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!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Marigold Birthday

I'm a little late to the party. The "Everything's Rosy" party, that is! By now you've seen this awesome new release from A Muse and have fallen in love with these fabulous floral images! The A Muse Creative Team really outdid themselves with inspiration with these new stamps. If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out their blogs (you can find links from the A Muse Blog) .

I made this card for a very special lady at A Muse Headquarters. Heidi, you are amazing and I hope you have an awesome day!!

I embossed the solid marigold with white embossing powder and added a black twinkle sticker to the middle of the open marigold. Did you notice the ribbon? It's not's black sheer colored with a Copic marker! I love being able to make custom ribbon for my projects!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Springtime wreath

How cute is this? I made it out of lunch sacks! Seriously! I found the idea on THIS blog. She added butterflies to hers which I thought was cute but didn't really go with my decor and I'm a simple kind of girl so I just left it plain with a pretty ribbon. Who knew that lunch sacks could look so nice?

Speaking of using unconventional items to craft with..... I'm teaching a "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" class at the A Muse shop on Saturday, April 18th. I always love it when I can re-purpose something into something useful and cute. Don't worry, I'm not going to make you weave a sweater out of your dryer lint or anything! Please call the A Muse shop or visit their website to register. I promise it will be fun!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Fever & New Class Schedule

I've got Spring Fever, how about you? The sunshine is really putting me in the mood to be outside although it's still a little chilly! Perfect stamping fact, I'm teaching a Spring Fever class this weekend at the A Muse Shop! Here's one of the cards we'll be making

My new class schedule has just been posted too so check out my sidebar or stop by the A Muse shop to see the fun new classes for the next quarter.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Party Themes

I'm a theme kind of girl. I love to find a theme and then plan an event around it. It's so fun (and sometimes challenging) to find things that work with the theme and pull it all together.

For Sam's 10th birthday I had the perfect theme in mind. We planned to give him Rockband 2 as a gift so I could work the theme around that. I had the cute stamps picked out for the invites and thank-you's. Visions of "rock star", "party like a rockstar" and "you rock" from A Muse were dancing in my head and figured I could title the invite "Come jam with Sam". I envisioned all the cute band photos I could get of these boys was all coming together............until Nintendo threw a wrench in my wheel. I could not find Rockband 2 for the Wii ANYWHERE! It's been out of stock since before Christmas. Now what? Time was ticking.......I didn't have a theme!

Finally Sam said to me "mom, we just want to play video games and eat pizza. Maybe I could have a couple friends sleepover?". Really? How was I supposed to make a theme out of that?

So I looked through my stamps and found the "party flags" stamp which is perfect for any party and then I remembered I had this game controller stamp from Lizzy Anne. Easy, simple, PERFECT!
I found these cute candy dispensers that look like a Wii remotes (they shoot out Smarties candy) and puzzle erasers shaped like pizza. I threw in some bubble gum pieces and I had perfectly themed treat bags!

Sam requested rootbeer floats instead of cake but it's hard to put a candle in a float so we made some fun candy sushi (my boy LOVES sushi). I saw the idea online for making sushi rolls using Twinkies but we decided to use crispy rice treats for the rice and went a step further making regular sushi with Swedish Fish. How fun is this?

Okay, so maybe the sushi didn't quite go with the rest of the theme......unless the theme is "all things Sam loves". (so I put some sushi puzzle erasers in some of the bags to tie it in )
You can tell by the smile on his face that he had fun!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hoo Hoo Loves You?

My niece, Zoe, is about the cutest thing ever. Since she was born the kids and I have decided that her signature animal should be an owl since she's got big expressive eyes and she's super smart. Every holiday we give her something with an owl on it and it cracks me up because she calls them "hoo hoo's" (I almost wet my pants the first time she asked for her hoo hoo blanket!).

This is Zoe's valentine card. I cut out the A Muse papers using the Paisley cartridge on my Cricut. I just love the mixture of colors and patterns and plan to play around with this image some more. I used some black pearls on her eyes and they were the perfect touch!!