Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Studio Daily Routine Challenge

Morning, ya'll!  I'm back today to share my take on The Studio's latest challenge, which is all about scrapping your daily routine.  Many of you already know that I'm a homeschool mom, so the biggest part of my daily routine is helping my kiddos through their studies.  Yes, it's challenging; but the rewards are endless, and we wouldn't have it any other way.  I couldn't help but dive into my October Jenni Bowlin kit one more time before opening my November box.  So, most of the products used here come from just such with a few extras thrown in to finish things off.  Enjoy!
I started this page by layering a number of color-coordinating, patterned papers, as well as a perforated strip, cut in the form of a pennant, on the bright, yellow, alphabet, base page, just above and to the left of center and anchoring them with gray-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  I then matted my photos with Whisper White cardstock, adhered them in their respective locations, and grounded the whole look with the "the daily GRIND" title, which was created from aqua letters and a Cameo-cut, White, cardstock "GRIND," as well as the stamped, in Jet Black ink, "a day in the life AUG 23 2012" date.
The photo grouping was flanked by a Cameo-cut feather, as well as a wire, polka dot feather; "Knowledge", sticker pennant; and a chipboard house, which was coated with acrylic paint, ink distressed, and glittered, on the left...
and a jar, wrapped with a length of Baker's Twine, tied in a bow, and polka dot label on the right.
I then tucked a brown, scalloped tag, as well as a "SCHOOL REPORT", journaling card and file folder tab, which was stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the word "Assignments", under the photo grouping's top edge and a star bit under its bottom.
A hand-cut, from patterned paper, cloud, stapled near the top of the design, as well as a handful of hand-cut, from patterned paper, leaves; foam, camera sticker; and bunch of stamped, in Jet Black ink, leaves, complete the look.
Further inspiration for this challenge came from Let's Get Sketchy's November Week 2 Sketch.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what the rest of the team has whipped up, as well as to get all of your challenge details.  Can't wait to see what you all cook up!  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a blessed Sunday!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: date (Dear Lizzy); Class Act (Wplus9); Nuts About Nature (Market Street Stamps) Paper: Whisper White (SU!); White (Wplus9); perforated, brown polka dot, & yellow alphabet (Jenni Bowlin); aqua polka dot & multicolored chevron (Fancy Pants); text & leaf (October Afternoon); multicolored floral (MME) Ink: Jet Black, Tea Dye, Antique Linen, & Pumice Stone (Ranger) Other: gray thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); feather cut file, wired polka dot feather, chipboard house, & "SCHOOL REPORT" & star journaling cards (Jenni Bowlin); Cameo (Silhouette); cloud (Bella Blvd.); staples & stapler (office supply store); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); jar (Me & My Big Ideas); scallop tag (MME); "Knowledge" banner (Crate Paper); Titanium White acrylic paint (FolkArt); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); aqua alphas (October Afternoon); camera pillow puff & orange tab (unknown); brown scallop journaling card (Elle's Studio)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

For the Love of Books

It's the weekend, y'all!  Woohoo!  We don't have anything in particular planned today except getting a few nagging things done around the house.  It's a never-ending battle.  I also promised Adina that I'd take her Christmas shopping and am hoping to bank a few creative hours, because while I'm uber blessed to get to design for some fantastic challenge blogs, a number of my assignments are due over Thanksgiving weekend, and I'd much rather be spending that time with my family.  Oh!  And I have six loaves of pumpkin banana bread, that I promised to bake for our Thanksgiving meals collection at church, to make and have delivered by this Sunday.  Okay, so maybe we DO have something in particular planned.  Reading back over all that just now overwhelmed me a little.  There aren't enough hours in the day.  So, I'd better cut out the chit-chat and get right to the reason for this post.

The book I've chosen to share, with you all, this month is just plain silly and full of fun.  It is written for children ages five to eight, filled with such delightful rhyme that I couldn't possibly resist adding a bit to my summary, and illustrated by one of my all-time favorite artists ever, Marla Frazee.  Matter of fact, she illustrated at least two other book reviews I've done right here on my blog.  She always has such amazing detail and expression in her illustrations.  It's almost as if she actually lived the stories herself.
In The Seven Silly Eaters, by Mary Ann Hoberman, Lucy bellows for pink lemonade, all Jack eats is applesauce, and Mary Lou demands soft and squishy, homemade bread.  From milk served warm, not hot or cold, to eggs cooked poached or fried, each new addition to the Peters family brings with him/herself a new demand, but "Mrs. Peters did not mind.  She was a mother sweet and kind" and worked herself to the bone to meet everyone's requests.  As her children watched her drag herself to bed the night before her birthday, they decided to make her a birthday breakfast from "all the foods that kept them in such happy moods."  But everything goes wrong when Mac's strained oatmeal turns out lumpy.  In an attempt to hide the mess, they created "a pink and plump and perfect cake," which became the single, simple meal fit for each and every one of Mrs. Peters' picky eaters.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 extra egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup oats, blended until fine
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries, blended
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼ tsp pink Wilton paste food coloring
  • whipped cream and fresh strawberries for garnish
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°; grease and flour tube pan.
  2. Warm milk on medium for 5 minutes; add lemon juice; allow to sit until thickened.
  3. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat eggs in one at a time.
  5. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and oatmeal.
  6. Blend applesauce with raspberries and thickened milk.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the eggs, alternating with applesauce mix; scrape side of bowl with spatula to ensure that everything is well mixed; gently fold in remaining egg whites, and mix well.
  8. Pour the batter into the tube/angel food pan; set on middle rack, and bake for approximately one hour.
  9. Cool for half an hour
  10. Serve with whipped cream and strawberries.
Thanks so much for reading!  Now, get out there and enjoy your Saturday!  Hugs!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Family Update

