Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's All Over Now. . .

Everyone has opened their gifts, eaten too much and spent time with family and friends (hopefully). Now we all sigh and sigh of releif that it's over and secrectly wish it wasn't. But that is the joy of Christmas. Soon enough we will all be busy trying to get everything done by the "Big Day" once again.
I am looking forward to next Christmas already. Next year I will have two Grandbabies to spoil. Hopefully baby #2 will be a healthy baby boy. Bryanna had an ultrasound on Christmas Eve and we now know the due date - Aug 3rd. That's right, Aug 3rd, one day after Monkey's birthday!!!! How does that happen? With 365 days in a year she has to have a due date that puts both of her baby's birthdays only a day apart.
Well, it's getting late and I should get into bed. I hope you all had a GREAT CHRISTmas and that you have a fantastic New Year planned. I know I do. One filled with the expectancy of a new baby, spending time with my family and even some new classes. Stay tuned, some time this week I will be posting pictures of my first 2010 class - "Ladies Home Journal".

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some of what has been keeping me busy. . .

Hey friends, can you believe in a week it will be all over for another year?
That's right, Christmas is right there. This is the 1st year in ages that I can remember being this far behind. I am still not finished shopping - but plan to be by Monday. Mom did our Christmas baking this morning before I got up. This is usually done way before this - but at least it got done. Thanks Mom!
Between the 2 trips and Vittoria & I being sick it just seems like I couldn't get things done this year. I did manage to get some handmade gifts done. I thought I'd show you some of what I made. I didn't get pictures taken of everything but here are the ones I did take. Thanks for being my modle Liz!!!!

This is the apron I made for my Mom - she has a 12 year old "adopted granddaughter" and she wanted me to make an apron for her this year. I think it turned out really cute with it's bright colors and cupcakes.
This is the apron I made for Monkey. She just loves to help me cook and I thought a fun Mary Englebret apron would be fun.
Look at how cute my 21 year old daughter looks in my 2 year old granddaughters apron!!!
After making the Mary E apron (which was the 1st apron I made) I decided that it would be cute to make Bryanna and Monkey matching aprons for their house. So I made these super cute "Minnie Mouse" inspired aprons for them
Tons and tons of ric rac on these!I made these little sleighs on Thursday night from stuff I had in my stash. I thought they were fun and gave me something to do. I made 3 of them but have given all but one away now.
Here is a gift I made for my Monkey - I really hope she likes it!
I bought here this fun art easle at Wally World - it is very bright with all of it's primary colors. As cute as it was, I just couldn't leave it alone. I had to alter it and add my personal touch to it.
I sanded off all of the bright laminate and painted it all black (some of you know how much I love to paint wood black!) then I got busy covering it all with Grapgic 45 papers. (I just love that stuff and have made Momnkey so many toys with it).
Here is the finished product. . . .
I even stained the ruller guides to make them match the vintage feel of the easle

I used my Cricut to make her initials so it would be personalized and added little flower embellishments along the legs.

Aint it cute? Well, I guess I should get up and get busy - Christmas is only days away now.

Thanks for popping in and seeing what I have been up to.

Merry CHRISTmas

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Back. . . .

Just a quick picture for you - We are all back and had a wonderful trip! Bryanna and I are beat!!!! Lizzy on the other hand has already showered and left the house to celebrate her Bday somemore with friends. Oh to be young again!!!!!
Antways - here we are - Talk to you soon

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Early Christmas Gift

So, here are the pictures and the story I planned to share with you tonight. . . .

Remember the pinecone bird feeders I showed you the other day? The ones that Monkey and I made together as Christmas gifts? Well, I just wanted to show you how much the birds love them. This is teh one we hung in our tree. The birds just love it! Our fence has become a cafiteria line of sorts. They line up all along the fence waiting for their turn to feed. It is just great fun to watch. I wish I could get a better picture to share but when I come out teh door the dogs bark and scare most of them away. But you get the idea.
Well now, here is the picture and story I really want to share with you tonight. . .

Yeppers, that is my Daughter, her husband and my little Monkey in front of our Christmas tree tonight. They showed up unexpectedly tonight for dinner. Which was more than fine because I cooked extras. Lizzy had asked me to make potato soup tonight for her "birthday" dinner since she would be home and Addison would be here. When they came in I was surprised and they just said they were here for dinner, that Grandma had told them I was making soup and it sounded good. I bought that. Then when we sat down to eat Bryanna only took a small portion and Darwin took none. When everyone started asking them why they weren't eating I popped up and said "because Bryanna's pregnant!!!" Everyone thought I was crazy until B&D told them it was the truth. How FUN is this!!!!!! My baby is having another baby!!! The really funny thing is that last time this happened they told everyone on Lizzy's 18th birthday celebration. They didn't want us to go to Vegas and tell us seperately so they came by tonight to tell us at dinner all together. So that is my BIG NEWS for today! I sort of wish we weren't going to Vegas tomorrow. I don't want anything to happen to Bryanna. Poor thing was so sick the whole time she was pregnant with Monkey. She threw up all the time. So friends I am going to ask you all to be praying for her that she will feel well this week and all through her pregnancy this time.
Have a great week and I will see you all later this week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Three Days and Counting. . . .

