In cooking mode this weekend

I was inspired to do some baking with all of the wonderful fresh fruits & veggies available this time of year. My Mom was down for an overnight stay last night so we had a totally delicious dinner. The pie below was without a doubt one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted.....and it was a risk because "Tomatoe & corn pie" sounded interesting to say the least. But with the extra ingredients of fresh basil & chives from my garden and cheese it was really an amazing dish. Served with a nice slice of semolina bread. I will definitley be making this pie again !!!

For dessert we had this blackberry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Yum !!!

Today I made the following 2 things. My son's favorite blueberry muffins and blueberry crumb bars. Some of each went to my generous neighbor who just came home from a month in Switzerland and was kind enough to let me pick from her gardens & blueberry bushes while she was gone. The rest of the muffins stayed here for Jake & the rest of the crumb bars were for a baby shower I went to today. They were a big hit!

My son wants the computer now so I must sign off . Have a nice night everyone...and if you want any recipes I'm happy to share.


Finally a free moment to scrapbook

And of course it had to be a page of Jake with his new puppy that he named Tanner. They look pretty happy together don't they?

I've been thinking a lot lately about my scrapbooking style...or rather trying to figure out what it is. It seems that every publication I read lately has articles about finding your style or determining what it is, what type of artist you are etc....and I can never clearly say what mine is. Am I a scrapbooker? Yes. Am I an Artist...also yes. Whats my style....I have no idea. And then it finally hit me recently...who cares!!! Why do I have to know my style? It doesn't matter what it is.....it has changed often & will continue to change I'm sure. So rather than trying to figure it out I'll just continue doing what I love....creating pages that help us to remember special times...or just everyday life.

I will say this though...the page below does have some characteristics that I see in lots of my pages lately.

1) I often will add a strip of paper to my background page that runs top to bottom or left to right as my first step...and then build on that. Such as with the brown pattern paper on this layout.

2) Orange...I love orange & earth tones in general. So many of my pages have some shade of orange on them

3) Chipboard...one of my favorite things. Lately a lot of my titles are chipboard lettering.

4) Scalloped edges...loving this lately.

5) Bling !!! Love adding gems to a page or details with metallic markers or pens to add dimension & shine. Did both on this page.

6) Journaling on strips of paper.

7) My journaling these days is almost always in my own handwriting. It's so much quicker & easier and I think years from now will be much more appreciated than if I had printed on my computer. I only wish I had better handwriting though...

8) Rub ons or stickers added directly to photos as in the picture below.

9) Not so perfect photos.....Of course I'd love it if the lighting in all my pictures turned out perfect. But that's not reality & I can't let it stop me from creating a page with a photo as darling as this right?

10) One page layouts....don't often do 2 page spreads anymore.

One other thing about most of my scrapbook pages that you don't see on this one. Often my pages have just one photo that I love...I don't always feel the need to fit a lot of photos on one page......unless its a vacation type page...those tend to always have more photos.

So whats my style? Whatever strikes my fancy at that given moment while creating a page or project. Have a great holiday weekend everyone.


Looks can be decieving...

Doesn't this look like a peaceful scene? A young boy & his dog going for a nature walk in a serene woodland forest on a gorgeous summer day...

You'd never know by looking at this photo what a bear of a day this was for all of us would you? Or that just moments before I snapped this shot my son & I had just finished smashing our heads together very hard as we both bent down to offer Tanner some water. I think both our heads were still throbbing when I took this.

We got a late start heading out for this hike because we spent the first half of the day trying to find the floor in Jake's bedroom and get his clothes & school supplies in order so he's ready for the start of school next week...while at the same time trying to keep a playful pup from grabbing everything he could to chew on.

So then I look online trying to find someplace fun to bring the dog for a walk where he can play in some water too. I find an interesting place searching online that is about 30m minutes from here that has a river & trails called Groton Woods. I click on the link that says "click here for directions" & print them to talk along with us.....but we followed them to a T & they brought us to a whole different piece of conservation land. What a pain!

