{ Adornit Beginner Basics }

Happy New Year's Eve - a good day for cleaning up and looking back. Here's my December post that was on the Adornit blog. If you want to make a 'year in review' layout for your family, go to the Adornit Gallery here for complete step-by-step instructions.



Since 2009 is almost over, I decided to do a scrapbook layout that reviews the past year. What a trip down memory lane! I enjoyed every minute of looking at photos, reading my journal, and writing up a monthly digest of 2009. I made a double-page layout with my journaling on one side and the photo grid on the other. Using Adornit’s recently released Lapreal Collection made my project a success. I used only two patterned papers - but they were easy to use and so pretty; I think I’ll use them again and again in other layouts. The paper on both sides is Plum Daisies. The accent paper is Lapreal Motif.

Being a beginner (of four years lol), I like to keep my layouts simple and quick! So I always reach for Adornit’s nicely-designed cardstock stickers. For this project, I used the sticker set called Family Heritage from Adornit’s new Family Heritage collection.

I also used a variety of sticker/journaling spots from two different sets: Family Moments and Together.

I spelled the words Raymond Family with Adornit’s Flirtatious Tiny Alphabet Stickers.

All of these stickers are so nicely designed that the layouts came together easily. And there are lots of stickers left that I can use on more projects-which I plan to do.

Looks like 2010 will be a good scrapping year!



{ collecting joy }

Joy to the Grandma...
Baby Emmett has come (to visit)!

This little guy - he can steal my heart in a minute. At ten weeks old, he's smiling and cooing and spreading love wherever he goes. I collect JOY and he's my best addition.
(Another special NEW item in my Joy Collection is the pillow that says, "Take Joy." Someone left that on my porch, and if you read my blog, I'd like to say a sincere thanks. It brought tears to my eyes. (There's a back story.)


what, I have a blog???

I guess one of the ways I "cut the crazy" was by not going near the computer for several days before and after Christmas. Now there's time to record some memories and indulge in writing my thoughts.

Ahhhh - I love the week after Christmas. The knot in my stomach is mostly gone and the unread Christmas letters are finally read and relished. I enjoy getting Christmas letters from family and friends and read through them quickly when they come, then set them aside so I can re-read them later when I have time to study the words and pictures. Even though I like Facebook, and I enjoy e-cards, I appreciate the luxury of sitting down with a letter in hand - smiling at the pictures of my friends, their kids and grandkids.

Today I was cleaning my kitchen and thinking of the many times in the past month that I cleaned that kitchen in a HUGE HURRY. I mean if there had been a video of me literally running from the kitchen to my bedroom to the laundry room, it would have been quite comical. Max (our dog) would get so excited because he thought that I was playing with him, and he'd chase after me...which drove me crazy.

I had three parties here - my sewing friends on Dec. 2, Scott's office employees the week before Christmas, and then dinner (with a big crowd) on Christmas Day. Mike had a few informal gatherings too. There's always that unavoidable rush right before the guests arrive. You know, when you dump the sink full of dirty dishes right over the top of the clean dishes in the dishwasher and deal with it later. I'm not complaining - since I have room in my house for lots of people, I like to have events here and hopefully treat them to a nice time.

My gratitude is deep after a wonderful Christmas celebration. We loved having Suzie and Winston here for a whole week. We loved having the grandkids here and so appreciate that Santa finds them at our house and their parents go to the effort of hauling gifts back and forth. We gathered all my extended family together for a party at my sister's house on the Sunday before Christmas...including my brother Gary & Lesa from Japan. We had Scott's family here on Christmas Day and it was so fun to play games with aunts, uncles, cousins.

I just want to give credit to my kids for being so great - getting along beautifully, taking such good care of each other and their kids (my precious grandkids), and jumping in to help when they saw a need. And Scott - I love him beyond words. He goes with the flow, cares about everything I care about, and works extra hard to make it all possible.


Mike-ie likes it!

I found these Cadbury candies at the grocery store and bought a bag for Mike - he's always loved the Cadbury Mini Eggs and these are the same thing only for Christmas. He likes them. (He's hoarding the bag.) He doesn't have to worry about me stealing them; I call them Cadbury Ickies. I never liked the Easter candy either. I'm just an M & M's girl.

