Adornit BLoG HoP!

Yea it's Blog Hop Day! I hope you're having a good time. I'm especially happy that this day has come, because I'm the editor at Adornit, and I've worked alongside Georgana and everyone else at Adornit for the past few weeks getting ready for the Blog Party. You wouldn't believe the love and hours that have gone into each project and post.

I was thrilled with the theme that Georgana picked, Summer Favorites. I had a hard time choosing my favorite for summer. Then one evening, after pulling about a bushel of morning glory (in Utah it's considered a weed) from my flower garden, and watching the sunset from my back patio, I decided that my favorite place in the summer is really my own backyard!

I used Adornit's new Flutter Flight collection for my layout. The colors are perfect, don't you agree! Adornit is known for hand-drawn art on our scrapbook papers, and this collection shows this perfectly.

Be sure to visit Adornit every day this week for more darling paper crafting ideas - or if there's a hang-up in the Blog Hop just check in at: www.adornitscrapbook.com/bloghop

Well, I won't keep you - I know you have lots of stops on this bloghop! From here you go visit Danette at Heart and Home designs: http://heartandhomedesigns.blogspot.com/


*** It's PaRty TiMe ***

The Adornit Summer Blog Party started today. Click here to go to Georgana's blog and see everything we made for the first day of the party. The theme today is BBQ, and we are showing ideas for outdoor barbecues and for scrapbooking the photos you take at your BBQ. I wrote most of the words that you'll read on the blog posts this week. It's been a fun writing exercise! And if you click on a project title, it takes you to that particular project in the gallery on the Adornit website - and includes a photo, description and list of instructions. I wrote all those words too. I've been writing project instructions all week 'til my head's swimming. Sure does make me want to scrapbook though. (Which is the point of this Adornit Blog Party after all - publicity.)

Above is the scrapbook layout I made for today's blog party. It's a photo from our family Bear Lake reunion two weeks ago. I love the red and black, and I love that my mom and nephew Tyler are dressed to match.

And here is the cute BBQ invitation that my friend and coworker Janet Parker made. I really like the red-checked ribbon at the top - and the ant ribbon at the bottom too. Isn't it clever how she put the ribbon at the top so you can just hang the invite on your neighbor's door knob? The other projects are great too. You're just going to have to go check them out. It'll only take a minute!


:: my column for the Adornit blog ::

Beginner Basics for Scrapbooking: July





It’s time for July's Beginner’s Basics from Adornit editor Debbie Raymond. Debbie writes:

So many pictures, so little time. It’s summer, and that means I have a dilemma. I’m taking lots of photos that would be SO CUTE as scrapbook pages, and yet I don’t want to spend time indoors when I could be outside hiking or riding my awesome old-lady bike.

Sooooo the answer is…make my scrapping simple.

That means giving myself some limits. (That’s hard when you work at Adornit!) I decided that FOR SOME OF MY PHOTOS, I’d limit myself to using only black and white papers and embellishments. That way I can easily use my most colorful photos because summer is COLORful. By using only black and white supplies, I can simplify my choices and help me get my scrapbook pages done.

This is so easy that you can put all your (limited) supplies in a cute basket and take them outside and watch your kids play or enjoy the beauty of your back yard while you scrap. If you’re young like Georgana, you’ll have kids jumping on the tramp and running through the sprinklers in the background as you work. If you’re an empty nester like me, you’ll enjoy the sounds of the birds in the trees or the songs on your Ipod. Whatever your stage of life, scrapbooking outside in the summer is a delicious treat.



Bear Lake photos

{ Beach Bums }

{ So You Think You Can Dance - to Michael Jackson tunes }

{ Dinner including Merilee's yummy cupcake hamburgers }


- scrapping with a little help from my friends -

I'm scrapping tonight and enjoying the cool taste of this drink with a slice of lime and some good ice. Scrapping is a bit stressful for me (I don't know why, AdornIt product makes it so simple), but {Peter Frampton} on my oldies mix CD and a half a (small) bag of M&M's is making it really rather enjoyable.

"I can see the sunset in your eyes
Brown and gray, blue besides
Clouds are stalking islands in the sun
I wish I could buy one
Out of season
Ooh baby I love your way
Wanna tell you I love your way
Wanna be with you night and day...
I love your way."


getting my groove back

It's been awhile since I posted on my blog - I've been distracted with FUN things. We had a great week visiting with Suzie and Winston, here from Vegas, and we spent a couple of days at Bear Lake for a little family reunion. I will download and post my photos soon.

Meanwhile, I did a little web surfing today and wanted to show you images from quilt designer Sue Spargo. Her work is stunning and her folk-art style really appeals to me.

