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A sample of my handcrafts for sale

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time Marches On

Well, here it is December already; and I'm sure we all have a million things on our chore list for this month in prep of the fast approaching holidays! The last few weeks here at my ranch have been pretty much a mix of a daze and whirlwind. Our son's wife passed away on Nov. 16th, only 22 days after finding out about her cancer. I'm sure she is in a better place now and thankful that she did not have to suffer long, but her quick departure from our family has left a big adjustment in front of our son at only 31 years old. We girls held the fort down here in the south while my DH accompanied our son north into the Virginias to arrange and have her funeral back where she was from. All are back home now and we had Thanksgiving together, but the reality of this unplanned change in life is just beginning to sink in on our son. We are trying to help him adjust by merely staying close and making sure he stays in a normal daily routine which includes his work and some social activities with the rest of us. I'm cooking extra and making sure he has enough on hand at his house already prepared to eat, although I know his appetite and sleep patterns are not normal right now. He is a Christian of strong faith, so I know he will be fine in time.

My granddaughter had her 3rd birthday in the meantime on the 19th, and she had a glorious Barbie themed party with all of her little cousins there to play. Barbie's dream-house was a huge success, and all the kids enjoyed crawling around through it and totally got involved in arranging and rearranging all the pieces parts! It was hysterical to watch!

After that every member of the family has come down with the "change of weather" bad cold, so we are all running around taking mucho antihistamines and cough syrups and have pockets bulging with tissues! Yuck! Thank goodness for Lysol and Clorox!!

I managed to learn how to get some music put onto this blog, yeah for me! The player is at the bottom of the whole page, and if it annoys you please feel free to turn it off while you read. I like a wide range of music, so you may hear just about anything on here from time to time! Heehee!

I've been doing some yarn work trying to get a few large afghans finished in time for Christmas gifts since they were begun early on this year with that in mind. Where does the time go?? Thank goodness for my very comfortable large hand-carved wooden crochet hook that I adore using for these afghans. It makes the stitches a pleasure to perform! I'm going to try to remember to put that website here soon so you can check out this gentleman's carved hooks for yourself, and I will also include my great easy pattern to the afghans I am currently making. Stay tuned as these will no doubt be in some after Christmas postings as we roll into 2009.

I've taken a tremendous amount of comfort in the last few weeks with all this trauma going on in our daily life in my digital scrapbooking. I've managed to accomplish wonders in a small amount of time each night preparing a very organized Christmas gift list of printed albums, and I'm feeling super good about these as my gifts for so many this year. I hope the recipients will feel the same when all is said and done. Heehee! The hobby is a joy to do, and I've met so many wonderful designers online. It's very addictive but very relaxing also! The best part for me this year is that this new hobby negated me having to get out there and be a part of the wild "Black Friday" shopping madness! Yipee! Yes, this lady was out last year in the middle of the night (3 a.m.) standing in a long line (5th position to be exact) in a local store to obtain the "deal of a lifetime" on a laptop for a Christmas gift. Mind you, this is not a normal pattern for me, but I had an inside lead on a secret item not published in the printed ads, and there were only to be six distributed at this sale price in our local store. So I was determined to jockey myself into a decent pole position for this type of savings, and my mission was in fact accomplished! I have no desire to attempt that type of shopping too many more times in my lifetime!

Meanwhile, I've got to turn my thoughts toward erecting the Christmas tree and house decor. We just had a weekend of nonstop rain for two days, and it was quite dreary looking and gray out there. Today it cleared and the sun returned. Tonight the moon is crescent and Venus and Jupiter are clearly visible beneath the moon. It is an awesome sight rarely seen, so I hope you could see it from your location!

Take care, and enjoy your holiday preparations! I'll be back soon to share a few more scrapped holiday recipes with you! Chow!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Missing In Action

Gee Whiz! I realized today that it's been almost a month since my last post! How did that happen?! Halloween came and went (it was fun, too). Oh yes, the elections came and went also. Heehee! Not to mention names, but there is a certain loved one in my family circle that campaigns so hard for their side that I simply knew I had to totally disconnect from all communication as election day came to a close and allow several days or weeks for their grieving process to pass this time. Whew!! In that particular time frame when it was so unusually quiet, I dived into my bread machine and began baking up a storm to practice up for my Christmas bread baking. It smelled so good in my house for about two weeks, and bread was flowing out the front door and into all the neighbors' kitchens until they began worrying about gaining too much weight too fast. I've got my five or six recipes perfected now out of that practice run, so the holiday bread baking session will be a snap! Yeah for me! I collected and perfected a bread machine Sourdough recipe, which is unusual to come out of a bread machine; as well as Steakhouse Wheat, which is so similar to those yummy little loaves served on a bread board at your table when you go out and order up good steak (thus the name); Country White, Chocolate Cinnamon, Pecan Banana, and Cranberry Orange. Yipee, I'm rockin'!!