And poor little Tanner is proving not to be a good traveler....nerves or carsickness? I'm not sure which. So after him vomiting twice on the way there & then having to stop again just before getting to Groton to buy a roll of paper towels & spray cleaner (since I had no more napkins in the glove box)to clean up another pile of vomit....which horrifyingly enough ended up being (messy)poop.....amazing that I didn't vomit myself in the 30plus minutes I spent scrubbing that up. Ugh ! So now we finally arrive at our destination...which was not the place we were trying to get to....no surprise there considering how the day was going...then we smash heads so hard we are seeing stars and both have a headache for our "peaceful" walk...and of course no water at this "wrong location" for the dog to play in. But I will say..the walk was definitely the best part of this day. On the way home we get caught in traffic, the dog vomits 4 more times (amazing the poor thing has anything even left in his stomach at this point) and we finally arrive home....all totally exhausted. Poor dog has been sound asleep since 7:30. With the way my day has gone...he'll probably decide he's wide awake when I decide to head to bed.

Tomorrow is another day right? My morning will be spent taking the roof off the Jeep, totally scrubbing down the back seat & hoping the sun dries it before sundown.


Summer's Bounty

My dear friend Liz came for a visit yesterday. And brought these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from her garden. We nibbled on cherry tomatoes, blueberries & blackberries and then had the most wonderful BLT sandwiches I have ever tasted for lunch ...accompanied by good conversation between 2 old friends & followed with a slice of key lime pie. Perfect !!!


Guilty as charged...

Yes...thats right I'm guilty of stealing Webkins from Jakes room any chance I get...so whatcha gonna do about it? Dare ya to try to get it away from me.....and don't even try to act mad at me...I know I'm way too adorable for you to stay mad at for long.

I'm also totally guilty of being a lap dog...even if I am going to be a big dog...get used to it Mom...I'm going to climb up to snuggle with you any chance I get.

And just like my Mom I fall asleep when I read...but hey..at least I have good taste in reading material.


Layout share

Here's a layout I finished a few days ago. I'm really pleased with how it came out. I like the green, brown & blue color combo a lot. I've wanted to do a layout or two about the town we live in & when I took this picture of my son walking up our street toward the town common with the church steeple set against a gorgeous blue sky I knew I had to use it on a layout.

Lately I've been really into using scalloped edges on my pages. I wish I had thought of the idea below a long time ago. I'm always on the lookout for paper & products with a scalloped edge...but the scallop detail in the photo below was made by punching circles from patterned paper and then simply cutting them in half & adhering them to my page. Simple. And a great way to use scraps too.
The journaling block below is just a small edge section of a large piece of decorative ledger paper layered on top of a small section of scalloped edge cardstock. I like the contrast between the 2 edge styles as well as the color contrast. I think this layout has become a new favorite of mine.

Seven for Sunday

Seven things I've learned about owning a puppy....

1) Your life is not your own anymore when you adopt a puppy...in good ways & in bad. My nights of staying up late and sleeping in are over. When puppy is ready for bed for the night...so am I. Its the only way I'll get a full night sleep.

2) Walks are not a solitary activity anymore...and that's a good thing. How nice to have someone to talk to and keep me company while I walk.

3) Puppies steal hearts very quickly. This dog has so quickly become a member of this family...when they look at you with those big brown trusting eyes they can melt your heart in an instant.

4) Puppies may be good for keeping you active but they are not good for productivity. I have not touched a scrapbook supply since we got him...but I really want to. I did finish a page the day before we got him that I'm really happy with and hope to share later.

5) Puppies are like babies when they take naps. You pray they will sleep a long time, you pray the phone doesn't ring and wake them & you tiptoe around trying to get things done while you can.

6) Puppies like furniture !!! Doesn't matter how cozy the bed is that you provide them with...the couch is always better in their eyes. This is going to be my biggest challenge...I do not want furniture that smells like dog......but wow is it tiring removing him over & over again.

7) Puppies can be amazingly smart. The first day we got him he learned "sit" and now just a few days later he is getting good at "stay" & "shake" (paw). I'm going to work really hard at raising a well behaved puppy. I think the fact that he is mellow & laid back is going to be a big help to me with those efforts.