This is the quilt that first caught my attention. Just LOOK AT THAT! In reading her blog, I found out that she recently taught a class at Material Girls quilt shop in Salt Lake City. I just visited that fun shop for the first time last week with my girls.

This all started because I was surfing for inspiration to make a little pin cushion for fun tonight. And then I saw these quilts, and I've about lost my pincushion-sewing energy. It'll take me three hours to make a four-inch square, very simple pincushion. I'm a sewing pre-schooler. I'm a newborn. And I've been sewing for, oh, forty years, give or take a few months. How depressing.


{ you CAN judge this book by its cover }

Here's a charming little book that I've enjoyed reading in bits this summer. The author writes simple essays that are full of wisdom - especially for women. It's a quick read and each chapter has something that made me pause and think. This book would make a nice little gift - not only for the content but for the pretty cover.

Here's a book review from a blog called Azuki's Book Cafe:

In Creating a Charmed Life, Victoria Moran unveils practical, spiritual secrets for expanding your capacity to love, know, and experience a fuller, richer life. Her insight, humor, and unassailable wisdom shine through each page to illuminate the magic in all our lives.

This book contains 75 small chapters with titles like: *Create miracles * Nurture your dreams * Live your life in chapters * Nourish your spirit.* Each chapter has three pages or so to read that you can fit in a moment’s spare time. It’s best enjoyed in small bites like tidbits of chocolates, rather than in one sitting.

Truth be told, if you have read a few spiritual self-help or woman-feel-good books, you would definitely have heard many of the same things before, but it’s an endearing, charming little book nonetheless.


writing that brings a smile to my face

One of my favorite writers, Garrison Keillor writes some amusing (but true to me) words in his weekly column on his Prairie Home Companion website:

"So let me speak up for an endangered menu item this Fourth of July weekend and that is homemade potato salad.

When the family meets this weekend to hobnob and burn burgers, the family member assigned to bring the potato salad is likely going to walk in with a couple of gallon plastic buckets of yellowish muck bought at a convenience store, the price stickers still on them, and set them down on the table with no apology whatsoever.

Or, if they have more disposable income, they'll bring paper containers full of brownish muck from the natural organic sustainable united empathetic co-op.

If you bring garbage to share with your family, the least you can do is tell a lie and say, "I couldn't make the potato salad myself because I am bipolar and my lover left me and my dog has leukemia and I have an oozing leprous sore on my mixing hand."

It is not that hard to make potato salad, people. Take half an hour away from your Facebook page and do the job right. Boil some eggs, chop the celery and chives and green onions, boil the potatoes, make your mayonnaise, maybe toss in a little sour cream, use plenty of dill, and sprinkle paprika on top. The eerie-yellow store-bought stuff in the tubs was manufactured at Amalgamated Salad in Houston by undocumented 12-year-olds from the hills of Michoacan. Worse, it is teaching our children that accomplishment doesn't matter.

A child served yellow slop from a bucket is being told that it's OK to plagiarize a term paper off the Internet just so long as it's poorly written.

What if Thomas Jefferson had been too busy hobnobbing to write the Declaration of Independence so he just downloaded a bunch of stuff he found Googling "independence" and coming up with stuff about indolence, pendants, incontinence, but hey, close enough, and he pasted it together and they all signed it and went out to a movie? Not good.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the potato salad which has connected them with another, they will do it, believe me, so why insult us? Just because we're polite, do you think we can't tell the difference? Are we demented? Does this not seem self-evident to you?

Attend to the details. Teach your children manners. Write cogent paragraphs. Drive carefully. And make a good potato salad, one with some crunch, maybe accompanied by a fried drumstick with crackly skin — the humble potato and the stupid chicken, ennobled by diligent cooking — and is this not the meaning of our beautiful country, to take what is common and enable it to become beautiful? All our beautiful young people — so diligent and focused and powered by hope — you can't tell me those kids didn't have parents who took time to chop the celery and onions and experiment with the ratio of mayo to mustard to achieve a potato salad that is worthy of our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

© 2009 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.


oh yes, notebooks in the mail

"Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it." Robbie Gass
I had forgotten that I had ordered some books - it's so easy to hop online, search for an item, and click PLACE ORDER, and then completely forget you did it. So today, when the box appeared on my doorstep, it was a happy surprise. My order was from Chronicle Books and it had something I need and something I really don't need. I need the journaling notebooks - above and below - because if I don't have a bunch of them stored up I feel worried and anxious. I love these notebooks for writing morning pages - they are an ideal size and the paper inside is perfect to write on - smooth and heavy.

