Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mom, Where's the Maggots?

Hey All,

Here's a new project I posted at Bombshell Stamps click HERE to see the details.


Wondering about the title of this post?

Brayden is just like his Dad. You really can't tell him anything, he has to experience it himself. It's also hard to teach him things. He needs to come at it his own way, fail, and then ask for help. Having been with Chris nearly fifteen years, I know this personality well so we manage, but boy oh boy - some day!!!!

When we were walking along the beach front in San Francisco Brayden wanted to play in the sand. Only obvious tourists were playing and then only a few. I took that, plus other context clues, to mean that the sand is dirty and gross along the urban coast. Brayden was convinced that I was just being mean and no-fun. This amuses me as I am very strict but I'm also the most fun mom I know. Perhaps he just lacks someone to compare me too. Anyhow, after a good deal of observation I decided since the beach seemed needle-free ( after Portland that's my first concern) and there was little/no broken glass, I'd let him play and if we end up at a clinic getting a tetanus shot then so be it.

He dug into the sand, thrilled to have "won" this argument. He mugged for the camera, dug like a dog, I took the above picture. Idyllic. Mothers. What do they know?

About a moment after this shot he hit a nice big softball sized glob of maggots. Excellent.

Horrified, we walked to the bathroom nearby (I planned for this) scrubbed him soundly with soap and hot water, dipped his hands in Purell after checking for cuts and went on our way. Since June, he hasn't given me a hard time when I say something is a bad idea. The change in this area is a full 180.

Whenever he sees these very cute beach pictures he asks me if I'm going to make maggot embellishments to match.


A lot of nice things have been happening to me lately so I thought I'd round them up in one post:

The Tacoma Art Museum asked to include this pic in the online part of their Day of the Dead exhibit:

A few of my projects were featured on She Walks Softly - such gorgeous eye candy on that blog. Wow.

The ever so talented Gabby awarded me with this:

Thanks, Gabby!

A Couple of Cards

Hey all~

I have a couple of cards to share. But first an update on the home front - we're trying to stay positive, but physically things are pretty hairy. I'm actually starting to look forward to having the surgery. Never thought I'd say that. As a family, the reality of six weeks to three months of me being out of commission is starting to sink in. It's strange, usually I'd fill the freezer and get the house ready, but I have trouble getting out of bed... massive cooking sessions are impossible. Odds are good that the men in my life are going to experience first hand how a lot of families live - canned soup, take out, cereal... they'll live. And Trenton will love it.

I've been talking around about recovery time. A marathon runner had the same surgery I'm getting last year in mid-November and was able to start training again in mid-March. That's a long time, but it's not unworkable. I'm so glad my kids are older, can cook and that we homeschool. If they were in public school I wouldn't be able to be involved. That would break my heart.


Here's a new card I made with the kit I won from Torendi. Let me pause a minute and say that those girls are so cool and killer-talented. Love them!

If you want to know more about how I made this card or see other scrappy projects check out MY POST over at Gauche Alchemy. Speaking of GA, I stepped down as Design Team Co-Captain, as not being able to sit for more than fifteen minutes for the next four months seemed to run counter to crafts and computer time. Not to mention the whole surgery/recovery deal. It was a really hard decision to make, but it seemed like the only fair and honorable one. Amy, in her wonderful Amy-ness, refused my resignation and instead found two incredible ladies to replace me while I'm down and out. Lara is pretty much who I want to be when I grow up. Seriously. And Julie is one of the most incredible artists I know of. They are totally not going to want me back *grin* Amy is letting me post GA projects if I'm able so I may still have a teeny presence over there.

And here's my latest Bombshell Stamps card:

I used a bucket of glossy accents on the banner and cherry but in the dreary, snow-filled weather we're having I couldn't get it to show well in a picture. This image is from the Cherry Bomb set of Bombshell Stamps. I don't have this one yet, but a sweet gal sent me this hottie in a swap so I got to play. She's a hoot to color and doesn't she look like a bad, bad girl. Hello! Here comes trouble!

