Thursday, October 15, 2009

The first recipe for this month's edition of the Barefoot Bloggers is Cheddar Corn Chowder, and it was selected by Jill of My Next Life. Jill picked a great recipe for us to try. I was in a hurry when I was making this soup last night. I'd gone to exercise class after work and when I got home I was cold, tired, and hungry. This soup came together very quickly and made a great meal for a chilly, rainy work night. I was so cold, tired, and hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the finished soup. I also was so cold, tired, and hungry that my knife skills were sloppy and I managed to slice my finger. But the soup was worth it. I did halve the ingredients, and still ended up with enough for two bowls each for dinner and three containers leftover to take for lunches. An after thought I had was that I should have added some instant potato flakes to thicken it up more. Go check out the recipe - it was easy and yummy.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Mailbox Monday - October 5

It has been a long time since I've posted a Mailbox Monday. I have had a lot of good things come into my house, and now I just need to find the time to read them all. If anyone has any suggestions of where I should start, let me know.

Mari from Bookworm With a View sent me a copy of Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch. I've been wanting to read this book ever since it came out.

For Book Club Girl's on air discussion with Francine Prose I got a copy of Goldengrove. Prose is a new to me author and I'm really savoring the book. I missed the online discussion and still need to listen to it.

Barbour Publishing sent me a copy of Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus. I don't do a lot of reading in the Christian fiction genre, but this one sounds cute, so I"m looking forward to trying it.

Gayle at Every Day I Write the Book sent me a copy of Cost by Roxana Robinson that I need to get reading in time to discuss it.

My latest package was Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen. This ARC came from Library Thing Early Reviewer.

The biggest package to arrive at my house recently was a box from Hatchett books:

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith

Kill for Me by Karen Rose

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer

Any Minute by Joyce Meyer

Julie and Juliaby Julie Powell

A Summer Affair by Erin Hiderbrand

When You Are Engulfed in flames by David Sedaris

Obama's Blackberry by Kasper Hauser

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Books Read in September

September was a really light reading month for me. But since I've all ready read more books than I did all of last year I was due for a light month.

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. Rated 3.5. I think Weiner gets a bad rap for being chick lit and fluffy, but she isn't. This was a good book with some deep subject matters. It would make a good book club book because it's fairly quick and easy to read but still has some depth to it.

Master Butcher's Singing Club by Louise Erdrich. Rated 4. I read this for my face-to-face book club here at the library. My group was split between those who liked it and those who didn't. Maybe I enjoyed it more because it's set in N.D. fairly close to where I was raised and the characters were Germans like my prairie ancestors were.

Body in the Library by Agatha Christie. Rated 3. Loving Agatha Christie and Miss Marple.

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas. Rated 3.5. I always enjoy Dallas' books. Great character and good plots.

Obama's Blackberry by Kasper Hauser. Rated 3. I received this in a box of books Hatchett sent to me. A HUGE box of books :) This was a funny book and took me about an hour to read.

Goldengrove by Francine Prose. I haven't finished this book yet. Book Club Girl sent me a copy. I am savoring it. The writing is lovely. Right now it is reminding me of Local News by Miriam Gershow. Prose is a new author for me and I'm happy I've discovered her.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Winter Short Track Race

I took a great series of pictures of Tim at a bike race this past winter. I took me awhile to decide how best to use them on a layout. And then I had to find the right papers. I got a hold of some CM Motor Grunge papers and stickers with gears. And the orange was the right color to make all the other dark, drab winter colors pop. The base is SU Brocade Blue. I also used SU Only Orange, Bashful Blue and Basic Black. I punched some circles to go with the gear theme. The only stamping in the title, and I used SU's Collage Alphabet in Basic Black ink. I really need some gear or bike wheel type of stamps. The journaling is done in the large black circle with a white gel pen; and it says - Sunday, Jan. 25 2009 Renaissance Park Single Speed class 42 degrees - brr.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rustic Roosters and Eggplant Pizza

Last week I played around and made a few cards. I went to Splitcoast Stampers for some inspiration. I found card sketch challenge SC240 and color challenge CC230. The color challenge was to use Close to Cocoa, Blush Blossom, Cameo Coral and Certainly Celery, but I substituted Sage Shadow. And this is what I came up with. I used the Rustic Rooster stamp set and stamped the rooster in Basic Brown and the script in Cameo Coral. For accenting I did a little paper piercing on the Sage strip at the bottom and then added a flower with a ribbon center. There are no greetings yet, I'll add one as needed.

And I have to tell you about the great pizza we made the other night. Tim has decided that he really likes eggplant, so I've been looking for eggplant recipes. I found one for pizza on Smitten Kitchen's blog. She grilled her home made pizza dough, we grilled the eggplant but used a pre-made store bought crust and baked it in the oven. It was yummy. The eggplant had a mushroom texture and the green olives ave lots of briney flavor and then it was covered in melty provolone. Go make one for yourself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blueberry Cake

It's really a coffee cake, and it's supposed to be apple. But I'm calling it blueberry cake. My friend Melissa posted the recipe on her blog, From Laptop to Stovetop. You must check out her blog, she cooks and bakes the most fabulous things. She found the recipe for Aunt DeeDee's Apple Coffee Cake at All Recipes. Since I can't follow a recipe, I used a can of blueberry pie filling instead of apple; I added some vanilla to the cake batter; I didn't have walnuts so I used slivered almonds; and I didn't do the icing. This is an absolutely wonderful cake and you all must go make one. I'm going to have to share with my co-workers because it make a 13x9 pan of yumminess.
The only problem I had making the cake was that my hand mixer broke. Tim even took it apart to fix it. But fifteen dollar hand mixers are not meant to be fixed. I bought the hand mixer when I was between stand mixers. And now I have my beautiful red Kitchen Aid so I can live without the hand mixer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 17

I'm really excited about the books that came in my mailbox last week. For several years I've been reading books for the Aspen Gold Readers Choice Awards sponsored by the Heart of Denver Romance Writers. The two books I am reading this year are Windswept by Ann Macela and A Daughter's Promise by Christine Clemetson. The scores are due sometime in September, so these books will be on the top of my reading pile.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mailbox Monday Aug. 10

One way to make Monday a happy day is to look at all the new books that showed up in my mailbox last week. Marcia at the Printed Page hosts this weekly event. Click over to her blog and see what other found in their mailbox.

Harlequin Romance sent me several copies of The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham. One copy is for me to keep and the others are for me to give away. We'll have a copy happy library patrons.