I quickly Googled to find an image for my blog and found this cute "candy review blog" and laughed as I read what the blogger wrote about the candy. I knew I liked her when she called them Cadbury Thingies. She made some good points...

"Irritatingly enough they couldn’t be bothered to name them. The package says Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolates with a Crisp Sugar Shell. What the? You call that a name? How about Christmas Cadberries?"

I was hoping they’d be just like the Mini Eggs. I opened the package and they smelled similarly inviting, like sugar and cocoa. But the colors, oh, they colors are just off. I don’t know if the photo above conveys it. They look like pencil erasers. Kind of chalky, not quite pastel, not quite vivid. Inconsistent, bumpy and just weird.

On the tongue they’re familiar. Soft and slightly cool, the shell is crisp and crunchy. The milk chocolate inside is a little tangier than the last time I had these. I was terribly disappointed to see that they have PGPR in them as well (bad transfat).

It’s odd how quickly my feelings can change, I have a hard time believing this is a bad bag. It might be the different colors or the PGPR (that could be in the Easter version for all I know) but they’re just not the same. I can’t give these more than a 6 out of 10 (the taste is okay but they sure don’t look tempting).

I gave you her whole review because I think it's so entertaining what people are "into" and how they sincerely pursue their interest.


Derek's graduation & my mom's 80th birthday

This snowy Saturday started with a wonderful event - my nephew's graduation from USU. The cold didn't even matter - our hearts were warm because of Derek's (and Nikki's) happiness.

At the beginning of the graduation, the basketball arena was filled with the sounds of a complete bagpipe band.

This is Nikki and her Dad - waiting for the ceremony to begin.

The day continued with a birthday dinner for my mom's 80th birthday. It was lovely - we had it at the Beehive Grill in Logan - good food and great venue.

My mom and my sister Merilee wearing the colors we love to wear. Mer took lots of mom's old scrapbook photos, scanned them, printed them as 8x10s, framed them, and placed them on the tables and around the room. (Mom has a fabulous scrapbook with 60-year old-photos that look perfect - a testament to good old-fashioned film.)

Tyler Stevenson, mom's youngest grandchild - with Mer's son and husband Zach and Val.
My mom and her sister Nadine Woodhead. They came from Salt Lake City - almost didn't make it because of the HUGE snowstorm. We were so glad they could come!

The three new great-grandkids. Derek and Avrie, Becky and Emmett and Craig and Sophie.
These two granddaughters of Mom, Michelle and Arika, were great helpers setting up and taking care of things. Michelle and Arika. Just so cute and pleasant. Michelle and her hubby Matt are awesome with Mom and Dad - helping them with things around their house and other stuff constantly. We all appreciate them.

We decorated with red, white and gold - it was beautiful.
I'm including this picture because it's so good of mom - and it's a rare (I mean very rare) view of the back of my head with my hair looking good. I'm very serious about this. This photo makes me happy.

Two cute little cousins - Avrie and Sophie - actually their parents are cousins.

Mom gave a very nice little thank-you speech. We sure missed those who couldn't be with us...Gary, Lesa and Kyle in Japan, Elder Brett in Japan and all the other cousins.


+ favorite book +

Today was one of my favorite days of the month - Book Club day. It's a pleasure to gather with women I admire and discuss a book each month. Today was not such a pleasure because I had to give the review - but I love the book - and so it was a time of reading favorite passages and sharing impressions.

If you haven't read Sue Bender's books, just stop what you're doing and click here for Everyday Sacred and here for Plain and Simple. When you finish, there is a third book called Stretching Lessons. I can wholeheartedly recommended these books for any woman - especially "older women" (although I LOVED Plain and Simple when it was published in about 1990 and I was young - twenty years younger). If you're thinking gifts, you can order from Amazon and get these books in time for Christmas! The books are beautiful outside too - the covers are appealing and there are drawings inside that go with the text to add a bit of delight.

Everyday Sacred, A Woman's Journey Home was the book I reviewed today. It's full of wisdom and life-learning examples from Sue Bender's life. She is a writer and a maker of pottery. She tells of her personal journey to find joy in everyday tasks. She shares examples of people around her who taught her valuable lessons.

