Jul 26, 2011

Food talk: 7-26

Funny how Monday's seem to fly by. It's likely because our Mondays are most peoples Sunday, it's our family/errands/laundry day. So, while I would like to keep my menu's on track for posting every Monday.... it rarely happens. Tuesday is fast becoming the new Monday. :)
Menu Outline for 7-25

Weekly Menu

Chicken Linguine w/ Pesto
Garden Salad

BLT Cobb Salad (w/ turkey bacon)
Grilled Naan Bread
melons with strawberry's & mint

Lemon & Herb Fish Cakes
Romaine Leafs with Salad Shrimp & Avocado
Honeydew melons

Grilled Strip Steak
Spinach Salad w/ strawberries, red onion, feta cheese and pan roasted sourdough croutons - poppy seed dressing
Roasted Baby Potatoes w/ herb spread

BBQ Chicken Salad (tomato, roasted corn, avocado, black beans, grilled chicken)
Berry Lemonade

I haven't thought of anything yet for Saturday's dinner. Sometimes when it gets this hot out, it's hard to be interested in food and we end up eating alot of salads and sandwiches. Things that are easy and light... and generally simple. While I was in Oregon, I found some of my grandmother's & great grandmother's hand written recipes that had been saved all these years. My grandmothers family is German, so a few of the recipes were for things like Sauerkraut Cake and lots of Sourdough recipes. I'm determined to find and recreate at least one of the recipes this week. :) Wish me luck and happy start to a good week!

Jul 22, 2011

it's Friday!

I'm home. Back to my tiny casa in the desert. We arrived home on Monday and I was just telling a friend today that I always go through a readjustment phase when I return home. I've cleaned, dusted, mopped, purchased a new vacuum cleaner, rearranged the furniture a couple of times, hung new/old artwork and reorganized my stuff again & again just for the sake of needing to get reacquainted with my space. Does anyone else do this?

While we were at my grandparents house I found a couple of milk glass dishes. I adore milk glass, I cluster different shapes and sizes together to organize my collections. The small dish type bowls are my fav, oh and the pedestal bowls too! I have a tray on my dresser for jewelry and another tray full in my craft room.

(I'll take some more detialed photos of my craft space as soon as I have some better lighting!)

I made my sister take me to one of her favorite antique stores in Florence where we came across someone's vintage bird collection as well as some nifty cameras. I walked away with 2 phesants, a vintage Kodak Brownie and this vinatge Revere movie camera. Cute isn't it! It still makes the noise of the old films when you turn the dial. :) It's the little things in life that make everday special and interesting!

Jul 15, 2011

scenes from the beach #2

I just discovered that the Safeway's in Florence has wifi. Woo-hoo! and a Starbucks, double woo-hoo! A few more photos of our trips to the beach. The kids are in love with sea shell searching and sea-gull chasing and making sand angels. Yep, those are my children. :) Just a few more days on the Oregon coast and we're home bound for Phoenix. Oh, and I have been taking videos of our vaca but trying to figure out how to upload them has proven a tad bit tricky. I knew I should have read the manual pre-trip! Have a splendid weekend!

Jul 11, 2011

summer journal idea:

I wanted to post last week, but forgot all about it! At the beginning of the year in Alaina's 1st grade class, her teacher handed out journals to each of the students. I believe that they had an allotted time each day to quietly write on their journals. It was so cute skimming through Alaina's journal at the end of her school year. She wrote about how much she loves her little brother, that she wants to be an artist when she grows up because "I'm really good at it," and about how much she and her dad love bacon..... the inner workings of a 6 year are quite humorous.

When Alaina asked me to make her a summer journal that she could take along with her on our trip, I starting thinking of an idea for what could be used to create the front and back cover of the journal. (It would have been easier to just use a compisition notebook but I really wanted something on a smaller scale. Pocket size or just a little larger.) I scoured my craft room looking for the right size chipboard to use as covers but didn't really find anything terribly useful...... until I saw a box of greeting cards!

A greeting card would make a perfect little journal! They're already folded and cute cards are readily available everywhere, but it's especially sweet if you can reuse a pretty card that was given to you. (Do you keep cards that you received? I always keep the pretty cards I receive for special occasions, I figure eventually I'll use them for something useful.

To start I trimmed down to size a small stack of graph paper and folded the sheets in the middle. Just use a couple of staples to hold the paper inside the card.

and no summer journal would be complete without a sheet of stickers. I used to be a sticker queen when I was little and I've obviously passed on the love to Alaina. (Chase too if you noticed his 4th of July flag below!)

There is my easy-peasy summer journal idea! Other add on ideas could be a sheet of printed titles, maybe add a roll of cute washi tape to hold paper notes, and a sheet or 2 of letter stickers. Hope you are able to make a few with you little ones and record those special summer memories!

Jul 8, 2011

scenes from the beach

thought I would pop in and share a few photos. We're hanging out at a McDonald's while I upload photos and the kids can play. It's my only option in this town for a good wifi connection. Beggers can't be choosers I suppose.

I took the kids to the beach for their first ocean experience a couple of days ago! You can tell my kids are tourists because they're clearly dressed for the snow instead of the beach. :) So beautiful but holy freezing Oregon coast!!

Tidal pools are always my favorite, and searching for sea shells. Alaina picked up a wee little hermit crab and screamed and complete terror. It's tough being a kid and growing up in the desert, we're so sheltered down there. Tomorrow will be another beach day for the kids. A sandy beach this time with no terrifying crustaceans!!

