Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dreaming of

So, instead of doing what I need to be doing, I am checking up on my bloggin' friends... in doing so, I ran across Vintage Indie's - " I Dream of Spring Vintage SWAP!". I have noticed in months past all the swaps that go on in blogland, but I have not participated yet( or I always "miss" the sign-up date). So, I'm gonna take part this time, and I made the deadline for sign-ups (barely- March 1st- hurry, if your interested)!
Here are my questions/answers for the swap:

a. What's your favorite part of spring?
Spring showers, flowers and fruit tree blossoms, signs of new life all around, birds chirping (during the day NOT the night ;) ), feeling of warmth, garage sales, the flea market, picnics, playing in the park.

b. What are your favorite flowers?
Do I have to choose? ;) I like alot of different flowers... daises, wildflowers, pink or red roses, magnolias, peonies, gerber daises, larkspur, tulips, sunflower...

c. What types of hobbies/crafts do you enjoy?
I'm so eclectic... I like to dabble here and there. I like to try something new, sometimes I end up not trying, but love to see the talent in someone who does! I love paper crafting, altering, collage, assemblage, card-making, some sewing, scrapbooking, jewelry/beads & charms.

d. What types of vintage do you collect or look for?
Hmmm.... what don't I look for?! Paper stuff (cards, wallpaper, ledger paper, recipe books, etc) children's story books, magazines & toys, holiday items, millinery flowers, trim, fabrics, chandelier crystals, costume bling!, aprons, kitchen dishcloths, pretty handkerchiefs, women's & children's clothing patterns, wooden letterpress letters, blue Pyrex snowflake dishes (I like pink too), metal recipe boxes... (I DID say eclectic!)

e. Any allergies or thing that you absolutely can't stand?
No strong and overpowering fake floral scents.

Fun, fun! I can't wait... Come join!

Here's the Vintage Indie Swap link.
And the Flickr Group link.

And The Winner Is....

Did you think I forgot? Let me tell ya~ yesterday was a bummer... ( I kinda think I like being unplugged!)
First, McKenna woke up with, well, let's just say her diaper exploded (she never goes THAT early in the morning?)... So, it was a bath, changing of the sheets, laundry and such to start the day! Then, Blogger would not publish my post for whatever reason, and my computer decided to have a "hay day" and keep freezing up on me.... Thankfully no crash, but I finally gave up, and decided it wasn't meant to be... I finished the laundry, went through mail, and baked some banana bread instead... Speaking of which, I simply must share with you the best banana bread recipe eva! It's from Martha Stewart (go figure). ;) There are some really great baking recipes in her book.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups ripe mashed banana (about 3 medium)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (opt) (try chocolate chips!)
1 cup (about 4 ounces) walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped (opt)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat two 9x5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer (using the paddle attachment), beat the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil on medium-low speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the vanilla, banana, buttermilk, coconut and nuts (if desired), and beat just to combine.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 60-65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely. Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well, in plastic, for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

**Makes two 9x5 inch loaves or 6 mini loaves (Reduce baking time to 45 minutes if using mini loaf pans)

I had never had coconut in banana bread before, it sounded strange, but we tried it and even the kids liked it! YUM! I hope you give it a try!

NOW.... what youv'e been waiting for, right? The winner (who's name was randomly chosen) is:

TARA! (CoNgRAtuLaTiOnS!)

Let me know your information, and I'll get your surprise off to ya! I will post a picture of your surprise later (my husband took the camera to New York and I didn't think of taking a picture) Doh! Thank you all for your comments and a fun unplugged day (week, in Tara's case)!
Do come back and "see" me again!
HUGS! ;)

(Update 3/2/08): Finally! Here's what coming to you in the mail, Tara!
Hope you enjoy it! ;)
An Easter ornament and 12 springtime tags to use for gift-giving, scrapbooking, projects or whatever!

Monday, February 25, 2008

My "Unplugged" Results...

