For the Love of Books

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Morning, y'all!  Just popping in to share this month's book pick.  I thought it fitting for the season upon us.  It is written for children ages three to eight.
How Will We Get to the Beach?, written by Brigitte Luciani and illustrated by Eve Tharlet, tells the story of Roxanne's preparations for a trip to the beach.  One beautiful, summer day, she gathers together the things she wants to take with her, including the turtle, umbrella, thick book of stories, ball, and, of course, her baby, but the car won't start.  No never mind.  She decides to take the bus instead, but animals aren't allowed on the bus.  Each time Roxanne comes up with a new source of transportation to help her reach her destination, something can't go with her.  Can you guess what it is?  And will she ever get to the beach?
Thanks so much for stopping by, friends, and happy reading!

Friday Faves

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Friday, friends!  Thanks for bearing with the silence around here, while I've been playing catch up this week.  We've also been busy with rescheduled swim lessons from our burst of cool weather last week (We're definitely not having that problem this week.) and a wee little one who can't seem to find his happy place anywhere but in Mommy's arms.  I really don't mind.  He'll outgrow them all too soon.  But I wanted to quick stop by and share a few random, little tidbits that have totally captured my attention this month, beginning with these fabulous Chalk Talk Bags & Tags from Melissa Frances.  I simply can't get enough of this chalkboard trend!
I've never ordered from Reverse Confetti before, but this darling, little, Here We Go stamp set has my heart.  Who can resist a plane with polka dots?  And those sentiments are simply too fun!
I just love that Freckled Fawn's Retro Ledger Washi Tape would make it so easy to scribble a quick love note or simply add an extra layer of interest to my pages.
I'm also so in love with their Gold Foil Doilies...
and their Wood Chips Words are simply a design necessity.  Isn't that font so fun?!
Maya Road's Metal Vintage Old Oak Tree...
and Eureka Light Bulb Clips are just too cute not to include in this lineup.  They go with just about everything!
Speaking of going with everything, I think I need these Antique Silver Pine Cone Earrings from Wild Garden Designs.  They're ever so sweet and deliciously simple!
And my little lady would go goo-goo over their Pink Flower Hair Pins.  She just loves little trinkets like this!  So much so, that these may just be making their way into her Christmas stocking this year ;).
Finally, with fall being right on our heels, I couldn't resist sharing this Baby Pumpkin Hat from A Simple Bee.  The quality of her work is amazing.  Plus, can't you just see this setting atop Kaden's little head?  Okay, Mom moment... You don't have to answer that.
That's all, for this month, folks.  Thanks so much for looking, and have a fantastic weekend!

The Studio Colour Challenge

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Morning, friends!  Just popping in to let you know that today's usual The Studio Sunday challenge can be found here.  Our Colour Challenge...
was released a bit early in order to join forces with Stuck?! Sketches' July 15th Sketch, but I didn't want y'all to miss out on a single day to create.  So, be sure to stop by and check out all the gorgeous pages, as well as to get your challenge details, at both challenge links above, and have fun creating!
Can't wait to see what you all cook up!  Have a fabulous week!

JBS June Crafted Kit

Friday, July 18, 2014

I just couldn't help sharing a little something different today simply because they make me so happy!  As soon as I saw the Jenni Bowlin June Crafted Kit, I knew that I had to pick it up.  It's been awhile since I've made something without paper, and it was about time that I did.
I don't think that it really matters front from back, but I used the fabric circles above as a sort of pattern (i.e. diamonds, leaves, the outline of the ampersand, chevrons, the white part of the rose, and palm branches) for my quilting on the coasters (I never specifically said what they were before.  Tee hee!), and here's how they look on the other side.  I just picked them all up at the same time for the flip.  So, the yellow diamond above is backed with the "QUALITY" design below.  The leaf print above is backed with the "REFRESH" pattern below, and so forth with the center patterns being in the same positions both above and below.
This was my first time at hand quilting, but it was so relaxing and mindless, and I just love the end result!  So... I'm thinking I'll definitely be trying it again sometime.  I cannot tell you how much I love these fabrics, too; and the rustic, vintage look is so fun!  Plus, they're super useful to boot ;).  Thanks, Leah!
And thanks so much, to you all, for stopping by!  We've got some special visitors today, but I'll definitely be spending a portion of my weekend trying to catch up with many of you.  I'm having difficulty finding a balance between my design work and blogging versus my commenting time.  It seems I no longer have time for both.  So, it may be a bit quiet around here over the next week, while I attempt to catch up with you all.  Please know that I so appreciate all of your visits and treasure each and every comment made.  xoxoxo

