Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An amazing opportunity for a wonderful gift from a generous friend!

I have spoken many times on this blog about the friendships that I've made through blogging. I have sort of a blog bucket list....a hope to be able to meet, in person, some of those women who I've come to know and care for through this crazy "hobby/obsession". One of the women who I hope to meet...maybe this year, is PJ Johnston of Seens From the Back of My Eyelids. PJ is one of the most humorous, kind-hearted and generous women I've come to know and respect. If you read her blog, and I hope you do, you know that she is often a "seed planter". She plants seeds of thought that you carry around in your head until they take root and grow. (She sometimes also plants the tune of a long-forgotten ditty that you can't get out of your head all day no matter how hard you try!) She has been a wonderfully supportive friend throughout my trials this year and I am deeply grateful.
In July, PJ's brother Henry, lost everything to a fire. She wrote about it on her blog, here, and suggested ways her readers might be able to help. Maybe you said a prayer, maybe you sent a gift card or maybe this is the first you're hearing about Henry. The response was overwhelming and now she would like to say thank you with a random drawing. You only need to hop on over to her blog, leave a comment and sign on as a follower. Oh, and if want to read some really good, common sense advice for kids, read her "Letters to My Kids" posts. There is a link to the archives of these posts at the bottom of her blog. I've copied and sent many of these to my kids. So...enough from me, here are the details for PJ's giveaway!

On next Wednesday evening, September 7th, PJ will have the computer randomly select three names from her Wednesday blogpost this week.

The first name selected will win a $100 e-certificate to

The second name selected will win a $75 e-certificate to

The third name selected will win a $50 e-certificate to

All you have to do to enter my drawing is be a follower, leave a comment and MAKE SURE THERE IS A LINK TO YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. Easy peasy, right?

Before the end of the day on Thursday, September 8th, PJ will contact the winners and before the end of the day on Friday, September 9th, she will have the e-certificates sent from Amazon to the winners.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Some Deliciousness for Today and a New Magazine!

My blogging friend Kathy at Katie Did Stitches wrote a blog post yesterday about picking peaches....and not just any peaches, but Red Haven peaches...and making peach pie. Her post made my mouth water for peach pie and then I remembered,
"I'm not a pie person."
 I love to eat pie but pie crust intimidates the heck out of me.
 I need to get over that and just practice, practice, practice making pie crust...but in the meantime, I decided to make one of my favorite recipes for Peach Crumble. This recipe came to me by way of my sister Barb, who originally made it with rhubarb. It's good made with rhubarb but that isn't going to fly with David so you can substitute apples or peaches. (I know he has diabetes but the Educational Counselor he's meeting with on Monday said not to worry about diet until they met...this may his last hurrah)
This is my original recipe card, written when I was about 25 years old...the stains are so interesting and there's a certain crispness to the card. (Oh what would the health department say?)

 I had Red Haven peaches from our local farm so I thought I'd use them before they got too ripe.
I agree with Katie, the Red Haven's are the best. When you just eat one out of hand, you literally have to stand over the sink because they are so juicy.
See how juicy this peach is....oh yum!
 While I'm writing this post, I can smell the finished crumble from here.
The recipe calls for brown sugar and I prefer the dark brown sugar...I think it gives a richness to the dish.
This is what the crumbs look like before going into the oven. Can you have too many crumbs...I don't think so. In crumb-speak, I always feel that the more the merrier!
Completely cover the peaches with crumbs....reserving one last spoonful to eat while no one is looking.
Bake it for 40 minutes and take it out when it's nice and bubbly and brown on the top.

Now, you can pair this with good vanilla ice cream or whipped cream but I like mine naked and warm. I think I'll go downstairs now and have a little scoop while I read this.....

It just came in the mail today. 
 I will pour over it while sitting on the deck eating warm peach crumble...m-m-m-m-m-m!