And Random House sent me an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts. Beautiful cover, I can't wait to read it.

Thank you Random House and Harlequin.

First Day of Kindergarten

My oldest niece will be starting 4th grade in a few weeks. It seems like it was just yesterday when she started Kindergarten. My sister-in-law even saved her bus card for me to include on the layout. The base of the page, and the red flowered piece is SU Cutie Pie pattern paper, the scalloped layer is Certainly Celery and last is a So Saffron layer. the pictures on matted on Rose Red. The accent flowers are a mixture of SU and CM with various brads and buttons. The title is SU On Board chipboard that I inked with Rose Red craft ink and a metal edge tag with So Saffron center.

Friday, August 07, 2009

July Reads

I read 14 books in July - a pretty good reading month. Everything I read was fiction, one was juvenile. I was disappointed by several of the books - maybe I just need to quit reading cooking and knitting books. If you disagree with my thoughts on any of these books, leave me a nice message and tell my why.

The Local News by Miriam Gershow. Rating 3. This book came to me from Gayle at Every Day I Write the Book for the June book club discussion - which I obviously missed. We get to see Lydia's point of view during the aftermath of her older brother's disappearance. I thought it was interesting to hear from a younger sister who wasn't all that sad that her older, more popular, bully of a brother was missing. But the characters lacked something, they weren't very interesting.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Princeby JK Rowling. I re-read this one before we went to see the movie.

Rosewater and Soda Bread by Marsha Mehran. Rating 3. Three Iranian women open a restaurant in a small Irish town. I felt like some of the quirky local characters got dropped halfway through the book. The plot and character weren't very original, and I didn't like the main love interest.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich. Rating 4. Very funny and lots of blowing up cars. And Ranger - my favorite.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil. Rating 3. Not very original The characters were nice. though neither the yarn shop of the knitting group were named after the title of the book, which I thought was odd.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. Rating 4. This is a juvenile book. Lovely little book. The copy I read had beautiful Illustrations. It reminded me of the Velveteen Rabbit. But this is the story of a china rabbit who passes from owner to owner and who learns what love is.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Rating 4.5. A fabulous book. Told from Alice's point of view as she descends into early onset Alzheimer's Disease. It was so realistic. And there are so many layers to the story.

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. Rating 3. This was for my face-to-face book club who liked it more than I did. We had a great discussion. I just think there are better books out there about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The author never gives the main characters names and so I felt a lack of connection to them.

Summer Houseby Nancy Thayer. Rating 3.5. A light book good for summer. The characters were enjoyable. I kept waiting for something big to happen but everything ended graciously.

God's Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. Rating 4. Very funny. The Greek gods now live in London instead of Olympus. They are bored and play mean tricks on each other to keep themselves amused. two innocent mortals get caught up in one of their tricks and they end up saving the world - but Alice has to die first.

Divorce Party by Laura Dave. Rating 4. This book came from Mari at Bookworm With a View. I really enjoyed this small book. It comes off as a light book, but there are lots of good underlying themes. Maggie meets her future in-laws for the first time at their divorce party, and learns a lot about her future husband.

School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Brawermeister. rating 3. Lillian runs a cooking school in her restaurant. Food is the answer to all the problems her students bring with them. Nicely written, interesting characters, but the plot did not feel original.

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond. Rating 4. The story focuses on Abby, who lost her fiance's young daughter one day at the beach. She blames herself for looking away for an instant, but she believes she can search her memory for the key piece of information and the little girl will be found. I thought the ending was a little unrealistic, but the author does such a good job that the reader believes too.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. Rating 4. A group of young mothers meet in the 60's. They all read and discussing books is what brings them together. We watch as they grow into modern women who can think for themselves and take care of themselves and begin to see themselves as separate from their husbands but still have good marriages.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Just Like Mom and Dad

My parents came down to visit us in March. Tim took a few pictures of me with each of them. It's funny, if I'm with my Mom everyone thinks I look like her, but if I'm with my Dad everyone thinks I look like him. So that's how I came up with the title for this page. And I think the quote is perfect: "The greatest gift is a portion of thyself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson. The base is SU's Baja Breeze, and I also used SU's River Rock and a unknown dark brown card stock. The patterned paper is Wall Street's Metropolitan collection. I used K & Company paper ribbon and labels for accents. I also used my Big Shot and the Top Note die for the title and journaling boxes and a Sizzlet for the paisleys.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 3, 2009

Almost done catching up with old posts - food, scrapbooking, and now books. I made a couple new scrapbook pages this week and I have a list of the books I read in July to post later this week.

Mari at Bookworm With A View sent me a few books awhile back that I want to tell you about.

Divorce Party by by Laura Dave. I read this book this past week so I'll write a short blurb about it when I list the books I read in July.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. This book is for an online discussion on Wednesday, August 19th. I started the book this weekend and am really looking forward to the discussion. Click over the Mari's blog to follow the discussion.

I've been requesting fewer free books from bloggers so I can spend some time reading the great books I've all ready received. But I do have a few new titles coming in, and I'll share those when they make it into my mailbox. It looks like I'll also be doing some judging for several romance writers contests, so I'll have lots of books to be reading this fall.

And this is the time of the year that I start picking the books my book club will read next year. If you have any suggestions for book club books, be sure to leave me a comment. I've read lots of good things this year so I'm sure my group will end up with a great list.

Wild About You

My friend Darcy and her husband recently had a baby boy. A bunch of us put together a scrapbook for her. This is the layout that I contributed. The base is Stampin' Up's Pumpkin Pie and the coordinating colors are So Saffron, Tempting Turquoise, and Old Olive. The patterned stripe along the left side is also SU. I used the stamp set Wild About You. I made some patterned paper with the animals from the set - the alligator in Old Olive, the elephant in Tempting Turquoise, the lion in Pumpkin Pie and the giraffe in So Saffron. I also cut out some of the animals and used them for accents. I used the notebook edge punch along the top of the journaling box. And the title was stamped with Best Friends alphabet. I loved how this layout turned out and I hope that Darcy can use it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

BB: Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

My mother emailed me to remind me that it's been awhile since I posted anything. So I'll try and get caught up on some posts.

The Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad was one of the Barefoot Blogger recipes from last month. Cat, of Delta Whisky selected the recipe. I served the salad with an Italian beef sandwich. Truthfully, we weren't crazy about the salad. We liked all the elements, but somehow all together it didn't do anything for us. I wonder if it would have been better warm. The second recipe for the month was a Peach and Blueberry Crumble, chosen by Aggie's Kitchen. Neither of us eat peaches, so we skipped this recipe. I am looking forward to trying this month's recipes.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Books Read in June

Before the month gets much further gone I wanted to share what I read in June. There are some good things on my list.