That card uses a sketch by the lovely Kathi. The sketch is the October Challenge at Rubber Stamp Chat. For the contest you can use any stamps you want to make your card and the prize is Bombshell Stamps - how awesome is that. To help you out, here's the sketch and Kathi's Card:

and here's the prize:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bombshell Stamps Halloween Hump Day Hop

Happy Hump Day, hoppers :-) This weeks challenge was to use Martha Stewart's coffin treat box template and Bombshell it. I had the simple idea idea of making a black coffin with a pink, brocade velvet lining. Easy enough. Then I made the coffin inside out...OOPS... and ended up with a very cute pink fuzzy coffin. Um... now what? For starters, it didn't scream Halloween or Day of the Dead, in fact, it was glam - like a Kiss coffin.

Okay, maybe not that glam.

Then I got thinking about the current Embellish Magazine Challenge and how much I loved how one of the Bombshell girls (whoever you are, you ROCK!) colored an image in black and white. A plan was hatched!

This treat box features Mi Amor one of the new stamp sets from the Sugar Skull Release.

Don't forget, Every comment you leave on our blogs equals an entry for this month's prize:

Here's the rest of the hoppers:






Miss Magoo

Sarah K

Glittery Katie



Cookies, Tires and Snow

Avery is reading Chew on This, the junior version of Fast Food Nation and he's loving it. I'm not at all surprised, this is the kid who at seven years old, used to pick up his chicken nugget and ask, " Did this chicken have a good life?" To be honest, he was so skinny that we lied to him and said, " Of course it did, honey."

He was the first person after me to turn vegan and he's the one who orders veggies and tofu in restaurants when his brothers order chicken. He's also the one who doesn't shy away from the realities (horrors) of big-agra. How could I have not thought of offering this book to my reluctant reader? It's so him.

Avery's carrying the book under his arm like a bible and makes frequent impassioned exclamations. He's feeling very vindicated about his lifestyle choices.

Speaking of vegan, here is a pic of those molasses cookies I made the other night. I baked up a second batch to have with our tomato lentil soup last night for dinner.

The picture I took was posted on this morning - how cool is that?

Sadly we didn't get to eat my delicious dinner as a big storm was bearing down on our fair state and our tires were badly damaged from the whole tie-rod/wheel bearing problem. Chris left work late and head straight to the tire shop. Seven hundred bucks later he drove up the mountain safely. Good thing we got them, the ground was covered in snow this morning and a huge storm is on it's way. My back went kaput late afternoon and I ended up stuck in bed so the kids warmed up leftovers and ate by themselves. On the upside, we've got dinner ready for tonight.

My situation calmed down around 9:00 PM last night and I did some crafting. I know! How awesome! I worked on gift tags as each one is just a teeny bit of time and effort so if things slid sideways I wouldn't be elbow deep in a major undertaking.

I'll share pics once it's not so dark and stormy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Painting (decorating, not crafty)

I promised Brayden when he had his own room we'd paint it a snazzy color. We didn't because the rooms seemed to still be in flux and unsettled. Weeks later we moved Avery from the gorgeous teal room back to Brayden's pig sty. We told him we'd update the room to reflect them both - art, color, dogs, lively but classy too. Yesterday we finally bit the bullet and did it.

I'm really happy with the results except now they want the whole room green instead of just an accent wall. So we need to wait until after the 6th to budget a can of paint into our "household" category.

I bet a few of you are wondering how on earth I managed to paint. I'm wondering that too. And with that wonder comes a lesson. This surgery has me petrified. I feel like I'm one slip away from being paralyzed. Unlikely and remote - sure, but my irrational fears are firmly rooted and they're where I am working from right now. So when I see things left undone - like painting the room - I can't help but ask myself will I be able to do this in two months time? Since I can't say for sure, I'm pushing hard and doing things now. This situation has me really, really scared. Chris only knows of one person with back surgery and he did awesome, never having pain again. I only know about back surgery from doctors and books talking about it in terms of nine out of ten surgeries fail, majority of pain patients are there because of failed back surgery and subsequent scarring etc. I only know the warnings and the dire predictions.

Once the calls start coming in and we have real information - dates, times, patient hand outs - I'll be better. It's the silence and the lack of knowing that is driving me nuts.

