Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Trip to Arizona


We just made it!  If our flight had been any later in the day, we would have been delayed by the snow storm!  We had a really great trip.  Highlights - in no particular order!

  • Great food - from the Prime Rib, Craig and Sue made for Xmas day to Picasso's Pizza in Sedona, Lori's grilled turkey and steaks, Sue's cheesecake and fudge - I am hitting the treadmill double time to get ready for Valentines 5K!

  • Max being WOUND up to open presents - one meltdown per day from Saturday before Xmas to Xmas day.  Oh well, he's 7!  Legos...Legos...Ninento DS Games...and a new, really rad electronic guitar!  (Thanks, Grammie for our listening pleasure....)

  • Scott got in some good golfing....Linda - (a lovely golfer who does not know proper golf etiquette)

  • Seeing Lori's beautiful new home in Prescott and having a very nice time! Sketching with Kasey! Christmas lights in the park... Prescottvalleyxmaslights

  • Seeing Marcia and John's new beatiful home in Scottsdale - Tip:  Buy your sleeper sofa/chairs from Lazyboy because they don't have the bar and they are lovely to sleep on!

  • Gorgeous Sedona - The Helicopter Ride!  Max had a ball and Scott tried to keep his eyes open!

  • Taking our family photos the first day - will update with pics later.

Well, I am sure I am missing lots, but all in all, it was a whirlwind and we'll be doing it again hopefully next year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Joy Books - Merry Christmas!

This is a long one...but so cool - from Needlecraft Magazine, 1924.  Author is just listed as A.G.F.  I made a notebook cover for Max's teacher - sadly, no time to take a pic.  Max said she was pretty happy to receive! 

Her Book of Joys

Very often during a trolley trip in town or out again, I hear a sermonette which means so much to me that I cannot resist the temptation to take it down and send it on a mission.  This time it concerns a joy-book.  One of my girls has it; at least, I hope she is one of my girls and that if she sees this she will write and tell me so.

She sat just behind me the other morning – which happened to be a cloudy one.  A friend was with her; bright pretty girls, both of them – but with a difference as I discovered when I cast a brief glance over my shoulder after a minute or two.  One face was alight with the sunshine of good-nature and gladness, the other shadowed by discontent.  And it wasn’t a bit difficult to be sure which was which; the voice matched the face.

Said one of them, “I think it is too mean for anything.  You know I found a lovely piece of crepe in town yesterday – just what I wanted for my regatta – frock – and asked the sales woman to hold it until I could find out how much I needed.  And this morning when I telephoned, they said it was all sold.  I can’t find anything else I’ll like half so well.  Oh, of course I said I’d let her know in an hour or two, but I forgot it –and anyway she needn’t have been so fussy; a few hours couldn’t make any difference.  I don’t see why people have to be so disobliging.  I know it’s going to rain this afternoon, too, and I want to go canoeing.  O dear!  Sometimes I think I’m the most unlucky girl in the world.  Nothing ever goes right for me; my joys always turn out glooms.”

There came a soft little laugh from the other girl.  Said she, “There’s where you and I disagree. Now I think there could hardly be a luckier girl than you dear mother.”  There was a quick catch in the voice, and an instant’s silence which I understood.  “Why, it would keep your busy until the skies fall just to count your joys, and by the time you were half through there wouldn’t be a gloom in sight.  It is the way we look at things, and think of them, that makes the difference you know.  Want me to tell you about something that helped me to send those glooms flying?  Two years ago I spent the summer with grand mamma down at the old farm.  It was pretty lonesome, and I’d wanted awfully to go into camp with the other girls, so what with the disappointment and all I fancy I wasn’t very happy company.  But grandmamma didn’t seem to mind – only one day I cam across a queer old book that I’m sure she’d left where I’d be likely to find it.  It was made of letter-paper, with pasteboard covers, the pages yellowed and the ink faded – not so much but I could read every word, though, and I did.  It was like a diary.  There was something for every day – something good and joyful, something to be glad of if it were only a robin’s son, or the first ripe apples, or going to the village with father; never a whine or a grumble anywhere, made me ashamed of my fussing, and I said so to grandmamma.  ”It’s a regular book of joys,” I said.  And grandmamma smiled.  “Well, I guess that’s a good name for it,” said she.  “You see, I used to look at life through blue glasses when I was a young girl, and that’s why my mother took to break me of it.  “She made the book for me and told me to write down at least one thing I found to please me every day, no matter how small.  At first I couldn’t find much of anything.  I’d fallen so into the habit of having things go wrong; but I had been trained to as mother said, and so I began looking sharp for pleasant things.  And it was really wonderful now they multiplied, and how the unpleasant things dropped away.  We’re bound to see what we look for, you know – and the choice is ours.”  So grandmamma said, and it is true.  I made a joy-book for myself to prove it, and I’ve been a thousand times happier every since.  When you keep your eye single to joys, you know, you cannot see glooms,” said the other girl between a sigh and a smile.  “Well, you surely are a brightener, and everybody always wants you along.  I’ve sometimes wondered why – maybe it’s the joy-book.  Anyway, I believe I’ll make one and try it.   The sun’s coming out – see!  So we can go canoeing, after all.  And probably we can find just as pretty a color of crepe.” 