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer. Rated 4. The beginning of this one is a little confusing as all of the male cousins are introduced. The plot was good and kept me guessing as to which of the cousins Kitty would pick.

At Bertrams Hotel by Agatha Christie. Rated 4. My very first Agatha Christie, and I loved it. It's a really good story with wonderful characters. It's more of a character and setting kind of book than a mystery.

Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Rated 4. This was for the Picador Twitter book club that I wasn't able to participate in because we were in the car for one of our trips to KY. I'm disappointed that I missed the discussion because this is one heck of a book. The story is narrated by an unnamed neighborhood boy as he and his friends try and figure out why the five neighbor girls all commit suicide.

The Other by David Guterson. Rated 4. Tim and I listened to this on audio on one of our trips to KY. It was read by Mark Bramhall. We both enjoyed the book very much. In fact, Tim has commented on it several weeks later. Guterson writes a wonderful sense of place. This book reminded me of Bridge of Sighs with it's themes of male friendship, reminiscing on the past and how the past affects our lives.

Beach Trip by Cathy Horton. Rated 3. A story of women's friendships and trying to reconnect after many years. My favorite character was Lola.

Not Becomming My Mother by Ruth Reichl. Rated 5. This is a short memoir. Reichle is saying a thank you to her mother.

Seducing and Angel by Mary Balogh. Rated 4. Historical romance.

Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks. Rated 3. The characters and setting were good, but I felt the author was overdoing Sunny's relationship with her mother and the death of her younger sister.

Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. Rated 4. Good stories and characters. We got to meet a few new characters and revisit several former characters. The story is still fresh.

Souvenir by Therese Fowler. Rated 2.5. Fowler is going to be the author for our annual Friends of the Library Author Dinner later this year. I'm looking forward to reading her second novel.

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie. Rated 4. Another great Miss Marple mystery.

And one DNF: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. I love Wally Lamb and had been looking forward to his newest book. We started listen to it on audio on one of our trips to KY. We didn't get it all listened to so I started reading when we got home. It just got tedious, so I quit reading.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mailbox Monday: July 6

This is actually several weeks of Mailbox Monday's all rolled together.

Mari from Bookworm With a View has sent me several books over the last month or so.

For the Summer Reading Series discussion on July 14th, I have a copy of All We Ever Wanted by Janelle Brown.

The MMBC book for August 19th is A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.

And then, I have a copy of Divorce Party by Laura Dave

So thank you Mari, I look forward to some great reading and discussion.

Random House Publishers sent me an ARC of Huge by James W. Fuerst. Thank you Random House.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Everything Austen

I'm taking the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie at Stephanies Written Word. I might have to call mine the Everything Pride and Prejudice. It's my favorite book, so the six books I'm reading for this challenge all have to do with P&P.
Here's my Everything Austen/Everything Pride and Prejudice reading plan for the next 6 months:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Darcys and the Bingleys: a Tale of Two Gentlemen's Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters by Marsha Altman

Two Shall Become One: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan

Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberly by Linda Berdoll

Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster

The Darcy Connection by Elizabeth Aston

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Father's Day

Father's Day was several weeks ago. We were in Kentucky for Tim's sister's funeral. I had to quick make my cards before we left so I could get them in the mail to my Dad and brothers. It certainly wasn't a very happy Father's Day for Tim, but he got a card too.

Sorry the picture is terrible - it was a quick shot so I could get them in the mail. The base is a kraft cardstock that Tim brought home for me, as is the green and blue cardstocks. The Very Vanilla that I stamped the tree on and the Basic Black are both Stampin' Up cardstocks. The tree stamp is stamped in Basic Black ink, from SU's Lovely as a Tree set, and the greeting is from one of the retired All Year Cheer sets. I added a few black rads to give it some texture.

Friday, June 12, 2009

BB: Curried Couscous

Last night's dinner was perfect for summer. I had some salmon patties in the freezer that I pulled out and reheated. And we tried a new recipe - the Barefoot Contessa's Curried Couscous. It's one of this month's recipes for the Barefoot Bloggers and Ellyn of Recipe Collector and Tester picked it. I left out the raisins, substituted white onion for the red and forgot the parsley. Tim and I were both surprised by the mild flavor. We don't use a lot of curry, but I think this recipe has made us not afraid of it. I was very happy with the results and glad we tried it. We have started eating a lot of couscous, and it's perfect for summer because it doesn't heat up the house to make it and can be flavored so many ways.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Books Read in May

Yes, I know, it's the second week in June, but I wanted to share with you what I read last month. By the end of May I had read 45 books. Last year it was early September by the time I'd read 45 books. So I am on a roll this year. My guess is that I'm doing less scrapbooking and card making. You'll see I read a lot of romance and memoirs in May.

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. Memoir. Rating 3.5

Desperately Seeking A Duke, The Duke Next Door, and Duke Most Wanted by Celeste Bradley. Romance.

Some Like it Wild by Teresa Medeiros. Romance. Rating 3. Fun story. Follows Some Like it Wicked.

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. Fiction. Rating 4. Great characters. The book was a little long. had a great discussion with my book club.

Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel. Memoir. Rating 4.

We Are All Fine Here by Mary Guterson. Fiction. Rating 3. It's a small book which reads quickly. And, of course, everything isn't fine.

To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt. Romance. Rating 3.5. Number three in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series after To Taste Temptation, and To Seduce a Sinner. Next will be To Desire a Devil.

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. Memoir. Rating 4.

Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer. Classic Romance. Rating 4. Fresh characters and plot. Still a classic.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Graduation 2009

This weekend we were off in Kentucky for Dylan's high school graduation from Apollo High school in Owensboro. Here is our handsome young graduate.

They did this cool candle light ceremony. Each graduate had a candle and then some blew theirs out to leave the 09.

My cousin Elly also graduated this weekend from Wilmar High School in Minnesota. Unfortunately, we couldn't figure out how to get from Kentucky to Minnesota in one day.
These are the cards I made for Dylan and Elly. I used non SU craft cardstock for the base, Whisper White and Real Red for Elly's card and Brocade Blue for Dylan's card. I used the retired SU Graduation set and Best Friends numbers, stamped in Basic Black. There are silver brads and a silver edged tag for accents.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Mailbox Monday - June 1, 2009

I had several new books show up in my mailbox in the last few weeks. Actually, they usually don't fit in my mailbox so I discover the packages lying on the front porch right by the door. A package is always a welcome sight.

