Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year My Friends!

my dog Willow smirking and perplexed at all the snow...

Willow finally getting used to the snow and watching the little birds in our yard...

Much love to you at Christmas and hoping you are dry, warm and happy...
Blessings, Joy and Peace!
Amber XXOO

{to the best of my knowledge, above vintage images are all copyright free} 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

23 year Anniversary and The greatest ideas from Blogland...

My Hubby and I celebrated our 23 yr. Anniversary on Sunday. He gave me a sweet heart necklace that I really loved, took me out to dinner and a movie while my daughter watched the boys for know, I'm glad he's the one I get to share my life with :)

We've been in our home just over a year now and last year I baked cookies and took them around to our neighbors at Christmas time. It was so fun and we got such a warm happy response that I will be doing it again this year. The Melted Snowman recipe below is one I came across that made me chuckle and that I want to bake for the families with young kids on my block. I can't wait to make them...

Another Super cool find to check out in Blog-o-sphere land     Art Wall Online is a virtual display space created to exhibit the artwork of independent artists. The pieces are showcased in the form of an “Art Wall,” — an arrangement of artwork placed on a virtual wall. Each one is curated by proprietor Katie Stephenson. Everything is either made by hand or is a print of handmade work and is priced between $5 and $500. Art Wall is not a shop, but a curated gallery. 

What a fun idea...XXOO!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holidaze are here!! Hip Hip Hooray for a Give Away!

Mary Beth Shaw is a mixed media artist, a teacher, a sometime designer, a writer, and a store owner who is generously giving away some wonderful stencils and Wood icing to not only 3 but to 4 lucky winners! I had to share with you , because I know my heart skipped a beat at the chance of winning!

Prize 1 - Set #1 of my new baby stencils
Prize 2 - Set #2 of my baby stencils
Prize 3 - Both of the clear stamps
Grand Prize - Container of Wood Icing and a set of large stencils. 
video demo of products @ Stencil Girl Products

Creative hugs!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

wordle...quite fun really and Holiday inspirations

Wordle: Untitled
Wordle: The Season

 Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.  You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. 

The two examples are the ones I did just for fun to try it out, but I think it could even be used to make project flyers or help with the kids homework assignments.
Also if you click on the link above it will take you to a post about some delightful online magazines...
I love finding little bits of inspiration all through the blogosphere... Here is one  of my own suggestions; 
Very cool and creative online publication  gifted-magazine

Hope this day finds you well!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

festive looking visitors

We had some beautiful backyard visitors after a snowy winter storm today. The birds perched on the branches of our juniper trees and looked for the berries that were hidden beneath the blanket of white soft fluff. The robins look so Christmas-y and dressed for the season...all they need is a top hat to complete their attire :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

a brief Interlude~but I am back and the more Thankful

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving started out as any other normal day of preparations...looking forward to the coming holiday, planning the menu and cleaning...then BAM I unexpectedly ended up in the emergency room.
They are still trying to sort through what the cause was but I had all the symptoms of a heart attack. Severe indigestion, radiating pain, etc. and after scaring me to death, it was determined that it was NOT a heart attack even though I had an abnormal ekg...I still think it was an acute case of indigestion but they think I should follow up with an evaluation, so OK I will, just to be sure. I don't have any predetermining factors against me, so I feel fairly confident about this...

But it did shake me up to say the least. So yes, this Thanksgiving has a new meaning for me. A time to re-evaluate and truly be thankful for the blessings that I have...

My family of course, the most precious sweet people I could ever imagine sharing my life with...
The things I use every day to function; my heart, to love; my hands,to hold; my ears, to listen and hear; my eyes,to see the beauty...

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed every minute!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November challenge...Green paper

It's been a while since I've indulged in a challenge...I needed a break from my crazy schedule and decided to have a bit of "me time." 
I played around with Mary Green's  images from her November challenge and came up with something just for fun...
It reminds me of the Summer that we just left behind so I'm calling it "Memories of Summer"...

These are the original images
 and we were supposed to

create something, anything, using the images in the collage sheet at least part of each of the 3 images.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Digital them!

I'm not sure how long digital magazines have been around, but I've just recently discovered them.
They appeal to me on so many levels...they're eco-friendly & space saving/clutter free, to name just a few.
I was sipping my morning coffee and found this amazing issue by the talented Amy Powers and friends and let me tell you~ it is as the title says! You can't help but be inspired after browsing through this gorgeous issue... well at least I was :)

Inspired digital magazine Christmas issue     I hope you enjoy!

I'm working on trying to get the final pieces of my Etsy shoppe put together so I can open up (hopefully) at the beginning of next week...or sooner!
Hope everyone is enjoying their day :) TGIF

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hello November~welcome

October is said and done and November is inviting itself in for a visit.
It promises to mind its manners so I guess I will welcome it in...

The lovelies over at oh, hello friend are offering up their goodness in the form of a free desktop calendar for you. Click the link below 


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Autumn colors... basking in the warm fall sun

Crab apples, pears and papery evening primrose pods gathered from my back yard...
Balloons leftover from my son's birthday...

