Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It’s been a long time since we’ve been to Disney [or anywhere!] with a seven year old...

and it was fun. 
Some of you know that we spent last week in Florida with my brother, 
sweet sister-in-law , and their little one… 
And this post will share some highlights – 
Warning: it is photo heavy.
Day 1: Travel – we flew; they drove. 
Y’all, I’m just not the best car passenger and my sweetheart and I have finally figured out that if we can avoid long car trips my anxiety will be better. 
It was nice to trade snow for sunshine and WIND. Ha.

My super-shopper had finagled our tickets so that we had a couple of extra days in the parks for only $30 so we headed to Hollywood Studios and enjoyed a few things, including a meal at Fifties Prime Time [a first for us – thumbs up.] 
We also took the time to watch Beauty and the Beast – something we haven’t done in years, and it was just as good as we remembered. 
[And of course my sweetheart rode tower of terror a few times…]
Days 2 and 3: LEGOLAND Florida with the little one. 
Who knew there were Lego characters? 
MK knew – and she LOVED them. 
It was so fun to see her eyes light up as she interacted with them.
There were so many fun things to do – all made out of Lego bricks! 
The horsenado!
 Merlin's roller coaster!
And so much more! 

There were even lego bricks floating in the pool!
[photo cred: mom]   

It was a nice [not so] little park to start off with -
Day 4: They headed to Universal for some time with Harry 
while we had a lazy start to our day and spent the evening at Epcot… 
 We had dinner in England – fish and chips and bangers and mash – both delicious! 
And we ended our day watching the magic kingdom fireworks 
from our off-site room. Fun!
Day 6: Animal Kingdom.  
A bust. 

The rain was horrible – everyone was tired and the little one was DONE. 
[See her behind us - ]

 We saw these beautiful macaws, rode dinosaur, and walked a bit … 

then Donald saved the day at lunch as MK shared over and over how much she enjoyed seeing him get stuck in the wall during the Mickey’s Philharmonic show.  
 It was fun to see Mickey ready for a safari too - 
After lunch we watched The Lion King [always a favorite!] and called it a day.  
I think we all needed a break to just relax a bit.
Days 5 and 7: Magic Kingdom. SO FUN. 
The first day was a little rainy so there were no crowds at all 
and we enjoyed all of our favorite places. 
Loved seeing MK enjoy Dumbo, giggle through Mickey’s Philharmonic, decide just exactly where we would each sit to ride Pooh the second [or third?] time…
And we especially loved hearing her interact with Ariel [her favorite princess] –
 “Oooo, Ariel – your fin is so glittery… then wrapping Ariel’s hair around her finger… 
your hair is beautiful – how do you get it so curly?"
And she LOVED meeting Pooh during lunch! 
And Tigger and Piglet and Eeyore too!
We did too - 
 I hope we never grow up!
 We watched a couple of parades while we were out and about - 
something we haven't done for years... 
The colors were bright and fun!  

One of the best things was when we found ourselves standing inside 
the circle of fireworks by the carrousel.  
They started while we were on It's a Small World 
[it sounded like they were exploding off the roof!]
So we rushed out to see them - 
I think it is the best place to really EXPERIENCE them!
Speaking of fireworks --
BEST MOMENT NOT RECORDED ON FILM: MK sitting in Craig’s lap watching the 
 magic kingdom fireworks from our room on property…  
Saying in her softest voice, “Look at that one…” ‘Beautiful,” 
“Oh my gosh, look…” "So pretty..."
Day 8: Up bright and early to pack for home 
[it was neat to see two monorails parked at our hotel.] 
We had a luau breakfast with Lilo and Stitch before we headed home. 
And y’all know our girl loves a luau. 
It was a  wonderful end to a magical adventure. 
Much thanks to my brother and sis-law for letting us tag along! 
Thanks for putting up with my bossy schedule [and snoring – 
I may need to explore the possibility of the c-pap afterall…
I'll always remember that sweet sleepy voice, 
"Aunt Judy - please stop making that noise..."]
Y'all know we love Disney -
but the best thing about this trip was just
having the time to talk and share and really BE together. 
Good times - 
Go here to see more photos and hear MK's take on the trip - 

Monday, February 1, 2016

I’ve been playing around with the idea

of doing some phone covers with my art for a while now…

[painted last year,
inspired by Mindy Lacefield]
The most obvious way would be to buy a clear phone cover and insert my art inside… 
but y’all  know I’m cheap  frugal so I needed something
 even less expensive than that…

And my sweetheart, the super shopper that he is, 
came to my rescue – he found these cute little snap-on covers at a deep discount store!