Random House sent me a trade paperback copy of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I've read this book, enjoyed it and recommended it. I'm so happy to have my own copy.

Lisa from Books on the Brain sent me a copy of Beach Trip by Cathy Holton so I can participate in her June book club. The book has a nice cover and I'm looking forward to reading and discussing it.

Picador sent me a copy of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides for their Twitter book club this Friday. I'll be in the car all day Friday, so I will try and participate via my phone. Can't wait to see how this works. I really enjoyed Eugenides' Middlesex so I'm really looking forward to reading his earlier novel.
I need to get reading!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

BB: Backtrack

The second Barefoot Bloggers recipe for May was Outrageous Brownies, selected by Eva of I'm Boring. After the Lemon Cake I just couldn't eat another sweet, so I used the Backtrack option and made the Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts that Anne from Anne Strawberry picked in March before I joined in. Tim and I loved these! We each had two for our dinner. We are anxiously awaiting fresh tomatoes from our garden to make these again. And Tim mentioned right away that there are so many ways we can change these up. I think puff pastry will become a staple in our freezer. The tarts also introduced us to goat cheese which is so creamy and delicious. Can anyone give me other ideas to use goat cheese? We had a few scraps of the puff pastry leftover that we couldn't let go to waste, so we made some little Parmesan pinwheels that made a delicious little snack. It was a great recipe - super easy to make and very tasty. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BB: Lemon Cakes

What a great Memorial Holiday Weekend. It was a cooking frenzy. And it was all yummy. On Saturday afternoon we made hamburger buns. We used my friend Diana's recipe. (Also check out her cooking blog.) They turned out so pretty - with an egg wash and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. On Sunday we went to some friends for a cookout. I made Smitten Kitchen's Slaw Tartare which I loved. Tim even liked it and he doesn't like cabbage very well. We used our homemade buns with blue cheese burgers. Last night we made salmon patties which we had with leftover slaw. The recipe made enough patties for us to freeze some for another meal. Good friends, good food - you can't ask for much more. I want to say a special thanks to Tim who helped with much of the cooking (bread making and patty frying) and most of the dishwashing.

Sunday, I spent most of the afternoon making the Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Cakes. McKenzie of Kenzie's Kitchen chose this month's bonus recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers. Thank you McKenzie! I love this cake. The recipe makes two cake loaves. I have one in the freezer for later, and I brought the other unfinished loaf into work. It's getting raves reviews. I did find it a little time consuming with all the zesting and juicing, and the syrup and then glaze steps. But it was so worth it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Very Good Day for a Bike Ride

I finished this layout a couple of weeks ago after carrying it in my bag for over a year. These are pictures of Tim doing a road bike ride a couple of years before we met. These pictures were taken in 1989 during James Madison Days in Madisonville, KY. He is with his friend Diane White and her brother Story.
For the background I used SU Soft Sky and matted the photos on Real Red. The circle is Very Vanilla and matted on Not Quite Navy, and the punched arrow are also NQN. The red and vanilla stripped paper is SU and the turquoise scalloped paper is Sandy Lion and the darker blue strip is unknown. I used the SU arrow punch and SU On Board Loads of Letters chipboard, which I painted red. The circle on the right has Making Memories rubons and a self adhesive accent from SU's Simply Scrappin kit Genuine License.
I was please at how these pages turned out after looking at them for over a year. And I think Tim was pleased with them too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday - May 18, 2009

Only one book in my mailbox last week. Book Club Girl sent me a copy of the memoir The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. I am really looking forward to reading this book, though I'm afraid it might be a little depressing since my Uncle just died of cancer and one of my sisters-in-law is also struggling with cancer. I plan to join the on air discussion with Book Club Girl and Kelly Corrigan on May 27th. Thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday's. You can go to her blog and see what new books other received in their mailboxes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BB: Tuna Salad

Kate at Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails picked this weeks recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers.
She picked Tuna Salad. Now this isn't any old tuna salad - the canned tuna and mayonnaise kind of tuna salad. Oh, no. This is yummy, fresh tuna with a spicy dressing tuna salad. Tim grilled our tuna steaks on the grill. We cooked the tuna for longer than the recipe suggests, but it was still pink inside - just not raw. To the lime juice and soy sauce dressing I added a bit of sesame oil. And the wasabi powder and hot sauce added some great flavor. I might just become a fan of hot sauce. I served the salad over some orzo pasta. It was a great meal - quick and easy to prepare, very tasty, and fairly healthy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Late, as always...

Yesterday morning I had lots of energy and was able to get a lot of things done before I had to go to work - Walked Away the Pounds, planted Impatients on the front porch, and made Mother's Day cards. Yes, I just made them. Going to mail them today. So, Mom, don't look if you don't want to see what your card looks like before it comes in the mail. I did make two versions of the card - one was Mother's Day and the other was just general thinking of you.

I used SU Whisper White, Basic Black and Delicate Dots designer series papers. The image is Jolies Fleurs from Lizzie Anne and stamped in SU Basic Black ink and colored in with SU Real Red, So Saffron, Regal Rose and Orchid Opulence markers. The greetingon this card is from Delight in Life by SU, for the Mother's day cards I used a Happy Mother's Day greeting from the All Year Cheer stamp set.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mailbox Monday - May 11, 2009

Every Monday, Marcia, from the Printed Page hosts Mailbox Mondays. I got two great looking books in the mail this week to share. If you've read either of these, let me know what you thought about them.

From Drey's Library I received A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy by Thomas Buergenthal. I have a thing for Holocaust and WWII literature, so I am anxious to read this one.

Gayle at Every Day I Write the Book blog has chosen The Local News by Miriam Gershow for her June online book club. There have been lots of good review about his book and I'm looking forward to reading and discussing it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Books Read in April

I had a good and busy month of reading in April. I read thirteen books during the month. Last year I had only read a total of 18 books by the end of April.

1. Moon Women by Pamela Duncan. Traditional Southern novel. I heard Ms. Duncan speak recently and she is very entertaining, a great story teller. 3/5

2. The Eleventh Man by Ivan Doig. Beautifully written, but the story and characters did not interest mer. I did not finish this one.

