Heading Out...

to visit family! Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe start to the New Year!

Something Exciting...


A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Rita Weiss inquiring about my necklaces and if I had ever thought of selling them. I quick sent her two samples of my work (the above pictured necklaces) and fast forward to now, just a few short weeks later and I am! Rita placed an order of necklaces with me and it will be filled this January and they will all be sent off to her fabulous little boutique in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The name of her boutique is Details and I am so excited that some of my things will have found a home with her there! Following are some pictures of Rita's boutique, be sure to check out her website as well as it will be launching in full mid March! I am so excited about this new little adventure! Thanks so much Rita!

It Was Very Merry!


Christmas is Coming!


Getting pretty excited here lately about Christmas! Zoey and I went to a special holiday party geared for preschoolers yesterday and had a blast! Lot of games, stories, songs, snacks and a goodie bag for each child was given at the end. Just another little thing that the community puts on, but it really is enjoyed and appreciated by Zoey and I am so thankful that we were able to make it this year.

Things are winding down a bit as far as all our outside responsibilites and now we can concentrate more on baking for our family, wrapping gifts and putting the finishing touches here and there on certain projects that need finishing. Such as painting a wooden cradle that is sitting in the basement which will make it's debut to one special girl on Christmas morning! I loooooove Christmas, and I am discovering that I truly enjoy the busyness of the season when it is the kind of busy that is made up of helping others, creating for others, and just thinking beyond ourselves and our immediate needs for a bit. It is so easy to think that we need to do this and we need to do that and to just do the tasks and cross them off as we go not giving another thought to the matter. I have to admit that in the past I have been easily overwhelmed and often start getting a bit grumpy when that list gets too long. I've been trying really hard this year to really be in the moment and to pay special attention as I am going along and have been enjoying all the to-do's a bit more because of it.

One thing too that I wanted to mention was my excitement on finding this child friendly nativity scene. We were at an antique store shopping with my mom when she was visiting and Zoey saw a nativity scene and wanted to know if she could bring home baby Jesus. We have a nativity scene but haven't set it out because it's fragile and we have nowhere really to put it out beyond Zoey's reach. This one at the antique store was little and not breakable but the paint had me worried (possible lead) so I told Zoey that we would look for another baby Jesus and if we found one that looked to be safe we would get it for her. The rest of the day, everywhere we went, Zoey asked the clerk or store-keeper if they had baby Jesus. We quickly had the thought to check out a local christian bookstore and we found this amazing interactive kid-friendly nativity scene put out by Family Life Publishing. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, my mom, Zoey or I once we were home and able to open it up. Included in the kit is a book that goes through each of the key individuals (Gabriel, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Shepard and Wise men), and when you read about each one the child then gets to open one of the 7 boxes included (which are numbered corresponding to the individual being introduced in the book). So Zoey would open the little box with Gabriel inside while I was reading about Gabriel, etc. It was so awesome to see her so excited, her hands trembling and just waiting for the okay to go ahead and open the next box. Finally, at the end of the story you are asked to think about what it is that God wants for Christmas and you are able to open the final box (#7) and you find that it is empty. Zoey held it up to get a better look, and found herself! The box has a mirror in the bottom so that whomever opens it will see themselves. So very cool. So now she knows the story and gets to play with baby Jesus whenever she wants.

Our last MOP'S meeting they colored angels (which she is holding in the above pictures) and she handed it to me after the meeting and said "I made Gabriel today mama." (Sigh). Sometimes I feel there are moments in my life that could not be filled with even just an ounce more of love and then they are.

Holiday Fun...

I saw this holiday questionnaire on Lisa's blog and thought it would be a fun way to share some Christmas fun!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper

2. Real tree or artificial? We have an artificial just for safety reasons in our tiny home but I long for the day that we can have real again (what I grew up with)

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? Second week of January

5. Do you like eggnog? I don't think so!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmmm...I loved getting Nancy Drew books!

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes, and we also just got this one especially for Zoey and she loooooves playing with it and the little baby Jesus that is included!