Happy Friday, friends!  I know it's been quiet around here this week.  I've been super busy... just... with everything.  Eleven seems to be a really difficult age for my big kiddo.  His pediatrician confirmed that it was for both of her boys, too, and is so for many young boys in general, which didn't give me an ounce of comfort.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  I've never been a parent to an eleven-year-old; and I know that this may come as a shock to you, but I've never been a boy.  LOL!

All kidding aside, it takes all I've got to want to walk into the kitchen in the morning.  I'd much rather just let him do his thing and keep my distance.  He's so moody and changes personalities on a dime.  Everything seems to be a trigger.  I know that much of it is due to the onset of puberty, but friends, I can't help but wonder if this is what life has in store for us all.  There, no doubt, have been a lot of prayers sent heavenward for help; especially since everyone, that I ask for advice, looks at me like I'm insane and blows me off with a "He's such a good boy."  Don't get me wrong.  I'm so glad that he is when we're in public.  I don't think I could handle it if he weren't.  I'm already on the brink with it happening solely behind closed doors, but I could really use some honest-to-goodness, tried-and-true, solid ideas.

The other side of it all is that I've got two other beautiful babies to care for, and the last thing I want to do is drag them into this mess.  Unfortunately, they're right in the middle of it.  Fortunately, they seem to be no worse for the wear and are so good at bringing back my smile.
I promise that I didn't know Kaden's buns were in that second shot above, until I was editing pics.  Tee hee!  So cute!  He turned nine-months-old on the 2nd and is crawling all over the place, which means I now have another little shadow.  We just moved his crib down to the lowest level, as he's been pulling himself up to his knees for quite some time and begun doing the same to both feet.  He's so good at just going with the flow.  I think you have to be when you're the third kid.  Sometimes, with all the activities going on, he just has to sleep when he can.  Fortunately, we're pretty good about making sure he gets his nearly twelve hours through the night.  It's those daytime naps that sometimes have to suffer.  His favorite toy, right now, is a big bowl of plastic veggies from our play kitchen.  He leaves them all over the place and topples the bowl every time anyone tries to consolidate them back to their home.  I just love that something so simple can make him so happy.
Oreo has settled into her new home with ease, and Adina, who is now begging for a kitten, too, just loves her to bits.  Last night, in the tub, Adina said that her wish for Thanksgiving was to get a new kitten, and it could come true, because wishes really do come true, like in Cinderella.  SO FUNNY!  But no, we are NOT getting a kitten.  We're already busting at the seams in our little home.  Not to mention, I know exactly who would be the one to take care of it, and I simply don't have a minute to spare.  Fortunately, her daddy is allergic.  So, it's easy to say no; but if she were to go asking him, I think we'd have a Thanksgiving kitten on our front step.  He'd just pump the allergy pills for the foreseeable future.  He's such a sucker for those big, brown eyes.
She's also been working hard at her studies.  She's loving learning to write in cursive.  I taught her so much kindergarten material last year in preschool that I thought learning it would give her something new and different to look forward to.  I love how that has worked out so well, especially because she still seems quite a bit ahead of her online kindergarten class.  Fortunately, I've got lots of other things up my sleeves to make sure that she doesn't get bored.
I got another PINCHme box.  It contained a sample each of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts and American Crew Power Cleanser Style Remover.  The Hemp Hearts tasted a lot like sunflower seeds, but I liked the texture lots more.  They were delicious sprinkled on our dinner salads, and the Power Cleanser was just that.  I shouldn't have added it to my cart, as none of the members of my family use much product in their hair and always feel as though these types of cleansers strip and damage our hair.  This sample was no different.
And before I run, I've got a few pics to share of our trip, to Lawrence, to visit my aunt and uncle and grandpa a couple of weekends back.
We were surprised that my cousin and his family were there, when we arrived, too.  You may remember him and his wife from their wedding back here.  It was extra fun to get to see them, because their son was born 44 minutes (Really!) before Kaden, and we hadn't had the opportunity to meet him yet.
He and Kaden played happily alongside one another...
and Marty didn't fuss when Kaden pulled his ear...
and Kaden just held on tight when Marty tried to steal his Cheerios.  LOL!  They're going to be such good friends.
My aunt and uncle fixed an amazing dinner in their pizza oven, which was right up our alley (We love pizza!), and entertained my big kiddos with books and feeding the chickens and riding on the four-wheeler and everything in between.  We had such a great visit!
Well, that sums up a few of the highs and lows.  Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to check in on us!  Have a great weekend!  XOXO