Then the car stopped at my subway station, and I heard nothing more save a gay little laugh from both my girls together.

But I am already making a joy-book of my own.  Will you? 


Needlecraft Magazine September, 1924

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunday Me Time!


I have been cravin' some me time!  With not driving anymore..that makes it just a little difficult to get a day to be off to myself.  Saturday, I had the inspiration that Scott should drop me off in Stillwater in the late morning and pick me up after the Packer game!  Yeah! 

I started at the far end of mainstreet at a large Antique mall.  Nooks and crannies abound!  I was looking for old embroidery and vintage aprons, maybe some old craft or knitting magazines and patterns.  I found a jar of buttons, 2 fabulous publications - one from 1912 and the other from 1924.  More on those in a later post - they are full of goodies!! I also found 8 vintage heavy linen napkins in great condition for $8.  Perfect for future embroidery projects! 

I stopped and had lunch at Savories - a European bistro.  I had a lovely pear and gorgonzola salad with yummy potatoe soup.  I love to people watch in restaurants!  After lunch, I was passing a windwo display and it really caught my eye.  It's called Pulp Fashion.  They are a stationery and gift story.  They took long rolls of paper and made a birch tree forest with a string of letters saying happy holidays.  It was very graphic and right up my alley!  Unfortunately no pic, cause I didn't feel comfortable taking it.  They had taken down their fall display and there were baskets of paper apples in all different types of paper and sizes.  She said take as many as you want!  Yeah!! I am such a dork that that makes me happy..anyway I am going to do a window display of my own after the xmas stuff gets put away.  I bought all sorts of goodies there - xmas cards, paper ornaments kit by K & Company, notebook, regular note cards...very fun store!!

I was off next to more antique stores and then I went into a rug hooking is escaping me..but a new embroidery tool did not!  I got a Punch needle and I can't wait to play around with it!  It's basically like rug-hooking but on a miniature scale.  I had about 1/2 hour left and I needed caffeine, so off to Starbucks I went.  I sat right by the fire and sipped on my large white mocha peppermint latte and watched even more interesting people go by! 

What a great day!  It's a must do..every 3 months or so!

Oh yeah - I got to listen to these folks too - :)  Carolers

Friday, December 14, 2007

Shuttle! First Science Project Done!

Yes, Max and I are the best crafty team!  4 hours of work, flickr tube, cardstock, cut up water bottle, lots of paint and mod podge and newspaper. Here's Max intently working...Max_startshuttle_2

Here it is  - all finished!Max_shuttlefinal

Ornaments are Sent!

Yeah!!  Got them done and now I am starting to receive!!  So cool!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Crafty To Do List

1)  FINISH the homemade xmas ornaments for the swap.  1/2 my swap folks are gettin' hand-painted father xmas and the other half are getting hand-embroidered ornaments.  Since I wanna be a good swap buddie - these puppies are gettin' in the mail MONDAY - 1 week before the due date.  Edit 12/14 - Yeah right!  They did get in the main FRIDAY.  I am happy to be on time!!