My lesson is to do what you can, when you can. You really never know what the future holds.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pecan Sticky Buns

For brunch today I made (Vegan) Pecan Sticky Buns with beer bread instead of a yeast dough. Beer bread is a vegans best friend because it's made with beer, flour, salt and sugar. No eggs. Eggs: the bane of my (baking) existence.

While I can make vegan yeast breads, I'm not yet thrilled with the results. Yeast breads also take a long time, something I rarely have to spare on Sunday mornings.

On the Blog Serious Eats I saw a recipe for Beer Bread Pecan Rolls and decided to give it a go. We obviously skipped the bacon in the filling (although it sounds fabulous) and I used a lager. Next time I think I'll use an even less hoppy beer - like Bud.

I had some wonderfully light and fluffy vegan cream cheese frosting leftover from Friday's tiramisu so we topped our sticky buns with dollops of it. Wow. So good. The beer created a wonderful contrast between the spicy cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and the sweetness of the brown sugar.

Here's the results:

I'm lucky I got this picture; they disappeared before I grabbed my camera.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yummy In My Tummy

Any other stress cookers out there? I have it in my head that if I my family has a full belly, we can take whatever life throws at us. Clearly erroneous thinking, but it works for me.

Last night we had curried lentils and potatoes - our favorite. But I ramped it up a few notches by making chapati (indian flat bread) from fresh ground wheat that I brushed with (vegan) garlic butter while cooking. Oh my, heaven!

For dessert I made vegan tiramisu. And yes, I know I don't need to take pictures every time I bake them; but wow! They always make it feel like a party around here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making Moments Special

My dear friend Sarah once told me that I have a knack for making everyday moments special for my family and those around me. It is a compliment I've held close to my heart and one I use as a check to see if I am still worthy of such generous praise.

With that in mind, I've been trying to think up ways to make doing the books special. To be honest, sometimes when Chris and I sit down to sort through the bills and receipts we can get a little snippy with each other. I'm really logical - to a fault. And Chris is fun and flighty and likes to bop from one thing to another as they pop into his mind. Can you see the possibility for tension?

I thought of mixing drinks (can't because of my meds) going somewhere special ( won't work as we do the books once the kids are in bed), nothing seemed just right. I put a lot of thought into it - we do the books about three times a week - and realized that if I follow my belief that the only person you can change is yourself, then I need to work on my own attitude.

To be honest (again), with all this pain and stress I haven't been feeling much like adding to my plate and going the extra mile. But if our family is going to continue to be really special then I need to continue making things extra-nice.

I found an awesome website called Cookie Madness which has among other things, lots of small batch cookies. Many of the recipes make eight to fourteen cookies. This seemed perfect to me as making three dozen cookies is way beyond my energy level and that volume implies they are for the family as opposed to made especially for my sweetie.

The last two book-keeping nights I've made cookies while Chris tucks in the boys and prays with them. Usually it takes as long to mix them up as it does to boil water and steep a cup of tea. When he gets our files out I can set down a plate of warm made-just-for-him treats and even better, approach the table with a loving attitude cultivated from the last fifteen minutes of focusing on making him feel spoiled.

It's working like a dream. No fights. And as an added bonus, I can tuck the remaining few in his lunch to keep the happy feelings flowing.

I highly recommend you try the molasses cookies. I made them with only 4 TBL of oil and they were pure heaven.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tap! Tap! Is this thing on?

Hey friends :-)

Sorry for the long breaks between posts. I haven't been able to create much with all this back business taking up my time and school/vegan posts are only fun when we are doing cool stuff. Right now we are studying... out of books... without fireworks or feasts and we're eating the same ten meals over and over again because I lack the zip to try new things and risk them flopping and having to cook twice. Sometime life is like that. When I had three under three I think we ate the same five meals over and over again so ten isn't so bad.

Good news:

* As of tonight, our Explorer is paid in full. Yay. It's also repaired - finally - save for needing a new set of tires.

* Our dryer is properly vented and we now possess the skills to knock giant holes in our walls to let the hot air out (don't you wish you could do that to people sometimes? *grin*)

* Trenton is starting to get respectable grades on his SAT practice tests. Yippee!!!! He just started eighth grade so he's doing great.

