Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Apologies for no card yesterday! We had storms roll through then Windows 10 did an upgrade and I couldn't get to my sample. Finally had a computer by 4 p.m. but I have a standing rule of finishing up business for the day so that I can shut down by 5. Unfortunately, that meant catching up on the day job instead of popping in here.  

UPDATE!  There will not be any cards posted until next week. In putting this card together this morning, my Vagabond died... with the plates stuck mid-row. Grrrr. I do not have time to dismantle the machine today as I have a project I MUST get done for my boss.

I promise.. things will be back running to my desired standards soon. Thank you for your patience.

As we were driving back from OK last month I realized I'd failed to post the August challenge! Things were a bit hectic getting the girls ready to go back home. I am sorry I missed posting the challenge. I was just busy soaking up love and hugs to sustain me until we see them next year.

My daughter was born in September and she does love her coffee. Pumpkin Spice Latte is her favorite so I thought this was the perfect color combination to make her birthday card. I'm not going to show you her card though. I'm never sure which of my blogs she visits and I don't want to give anything away. Her birthday is the 26th - same as mine. Now that's a birthday present!

from my Pinterest Board - Color Inspiration

I am utilizing the Coffee Cafe and Merry Cafe sets from Stampin' UP! Merry Cafe is part of our Holiday catalog:
Merry Café Photopolymer Stamp Set

 and coordinates with the Coffee Cafe set in the Annual catalog and the matching framelits dies. 

Coffee Café Photopolymer Bundle

Bob's birthday is in October. Quick funny story. When I first met Bob, he did not drink coffee. The first morning we actually spoke, I offered him a cup of coffee. He accepted and he's been a coffee drinker ever since... to the point of buying an Espresso machine! LOL Here's the card I made for him:

That's mine.. let's see yours! Just add the link to your blog post (not your blog URL but the url to the actual blog post) and Mr. Linky will add you to the list so we may stop by to check out your creation!

There aren't any rules. You may use any company product you like. My only request is if you use a stamp or something special, link to the company so we may add to our stash, too :-D

And remember to grab the Color Challenge button on my sidebar to link your followers here. I'd love to have them playing along!

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I'm still crocheting away on the autumn rug I introduced you to HERE. 

I didn't work on it while the girls were here but have been back at it almost every evening since they left.  Here's the progress:

According to my original post I have three balls to work with. This is what's left of the second ball. I'll have to see if I can locate the third ball. And possibly buy another skein of each color this weekend.

I've not decided where this rug is going to go. I keep thinking on my side of the bed. I'm also thinking I may shorten the fringe almost down to the knot.

I will say this started getting a bit of an arc to it. I won't make the next one quite as long so that isn't an issue again.

Next week, I have an embroidery project to show you. Kitchen towels I've been wanting to do for years for both Halloween and Christmas.

Creative Blessings!

Monday, September 11, 2017

MIXED MEDIA MONDAY - Christmas Notebook Time! & a GIVEAWAY!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to be planning for the Holidays. I had this laid out last year then got the job offer and in trying to get settled into the new position, Bob with his new job ... well, I was just very unhappy. 

The first thing we do at the beginning of the new Christmas Notebook (CNB) season is to evaluate last year and figure out what, if anything, we hope to improve upon.

Well, my evaluation was that my holidays were very unorganized, very non-decorative and depressing. I know that seems small compared to larger problems in the world.. but my house is my world most of the time and I love the Holiday season. Just 2016  season, not so much. During my evaluation I vowed that I WOULD enjoy the holiday season this year, doing the things Bob and I like to do for others and being able to absorb what should be the warmest part of the year. 

CNB begins September 1 with weekly assignments to help get us to our holiday goal of warmth & cheer. But we really begin in August putting our notebook in order.

I loved the Traveler's Notebook style that I showed you last year. I've been doing CNB long enough and it's only Bob and I so I don't need the big 3-ring binder with all the planning. This works for me.

NOTE: This post is picture-heavy. 
Because each require a small description, I opted not to do a video flip-through.

I've changed things a bit this year. Starting with a couple of extra signatures. Last year I combined Monthly/ Weekly pages in one signature as well as Room Pages/ Decorating in one. This year I decided to make each one separate. Here's a view from the top showing the signatures in place.