Yesterday we had a snow storm...and it sure was beautiful! This morning was only 25* so the warming sun and the highlighted hues of Autumn were a very welcome splash of color...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Free Pretty Things for You vintage images...DIY cupcake wrap tutorial link

Hello and Happy Tuesday! This wonderful and clever link from Free Pretty Things for You,  popped up in my inbox and I just had to share : )
                                                                            Hope you have a great day!

cupcake wrapper tutorial

Thursday, October 14, 2010

elegant pumpkin, beautiful pumpkin, yummy pumpkin

I'm in that pumpkin kind of mood...
There is something so appealing about pumpkins. From a design point of view; the different shapes, sizes colors and funky textures. Then from a foodie perspective there is the taste, oh the taste and the different ways to use pumpkin in the kitchen...whether it is savory or sweet, its up to you.
I didn't even touch on pumpkin carving...

I have found a few delicious and delightful ways to use pumpkins this season...enjoy!

                         Katie Grace Designs mason-jar-pumpkin-trifle  tutorial

                                          ozma of odds paper-pumpkin
You will fin the most delightful tutorial on how she made all this scrumptious whimsy on her blog... 

My recipe for:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

Cream until Fluffy…
1 C. butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. Vanilla

Combine separately…
2 C flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg

15 oz. canned or freshly cooked pumpkin
2 C chocolate chips

Alternately add dry ingredients and pumpkin to the butter mix. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread dough into greased 9X13” pan. Bake at 350* about 40 minutes.
Slice when cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.

Monday, October 11, 2010

caramel corn popcorn balls

3/4 c honey
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 water
1 tsp. salt
2 tbl. real butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the sugars, salt, honey and water in heavy bottom saucepan. Place over med-low heat, stirring until mixture boils. 
Add butter and stir until mixture begins to thicken. Cook until the firm ball stage or until the mixture holds together when dropped into cold water. Add vanilla and stir.
 Pour over freshly popped popcorn and form into balls with buttered hands.

I think next time I make this recipe I might use it for caramel corn and add peanuts and other add-ins for a "Cracker Jack" like effect...can't wait to try it out :0)

Friday, October 8, 2010

a friend in need ...a friend in deed or is that indeed ??!

It seems that lately every time I want to sit down at the computer and have a little "me" time, I am interrupted by something, or one of the kids needs my attention...admittedly I often times like a little distraction, but when I am wanting to have a little time to put my thoughts together I like to be left to my own...So hopefully with no further ado, I can finally post what I had planned sharing a few days ago...
First hit my Facebook link above to watch the turtle video that I posted on my FB page... I think it's less than 2 min. long and then come right back~I'll wait for you... OK, are you back?

As I posted that amazing video, I wondered at how often I was like the turtle who was there to lend a helping hand (or in this case a flipper LOL) to her friend and give her a push...
On the other hand, I asked myself how many times I ended up like the turtle on her back that needed the help of a friend , who sometimes gets herself into a jam and can't find the proper way out of it on her own...and who needed that little push from a kind friend to get back on her feet.
I truly strive to be the type of person who more often is the one who offers to help than the one who is stranded and needs the help...
As I continued to watch  and wonder at the simplicity yet the magnitude of such a simple act of helping a friend in reminded me of "pay it forward"...I just love that idea!!!
Here's to having a great day... Wishing you well!

I have been working on my new Etsy shoppe and hope to have that up and running soon...I will give you updates and keep you posted.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

DIY inspiration and fun links for fall

I always love to find new, fun DIY sites to peruse and I will try to share with you the ones I think are worth sharing...These pom pom flowers I found delightful! Not sure when I'll be making them but  I especially loved the idea of using them as package

Also Sweet Paul has just released his Fall Issue  which has delightful fall recipes as well as fun the page on mushroom prints and the recipe for apple butter.

Hope everyone is having a happy-sunshiny Autumn day!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

camping...goodbye to Summer

This is the life!

Our palace by the lake
Bald Eagle stopping by our campsite

inside tent roof 
So we we finally got in a tent camping trip before the close of summer...the daytime temps were sunny and warm but the nights, oh the nights nearly froze your nose right off.   It was at an altitude of 6600 ft...listening to hoot owls at night at getting to spot a bald eagle during the day...way cool!

We hadn't been tent camping in a while...and
I forgot how much I had grown to appreciate the conveniences of civilized not having to ration water and washing my hands where-ever and when-ever I time I will be packing an x-tra large bottle of hand sanitizer!!!
Also can't forget about the basic necessity of flush toilets ( a given on any womans list,)  and not having to check to see if there are any critters in the corners before tinkling...(My daughter found a mouse scurrying around and I found a huge spider... eeew!)  what I can say, I will never underestimate this again.

But all in all the good outweighed the bad by far...

I just loved having the sky so crystal clear at night that it looked like a bizzillion stars showed up to toast marshmallows with us and tell campfire stories. So after all it was a great send off to the last few beautiful days that Summer offered...
So we were we packed up and headed home with a smile and glad to be back home...Then the boys started school and the rains began...Hello Fall!

Over at designing dna they have a delightful post about Gypsy caravans that you just can't miss...Go check it that's what I call camping!

gypsy caravans