Weekend Snapshots

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Morning, friends!  I know that it's a little late in the week for a Weekend Snapshots post, but it's better late than never.  Right?  Ours started, on Friday night, at a church activity, where we stuffed tube socks with all kinds of necessities, from toiletries and first aide bits to granola bars and bottled water, to deliver to many of our homeless friends in Kansas City.
We also filled the socks with handwritten notes and pictures.
But before we got started, we had a picnic dinner with our church family and worshipped in the backyard.
Then, Saturday afternoon, we headed to Lawrence for a wedding reception.
Courtney and Ben got married back in April in Georgia, but they held a reception here for lots of family and friends that couldn't make it, which included us; and gosh, I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun we had catching up.  You see, Courtney was once married to my hubby's brother, and through a series of... we'll call them "unfortunate circumstances", she obviously no longer is; but we still love her to bits and pieces and miss her beyond words.
She'll always be Aunt Courtney to my kiddos, and we wish her and her sweet new hubby a lifetime filled with love and laughter.
After the reception, we got pizza at Minsky's and paid a little visit to the best toy store we've ever been to; and I'm not kidding, y'all.  They've got everything, for newborns to big kiddos, that you can think of, and the top floor is filled with books!  Eeek!  You know a few of those came home with us ;)...
and we picked up a couple of toys for Kaden, too.  It seems that we have lots of toys "for babies", but he can hardly lift any of them, and this new Oball has already become one of his favorites.
And finally, after church on Sunday, we made another little road trip to drop my big kiddo off, at Melvern Lake, to camp with his boy cousins and Grandpa and Grandma.  This is about the time we decided that a close-to-home vacation next month is just what the doctor ordered.  LOL!  We were planning on making a trip to Colorado to camp with my Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousin and his family; but Kaden cried the entire car ride, and Colorado is just too far away for all of us to arrive sane under the same circumstances.  He hates his carseat so much.  Sigh.
So, that was our busy weekend.  Unfortunately, this week hasn't been much calmer.  Although, due to the super cool temperatures that have suddenly made their way into our neck of the woods, Adina's morning swim lessons have been postponed.  That's unheard of around here in July!  But it has made things a little easier to get done, at least for this week ;).  Until next time, as always, thanks so much for checking in on us!  Be blessed!

Color Me Scrappy Challenge #66

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Note: If you've come here looking for my The Studio Colour Challenge & Stuck?! July 15th Sketch post, please scroll down.