Four Signatures

I used a retired SU tab punch, Recollections cardstock and my label maker - small print.

I used all Martha Stewart Christmas Papers from my stash. I've had this paper pad (okay, I bought 4 on an after-Christmas sale at Walmart 11 years ago)

The Monthly signature is the bulkiest because I printed the monthly calendar from Scattered Squirrel (I think) and glued them to the designer papers so they'd be a bit heavier and pretty. Down the middle of the signature of each month, I taped in a Shopping List so I could keep a list in that month as things came to me in my planning:


Sun - Wed plus shopping list

Thur - Sat with notes column

My next section is the Weekly
(for both weekly & room pages as they co hand-in-hand)

Two - weekly Spread.
Each one has a note at the top as to what the assignment is about for that week.
I use a hair clip as a page marker.

Room Pages
I trimmed notebook paper down to fit
(I bought a case for .10 a ream last year after back to school)
Here, I will make note of what I need to do in each room to get it ready for decorating.
This includes cleaning/ removal of anything that will be replaced by a Christmas item.

Decorating Cover

I chose plain copy paper for this signature. I can make notes or I can paste in pictures of decorating ideas I want to try.

Cookie Tray Cover

Each year (with the exception of last year) I bake and we deliver nearly 100 cookie/ treat trays to businesses whom have served us in some way over the past year.
We live in a small community of  625 people give or take. Most of the surrounding communities with the exception of West Plains and Springfield are about the same size.
We get real hometown service from the business we frequent.
This is our way of saying Thank You!

I used three strips of the 1/2" wide super sticky tape, to add a notepad to the inside back cover of the final signature. ( the same one as used in the Monthly signature) 

And there you have my CNB 2017.  I'm a couple of weeks behind already in the planning but now that I have the new signatures in place, I can sit and get things rolling again.

Have you started your Christmas planning?
What if anything would you change from last year?
I'll pick one comment from the list to send a special Heidi Swapp Christmas Countdown Calendar!
You have until October 1st to Comment!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I have no clue what is going on with my blog. I've posted to the blogger help forum to find out why  my laptop view has changed to mobile. I checked settings and they are fine so we'll see what the folks in the help forum can tell me. In the mean time, all of my links are at the very bottom of the blog. Grrr.

UPDATE: As soon as I hit post, I saw that my blog had reset and now everything is where it should be. Thank you, Blogger!

UPDATED UPDATE: Just in case the helpers at Blogger are checking this out. If I open the main page then I have no sidebar.. they're all at the bottom. BUT... if I click on an individual post - where only one is showing per page, then I have my sidebar.

Anyone know how to fix? LOL

* * * 

In the mean time, the girls and I are still having fun. I'm not working as much as I should be, which disappoints my boss to no end. Thankfully, I do not need this job (did I mention I do it for free!) so if I lose the position, so be it. I just hate going out the door that way, you know? But family will ALWAYS come first. In the end, they are all you have.

The girls love it here. They can go outside whenever they want without fear of being snatched. Yesterday afternoon while I finished up some business on-line, they went out to play in the yard. Adrian pretty much lives in the garden. Girly Girl Abby will follow her sister everywhere but getting dirty really isn't in her plans.

So imagine my surprise when I went outside to see what they were up to and found this:

If you look at the feet on the right, you'll see a small mud hole. Those are Abby's feet - my Girly Girl. Her older sister, Adrian, is the culprit with the duck watering can.

Abby quite proud of her mud accessories.

Abby did a good job getting Adrian back.

The final result... with a new addition to the yard ::: sigh :::

We've named her Tabby. She's a very delicate young lady. She's a bit on the wild side but as you can see, she is warming up to us very quickly. Tabby is very young but may be carrying her first litter. I hope to get her into a carrier and into the vet this week. Sadly, that means I'd have to bring her into the house for the first couple of days and that is NOT something I want to do. Might have to do some housecleaning in the garden shed and make her a space. ::: sigh ::: until she's healed.