2)  Start on surprise apron for my friend K.  She loves sushi and I found the greatest sushi fabric online along with an embroidery pattern from Sublime Stitching

3)  Get our holiday cards figured out.  I got yummy glitter from Michaels and I can't wait to play!

4)  Well, it's not my project, but the little guy needs to make a space shuttle for his space unit at school.  Lots of decoupage and paint!  Edit 12/14 - We are all done!  Just need to take final pics and post!

I am NOW GOING OFFLINE and making something!  LOL

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gingerbread House Party 2007

Each year, one of our super nice neighbors puts on a gingerbread house decorating party - she literally makes 95 gingerbread houses out of graham crackers.  Kara and I took the boys to the 1:00 session (1:30 due to our previous windshield wiper adventures that morning).  Of course, I step on a 2-year olds foot cause I don't see the little guy! I love the idea of this party, but it brings up all the social shyness that I have ever had..oh well.  Anyway - here's Max.  There was an older boy - probably 11 or 12 doing a really precise job on his house and Max was fascinated.  He loves older kids This pic shows how he is really watching what this older boy is doing.

Max_gingerbread_2007 We will be building another house, cause Klutzy Kelly wins again this week!  I dropped the house getting into the front door.  OK NOTE TO SELF- quit trying to carry 20 things while trying to walk successfully.  It does not work!  Practice patience and multiple trip taking.  I am off to play legos with the boy. 

Reindeer Run 2007

Let's go run in our first snow storm of the year!  Details - 9:30 on Saturday, Dec. 1st 2007.  Just as Kara and I reached downtown mpls, the snow had started to fall.  By the time we reached Lake Calhoun - 1 in. on the ground.  We parked about 1 mile from the event, so it was hussle, hussle to get there on time.  Wow, there had to be 5000 people there!  Fast paid for the registration, got seperated from Kara when I took a pitstop, successfully got the long-sleeve t and then proceeded to pop into the mass of runners about 200 yards from the start - you literally could't get to the start, it was just a wave of people!  I got to follow a cute bunch of marines and about 1 mile in, it finally started to spread out.  Since I fell on the stairs this week at home, the tailbone was not feelin' the best, so I went pretty slow.  The snow made me a little nervous - I am not the most graceful of fallers - arms, legs flailing.  I am a tall girl and it's not pretty.  About at mile 2, I started to walk and this gal slapped me with her glove and said - get goin girl!  You can do it.  Geez - ok then!  Of course she stays about 5 steps behind me the whole last mile, so I couldn't stop.  Right when I was about to stop ANYWAY - she says - you're almost done!  Up this hill and around the corner.  So there ya go - finished!  I should have started more of a conversation with her, but the huffing and puffing kinda puts a damper on that!  Met up with Kara at the end..  Here's my stuffie pin I madeReindeerrun2007_2  - he'll become a xmas tree decoration.  He's a little crusted with snow -

Here's Kara and I too -Snowykelly Kara_superhandywoman

We were late getting back home because we had a little issue with the windshield wipers.  Those are handy dandy things to have working in a snowstorm.  We got off the highway, stopped at a hotel and Kara was able to get a tool to tighten the bolts.  Yah, so if it had been me, no Kara - it would have been frantic time because I would have no clue!  Kara, however is now dubbed Handy SuperWoman.  Heated seats are the second best handy dandy item when you are cold and wet from running 3.2 miles in the snow.  Note to self - buy actual good outdoor running gear.  Bring a change of dry clothes. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Ali Edwards wrote about her holiday traditions and I thought it was a good idea to copy her! :)  So here are our old traditions along with some new.

Old -

New PJ's for Max for Xmas eve - this dates back to when I was a kid!  Sometimes scratchy, always a nightgown..second thought, I remember some feety ones too.  Max does not really wear pajamas - loves to take after Daddy with wearing boxers to bed....we'll see what we can find.

Going snow-tubing one Saturday before the holiday.  We go to Trollhagen in Dresser, WI.  It was really fun last year!  I'll have to edit this post and put some pics from last year.  We went with the Hales last year. 

