Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fleece = good

Even though I was sick and pitiful last week I did manage to get a couple of projects done.

Every year my kids take a Christmas photo with their cousins (my sister's kids) and we give a large print to my mom for Christmas. One year we had the kids in matching holiday dressy-dress clothes, another year we did candy cane stripey pajamas. This year the kids are wearing jeans, white turtle necks, and these:


Everyone gets their own warm fleece scarf. Alyssa's is first (she's 1), then Bradley (3), Chloe (4), Alec (6), and Alexis (10) (yes, my sister's kids all start with "A" - her husband has 4 siblings and they all start with "K"). I sewed them all over two days last week, with plenty of naps in between.

The most hilarious thing was Bradley wanted to be near me the whole time I was sewing. He just played with his trains on the floor as I sewed away. Once I was done he asked me to keep sewing - I thought he liked being close to me while I was working. I told him that I was done and we could go snuggle and he just stared at my sewing machine.

"I want the train noise again!" he whined. Yeah. So, he didn't want to be with me, my sewing machine just makes a rockin' train "chugga chugga."

The other thing I made (with TONS of help from Leslie! Thank you!!!!) was the window treatment for our living room. The window has been naked since we moved in, and now I'm nearly done with the treatment after one year of living here! I still have to do the grommets, but the actual sewing and creating and such is all done. So, that will be my goal the first couple of days of Christmas break - paint my kitchen and hang my new drapes. I'll post a pic then!

Right now I'm knee deep in Christmas gifts and scattered craft supplies, so I am going to go tidy for a bit before bed. Tomorrow I'll post a pic of the Christmas cards I'm making for my mom! I hope she loves them! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Not quite what I planned

Friday the 21st I was looking forward to a week off of work - a week filled with outings, crafting, and spending a lot of quality time with my kids. It started off well - Mike and Matt got my Christmas boxes down for me so I could start decorating.

Enter the bug.

Saturday around lunch Chloe and I started running fevers, and by nap time I was bed-bound. We didn't even go to church on Sunday because Bradley, Chloe, and I all had fevers. Poor Mike was trying to take care of us and stay the heck away from us as much as possible. It was wretched. Bradley was fine by Sunday night, though, which led me to believe that Chloe and I would soon recover.

Not so much.

Bradley cheerfully went to daycare on Monday. (Well, sort of cheerfully, there was this little situation - starting on Thursday the 20th he woke up at night calling for me. I went, and that's when the trouble started. He regressed and would SCREAM for several hours before finally falling asleep, only to wake up screaming again every few hours. On Sunday he woke up every 2 hours on the dot - which was great because I was getting up every 2 hours to check Chloe's temp.)

Chloe and I stayed in bed and cuddled all day Monday, with tiny trips to the Kitchen and Living Room for Sprite and crackers. We also did some quality decorating, albeit only the lower portion of the tree (her extension is not that great, and I was too tired to get up from the floor). Tuesday was much better, though, and Mike started his vacation time so Bradley stayed home, too. I was actually able to get to the store to get the last few things I needed to create a brilliant holiday feast (I promise I washed my hands!) for my dear family. I also finished decorating the big tree (the little one is still quite naked....I'll do it soon, though!).

I only cooked a small bit on Wednesday, and reserved all the Major Cooking for Thursday. And you would be so impressed!

Mike made his famous pasta salad (really, ask anyone we know!) and I baked Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread and Pumpkin Bread on Wednesday. We also had Alec over to play and Mike threw out his back wrastling with him in the backyard. He still can't move. FABULOUS!

On Thursday I made (without boxes and such!):

Honey Baked Ham
Fire Roasted Peppers and Green Bean Casserole (my own recipe)
Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup (this one, too!)
Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes
Cornbread Dressing
Brown Gravy
Cranberry Relish (with for realio-trulio cranberry fruit)
Baked Carrots with Apples and Pears (also my own recipe)
Chips and queso (to munch on while waiting for dinner, of course)

Out of a box, etc:

Rolls
Pies
Mike's cranberry jelly stuff that keeps the shape of the can. Ugh.

My sister brought the mashed potatoes, turkey, broccoli rice casserole, and more pies.

And the crazy thing is that so many of us were feeling sick that we hardly ate anything!! We drank a lot of Sprite and did stay up for a while playing games (a family tradition). And, we were insane enough to wake up at 2:45 this morning to hit the stores for Black Friday.

I go back to work on Monday and I don't think I had a vacation at all!! But, just look at this little darling.

I hope YOU had a great Thanksgiving free of cooties, and full of fun. :)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Gobblerific!

Here is my 3rd Design Team entry for November. This little 3x3 card is made with Bazzill card stock for the base, Graphic 45 Designer Paper, Brads by American Crafts, SU! card stock, and the SU! scallop punch.

*GASP!*

I didn't stamp anything on this card!!! I hope I'm not coming down with anything....