Right after that came a two-week run of nothing but doctors. My stepson's wife went into the hospital and learned that she has terminal cancer. This has set us all back on our heels as she has been such a worker bee and never complained of feeling poorly at all until just at the point she decided to consult someone because she felt like she may have gone from a cold into pneumonia. Seems that was the least of her problems, and we as the rest of the family are wondering how in the world do we help them.

While that was happening, my own oldest daughter had a life-changing vision and decided to take herself off all her pain medications that she has been on for the last seven years. She has chosen to seek another path for her chronic pain, and this is not an easy undertaking; it's a slow and faithful process of doctor visits and determination. I've accompanied her for the last two weeks every other day on her daily doctor treks, and my dear hubby has taken every other day with her. So we are making it and making progress with it. She sought and found a wonderful physician to help with this process, and he uses the latest new innovative medical aid to help make this easier for her. I'm very supportive of her decision as she is a young mother with a hopefully long life in front of her and she is seeking a better quality of life for herself through different channels. Amen, and keep her in your prayers.

And as if all this is not enough, we have a new addition to our family as of today....a 3-week old female ferret who shall be dubbed Mickey for the future and who will, no doubt, keep my grandson Mason highly entertained! Mickey got settled in just this evening with all the food, furniture, and finery a ferret could possibly desire for comfort. Micky probably comes to us at a good time, for Lord knows we could use a little fun distraction about now. I'm sure I will be keeping you posted on Mickey antics and ferret fashions in the days to come, as this is my first contact with a ferret at all.

In closing, I want to share a holiday cookie recipe with you for Rum Logs which you may want to make and freeze ahead for Christmas. This recipe came to me long ago from my brother's wife in his first life, and she was and is a great cook. This is a fun cookie dough to make and work with, and be sure to frost them as this adds so much flavor to the overall cookie. If, after you try this recipe once and find you wish to alter the flavor to your own liking, you can simply use a different extract of your own choosing rather than the rum. But for me, it's my favorite and a tradition at my house during the holidays.

This was made as a 12 x 12" page, 300 dpi, good for printing if desired and sizing down to 8 x 8" is also an option. I created it with FxFoto using a blend of several kits included in their software by their designers such as "First Bell" by Katie Mann, "Everything But The Kitchen Sink" by Janice Dye-Szucs, "My Kitchen" by Correen Silke, and "Baking For The Holidays" by Jeanine Baechtold. You can download the high resolution file here.

We are having a torrential downpour at the moment here along the coast and are under a "tornado watch" which should be expiring just any minute now. Wow, been a lot of rain falling fast! Love the sound of it, though.

Chow for now! Hopefully, I'll be back soon! Take care and enjoy the lovely autumn days wherever you are!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Very Special People

I'm trying to find a few minutes each day to unzip my digital scrapping kit files and actually have fun scrapping some of my older photos. Usually this time comes very late at night when others begin to settle into bed to read or watch TV as they gently fall off to sleep. That's when I get all wound up to create something because I can finally hear my own inner voice at long last! I always have java in hand (it doesn't keep me awake, either), and during the last couple of those late night sessions I was inspired by two new designer samplers from the blog of Crops2Dawn Creations whom I just found recently. I've already fallen for her work, too! I could immediately see these layouts finished when I popped open her downloads, and that's how I like to work . . . . . as it hits me! Below I've wrapped up two very special people in these lovely designs, my parents! These photos were taken in the '06 Autumn, and from the second story backyard terrace my folks have a lovely view of their "40 acres" and the fall splendor in the mountains that surround them. I am extremely pleased with how these two kits complimented the fall photos so nicely! Remember, I'm a newbie at this, so these may look simple to some; but to me they are already priceless!! For the layout above, I used "Autumn Moments"; for the layout below, I used "Fall Goodies".How sweet is all this? I normally scrap to a 12 x 12 inch page, 300 dpi (3600 x 3600 pixels). My intent for the future is to leave my children all these lovelies in digital form on DVD slideshow format so they can simply pop it in to their DVD's and watch something with fairly good resolution on their big flat screen TV's! However, I also will not be able to keep myself from printing these out in 8 x 8" pages or ordering this size from the online printing services that offer this great size to compile cute smaller square scrapbooks to give as gifts along the way! I'm very enthralled with this new hobby that takes up absolutely no space in my already over-packed home! Thanks all you wonderful folks out there who contribute to my addiction!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baked Pineapple Recipe - YUM!

