Friday, December 31, 2010

12 Days of Tags with Tim - Day 2

Yup, I'm behind. I am trying to get these done before midnight.
I would LOVE to get them ALL finished before the New Year.

I don't have ANY re-inkers or the felt pads. (Why would I have the felt without the re-inkers???) So, I went old-school and used markers on the holly stamp. (I don't have the pine bough and cone either.) I made the pearl/jewel dangles to hang on here. I do have the black enamel, but thought that the pearls looked more like the feel I wanted. And I really wanted the tag to face this direction.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I had fully intended on posting this first thing Wednesday morning. But it just didn't happen. Life took over....

What a difference a few hours makes. This was this morning. First thing. I had spent a really long time few hours in the past couple of days clearing off my junk collection station work desk and set up to work on Charms for a swap I joined. I am using some fragments, some watch crystals and some sparrow charms, so far. We'll have to see what else I add. You can also see a bookplate in the corner. I am going to add that to an album I am making to guilt jump-start me into fitness in 2011. And there is a little pile of things that haven't been put away just yet.

Well, my work desk doesn't look like this at the moment. LOL
I did a little work on the charms and then went to town on the 12 Tags of Christmas. I got 3 done and another one in progress. So, I am up to 7 done, 1 underway and 4 still in the wings. I am trying to get them all done by Friday night. I think I can do it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Art Journaling - Get Creative Everyday

I am mom to 3 kids, wife to DH, care-taker of a fur-ball, 2 frogs and a beta, full-time employee in a government office: I don't have a lot of free time. So how in the world, you ask, can I possibly commit to getting creative EVERYDAY in 2011????

The short answer is: I'm nuts.

The long answer is: I have gone temporarily insane and will regain sanity sometime during the first thaw in the spring.

I desperately need an outlet. So, I create things. I love getting immersed in a project. Because of the life I lead, I am not able to create everyday. Well, I used to think that I couldn't create everyday. Lately, I have been thinking differently. I am thinking that I cannot afford to NOT create a little bit everyday.

Which brings me to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and her blog Balzer Designs. She is a very talented and motivated artist who is going to Art Journal Every Day in 2011. She is hoping that artists will play along with her.

Here is an excerpt from her post: 

I'm hoping that we can form a little bit of a community and support each other. Because it's hard to do it alone.

Here are the basic parameters:

•You need a notebook of some kind. ◦I like to use a watercolor paper notebook because I use a lot of paint. But you can get started using a simple composition notebook too! ◦If you've never art journaled before, check out the awesome (and informative) posts, tutorials, and ideas from Art Journaling Week!

•You need somewhere you can leave your journal and some supplies out.
  • ◦This can be a dedicated desk or table.
  • ◦This can be a cookie sheet that you can stick under the bed or couch.
  • ◦Just some small space that allows you to spend 10 minutes working on your art journal, not 10 minutes finding supplies.

•You don't have to commit for the whole year. 365 days is a huge scary number! Try it for a month and see if you like it. 30 days of art journaling every day is pretty darn awesome! Wouldn't that be a great accomplishment?

You can read more about this journey on her blog HERE.

What attracted me to join her is her positive, no pressure approach. I will do my best to create something everyday. Put something down in whatever journal I pick for 2011. I haven't decided on one yet. I may use one that I have already started. I won't feel pressured to complete a page everyday or even every week. I'll just put something in it everyday. It'll be something about my life that day.

Check it out. You might just be inspired to join the community.
I have been attempting an art journal, but without passion. It just hasn't felt right. I think it's because I was trying too hard to MAKE it work. I think part of it was also that I felt the engineer in me trying to make things match. (Same supplies, same format) I think the secret, for me, will be to just let it happen. We'll see?!?!?!?!?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heart the Art - Courage

I'll bet you thought I had given up. I haven't made a journal page in FOREVER. Lots of excuses, but the real reason is that my Studio was a MESS and I just wasn't motivated to create something like that. Until today. I worked yesterday on clearing off my table. I was partially successful, and decided to reward myself with some creative ME time.

I made a page for COURAGE. I don't remember what week this was the prompt. And it doesn't really matter. I am just elated to have made a page.

I have given myself permission to be less than perfect and to take my time in creating the pages from this challenge. Gina was a wonderful, reliable host for the HEART THE ART 2010 Challenge.

I'll keep posting my pages. When they happen.