8. Hardest person to buy for? I am lucky, pretty much everyone is easy to buy for (or create for!).

9. Easiest person to buy (create) for? My little sister Bailey!

10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? Well, I actually have one for this. When I was about in third grade a neighbor boy (who shall remain nameless) came over and gave me a plastic pretend nose that you were to wear over your own nose (for dress up) and before giving it to me he blew his nose into it! YUCK! Horrible gift and pretty much made me never want to play with him ever again!

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Miracle on 34th Street and StepMom

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December something or other...

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I plead the fifth on this one!

15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Mom’s Ginger Snaps (Evie Kiddo's Recipe), Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, Little Smokies, Cranberry Cheese, Brie Cheese, Salami, Crackers, Ethan's Christmas Eve Chili and a glass of red wine!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear (white).

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night and Amazing Grace.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I love being at home for our actual "family" Christmas and enjoy seeing family close thereafter.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Well, I just tried and came up with five...

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? When I was little it was always Christmas Eve, loved that. Now with Zoey we've celebrated with her Christmas morning just due to her energy level being better after a full nights rest. Ethan and I always spend the night before getting everything ready and enjoying time together relaxing and having special snacks. I'm thinking that in the next couple of years or so we'll be able to celebrate with Zoey on Christmas Eve as well.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Rude people.

23. What is the “silliest” family tradition you do, or miss doing? Not sure if it counts as being "silly" but my family would always hide little gifts in the branches of our Christmas Tree and now we do the same. It was always so fun to think that we were all done opening gifts and then to realize that there were some more little somethings tucked away in the branches of the tree.

24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? Not really fond of the individual strands of silver tinsel.

25. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees? I love both.

26. Gingerbread or sugar cookies? Ditto, I love both!

27. Do you like Fruitcake? Nope!

And Something Kind of Fun...

Craft Critique is hosting a sort of Holiday Carnival for those that are crafty on-line and for those that enjoy perusing and getting ideas from creative sites. Be sure to check out what is listed by clicking here!

Some Pendants...


that I made using the acrylic pendants from D.Reeves Design House. This was what I came up with for this month's project for MOP'S. Thought that at this time of year everyone is always worrying about getting something or making something for others, so this way, either the moms' could keep the necklaces as a gift to themselves or it could help them out a bit in the shopping department and could be a gift that they could then give away.

I loved playing around with these so much and really like how the stamped images turned out. I am looking forward to making many more of these as the possibilities are endless as far as creativity is concerned!

Letter to Former Self - A Challenge


This layout was done for this week's effer dares. You were to write a letter to your former self. The photo is of a statue that sits on the steps leading to my dad's studio (I took it over our thanksgiving visit) and I thought it would be perfect for this layout.
Journaling reads:
At this rate I will never catch up to who I was or where I am. Do you not see that I am everywhere, promised...

That is why I've gone. Let me fall completely and slowly you will see that I am really not falling at all and that I am only just waking.

The white viney leaves are rub-ons by Tinkering Ink and I stamped over them with a smaller leafy imaged stamp which I dipped in orange paint, really like how it turned out. A great thoughtful page for my journal anyways.

Mini Art Journal Journey - Week Forty-Nine


This week's prompt for the mini journal challenge with Emily was: time flies. So many ways that I could have gone with this one and it was tempting to do my card on Zoey because there are so many times that I look at her and cannot believe that she is now a little girl instead of a little babe. Also was tempted on doing something regarding Ethan and I when we were young and dating (so many fun photos from that time period!). In the end I decided to do one on my friend Joleen. She is one of those friends that has been around the longest, has seen all the changes, been there for all the ups and downs. Has really stuck with me and pulled through for me whenever I needed her. The way that this ties in with this week's theme is that it seems that I am always thinking of her and always meaning to pick up the phone and call or sit down and write a note, but it seems that I never do! It seems that there is always something that needs doing and before you know it whole months have gone by with no contact! I think the last time that we spoke or saw one another was maybe two years ago! There have been emails, but that just isn't the same. It is crazy how fast time flies!