Watch Bing Crosby's White Christmas - I have done this for as long as I can remember, about 10 years ago, I bought the video. 

Set-up my Santa display and bell garland - Growing up, we had this gold bell garland and about 3 years ago, I found some, so that always brings back memories!  Untangling then and now is always fun.  Santa display started 14 years ago when I took my first painting class and painted Father Xmas.  It's grown from there.

Shrimp cocktail for xmas eve - We do love our snackies!   

Gifts from Santa on the fireplace mantel - our first xmas with Max - I came out to get a drink of water and all of Santa's presents had moved from underneath the tree to the lower mantel.  So I moved them back.  The next morning, Scott was like - what the...santa always leaves the presents on the mantel...well, my santa always left them under the tree...we now leave them on the mantel. :) 

Shopping with Mom and Lori - this is a new/old tradition in that Mom has been gone now for 7 years, but I still think about it each year.  I really miss her.  Scott and I now go shopping together for Max.  That is actually very fun because I have been informed that I don't have a clue about what to buy for a boy.  It's true, if it were up to me, the kid would have all art supplies and books.  It is very cute to watch Scott in Toys R Us. 

New traditions:

Going to AZ for a week!  We are very excited to visit both Scott's family and mine! 

I would love to take Max out one night to see lights - we'll have to figure that one out. 

Holiday Ornament Exchange - I have, I think 8 or 10 ornaments to make before 12/15.  I am about 1/2 done - will post pics when they are finished. 

Now I have the bug to think of more.  Off to watch the season premier of Universe on the history channel - I have been told to stop blogging now!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

CranberrystrueselWe headed off to the lodge to spend Thanksgiving day with my father-in-law.  He cooked!  Fabulous!  Even better-he's a great cook!  I got to make desert - helped with this one.  Here's the recipe.  Yummy!  Cranberry Streusel - Tart and sweet, you can't skip vanilla ice cream with this one! 

MaxmustacheMax was bored..imagine that!  So he devised..on his own.. to create a costume and game where he is a gun salesman.  Yes, folks...I am concerned too.  He even had contracts all written up that when you buy a gun, you had to sign your life away.  I need to quiz him a little more on where that all came from

ThanksgivingfireOther than that - I sat by the fire and began my newest pair of socks, Simple Trekking Socks - yep, I know I am about 2.5 years behind the trend.  I have another pair of finished socks to post..just gotta get the pics taken.  I also started and finished Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry...aka Crazy Aunt Purl.  I have read her blog for over a year now, and specifically made Scott stop at Walmart so I could buy the book.  When your son keeps asking you what are you laughing at - that's all the book review you need!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Inspiration & Your Blessings

Got this last week in a work email.  It's what's inspiring me this week!

This is a story about a guy, a guy like many; common, questioning his existences, measuring himself to others, never believing in his abilities or his worth.

Then one day, his passion outgrew his fears as he stepped onto a stage, a stage that took him to a place beyond his self imposed prison.

Watch the faces of the judges as this guy walks out on the stage. You can almost see what they're thinking as they pre-judge this guy based on his looks and the fact that he's a cell phone salesman.

Maybe this guy stopped believing in what people told him for so many years and ultimately started listening to his passion.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First Real Bags with Linings!

I am so stinkin' proud of myself!  Craftster rules!  I found this great tutorial for The Jordy Bag.  Bought the fabric this morning -sewed this afternoon!  I never even really knew what interfacing was for!  That stuff is awesome!  I love that I was actually able to do this and make the square bottom!

First_jordy_front Here's the rest of my pics - both of the Jordy Bag and my impromtu Maxi Jean Bag! 

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Great Mail

I got the ring I ordered from Pookeh this last Friday.  I love fun rings and she put together a fun package for me to open!Pookeh_ring

  Good idea to recycle magazine pages for wrapping! 


Ok - so I know I am the last person to get registered on Craftster.  Geez - I am there for 30 minutes and I now have 4 different projects I want to make.  I have to GET OFF the internet to do this however!!

Goodbye Godaddy!

Aaaaarrrgg - there, it's now out of my system!  I have dislodged myself from their *%^%$$# website utility and I am so happy to be here instead!!