Hello again!  I've put together another page, for you all, today.  This one was designed with Color Me Scrappy's new challenge in mind.  Here goes!
I started this page by piecing strips of color-coordinating, patterned papers across the partially-sanded, embossed, whitewash, base page and anchoring them with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  After matting my photos with Whisper White cardstock and adhering them in their present positions, I tucked a black envelope...
which houses our receipt from this trip to the orchard, as well as a bit of journaling, under their top edges.  The journaling reads, Even though it takes an entire Saturday, from sunup to sundown, we all love working together to make our yummy apple butter.   It usually begins the weekend before, at the orchard, where we pick between 60 and 80 pounds of a variety of apples.  Then, the next, available Saturday, as soon as breakfast has filled our tummies, we start peeling, coring, and slicing the apples, which are mixed with apple cider, sugar, and cinnamon and canned.  We end up with 40 to 50 pints of apple butter for both our own enjoyment and gifts for neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family.  AND there are always plenty of apples leftover for pies and snacking.  Ezekiel (9 yrs. in photo) and Adina (3 yrs. in photos) make such great helpers and just love to munch on the apples as we go.
My photos were then dressed up with lots of hand-cut, from patterned paper, flowers, some of which were popped up with foam tape and others which were flanked with stamped, in Garden Green ink, on White, cardstock die cuts, leaves.  The clusters were further embellished with a few, color-coordinating, sticker flowers, as well as a bursting handful of black, enamel dots, before grounding the entire look with my "tradition" title, which was created from black, foam, glitter Thickers.
The left photo was embellished with a "THIS TOTALLY HAPPENED", cardstock sticker, as well as a stamped, in Riding Hood Red, Garden Green, and Chocolate Chip inks, on a White, cardstock, circle die cut, which was also stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the lacy frame, and glittered apple.
The right photos were dressed up with a black, scalloped, September 29, 2012 label...
and a "HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE", cardstock sticker, which was anchored with a couple of black, stripe brads, completes the look.
Here's your Challenge #66 to get you off and running in the right direction.  This time, we're also asking that you include some food on your creation.  Have fun!
You have until the 28th of each month to link up your takes and are playing for the opportunity to guest design with our talented team.  Speaking of, please be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see how they've interpreted the challenge.  Thanks so much for peeking in, and have a terrific Tuesday!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: From the Kitchen Of, Lacey Layers, & Silver Bells (Wplus9) Paper: Whisper White (SU!); White (Wplus9); embossed whitewash (Core'dinations); green triangles (Glitz); multicolored scallops, coral polka dot, yellow arrows, & multicolored bitty & large floral (MME); red triangles & black chevron (JBS) Ink: Garden Green, Riding Hood Red, & Chocolate Chip (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam glitter Thickers & black envelope (American Crafts); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Lacey Layers & Silver Bells dies (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); black scalloped cardstock sticker (JBS); "HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE" & "THIS TOTALLY HAPPENED" cardstock stickers & enamel dots (MME); black stripe brads (Paper Studio); floral stickers (K&Company)

The Studio Colour Challenge & Stuck?! July 15th Sketch

I'm super excited today to get to share a page for a special challenge partnership between The Studio and Stuck?! Sketches!  At first, I found the bright palette uber challenging, but I think I pulled it off with lots of beautiful papers from Jenni Bowlin and October Afternoon and photos that fit it perfectly.  And my new coffee stain stamps looked just like the popped bubbles Adina blew onto her page to boot!
I started this page by smudging Patina Glimmer Mist onto the textured, white, cardstock, base page and stamping it, in Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, and Pumpkin Pie inks respectively, with the coffee stains and drips.
I then anchored lots of color-coordinating, patterned papers over the smudge with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches, before adhering my photographs, which were matted with Whisper White cardstock, down their vertical center.  I then tucked a scalloped, journaling card under the photos top right edge and topped it with a paper bloom, flanked by a couple of hand-cut leaves and die-cut, vellum feathers.
An "OH SO HAPPY!", cardstock sticker dresses up the top edge of the center photograph...
and a "hello SUNSHINE" circle, grounded with a bit of "2013" flair, draped with a couple of veneer feathers...
as well as a trio of "take note:", "MY GIRL", and "free spirit" stickers, in combination with a hand-cut, from patterned paper, arrow, round out its bottom.
Lots of buttons, anchored with white string, and yellow, enamel dots, as well as a bit of journaling, complete the look.  The journaling reads, Gosh, I could look @ that beautiful face and those gorgeous lashes all day long.  I just love that you're always so brave and super excited to try new things and that you never do it halfway, even bubble painting.  Aug. 30, 2013.
Here's your Colour Challenge...
and July 15th Sketch to get you started.
Our Stuck?! sponsors for this challenge, with an Authentique prize pack and prize package respectively, are...
and you're playing for a £15 voucher for Washi Tape, from, with The Studio's palette.  We're also excited to have my friend, Yvonne Yam, guest designing with us this month, so please be sure to stop by and leave her lots of love.  Thanks so much for looking, and don't forget to stop by the challenge links above to see what the rest of the girls have whipped up for your viewing pleasure.  Be blessed!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Coffee Stains (3rd Eye) Paper: textured White (Bazzill); Whisper White & yellow stripe (SU!); bright pink polka dot, orange star, perforated stamp, & etched turquoise (JBS); multicolored feather, green triangle, & arrow (October Afternoon); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, & Pumpkin Pie (SU!); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Fanciful Feathers die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); "hello SUNSHINE", "OH SO HAPPY!", & "MY GIRL" cardstock stickers (Little Yellow Bicycle); "free spirit" sticker (K&Company); "take note:" dimensional sticker & yellow enamel dots (MME); paper bloom (Sassafras); white string (Hobby Lobby); scalloped journaling card (My Little Shoebox); buttons (Buttons Galore & More); Patina Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels); "2013" flair (Bossy Joscie); veneer feathers (JBS)

