu plan: crock pot carnitas

these turned out pretty tasty.  g said they reminded him of roast beef, which i noticed as well.  i think it must have been the cut of meat i bought.  the recipe called for flank steak and i bought skirt steak.  i know nothing about beef.  they were still good though.  and the roast beef edge was dramatically reduced by a healthy squirt of lime.  we'll be making these again, and i want avocado next time.

per usual, i modified the recipe quite a bit.  and since i added the rotel and used less meat, i have about a cup and a half of a lovely beef/veggie stock leftover.  i think i'll put it in the freezer until i figure out what to do with it.  i'd hate to waste it.

my ingredients list:
1 lb(ish) of skirt steak
salt and pepper to taste
1 package fajita seasoning
1/2 a large white onion, finely diced
1 large bell pepper, finely diced
1 can rotel, drained
some cilantra, no stems!

i served them on small corn tortillas, as suggested, and squirted them with fresh lime before eating.

this week's menu plan:
sunday - crockpot carnitas
monday - leftovers
tuesday - enchilada soup with tortillas con quesillo
wednesday - dinner at church
thursday - bacon carbonara (with a side of eggs for g, just in case)
friday - muffin pan pizzas
saturday - tammy's baked spaghetti (i'll try to get you the recipe!)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

gratitude journal

11/3 - thankful for the time, money, and inclination to start menu planning again

 11/4 - thankful that gabriel is enjoying basketball

11/5 - thankful for working with the photography club at school

11/6 - thankful for a warm sunny afternoon to take my kids on a walk around campus

11/7 - thankful to chaperone a great group of girls at a peace jam conference

11/8 - thankful for a good friend who lets me chill at her house while she cooks dinner

11/9 - thankful for our cubs and parents and a suprisingly smooth pin day

Saturday, November 9, 2013

jbs mercantile special offer: project life 2012

i've started november in my 2012 project life album.  this spread is practically entirely from the november 2013 historian add-on.  it is very much fall themed, which worked nicely here.

the kits are going fast this month with the special offer jenni has going on (see below).  two of the add-ons and the special paper pack are already sold out.  there are just two of the main kit and three of the historian add-ons left, along with a few of the mini-album kits. 

i made it through my super hectic webelo pin day + first ever basketball game day intact.  i even found time to get caught up on my gratitude journal this evening.  thankfulness is a good thing.  hoping to get the house back under control in the morning, so i can dig into my kits again after church.  i think i might have another layout in me.  and a couple more project life spreads would be nice.  have you had any scrappy opportunities thisi weekend?  :)

haiku 1108

he painted the sky
with awe and wonder
his blessings are infinite

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

fabulous fall "field trip"

the weather was so glorious when i pulled in to my afternoon high school that i simply had to take my students on a "field trip."  i knew that 74 and sunny in november was a fleeting thing and that we needed to take advantage of it.  conversational english is best practiced outside, yes?  here are our field trip feet.  usa, ethiopia, vietnam, honduras, and egypt all ready to learn together.

i quickly spotted a lingering butterfly . . .

and a little ladybug found melaku . . .

the boys found a poor lost soccer ball and decided to adopt it.

my goodness, but it was a blustery day!

i had to keep a tight grip on my skirt!

truly, though, it is just amazing how much beauty there is to be found in nature.  the great outdoors makes my heart glad.

i picked a lovely fall bouquet to take home.  i am especially excited to try my hand at a fall mandala, but it will have to wait for a less windy day.  and the autumn arrangement for the mantel i will have to share later as well as the light fades too fast in these parts this time of year.

as i was tucking my fall bounty in my car, my students decided i needed to be photographed with my harvest and demanded that i post the picture on facebook.  so here we go.  i hope you've all found some time to enjoy mother nature during this season of gratitude.  :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

crochet: purple monster dude

oh the cute!  i think this is something that unites us crafters.  the ability to take childlike delight in our creations.  i just can't help myself!  look what i made!  isn't he cute?  i squeal.  :)

i wish i could say that i wrote down a little pattern to share, but alas, i crocheted him at the lake this summer and there was no paper and pencil involved.  and that was oh so long ago.  my memory does not serve.  but definitely if i make another one . . .

the main hang-up with finishing was sewing the zipper in the coin purse.  i learned a lot.  and i need more practice.  ha.

i do remember that i used bernat cotton-ish yarn that i picked up at joann's.  i love this stuff.  it's my favorite yarn right now.  it's a cotton/acrylic blend that feels so good.  definitely more on the cotton-ish side.  it's also very light-weight.  like baby yarn weight, but not baby-ish.  g picked out the colors.  it was fun making a little handmade treat for him.