Well, it's only a couple more days before we leave for Vegas!!!
Today Bryanna and I went shopping for some sparkley clothes for our big night out (dinner and a show). Lizzy of course has had her outfit for weeks. Bryanna and I were both successful - that is a releif since we waited till the last minute! Hopefully I will get some good pictures to share with you when we get back.
The trip and all of the goodies are my gift to Liz, the only thing she has to pay for is her gambling money. But I did want to give her a little pocket cash so I made this tonight to give her on the plane on Monday. I think it is a fun way to give a little cash.

I made her a little money book (remember the other day I showed you the Christmas ones) with 21, one dollar bills in it. Then I made her 2 rolls of "quarter candy" (2 rolls of quarters with an extra 2 quarters rolled in each for another $21 in quarters). I am putting them all in this little red glitter bag. I think it all turned out really cute. I hope she will like it. Who am I kidding. . .of course she will like it. What 21 year old girl doesn't like cash???
Well, I probably wont get back here before we leave. So I hope you all have a great weekend and week. See ya soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Memories Made and Old Ones Relived!

If your name is on Monkey's Christmas Shopping List don't look any farther!!!
She actually made all of her gifts today for her Aunts and Uncles. She was so cute and really enjoyed herself. And I really enjoyed being her assistant!

She made 12 pinecone bird feeders this morning. Well actually 13 if you count my patio as one BIG bird feeder with all of the extra birdseed that she spread on the patio!
Of course I had my camera handy to capture the moment. . .

While she took her nap I made these gift tags for her. They have a photo I took of her making them and a note that says "I made this just for you! Just hang it from a tree branch close to a window and you can watch the birdies all day long. Merry Christmas "

We even hung one on our tree closest to the patio so we could watch the birdies.

When my girls were growing up I never allowed them to buy Christmas presents for their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Instead I had them make their gifts. I of course helped them decide what to make and helped them gather and produce their gifts, but they actually made them. I wanted them to learn the value of a gift and not of money. After all, lids have no income! And most adults don't really need the little 1 - 5 dollar gifts that children give. It was a fun tradition and a good lesson for them to learn. I have lots of happy memories of doing this with them.

Monkey and I do lots of crafts together during the day while she's her, so I asked Bryanna if she minded Monkey using this week's craft time as a gift making session too. She was thrilled to let us do this together. It sure brought back lots of memories for me! Thanks Girls!!!

If you want to know how to make these yourself here are the directions. . .

1 med jar of creamy peanut butter

12 med pinecones (not the scented kind!)

1 bag of birdseed

string or yarn

Tie your string around the tops (down about one or two layers) of your pinecones. Make sure you leave enough string so you can tie them to your tree branch. Hold the pinecone from the very top and use a knife to spread the peanut butter onto your pinecones, being sure to get in between the layers.(I didn't cover the bottoms) Once your pinecones are covered roll them in the birdseed, being sure to totally cover the peanut butter. Let them sit for about and hour and then bag them up in cellophane bags or hang directly in your tree.

It is a little messy but easy to clean up after. So just have FUN with it!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deck The Halls. . .

Yeppers that is what we did tonight! It was great fun - There was Bryanna & Monkey, Lizzy & Addison, Gary, Mom & Myself. We all had dinner and then they dove right in and started decorating the tree.

Tradition says that Mom hangs her sleeping angle on the tree first before anything else goes on. Mom has done this same thing for 50 years!!!

Monkey was excited to find a "Bob-Bob" or as you and I know him, Sponge-Bob ornament at teh top of the box. She wasn't quite sure what to do with him but she was happy to just hold him. Finally we got her to hang him on the tree. Hopefully he will stay on there for the next couple of weeks!

So here are all of my busy little elves making our tree beautiful!

What a pair! This is Addison & Liz. This is only the 2nd Christmas he has ever celebrated. It was fun to watch him get right in there and help and actually enjoy himself.

Here is my Monkey again wanting so bad to help decorate.

Uncle Larry (Lizzy) gave her a little boost so she could hang a decoration up high.

We did have a couple of accidents along the way tonight. This is the orniment I got at my baby shower when I was pregnant with Lizzy. I'm not sure I can put her back together. But I will give it a try!

Monkey decided the Christmas CD we were listening too wasn't quite merry enough adn played a little piano for us

Last Spring when I went to San Francisco with Darwin & Bryanna, Darwin bought me this sexy construction worker mermaid orniment at a little shop on the wharf. It was super expensive (almost $50) and super goofy! But we had seen it in the window and I joked that it was Gary and I should get it for our tree. Gary thought it was totally rediculous when I broughtit home and showed it to him, and said it was NOT going on our tree! Well, I had Monkey bring it out to him tonight and he didn't put up fight. I had Bryanna take a quick photo of us together with our mermaid.
We were all laughing and joking about it and I decided that he should draw his tatoos on the mermaid to really make it "Gary". So I got him a slick writer and he drew all of his tats on in the right places. Then he and the girls decided it needed a beard to make it reall "Him".
So, here is my sexy mermaid husband ornament, complete with tatoos and a beard hanging front and center on our tree!
Here is the finished product - all it needs now is some Christmas gifts under it!
Merry Christmas Friends!!!!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh. . . Just One More Thing. . . .

