Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Shower Success!

I had Brandi's baby shower for her yesterday. It was a great success and I'm so relieved, considering there was a lot of tension leading up to this event. Being a step mom I often feel left out and taken for granted. Long story and I will bore you with all that some other time. She was very gracious yesterday and I'm glad I had added some special touches because I think she noticed them and appreciated them. I do love her very much and I am excited to be a Grandma. I only wish things could be different in our family. Maybe someday they will.....

It was great seeing all my family and friends. My little niece brought her beautiful baby daughter. She reminds me so much of a pixie doll. She is just so adorable! Those big 'o eyes!!
I wanted to share those special touches I did for the shower since I worked so hard on them and maybe someone else will want to try them for a future baby shower they may have.

I made a bird mobile. I got the templates from
Martha Stewart and printed them on scrapbook paper and cut them out and stamped them. They did turn out very cute but were more work than I thought they would be! Brandi asked me if she could have them so that made it all worth it! I also had taken a few photos and printed them on computer cloth and then sewed them to some of the onsies. I decorated the living room with the baby onsies, like a clothes line. Everyone really liked that! I even had a photo of Valentine on a onsie! I also took the Bess Truman Pudding recipe from my earlier post and multiplied it times 7 and made individual servings! I miscalculated how much to fill each cup and all of them overflowed into my oven! What a sugary mess that was!! (fortunately, it wiped right up while it was still hot) What was left in the cups still tasted good. I found some silicone bear cupcake holders and those worked great for the individual serving dishes and they were cheap too. Since Brandi is suppose to be having a boy, I found these candy coated chocolate chips and they made a perfect decoration. They are all in primary colors and look like little game pieces to me! I also found some individually wrapped "it's a boy" mints and put them into a pretty light blue glass container. She took that home as well. :)

On another note I got the most darling little purse from Karri from the Daily Be. It really made my week! Look at the cute little tag with her Etsy store name! I love it! Thank you Karri!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I love this short video. I feel like I've been nudging my own children to fly and this video just helps me to realize that I'm not wrong in doing so. I'm sending it to my husband in the hopes that he will realize that a PUSH is what is needed. He is the worst at not letting them grow up and stop being so dependant on us. I wish they all would soar and I would be much less fearful of the "fall". Enjoy the PUSH.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This came to me through e-mail but it is a very soothing presentation so I wanted to share it. Especially if you like photography!

How to get more Fonts for your computer

I had a large amount of fonts stored in my computer when it crashed a while back. I had to reload several that I like and thought it would be good knowledge to share with anyone that doesn't know how to do it. (I operate on Windows program.) Here are some examples of fonts that I downloaded from . As you can see, some of them are symbols. There are tons of things to choose from. It is fun to look at all of them. The names are actual titles of each font.
Here are the steps. Go to a site that offers free fonts. Here are a few that I have used but all of the above fonts were taken from dafont.
When you find a font you like you click the download button to extract the fonts to your PC. I choose to load all of mine on my desktop.
Step 2. Open the file on your desk top. Click extract and type in C:\windows\fonts and hit next. It's that simple! Once I store them into fonts I delete the files off my desktop.
The fonts will usually say "for personal use only" but not all of them. It works out good for me since I take senior pictures for free I use the different fonts to add text the kids would like. Hope this helps someone. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Total Funk

Today is a beautiful day. The breeze is blowing, the sun is shining, and I'm not working so I'm able to enjoy it. Everything is so green too! Honestly, today feels like a "fall" day, it's just so very nice outside. And here I am inside in a funk!

I don't know why exactly, there are a ton of little things on my mind right now, some of them bugging me more than others. I'm sure I will get over it. Just feeling tired and overwhelmed with "stuff". Such is life, I guess. On second thought, I just need to go OUTSIDE and clear my mind for more beautiful thinking!!

"The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind"
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Monday, August 17, 2009

What a "charming" weekend!

I worked really hard this weekend on making charms & jewelry for the craft show in November. It is really difficult to determine how much to have at the show since it will be my first. I got a good start but still have lots of work ahead of me. I guess whatever I don't sell will force me to do an Etsy store, one of my long time goals, that I've yet to accomplish.