I've managed to scrap a few of my favorite old standby "never fail" recipes, you know, the ones you pull out and use repeatedly over time, the ones that everybody likes when you have a gathering, the ones that always taste and look the same when they come out of the oven, no matter what mood you were in when you began! Mine are a collection from relatives and life-long friends, and I don't know their origins. I can tell you, however, I am not a gourmet cook; but I am a good cook and I can throw on an impressive feed in short order! I look for combinations of basic ingredients that I recognize, simplicity of the concoction, and finally how well it's received by the lucky folks I test it on. That's how I decide whether or not it stays in my recipe box! I'll share only that type here, basic good food. I classify myself as a good ole country cook; nothing too fancy, but good flavor and good looks.

My first share is "Baked Pineapple" which I have scrapped. It came to me years ago from a Beta Sigma Phi sorority sister, Nancy D., whom I considered to be a great cook. She had a beautiful smile and was always telling stories in such a manner that the rest of us were kept in stitches.

This layout is a 12 x 12" jpg, 300 dpi in case you want to print it, but you can easily size it down to an 8 x 8" if preferred. You can download it here. Credit: Kit "August Shadows" by Miriam Lima found in FxFoto.

Bear with me, I'm still new at putting all this together. If you find something here that isn't working correctly, shoot me a message by email or leave me a comment about it so I can learn how to fix it. Happy cooking!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sentimental Photo

Coming home from our trip north recently, we stopped at the foot of what I lovingly call "Walton's Mountain" to snap a sentimental shot of the sign-post my hubby's family erected after his father's passing. This is at the bottom of a long driveway winding up Elmer's mountain where the homeplace sets and where lots of the offspring have settled around the homplace in nests of their own, much like acorns falling off the tree. Across from this driveway flows the beautiful Greenbrier River where the "youngins" learned to swim, fish, boat, camp out, and take advantage of the great outdoors in general. Many have moved on far and wide, but they always return to visit and remember the good ole days of their youth. Without saying, I always know my hubby has a lump in his throat when we come and go from there, so that's what prompted me to pull over, stop, and capture this shot.

This layout was inspired by Leslie Emery's free sampler, Falling For Autumn, which you can find on her blog here. Other credits include: alpha and rick rack from designer Katie Mann's kit, "Colours of Heritage"; stone and brads from designer Kim Hall's kit, "Weekend Getaway", both of which can be found at online in the software from FxFoto.

I'm so busy this time of year with the cooler weather having finally arrived here in the south. It affords one a chance to be more active outdoors and get some things done. We put our muscles together and accomplished a renovation of the landscaping around our patio area that we have been musing over for, lets see, would you believe 13 years! That's right! I'm so proud, yes, I took pictures before and after and have scrapped them already thanks to another fall like inspiration from the blog of Lisa Joy called "Falling In". These ladies are so wonderful and gracious with their free scrapping gifts to help newbies like me along.

Well, that's it for tonight! I'm off to bed for some zz's! I've got few of my favorite recipes scrapped and ready to share with you in the next few days! Cooler weather brings on more heavy-duty cooking it seems!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oh My Gosh! It's October!

Where have I been!? Busy as a bee, as always! Made a journey to WV (our former home) in mid Sept. so DL (hubby) could undergo a complete physical at The Greenbrier Clinic and we could have answers to some nagging problems at last! This world class medical facility is nestled in the mountains and boasts a highly skilled team of diagnosticians who can get the job done from head to toe in only two days. I know as I worked there for 26 of my best years. Believe me, peace of mind is worth the price. All is well, thank goodness! - - - Since returning home to the beach, fall has arrived in our southern night air; and we were inspired to undertake a huge outdoor landscaping remodeling project to open up our patio area to a more spacious feeling with less overall general maintenance. It's finished as of today, and I'm loving it! My DL always comes through for me as though he can truly visualize what's in my mind, and then he goes a step further and adds some of his own creativity. Thanks honey, it's spendid out there now and will be a great place we can better entertain during family and friend get-togethers! Ouch, our aching backs need to rest now! I'll post some before and after shots of the new area soon. - - - Meanwhile, I who sleep very little, was bitten by inspiration to create a new style necklace for my fall line which I think I will name my "Jazzy Series". It went well and blossomed into a full week of nonstop jewelry creations to which the end is not in sight as yet. Below are two color and style variations in the new series:

Black/Gray/Pearl White

Denim Blue Shades

Like all my handwork, the more I play with it the more ideas come into my head for it. Here's one in which I totally handmade all the links and hooked them together as I went. Talk about time-consuming! Visualize this; while others are smart enough to get their beauty rest, it's just me, java, and the jewelry tools! It's addictive, just like scrapping!

