Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hey y'all - I was tagged

 in the scrap booking blog hop fun that's making the rounds on the internets...
 Here goes!

1. What am I working on right now? Seriously - I've been dissecting albums and putting the pages in NEW [American Crafts] albums that are centered on people we love, things we do, places we go, and all about us, naturally [a - la Stacy Julian and Library of Memories -] It is SO MUCH easier to find a photo this way - MUCH easier than trying to remember what year it was taken ---
2. How long does it take me to create a project? A layout? I can do that in as little as 15 minutes or I may take as long as several days - just depends... but I'm mostly a quick scrapper - I use kits that have everything coordinated for me to use -- 
3. What are my favorite things to create with at the moment? My kits from Noel Mignon, hands down. [Take a look at her stuff HERE -]
4. How does my writing/creating process work? I almost always start with photos - usually more than I will use in the finished layout - I crop and combine them into a sensible [to me!] pattern and then add the patterned paper and embellishments around them -
5. How do I become inspired and stay inspired? I enjoy seeing other people's layouts - but, honestly, most of mine are based on magazine advertisements [I like that clean, graphic style -]
6. What is my signature style? I notice trends in my stuff from time to time - I had a 'circle' period where I used GIANT circles on just about every page... and I've had a 'multiple tag' period where I'd gather a bunch of tags together and journal over all of them... currently, I think I'm in a  banner period - I just can't get enough of banners - all shapes and sizes... I love to use patterned paper as my background paper, and I'm loving these giant instagrm prints from costco --  But mostly, I think my pages are pretty clean with graphic lines that let the photos shine -- 

Now to tag some friends - Viji - Kathy - and Cindy - come on, girls - get your blogs updated and show us what you've been working on!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's FINALLY beginning to feel like fall

here in North Alabama -- 
My favorite time of year -- We LOVE camping in the fall - 
and hanging around a campfire 
making s'mores
We still have warm days [in the 80*s,] 
but we're beginning to have some awesome cooler nights ---
 I enjoyed doing Bible Study by the light of a lantern 
while Craig was watching a ball game.
[Hey! I never said we 'roughed' it!]
 And we love cooking hobo meals 
in foil packets placed in the coals of hot [HOT!!] fire -
These photos are from a couple of weeks ago [have I shared them already?!]
We camped at one of our favorite campgrounds [DavID Crockett] and just enjoyed a relaxing time together - had a quick visit with a sweet cousin of mine who has recently fully embraced the camping lifestyle - wish I'd realized we were in the same place sooner!
[See, I told you --- no roughing it here -
Our little RV - just big enough for the two of us -]
This weekend we camped a little closer to home - 
at a great campground up on Monte Sano!
It was fun to get away with friends and 
enjoy dinner together on Friday evening - 
[Thanks for the photo Doris -
but we should have got one with ALL of us in it!!]
More friends joined us for hobo meals 
[we love them, what can I say?!?] on Saturday night.
We should have taken a  photo then too!!!
Great place to camp, with wonderful trails to hike, etc.
But there was a problem -
The cell service was sketchy -- 
As in, run-the-battery-down-hunting-for-a-signal sketchy -
And sad to say... we've just got to be connected --
Soooo - I'm not sure if we'll be back, 
even if it is just 20 minutes or so from our house...

Monday, September 22, 2014

We still have lots of tomatoes -

I actually froze a batch or two last week before they spoiled...
But we know it's winding down.
Our local farmer's market will only be open for a few more weeks...
During a recent visit we bought a cantaloupe [still not good --],  a butternut squash [? - I obviously over-cooked it], green beans, okra, and of course those delicious cinnamon rolls.
But since Craig only eats one , it's really better all 'round if we just buy two individually -- 
 So one evening I got busy prepping the okra - I just give it a good rinse and slice it directly into a pie plate of corn meal, give it a good toss 
and then pan fry it in batches on top of the stove.
Before I got started on that I prepared a macaroni and cheese from the family cookbook 
[I'm thinking I need to scan this in for the younger generations!]
and popped it into the oven, and had the green beans cooking with some bacon...
 We served it up with fresh tomatoes from the garden
[I have LOVED having the tomato plants right outside the back door!!]
And I've really enjoyed cooking a meal or two each week that is 
fresh / local with no preservatives -
Good stuff.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Favorite Photo Friday

Celebrating our 31st anniversary with a doughnut dinner at Krispy Kreme - 
- because we're crazy like that - 
We don't eat them regularly 
[so sweet - oh my!]
And I still cannot walk into the place without thinking of my 8 year old self 
[maybe ten?] 
going in with Uncle Elton after church one evening 
and thinking I was in doughnut heaven - 
[Still looks just the same - ]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm in a little [?] group over on facebook

called Journaling Bible Community - 
And here's my thoughts - 
I actually bought this wide margin Bible a few years ago to take to church 
so I could write sermon notes in it 
[instead of the little pages they give us each week - which inevitably get lost...] 
And I've always been a bit of doodler - highlighter, etc 
So this works for me.
[I still use my Life Application Study Bible for Bible Study...]
 My [self-imposed] guidelines are:
1. Limited / or no writing / creating over the scripture
2. Art should be added to highlight a scripture / sermon, etc 
[No art just for art's sake -]
3.Use only colored pencils and ink 
[no bulking up the pages with other supplies - 
this is NOT a scrapbook or an art journal for me.
But there's really no rules to scripture journaling / art journaling 
and there's lots of really beautiful stuff going on over in the group - 
Some really fabulous stuff -
 For me? 
I'm keeping it simple - just want to highlight my thoughts from the scripture - 
- Come on over and join in if you think it's a good fit for you -