Hoping to get back on here later to share some more layouts....hope you all had a great weekend.


We've adopted...

A sweet adorable puppy. Isn't he just the cutest thing? My son is on cloud 9. Me......right now I'm just tired. He was really good last night ( his first night here) But the broken sleep from taking him out during the night & the constantly watching him while he is awake is like having a newborn baby again. I'm tired !!! It will get better I know....but I'm finding myself hoping he'll outgrow his puppyhood sooner rather than later. He is very sweet & mild mannered though so I know we are lucky to have found a mellow puppie. Have attached a few picture I took of him to share with you.


Layout share

Hi everyone,

Happy Monday...only 4 more days till the weekend ! A quick layout to share tonight. This one, rather than being about my kids is about me...and my thoughts on my life. It was really a quick layout to put together because there's not a lot going on in it. The focus of it is more on the journaling & whats going on in my head than in techniques.

For the title, the chipboard "reflections" is sprayed with Glimmer Mist in a coppery color. I also used a small paintbrush to paint a border of the glimmer mist around the photo. For the "life" portion of the title I drybrushed a small section of my page with 2 different colors of paint & when it was dry I stamped "life" over it with Technique Tuesday stamps. Simple to do but I loved the results.

within the journaling of the layout I also dry brushed paint behind some of the words to accent them.


Seven for Sunday...

Seven randoms facts about me....

1) I'm very afraid of bats !!! Having had them in my house a couple of times created that fear in me. Lesson learned for those experiences ... the louder you scream the more they dive at you....hence the louder you scream. Its a vicious circle...lol. Where I live now my back deck is near the treetops due to how the land slopes down behind my house...so when the sun goes down the one place you might not find me is on that deck as the bats are very close overhead.

2) I was once a liscenced forklift/highlift driver. That was a long time ago though.

3) I also graduated from hairdressing school...how's that for 2 totally different careers. The one good thing is I never had to pay to bring my kids for haircuts as I could do them myself.

4) I now work at the home office for TJX Corp which the company that owns TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods & AJWright. Love those associate discounts !!!

5) I have been scrapbooking for 8 years and this blog is the first time I have shared any of my work with the outside world with the exception of 1 contest I entered recently.

6) I abhor dishonesty more than anything else....and it was the reason that both of the long term relationships I have had ended. And also has ended a few friendships along the way too. In my mind there is no possibility for love (in friendships or otherwise) if there is not trust.

7) I have been (mostly) happily single for almost 11 years (since I was 6 months pregnant with my son) That was a scary choice to make with a baby due soon and an 11 year old daughter, but due to the circumstances it was really the only choice I could make & I have never regretted it. I do still hope to meet my soul mate one day...but until that happens I'm enjoying life one day at a time.

Wall art

Just so you don't think the only projects I ever do are 12x12 layouts....

This project was created on a canvas purchased at a local craft supply store. I painted it a soft butter yellow, dry brushed the edges with some chocolate brown paint & when it was completely dry I created my "layout" directly on top. Its was very quick to do and is a pretty simple design....a bit of patterned paper, a couple of embellishments & the clear letter title spelling "love" across the bottom. The best thing about this layout is that it features one of my favorite photos I have ever taken of my kids together...and I get to see if every day on my living room wall rather than have it tucked away in an album. This picture was taken 4 years ago just after my daughter's high school graduation. The title choice for this was obvious as that is the first thing I see when I look at this picture. Can you tell by looking at it how much Jake idolizes his big sister?


My favorite color combos

Hi everyone,

A few favorite layouts to share before I head to bed. Probably a big part of why these are favorites is because they have some of my favorite color combinations incorporated into them. One of my favorite things about creating a page or project is in choosing the colors I want to use.

I love blue & orange together (also love black & white photography...even more so when it is of my gorgeous daughter) Blue & orange just look so great together don't they?