For this page I used: regular binder paper, watercolor crayons, distress ink, Archival ink, an ATC I made a while back and a light brown Zig pen. The stamp is Tim's flourish. I love this stamp.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Megan's Favorite Chicken Stew - Like Grandma Makes

Megan is constantly asking me to make
Chicken Stew - Like Grandma Makes.

It's yummy AND quick to make. I don't have exact measurements, but here's how I do it:

1 package of chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion - diced
2 TBS flour
3-4 cups of chicken broth
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of carrots (you can cut or use mini ones like I do)
3-4 small/med potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add 1 TBS olive oil. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, adding onion during the last 5 minutes(8-10 minutes). Remove chicken and onions to bowl. Add flour to make a roux. If you need a bit more oil, add it. Cook for 3-4-5 minutes until lightly golden. Add chicken broth, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and stir. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add peas and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with fresh, hot bread.

Should serve 6, but our family of 5 never has leftovers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Blog, Please excuse me from blogging this week...

Dear Blog,

Please excuse me from blogging. It's not that I am going to ignore you. It's just that life has taken over and I am being held hostage to family events. You can blame me, I suppose. I mean, it's my fault, ultimately. My girls ALL have birthdays within 2 weeks of Christmas (9 days before, 4 days after and 11 days after). I won't even mention the other family birthdays in this time period.

Here's a little peek at Megan's celebrations. Yup, it's plural. She got the family party on her actual birthday. Complete with an Edible Arrangement. She loved it. (Seems like a wierd thing for a 16 year old, but she wanted it, so she got it.):

And a party with her friends last Saturday/Sunday. I got a couple of hotel rooms and let her and her friends spend the night in one. I was in the room next door with my other 2 daughters.

Here you can see the beach in the background. It was too cold for us to go out there. We are ALL cold weather wimps. And proud of it.

We had a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant. They were so cute. They were a bit intimidated because they were not dressed up. But they enjoyed it anyway. (This isn't the best picture, but it's my favorite. I love that it shows how much fun they were having.)

The whole reason for the hotel was so Megan could have a pool party. I don't think she made it into the pool. The older girls stayed in the hot tub the entire time. The younger two kept jumping from the pool to the hot tub and back. Crazy kids.

We decorated her room and sang Happy Birthday to her.

(A picture of her blowing out the candles on her cupcakes is forthcoming. I took the pics with her iTouch, and she hasn't downloaded them yet. Could be a while, so use your imagination a bit.)
 Then we went to our separate rooms, and spent the rest of the evening. The 16 Year Old Party watched movies, ate junk food and giggled until 3am. The "other" party watched movies, ate junk food and giggled until 11pm.

Each room had a balcony. If you looked out to the right, you could see the lights on the boardwalk. It's one of those displays that have lights coordinated with music. They thought it was really neat to be able to see it from the room. So did I.

And then had breakfast and the teenagers went walking/shopping while I took Melissa to the pool again before check-out time.

And finally, the view of the Atlantic Ocean from the rooms. Isn't it great!

Now, it's on to Christmas. Lots still to do. Those cookies aren't going to bake themselves you know...

I hope this helps you understand, and forgive me for neglecting you. It won't be long before I am back on a more regular basis.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This week I am working on the kitchen table. I don't have the time (or motivation) to tackle my Studio table. I'm taking a few days off after Christmas and hope to tackle it then. Until then, it's the kitchen table.

Here's what's on the kitchen table (well, not exactly the table. The table is full of other "stuff". This is a kitchen chair. These things will be on the kitchen table with the other stuff in just a few seconds. KWIM?):

And here's what it'll look like when I'm done:

I made this one for my sister. And mailed it to her. My middle daughter really, really, really liked it, SO, I got the ingredients to make another one for her. Yup, for her. She'll hang it in her bedroom. Unless I can wrestle it from her and hang it out here for the rest of us to enjoy too. (Wish me luck. She's a wirey one.)

I also made one for my mom. And mailed it to her too.

I thought it was interesting that my girls thought that the snowman wreath should go to their grandma.


You can see more Workdesk Wednesday's HERE.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Word for 2011

I am sure that you have all seen and/or participated in the WORD craze/game/event/challenge thing going around. Ali may have started it. I am not sure. Well, last year I picked the word VISION. I chose it because I had all of these lofty ideas that I was going to get my life to match my VISION. Also picked it because now, more than ever before, I appreciate my literal VISION. Being diagnosed with Glaucoma was a shocker. I am NOT old enough to have this disease. My doctor told me so. I have made sure to have all of my girls examined. They are all healthy. Thank God for that.