She uses the image of an empty bowl as a symbol to illustrate what she is seeking. She tells how she learns to go forward each morning with a (metaphoric) empty bowl which is then filled throughout the day with whatever is given her - and she is grateful for it. The bowl reminds her to be generous, both to others and to herself. The bowl reminds her to not try to be perfect. It reminds her to start each day afresh and find, at the end of the day, that commonplace people and tasks have made the day sacred. Everyday Sacred.

Some things that rang true to me:

A quote by Helen Keller. "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."

"Begin a generosity practice. Including being generous with yourself."

"Expectations become definitions."

"To really listen you need a certain amount of relaxation and ease. Don't be so busy asking questions and getting ready to speak that you can't hear what is being said."

"Good deeds have echoes."

The book also suggested that SMALL THINGS can mean the most. I hope to remember that as I go through the next couple of weeks. There are people I need to visit, who don't need a gift, except the gift of attention and love.



Yesterday we were HERE - in St. George, Utah. (It's a city about 330 miles to the south of where we live in Logan; it's in the southern part of Utah, near Zion National Park.) It was warm enough for us to take a short hike and for Pitt, Becky and Scott to do a little rock climbing.

Suzie and Winston came from Las Vegas - about a 1.5 hour drive. It was so fun to have our two daughters and their husbands with us. This photo while we were wandering on a trail through a gorgeous red rock area. Suz and Winston are goofing off for Scott's ever-present camera.

Pitt (Becky's hubby) had more serious business on his mind - he's a rock climber and those red cliffs were calling. Pitt is ready to go up the face of this rock while Becky holds the rope. I don't know the technical terminology - I just call it amazing!

Pitt on his way up. Look at that blue sky!

And for some real excitement, Pitt helped Scott rock climb - his first time! Scott loved it. This is Scott climbing.


Suzie and Debbie waiting.

It was also a special weekend because it was Suzie's first time to see her new nephew, Becky's baby Emmett. My parents, who have been there for the past month, also got to meet the new baby.

And then we came home. A seven hour drive yielded this reward: Snow on the ground. Winds blowing 40 mph. Temperature 20 degrees - with the wind chill...minus 14. What a contrast. Almost makes me cry.


Yule Moon

I have been rushing around getting my house decorated and other things done, but fortunately I've been forced to pause (by Scott who notices things I don't and always has his eye on the sky) and look at the moon. Have you noticed how full it is, and beautiful?

There are various names for the moon in December. It's called the Yule Moon, the Cold Moon or the Long Nights Moon.

The Farmers Almanac says, "
During the month of December the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun."

To see the moon at its most amazing, see it in the early morning. Get up early - at dawn - when the sky is starting to get blue, but the sun is not yet up. (Because of the long night, it's not that early.) At 6:45 this morning the sky and moon were magnificent!

(This post is on my Cut the Crazy blog too. Painting by Tasha Tudor - one of my favorites!)


:: that girl has style ::

You are so lucky - I wandered around during and after Thanksgiving dinner and took photos of Corey and Mary's house. We had a wonderful dinner at Mary's house - everything was yummy from Bergen's salad to Corey's smoked turkey to my mini pumpkin cheescakes. Mary (above) is Scott's sister. She is a talented decorator. Mary has style - you'll see from the pics. I only wish I had taken MORE. This is just a taste! She has a wall of quilts that are unbelievable - hopefully I can photograph the quilts someday. Also, in this photo you can see the artwork of their son Scott. He's a talented, prize-winning artist.

Mary loves clocks - there's another big clock above these clocks and more clocks elsewhere in her house.
Mary loves beautiful dishes. And charming serving pieces and fabulous silverware. Above is a little silver butter dish with a domed lid. The jam is in Mary's Spode china that her mother bought when their family lived in England when Mary was a teenager.

Mary loves fabric. Notice this tablecloth on the dining room table. It's made from gorgeous fabric with a wide band of black fabric around the edges. Of course, Mary made it. She's a seamstress - she sews fantastic costumes for local musical productions - I mean, you wouldn't believe what she can put together to make her costumes look true to the time period of the play and make them look extra wonderful too. Mary doesn't make dumpy costumes. Her costumes are made with great trims and extra details. If I were in a play, I'd finagle it so Mary made my costume! Oh - Mary acts and sings in the plays too. She's great onstage - and she always has the best costume!