I made 110 of these Christmas charms so far. I still need to solder them.

I have hours of soldering work to do as I also have a bunch of ear rings ready to solder and put together as well. (I keep making ear rings but then I keep giving them away, guess I need to quit that!) I only have 3 pair ready to sell so far!

I really like how these grungeboard charms have turned out. I added some beads to dress some of them up a bit.

This is a bracelet I linked together.

I have been using up some of my auction finds by attaching charms to the vintage pearl necklaces.
I also took this little wooden pig that was in a box of "junk" from an auction and I made it some wings. Just playing around but he is alittle cutie. I will take him to the sell too. That will make it more interesting to see if piggy will find a home or not.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

The JOYS of children-Day 5 of Daily Be's Daily Joy photojournal week!

This is my youngest. He is 20. It's a real JOY to see him smiling as he really doesn't do it as much as I'd like. My hubby and him rode around on bikes for a few minutes and I could see the sweet child in him once again.

All my kids are grown now. I met my husband and married him when my own son was 6 years old. He had 2 children that were 5 and 2. (James, here, was that 2 year old). They all lived with us full time, almost like a "normal" family. That seems like a lifetime ago now. Divorce is so hard on people. I came from divorced parents and even as an adult there are always issues that arise because of my parents not being together. Especially around holidays...those are especially difficult to organize.

It's been a challenge, merging our two families. I thought we did a pretty good job up until the two younger ones became teenagers. Those were VERY rough years that I wouldn't wish on anyone!! It was truly by the grace of God that we are even still together and even now all the pieces do not always fit right. All my kids have issues and my husband and I just can't help but worry about them. It's hard to let go and LET GOD and just pray that they come to some sort of understanding and common sense and that they will let God back into their lives. I'm sure my oldest son has a drinking problem. It all started in college and got worse when him and his girlfriend split up. He is at least holding down a job but I wish he would start seeing the world in a more sober perspective. I still see so much potential in him. My step-daughter is pregnant, living with a man and unable to pay her bills because of all the poor choices she has made. The repo guy came along the other night looking for her car at our house. My hubs and I disagree on "helping" as he wants to foot the bill to keep her from losing her car and I think she is on her own and her and this fellow should figure it out. So far, us helping has only taught her that we will pick up the tab no matter what. I get frustrated with the whole deal and then it sure doesn't help that her and I do not have a very good relationship. It all sure didn't turn out like I envisioned it 17-18 years ago! And my youngest step-son, God Bless him. He was the sweetest child. He battles depression and has since he hit his teens. I never seen puberty work so many changes in one person before! Even his hair went from being blond, fine and straight, to thick, course and very curly! He was so self conscious about it too. We still struggle with how to communicate with him because he shuts down so easily and that affects him on his job since he doesn't like to be reprimanded for anything. We only pray he keeps his job and continues to grow and mature and eventually finds his own happiness. (and move out eventually too!) smile.

Anyway, I still struggle with finding my place as "mom" to these adults. Shoot, I still feel like a kid myself and can't believe I'm in my 40's! I find listening to Dr. Randy Carlson on the radio really helps. He gives advise that really hits home. Here is his website and you can type in any topic on marriage, relationships (even work, friends), children, parenting, etc. and it will let you listen on-line to some of his radio broadcast. I highly recommend his program to anyone since relationships are a normal part of our lives. Me, I just want JOY in my life, my husbands life, and in my kids lives so some day we can be one big happy family and not always feeling like such a dysfunctional one!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Joy in the "music" of summer!! Day 4 of Daily Be's Daily Joy photojournal week

I'm no bug expert but all my life I have known these to be called locust. After looking them up on line, I find they are really called "cicadas". Where I have lived it seems they were always called locust and grasshoppers were called grasshoppers. I guess that grasshoppers are really locust and locust are really cicadas! I should of become a bug expert since the earth is loaded with them!