Jul 7, 2011

Paint Challenge

It's my turn again to post a challenge on the entreArtistes Magazine blog this month! I have been bitten by the paint bug, lately, when it comes to scrapbooking, so I knew I wanted to do a challenge that involved paint! So for my challenge, which is really simple, is to use paint to write your layout title.

I mixed together a few shades of acrylic paint in white/cream/sand shades. I like using lighter shade as my base. I tend to keep adding more layers of paint until I get the right consistency of texture and then I use spray paint. I love high contrast pages and it's hard to make a mistake with paint. Just remember you can always paint over something you don't feel belongs.

Oh and I also made a sketch! It's my first attempt at trying to make one on the computer rather than hand drawing one. I tried. :) Happy scrapbooking!

Jul 5, 2011

Guest Blogger: Jessica from Scrumdillydilly

hellooo from the road! Since I'll be away from my little craft space, I've scheduled a few scrapbook/craft posts over the next couple of weeks and I plan on actually uploading a couple of videos of our trip. (yep, you're going to get to hear my squeaking voice. :)) But first! I asked my talented friend Jessica, aka "Ms. Queen o'Crafts" if she would do the honors of being my first guest blogger. I thought it would be fun for everyone to see someone else on my blog for a change and I knew Jessica would put a great tutorial together!! Please say hello to Jessica for me!

Salutations folks! This is Jessica here from scrumdillydilly sharing a little eye candy that is completely, totally and utterly inspired by Tara and her mad paper skills. I absolutely cannot adore her crafty brain enough, can you?

I have a few birthdays coming up and wanted to present the birthday peoples with happy scrappy wee notebooks. Inspired in part by Tara and her mad layering skills and in part because one of the notebooks I picked up has a big blazing word on the front that will not do for a gift at all I decided to create a tiny log cabin "quilt" from paper scraps to add a mad dash of color to the front of each notebook.

I gathered up my paper bits, scissors and my trusty glue stick and began with a mini wonky square.

Next, I added a thin scrap of paper to one side of the square and continued on my merry way, cutting and gluing and gluing and cutting.

I used an index card as my base and added paper until I had no more index card to cover. I flipped the card over and trim excess bits and popped the whole thing into my sewing machine.

I used a medium straight stitch and stitched around the perimeter of the card and then all the way across in a series of rows as wide as the width of my sewing machine foot.

After smothering the back of the stitch-happy paper with double stick tape, I positioned my little bit of color to the front of each notebook and did a little happy dance (along with a wee bit of rootbeer float as it was hot out and I was celebrating).

I think I may be addicted but I am flat out of notebooks. You can whip up your own books with scrap paper, cardstock and staples or cover a series of mini composition books. If yer really brave, you can switch to fabric scraps and whip up itty-bitty log cabin squares for embellishing all sorts of crafty fun. I hope you enjoy my tiny take on Ms. Tara's magic and don't be stranger if you have any questions.

Jul 4, 2011

4th spectacular

Happy 4th of July!!! Time to wave our flags, be grateful for our independence and watch the fireworks! Hope everyone has a safe holiday!

happy 4th

my all time favorite rendition of our National Anthem. Nobody can sing it like Whitney!

Jul 2, 2011

inspired by: the 4th

We're celebrating the 4th here a little early this year and on Thursday I had a craft day for the kids and our favorite neighbor. I decided that we would try and make flags to hang and celebrate the holiday with. Any time I can let my kids create something and they get to use up those paper scraps (that pile up a mile high after each scrapbooking project) - is always a positive in my book!

In creating our flags, I gave the kids each an 8 x 10 piece of cardstock and a pair of scissors. I sat out my container of scrap paper, glues, stickers, rhinestones, ribbons, paper punches and flowers and encouraged the little artists to create their own unique flag.

Be prepared for a mess!

**helpful hint #326: Glue Dots and a stapler will be your child's best friends with this project. I always try to keep our craft time to right around an hour, anything that takes longer than an hour is not going to end well for small children. So, it's always helpful to look for short cuts when working with kids!**

It was Chases' first experience working with children's safety scissors. :) His paper did start of as an 8x10 sheet and got smaller as the hour went on.

flag art by: Chase

Alaina wanted to use a little of everything on the table!

flag art by: Alaina

our favorite little neighbor Shavonne just discovered my secret stash of scrapbook flowers!

flag art by: Shavonne

and finally my flag. I sewed all of my layers to a piece of linen. I love the flexibility of linen! If you're making these flags with kids, make sure you use cardstock as your glue will not stick properly to linen.

I don't have a large flag to hang in the front of the house but I think this littler one will be perfect for our front gate.

Happy 4th of July - crafty Saturday to everyone!!

Jul 1, 2011

summer time clothes

a small post this morning inspired by the ocean and sea shells.

summer shopping

My plan for today: packing! yikes - vacation time is almost upon us!

I also used a few of my photos as inspiration for the styleboard above. I'm totally in love with that lavender/coral color palette, so much so that I think I will use it as a guideline for what to pack for our trip. It seems very beachy and pretty at the same time! My own personal theory when it comes to choosing what to pack is to choose a color combo. This way you can mix and match your clothing choices and everything should still look good together. (that's the goal anyway, as I hope I don't end up looking like a crazy tourist from the desert! ;))

Can you tell I'm excited to be going to the ocean? I have an Inspired by: post coming up a little later today. It's a fun kid's craft!!