Monday, September 15, 2014

Just a quick update --

[It's been a while...]
August was a cRaZy month for me - two weeks of training 
[in Montgomery, a not-so-favorite city of mine]
- one where I was so sick I hardly had a voice, plus regular county visits / record reviews...teaching a class at the University of Alabama, 
and a couple of 'fun' [demanding / high profile] special assignments... 
but I do love my job. Seriously.
I just need things to slow down a bit -
We've also attended three funerals in the last two months - 
all sweet celebrations of lives lived well.
But the thing is - I developed this sinus infection and was also sick for the last five weeks -- Didn't have time to get to the doctor until I finally crashed this week - 
I'm feeling so much better now!
[Don't you love Marmalady's freckles on her nose?!] 
Here's the deal - we enjoy life.
Even in the midst of CrAzY busy schedules 
we intentionally make the time to relax or do something fun. 
[And we've tried to do this through the years - 
even when there was no extra money in the budget to do it...
it might've just been a picnic at the park, a hike up on the mountain, 
or flying kites together after church. 
Or even having dinner out on the deck - 
one of my favorite memories is the evening we spent 
passing a stick around to each person to share a little after dinner outside...]
Sooo.... one of Craig's favorite things to do in the fall 
is to find local fairs that have a demolition derby [ours doesn't.] And I've been known to root for a favorite or two as well - ha. Of course, there's always fair food...
But this year I didn't eat ONE thing - must have been that sinus infection.
We are also intentionally making the time to get out and camp a bit more - we enjoy being away, even though we stay well-connected [ha] - It's just nice to relax around a campfire with no deadlines or projects to complete. 
[Back in the day we camped almost monthly with our boys -]
Emma and I got up early one morning and worked on my Bible Study homework - 
It was cool enough for both of us to have on a  jacket... and it looks like we both have 
the 'ole ''wild eyes'' gene too - LOL.
We also enjoyed a s'more or two...
And hobo meals of course.
That's it for now - I'll leave you with sweet Pawley sitting in the window. 
We spent some 'quality' time together this afternoon sitting in the hammock together while Craig planted the oak leaf hydrangea I got for my birthday.
[Hope it lives - it's survival of the fittest 'round these parts - ha.]

Friday, August 29, 2014

Well, that was fun --

I had an entire blog post completed 
[with photos! - And THAT always takes the longest for me - ] 
and then,
It was gone 
[even after saving it, scheduled to post, for over a week -]
That's fun. - Ha.
Sooooo, since I really want to share with you all my updated studio space, 
I guess I'll start over ---  
Y'all know I always say my space is ever-evolving, according to how I create - 
and what I'm focusing on at the time -- 
Well a few months ago I went to a several weekend retreats 
and crops and got lazy 
and didn't put things away when I got home...

Do you do this too?
It was a mess...