So if you wonder why the lack of creative activity... now you know. LOL

Monday, July 31, 2017


Okay, I got nothin' today. At this point my focus is keeping the Stampin' UP! blog current.There are so many things I want to work on but just not enough hours in the day. However, if you read to the bottom, there is something for the art journaler.

We are down to the final 26 days of the girls being here. They still have their summer school pages to do and I'm trying not to be a mean grandma and throw in as much play as possible.  We were pretty light on the school stuff til I realized my eldest (1.0) missed a lot of 2nd grade... and she's going into 4th, which she is not prepared for in a lot of ways. I'm focusing mostly on learning her times tables or division is going to be her undoing. I know if she gets the tables, she'll be much more confident in her work.  And the stay-at-home dad... well, he's been a good day but not so much at getting her ready for Kindergarten. While the youngest (2.0) can sing her ABC's, write her name and three or four other simple words, she can't recognize most of her ABC's out of context. Yet she wants to learn simple addition. Go figure!

Yesterday here, was all about canning tomatoes. Not a lot, mind you. We had 30 tomatoes from the garden that 1.0 picked, I wound up with only 3 pints of diced tomatoes.  After school work this morning, we have errands to run then I'll put them on an art project for the SU blog, but one I will share here as well.

While at Michaels last week I found preprinted canvas' by Creatology for $5 each. They are 10 x 10 and there were three or four designs to choose from. I'll show you later in the week what the girls painted. They are a kit, meaning they come with the paint cups, paint pallet and brush. My first thought was watercolor crayons but then I remembered that SU doesn't have the crayons any more but they do have the pencils. When they were on short supply last year, I ordered a couple of extra sets so the girls will have one set to work with. They will get to see the magic of watercolor pencils on a larger image, I'll have a blog post (or two hehe) and something from them to put in my office.

Of course, I've gone through the entire Michaels Ad as well as catagories you'd think to find the product AND a product search without any results so I'll take pics of the kit and have those later in the week when I show you what they did.

8 1/2" x 11" Hardcover Sketchbooks

These handy sketchbooks are only $5!!  They are great for everything from basic journaling to mixed media (with a gesso treatment for really wet applications).  By Aritst Loft, these 8.5" x 11" hardcover journals have 110 pages in a stitched spine. I bought two. I know, I don't need another art journal but at $5, who can pass them up?

Friday, July 21, 2017

FRIDAY FREEBIE - Camp Reset Essentials

Hey Everyone! Welcome back.

When I was young, I went to camp and later as an adult with my Girl Scout troops. But planning for Camp Reset has been a blast. I'm PLAYING!

The idea behind Camp Reset is to take time for ME. While some might think this is a crazy time for me to do this challenge, in a lot of ways it is the PERFECT time. I'm giving about 98% of my time to the girls but I have to breathe now and then. Camp Reset is my respite from the crazy summer I wouldn't trade for anything.

Okay, reminder of my basket:

We were given a Packing List in our Welcome packet. I've included some of those things and eliminated others. Choosing my own instead.

You see that adorable cat sitting proudly on top? I picked him up when we took the girls to the zoo. Haven't named him yet but it will come to me. You also see edges of things peeking out. So let's check out the packing list:

Stickers from The Paper House and Stickabilities

Bin for Camp Essentials - check
Snacks & Sips.. I just make a trip to the kitchen prior to my quiet time.
Candle/ Diffuser/ Fluffy Socks - I'm eliminating. I have a Sensa pot in my office with a lovely vintage lilac
Bubbles - check (Bought a HUGE bubble wand at $Tree)
iPad and Kindle or books for reading - check
Book about healthy diet/ exercise/ emotional well-being - check
Magazines about health/ crafting/ spirituality - check
Word Search Books - I'm going to practice Zentangle instead. Have tons on my Pinterest board
Mud masks/ beauty treatments - check
Pencil pouch - check 
Journal - check
Planner or TN - check
Retreat Crafty Girl PlayKit - I've chosen to use some of her products and other stickers I already have
I've also included two stamp sets that are camp themed, ink spots and small scrub pad

You saw my planner yesterday, with a journal insert. So let's see what's in the pencil pouch:

Glue stick, tape runner, scissors, ink spots & scrub pad (in the tin) and two roller stamps with appropriately themed quick messages.

