Sunday, December 30, 2007

Love, Elsie

I made these mini notebooks for my neighbor's daughters across the street. They are a great family and one of the first that we met when we moved here...10 years ago! They were just about pregnant with their first daughter...their girls are now 9 and 7!! It's astounding how fast the time goes!

I got this Love, Elsie paper at EP (check it out - there's no site like it!!) and the ribbons are from varying sources...mostly these days I find great ones at Jo-Ann's and Michael's. I also covered the inside covers with solid papers that coordinate with the wild front cover. I used the SU! scallop punch along with the 1 1/4" circle punch and used SU!'s western alphabet for their monogram. The matching pen has the same paper - rolled up in the barrel - as the covers and the cap has a scrap of coordinating ribbon. I hand delivered these the other day with my kids and the girls loved them!

Monday, December 24, 2007

You Know I Love These Journals...right?

I just find that the wilder the notebook is...the more fabulous it is!! I've started experimenting with lots of layers and coordinating but not so coordinating colors. It's the trend right now in fashion. You look like you kinda sorta match but you don't but do!! ;) Those of you who are trendy and love fashion like I do will get it.

I picked up this little sort of half notebook at the register area at ACM for .79 cents. And it was .79 cents for a GOOD reason. was so ugly that they should have been paying me .79 cents to take it away. The image on the front was so bad and cheezy that I can't even talk about it!! ;) But luckily I rescued it from a life of ugliness and renovated it into a thing of beauty!!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful and creative matter what holiday you celebrate!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

So Many Gifts!

My very good friend and neighbor is having a boy in early April. Her daughter and mine are 6 months apart and the best of friends. Our families have become very close and it's a pleasure and joy to know them. I've made her this baby journal - keeping somewhat 'boyish' tones while making it beautiful and a tiny bit frilly at the same time. I also tried to incorporate a vintage feel with the background paper (under the flower lace paper) and the vintage looking teddy bear die cut.

I've tabbed sections of the notebook so that she can make lists of things she needs before the baby arrives, keep track of sleep and eat habits once he is here, etc.

It's a little bigger than 5x7 but I think it's portable enough to fit into a diaper bag. I'm going to make a matching pen to accompany it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thankful...Part II

15. I'm thankful for A/C. No, not air conditioning. Our friends Ali and Craig. We've all been through a lot together. They come for dinner weekly. So regularly we just say "see you thursday!!". It's great and I love them both madly and dearly. They're my first go to when anything happens...I conferenced them both in (while they were at work) when I found out I was pregnant with my son. My husband and I were in their wedding. They were one of the firsts at the hospital after my children were's kind of unspoken but we are family. And for them, I am thankful.

16. I'm thankful for these. One of my Mommy friends gave them to me for my birthday last May and I have not removed them from my feet!! Yes, I have fallen asleep with them on, I have gone out in the snow with them, I have run in them, I have swam in them, I can't wait to get another pair!!!

17. I'm thankful that I don't need as much sleep at I once did. I get SO much more done now!!

18. I am thankful for lollypops. I love them...but more importantly my kids love them!! They are a wonderful multipurpose treat that is small enough that I don't feel *too* guilty giving them to my kids when need be. While shopping, while having a long car ride or to soothe a bump or bruise. These little sugary delights are wonderful.

19. I am thankful for winter. I know, I know. It's a giant pain in the ass most of the time but it makes me feel warm and cozy. I love hunkering down during a snowstorm or bad weather giving me an excuse to snuggle under a fuzzy blanket with my family.

20. I am thankful that my family is gathering and coming together this coming weekend. I am excited to see everyone and have everyone spend time with the children. My 2 are the only kids on my husband's side of the family so I'm glad that everyone can enjoy their company.


so if you read my blog then you know that i read Melissa's blog...

she's got a wonderful perspective on life and has started weekly recognition of things in her life that she's thankful...i think it's a fantastic way to remind yourself of all that you have...versus focusing on things that you dont have...

so Melissa...thank you for inspiring goes!

these are in no particular order and some are intense and others are silly...

1. my husband is right now at a shwanky restaurant with his co-workers for a holiday lunch. i was teasing him last night that i'd like to have a nice company lunch at a shwanky restaurant with adults. but then i realized that while it's not shwanky, i get to spend almost every day with my brother having lunch here in my own kitchen. he only works about 15 minutes from where i live so he frequently zips over. so im thankful for lunch with my brother. which if you know me you know that he's as important to me as my children and husband are.