There was stuff everywhere!
 In the floor - 
stacked on the futon...
All over the desk[s] where I create -
-all over the floor -- It was awful.
 It ended up
So I knew it was time for a change.
I knew I wanted to replace the wire shelves and stacking bins with something a little more sturdy - so I armed my self with my trusty tape measure and got to work --- 
after a couple of thrift store stops I found this book shelf [a store display, I think] for $12!!!
I quickly measured my car and had them tuck it in for me...I needed help from my sweetie and the youngest to get it up the stairs.
Love that the stacking drawers fit in there, as well as a wire basket for books, and the train case and basket I got in the Bahamas for storage. I have a dividing file [for completed pages] on top along with the big shot and my cutting board [making memories]
LOVE that it fits nicely under my hanging shelf, and is the same height as my scrapbook desk [counter height] - since I measured it well and knew what I needed. 
To the right of that is my desk -  basically clean with my carry-on bag with fishing lure boxes inside to the left and ready to use [embellishments are sorted by color in the boxes], the stacking drawers  are on the shelf above / behind, and a basket to the right holds all my page kits [I'm LOVING my kit from Noel Mignon these days!] Above the drawers is a box of tags, a bowling bag for storage [$5, hello? with the ball that I gave away --] and my roladex scripture tags. I have shop light overhead for extra light.
Underneath I have bins with additional paper kits sorted by
 holiday and bags with mini albums supplies, etc. 
 On the right wall I have a shoe bag for favorite punches, a couple of bulletin boards and hanging files for ideas and my aprons from various events I've attended,
 Under the alcove is my ode to Disney - I have my first pair of mouse ears that I got in... hmmm.... 1967 or 68? And various other ears I've gotten throughout the years - including the year of a million dreams and fiftieth anniversary. I may [or may not] talk about it much - but we pretty much LOVE Disney. And we go at least every three years...
 Circling on around the room - I straightened up the book shelf and futon a bit and tucked this stool in a niche with another favorite train case [it carries my paint when I do art out / town] with a favorite painting on top. 
The next wall has the door to the hallway and my painting area tucked behind it -- it looks a little messy - but this is basically as clean as it gets. HA. My desk is a door on two filing cabinets covered with a cheap shower curtain [can be changed as needed.]
Things I LOVE - the ikea cart that I finally ordered on-line. I love that it has wheels and can be moved around as needed, I love that it holds so much more than I had there before - and, of course, I love the happy color!
I love the coke crate that I've had since I was a kid and am now using to hold my basic art supplies so that it's all portable and easy to use upstairs or down... I love the work-shop bins at the back of my desk that hold all the little bits of STUFF that makes mixed media fun... I love the screen behind that holds works in progress... I love the bike basket to the right that holds old book, handy to use...
To the right of that is the closet [I took off the doors and tucked them in the back for easy access, should we ever want to put them back on -] I have a computer desk in there with more shelving, I love the shoe boxes with drawers, the train case that holds my acrylic stamps, the ikea boxes... and of course, my old scrapbooks from high school and college. Fun. 
But THIS is probably my favorite area of all -- 
I know I've told y'all my sweetie is the BEST shopper ever! He found these lockers and brought them home for me [and we got them upstairs with help from the oldest - love my guys!] It replaces the huge computer cabinet with a ton more storage...
And then we picked up this little computer desk and book shelf [that my sweetie re-purposed to go vertical instead of horizontal] for $20!!! I put the last set of paper drawers underneath and the printer sets on top of that - I have a file holder from one of my first co-workers to the left of the screen and it holds a favorite piece of art that is a compilation of work from me and two sweet friends when we met in Chattanooga back in the spring - LOVE IT.
Overall, it's a much less cluttered space. I still have a few stacks of paintings that I need to sell and bags of stuff that needs to be put away [mostly layouts that need to be placed in albums - but I have a plan for those...
I'll share that with you soon -]
Hope you've enjoyed looking around my room a bit - I have some close-up photos I'll share in a day or two - until then, I'd love to see what your space looks like -

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I have LOTS of tomatoes and basil these days!

Moving my garden close to the back door -
In pots to keep the chipmunks OUT was a great decision!
Y'all know how I LOVE tomatoes!
And combined with basil - oh my!
 So I decided to make a tomato pie - another FAVORITE summer recipe of mine --
My quick recipe was given to me from a sweet co-worker 
who lives even further south than I do - 
 And it's super easy...
 Just spread a little mayo in the bottom of a pie crust, top with basil leaves 
[She lays her out in a pretty pattern - 
but I roll mine and clip into small shreds with my kitchen shears...] 
Then slice tomatoes on top of the basil
 [I did push most of the seeds out in hopes 
that it wouldn't be as drippy in the end...]
 And add shaved parmesan cheese -  
all over the top.
Bake about 30 minutes on 375* - 400* - 
I covered it with foil so the crust wouldn't burn...
[Note - I am NOT a food stylist -
 and I gave up 'perfection' about 27 years ago - ha.
But I DID garnish it with some fresh basil leaves 
and tomato 'chips' that I'd dehydrated a week or so ago - ]
While that was baking I whipped up some pesto 
[I have an abundance of basil at the moment -]
I use bottled garlic, walnuts, basil, and olive oil... 
Here's what it REALLY looks like before I turn on my little processor:
 I stuff it as FULL as possible with basil - 
then pulse it several times, until it looks something like this:
I add in a little olive oil between pulses, 
and also a bit of parmesan cheese...
Of course I use a little salt and pepper - 
and olive oil again until it's the consistency I want it to be --
 Again, a summer favorite of mine - I can eat it with pasta, 
or just on toasted Italian bread...
or just straight up by itself...
[I know I'm not typical.]
So that was done... and the tomato pie was still baking -
and I had pie crust left over --
Time for a quick apple tart -
I pulled out my favorite iron baking dish 
[I'm sure I've shared with y'all that it is hand-forged and belonged to my gr-gr-gr-grandmother - 
I love it 
 - and remember taking it to school in 2nd grade as a show and tell...] 
and got to work -
I pressed the dough into a flat circle and crinkling the edges just a bit - then I added sliced apples that had been brushed with a little lemon juice - 
and topped it with brown sugar and a bit of butter.
I put it in the oven with the tomato pie and baked until the apples were cooked through 
and the crust was nice and brown.
Again, delicious.
And none of this was much trouble at all.
The pesto freezes well if you don't want to eat it right away... 
And the pies...
well, I doubt there'll be any left to freeze.
I'd love to see what's cooking in your kitchen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Love you sweetie! 
So glad I have you as my partner 
and best friend to go through life with!