Well, after starting out shaky, with some (great) expectations (I know, Rebecca said not to), but I thought I could get SO MUCH creativity done!! Though once I decided that it didn't matter HOW creative I got with whatever I did, then the flow and rhythm of creativity set in...
I made around 15 cards for thank yous and birthdays. I kept them simple this time (I even used leftovers just lying around), so that I could have a good pile ready to go. I sent out 4 of them right away...
I then decided to pull out a box of vintage "paper stuff"- magazines, ads, cards, stickers, children's books, etc. that had been compiled from past projects and thrift/estate/etsy sales. That was kinda fun. I sifted through and pulled out some pieces for some projects I've had in my head to do. With that, I started (but have not finished yet) a dimensional project that I need to take another unplugged day to finish! ;)

And finally, after school I sat down with my kids and we made their no-sew fleece blankets that they have wanted for, well, let's just say for a really long time now... THAT had to of been the most fun and creative project of the unplugged day. McKenna walked back and forth all over the blankets while I was cutting the fringe, and while Bailey and Braden tried to tie. We talked, laughed, goofed around, and were just plain silly! It reminded me that I need to take more of those moments to share creativity with my kids- after all, it was part of my motherhood dream...
I am very happy with my simple unplugged day... I was creative and tackled some projects that needed finishing or tending to, AND spent some truly quality time with my kiddos, all at the same time.

Thank you, Rebecca, for suggesting a much needed kind of day. I, too, will be setting aside these kind of days much more often...
Update 2/26: Don't forget to leave a comment, I will be drawing a name later on tonight! I know Elizabeth & Tara unplugged, did anyone else?? ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Day to Unplug...

So, Ms Rebecca posted on her blog that she is taking a day to disconnect and be "unplugged". No television, computer, phone, etc. One day to immerse into total creative bliss. She asked that people join her, and I am. My day is Friday. (I had told her Thursday, but oops, forgot about an appt at 1:00pm) So Friday is my day... nothing but some music (which doesn't count, because that for me, is part of the creative process).
So anyone that wants to join, leave a comment here with what day you plan to "unplug", post the "unplugged" invite on your blog, then come back on Monday or Tuesday with pictures of what you did! And like Rebecca said, no pressure, no high expectations, just be in total creative bliss! RELAX and ENJOY!

Some ideas to do on your "unplugged" day:

1) Go through those heaps of magazines, pull out pages or ones you want to keep...

2) Finish one or two of the umpteen projects you have on your table, in that box, on that shelf...

3)Journal- Sit and write a few lines of inspiration, times past, or on those layouts that would be finished except for the journaling...even on those loose photographs!

4) Play with your kids! Make it "ART DAY WITH MOMMY"... don't forget some pictures of such an memorable time!

5)Make cards... I know I am always making a card when I need it, not ahead of time. Have a big pile stacked up ready to be chosen for that special someone or celebration!

(Edited addition: If you leave a comment on my unplugged post by next Tuesday, whether you join the unplugged day or not, I will draw a name and have a little surprise waiting to send out to you!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Balloon Animals vs. Fashion?

Can you believe this? My husband "twists balloons" as a hobby... He's not a pro, but he sure makes the kids excited and happy with a sword, dog, or fish! But this just takes "balloon animals" to a totally different level, don't ya think? LOL Quite amazing! Here's more to see.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

You've Got To...

Be careful whose blog you read! (hee hee) I have been TAGGED... lol well, everyone got tagged from Sherelle Christensen, on her blog "My Crazy Life". Sherelle is so very talented, and I have stalked her blog for quite sometime now (sorry Sherelle, I am one of those 900 readers who don't always comment!) ;) Not only is she a talent, she sounds like a great mom, with 4 beautiful children!
I thought this would be fun to share with those who don't know me well, or those that think they do ;), and even those who really do (you might not know one thing about me)!

So here I go:

10 years ago?
We had just moved into our newly constructed home (Oct), and I had my first baby, Bailey Grace, who was consequently born in our new home, delivered by my husband ~totally unexpected!!!

Things on my to-do list today?
Oh, nothing, if I can do it.... ;) Actually, piles of laundry, put away Valentine's decor, I should really dust- but I can't stand doing it, clean up my studio to a point where I can walk in it (more than just to the computer and back), work on a birthday gift, send two thank you cards, make and send an anniversary card, maybe think about my Christmas picture cards that never got done for the holidays (oh boy), and generally keep things under control...

What would I do if I were suddenly made a billionaire?
Share some with family and friends, give to our church remodeling campaign, give to missions fund, give to organizations on cancer, diabetes, and crohn's research, and buy or build two vacation homes, one in the mountains, and one at the beach, then I would move and build a bigger house, one that would have enough bedrooms for each of my three kids (so they each can have their own, along with an extra one or two bedrooms for our guests.

