{ makes me want to stitch }

Becky told me about a fun, unique quilt website and blog by a company called Thimble Blossoms. I spent some time enjoying all her designs and it made me want to quilt again - it's been too long. So I took the photo above of my button collection and my old wristband pincushion - just to inspire me. Then I lifted a photo from the Thimble Blossom blog of a pretty quilt and some very cute pincushions that I need in my sewing room. Thanks Camille Roskelley for inspiring me. btw - this girl and her mom also have a brand new line of fabric made by Moda - called Cottom Blossoms, a combination of the names of their pattern companies. The mom owns Cotton Way - I've been buying her quilt patterns for years.
If anyone knows where to get the pincushion patterns shown in the photo above, I want them. I know they're simple enough to figure out in a half hour, but I'm a pattern person. I have personally supported many many pattern makers over the past 30 years. Patterns make me happy! So do pincushions.


more Escalante photos

I'm grateful to be alive after the climb to the archeological wonder in the background. It truly was breathtaking - both the history and the sheer beauty of the country around me.

We spent Day 2 hiking. I bet we hiked at least five miles that day. The photo above is the kind of country we were walking through. We hiked nearly to the top of the cliff in the photo - I was hauling my self over huge rocks, bushwhacking through stickery bushes, and pulling myself up over small cliffs with my awesome upper body strength - zero. Our goal was to hike to a 600-year-old Native American hut - called the Moquois house. Moquios is a type of Indian.
We decided to go on thie hike because Mac, the desk clerk at the Inn said it was an easy hike - his idea of easy and mine are waaay different. He sends all the guests there. He told us about the last couple that went - the husband came back and thanked him because his wife had been overcome with tears when she first saw the Moquois house. Well, I couldn't wait to tell him about my tears. My tears came when I stood at the base of three or four ledges and looked up - Scott was already there - and I didn't know how I'd ever make it. But I wasn't about to stop short of this incredible archeological find, so I very slowly pulled and pushed up - holding onto crackling dry branches that I prayed wouldn't break and let me fall to my death.

This is Scott inside the little mud and stick hut - looking out. There's a chimney and a little air vent on top. I'm anxious to learn more about this place.

Now we're viewing another archeological wonder. These are petroglyphs that have been on this rock wall for a thousand years. Incredible. The circle image on the left is called "Circle of Friends." It has about fifteen stick figures in a circle holding hands. The top figure is a little child.


-- painting in Escalante --

Day One in Escalante (near Bryce Canyon) where Scott is painting scenes of the incredible landscape. There is an art festival here this week and a Plein Air painting competition - which Scott didn't enter. He's still learning. At the end of the week, we'll go see the competion exhibit where the painters show the paintings they made of the Escalante area in the last four days. Then Scott will see that he's as good as 90% of the participants. This photo shows the place we are staying - the Slot Canyons Inn. Scott decided to paint right here on the property and chose a scene of the original cabin on the property (to the right of the inn) and the cliffs behind it. In true life, it's beautiful.

This is the bridge over the Escalante River that leads to the Inn.

Here is the painter after about four hours at the easel. When he is painting he loses all track of time. (Actually he does that at his office too - he is just the type that loves whatever he is doing at the moment.) Because his painting spot was close to the Inn where we were staying, I got to hang out in our room. I worked on my computer finishing some stuff for our Big Picture class and I scrapbooked! It was fun. I just watched Oprah and scrapbooked.

Once in a while I would go visit Scott, but he really didn't care if I was there. He had his Ipod and he likes that more than my constant jabbering. lol


Last day of summer....

Yesterday, Saturday, we realized at about 5:00 that it was the last day of summer. With only about 7 hours left of this wonderful summer, we loaded our bikes into the purple minivan and headed for Logan Canyon's Riverside Trail.
It was the best bike ride - wonderful scenery and perfect temperature. Lots of fishermen to wave at along the riverbanks. I might confess that it was the only bike ride we've taken this year. Ohhhh, the agony of missed opportunities. Why haven't we done this more often??
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[ I love my map ]

Can I just say that I love my map. This map hangs on the wall between our kitchen and dining room. It's big enough that we can even see the smallest islands in the sea. We can pinpoint where Gary and Lesa are in Japan, and Brett. And Alex in Brazil. We have placed little arrows all over the world representing loved ones, then brought them back home. The map measures 28" x 52" (since I'm the editor at Adornit and am constantly trying to make sure we list the measurements of everything, I feel compulsive about tellling you the measurements of my map) unframed - the frame a few extra inches. We bought it in Portland a good fifteen years ago and regretably I don't know the brand or name of it. We referred to it often this summer as we watched the summer Olympics.