I sell my lovelies at local retail stores along the beach and in my online store, Knotty But Nice, where these will appear as soon as I can get my listings ready to post there, which is like a fulltime job in of itself! What in the world did we do before the convenience of digital cameras and computers??

In the mid zone of my brain maze is the fact that I need to scrap all the wonderful photos I took on the recent WV trip which include my very special "Miracle Mason" (grandson) picking tons of apples daily from the heavily laden trees in my parents' back yard, which of course I carried home via my trusty Dodge Dakota quad cab and shared throughout my southern neighborhood as these were cooking apples. The more apples we gave away, the more applesauce/applie pie, etc. kept showing up at my front door via sweet little elderly ladies looking like June Cleaver in their pretty kitchen aprons thanking us for sharing the apples with them! I made huge dishes of apple crisp with the portion I choose to keep and then shared those throughout the family and neighborhood. It was like an apple festival here for a week! I will post some photos of our apple adventures in future scrap layouts for sure!

Until then (when I shall be more organized, my eternal dream), keep smiling and I hope you're enjoying the cooler days/nights of the fall season!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Freebie! (Corrected)

I've attempted my very first design creation, so now I have something to share that you can snag. My personal mentor said "think outside the box", so I think I went a little over the edge with that idea. This Quick Page looks almost "electric", so that's how I named it! Believe me, I am a real newbie at all of this, so hopefully I'll improve as time goes on. Here is my layout using this QP:

This page is 12 x 12 inches at 300 dpi, saved as a PNG file, ready for your use. I named it Electric Slide_Blue. And here's the preview and link for you to go pick it up:


***NOTE: I've corrected and renewed this QP into a real transparent png file, renewed the download link, and included the background paper and frame as separate files in the zip so you have more to play with. Calling this a Quick Page Plus (QP+). Sorry it wasn't correct when first posted, but I've learned a lot since then! The link became broken or corrupt and was removed by 4Shared. (Date of correction: 6-23-09)

I'm making a journey north to get my hubby some real medical help but will be here again in a few days. Will fill you in then. Keep scrapping!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you're having a great holiday weekend with a little extra time off! I'm trying to install a permanent slideshow of my scrapped layouts, and then I'm off to the pool for awhile. I may check in later tonight if I'm not having too much fun elsewhere! LOL!

#13 Can Be Lucky!

We celebrated our anniversary last Sunday, so I put this layout together and slipped it into L's email to happen across. We had been joined at the hip (and/or lips) for four years before getting married in the courtyard of castle ruins on the oceanfront in a small private ceremony. Afterwards, we walked across the dunes; I picked up my skirt and he rolled up his trousers, and we played in the water for the longest time. The August day was sunny and hot until after our 4 p.m. ceremony. It clouded over and we could see a storm coming in from the south as we played. Oh yeah, we took our honeymoon to Vegas the week before we got married. Girls, you can do everything backwards when you are older! Ha!!

The background is from an FxFoto kit, August Shadows, by designer Miriam Lima. The white lace mats were a freebie from Cens Loft, and the elements used are from TinaT's kit, Imagine.

We have settled into the beach well in those 13 years, and hey, maybe we've changed only a tad since then. Double Ha!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sand Art

Excited today; got inspired and learned some new things. Have just started this blog and already have changed my template to "Tropical Popsicle" from blog template designer http://jtsamples.blogspot.com/2008/08/scrap-kit-tropical-popsicle-designer.html and she also has a second blog full of her scrap kit designs at http://jtsdesigns.blogspot.com/. She even included a wonderful tutorial on her first site above to install and tweak the template to Blogger. Thanks so much! I'm happy now! Looks more like where I live! I even snagged a few more of extra that I really love in aqua colors (my favorite) for future use. You know we ladies change our minds frequently!

Here's a link to another great digi-scrapper that I enjoy immensely and follow as often as she posts:


She lives in the United Kingdom, is a great story teller, and has a lovely sense of humor! Not to mention she is a great scrapbook kit and template designer! I can tell she is one busy lady! Go check her out! She offers a ton of freebies!