Barb's and my recipe for Peach Crumble
  • 3 C sliced peaches (or rhubarb or apples)
  • 3/4 C sugar (I always use less, especially when the peaches are so ripe)
  • scant 1/4 C water (more or less depending on the juiciness of the fruit)
Mix together and pour into a baking dish

In a bowl,combine
  • 1 C brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1/2 C cold butter, cut into small pieces
Mix together using a pastry blender (I use my fingers) and sprinkle over top of peaches.
Bake at 350-degrees for 40 minutes.
Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or iced tea and a new magazine!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Good-bye and good luck to our friend Michele

A few weeks ago, our little crafting group got together to bid farewell to our dear friend Michele. She and her husband will be moving to Virginia as soon as their new house is built....actually, they will be living in a rented property until that time. We are sorry to see her leave us but I know that I, for one, will be visiting her as she will not be too far from one of our kids.....and she will be in an area where there are lots and lots of antiquey places to explore. Anyway....we had one of our fun brunches because our get-togethers must always include food in addition to craftiness.

The table was set using my pink Depression luncheon plates..

 I made each of us a candy cup using coffee filters and yogurt cups...

and a place card using a vintage image from Besottment by Paper Relics using a Graphics Fairy image.

Of course Michele also had a pink sequined crown to wear....
We dined on egg casserole, croissants and a beautiful fruit tray that Mimi brought
and for dessert, because we were also celebrating Michele's Birthday, chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting

We agreed that we would each make Michele a badge, no larger than 8X8-inches with a Friendship theme, in our own style. We don't ever want her to forget us.
Michele K made a vintegy banner, so like her. The little card with the 5 chicks represents us...clever girl that Michele K!

(click on picture to enlarge)

The badge came in this chipboard box

Mimi used fabric to make her like her. The strawberry fabric square was made using fabric Michele had given Mimi that had been her Mother's. She also attached one of her charms and even a clip earring. Clever girl that Mimi!

Mimi also made Michele a cute card....

Bethanie wasn't able to complete her badge in time for the party and will send it along to Michele.

(Mimi and Bethanie)

As usual, I couldn't even decide on what my style is because I like so many different things. There was only one thing I could do and that was to make a 2-sided badge utilizing both of my styles....
Funky (this one is all digital using steampunk images from The Sum of All Crafts.

 Valerie has great images (not just steampunk) for you to use in your crafting.
Everything is layered digitally (even the polka dot background paper) except the gears (from Tim Holtz) and the flower (made using sewing pattern tissue)
So that's one style I love, but there's another, very different style, too. The reverse side of the badge looks like this...

Yes, that's right...a little Ann Estelle from Mary Engelbreit's drawing board!
I'll show you in my next post how I put this badge together. Michele, in true Michele style...made each one of us a little gift also.

We had a good time together like always....we laughed and we cried and no one wanted to say good-bye at the end.
We will miss Michele.
We met while both working part-time at a local scrapbook store (now out of business) We would craft together at the store and chatter away about all kinds of things. We took classes together at Stamp Fanci and had lots of fun. I will miss our impulsive trips to Michael's and Joann's or the Butler scrapbook store. I couldn't have gotten through some of my darkest hours without your support and strong words when I needed them.
Take time to explore your new area and then get the guest room ready for me!

On a personal note: It's been a tense week for us at 9010.
David has been sick for almost 2 weeks and he's been going through some tests and scans to try to find the cause. As of last night we finally have some answers....not necessarily ones we would have liked but ones that can be managed at least.
David has shingles which I'm sure you know are very painful and if that alone isn't enough to deal with...he has also been diagnosed with diabetes. His blood sugar was extremely high on his blood work.
He now has meds for both (oral medication for the diabetes) and we are awaiting return phone calls to schedule appointments with a Nutritionist to learn about diet and a Diabetes Educator to learn about checking his blood twice a day. Ah, the rewards of aging. As I said, we are grateful to know what we're dealing with and we certainly recognize that it could have been a lot worse. We are again reminded that the keys to healthy living are in our hands and we need to take better care of the bodies that God gave us.
This is the first I'm mentioning this on my blog. If you could just say a little prayer that David has some relief from pain and an easy adjustment to all that we must learn to do, I would be so grateful.