I added a new feature to my blog - if you will look to the right at the top you will find a "Search" window. You can now type in a word or phrase and it will search my blog for any of the posts I have made with that word/phrase in it. So if you are looking for something in particular that you remember reading or seeing on here you can easily find it again.

I finished it!

Just like I said I would! I am so proud of me. Lately I have had a hard time following through on things. Anyhoo, this is what I was working on the other night when I shared my HUGE mess with you all.

If you click on it you can see the inside pages. This book was really hard to photograph. I hope you will get teh general idea. It is a gatefold album with lots of little spaces for tags etc. It is also made out of paper bags - something I never do, but I really enjoyed doing it. In fact I enjoyed it so much there is going to be a paper bag album class at the first of the year. I almost have the sample done. It is going to be called "The Ladies Home Journal". I think you are gonna like it!
Well, I don't have alot to say tonight, but I did want to share my finished book for Vegas! only 7 more days!!!!!
Have a great night!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Late Night Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

Well, Thanksgiving is officially over now - there is not one sliver of pumpkin pie left in the house! Not sure what I will have for breakfast in the morning now?
I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving. Mine had it's ups and downs, but for the most part was very nice.
Now it is time to get busy with Lizzy's 21st Birthday (which is in 8 days!!!)
and of course Christmas.
I spent Black Friday not shopping, but in my studio. I am trying to get Lizzy's book ready before we leave for Vegas. I started it a couple of weeks ago and made a HUGE mistake on it and so I just put it away until I decided how I was going to fix it. I never figured that out! So, Friday I started a new one - totally different style and concept but with the same papers. Tonight I finished the book block and hopefully tomorrow I can get the covers made and get it assembled and ready to pack. I thought some of you might enjoy seeing the mess I make when I create. Most of you know how anal and organized I am, so this might surprise you. I must say that I make this huge mess but usually stop once or twice while I am creating and clean it all up and then immediately get it all back out and start again. It is silly I know, but this mess makes me CRAZY!!!!

So here's my desk area - it's under there somewhere!

Here is the floor - I really like working on the floor more than at my desk - so this is usually where you will find me!

Here's my desk again and part of the book I am working on for Lizzy

Here's an overview of it all!
I have been a busy little crafter lately. Besides Lizzy's book, I have been sewing like crazy (I will share pictures soon) I made all of the gifts for my little nieces & nephews this year. I made Doodle purses for the little ones and cloth books for the babies. I also made a few aprons (they turned out sooo cute!) while I had my machine out. Bryanna and I spent last Sunday making Money Books for her nieces & nephews and for my older nieces. They turned out so cute and were so easy to make that I decided I would have a little online mini workshop for you all. This is a fast project and a great way to give money as a gift. It could be changed for birthdays, graduations, weddings, anything really.

Here's what they look like - aren't they sweet!?!

You could really get creative with the embellishments on these, but we kept them simple with just a silver bookplate with their name on the cover.

Inside the book there are ten 1 dollar "pages". You could fill it with any amout or denomination you want, but mine got $10. They can pull out one bill at a time to use or take it all out at once. You can even refill it with more money after they spent it all if you wanted.

So here's how to make them. . .

2 pieces of bookboard 3.25"x3"
(you can use chipboard but I had plenty of scrap bookboard here)
1 piece of 2" wide Tyvek tape 5" long
1 piece of 2" wide Tyvek tape 2.75" long
(you could use any of the great colors of duck tape if you don't have tyvek)
26" of embroidery floss
(you could also use yarn or even waxed linen thread)
2 pieces of decorative paper 3.50"x4"
2 pieces of decorative paper 3"x3"
(I used scrapbook paper but you could also use wrapping paper, the funnies or whatever)
Favorite glue or adhesive
(I used my xyron machine - it's fast!)
Lay your cover boards on your biggest piece of tyvek tape .25" apart as shown above
(you want your book to be 3" tall and 3.25" wide)

Fold tape ends up over your boards

cover the gap with your smaller piece of tape

It should look like the picture above. Now run a bone folder (or popcicle stick) in the empty space between your boards.

Now you will want to close your book and form your "spine" with your fingers.

Cover the outside with your bigger pieces of paper, being sure to mitre your corners and leaving about 1/2" of your tape showing (makes it look like a real book that way)
Use your 3x3 papers to cover the inside of your book cover.
Lay your dollars inside your book and mark on the inside of your spine the top & bottom of your bills. Thread a needle with your floss and poke a hole in both of your markings. Starting on the outside of your book, sew into the spine (leaving a 3" tail), over the bills and back out your spine. repeat this 3 times pulling thread taught and ending up on the outside of the book. Tie the ends of your floss together in a knot and you are finished!
I hope you enjoyed our little mini class and I hope you will make a few and give them as gifts this year. I am hoping someone makes me one with hundred dollar bills in it!!!!
Well, it is 2:30 in the morning and I need to say goodnight!
Enjoy the reast of your weekend!