One of my favorite things about the map is when we have visitors and everyone gathers around the map to compare notes about where they've been or are going.
Along with the map, I love the quote on the board above it. This is a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that my friend Norma Olsen found. The words just jumped out at her from the walls of a little home decor shop on a day that she really needed the wise advise. And so, being the
scraplifter and copycat that I am, I went right out and bought the same plaque. We are possibly going to cut the quote in rub-on vinyl at Adornit, so if you're interested in it (for a Christmas gift of course!) let me know.


cut the crazy class on big picture - too exciting!!!

First of all, I have no idea how to make this NOT long and skinny - so just laugh and enjoy....

Well, after lots of work by Georgana (my boss at Adornit) and me, and with the permission of my Cut the Crazy partner Norma Olsen, we succeeded in getting our Cut the Crazy out of Christmas class onto a very popular website that provides classes for scrapbookers. It's called Big Picture Scrapbooking, and I have to say, it's BIG to be there. So the whole world can take our Christmas class...and I hope the whole world does. At least all the women! We have added a scrapbooking element to the class to make it fun for the Big Picture audience. In addition, we have written some wonderful content to help women learn how to simplify and control Christmas. We will also offer an updated version of the planner which Georgana designed. This is all done online - the class is virtual and the handouts come as downloads on your computer. The class will be taught during the month of November. We'll have a message board, two live chats, and a Gallery to post pictures of projects etc. I can't even begin to describe how happy and astonished I am about this. I wrote the words for the ad below and I think they describe our class pretty well. It's my biggest gig yet!

Cut the Crazy out of Christmas

Christmas is a time of great excitement and activity - and sometimes chaos.
It's also a time when we want to feel moments of peace and joy.

The things we long for at Christmas:

  • opportunities to sit by the fire with family and friends
  • time to create handmade gifts
  • activities with children that include service & creativity -

these simply won't happen if we don't PLAN ahead and then leave space for them on our December calendars.

Christmas gets crazy because we try to cram everything into four short weeks. At some point, we must accept that it is unrealistic to have it all, do it all, and be it all.

The Cut the Crazy out of Christmas approach helps you so that:
{Love and joy can really be yours this holiday season.}

The 'cut the crazy' ladies, Georgana and Debbie, teamed with Big Picture Scrapbooking, can help bring a new perspective on how you approach Christmas this year. The workshop includes a downloadable planner that will change the way you plan for the holidays…plus projects and lots of ideas.

We invite you to join us!


[ happy birthday, MIke }

Happy Birthday Mike! He started the day with our birthday tradition - breakfast in bed. This morning, in the interest of time, he got a hot and yummy bowl of Cream of Wheat. What a way to start the day. Mike is twenty-two - hard to believe. He had a few friends over - well a dozen of them - to celebrate with pizza and cake. Mike's a great kid and works hard in school and work. Happy birthday to my youngest! The other photos below show Mike "decorating" his room with prints from Japan and singing his heart out while he plays his guitar.

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worried about Hurricane Ike

- Saturday night -
I was about to go to bed a few minutes ago, but just had to have one more look on the TV at the progress of Hurricane Ike. Sometime between now and when we wake up in the morning, this monster storm is supposed to make landfall. My heart goes out to all the people of that area who are waiting...it must be so frightening. I feel for the poor people who had to abandon their homes and are uncomfortably staying in shelters etc. not knowing what is happening back home. It would be so awful - I just hope hope pray that the storm is not as bad as predicted. Our nephew Brandon Gihring lives in Houston. He is the son of Scott's sister Jill and brother-in-law Ron. Brandon just got his MBA degree and works for a big accounting firm. Jill sent us this email:
Hey everyone:
Brandon wanted everyone to know that as they say in Texas he has "hunkered down" for the storm. He has plenty of water, food, camp stove, lights and a good book. His apartment is on the third floor, so if the flood waters come he hopes that he will not get wet. He has duck taped all his windows, and has his overall's and wading boots ready to go. So our thoughts and prayers are with Brandon tonight, along with everyone in the path of the storm. I know I'll be up early to tune in to the TV reports about what happened.
--The Gihrings

Jill and Brandon - May 2008


one last summer photo!