Here are the two stamp sets:

I'm using a 1/2 case from Stampin' UP! to hold six rolls of washi tape for adhering stuff to the pages:

I also have an 8.5" x 11" page protector with a sheet of cardstock in it for sturdiness. I keep some stickers as well as the printables from Cori for us to use in our planners. 

Here are the three magazines I've chosen:

A little retreat inspiration for the backyard

Appeared to have some good articles as well as quotes and pictures I could put in the journal.

The premier issue of The Pioneer Woman. Ree shares some great recipes both here and on her blog that I want to try. I've been to The Merc in Pawhuska though the line was way too long to try the food. Next time!

And finally, though not 'healthy', this is my SIP.  I found it at Walmart for $5. There is Peach Schnapps in my future. :-D

While I was late 'getting to camp', I am enjoying the journey and super excited to be sharing it with my sissy, Kitty. Newly retired, she needed a little burst of something and we're doing it together!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

THURSDAY THREADS - Traveler's Notebook - Graphics loaded

 Earlier this month I joined not one but two creative challenges. Camp Reset and One Book July

One is Camp Reset - the brainchild of planner/ crafter/ encourager - Cori Spieker aka The Reset Girl. If you've even glanced at planner stuff in the craft stores you've probably seen some of her product designs distributed through Carpe Diem by Simple Stories.

Our first task was to create an Essentials bag/ basket of things we would use on our Self-Care journey throughout the month of July in the Camp Reset Challenge. Here's my Essentials basket. I'll be explaining more about the contents tomorrow.

The other challenge is One Book July.  THIS video is by one of the three creators of One Book July with a fun take on how the challenge works.  I am using ONE book - ONE pen - ONE 'Go Big Or Stay Home' 

Now, we can interpret the three points however we wish. I am using ONE BOOK - the one I'm about to show you. ONE PEN - one brand but in several colors.  ONE PROJECT - Trying to organize this studio - even if it's just to clear the mixed media pile from in front of my altar. 

But since this is about Threads, I'm going to show you my planner that I am using for both challenges.

I had planned on using a regular planner but in the waking hours after watching several One Book videos, I had a vision of a Traveler's Notebook made from recycled denim jeans. So here's what I came up with:

The notebook is made from a faded/ soft denim with a piece of poster board sandwiched between for a bit of sturdiness. Mine might be a bit off from size but it's 8.5 x 5.25.

Since I'm using more than one pen, a single pen loop on the side wasn't going to work.

I stitched a length of elastic on the inside front cover. The pencil marks I used to designate where the pen divisions needed to be stitched would not erase so I colored the whole strip with an alcohol marker.

I used eyelets to run my elastic bands through. The bands were made from soft-stretch braided elastic. I secured the ends together with a crimp closure used in jewelry making. There are 4 elastic bands holding the four signatures. I want to add at least one more signature to this. But this is what I have so far.

I've never made a Traveler's Notebook before but I want to make another at some point. You'll notice in the first picture I have a side closure rather than the elastic closure that comes out from the center of the side and loops over the entire book. Not sure I'm describing that well so I'm including a YouTube video below for you to check out. I really wanted the vintage button. I used a Tim Holtz elastic closure from the back so that I could loop over the button. 

Here are the inside layouts of my Traveler's Notebook:
The Welcome Page

The Packing List

Camp Itinerary

Badge Tracker. We R Memory Keepers pocket holds badges

Game Day - Wordsearch - All planner related

Right side is cover of the Self-Care signature

Check out my  #TRGCampReset on Pinterest

Habit Tracker
I've added my challenge cards inspiration cards since taking this photo. Ideas for:
Physical Time/ Tech Break/ Creative Time

Self Care/ Routine ideas to implement.
Just put these pages together while we were on vacation last week.
 Didn't get them filled in before I took photos
Camp Calendar
This lets us keep track of chats and things Cori has scheduled.

Notes piece taken from the tracker print out (Left)
Inside cover of the Weekly TN Insert (Right) from Michaels new TN line

Inside spread from the Weekly TN
I've added a monthly calendar sticker from Cori's line.

That's it for the journal. Curious as to what's inside my Essentials basket  Check back tomorrow for an update!

Creative Blessings!