In the summer time in Missouri and Kansas, the two states I have lived in) cicadas make this very distinct sound that fills the air. It's really loud and you just know that it is the music of the locust. When you think of summer that is the noise you expect to hear, right around dusk. If you click here, it will take you to a website that describes "cicadas" and has samples of their "music". I listened to a few and the ones that sound most like mine are called "magicicada septendecula songs. You have to scroll down into the web page before you see it. Oddly, the cicada is not mean , even though they look dangerous. They do not sting or bite and we often caught them as kids. They like to sit on tree bark and sing and molt, leaving behind a brown "paper" shell of themselves that is a neat treasure for any child.

These creatures are still puzzling to modern science. God is amazing! There are 2 types: the periodical and the annual. The periodical have 2 groups that only emerge every 17 years or every 13 years. Scientist can not figure out how they count the days and know to come out on those Prime numbers. It's also important to their survival that they do this and not mix the 2 types. The annual come out yearly. They all live underground and even the annuals live underground for 2-8 years before ever seeing daylight. When the periodical arrive and sing with the annuals it becomes very noisy and loud but you grow to love the sound!

We used to sit outside on most summer nights when I was a child. That was before air conditioning and it was cooler outside so that is what folks did. We would go to my Grandma's and my Grandpa would cut up a big o' watermelon and everyone sat around eating watermelon and talking. We don't do enough of that now a days. I miss those times and when I hear the music of summer it takes me back to those feel good times when things were so much simpler. We try to make life easier, with all our gadgets and inventions, but I think in the end we are only taking one step forward and two steps back. A dance to the music of summers long gone.

It still brings me joy that the cicadas are still around and their "music" has not changed. I'm sure someday, like the bees and the song birds, we may find that they might start disappearing too, leaving science to ponder what has gone wrong once again.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The JOYS of feathers-Day 2 of Daily Be's Daily Joy photojournal week!

1. Vane 2. Rachis 3. Barb 4. Afterfeather 5. Hollowshaft;Calamus

One of my pleasures of living on 10 acres of land is to walk it and see what I can find. I started collecting feathers immediately after moving here.
My collection contains mostly turkey feathers but I have a couple of odd-balls that are really beautiful. I keep them in this container I got from Pottery Barn. I tipped it over so you can see all the feathers better:
Tonight I found this white feather, which Valentine thought it to be pretty interesting too, as it was stuck to the end of her little sniffing nose!
Feathers are really very cool. They are the most complex skin structure found in vertebrates. They serve to waterproof, insulate, cushion, protect, not to mention allow for flight! They are also used to cushion & insulate a nest. Humans have been enjoying the benefits of feathers for centuries. We use them for cushion & warmth in our blankets and jackets, decoration, writing utensils & jewelry. Did you know that a birds feathers out weight it's bone structure by 2-3 times?! Amazing. In the United States it is illegal to even have a single feather in your possession of a Bald Eagle. Only if your Native American and can prove it or else you could be fined up to $25,000!! Wow. We have some Bald Eagles in Missouri. Truth be told, I would be very tempted to keep one of those awesome feathers if I found it! shhhhh!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The JOYS of cooking!

I'm participating in Karri's theme of finding a joy each day. I had a yummy breakfast this morning so here is my first JOY. Of course, it had to be food related! Oh no!!!
So when I decided to bake last night and make this wonderful recipe that I picked up from The Ozarks Sentinel while we were in Branson, MO................

I had to laugh out loud when I saw that my well stocked supply of Baking Soda was nearly antiques. The red one expired in 1990! HA Guess I have not done much baking lately!! I had one can that expires in October of this year so I was able to continue with my recipe. Too funny. Good thing I check the dates on things before I use them, huh?!

Bess Truman's Ozark Pudding Recipe


1 egg

3/4 cup sugar

2 TBSP all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped peeled apple (this ended up being only 1/2 of a large apple)

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

1 tsp vanilla (I don't use imitation)

Whipped cream-with a touch of rum if desired or vanilla ice cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch pie pan.

Beat the egg & sugar together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder & salt. Blend well. Fold in the apples, nuts & vanilla. Pour into the prepared pie pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven: the pudding will fall, but it's supposed to. Serve warm with the whipped cream or ice cream.

I didn't have any whipped cream or ice cream but I would vote for the ice cream. I think when I have my daughters baby shower later this month I will triple this recipe and fill some sturdy cup cake cups with it to form individual servings. It is very yummy and looks really pretty once you crack the topping and makes the whole house smell really good! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A weekend escape!