I think they’re pretty cute like they are – 
especially this one!
But I wanted to use some of my own stuff...
 So, I gave it a try...

[Inspired by Sunny Carvalho]

I’ve loved adding my own art to them! 
I just printed out my art [after sizing it to fit] 
and decoupaged it on – 
I added the matching paint to the edges… 
then put a clear seal over the top.
Oooooo, now I have all kinds of ideas!

Friday, January 29, 2016

I have some more faith based pages

to share...
 This first one is from sermon notes during the Christmas season and is placed on pages between the Old and New Testaments...
Tips: I take notes at church and work on the 'layout' of the piece afterwards. 
I don't like the way my brush lettering looks, so I print it on the computer and stick it under the page and trace, then paint or color in....
This one is drawn freestyle - inspired by a beautiful stamp that is available..
I used some of the words from the song, Mary Did You Know? by Mark Lowery. 
Old sermon notes that I re-visited with art...
And these last two were inspired by some of the beautiful faith art I'm seeing on 
the Bible Journaling facebook group.
[This one is notes from the Women of Faith conference I attended in November...]
I love to see what everyone does, but I don't want to use bulky materials [like stickers and other embellishments] in my Bible [I use those in my art journals, for sure!] so I try to create the LOOK of those things with water colors, colored pencils, and markers...
But, I use anything in my art journals!
 I hope this inspires you too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I revisited a favorite recipe

during Christmas... 
Here's what I did: 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 3-inch circles on the parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat 4 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in 1 1/4 cups sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in  1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 
and  2 teaspoons cornstarch. 
Spoon mixture inside the circles drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edges slightly. 
This should leave a slight depression in the center.
 Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: I really should have done my tried and true recipe from years past and baked at 250* for an hour and then left them in the oven overnight....
Thy would have been white as clouds... instead of the slight brown color I got...
After a great suggestion from a sweet friend I made lemon curd with the leftover egg yolks.
OMGoodness, y'all. This was delicious.
Recipe here.
 We all served ourselves with the following toppings: lemon curd, [of course!!] sliced strawberries, sliced kiwi, and whipped cream [from a refrigerated can. ha.]  
I don't know why I let years go by without making this...
It used to be a staple that I would take to my family reunions each summer... in those days I made one big pavlova and spread cool whip in the center, 
then topped with sliced strawberries and fresh blueberries. 
Very summer-y - and refreshing and delicious! 
Let me know if you like it!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Right Here - RIght Now

January 21, 2016

I came upstairs and KittyLou had 
gathered all of her toys into a pile in the hallway...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

We made another little giftie

for Christmas this past year...
Log Trivets.
 I've been seeing them all over the Internets for a while now... 
Used to hold hot pots or pans... as 'chargers' underneath plates... 
and even as serving platters... 
And you can even buy them at Target now....
So when we were in Gatlinburg last January 
we picked up a couple of old logs that had fallen as we drove through Cade's Cove... 
We knew it would make a special gift for Craig's sweet mother since she has so many wonderful memories of the area... 
Craig cut the slices about 2 inches thick with a little chain saw, 
then sanded them down nicely. 

[photo: finished]
He then rubbed a couple of coats of wax on top.
I love how they turned out 
and I know I'll be using them in lots of different ways throughout the year!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Okay. I'm going to be a little more intentional

in sharing some of my faith based art / Bible journaling throughout 2016 -
Here's some things  I've done during the past few weeks --
Have I shared this one already?
The first part [top] was done a year or so ago a during my monthly breakfast club... and then the bottom part was added during my classes with 
Shanna Noel of Illustrated Faith in New Orleans. 
This is part of my Grateful Journal that I did during November...
And these are sermon notes in my Bible from long ago that I went back and added an illustration and 'title' to [words from the Bill Gaither song: It is Finished.]
More recent sermon notes...
and more...
You can see that I often pull out a thought that is most meaningful to me...
And more often than not, a song comes to mind...
And one more of old sermon notes 
[remember, I bought this little wide margin Bible several years ago so I could put my notes right in my Bible instead of on the 'listening guide'...
I went back and highlighted a bit with water color and rub-on flowers...
There's really no RIGHT or WRONG way to Journal your faith -- 
It's more about spending time with the Lord as you let your creativity flow....