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New Card Fridays

Awhile back, I set a goal to use up scraps and make a new card each Friday.  Although there have been several card-less Fridays, I have had the opportunity to do a lot of creating so here is what I've been up to.

I love my Cuttlebug!  I also wanted to incorporate my newly acquired crochet skills onto my cards so here is an example of that.  I also did a double border punch for the side.

Here's where I jumped on the paint chip bandwagon.  I like how it turned out.  Again with the Cuttlebug, but I also used some glitter glue to jazz up the edges.  I find this form of glitter mildly acceptable because it is glue, and when it dries, the glitter does not come off.

More Paint Chip flowers.  I popped these up with foam, if you can't tell from the pic. I also found a great location to photograph my cards using daylight.  Yay!

At least I changed paint chip colors here.  I made the frame and the text with a free svg file and cut it on my cutting machine.

I wanted to try out the flower technique I learned here, and this was the result.  I love it, but I won't be able to mail it.  Actually, I don't think I can get it into an envelope either.

Here is a simple one using my crochet skills again.  I found this cute heart tutorial here and wanted to try it out.  So simple!

With Christmas just past and my birthday in 4 days, I have received / will probably get new crafting tools.  So fun!  If I get a craft store gift card, I'll use part of it to expand my Cuttlebug folder collection, since all of the embossed cards pictured use the same one!


I want to take this post and document some of the things Annique is doing now.  She is at a really fun stage and we love to watch her face light up and hear her little giggle.

Language:  Annique knows a mixture of 30-40 words/signs.  Heard most often around here is, "Peas. Mo."  She'll sign and say "please, more" a lot.  Unfortunately, it often doesn't connect to anything.  She says it when she wants something, and we get to guess what.  When we're in the bathroom and she says, "Peas. Teeth." I know she wants to brush her teeth.  "Peas. Mo. Crackie" refers to her desire for a cracker.  We particularly love how she wants more of something she has not had yet.

Reading:  Annique is a true fan.  She'll bring me book after book after book until I've read every one in sight!  She toddles over toting her book and just plops down in my lap.  I love it. She will also look at something with text on it and babble as if she is reading.

Identification of Animals: She knows a dog, cat, duck, bird, frog, cow, horse, and starting to learn fish.  She loves to sign dog, cat, and horse!  Annique can also tell you what most of those animals say.  Just not a cow.  "Annique, what does a cow say?"  "COW!"

Identification of Numbers: Although she can't count, she can identify 2, 3, 4, 5, and sometimes 6.  We attribute this to a game we play with the number rug my mom made for her.

Identification of Body Parts:  She can find her eyes, teeth, nose, ears, hair and bellybutton.  She can locate all of those on you too, just not the bellybutton.

Fine Motor Skills:  This girl can pick up one single strand of hair.  She can also stack 8+ blocks, which the physical therapist says is a 24-28 month skill.  She can feed herself with a spoon, a skill of which she is quite proud.

Gross Motor Skills: She is walking around like crazy and has even started dabbling in running.  She still stumbles a lot.  She wears orthopedic inserts in her tiny shoes to help keep her ankles straight.  She's a little pronator.

Other:  If you tell Annique to go hit a high note on the piano, she will.  If you tell her to hit a low note on the piano, she can do that too.  You shouldn't be too surprised as this is Dan's kid.

Loves: Being tickled, wearing a hat, graham crackers, reading, laying down on the floor to peek under the door if you're in the bathroom

Hates: Getting out of the crib after a nap/ in the morning, having her hair washed, hearing that she can't do something

Love this girl to pieces!  Even if she is the reason for my irregular blogging.  I have other posts floating around, so we'll see if I can get to them soon...

The Awesomeness of the Covenant Companion

Of course we'd die for our faith,
we say from the easy chair with a glass
of iced tea nearby, leaving a ring on the table.
We'd be proud to be a martyr for Christ
or at least we hope we would.
He's done so much for us.

The truth of the matter is that I'm thinking
that's the easy answer.  God is not interested
in the easy answer, which is why the second greatest
commandment is to love your neighbor, not
pass some true-false spiritual checklist.