Anyway, back to Word for 2011. This year I have decided to take a more realistic approach. Last years word was great for my eyeballs, but the rest of my life, well, let's just say that the rest of my life is as it was a year ago. I still have my VISION for what I want my life to be. Just haven't done what I need to to get there.

This year my word is:

Yup. Good one isn't it?!?!?!


Examples of how I intend to use my word of 2011:

Get my CRAP together.

Get CRAP out of my life and house.

Not putting up with CRAP anymore.


WHAT'S your WORD for 2011?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This is the time of year that things get crazy. Well, crazier than normal. I have 3 beautiful daughters, all of whom have birthdays in the coming weeks. Megan will be 16 tomorrow, Morgan will be 14 on the 29th and Melissa will be 11 on January 3rd. Throw in Christmas, New Years and a couple of other family birthdays, and well, you have a busy time for me.

I am NOT complaining, but rather explaining the picture below. I don't profess to be a neat-nick. (As evidenced by prior workdesk photos.) But I am usually not this bad.

Some packages came in. So there are some new goodies for me. There are the remnants of paper used to make last minute gift tags for a package that had to be mailed. (Got it shipped yesterday. Yipee for me.)

There's a matchbox to be altered for a swap I am in. There are a couple of small canvases that I bought with the insane idea that I could MAKE Christmas ornaments to send in the packages I had to mail. Obviously, that didn't happen.

I just figure I'm that much further ahead for next year. Right?!?!?!?!

Now for the wider view of things.

It's so bad, that my chair is starting to get covered up too.
Yup, it looks this bad in person too.

Alas, we are expecting 2-4 inches of snow. In an area of the nation where a 1/2 inch can stop the city for an entire day. So, maybe, perhaps, I will be forced to stay home with no errands to run, and I can tackle some of the above chaos.

At least my work area of the table.


More What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday's can be seen HERE.

Wordless Wednesday

LOVE - Megan left this for me yesterday morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Odd-ball gift for a "Unique" girl

I have known Danielle for just about 10 years.
She is in 8th grade with my middle daughter.
She recently made Principals List by getting straight "A's" on her report card.

I am very proud of her and told her I would get her a little something, and give it to her the next time I saw her.

She requested - CHEESE.

Dani is a unique young lady.
I wouldn't change her if I could, but this is the oddest gift I have ever given anyone.

What's the oddest thing you have given? Or received?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's on your workdesk Wednesday - #79

This week doesn't really look too different from last week. BUT, I did get a few things done. I made 4 out of 7 tags based on Tim's 12 Tags. I hope to play catch up soon.



  • Configurations parts
  • Inchie parts
  • Make-do craft mat
  • I need to do a MUCH BETTER job of putting things away
  • Extra parts
  • An incomplete ink collection
  • Oh, hey, there's my notepad
I see A LOT more, but I won't bore you with that. LOL

Mostly I see that I really need to clean up the rest of my Studio. If I do that, I will have homes for all the wonderful goodies you see here. I need to purge the items that I won't really use anymore, and organize better the things that I will continue to use.

(You can see more workdesks HERE.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12 Days of Tags with Tim - Day 5

Tim's tag.


My tag.


I did a red theme for Day 4's tag when he did blue, so I thought I should do blue for today instead of his red. Make sense?!?!?! I used the Inkadinkado snowman and Merry Christmas stamps. And a flourish of unknown origin.

I have the metal numbers that Tim used, but I am using them for another project. So I dug out these Heidi Swapp letters. Painted them silver, then daubbered white on them. The weathered piece behind the music sheet is a piece of chipboard that I hand cut out, painted blue, applied crackle medium and then painted white. I think it is one of my two favorite parts of the tag.


The blue stickle flourishes are my other favorite part of this tag. Oh, and I really liked the button instead of the ribbon.

I just LOVE the way the snowman is "highlighted".
Tim really has some great techniques.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

12 Days of Tags with Tim - Day 4

Tim's Day 4 Tag

This is my interpretation of Tim's tag design. I used what I had on hand. (Sort of.) The pearls on the bottom were purchased yesterday just for the tag. I couldn't help myself. Can you blame me?!?!? No, I didn't think you could. I don't have ANY blue alcohol inks!!! Can you believe it. (No pun intended here.) I did have Currant though AND since I really wanted to use the Santa bling that I had, I switched up the paper. The swirling bling is actually two diffferent swirls that I grafted together to make this one. I didn't have the cool Prima one that Tim used. I don't have the tickets either - I cut out the word "BELIEVE" from the cover of Tim's seasonal sticker pack. I only used one of the fragments I made (I don't have the facets) because of the placement of the Santa images on the tag. I didn't want to cover up too much.