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Paper Sweeties November Release Rewind

Note:  This is my fourth post in the last 24 hours.  What a whirlwind!  I'd be thrilled if you'd scroll down and check out all the fun!

Well, you made it!  It's the final day of Paper Sweeties' November Release, and all the new goodies you've seen here and on the Design Team's blogs are officially available in the Paper Sweeties Shoppe.  How about one last, release-inspired creation?
I started this card by stamping the bottom center of a piece of tree, patterned paper, in Jet Black ink, with the "HAPPY Holidays" sentiment...
and trimming both its vertical edges with strips of a pink and red, stripe, patterned paper, before anchoring it to the White, cardstock, card face with white-threaded, zig-zag, machine stitches.
I then framed a "Post Card" journaling card with White cardstock; stamped it, in Jet Black ink, with the ornament string, as well as the floral/Christmas lights flourish, which was colored in with pencils; and adhered it, with foam tape, in the top center of the card face.  A yellow brad and trio of gemstones, as well as a die-cut, Cupid's Arrow, cardstock "Noel"...
prep the design for the ornament, which was stamped, in Real Red ink, on a White, cardstock die cut; glittered; and adhered, to the end of the stamped string, with foam tape.  The holly was stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a White, cardstock die cut; colored with pencils; embellished with a trio of buttons, laced with white string; and adhered near the top of the prepped ornament.  A red, fringed ribbon, tied in a bow, completes the look.
I also couldn't help rounding out this release without sharing this pretty wreath my beautiful girl made with those same holly leaves, from the Holly Days die set, above.
Thanks ever so much to Debbie and her talented crew for having me again!  I've had so much fun and can't wait to ink all these goodies up again in the near future!  If you're not a regular follower of my blog, once again, have a safe and blessed holiday season.  And for the rest of you, thanks so much for continuing to inspire and bless me with every sweet comment you leave.  You sure know how to make a girl smile, and I promise to be around to visiting again ASAP.  Love you all!

Amber Kroening
Debbie Marcinkiewicz – Paper Sweeties
Jinny Newlin *special Guest Designer* (You're here!)

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Happy Holidays Holly Days (Paper Sweeties) Paper: White & Cupid's Bow (Wplus9); trees (October Afternoon); pink/red stripe (Fancy Pants) Ink: Real Red (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Holly Days & Joy dies (Paper Sweeties); Big Shot (Sizzix); journaling "Post Card" (Simple Stories); gemstones (crafts-too); yellow brad (MME); pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); buttons (DeNami Design); white string & fringed ribbon (Hobby Lobby); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives)

Color Me Scrappy Challenge #74

Note:  If you've come here looking for my Paper Sweeties November Release Party and/or Stuck?! November 15th Sketch post(s), please scroll down.