Even that first great commandment is no walk in the park.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind?
We can't even love ourselves or our families with even half our
heart much less God.  We wipe up the ring on the table with a
napkin and wonder if God is setting us up.

It's much harder to tithe faithfully and almost
impossible to think about giving away even
more money to the poor.  How many, honestly,
would prefer the crazy gunman to the guilt of being
compared to the poor widow and her last penny.

Much harder to invite our neighbor or coworker to come to church
or speak out against injustice and sexist or racial slurs.
Much harder to talk about the hard truths in our lives and the reality
that most of us walk in the "shadows of faith" than console ourselves
with believing we'd do the right thing in some theoretical scenario.

Weep for us, you saints of heaven, as we live lives of deceit,
proclaiming we'd make the ultimate sacrifice if called to do so
when the truth is that we can barely sacrifice anything at all.

See, the truth about being a martyr is that you don't have to do a lot.
It's really out of your control.  Somebody kills you because you believe.
It's horrible and terrible and just as horrible and terrible to die without
ever acting on your belief.  To be a true believer, we must love and
act on that love.  Every day.  To everyone.

I fail in this.  Every day.  To everyone.

And the truth of the matter is, that God already knows that.
But Christ rises from the tomb.  So I rise every morning
to try again to live the truth out of love, forgiveness, and redemption,
to be a martyr to all the things that would take me away from Christ
from the things that matter.

Brumberg Stevens, Krista. "The Truth of the Matter." The Covenant Companion July 2011: 37

First Attempt at Fudge

You may wonder how a chocoholic like me has made it this far in life without making fudge.  I'm not sure, either.  I'm in the process of transferring my recipes from index cards to 8.5 x 11 page size and as I do, I make each one to be sure it is worthy of the work it takes to type it up.  I may even post about that process later.

This recipe is called Jello Chocolate Pudding fudge and does not include marshmallow creme nor any time on the stove.  I have included the recipe at the bottom so you can copy and paste with out the pictures in between.  The pictures, I might add, were taken at night under less than perfect (ok, crappy) lighting conditions.  As a side note, anyone know why the macro setting on my camera let in so much light and washed everything out?  Moving on...

1 package (8oz) semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup water
1 package Jello chocolate pudding mix (Aldi brand worked fine)
3 cups powdered sugar

First, I had to dust off the baking chocolate.

Literally.  See that cobweb in there?  I trashed these squares and bought new baker's chocolate that didn't expire in April of last year.  Is is possible to substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for semi-sweet baking chocolate?  Not sure, but in this house, the chocolate chips serve a loftier purpose: to be eaten on a spoon with peanut butter.

Microwave 4 one-ounce sized chocolate squares with 6 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup water on high, stirring often for 2 minutes or until melted.

Stir.  Add dry pudding mix and stir until well blended.

Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring until well blended after each addition.

Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil and press pudding mixture into pan. Microwave 4 one-ounce sized chocolate squares with 2 tablespoons butter on high for one and a half minutes stirring often until melted.

Spread over pudding mixture.  Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Verdict: SUCCESS!  So creamy and delicious.  Anyone attending the family dinner on Monday gets to sample some!

Jello Chocolate Pudding Fudge
1 package (8oz) semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup water
1 package Jello chocolate pudding mix.
3 cups powdered sugar

-Microwave 4 one-ounce sized chocolate squares with 6 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup water on high, stirring often for 2 minutes or until melted.
-Stir.  Add dry pudding mix and stir until well blended.
-Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring until well blended after each addition.
-Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil and press pudding mixture into pan.
-Microwave 4 one-ounce sized chocolate squares with 2 tablespoons butter on high for one and a half minutes stirring often until melted.  Spread over pudding mixture.
-Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

What is the next step?

I like to make things.  I would definitely consider myself crafty.  Now, I'm thinking I'd like to take the leap over to start selling some of my creations.  I'm starting with hair accessories since I've had some success there.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what I'm doing on the business side.

I know how to make many different kids of hair accessories, so should I make a bunch up for each design?  I plan to put a link or something on the side of this blog to some Picasa pictures I have of what I can do.  What do you think of that idea?  Should I print off a few business cards to throw in with hair bows I make as gifts/ silent auction baskets etc.?  What should I put on those business cards?  How do I even name my business?!  (I really don't plan to sell on Etsy- so much competition.)