Happy Day!

Photo by EmFalconbridge

This camera strap is on it's way to my little home right about NOW!!!! So thrilled that I finally got the chance to order one of these in Emily's Etsy shop. Seems as though whenever I would go to her site to order one, the ones that I wanted were already snatched up (they go so fast!). Checked her site this morning and this was just sitting there waiting for me! Yay! Also feels good to support those making things handmade!

Things have been getting busy around here lately. I've started watching some little kiddos, thinking that for right now it will only be once a week or so, but we have a teeny-tiny house so it makes for one very exciting day when it does happen! The little girl is actually one of Zoey's best buds and the other is her little brother who is just a little peanut, it's been so fun to have a little guy around. Definitely adds a different element to the previously all female environment!

I am also getting ready for the final craft for MOP'S before the fall/winter semester ends in January. Really excited about this one as we will be making some necklaces using the acrylic pendants by Diane Reeves. This was the first time that I had played around with the pendants and I am thoroughly addicted! Once I try one thing with them I think of something else that I want to try! I'm actually hoping to get out today to look for some more funky beads to play around with on some of them.

Also getting ready for Christmas of course! =) My mom is actually coming to visit and to help me out with some things here. I've already got a list of things that I am hoping that she will help me out with. It goes something like this:

1. Help me bake 5 dozen cookies for MOP'S (and maybe some for us too!)
2. Watch Zoey so that E and I can go out and get our Santa shopping done (started!)
3. Help me highlight my hair (pretty sure I want to do this!)
4. Have her play with Zoey so that I can get my Christmas cards written out and some little handmade holiday gifts done
5. Spend time together, her, Zoey and I downtown. This is the weekend that they have horse drawn wagon rides downtown, roast chestnuts on the square and have singing and skating at the rink. Such a classic Christmas experience, last year it was almost magical!

Funny how no matter how old we get to be, we expect that our mothers' will still drop everything and pull through for us when we need them! Just as Zoey now looks to me for so much, the second my mom is able to visit I start making lists of the things that she can do for me. Will have to remember that even though our roles as mother daughter are set, the way they play out are not.

Prima Embossed Album


Here it is, all altered and finished! My Prima Embossed Album that I got to play with from my Expansion to my December kit at Kits & Pieces! I absolutely love it too, it was so fun working on this off and on over the past week or so, and it is especially cool to know that I'll have it now forever to flip through, to remember all those special little moments that make up my days of being a mama to Zoey. So many times I hear that people need an occasion to scrap or record in memory books, and I say - why not record those everyday moments that you capture day in and day out? Those are pretty darn special too!

For this album I started by painting the cover (front and back) and all the pages with acrylic paint (I used paint by Making Memories). I had to do a couple of coats of paint to get good coverage since I used such a light color. I then took glitter glue and applied it (very carefully) to the embossed angel on the cover of the album and added a chipboard letter "Z" (painted and glitterized as well!)to the front cover.

I then sat down and chose what patterned papers would go best with the pictures that I had chosen and figured out where they would go on the pages and figured out a pattern that was consistent that I could follow through with throughout the album.

After adhering my photos on the pages where I wanted, I then cut my papers to size and adhered them to the (now dry) inside pages of my album.

After my papers and pictures were in came the fun part of choosing what little embellishments I wanted to add. For this album I kept it pretty simple as I wanted the focus to remain on the photos for the most part. I chose some cotton lace, some chipboard flowers (that I painted and put glitter on) some rub-ons from Creative Imaginations, some sticker stitches by Sandylion and some felt flowers, again by Creative Imaginations.

After gluing all my goodies down and making sure that I liked the placement of everything, I painted the edges of all the pages in my album.

I didn't worry at all about getting some smears on my pictures or around the inside edges of the pages of my album. I think the messy look just makes it more apparent that this is handmade.

