Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I love a good mystery.............

Michele is a brave girl!  I wonder what is going on at A Muse?  Inquiring minds want to know!!

Phase 1: Infiltration

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!!

 We cooked up a yummy feast of good luck foods and I made these champagne cupcakes for dessert *heavenly*.  The original recipe was for pink champagne cupcakes but since I was making them for  our New Year celebration, I stuck with the gold and silver theme on white.  I even found this cute edible glitter in the shape of stars!

I was lucky enough to celebrate the New Year with both of my brothers, one of my sisters-in-law and my cute niece, Zoe.  I'm thankful to have such a great family! I hope 2011 is all that you hope for and brings much peace and happiness to you all.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mulled Wine Gift

Here is a quick gift idea for you.  I made 18 of these for a swap.  They make great gifts for neighbors, co-workers, teachers, etc.  The wine doesn't haven't to be expensive since you'll be cooking it.

I'm sure you can find a much more exact recipe.  I just sort of put the ingredients together until they looked pretty.  Here's what I included:

whole cloves
whole allspice
dried orange peel
crushed & whole cinnamon sticks
dried cranberries

I put 3 whole cinnamon sticks along with 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the mix into glassine bags and tied them shut with bakers twine and another whole cinnamon stick.  I included the recipe for mulled wine on a pull out card but you could also use apple cider or a mixture of the two (but the presentation works better with a bottle of wine so that's why I did it this way). The large snowflake is a die from Sizzix and the smaller is the large Himilayan Snowlflake from Martha Stewart.  The 1-1/4 inch circle punch is a perfect fit for the neck of the wine bottle and the punched out circles made backers for the A Muse wine glass stamp.

I could use some hot mulled wine or cider right now.  Kayla and I are in Toronto, ON, Canada and it's COLD here!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time Flies...........

Wow, time flies and the old saying about how time moves faster as you get older is so true!  I can't believe I haven't blogged since we left for the Netherland so I thought I better do a quick catch up post.

Kayla swam GREAT at Worlds but she had some stiff competition in her class so no chance for medals this time.  She did swim her personal best in all but one event and came home with 2 American records!  What an amazing experience it was to be swimming and supporting Team USA! 

We came home just in time to get ready for back to school.  Kayla started high school (9th grade) and Sam the 5th grade. Both kids are doing well in school and making new friends. Kayla is involved with the drama club and is going to work backstage at MCT's musical this year.  Sam is playing 2 instruments (saxophone and piano) and auditioned for the play (cast list will be announced Nov 11).

About a month after school started, Kayla and I went to Santa Clara for another swim meet.  She didn't swim as well there but it was a good experience.  We go to Toronto in December for the CAN-AM meet and then I think we're home until April 2011.  I can't believe how much we've traveled this year!

I apologize for not having any craftiness to share this time but hopefully I will soon!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to Holland

When Kayla was born, someone sent me this poem.  It was written by the mom of a special needs child.  I find it a little ironic that we are currently IN Holland (also known as the Netherlands) for her to compete in the IPC  Long Course World Swimming Championships.  Kayla really IS taking me to Holland!

Welcome To Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place.  It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever  go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

*Note:  I recently learned that the usage of the word "Holland" is technically incorrect as it actually describes a region in the central-western part of the Netherlands.  We are in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

The athletes have been training hard!  Opening ceremonies are tomorrow and the competition begins on Sunday, August 15th.  Go Team USA!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Busy, busy, busy.........

The past couple months have been a complete blur in our house! The end of the school year is always packed with lots of activities, field trips, etc and this one was especially so partially because Kayla graduated from the school she's attended for the past 9 years. Hard to believe she's going to high school next year! We've already met with the staff and done a walk thru of the school and so far we are very impressed with the staff and teachers.
I have had very little crafty time lately but we did manage to make altered clipboards for ALL the middle school teachers, the bus drivers and Kayla's aide. I think every teacher Kayla's had and the principal and vice principal now have personalized clipboards from us. She hopes that they will think of her when they use them and I'm sure they will. We made 13 this year so we kept them very simple. We were lucky enough to find some great scrapbook papers in each theme/subject so we let them speak for themselves. I kept the fronts pretty plain since they are usually covered with papers and put the best papers, etc on the backs.
As soon as I was done crying after graduation I had to pack Kayla and I up to go the the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It was SO exciting to be there and be a part of the US Team. She didn't swim very well at the meet because she had a horrid cold and was swimming at altitude but it was more of a training meet and a dedication to Jimi Flowers, the US Paralympic Swim Coach that died tragically last year in a climbing accident. We attended meetings and received our uniforming for the World Championships.

We are home for a couple weeks and then off to Chicago for NJDC (National Jr. Disability Championships). The whole family is going on this trip and we plan to do a little sightseeing while we're there (including the Lego Adventure park for the boys) Never a dull moment around here!!

Because our summer is so busy, I won't be teaching classes until September but be sure to check out the other classes at the A Muse shop and don't forget A*Muse*a*Palooza is almost here!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I was so pleased with the layout of Heidi's birthday card that I decided to change it up a bit and make a Mother's Day card. Here I used Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate ink for the open Marigold and sentiment and the chocolate pearl sticker added the perfect touch!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. I am looking forward to a yummy brunch with my family today. I hope you all enjoy your day!