Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Cookies

Last Sunday we had our grandson Tad over for the afternoon to cut out and decorate sugar cookies. It brought back so many memories of doing this very thing with our boys through the years.

This is serious work!
I've learned the easiest way to do cookie decorating with little boys is to put out a cookie sheet for them to work over so as not to get sprinkles all over the floor. Don't forget one of Grandpa's old t-shirts.  And to have the best time - don't worry about making a tray of perfectly frosted cookies! Let them have fun and do it the way they want. To us, they are all masterpieces. And the cookies taste just as good. Probably better because of who did them!

Besides the sugar cookies, I made chocolate mint ( made with Andes pieces), Mexican wedding cakes, chocolate caramel thumbprints, and Santa's whiskers. I make up large batches pf each and freeze them. When we have company or go somewhere, I just take out some from each bag and make up a plate.  (If anyone wants recipes, just let me know.)

As it turns out we are not doing our family Christmas until next weekend. Justin can not be here until then and we all decided it was better to wait and have everyone here together. That works out well for Andrew and Alison. They are hosting her family's dinner tomorrow and of course, Santa will have been there. It will give them time to recover and the kids time to play with their toys before another round of festivities at our house. Eric, Rick and I will have a small dinner and maybe some games of Scrabble tomorrow. Very low key, but nice. I can't wait, though, for Tad to open his gifts from us. So fun to have little ones at Christmas!

I'm wishing you all a very happy holiday with your loved ones! See you next year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Kitchen

Well, the house is decked out, the presents are wrapped and under the tree, and the cookies have been baked (and quite a few eaten:). All that's left is to address and send out the cards. I have never been this organized for Christmas in my life! And it feels so good to know that I can spend the rest of the days leading up to the the Big Day relaxing in that warm glow of satisfaction! Ha!

Since we spend so much time in our kitchen/ family room, I wanted to share what we see as we sit in here and eat dinner, or watch TV, or read, or knit or.... It truly is the heart of our home!

I love this twiggy tree. I have it decorated with homemade ornaments, birds, dried apples and oranges, and popcorn and cranberry garland. When my grandson saw it, he said, very seriously, "My family doesn't put food on our tree." He cracks me up sometimes!

This is the cabinet that Rick made years ago. It's a great place to decorate! We use it to showcase the Santas that Rick has carved through the years, as well as our Department 56 village pieces.

You may have noticed the vintage boxes in the hutch. For awhile I was collecting old Christmas decorating items just for the wonderful colors and graphics on the boxes. I have several snow, ornament hanger, and candle boxes. I even found a pair of strap on "sled skates" in the original box! Love them.

I hope you all our having a great time getting ready for the holidays. It doesn't look or feel Christmassy outside ( it's been mostly warm and rainy here) but it feels perfect here in the kitchen!
Take care!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Some Cross Stitch

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving! We are not celebrating until tomorrow due to having to share Andrew and Alison.  But it's all good. I spent today baking (apple and pecan pies) and doing more house cleaning in anticipation of putting up the Christmas decorations. We will be a small group for dinner, so I bought a roasting chicken instead of a big turkey. I'll make the usual sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, deviled eggs, and salad. Rick is going to make his mom's cranberry relish (so good!) and homemade rolls. Have I told you what a good bread maker he is? He's taken it over because he does a much better job of it than I ever did.

In between working on Christmas presents, which are almost done I may add, (aren't you impressed?) I have been finishing up some little cross stitch projects. These are so fun. I have been choosing small patterns that don't take too long and are fun to finish. Also, I have been finding so many cute ones for free through pinterest.

I changed this one a little so I could get it done quicker, but I loved the way it was finished and found I could do the apple very easily. This was found at She has so many cute patterns and finishes.

I just finished this one yesterday. I love adding a little charm, in this case the tiny bell. This one was from

I made this one last year, but just got around to finishing it. I had never done beading on one of these before, and though I won't do it very often, I kind of like it. Something different, anyway. What do you think? Here again I added a charm. It's hard to see, but it's a tiny fireplace. It fit perfectly in the doorway and I thought it was a nice addition. Sorry, I can't find the source of this one.