Family Update

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Saturday, friends!  I'm so sorry that I haven't been around much this week.  We've had something different literally every night and swim lessons every morning.  But I promised pics of our 4th of July this week, and the week itself is nearly over.  So, I'd better get right to it.  My kiddos dressed for the occasion...
and always love the simple things like poppers, smoke bombs, and sparklers.
My hubby manned the grill and whipped up Root Beer BBQ Chicken, asparagus, and potato packages.  We added lots of berries to the mix and had a delicious meal...
followed by s'mores as per Adina's request.  Our fire pit had seen its last day and found its way to the dump.  So, we warmed them over individual tea lights, and it worked so well!  It was the perfect way to end a beautiful day.
It's been so fun to watch Ezekiel play ball again this summer.  Matter of fact, he's loving it so much, his coach is trying to put together a team to play fall ball.  So, he may just have that to look forward to.
Adina always finds friends to play with to pass her time at the ballpark (She's in the white shirt with the ponytail.)...
and Kaden is usually found sporting his sunglasses and/or snoozing on Daddy's shoulder.
We've also been spending lots of time at the pool.  Ezekiel spends most of his time around the boards...
and Adina is always giving instructions for how and where she wants the lifeguards to toss her diving rings.
Oh, and only because I've always got hold of him, I don't have any pics; but Kaden is learning to love the water, too.  He just sits and splashes in the zero entry zone.  I do, however, have lots of new pics of him on dry ground.  He is five-months-old now and always seems to have hold of his piggies.
He spends lots of time on his tummy and has learned to roll from tummy to back and vice versa.  Although, sometimes, his little arms get tired, and he just cries and cries, until someone turns him over.  LOL!
He's still nursing exclusively every three to three-and-a-half hours or so and takes three hour-and-a-half to two-hour naps a day with a quick cat nap most evenings.  Most of the time, he sleeps through the night from 8:30 pm to 6:30 or 7:00 am.  Once in awhile, he stirs and keeps the whole house up during the night, but we all still love him to bits.  Fortunately, he's got cute on his side ;).
We've also been trying out new goodies, like Blockbuster Cookies (The recipe is in lockdown, or I'd link it up.  They're ever so good and stuffed to the brim with Raisinets and popcorn.)...
and homemade pumpkin donuts...
as well as scrumptious finds like the most delicious raspberries I've EVER tasted.
I put my Silhouette to good use, cutting 225 apples out for our upcoming, backpack collection at church.
And I just couldn't resist throwing in this pic of a little visitor to one of my gardens...
or leaving you with this precious pic of my boys all ready for bed and watching the rain pitter-pat against the windows.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to stop by!  Have a great weekend!