2. i'm lucky that every day i find the strength to work hard at being more patient with my children. some days it works...some days not as much. but every day i have new resolve to be better.

3. i'm lucky that i have 2 beautiful dogs. they make me INSANE most days because they are just constantly underfoot. so between the big one weighing in at 80lbs and the runt weighing in at 50 that's 130 lbs of canine constantly tripping me, bumping into me, blocking my way, stepping on my feet, and begging for food. but i love all their furry, warm, fluffy, doggie breath, best smelling tops of heads glory.

4. i'm thankful for my dad. i love him so much. we've been through lifetimes our past...he and i. and we're in a good place now. an open place with honest communication and sharing of feelings both good and bad.

5. i'm thankful that my mom isn't still suffering. i miss her and love her.

6. i'm thankful for my husband and children...for without them i'd be nothing.

7. i'm thankful for my sister in law. i love her as if she were my own blood.

8. i'm thankful for really great in-laws. i wish they lived closer. someday they will!!

9. im thankful that while my Grandmother is really wildly insane and sometimes a stiff pain in the ass that she's here. and a part of my and my children's life. because she's lost her 3 so i hope that by spending time with my children she can find the real love and happiness that she couldn't give her girls or herself.

10. im thankful for my girlfriends. you know who you're the elementary school friend who has been with me and stuck with me through everything...even after almost 4 years of not speaking for nothing but stupid reasons, you're the college friends who held me when i cried, laughed with me, drank with me, stood up with me on my wedding day, stuck by me when i went through a truck ton of shit and eventually came out on the other side, and then taught me how to be a wonderful mother, you're the friends i've made since becoming a my college friends have stuck with me when we all cried together, laughed together, shouted together talking about how sassy and snarky our kids are being, we've been through a lot in a short period of time yet i feel like it's been 20 years. i'm forever thankful...

11. im thankful for my cousin jodi. i love her beyond words and we've become so close in the last couple of years. we relate...on lots of levels and lots of different subjects. i'm thankful for her children and her actual cousin. they're a wonderful family and i love that i get to join them and see them grow up. and im thankful that my children love them as well.

12. im thankful for crafting. it keeps me sane, it inspires me, it fulfills that creative space that's been missing since i stopped working. i love it i love it i love it and im very thankful.

13. im thankful for liquid bandage. i just discovered it today. i have these HORRIBLE cracks on the tips and corners of my fingers making things like typing, dialing a phone, tying shoelaces, etc so painful. it works like a charm. i can function again!

14. im thankful for my house. while not large and not updated at all...its mine and i love it...flaws and all.

That's all the time I have for now. I'll certainly be posting more later!!

I hope that everyone is having a creative day!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

All Nighter...

I was never a big fan of the all nighter in college. It never did anything for me. Except make me just bleary eyed and more stupid the next day. But since becoming a Mom I seem to not have a choice in the matter. I've always been a GREAT sleeper. Until I had children I was one of those people who could sleep on the train going to and from work, I could sleep on planes, in cars, on the couch, on the floor, scrunched up in a chair, on a beach towel, on a chaise name it and I could sleep in or on it. Again...until I had children. Now...I'm lucky to get 3 good hours a night on average. Lots of nights I get more than that but with each passing day it seems that I need less and less sleep to run on. In fact, the less sleep I get the better I function.

Weird, huh?

Anyway - last night was one of those nights. I got up at 2 am, watched an episode of my new favorite show 'What Not To Wear' and decided that since I hadn't even STARTED my holiday cards I was a good time.

So I am very proud to say that I started AND finished my cards in one night. I just sent my DH to the PO to drop them in the box!!

Here's a sneak peek!!

Oh and I have to thank my darling friend Sarah for the Night of Navy scraps (from her SIL's cards - last year!) and for helping me pull the design idea together last Monday night at her stamp club. I always feel good when I put scraps to good use. It's shameful to waste such wonderful cardstock!! Thanks Sar!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ok so here were the big sellers last Friday night. Ribbon journals and ribbon bookmarks. My DH is downstairs waiting for me to come have dinner so I can't get into details now but I have to give a big THANK YOU to my friend Sarah who came up with the design that I CASEd to do a bunch of quick and beautiful and easy cards!

Holiday Orders

Tonight I completed a beautiful set of notecards for my SIL to give to her boss. She requested the Au Chocolate paper - which I have 3 unopened packs of still! YAY! And I wanted to keep them clean and elegant. I funked them up a *teeny* bit with mix and match ribbons. Some are SU! and the others are American Crafts. I did a standard card using SU!'s Very Vanilla and Chocolate Chip. I love double and even triple matted cards. There's something just nice about a card with a little weight to it...know what I mean? I don't like my cards to be flimsy.