3. Hone Safe by Elizabeth Berg. I enjoyed the realistic mother/daughter relationship - irritating and loving at the same time. Very realistic. The book had a good solid ending. 4/5

4. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff. Classic. 5/5

5. Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy. As always, Binchy creates a cast of wonderful characters and we get to know them all. We also see characters from previous books. 4/5

6. The Big Beautiful by Pamela Duncan. Sequel to Moon Women. Humerous. 4/5

7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Beautifully written but very depressing and sorrowful. 4/5

8. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow. A fun novel. Molly Marx is dead and she's trying to figure out how she died. In the end it doesn't matter. 4/5

9. Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson. One of the best books I've read so far this year. Full of poetry, and beautifully written. Ms. Olsson has a new book coming out soon. 4.5/5

10. The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickenson. Ms Dickenson is the new Ann Landers. This is her memior of raising her daughter with the help of the women in her family and the small town of Freeville. 4/5

11. No Choice But Seduction by Johanna Lindsey. A romance novel, and not her best. Part of the extended Mallory series. 3/5

12. The Year that Follows by Scott Lasser. A a sister and faher's post 9/11 serch for family and what it means to be a family. 4/5

13. At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh. Another romance novel. The last of a trilogy, and probably the best of the three books about sisters of a young man who suddenly inherits a title and thrust them into socity. 3/5

I've already read several good books this month.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mailbox Monday - April 27, 2009

Thanks to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday's. This week I had two new books show up on my front porch. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See came from Random House, and Swimming by Nicola Keegan from Marie also at Random House. I love Random House :) I wonder what this week will bring me?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Fancy Birthday

In January, my youngest niece, Sydney, turned 6. She had a Fancy Nancy birthday party. I love little girls who have birthday parties themes from story book characters. Fancy Nancy is a hoot, and I encourage everyone young and old to read her books. For Sydney's party my sister-in-law, Kirsten, made each girl a crown pillow that they got to decorate, then they had fingernail painting , and then ate this wonderful crown cake that Kirsten also made.
This page has a Lovely Lilac cardstock base. I also used Whisper White, Basic Black and Pink Passion. The black and white pattern paper down the side is from Imaginisce. The title is stamped with the Best Friends alphabet in Lovely Lilac ink. I used the SU slit punch to make the scallop borders and used a hole punch to give it an eyelet look. The journaling card is a large scallop circle punch and it slips inside an envelope that I die cut with my Big Shot. I used my white gel pen along the scallop edge to accent it. In the right hand corner of the picture I added lots of fun embellishments - a vellum heart tag with a Rose Red SU felt flower and a black brad, there is a chipboard crown that I covered with a silver pen, and a black chipboard flower from Colorbok (from the Michael's dollar spot) with two pink brads. None of my three nieces are very prissy, girly so I don't use a pink and purple color scheme very often so it was a bit difficult for me to work with. But I had fun with all the embellishing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

BB: Croque Monsieur

It's a fancy French ham and cheese sandwich. Very yummy, very rich. You can find the Barefoot Contessa's recipe here. Kate at All Food Considered chose the recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers. Tim and I made this together and made a few changes: halved the cheese sauce, used Jarlsberg cheese instead of Gruyere, and used spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon. We also used a loaf of home made white bread. I would recommend not using a thick slice of bread, there just gets to be too much bread.
Participating in the Barefoot Bloggers has been a lot of fun. Tim and I have both loved trying new recipes and using some new ingredients. I can't wait to see what the recipes will be for next month.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday - April 20, 2009

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page. Be sure to stop by her blog and see what great things she got in the mail.
I only received one book last week, but I am so excited to read it. Library Thing sent me an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow. It won't be published until May 19.
I have book club tomorrow and we will discuss Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I'm having trouble finishing the book. Yes, I know it's very short book, but animals keep dying and I know it's not going to get any better. My reward for finishing Steinbeck will be Molly Marx. Can't wait to get started on it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spinach - it's Yummy

Saturday I spent the day scrapbooking. Tim spent the day replacing the fuel pump on his Buick. Before I left I made these Spinach Balls. I found the recipe on Friday on They were super easy inexpensive and super easy - perfect to take to a pot luck lunch - and they got rave reviews.

Spinach Balls

1 frozen pkg chopped spinach, cooked and drained

2 cups herb & seasons stuffing mix

1 cup chopped onions

3 beaten eggs

6 tablespoons of melted butter

6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (I also used a little shredded Colby Jack mix)

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients. Shape into 2 inch balls. Put on sprayed cookie sheet. bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

This week I'll share the scrapbook pages I got done.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lunch with a Friend

On one of my Fridays off, my friend Judi came over for lunch and brought McDonalds. Fitzgerald was naughty, as always, and dug into Judi's bag and helped herself to the last of the french fries. And my good friend Judi thought it was cute.
I used more paper from the K & Company Wild Saffron stack that I have. Love that paper. On the right side are some chipboard swirls from Fancy Pants Design that I inked with SU Basic Brown. I also punched some little flowers out of Summer Sun card stock to match what was printed on the paper. Below the photos is some fun scrunched SU ribbon. The title is stamped with red ink and the Best Friends alphabet onto matching K & Company labels.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mailbox Monday - April 13, 2009

Each week Marcia, at the Printed Page blog, asks us to share what new books came into our homes that week. I only received a couple of books - which is okay since I have a huge stack of library books to read plus lots of other free books, ARC's, and book sale books to read. You can visit the Printed Page, by clicking on the link on the right side of the screen, to see what new books other book bloggers received.

The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel came from Book Club Girl. Check out her blog (see the link on the right side of the screen) to see more information on her radio show. Lily Koppel will be her guest on April 29th at 7pm.

And as part of the Harlequin Ambassadors program I received a box with 5 copies of a Harlequin Super Romance Married by Mistake by Abby Gaines to give away. I've given most of them away here at the library, but I've saved one copy to give away here. If you are interested, let me know, and I'll randomly pick a winner on Wednesday. The New York Times recently reported that in this sluggish economy "sales of romance novels are outstripping most other categories of books".

Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

BB: Chinese Chicken Salad

I admit, I love Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa and I watch her on Food Network. I love how she makes fabulous looking dishes with fairly simple ingredients and techniques. But I have never made one of her recipes. I found a group, called the Barefoot Bloggers, who make several Barefoot Contessa recipes each month. I haven't formally joined their group, but I've decided to play along. This week the recipe was Chinese Chicken Salad. I was worried that I might not like the dressing, but it was all delicious. The recipe calls for red pepper, but I don't like it, so I didn't add it. Next time I might add some more veggies, like broccoli. To make a dinner meal, I put the chicken and asparagus over some brown rice and then drizzled the dressing on top. You can see the recipe here:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Book 25: Buffalo Lockjaw and a DNF

Title: Buffalo Lockjaw
Author: Greg Ames
Copyright Date: 2009
Rating: 2
Notes: I've struggled with my reactions to this book. And it comes down to the fact that I didn't like it. And I'm sad that I didn't like it. I understood where the author was trying to go with the story - James is trying to deal with his mother's decline due to Alzheimer's - but it didn't work for me. The narrator, James, was whiny and it just overwhelmed the book for me. I do want to thank Gail at Everyday I Write the Book Blog for sending me a copy of the book and for hosting the book discussion.

DNF = Did Not Finish = a sad, sad thing

Title: The Eleventh Man
Author: Ivan Doig
Copyright Date: 2008
Rating: DNF
Notes: I hate that I'm not going to finish this book. It is beautifully written. I made it almost half way through, but the plot and the characters just aren't interesting me. I read the last few pages to see if that might entice me to finish it, but no. It's about the members of a winning college football team and what happens to them during WWII. So if you like beautifully written books, the west, football, planes or WWII, then you might love this book. I did not.

And now I hope I can move out of this reading funk.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chef Tim

I've realized that I make a lot of scrapbook pages about Tim cooking. I promise, I cook too. It had been a long time since Tim has made fresh pasta, so a few months back he made another batch. Hopefully I can get him to make it more often this summer. We have a nice garden going and all those fresh veggies would be so good with fresh pasta.

The pattern papers are K & Company's Wild Saffron. I borrowed a CM circle punch to punch the circles out of SU Real Red, Sage Shadow and Chocolate Chip. The title is done with Pressed Petals chipboard letters. At the bottom is SU Real Red ribbon and some hemp, held together with a SU paper clip.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 30

Every week, Marcia at the Printed Page blog, asks what new books came into your home this week?
In my mailbox I received The Ladies Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer from Harper Collins and their Library Love Fest blog.
I broke down and bought myself a trashy romance paperback - First Comes Marriage by Mary Balough. It's the first in a new series. I think I'll buy them all and then donate them to my library.
Then on Friday, I broke down and went to the library's used book sale. Did I rally need any more books? Probably not, but the money goes to the Friends of the Library and they in turn use it for projects at my library. I got Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, Mourner's Bench by Susan Dodd, Game Control by Lionel Shriver, The Position by Meg Wolitzer, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, and Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. Most of these books I don't know anything about. I picked them up because they were authors I'd read or heard about. So I'd love to hear if anyone has read any of these and what you thought about them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How Many Years?

It's been 15 years since Tim and I were married. We celebrated our anniversary quietly this past December. Tim grilled a nice leg of lamb and some asparagus, and I made some mashed potatoes. We even opened a nice bottle of wine. I made this layout using some beautiful Basic Grey papers for the base and the two stripes along the side. The photos are mounted on Stampin' Up's River Rock and my favorite green, whose name I can't remember. For the title, I stamped the label using Night of Navy ink on Buckaroo Blue and using the coordinating Basic Grey numbers. The hearts were punched using the new Creative Memories heart punch.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am thankful to finally have done some scrapbooking. My friend Judi and I, and about 900 other women, spent Saturday scrapping at Celebrate Charlotte, a Creative Memories crop at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center. I got 6 pages done - I'd taken a lot more to work on, but I am please with what I got done.
This first layout is from Thanksgiving 2008. The title across the top are the pieces from the centerpiece I made. I used SU punches to put them together and then glued them on skewers. The letters are rubons. On the back of each letter we all wrote what we were thankful for. I just stuck the skewers into a pocket on te page, so that we can read what people wrote on the backs of the letter. The little turkey accents are from the place cards I made and are also made from SU punches. The paper is from Target's Dollar Spot and so are the other two coordinating embellishments. Journaling was done on the computer and cut out with the Big Shot with the Top Note die.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 23

I got one book in the mail last week, Maps and Legends by Micheal Chabon. I won it from the Harper Collins blog, Library Love Fest, so thanks HC.

For all my scrapbooking friends, I went to an all day crop on Saturday, so I've got 6 great layouts to post later in the week.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Book 21 - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Pub. Date: 2006
Date: 3/19/09
Rating: 4.5
Notes: This a deceptively simple story of the Holocaust. It is classified as a juvenile novel, but is definitely a good read for adults. Told from the view of Bruno, a 9 year old German boy whose father is the commandant at "Out With". It is also the story of a friendship between Bruno on one side of the fence and Shmuel who wears striped pajamas and lives on the other side of the fence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book 20 - Run

I had my f2f (face-to-face) book club this morning. We had a great time. They were so excited to get the ARC's that I gave out. We had a great discussion about the book because half of us liked the book and the other half didn't.

Title: Run
Author: Ann Patchett
Pub. Date: 2007
Date: 3/17/09
Rating: 4
Notes: I loved getting to know the characters so well in a 24-hour period. I enjoyed discovering the many meanings of "run". It was a well written book. And I was very willing to overlook how easily the Doyle family took Kenya in and accepted the situation with Tennessee.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 16

I got a ton of new books last week. Unfortunately I had a house full of company so they all got stacked up and are waiting for me to look through and ohh and ahh over them. My Mom did get one of them read (the Berg), and thought it was good.

From Random House I got a box of ARCs for my book group. Book group is tomorrow so I'll take the box and draw names.

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg (which I'm keeping to read for myself)

The Year That Follows by Scott Lasser

Brodeck by Philippe Claudel

We Are Rich: Stories by Dori Carter

High: Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler by Brian O'Dea

From Gail at Every Day I Write the Book Blog I got Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames for our March book club.

From Drey's Library I got Italian Lover by Robert Hellenga.
When I got back to work today I found that our Brodart rep. left a ARC of Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly. Since it came to me at work, I'll add it to the giveaway pile for my book group.

And that doesn't even count all the books I brought home from the library. I'll start with Buffalo Lockjaw first.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book 19 - To Seduce a Sinner

Title: To Seduce a Sinner
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Pub. Date: 2008
Date: 3/10/09
Rating: 3
I was a little disappointed with this book. The plot was good and so was the hero, Lord Vale, and the heroine, Melisande. I just didn't feel the chemistry between them. Hoyt focused on the sexual relationship. For me, a romance novel is more than sex and plot - though both are very important and can't be overlooked.