Morning, friends!  I got tickets for my hubby and big kiddos to attend a screening for the upcoming movie Paddington this morning, and while everyone is away and just as soon as Kaden lies down for his am nap, I've got plans to get all the wood floors in my house scrubbed.  What a great way to spend my Saturday.  Huh?  Actually, it's freezing cold and snowing outside, and they've needed scrubbing for far too long.  So, yeah.  It'll feel really good to get it done and be so much easier without little feet pitter-pattering all over them.  But enough about my day.  I'm here to share my take on Color Me Scrappy's latest palette.  So, let's just get started.
I started this layout by anchoring the teal arrow and multicolored, triangle, patterned papers, to the ivory, textured, cardstock, base pages, with navy-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  I then trimmed the space between them with strips of a gold, foil, polka dot, patterned paper, before placing my photos, which were matted in Whisper White cardstock, and turning my attention to the left side of the page.
It is here you'll find my "I'm so glad I live in a WORLD where there are OCTOBERS" title which was created from yellow and brown alphas, as well as blue, circle letters.
The photo stack was capped with a gold, "our story starts here" phrase bit...
and grounded with a cardstock, sticker arrow.
I then gold-embossed a bunch of leaves on vellum, hand cut them out, and tucked them in amongst a number of die-cut blooms, as well as navy, corrugated, cardstock, die-cut leaves; gold, sequin leaves; and a couple of wood veneer feathers.  A metal leaf rounds out the cluster.
Another cluster, housing a few of the same goodies described above...
pours over onto the right side of the page...
where you'll find a third cluster embellishing a "noted:" journaling card, as well as a striped tag, laced with white string, and simple, paper doily.  A "2013" date, created from number stickers, completes the look.
Further inspiration for this layout came from ScrapMuch?'s first November Sketch...
and here's your Challenge #74 palette to get you started.  For an added twist, we're asking for you to include leaves on your projects this go around.  As outlined above, I've included die-cut, metal, corrugated, sequin, and embossed leaves on mine.
As always, you have until the 28th of each month to link up your takes and are playing for the opportunity to guest design with our talented team.  Please be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what the rest of the team has created for your viewing pleasure, and have a terrific weekend!  I smell pancakes for breakfast.  Mmmmm!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Ever After (Wplus9) Paper: Whisper White (SU!); textured ivory & corrugated navy (Bazzill); teal arrow (MME); multicolored triangle (Pink Paislee); gold foil polka dot (Crate Paper); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: watermark (VersaMark) Other: navy thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Foliage die (Spellbinders); Big Shot (Sizzix); wood veneer feathers (Jenni Bowlin); metal leaves (Freckled Fawn); die-cut blooms (Sassafras); gold embossing powder (Ranger); gold sequin leaves (Crate Paper); arrow cardstock sticker, yellow & circle letters, & number stickers (Basic Grey); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); brown alphas (Fancy Pants); gold phrase bit (Chic Tags); "noted:" journaling card (MME); doily (Hobby Lobby); striped tag (Webster's Pages)

Stuck?! November 15th Sketch

Note:  If you've come here looking for my Paper Sweeties November Release Party post, please scroll down.

It's the middle of the month yet again, y'all, and time for a brand spankin' new sketch from Stuck?! Sketches.   I rotated this one 90 degrees to the right and came up with this.
I started this page by overlaying the aqua, gradient, base page with a butterfly screenprint and securing a number of color-coordinating, patterned papers, both horizontally and vertically, near center, with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  I then created the "DEAR Jesus..." title with white alphas and aqua letters...
topped all the yummy papers with my photo, which was matted with Whisper White cardstock, and tucked a "Forever in my heart" tag in amongst the layers.  The entire grouping was grounded with a "pretty amazing" phrase bit sticker and "Be still, and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10" cardstock piece...
and topped with a "DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG" journaling bit.  When stitching the papers to my page, I left the top portion of the pink, diamond, patterned paper open to serve as a pocket for my journaling jar, even reinforced the opening with a few extra stitches.
The jar itself was a sticker, so I just stuck it to a piece of computer paper and hand-cut around its edges, before journaling, This photo was taken, during our Bible time, the day after you invited Jesus into your heart.  You said the actual prayer, in true Adina style, naked as the day you were born, in the bathtub.  You asked me if I could ask Jesus into your heart for you.  I told you that only you could ask Him.  After a long silence, I asked if you wanted some help.  You promptly said, "Yes!"  You were so happy and excited after.  The whole moment completely took my breath away.  It was then wrapped with a length of Baker's Twine, tied in a bow, and tucked into its pocket.
A couple of butterflies were then white-embossed on vellum, hand-cut out, and adhered to the page, just at their centers.  The larger one was layered with a gemstone-studded, dimensional, butterfly sticker.
Two leftover strips of patterned paper, as well as a length of Washi Tape, were secured, along the bottom edge of the design, with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches and topped with a gold, "NOTED:" December 18, 2013, label, embellished with another butterfly, prepared in the same way as described above, to complete the look.
Our sponsors for this sketch, with $25 and $15 gift certificates respectively, are...
and here is your November 15th Sketch to get you started.
We're also having a Guest Design Team Call throughout the months of November and December.  All you have to do to enter is play along and add "GDT" to the title of your entry.  Laura is offering four spots, one for each of our January and February challenges.  Yay!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please be sure to stop by the challenge link above to get all your challenge details, as well as to view all the fabulous pages the rest of Design Team has created to inspire your weekend scrap time.  Be blessed!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Flora & Fauna 1 (Wplus9) Paper: Whisper White (SU!); aqua ombre (Amy Tangerine); butterfly screenprint (Hambly); gold foil polka dot (Crate Paper); aqua polka dot & red polka dot vellum (MME); aqua star (October Afternoon); multicolored heart & pink diamond (Pink Paislee); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: watermark (VersaMark); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); white embossing powder (Ranger); gemstone-crusted dimensional butterfly & "DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG" journaling bit (Jenni Bowlin); jar (Me & My Big Ideas); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); "pretty amazing" phrase bit & "NOTED:" label (Chic Tags); gold polka dot Washi (MME); "Forever in my heart" tag (Elle's Studio); white alphas (Fancy Pants); aqua letters (October Afternoon); scripture tag (my stash)