Be back soon with the tutorial~

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finished Banner for Hannah and a card for a favorite pilot I know :D

I have finished the banner for baby Hannah
I wish I could figure out a way to photograph these banners hanging up without my deck furniture showing in the I need to hang a sheet over the door?

A closer look

I added a tiny button on the front. I really love the pink and brown color scheme.
Now the birthday card...

I'm really enjoying working in all digital.
The picture of the little boy (I found it on line but I don't remember where)

The alphabet block

The banner with the phrase

and even the background printed paper is digital!
I love layering and arranging the without being able to draw or paint.
Anyway,  my pilot friend seemed to like it and since
he saved the card I made him last year, that qualified him for being "handmade card worthy".
You card makers know what I'm talking about *wink wink*.

This card was made using a very, very old publishing program from Microsoft
which isn't even around anymore. I have Photoshop Elements, I just need to download it. silly me!

I'm still working on some dining room decorating so I'll hold off showing any more pictures until there is more to show. We had a cook-out with my Book Group friends and the husbands on Saturday...had a fun time.
Tomorrow we (the Book Group girls) will be going to see The Help.

We read the book last fall and are anxious to see the movie adaptation. I just might wear a shirtwaist dress...and pearls!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Day #5 of the Paint-cation and finally,some creative things from my work table!

We were really busy on days #2-4 and I didn't take many  pictures.

Oooo, it's starting to look different here!
Here we are on Friday and the work is almost complete. I just have to get all of the china and glassware put back in their respective places. We also need to decide where we are hanging some new things and which things we're not keeping. In this before picture, you can see some of my pewter collection displayed on a handmade shelf.

Now of course I'm not disposing of my's just time to change up for a bit. Here is the shelf today...
I love creamware but can't afford the real deal. I'm perfectly content with my pieces that have come from Marshall's, TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. The small planter on the bottom shelf was purchased from my blogging friend Deb of Garage Sale Gal and the cup and saucer on the top shelf was a gift from Elizabeth of Creative Breathing. I love the cream color against the new blue walls. It's so hard to tell in photos the exact color but this is the Valspar (Lowe's) paint chip...

Distant Valley is the color we chose.
I give looks different in every picture. It's a blue-green color with a tad more blue than green. The lower part of the "wallpaper free" wall is painted in a Martha Stewart color called Popcorn...a soft off white.
I guess you're just going to have to stop by and see for yourself. I do love the color. It gives the dining room a cool, serene feeling which is good as we get the afternoon sun in that room. I promise to come back with more pictures once the room is totally set up.
David the painter comes highly recommended! Thanks Sweetie
While the painter was painting and I was trying to stay out of his hair, I got some work done on a baby gift for the daughter of a friend of ours. This little baby was born at 27 weeks and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. She was in the hospital until she worked her way up to four pounds and she now weighs a whopping 5 pounds. I waiting on sending a gift until we were sure she was doing good. Here is a peek of the name banner I am working on.....

I will show you the pictures of Hannah's banner once it is complete. (Boy, I'm saying that a lot, aren't I?)

I also decorated a simple black marble composition book for myself so that I can write down all of my directions for the projects I create using my Cricut Expression. I've been wanting to do this for a long time. Now  all of the recipes will be in one place instead of written on tiny scraps of paper all over my studio! The papers I used, in case you're wondering, are from The Girl's Paperie and the line is called Kitsch.
  Cricut Recipes...

Do you use a Cricut die cut machine? They are so much fun!

OK-back to reloading china. I'll be back soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I think I am too old for this...

David has taken this week off.
The plan is to paint the dining room.
It involves removing wallpaper on the lower half of the walls.
I am the remover....David is the painter.
The dining room is hard because all of the china and glassware has to be lugged to the living room so the furniture pieces can be moved.
Today is Day #1
This is what we accomplished.



Pretty good for Day #1
I will return when the painting is completed and the carpet is cleaned.
I'm sure it will be beautiful.
For now....I'm going to take 2 Tylenol and get ready for bed.
Every muscle hurts.
I'm going to go to work tomorrow for the rest.
I think that I'm too old for the "crawling on the floor" part of redecorating.


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