She is brimming with creativity. The centerpiece was BIG and beautiful. Notice the twisty white candles on the very tall candlesticks. Mary can put things together and make them look so good!

Everywhere you look Mary has made interesting arrangements. And then if you look closer you'll see that she has hand-stitched something in the arrangement. She made the cross-stitch sampler on the wall and the lampshade on the lamp. Her house is filled with fabulous quilts that she has made and quilted herself. She makes pillows and drapes and well, you name it. While we were visiting after dinner, Mary was knitting a pair of gloves for her daughter. And just a few days before another sister Pat showed me the bag that Mary had made her for her birthday.

Posted by Picasa


hAppy tHanKsgiVing!

Our favorite little turkey - Baby Emmett. I sang 'Over the river and through the woods...' as he arrived at the house. He gets to see both sets of grandparents and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins today. Can't wait for tonight when Brookelyn, Bailee, and Carter (and their parents) arrive!

It's a beautiful Thanksgiving Day - Scott is getting the last leaves off the grass and Mike is raking under the trees. I'm baking yummy yams, pumpkin cheesecake, and brownies (gotta have chocolate) to take to Aunt Mary's house for dinner. Yea - love going to Mary and Corey's.

We gave so much to be grateful for. Our hearts are full of gratitude for the people before us who worked hard - harder than we even know how - so we could live in such good circumstances.


* spark - the event *

Wow, two weeks have flown by and I haven't posted my pics of the "creativity event" called Spark that I went to the 6th and 7th of November. I think I'm worried about doing justice to everything the Spark organizers did - even these photos can't recapture the magic of those two days. Spark was a workshop for anyone who wanted to "spark their creativity." It was organized by four neat women who are designers and teachers in the scrapbook world. It was two days of classes and workshops. I had never been a participant in a scrapbook event before, so I signed up as soon as I heard about it. It was fabulous. So much thought and energy went into every aspect of it - I was impressed. You'll see from my photos that the decorations were amazing - they're just a taste of what went on.

It was held at the historic village that is next to This Is the Place Monument in Salt Lake City. It was very fun to be "in the village" for two days and to have classes and meals in the historical buildings like the chapel above. The village has over 40 historically-preserved buildings on the site with big rooms where the classes took place. The weather was quintessential fall weather - perfect temp and, as you can see from my photos, beautiful blue skies. Add to that, the amazing vintage-chic Spark decorations hanging on buildings, lining the pathways, and decking the halls. They added a playful party atmosphere...along with a great playlist of music on the speakers through the whole village. I can't even begin to describe how much work they went to to add charm to everything.

Above, a poster with classic Rhonna Farrer design - her touch was everywhere. Spark girls were Rhonna Farrer, Elizabeth Kartchner, Margie Romney Aslett, and Jefra Linn.

Day One was an afternoon of make-and-take mini classes. There were over a dozen to choose from - I decided to enjoy myself and just browse and take lots of photos rather than kill myself trying to finish everything. So I spent a lot of time just watching and visiting rather than madly rushing through every project. Thus, I did enjoy myself, but came home with a load of unfinished stuff. I did take the time to make a cupcake at a table sponsored by The Sweettooth Fairy cupcake bakery. The cupcakes were yummm, and the frosting was to die for. I could have just squeezed that whole container directly into my mouth. I also made a little hand-sewn booklet in a glassine envelope and a couple of 'junk bows' which are big bows for decorating made of paper sacks, tissue, buttons and wire. Will I decorate my whole house with them for Christmas? I'd like to, but I doubt I'll get around to making them.

The presentation of everything was just beautiful. The projects were packaged in darling little bags, containers and boxes. The centerpieces at dinner were large tissue flowers that you can see silhouetted in the photo above. The food was good - I ended up sitting at a table with the creative team from a company called Die Cuts with a View for all our meals. They make scrapbook product and those vinyl sayings in tubes that you see in stores everywhere. The DCWV ladies were very nice to me, but I was definitely an 'outsider.' (It was good for me.) That's the only thing I would have changed - to be with a group of friends would have been more fun. Next time I'll drag someone along with me. It was OK to be alone, but it would be better with a friend or two. If this sounds fun to you, let me know! We'll start saving our $$ now.