The next page is also blue & orange...just in different tones than the one above. This layout is actually one of my all time favorites. I love every thing about it. Some layouts just come together so well & some you really struggle with. This was one that everything just fell into place easily. Wish all my layouts worked out that way.

Another favorite color combo....orange & green (did I mention I like orange..lol)

And more orange & green. I have a confession about this layout though. This one was very much inspired by a layout by Christine Middlecamp...and although I don't think my work will ever compare to hers, and there are touches of my own style on it...I can't take 100% of the credit for the design of it since it was really her layout that inspired me to create it.

Another favorite combo...Turquoise, brown & green. Love this layout with the candid photo of my son & the 2 neighbor children pretending to be a band. Jake on guitar, Ella on keyboard & vocals...and Willem...well Willem was just dancing his little heart out. Too too cute. This picture makes me smile every time I look at it.

More turquoise, brown and green. After I finished this page I really didn't have any space on the page for journaling so I did it around the edge of the page with a white pen...and loved it. The journaling reads : "Jake, never forget the power of dreams. You can do anything you put your mind to if you want it and work hard for it. Dream on little man...and may they all come true."

More orange...but this time with grey. Love these 2 colors together too. I can't get my hands on the new Basic Grey Ambrosia fast enough.....soon you'll probably see lots of orange layouts on here : ) This photo of Jake is one of my all time favorite pictures of him...such a handsome sweet boy.

Well I'm off to bed. Have a great weekend everyone.


It's official...

...I'm not a spring chicken anymore. (yikes...even that phrase is dating me I'm afraid) Time to break down & buy prescription classes. The $10 store bought ones just weren't cutting it anymore....and after 3 weeks of headaches it was time. I'm pretty excited about getting these though. How sad is that .....high point of my day was getting glasses. That plus the fact that its Friday & the weekend is here. Woo hoo...now I get to stack more wood. Life is good! lol


Thyrza # 3

Or "Tizzie" as she was nicknamed as a child or "Babe" as my grandpa always called her. That was my Grandma. Born in 1902...she's been gone for more than 15 years now but oh the memories I have of visits to her house in Ct as a child. The special leg of lamb dinner she'd make for us with mint jelly on the table to go with it. Boy could that woman cook !! Lucky me I have her recipe box to remember her by...what a treasure! Her pie crust & her bread pudding are the best I've ever had and I'm so glad to have the recicpes for them. She had a hard life, but later in life (in her 50's I believe) she met my Grandpa (he's wasn't my grandpa by blood but was the only Grandpa I knew on my Mom's side) What a character that man was...and he brought her such happiness. Grandpa is a story for another time though.

So back to the name......I made this page after going through old photos my Mom had given me. I wanted to make sure I spelled her name right. I thought it was Thyrza with a "y". But penciled on the back of one of the photos I found it..."Thirza". After I finished this page I proudly showed it to my Mom...and she pointed out that I had spelled her name wrong. It turns out that was a picture of my great grandma Thirza I had found the name on. The first was my great, great grandma who was named Thyrza, then my great grandma Thirza with an "i"...then my grandma...this wonderful, wonderful woman who was also Thyrza with a "y" like her grandmother. Three women with (almost) the same name. When I was pregant with my daughter I told my Mom I was thinking of naming her Thyrza to carry on the name & my Mom said "oh please don't do the to your child". Too too funny! I'm thinking my daughter is probably glad her name is Amanda! (right Mand?)

This picture of my grandma is from the roaring 20's. Funny how styles come full circle sometimes. I had almost this same exact harcut in the 80's.

The patterned paper is from Crate Paper which is glued onto Tim Holtz grungeboard pieces and attached to the page overlapping each other with pop dots for dimension. The stitching around the edge of the page is actually stamped with Technique Tuesday stamps. The inked chipboard letters are Basic Grey (I still need to change that "i" to a "y" to make the spelling correct)

the black chipboard flowers are from Cosmo Cricket...

And these flowers layered under the chipboard flower are from Prima.

Thats it for tonight...my cozy bed is calling out to me.

What is wrong with people ?