Three of my bad habits?
Perfectionist...if I can't make it perfect, then I tend to keep procrastinating the project or won't do it all. I spend too much time on the computer, and oh, I see the word procrastinate up above...

Five jobs I've had?

1) Waitress at "Wagon Wheel" restaurant in Julesburg, Co in high school.

2) Dance teacher, after graduating high school and in college.

3) A photo techi that checked out photo equipment to students on campus.

4) Commercial photo biz: photographer's assistant, still life & fashion stylist(I got to tell Troy Aikman what clothes to change into, run my fingers through his hair (to fix it for photos), and straighten his clothing (for the photographs!)) producer, scout & set builder (those pretty much take it past the 5 jobs, I guess). However....

5) My current job: Mother to three wonderful children... I don't get a paycheck, but I'm paid well!

Five things people don't know about me?
1) As much as I would really like to be, I am really not that social...I do like a girls night out every once in awhile though. I know it may sound strange to say "I'd like to be social, but then I'd rather just stay home." Huh? I don't know what it means either.

2) In college I was asked to join an Aspen Dance group for the summer to perform at a yearly festival... (I ended up not being able to participate and I regret the decision now)

3) I do NOT like to talk on the phone. Some of you probably know this. It's especially difficult to talk to others with my children around... I get so distracted by them. And for whatever reason I have a hard time hearing some people over the phone. Just not a good combination.

4) I rode in numerous parades, as a young child, back in the 70's with my grandparents, my grandfather being the senator of Colorado. (Thanks, Valarie!;) )

5) I really, really want to learn to play the guitar... and I'd like to get back into playing the piano (what little I know- or knew!)

6) Okay, so I have another... I am so sentimental. I always think about my grandparents, my parents, my sister and brother...the fun memories of growing up. I can get very emotional. I want to make so many memories for my kids. I am always constantly thinking of things from my past to pass down to my kids, whether it be traditions or "things" from my childhood, grandmothers, mother, etc.

Now, I tag Karla, Jessi (if you feel up to it), Elizabeth, Tammy, Kimla (if you haven't had that sweet baby yet!), and YOU! (make sure you come back and tell me!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I just love Valentine's Day... it comes in second, after Christmas, of favorite holidays. I love the hues of pink & red AND it's another excuse for more GLITTER!. A few years ago, I liked to add the violets too, but this year, it was all about pink and red. Well, okay, I did try a little pink and aqua for a Valentine flair. I love to send secret valentine heart notes and sweets in my kids lunches... I love to wear red and/or pink (this year it was pink and brown). I bought the cutest little apron from Elaine (FitToBeTied), from her Etsy store. Actually I bought three. One for each of McKenna's teachers, and one for me. I wore it to the class parties at school and you'd think wearing an apron was weird or something?! ;P No, actually, I had many compliments, along with some puzzled looks.
Since I am the room mom in Braden's class, I planned the entire party, complete with a cookie cake, pretzels, goldfish, cucumber, carrots & ranch, grapes, and drinks. We played two games: "Steal My Heart" and "Cupid's Surprise". Both were a huge hit! And then we had the valentine exchange. The kids get so giddy looking through their bags of goodies. I just love that I can be in the classroom with the kids! McKenna was with me this time, and she loved every minute of it (and so did the kids!). She ate with them, played the games with them, and danced to the music for the Cupid's Surprise game ( in the middle of their circle). They didn't mind, they thought it was fun and cute!

My Mojo is Back....
I had wanted to make an altered valentine box for my friend (Katie's) birthday gift for two years now, and with all the altered valentine box swaps happening this year, I decided it was time to "get 'er done". And done I did. I had so much fun with this box, and she loved it too. Well, that got my creative juices flowin' again(Amen!), so I decided to make Valentine ribbon pins for her, the kids teachers, and the nursery/preschool staff at our church. I had wanted to make vintage valentines for McKenna's class this year, so I had been stock piling valentines. I didn't get vintage valentines done, but here is what I came up with for the pins... I made 15 of these fun and festive doodads! And I even made one for myself (that rarely happens). I hope all you were filled with joy and love all through they day!