From her site tonight I snagged a great Quick Page designed by Linda's Lot and worked it up quickly with a bit of politcal humor and the great beach sand art that gone on here this year! The Republicans were lucky because our weather held off raining and the sand artists were able to get their display designed and built to its completion. I think it rained too hard here during the Democrat's debate a few weeks later this spring. Weather at the coast is always very unpredictable!

My layout using Linda's Summer Bay Quick Page:

This QP is part of a huge kit the CT members at Cens Loft have put together and you can gather it up and have a great time with it! It's been a great summer project by them, and I for one am grateful to have all of it to work with! Thanks gals!!

Tropical Storm Fay is working her way north/northwest across Florida, and I'm hoping we won't see much out of her by the time she PASSES BY my area! Notice my positive thinking!

Well, I'm off again to do a little digi-scrapping tonight! I'm going to try my hand at offering some freebies myself in the next few days, so stay tuned. I have to figure out upload files to 4shared so you can download them.

Take care out there, and wear a smile!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Addictions & Obsessions

I have a lot of these, or so I am told by those around me. I prefer to simply call it creativity! I've been this way for as long as I can remember. My hands and mind are always busy, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes not. As you can tell from my profile brief, I have a wide range and variety of interests, so I seem to never suffer like some people do from too much "down time". I don't know the meaning of the word "bored", because I am never that. My Love tells me that life in general will not be long enough for me to accomplish all that is in my mind to do. Unfortunately, I am oh so sure he is right. Hummm......With that said, let me tell you my latest find to which I am already avidly addicted. I love digital photography and take a million pictures all year, every year, of everything. I also love my computer and all my equipment hooked up to it, and every piece of software I have collected over time. While surfing the net recently I came across a whole wonderful world of digital scrapbooking and a wonderful online community of those already deeply into it. Now mind you, I have always played with editing my photos, framing them, collecting graphics to utilize in dressing them up, making slide shows of them, etc. But WOW, I just discovered a whole new concept and tons more that I can do with my photos!! The world of digi-scrappin' as they lovingly call it has its own lingo which I am learning, abbreviations for the lingo, and best of all I am finding out that I am not the only one that goes whole hog deep into whatever they like to do. I do believe that are a lot more folks out there with more determination, dedication, desire and perseverance than I have always exhibited. It's just loving whatever you are into! And as I always do when I love something, I find a need to share it. It somehow makes me feel more complete. So, if you have contemplated even remotely any form of scrapbooking, be not afraid to attempt digital scrapping on your computer. There's an online community of wonderful sharing people already out there that give away their knowledge and creative talents to the entire rest of the world, and that's a total boon for a newbie like me! In posts to follow I am going to begin sharing with you the great sites, blogs, and people I have come across already that have spurred me right into this latest obsession. There are designers out there giving away their time, creative talents, tips, tricks, software tutorials, scrapbooking kits, and the whole of everything you need to enjoy this hobby in its full glory. This amazes me to no end, and I am bound to take full advantage of all of them!

I will start by giving you Teri Mayo at her blog

She says she is relatively new at all this too, but I don't believe a word of it! She's designing like wild, she's great at it, and it's all there for you to collect and have fun with for free! Hear me now, believe me later (after you take a look for yourself)! As a newbie to all this myself, she has inspired me immensely and I have been spurred by her creative genius to enter two template challenges, one in July and one this month, called "Starbucks Tumbler Template Challenge" which can be found, hopefully monthly, at another great site where addicts like us post our work and gather more freebies and such at DigiScrapDepot.

Below are my challenge layouts for July and August, and if I can do this, anybody can. All you need is an ounce of slight desire!

My July layout:

My August layout:

Well people, all I can tell you is that this is just too much fun! At the same time I'm having so much fun I am probably creating this year's Christmas gifts ahead of schedule. All I need do to prep this gift is print these out on photo paper, cut out the large curved design (the August layout will loose that water background), roll into a tube shape and insert into the empty tall Starbucks Tumbler and VIOLA! I have unique gifts ready for more than a few folks on my Christmas list! Gotta be happy about that this early!!

I'm definitely a night owl, but saying tootles here to go and create for awhile before the zzz's take over! Chow!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've Arrived To Blogging!

Needless to say, I'm not a youngster, and I didn't find computers until at least halfway into my adult life. But, alas, I'm deeply hooked into my computer nowdays, and computer software and equipment have become part of my passions. I am, believe it or not, still new to a lot of things; such as blogging. At this point, I have no idea what will transpire here in moments to come. My hope is that it will provide a nice outlet for me, and hopefully those who wander by will find something useful here for themselves from time to time as well.