I received an e-mail today that was passed on to me from a friend who knew that when my son & I did get a puppy that we wanted a lab or a lab mix. The e-mail contained the below photos (plus a few more) Offering these gorgeous lab puppies for free to a good home, The 5 of them were found dumped off on the side of one of Massachusetts busiest highways. Look at these beautiful puppies.....how could anyone be so heartless as to leave them on a highway destined for a certain death if this man had not found & rescued them? It truly breaks my heart that there are people among us that would do this. Any shelter would have gladly found them new homes...and probably had no problem doing so. I tried so hard to get one of these for my son but they were already all spoken for. I'm glad they all found homes so quickly....but look at that precious face in the last 2 photos and you'll understand why I was so disappointed they were already all adopted.

Again I ask you...what is wrong with people???


Another layout to share

This is a fairly simple layout I did recently after going through some old photos & finding these 2 of my daughter & I at an Amusement Park in Pennsylvania. She's 22 now but this day feels like it was yesterday. I wish I was still this thin !

I like all the open space on the layout. And I'm thinking I really need to dig out my sewing machine more often...I like the extra added interest the stitching adds to the page.

I'm loving scalloped edges these days. I find myself adding them to lots of pages lately. I also love these Prima flowers I picked up recently. They look like they are frosted...and the colors are gorgeous.

this picture of my daughter trying to wear Mom's sunglasses is just too cute...

and one last close up showing the stitching detail...


Layout share...

This layout just makes me smile. The photo of my son with his cars all lined up by color and the look on his face cracks me up. Jake loves to organize things...always has. Even now when we go into a store he can't seem to keep from making all the candy bars & gum all neat and tidy as I pay for my purchases. The odd thing is that you would never know this about him if you saw his room...lol.

The title on this page is American Crafts foam "Thickers" letters (my favorite) and the patterned paper & die cuts are Crate Paper "Static".

a few added rub on's, small colored circle stickers and a bit of ink around the edges and this page was done in about 20 minutes.

From an angle you can see in the photo below that pop dots were used behind the car die cut to add a bit of dimension to the page.

Journaling reads: Too too funny ! Think you have enough cars there kiddo? You spent so much time arranging them all in rows by color and were so proud of yourself. Maybe you need just a few more huh?
And you know what? This wasn't even all of his cars......maybe half of them.


A special layout to share...

Special to you...maybe not

Special to me...very much so. Not because I'm pleased with how it turned out.....although I do like the layout. But this one is special to me because it is about the love of 2 of my favorite people. And I love the photo's of my parents in their earlier years...their prom picture, the photo when they were first dating, the photo of them taken the night my dad returned from the airforce after being overseas ( I remember that navy beaded dress so well from my Mom's hope chest when I was a kid...I wonder if its still in there) and the picture of them relaxing in the back yard of their first home in Texas. Also adore the color picture taken of them later in life (probably about 10-15 years ago) Still so in love after all those years.

All of the stickers on this layout are from Basic Grey including the scalloped borders on the inner edge of the 4 quadrants of the page. The "forever" portion of the title is actually not a sticker it is a Vinyl applique from Scrapworks. It works like a rub on but is actually shiny white vinyl. These are actually made for clear scrapbooks...I didn't know that when I purchased them but luckily it worked just fine on cardstock, The rest of the title is chipboard letters from Heidi Swapp.

The tin frame of the bottom right corner photo was original to the picture. Probably came with the purchase when they had the picture taken all those years ago. It was thin enough to use on the page so I just left it as is & added it to the page along with the picture. I like the antique touch it gives to the page.

Below is a closer shot of of the color photo of my Mom & Dad...I love this picture so much. Makes me laugh that my dad was without his shoes...that man was all about comfort. He passed away a few years ago after a long struggle with Parkinsons and I still miss him so much. We were so much alike in so many ways...he loved photograpy and travel as much as I and taking a trip now that he is gone is bittersweet as I don't have him to go over maps & plan my driving routes with. And he's not here to share my photos with after the trip either. But regardless....he is always with me on all my journeys...in my heart forever.