This book is number 2 of the Legends of the Four Soldiers series. I've requested the first of the series and will give it a try. Number 3 should be published shortly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book 18 - Flirting with Forty

I've been busy with company this past weekend. Lots of cleaning, cooking, shopping, and entertaining. Last night I brought home a stack of books, and sat down and read one. Bloggers, Marcia at the Printed Page and Amy at My Friend Amy are discussing Jane Porter's newest book Mrs. Perfect. I had never read a Jane Porter book, so I grabbed Flirting With Forty off the shelves and took it home. It was the perfect book to relax with. And I'll be waiting for the new one to arrive so I can read it.

Title: Flirting With Forty
Author: Jane Porter
Pub. Date: 2006
Date Read: 3/10/09
Rating: 3
Notes: Mom-lit, Divorce-lit - whatever Chick-lit for older women is called. Jackie is divorced with two kids and a job and she's turning forty. On a trip to Hawaii she meets a younger surf instructor and falls in love with him. Can they make it work between her home and kids in Seattle and his no-ties life style in Hawaii? The characters are interesting and likable and I was rooting for them to have a happily ever after.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 9, 2009

I got some happy mail last week - books!

From Hatchett I received a hardback copy of This One is Mine by Maria Sempe.

From Lisa at Books on the Brain I won three books!

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew - doesn't it have a gorgeous cover?

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Welcome to the Departure Lounge by Meg Federico
When I get free books I feel obligated to read them, so be watching for my write ups of these.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

You can never have too many bookmarks!

I love bookmarks. My mother tells the story of when I was a child and I would save all the bookmarks I got from the public library so someday I would have bookmarks to give to patrons when I was a librarian. Aww, isn't that cute? My first job was at the neighborhood Carnegie Public Library, which was a block from our house. All the public school elementary classes came to our library every week because the school didn't have a library. One of my jobs was to make bookmarks for each kid in each class for each holiday. I would cut poster board, add a holiday sticker, punch a hole, cut yarn and tie it through the hole. Now I wish I'd saved some of them.
Needles to say, I'm a fanatic about using a bookmark when reading a book. I hate bent over pages and broken spines from laying a book open. We read a lot at our house, so we have bookmarks all over the house. If I'm in the middle of a book and can't find a bookmark handy, I will sit down at the craft table and make one from whatever supplies I have laying out. The little red bird bookmark was made from birds leftover from Christmas cards and other paper that was on the table. The other bookmarks I made from cards. The B Mine bookmark was the Valentine card I made Tim. So instead of looking at it and throwing it away, we can keep it. The blue and peach card was a birthday card from my friend Donna. And the other two were made from a beautiful winter card my friend Mary sent me.
You can never have too many bookmarks!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Catching Up

I read a lot of books in February. I spent the first half of the month sick and the last half busy at work. I spent my relaxing and de-stressing time reading. I got very little crafting done in February - just the Valentine cards. I've had to pack up all my supplies so that we can eat dinner at the dinning room table while my parents are visiting. So I'll sure March will be another good reading month and poor month for crafting.

Book 13
Title: The World According to Bertie
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Pub. Date 2008
Date: 2/20/09
Rating: 4
Notes: This is a 44 Scotland Street novel. I love all the characters in this series, especially Bertie, who was the focus of this book. The chapters are short, so the story moves along. I found this one very humorous.

Book 14
Title: Very Valentine
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Pub Date: 2009
Date: 2/23/09
Rating 3.5
Valentine is a great heroine. She fights for what she loves and that's the family custom shoe business and not a man. I was disappointed with the end - that Valentine couldn't have it all. But it's the first of a trilogy, so hopefully she'll end up with love and the business. Trigiani writes great sections about Italy. I'm glad her characters can afford trips to Italy so I can go along with them.

Book 15
Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Author: David Wroblewski
Pub. Date: 2008
Rating DNF
Notes: This book got such good reviews and I got an ARC last year when I was at PLA in Minneapolis. I carried this huge book home on the plane - along with forty pounds of other books. I couldn't finish the thing. I didn't like the characters. I love animals, but am not really a dog person, but I worried that something bad was going to happen to all the dogs. The writing was okay, but the author just went on and on. By the time I gave up not much had happened and there seemed to be no point to it all. My f2f book club really liked the book and we had a great discussion. Mom wants to read it when she gets here, so I can't wait to see what she thinks.

Book 16
Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Pub. Date:
Date: 2/25/09
Rating: 4
Notes: Just re-reading another in the series.

Book 17
Title: Temptation and Surrender
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Pub. Date: 2009
Date: 2/28/09
Rating 3
Notes: Not one of her best books. I like it better when the heroine and the hero work together. In this story, Emily Beauregaurd kept too many secrets from Mr. Tallent. And finding a huge treasure is unrealistic. We did get to see Lucifer Cynster who is married to Mr. Tallent's sister Phyllida.

I've got a couple of books I need to finish up and I'm expecting some new books in the mail this week and next. I'll let you know what I get read and how I like them. Feel free to let me know if you read any of these books and how you liked them. I love hearing other people's opinions of what I've been reading.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Birthdays and Bean Dip

Last night we went into Charlotte for a bike friends birthday. We had a fun time, as we always do with our bike friends. Bike people are good people. Tim had talked about making guacamole to take, but since we have to drive an hour, I didn't think guac would make the trip. On Friday I picked up a new cookbook at work and the first recipe I saw was for bean dip. When I got home from work Saturday we whipped up the bean dip super quick and it made the trip with no problems. In the lower right of the picture is my bean dip ( in a pretty glass bowl that matches one I inherited from my Grandmother)

Best Party Bean Dip

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained (you can use pintos)

1 cup of salsa

1/3 cup of taco seasoning

Blend in food processor until smooth. Serve warm or cold.

This afternoon we are going to our friend Ben's birthday. I think I'll make some more bean dip.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Books 10, 11, and 12

Title: Shelter Me
Author: Juliette Fay
Publication Date: 2009
Date Read: 2/6/09
Rating : 4.5
Notes: A very good book. Great plot, a young woman with two small children loses her husband. Before he died, the husband had arranged for a front porch to be added to the house as a suprise to his wife. Wonderful characters - Janie, the widow, her not so lovable mother Noreen, Janie's aunt and surrogate mother, Father Jake, some homeless people, and of course, the porch builder. The title is so fitting for the book - Shelter Me - has so many meanings in the novel. I very much recommend this book.

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: JK Rowling
Publication Date: 1997
Rating: 4
Notes: Just a re-read. There are so many little details in the book that the movie doesn't have.