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I just can't let go of summer! This is my all-time favorite 2008 summer photo. I love the story it tells. The guy with the bucket of water is my son-in-law Pitt. The water is aimed right for his wife Becky. They were all dutifully lined up for group pictures, until Pitt's streak of mischeviousness surfaced and very quickly he had the solution to being bored posing for photos from five different cameras. If we enter this in a contest, we'll split the prize money with you, Pitt!


{ summer in review scrapbook project }

Today's post is borrowed from my boss Georgana's blog It's my monthly column for Adornit called "Beginner Basics." This was such a fun scrapbook layout to make - a quick review of the summer. Since I'm spending every spare minute getting our Cut the Crazy out of Christmas class ready for Big Picture Scrapbooking dot com, I'm pretty sure this is the only 2008 summer layout I'll make. I'll always be glad I have this in my scrapbook album - and the photos will be safely tucked away in the photo album. Well, they will be as soon as Scott gets them put in. It's easy to click the link below and download the calendar. (If you click on the pictures they pop up larger.)

Beginner Basics with Debbie...

Debbie writes: You’re going to LOVE what I have to show you for this month’s Beginner Basics. In fact, you might as well just get your supplies out, because this is a quick and easy layout you’ll want to complete before the day is over!

Most of us have had good intentions to scrapbook all of our favorite summer photos. We don’t want to forget those good memories, but with three busy summer months, we don’t know where to start.

Georgana to the rescue! For her Make & Take project for the Big Picture Scrapbooking Summer Crop last month, Georgana decided to make a layout that summarizes the summer. She called it her Summer Highlights layout and created a three-month calendar to use on the pages to quickly list all her fun summer activities. Well, lucky for us, she has made the calendar available to all her blog readers to print out for your own scrapbooks. You can click on the link to download the calendar!

Download adornit_calendar.pdf


I really enjoyed making this project. I was able to put a bunch of photos (ten total) on my double page layout. It was fun to review the summer as I flipped through my photos and filled in my calendar. I used a bunch of Adornit Cardstock Stickers and our adhesive foam letters. When it’s cold outside and I’m cozied up in my kitchen ready to do some “serious scrapbooking,” I’ll have this layout to remind me of Summer 2008. But right now, I’ve got to get outside and ride that bicycle!




we've been married how long???

Today is our anniversary. We went to Sizzler to celebrate because of the $9.99 coupon in the Sunday comic section of the paper. lol. Made Scott happy. Just being with him made me happy. This is the cell phone photo we took at dinner.

Our first date was New Year’s Eve 1973. We went out twice and then Scott left to go back to medical school in New York City. We sent a couple of postcards back and forth to stay in touch until Scott returned to Logan for Spring break. We ‘dated’ for a week then and fell in love…but neither admitted it. Scott went back to school and we wrote to each other until June.

Those were the ‘olden days.’ We didn’t have email or cell phones. Making a long distance call was a big expensive deal and you just didn’t do it. We wrote letters. In June, we dated for three weeks, then decided we wanted to get married. The day after we got engaged Scott left for his residency in Arizona. During our engagement we talked to each other on the phone each Sunday, and sent cassette tapes back and forth. Scott came home to Logan two days before our wedding. I don’t remember thinking any of this was weird, though I did feel lonely and sad that I was planning the whole wedding by myself (with the help of my mom and Scott's sisters). My parents, to their credit, never questioned my judgment. They didn't know Scott, but knew his parents and family, so that helped. We were married 34 years ago today: September 4, 1974.

Some of the songs on the radio in 1974 were "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney & Wings, "Another Saturday Night" by Cat Stevens and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John.” It was a year for some great movies like The Towering Inferno, Chinatown, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I remember watching All in the Family and Rhoda on TV while Scott was staying overnight at the hospital every fourth night. It sure doesn’t seem like 34 years. They have been good ones for sure!

As I was finishing this post Scott gave me his anniversary present. It was so cute. He sang 'our song' to me. Now, we've never had a song all these years. Then one day Scott told me that the Michael Buble song "Everything" was our song. I love it. Now I love it even more, because, with our son Mike's help, Scott recorded himself singing the song to me, using the original Buble music, but with Buble's voice dubbed over by Scott's voice. It was the best gift ever!