I've mentioned morning pages before - from the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Morning pages are a couple of pages of longhand writing (actually, I only write one page) that you do first thing in the morning. You write meanderings about the day ahead or the day past. You write whatever comes to mind. Morning pages are not supposed to sound especially smart or even positive. Cameron says, "You get on the page all the whiny stuff that gets between you and your creativity and accomplishments. Or you get on the page your gratitude or your plans or thoughts about what you need today. Morning pages get you to the other side of your fear or your moods or your putting things off."

I don't write every morning - in fact I just finished filling up one of these notebooks, and I started it over a year ago. But it is a full notebook about the past year, and though I may never go back and read it, and I certainly don't hope that anyone else does, it's there if I need it and the process helped me along the way.

The other item I purchased is a book about living a simple life. LIKE I NEED ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE BOOKS. Hello. Actually, it was the very appealing cover that led me down the path to the purchase button. And I have to say, in browsing through the book for a minute this afternoon, that it looks really quite good. I'll report later.

If you go to Chronicle Books you can just enter the titles in the search box and find the books. The notebooks are from Hammerpress so if you type in Hammerpress they'll come up.


== happy bday scott ==

Today is Scott's birthday - I dare not say how OLD he is. I could wax poetic for hours about being married to him (he's the kind that you'd say, "He's a good guy."), but I'll just write a little excerpt from the e-card I sent him. The website is StoryPeople and it's too bad I can't show you the cute illustration - but the words say it so well:

"I read once that the Egyptians had fifty words for sand and the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you care for everyone and everything around you - and there are no words for that."

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HaPpy FouRth of JuLy !

Becky & Debbie trying Michelle's Rice Krispie treats with chocolate & caramel on the bottom.
Uncle Spence and Scott enjoying a little break from cooking on the grill.
Kellie with her little Max and Allie - and their cousin Gracie.
Aimee with just 8 hours to go until her NINE MILE run - the Freedom Run in Hyrum.
Doug and Kimberly with Evan and Jean.
Jennifer, Becky and Lesa catching up on their lives in Logan, Salt Lake and Tokyo, Japan.
Landon and Teri on the left and right and Abby in the center holding Landon and Teri's new little baby boy.
David, Tyler and Kyle catching some air on the trampoline.
Bailee and Adria sitting at the princess table and loving the mini cans of Shasta.

Matt and Michelle enjoying the PERFECT July evening temperature.


:: it's what's for dinner ::

A surprisingly quick and easy dinner that I made last night - and Scott and Mike both liked it enough to ask for the leftovers tonight. Now, you know that's good. My photos below aren't so pretty, mainly because Mike doesn't like the veggies, so I serve them separately. But it's a pretty yummy dinner. From the website puffpastry.com.

For the chicken, I baked four chicken breasts (boneless halves) in a foil-lined baking dish at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. (Lots of salt and pepper on top.) I tried to not overbake them. The chicken was tender and much better to me than boiled chicken. Here's the recipe:

Savory Herb-Crusted Chicken Pot Pie

1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 pounds diced cooked chicken (about 6 cups)
1 bag (24 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, green beans and lima beans)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme and/or oregano)
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it's easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the egg and water with a fork in a small bowl.

Stir the chicken and vegetables in a 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) shallow baking dish. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually stir the broth and cream into the saucepan and heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to a low and cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Pour over the chicken mixture.

Unroll the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet to a 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Place the pastry over the chicken mixture, gently pressing the pastry to the edge of the dish to seal. Flute the edges if desired. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with the herbs. Cut several 2-inch long slits on the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and filling is bubbly.


[ how did it get to be July ? ]

July 1. So many things to love about this month. Holidays. The celebrations. Quintessential summer. Scott's birthday. Bear Lake. Hope for hikes and bike rides and picnics. That one book I've been saving for the hammock swing on the back deck. Flowers everywhere. I even love July catalog time at work (easy for me to say, I have the fun job).

Today it was hot in the house. Scott hasn't had time to get the swamp coolers going - this is the year to thoroughly clean them, get new mats, do all the hard stuff up there on that high roof. He knows I won't let him go up there after dark. Two swamp coolers too. So we're cookin'.

I fixed a real dinner tonight for the first time in quite awhile. Watching "So You Think You Can Dance" on the little kitchen TV made the two plus hours of fixing and clean-up more tolerable. But man, it got hot.

I walked outside and was surprised by the hint of cool breeze. Perfect. Summer. Night. I kept going back into the house - tasks of course - downloaded some photos, put away some laundry, then rewarded myself with another walk outside. Back in to check my email, then thought to grab the camera - I wanted a photo of that breeze. You can see the slight movement of my tall perennial in the photo above. Fresh Logan summer night. Heaven.