Title: Where the Heart Leads
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Publication Date: 2008
Date Read: 2/18/09
Rating: 3
Notes: The story of Barnaby Adair and Penelope Ashford. Very likeable hero and heroine.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

Yesterday was Valentines Day, and I managed to get cards made and mailed even though I've been deathly sick for like forever. I can't begin to tell you how many boxes of tissues I've gone through.

Last Saturday, I was feeling pretty decent, and went over to my friend Judi's to do some stamping. I got the cards made for the kids. My three nieces - Hannah, Sydney and Sarah - and my parents got the heart card. The base in Chocolate chip. The hearts were stamped with white ink on Baja Breeze, Pink Pirouette, and Riding Hood Red and then cut out. The heart stamp was Judi's, so I don't know what set it is from. The Be Mine greeting from Have a Heart was stamped on vanilla and a Pink Pirouette scallop border was added.

The two boys, Dylan and nephew Matthew got the truck card. The base in Riding Hood Red. And the other colors are Vanilla, Chocolate Chip and Baja Breeze. Nothing girly for the boys, even if the big pile of hearts in the back of the truck might be mushy.

Yesterday morning was the first time I had any energy to make cards for Tim and my friend Judi ( I can't send her a card that I made at her kitchen table). Thankfully Tim slept in long enough for me to be creative.I used a So Saffron base with Chocolate Chip and Ruby Red. The stamp set is Just B, which I had to mount, which took more time. The card looks kinda flat in the picture, but along the bottom of the Chocolate Chip layer I punched a line of holes - to match the dots along the letter B and the bee's trail. The little bee is cut out and mounted with a pop dot. For Christmas, my SIL Kirsten gave me a little mini heart muffin tin. So Thursday night I made Tim these little chocolate chip cheesecakes. They turned out delicious, but the whole effort was exhausting and I won't be messing with tiny, fussy, little cheesecakes for a long time. Tim's best Valentine present to me was cooking and cleaning and taking such great care of me while I've been sick - thank you honey.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Book 9: my favorite midlife crisis (yet)

Title: my favorite midlife crisis (yet)
Author: Toby Devens
Date: 2/3/09
Copyright Date: 2006
Rating: 3
Notes: Chick lit for the middle age. It has great characters - Gwyn, Kat, and Fleur - who through their friendship get through divorce (he's gay), widowhood, and finding a husband when you're fifty and overweight. All the women are strong and intelligent. There are a few wacky supporting characters and a few dramas. But it all works out in the end.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Humans Christmas

The cats had a good Christmas with their felt mice, but Tim and I had a nice Christmas too. We each had a gift in out stocking which we opened on Christmas Eve. After the gifts we went to church - I love singing the holiday carols and the candle lights on the steps of the Church. For dinner we made fondue which didn't turn out so well, so we'll have to work on the recipe. Tim gave me a beautiful silver cross and I gave hi a pair of bike socks.

This page uses a Chocolate Chip cardstock for the background and a Old Olive square for the pictures. I traced the scallops from some packaging and cut them by hand. The pattern paper is Basic Grey Fruitcake and mounted on a piece of gold paper. The title is from a CM vellum pack and mounted on a Basic grey tag and attached to the page with Old Olive ribbon. The chipboard swirls are Fancy Pants Design and brushed with gold ink. The journaling strips and scallop circle are Bashful Blue with gold dots. And the little birdie I cut with my Big Shot out of Ruby Red. If you click on the photo you can make it larger and see all the gold details.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Book 8: The Rest of Her Life

Title: The Rest of Her Life
Author: Laura Moriarty
Date: 1/28/09
Copyright Date: 2007
Rating: 4
Notes: I received my copy of this book from Jennifer, the Book Club Girl at It took me awhile to get going with this book because it reminded me so much of We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. In both of these books a tragedy occurs in a family and we hear about it from the mothers point of view. In both books the mothers feel that they haven't bonded with their first born child and their husbands don't understand. I enjoyed this book more than Kevin because it wasn't as bleak and desperate. The ending here is much more clear and positive than the ending of Kevin. I'd recommend both books, but maybe not one after the other.

Book 7: Roadie

Title: Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer
Author: Jamie Smith; illustrated by Jef Mallett
Date: 1/2009
Copyright Date: 2008
Rating: 3
Notes: This was Tim's Christmas present from one of my brothers and his family. It's a very humerous look at the people who race bicycles. It focuses on roadies - people who ride on the road - but most of it is true for mountain bikers as well (which is what Tim does). It's the kind of book to hand people when they ask stupid questions about bike riding.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Cats Christmas

The boys had a good Christmas this year. We gave each of them a felt mouse with cat nip in it. It took about 2 weeks for them to demolish the first one. The other two are still being played with and hidden.

For this layout I started with a Whisper White background. The wallet sized pictures are on Baja Breeze card stock. The pattern paper is SU's designer series Holiday Happenings. There are a couple of K & Co. stickers next to the photos, the title is a sticker from American Traditional and the parenthesis are Foof-a-la rubons. The little felt mouse with the pink ribbon tail, I made myself.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Book 6: The Darcys and the Bingleys

Title: The Darcys and the Bingleys
Author: Marsha Altman
Date: 1/24/09
Pub. Date: 2008
Rating: 4
Notes: A very humorous and very well written continuation of Pride and Prejudice. There were several mad tangents to the story which is so very Jane Austinish. I loved how the author wrapped up the lives of the remaining sisters and even made Carolyn Bingley likable - or at least understandable.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Birthday Cards

During my marathon card making afternoon a few weeks ago I also made a bunch to be used during the year. If I show them to you now, do you promise to be surprised if you get one in the mail? I will be honest upfront and tell you that I got the ideas for both of these cards from It's the best place to get stamping and scrapping ideas.

This first card uses SU's Fabulous Flowers stamp set, that I borrowed from my friend Judi. I made a square base card with Whisper White and added layers in Wild Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie and Soft Sky. The flower image is stamped in Pumpkin Pie and the greeting is stamped in Bashful Blue. I added a little Wasabi ribbon for embellishment. I love the colors of this one.

The next card is a little bolder with Basic Black and Real Red on Whisper White . The little owl is from an
Inkadinkado set called Birds Galore and I stamped him in Basic Black. Be sure to click on the picture to see the detail - I put little rhinestones on his feathers. Tedious, but stunning. The greeting is stamped on a tag and tied on with a little red ribbon. There is even a little red eyelet to tie the ribbon through. A few extra rhinestones at the bottom finished it off.