And there you have it! The patterned papers that I used for this album were by K & Company (the light mint and green floral), EK Success (the dark burgundy floral), Foofala (the lighter red floral) and Creative Imaginations (the cream and black floral). Loved this combination of papers for this project.

Bird's Eye View


Last weekend we had our first big snow fall. It was beautiful, complete with big, fat, feathery snowflakes filling the white sky. We decided to venture out early in the morning to go and pick out a wreath for the front of the house. While out, we stopped so that I could get some pictures and as I was clicking away at these lovely red berries I heard something and looked up and spotted right above our heads this little one nibbling away! Totally oblivious that there were three people staring and pointing and laughing, she just kept at the important task of filling her belly. The unexpected delights of keeping your eyes open to what's around you at this time of year I guess.

After our bird and berry adventure we went out to this place and picked out our wreath. So cool because at the end of the season we can return the wire frame backing to them and they will re-use them to make wreaths again next year. Something that I appreciate, especially at this time of year when being wasteful tends to lend itself with several traditions of the season.

Upon visiting my family over Thanksgiving I came upon some little bits of realization as well as happened upon some more appreciation for my parents and how I was raised. While visiting we had the t.v. on one night before bed (something we rarely, if ever do at home) after traveling and we were all three camped out on the bed having some snacks and just re-winding a bit from being on the road all day and after about the fourth commercial that was geared towards the holidays and shopping and the latest toys (for kids and adults mind you) Ethan and I looked at each other (pulling out of that t.v. induced stupor) and I said to him something along the lines of, "Well, I guess you can't know what it is that you want or need unless you watch t.v. at the holidays." Seriously. When did Christmas become so materialistic? Why do we all run out to spend, spend, spend? I mean a part of me knows all the answers to this, but really... why? And now to come to the appreciation part that I discovered regarding my parents. My parents never had me write out a list of things that I wanted for Christmas. Of course I remember offering ideas to them, what child doesn't learn that right off? But I never had that expectation that I was getting what I wanted, that I deserved what I asked for. Not sure that I am making sense exactly, but one thing that I remember about Christmas with my family was always being surprised. I remember wanting a Nintendo so very badly (after all, everyone else that I knew was getting one!) and asking and asking for one and instead finding an unwanted microscope under the tree and from that microscope I had hours upon hours of fun discovering what specimens were living right in my backyard, and having those very same friends with Nintendos come over to investigate right along with me. I look around now and see four and five year olds driving around in motorized SUV's and wonder where did our sense of play go? Where exactly are our priorities these days? There are people in the world (right here in this country, this city, this town) that don't even have warm places to sleep at night and so many of us are out shopping at 4 in the morning to be sure to get the latest Elmo doll for our toddlers? I don't mean to preach and I will step down from my soap-box of ideas on this, but I guess I just have come to realize that this (what my parents instilled in me starting at the age of just a babe) is something that I so desperately want to preserve with Zoey. I want her to know the magic of Christmas, that there is a story that goes along with the season and that it means something. I want her to appreciate finding an orange in the toe of her stocking as I once did. A tin of fruit shaped candies. Finding something little, wrapped and hidden in the tree. Tapioca pudding warm and topped with cinnamon shared on the couch in the living room that is lit with only the lights of the tree. Going out caroling with neighbors and friends. These are all things that I am okay with holding on to tightly, things that I treasure and hold most dear now as an adult. Turns out though, that these things are not all things after all.

Mini Art Journal Journey - Week Forty-Eight


On a roll! Two weeks in a row and I'm still caught up! This week's prompt from Emily was: Ideas. Since becoming a mama it seems that while the ideas may be many they are somewhat fleeting! I've come to the conclusion that while my mama brain is slowly and surely getting better as Zoey gets older, I need to write down my ideas and thoughts so that I have them on hand when I actually can implement them or so that they're there when I need them! Hoping that some of you other mamas can relate! =)
For the card I just added bits of patterned papers, some frayed cotton lace and roughed up the edges a bit. Thought that scrap with the brand name "My Mind's Eye" was perfect for this week's card! Thanks for looking!
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