The sentiment (per request) is Thank You from the Warmest Regards set. It's a 'go to' for me. I know she's going to love these!!

I hope that everyone is having a creative week!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Home Show

I have to put a big shout out to my friend Amy who had me at her house on Friday night for an at home party show! She was having a cookie swap with her girlfriends so she invited me to come and set up the Paper Canteen shop in her home for the evening. It was a smashing success. I met many great and fabulous women who loved my creations. Big hits were my new ribbon book marks and matching journals. (pictures to come)

I will be setting up a Paper Canteen gallery shortly so that you can view all of my creations. My new friend Leslie is an independent consultant for Arbonne and their products are amazing! Please check it out! If you'd like her contact information for ordering, please let me know!

Thank you again to everyone that I met on Friday night. It was such a fun time!

I hope that everyone is having a creative weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I've been tagged...

I've become totally and completely hooked on Melissa's blog. I stumbled upon it a few months ago and now read everyday like it's my job. I enjoy her writing style, I find her very funny and incredibly sarcastic and snarky (that's a good thing in this case) ... all in all ... my kind of girl.

I find that when I read her stories I can relate...a lot of the time. From her family 'stuff', her parenting style, her childhood, etc, etc. It's nice when you click with someone that you've never even met before!! But, anyway, the first and foremost thing that we have in common is that we are Mothers. If you're a Mom you should DEFINITELY read her site...and even if you're not...she provides a lot of great tips from product, green living, and just all around good stuff!

Melissa is an incredibly amazing Mother...and she, like the rest of us as it seems in our generation struggle to be the absolute best best best...and even beyond that, whatever that is...and when the day's activities don't reach our ridiculously high standards...we beat ourselves up about it.

sigh...our kids are all great - well fed, clean, warm, healthy, happy, clothed and provided for...yet we lie awake at night, partly because we are Moms...and well...that's just what happens but the other part of it is just pure anxiety about...well, everything. let's hope that by putting 'it' out there that we can release some of our Mommy anxiety and start really enjoying it all.

So..after that long schpiel...Melissa has tagged me to reveal 7 things about myself and then I in turn tag 7 other women...I don't think I know 7 other blogging women personally but I'll give it a go...

1. I love lounge wear. Tanks, yoga capris, velvet track suits (i only wear the bottoms...i don't do 'matchy matchy', terry cloth shorts, tiny tees from Old Navy.

2. I've traded my subscriptions to Vogue, W, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, and Allure for Parents and Real Simple and by my Grandmother's hand I get Better Homes and Gardens, Rachel Ray and AD.

3. I used to shop at Bloomingdale's once a week on Wednesdays before or after therapy...depending on the time. Now - I'm addicted to Target and sometimes - sadly - The Job Lot. (don't you judge me!)

4. I got so drunk last Saturday night (by accident!!!) that on Sunday I charged my darling husband with the task of getting me 4 McDonald's cheeseburgers. Gross...I know...but it's really the only thing that cures a hangover...for me at least.

5. I spent 7 years in therapy for a VARIETY of things and it positively saved my life. I still miss my therapist.

6. I struggle every day to be more patient with my children. I am an instant gratification girl by nature. And I hate to admit it. (even more than I hate admitting that I ate 4 McD cheeseburgers) But I am. I want what I want when I want it. And with a 3 year old and a 20 month old...nothing happens when I want it. So I'm snippy...a lot of the time. I don't have time for cooey pleases and thank yous. I say please and thank you but it's often not in a very pleasant tone. I bark and shout sometimes. It's not one of my more fabulous mothering qualities but I work on it daily. My love for my children knows no I try harder and harder every day.

7. I miss free time.

Ok I am now tagging the following 3 people (I really only know 3 other people who blog) - and if you don't want to do it, that's totally fine. I just love these things! Thanks Melissa!



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Treats...

So in lieu of pies this year I decided to make Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for chocolate dipped pecan pie squares. They are TO DIE FOR! So, so, so bad for you but SO yummy! I have never made pecan pie before and didn't realize how labor intensive it is. It's not hard...just many steps.

Anyway - they are just simply heaven!

Here's the recipe!