* We met neat scientists at What's In the Basement - a special event at Utah Museum of Natural History. The kids were so engaged and each expanded their interests. I had no idea Trenton likes Botany. Ditto for Avery and Anthropology. As usual, none of us care a lick about dinosaurs. Weird but true.

Bad News:

How to say this without obscenities...

My back is bad. I need fairly urgent surgery to un-bad it. The injection plan was a bust and now I need major spinal surgery to avoid permanent damage and disability. That's about as far as I feel like going on about it right now. But as I wade into the thick of things, I'll probably post more. Pretty much every fear I have has been realized. I nearly threw up when they said, " spilling spinal fluid" and let me tell you, when a discectomy sounds like a good starting spot, things are really in the toilet.

Okay fine, looks like I said a bit more.

I've been visiting all your blogs just haven't been commenting a lot. Sometimes life takes all your words away. So as a blanket comment - love all the cool things my creative friends are making and WOO-HOO NaNo season is almost upon us for my writing buddies.

Friday, October 16, 2009


On Fridays I blog at Gauche Alchemy and this week is Part Three (of four) of my Day of the Dead series. Today I'm writing about decorative shrines - the sort of colorful images you see when reading about the holiday.

Here is a peek at one of them:

See the rest of my post HERE

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hump Day Hotties Blog Hop - No regrets!

I've been a dreadful Hump Day Hottie and I have to give major props to the gals who have managed to participate week after week. My life has been on the complicated side so I was extra excited to join in this time.

The theme for this hop is: What was I thinking?

"We've all done it; made one of those purchases that just seem perfect in the middle of a store with a coupon in hand. Then, when you get home, you look at it and say, "What was I thinking?" Well, that's the challenge for this week. Pull out that purchase you made, and let's get it on a card and out of your stash. It might be ribbon, DP or an embellishment, but whatever it is, get it out and use it! And...if you're so inclined, share the story behind the purchase. "

What first came to mind is this tile paper - I bought two sheets, one squares, one triangles - it's sticky pieces you can stamp on and then you have an instant tile image without the trouble of cutting. I bought it seven years ago, it was very expensive (like $2.50 a sheet) and I had to have it!!!!! Now tell me, how many of you are impressed that I could find a piece of fancy sticker paper I bought seven years ago - that in Maki terms is five moves, two apartments, two houses and a town house ago. I think I knew where it was because I felt so darn guilty about buying it and letting it sit there.


At Split Coast Stampers, this week's Try a New Technique Challenge was a fancy fold that makes an easel card - basically a card with a built in display. I thought, why not! And combined the two.

Here is my, " What was I thinking" item:

And here's the card I made:

Side View:

Ready to Mail (I was impressed how flat it folds):

This card features the main image in the Alter Skulls, one of the great sets in the newest Sugar Skull release from Bombshell Stamps.

I don't know what's been up with me and flat cards lately. Piling on piles of stuff just hasn't been where my head's at. This one looks a little plain but the image really stands out. I like that. If you want to see the template I used to figure out this card fold click HERE.

Now go see what trouble the other girls have gotten themselves into *grin*

Miss Magoo
Jacquie (Ms.October!)
Sarah K
Glittery Katie

Don't forget about the current color challenge at Bombshell Stamps:

The creation can be a card, layout or altered item, but must have:

1. a Bombshell Stamp somewhere
2. use of ORANGE, BLACK, GREEN, and purple is an optional substitution color.
3. tag the photo's of your submission with "BSSOCT09", to be entered in the drawing!

The perfect starter pack to go with your new Sugar Skull Stamps!
Our Sugar Skull & "Bones Font" mounted stamps,
Festive printed papers from Crafty Chica,
Paper and brad flowers from C Custom Creations
Colorful Toe Tags from C Custom Creations

To INCLUDE YOUR SUBMISSION you need to have either an album created in our Gallery, or a profile on Paper Craft Planet (PCP). Just tag your photo with the code listed above so we can find it and add you to the drawing. You can also show off your card by posting it under this contest thread. We'd all love to see what you came up with!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I've Been Crafting

LOL. I accidently titled this post, " I've been Rafting" which sounds like a ton of fun, but not in this chilly weather.