I feel like I'm doing well on my side of the cliff; enjoying the things I have created.  The other side of that cliff looks interesting as well; selling my creations for people to enjoy.  However, building that bridge is very intimidating!  I would appreciate any suggestions, encouragement, comments, lessons learned from those who have built such bridges as well as those on the observation deck of either side of the cliff who have wisdom to offer.  Thanks!

My Husband is Awesome

Indeed.  I'm sure most readers know how great Dan is, but allow me to tell you more.  He spent hours today working on our lawn.  There was verticutting, mowing over the chaff with a push power to bag the chaff, purchase of grass seed, spread of grass seed, digging up plants from an area we want to put our compost bin, and setting up said bin.  Here is a picture of him working on our rinky-dink dying tractor.  A tractor that I have never used, since I have never mowed this lawn.  See?  Awesome.

THEN he feeds Annique dinner and chases her around (since she loves that).  We all walked around the yard a bit, too.  I wanted to admire the work.

Plus, I got to hear worship songs for tomorrow's service and Scott Joplin on the piano while cooking dinner.  And all the dishes from dinner, are washed by Mr. Awesome.

To top off the awesomeness, he is in the finals of his fantasy baseball league.  Oh yes, the Expos might pull it off.

Love you, Dan!

New Card Fridays

I have really enjoyed going through this organizing series from The Scrap Rack.  Don't get intimidated by the length of the videos.  The last half of each one is her taking questions, which I skipped.  It is nice how she talks about other methods of organization should you choose not to use the Scrap Rack itself.  I haven't gone through all the lessons yet, but I am to the point where I have organized all my paper and my paper scraps.  I have a lot of scraps!  So, I have decided to make a card each week using up my scraps.  Here are my first two creations:

The center is a picture I liked from a magazine.  I used my Cuttlebug on that purple square, is a cutout from a Father's Day card.  Those Cuttlebug textured plates are pretty dang sweet.  The flower paper is from another card I made this summer. 

 This is a more simple card where I used the cool paper on a greeting card which was sent to me.

I enjoy the challenge of creating, I enjoy being green and using up my scraps, and I enjoy having these cards on hand.  Win win win!

Baby Grooves

Our kid is a fan of music.  You could probably see it coming with all the talents her father possesses.  She'll play the piano and she'll dance to music she hears (which includes bump music for the Dave Ramsey Show).  I thought I would share two of my favorite videos of Annique getting her groove on.

Here, she's enjoying Pandora while eating breakfast.

And the booty shakin'...

Love it!

Testing, testing, 1 2 3...

Internet killed my paper and pen.  Internet killed my paper and pen.  :o)

Ladies and gentlemen, my blog debut.  Don't make fun of my decor here.  I just used template #6 so I could get on with this.  You can look forward to a redesign soon.

I wanted a place to organize my thoughts about things I enjoy.  You are most likely to see what craft I'm working on, what home renovation project I've gotten myself into, how awesome my husband is, what my wonderful daughter is up to, what book I'm reading, what Pinterest thing I've tried, possibly a cool picture I have taken and other even less interesting thoughts and ramblings.

First, my current crafting obsession: crochet.  The goal was to learn how to crochet these really cool flowers to make into hair accessories.  Upon hearing I would like to learn a new craft, my crafting guru (aka mom) got me a ball of yarn and a crochet hook.   Then, I was set loose upon YouTube.  I found a great tutorial and made this dishrag.

Then, I went to Pinterest and found a pattern for this envelope.  You can store something like snail mail correspondence in here.  There is a nice chain to keep the flap closed.

And finally, I have mastered the large and small flower for hair accessories.

And maybe got a little carpal tunnel in the process.  I got the yarn on Friday and have since made five flowers.  The large ones are two inches in diameter and the small ones are an inch and a half.  Yay, goal accomplished!  I might have run up to JoAnn's this evening to get more yarn/thread.

Maybe in my next post, I'll remember to take pictures using natural light and not at 9:45pm using my desk lamp.  Gives you something else to look forward to, right?


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