I just had to share this picture of our backyard last weekend. Pretty, isn't it? Today it was sunny and in the 60's!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wonderful News

You know what this means - a new grandbaby! And guess what? It's a girl! Yeah!!! Since we have three sons, and Andrew and Alison have three boys already, it was about time to get a girl in this family.  We are so happy for them! (Though how our Andrew can ever finish his dissertation is beyond us. But he's a smart man - he'll do it:)

Well, as you can imagine, the baby girl shopping has begun for this grandma. And plans for some pretty pink makes too. But right now I'm working on a few Christmas presents for our precious boys. I want to show you, but I don't know who's reading this:)

Have a wonderful weekend! It's going to get cold here, maybe some snow! Yikes! I guess that means homemade bread and soup. Too bad, right?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fall Decor

I hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend. Saturday was rainy, but stopped during Trick or Treat hours. Yesterday was beautiful. A great day to clean up the garden and go for a long walk.

I die cut these leaves, embossed the veins with white, and used Distress Inks to add color and shading. I loved how they turned out.

I love these little lights under the cabinet and swirled in with the leaves. They are orange and add a warm glow to the kitchen in the evening.

Darn, it looks like dust on the photo! I don't know how to crop these for the blog - guess I need to learn:)

I wanted to share pictures of the grandsons on Halloween, but they didn't turn out very well. My camera died when we were in Utah and I have been taking pictures with my phone - not very good at it. But I just ordered a new camera and I can't wait to start using it. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of my home decorated for fall. I will be putting the few Halloween things away this week and thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.(Can you believe it!) Have a great week everyone and thank you for stopping by and visiting with me! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

New Obsession - Mini Albums

I have no idea why I don't do very many posts about papercrafting. It's such a big part of my crafting world. I started scrapbooking back in 1997 when I got my first copy of Creating Keepsakes and I've been going strong ever since. I've got about a bazillion completed albums. And then in 2004 I worked part time at a rubberstamp store. OMG! I spent everything I made on supplies. And it just gets better. The stamps, the papers, and now the dies! I want every die I see. And my niece, who is also one of my best friends, loves all of this too, so that makes it more fun.  

Now, after spending way too much time on Youtube, I've gotten into making mini albums. It has become addictive! I love the process of making the book from scratch using chipboard for the covers and cardstock for the pages. And decorating these little albums is so fun (and uses up some of my hoarded embellishments.)  
So, as you might guess, I'm going to show one of my newest mini albums:

Tim Holtz clasp for a closure.

I really love using Graphic 45 papers, but this album is a combination of a few of their old Happy Hauntings papers I had left over and some other paper from my stash. I used a lot of dies and punches, and glitter paper and Glossy Accents to make things shiny.


Each page has some sort of interaction to it and I used magnets to close flaps.

There is a lot of room for photos.

Each of the four pocket pages has a large photo mat.
Even though I'm not quite finished with it, I'm very happy with how it's turned out. And you can believe me - it won't be the last one I make!

Monday, October 12, 2015

What's Been Happening

I can't believe it's been so long since I've last posted! It's not like I'm super busy. Life just keeps rolling along and we're in the middle of October already. We've had some wonderful fall weather; great for gardening, evening walks, and festivals.

In September we bought a van, and broke it in by taking a trip to Utah to visit my husband's sister and her family. We've been out west many times, usually flying, but when we drove it was always going south or north, never straight through the Rockies. So this time we took I-70 to Denver and it was awesome! We drove through the mountains on a beautiful, sunny day singing along with John to Rocky Mountain High.

I had to wade in the Colorado River!

Our first stop in Utah was Zion National Park. We had been here a couple of times and it's one of my favorite places. Did you here about the seven hikers who were killed here in a flash flood? Well, we were there that day. At first it was cloudy, but then the sun came out. We had a wonderful time, going on several hikes and eating lunch at the lodge. 

The clouds were rolling in as we were leaving. We wanted to go out the east exit, through the tunnels, but when we got on the first switchback, the storm let loose. The wind, rain, hail, rocks and tree branches swept down the narrow canyon where we had to pull over. The van was rocking so hard we thought we were going to get pushed over the edge and down the canyon. I had never been so scared before! After about 10 minutes (it seemed like an hour) there was a lull and we turned around and went back down. We didn't want to get stuck again on that narrow windy road! 

It wasn't until the next day that we learned about the hikers, and the women and children south of Zion that were killed in the flood. Our thoughts are with those people and their families.We feel very lucky after that experience.

We then made our way to Provo and family. We had such a wonderful time! Rick's sister, her husband, their kids and grandchildren were so welcoming and showed us such a good time. There was so much to see. When we were there before (when our kids were young) we saw SLC and Temple Square. This time we went up in the mountains several times, hiked, rode a ski gondola, and even saw a bear!

It was a wonderful and unforgettable trip! I don't think we will be driving across the country again. But I'm glad we did it one more time. 

In my next post I'll be showing some quilting and fall crafting I've been doing. My Halloween supplies are getting quite a bit of love these days!