I posted Part Two of my Day of the Dead series at Gauche Alchemy today. These projects are sweet, loving and will appeal to scrappers - they're not skully or edgy (that's next week). I hope you pop over there and see my beloved Grandpa.

Want a sneak peek?

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I had a great mail day yesterday. A Card a Day arrived. It is the new book by Leisure Arts - Paper Craft Magazine - and I have two cards in it. Yippee! Here's some evidence:

And here are my pages:

Close up:


Second card:

Close Up:


And I made another Halloween gift bag:

I'm posting something extra special on Gauche Alchemy tomorrow so be sure to pop over there in the morning.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can you lovely blog readers answer a few questions for me? I sell on Etsy and my orders while far from regular do trickle in at a steady rate. One thing I love about Etsy is connecting with your customers and a way I do that is that I always include a little extra in my parcels. With cards I'll include three gift tags that can double as crafting embellishments, with tags I'll include cards or a gift bag - something to let the person know how grateful I am for the order and to give them a bit more than they expected. That said, it occurred to me that most of the things I send are for the purchaser to give away. If they like my work enough to buy it, then perhaps they'd like to keep a piece for themselves. The order I filled this morning was for a card so I made her a bookmark instead of gift tags. That way she'll have something to enjoy as well as something to give.

What sort of bonus item would you like to have arrive in the parcel if you placed an etsy order with me?

Would you like it to reflect the Holiday you ordered for (ie: Halloween treat with Halloween order) or would you prefer the gift to be for the next holiday (ie: Christmas tags with Halloween order) or generic.

Thanks for much for your input.

Buy Handmade

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween Picture Post

I thought it might be fun to start the week with a Halloween picture post featuring both old and new projects and my You Tube Chocolate Haunted House tutorial. Maybe these simple projects and pictures will spark some ideas:

Gift bags are simply the best, easiest most fun way to use your extra paper and images:

Fun Pic I took at a Graveyard:

What I Did With It:

Easy- Peasie Embossing Project:

Here is a video Avery and I made for Hershey Bar Haunted Houses:

Here are some of the houses the boys have made over the years:

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I got a boatload of Odd Bird Planet stamps in the mail yesterday and among them was this awesome pumpkin stamp and a charming leaf garland stamp.

Godelieve had issued a challenge to use a pumpkin in a project and Paper Garden Projects had a challenge to make a card based on something you love about fall. I combined the two as pumkin is pretty much my very favorite thing about fall. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies... YUM!

Stamps by Odd Bird Planet

Saturday, October 3, 2009

World Card Making Day: Part Two

If you are here from the Bombshell Blog hop, please scroll down to my "official" WCMD card and post.

There are so many awesome challenges and contest online today that I dropped everything and played along for an hour. Even if you just get a chance to hop around some blogs you'll be richly rewarded with inspiration. Wow. People are KILLING IT!

Over at 2 Sketches 4 You they had such a cute sketch I had to give it a whirl.

Here's the sketch:

And here's my take on it:

Stamps Used: Tattoo Background and Holiday Accessories

And here's a Christmas one:

Friday, October 2, 2009

World Card Making Day

Happy World Card Making Day. I thought I'd make something befitting the season and what is more appropriate than a wickedly cool witch. I haven't decided if she's just playing dress up or if she should be moving to Eastwick. All I know is that she can pull off the pumpkin colors and still look darn sexy!

Stamps Used: A Pirate's Life, Holiday Accessories I can't believe how often I use these two stamp sets - it's crazy!

Jacquie Nordaune, AKA Ms.October at Bombshell Stamps issued this months challenge. You've seen my entry, now make something of your own and be sure to let me know about it. The details:

The creation can be a card, layout or altered item, but must have:

1. a Bombshell Stamp somewhere
2. use of ORANGE, BLACK, GREEN, and purple is an optional substitution color.
3. tag the photo's of your submission with "BSSOCT09", to be entered in the drawing!

And look what you can win - SUGAR SKULLS:

Here's a link to the other Bombshell Gals in the blog hop:


Glittery Katie



Sarah K