1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup good honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First Snow

Yesterday we had our first snow of the season here in the Northeast. I picked my daughter up from school and walked out into the snowflakes with my delicious son yelling "SNOW! SNOW!" We came home and she just wanted to jump around on the deck in the snow. It was only a flurry but it was still the first snow of the season.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Announcement/Holiday Card

My darling friend Laurie has asked me to make her baby announcements/holiday cards. She's do in a matter of days with a darling baby boy. Her style is clean, classic and elegant. Nothing fruufy and nothing flashy. She wanted a notecard style with the ability to include a photo of the cherub when he arrives. Here is my sample and I'm thrilled that she loved it and did not want to change a thing!!

Basic Instructions:

CS: Real Red, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Whisper and Shimmery White
Stamps: Holiday Blitz, So Many Sayings (hostess set)
Ink: Real Red, Versamark
Embellishments: 1/8" Real Red grosgrain ribbon, word punch

I did the baby info on my printer using MS Word.

I hope that everyone is having a creative day!!

Friday, November 16, 2007


I've photographed all the details in the albums and uploaded them all to It's a fun site. It allows you to have all of your photos in one place running on a continuous loop. Once you're done, you click 'save' and it provides you with html script that you can then plug into Blogger, Facebook, My Space, or whatever communication website that you use and it loop through your photos.

So if you're interested in viewing the albums that I've created just scroll down to the very bottom of my blog and watch the slide show!

We're off to Baltimore for the weekend and I can't WAIT to give Grandmother her books! I'm *tempted* to say 'Grandmother...THIS is your life!' ... but that's just a *little* too cheezy ;)

Have a creative weekend everyone!!

Friday, November 9, 2007


CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I know I can't!!

I started this book on Monday, October 22nd and finished on Wednesday, November 7th. 65, 12x12 pages. I will be spending the weekend photographing each one so I'll upload them soon!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Noir Blanc

Daisy and Joy at EP are fabulous. For those of you who have never shopped there...I HIGHLY recommend it. They have a wonderful and unique selection of products and they ALWAYS have something just *right* for whatever project that I am working on. I was astounded when I went to their site a couple of weeks ago to search for designer papers in black and white. I NEVER imagined that I'd find this amazing line - Noir Blanc.

The papers are all wonderful quality and the designs are so fabulous. And they're all named after Hollywood actors and actresses from a more glamorous time: Jean Harlow, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Marlena Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and James Stewart. There are a few others but those are the ones that I picked. And they have really made my album pop! I am trying to really showcase the photos and have the papers and embellishments be the compliments to the wonderful pictures.

I have approximately 15 pages left to complete!!! YAY! I hope to have the pages done this week leaving me the weekend and next week to add any last minute touches and journaling.

Is it REALLY November??? did that happen? It's November already??? Sheesh...

Anyway - no pictures to post right now but I'll be back in full force tonight. My In-laws were visiting from PA this weekend so I didn't have much time to dedicate to The Book. But I did show them the work so far - it's my Father-In-Law's Mother whom I am creating these books for (yes - I said THESE books because I've moved onto Volume II. It was too much to ask of Book #1 to squeeze 95 years of this wonderful woman's life into it!

Anyway - Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments! I'll post more tonight!!

I hope that everyone is having a creative day!!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Flying Along!

So...for those of you who are following along, here is the next round of pages (in no particular order) of the BIG album. I had to come to the realization that I am going to have to have two volumes. I, in fact, started the second volume tonight. Vol. I holds 40 pages and will burst at the binding if I ask any more of it. I am LOVING this project. It is going faster than I anticipated.

My first few pages were started exactly one week ago tonight and I'm already done with 44 pages total. WHEW!! But that's me...once I get started on something I am like a train at full steam ahead until it is done. I've been doing roughly 6-8 pages each night. I've just completed 4 tonight and I'm done for the night.

I'm going to enjoy a glass of wine and dinner with my darling husband. But before I do I just have to say that this project has not only been fun and very interesting. But tonight I realized that I feel more connected to our (my husband's) family by doing this project. We've been together a LONG time (16+ years to be exact) so I've been around for a lot.

There have been a lot of stories, parties, laughter and tears. (mostly the first 3 thankfully!!) But there are still lots of memories that I wasn't around for and have heard so much about through the years. This album has helped me learn more about those stories. But I have also learned so much more about his fabulous Grandmother, his wonderful Mother and Father - who have always treated me like their own, his Aunts and Uncle - who have always included me, laughed with me and shared their stories. And to my Sister-In-Law who helped me put everything in chronological order last weekend - I thank you. I thank you for being my sister and for ALWAYS laughing with me.