Now, off to work on Day 5...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12 Days of Tags with Tim - Day 3

Day 3 - Tim's tag

Day 3 - My tag. Not exactly a copy, but not really that different either. It'll take me some time to get the subtle differences worked out. You know, what makes his tags so frickin' wonderful and mine eh, okay. LOL It'll happen. Just give me a little time. Maybe by making mine bigger on my blog.....

I used a different stamp. The button in the flower is one I had in my stash. The lace on the bottom was given to me by the Loverly Ms. Gina, who is also playing Tag with Tim. The moss was found on the floor of a local store. Just that little piece. They were going to toss it. One crafters trash and all......

Have a great day and head over to Tim's place. Join in the party. There's always room for one more.

(Nope, you didn't miss Day 2's tag. I haven't made it yet. I really want to try making my own ink pad, so I am waiting for the felt pad to show up before I make the pad. It's kinda the reason for Day's 2 tag. I'll post the tag when I finally make it.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 Days of Tags with Tim - Day 1

Isn't Tim's tag magnificent! I just love it. All the details that he puts into these is mind-boggling. Well, for me anyway. I was the kid who always just got by in English. I just didn't see the need to embellish my paragraphs. The dog crossed the road. What more do you need to know? LOL Which means that anyone that puts details into words (and pictures) just impressed the hell out of me.

This year I have decided to try to create a tag a day for 12 days based on Tim's masterpieces. (Cuz you know he's doing it again this year, right? If not, then go HERE. He'll post a new tag with photo's and directions each day for 12 days. He's already done 2, so there are only 10 remaining.)

Here's my Day 1 attempt.

I didn't have the haunted house. I thought I had a gingerbread house, but if I do, I can't find it. The bird cage is the closest thing to a house that I have. I really wish I had a house because that Q-tip smoke coming out the chimney is way cool. (It's the little things that make me the happiest.) I also don't have all the distress inks. So I substituted those too. And the snowflake stamp on the background. My fence is made from some appetizer picks and a couple of strips of grunge board. I wanted the fence to be flexible. I painted the picks brown and let it dry. Then I painted it with crackle medium and let it dry. And finally painted it white. I also stamped a bit more on the background than Tim did, because I thought that mine needed it. Too much open space from the bird cage. I don't have the ticket stamp, so I just used the corner of one of his ATC stamps and cut it out. I don't have the fluffy sparkle stuff that Tim used either. So I used the fake snow that I have.

I am a day behind, and I am okay with it. I'll do what I can, when I can. It took me all day to get this one done. Not because it REALLY takes that long, but because I was home with 2 sick kids. So I was only able to work 5 minutes here and there.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Traditions #17 - Season's Eatings

Excuse the quality of the picture. It was taken in a rush this morning with my phone. The camera battery needs to be charged. I promise to try to get it done tonight. (If I write it down, it might happen.)

The Christmas china gets pulled out for Thanksgiving. But the Christmas salt and pepper shakers have to wait until December 1. I don't understand my love of quirky salt and pepper shaker sets, but I do love them.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus were the first set. I got them the first year we were married. Something about them called to me. They were the only ones for many years. They faithfully seasoned our meals every year. All by themselves. Then in 2001, my SIL married a man with a snow globe collection. She was less than thrilled with his collection, and made him box it up. Mean, I think. So that year I added the Santa and Penguin on snow globe set. Every year it is placed on the table near my BIL. I'm pretty sure he gets a kick out of it. Santa's boots in the chimney was gotten through a school fundraiser. If I had known how cute they were in person I would have bought a set for everyone. LOL. Mickey and Minnie were a gift to me from my kids. Awwww. And the kissing snowman and woman are the newest additions, joining the crowd this year. They'll be placed on the table in front of DH. (I get Mickey and Minnie.) The girls rotate the others, because they can't decide which ones they like the best. It's just a fun, whimsical little touch to the table.

I mean, who wouldn't cheer up with these little guys?!?!?!

WOYWW - 77

Just a mess right now.

I finished up some cards.
Still have to finish the snowman tags.

Why does it always seem like I don't have enough working space????

My apologies for the really bad pic. I had to use my phone. It was really late last night too. I promise to try to remember to charge my camera battery tonight.