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November Design Team Card #1

When we submit our projects for the A Scrap Affair Design Team, we have to submit at least one layout and one card. The time around I did two cards and one layout. I'll post the 2nd card later this week.

In the meantime, here is the first card I made. I really like square cards - gives me more surface area to embellish. :) The paper is from the Playtimes Past Collection by Graphic 45. Those little wooden soldiers are actually from a piece of patterned paper - I just cut them out using my trusty SU! Paper Snips. I haven't found a better pair of scissors anywhere! The card stock is by Bazzill and the brads are Making Memories.

I used my SU! Crafter's Tool Kit to punch the holes for my stitching, and I just used plain ol' embroidery floss from my massive stash to do the sewing. I inked all my edges with SU! classic ink in Chocolate Chip. The tag was made with my SU! Key Tag punch (I don't think I could ever own enough SU! punches!). The sentiment stamp is also SU! (of course!) from a set called Season of Joy.

I would love to make a ton of these to send out this Christmas, but there is NO way I'm cutting out 75 more of those precious little soldiers!!



Monday, November 10, 2008

Our own Splatter Platter

What's a Splatter Platter?

Well, when I was a little girl my mom had a Special Day plate. It was big, and bright white with brilliant red lettering which read "Your Special Day" in a fancy script. We were allowed to use the Special Plate on our birthdays. That was it. And, boy, did we feel special when we were allowed that precious day!

A few weeks ago when I ran my booth at the Gingerbread Market, I met another small business owner, Erin Haggard. Erin is a delight to talk with - full of joy and creative ideas. Her business is Splatter Platters. Click HERE for her website. She hand paints special occasion ceramic. From platters commemorating weddings, favorite sports teams, and special days...to name plates, welcome plaques. Pretty much you are only limited to the combined imaginations of you and Erin. And I can guarantee that her imagination is wild! :)

Here is the plate she custom made for our very own family Special Day Plate. A few of the samples she had on display had a lot of red and green - which poor Chloe can't see. So, I asked specifically for something with a lot of yellow and blue. Didn't she do great?

We put the plate up on our plate rack in the kitchen and the kids were in awe - they immediately tried to figure out who was going to get to use the plate first!

Check out her website and give her a call! You, too, can have your very own Splatter Platter. And really, just getting to say Splatter Platter is totally worth the call! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November Design Team Layout

I had my First Fridays monthly Stamp n' Scrap at my house last night and I finished my November projects for the A Scrap Affair Design Team. I'm going to run them over to the store this weekend, so I figured I'd better take some pictures of them first!


Here is my 12x12 layout.


The papers are from the new Playtimes Past Collection by Graphic 45. They are perfect for the holidays, but chose to do something a little different. The card stock is by Bazzill. I used my SU! start punches, Crop-o-dile, ribbon, glue dots, stampin' dimensionals, 2-way glue, and crafter's took kit (for the holes for the stitching). The buttons are just from my stash, as is the embroidery thread. I DID use my new foam stitching pad (In Stitch'z by Bazzill) - it is one of my new favorites. I really like to do stitching on my cards and layouts because I think it gives some nice texture and dimension. This pad is great because it's 12.5 inches long and 6.5 inches wide - so no more moving the paper around to adjust for lack of surface! It's also 1/2" thick, so you won't accidentally stab your work surface. :) You can get your's at A Scrap Affair.

I'll post the rest of my projects tomorrow...I think I'll go take a nap with Bradley. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A contest and some recipes

The kids and Mike carved the pumpkin on Saturday (we didn't leave it out on Friday night) and I collected all the seeds to wash and dry so that I could roast them today.

And what could be more fun than a Guess How Many Pumpkin Seeds there are contest? Your prize will be some Pumpkiney colored goodies, by SU! of course!

So, here are the pics of the seeds... Leave your guess in the comments and be sure to post about it on your blog (let everyone get in on the prize!). The contest will end Friday November 7th at 8pm. I will announce the winner on Saturday. Whoever gets closest to the number without going over will be the winner.




And no post about roasting pumpkin seeds would be complete without the recipes, right? I made 3 different batches this year. What I do is add the oil (2 tsp or so) and seasonings to a plastic baggie, then toss in the seeds and shake until they are covered. Pre-heat the oven to 250, and line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread the seasoned seeds out in a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every once in a while to ensure even baking.

The first kind I made is just plain ol' traditional salted and roasted: Seeds, salt, and olive oil. Then I made my special Curried Seeds: Seeds, curry powder, salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, and oil. And last, the Sweeties: Seeds, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, oil.

You can do all kinds of variations (try Italian with some Parmesan cheese, oil, basil, oregano, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; or TexMex with oil, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper). The possibilities are limitless!

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, protein, and zinc. They make a great stand-alone snack, but I like them over salad, too. Slow roasting, like I recommended above, helps preserve their healthy oils and nutrients (you know, to counter all the yummy salt!).

So, enter your guess in the comments, link to your blog, and let me know if you have any great recipes for these delicious little seeds!

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