My hubby and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this weekend. At the last minute we decided to get out of town! (Our adult kids have been making us worry and stress so this was a much needed break!)

We drove to my in-laws on Wednesday and spent the night (which put us closer to our destination) and on Thursday we got up and drove to Bennet Springs State Park where we canoed and camped. Weather was gorgeous and the river was perfect! What a nice, peaceful day. I highly recommend this float to anyone going to Missouri! I have such a good husband too. I should call him Mr. Friendly as he never meets a stranger. He tries so hard to have a conversation with everyone he meets. Some people are willing and others are reclusive but it sure is cute to watch. After all these years I know it's coming and I just sit back and and listen.

We decided after camping Thursday night that maybe we could sell our story to I Survived. Okay, maybe that is exaggerating a bit, but it was a horrible night. We were so uncomfortable, and it was too noisy to sleep. We were to tall for our tent and the ground was so HARD even though I brought a ton of blankets to make a bed....Kudo's to Mr. Friendly for bringing the fan though! At least we were not HOT! I decided then that I'm not a tent girl!
We got up Friday and drove to Branson where I said, "Let's give camping one more try. It is so much cheaper than a hotel." I don't know what came over me...but we went to Indian Point State Park off of Table Rock Lake and bought a camp site for one night.
Across America this weekend was garage sale weekend. There were 100's of sales all along our trip. We didn't stop at any (unlike us) but decided to go to one that was on the road to our campsite. We were heading for Walmart to get a blow up water mattress to use as a cushion for the tent anyway, so we followed the signs. Low & behold they had an awesome tent for sale that we got for $25!!! Steal! And they also had 2 blow up mattresses for a buck a piece! Score.

God wants us to camp!

We had the BEST time. Really. Camping there was beautiful, peaceful and just overall fun. We set up our new tent- LOVE IT by the way, we blew up the air mattresses and we were able to hang the fan from this tent's ceiling so that created an awesome cooling effect!
The swimming site was a short walk away so we swam at dusk. I'm a tent girl now!!!

We got up Saturday morning and went scuba diving.
Only our 2nd time on our own since our certification last October. Here is a photo of handsome Mr. Friendly. :)
We did great! We dove for 2 hours & we went as deep as 52'. We were only going to try to go to 60' but it was so darn cold! I think I could of done it eventually but it took so long to get used to the water temperature change and visibility was not the best. They had some dive classes there that day and I think they had the bottom stirred up pretty good. You would not believe how HOT the top water feels after being down 20-50 feet! It was so warm it was uncomfortable to surface! Jim got me a really nice underwater camera for my birthday in April but I have not been happy with the quality of it's photos. Everything is looking over exposed and that is with it on automatic. Still neat to get underwater photos even if they are not perfect! The little fish (had to be 50 or more) were trying to eat our hands. Very cool. It didn't hurt but they were swarming us like bees and biting our fingers. Too fun!
Me playing around. I look like a giant frog! Yikes!

Monday, August 3, 2009

New adventures in Beading

I had an idea after seeing a picture in a magazine in the Hobby Lobby store. It talked about making beautiful bracelets and made it all look so easy. I went back to get the magazine one afternoon and it was gone! I scoured the Barnes and Noble for it too and could not find the article! I didn't remember the name of the magazine and it looked as though I dreamt the whole thing! Then, this afternoon I stumbled across it by accident in the local library! Yeah!

Here is the plan. My mom gave me these gorgeous, antique beads that belonged to my Grandma and maybe even to her mother or Grandmother before that. They were curled up in a little box and the string in which they were beaded on was disintegrating. Mom gave them to me thinking that I could do something with it. I tried fixing them up and attaching a clasp. Didn't work. I was starting to lose beads. Ahhh! I can't let that happen. Then I saw the photo in the magazine and decided that I'm going to take them apart and restring them using the Kumihimo disk. I'm not really into beading but I can really imagine these sparkling, red, glass seed-beads in a bracelet. I would like to make 4 total- one for my mom and my 2 sisters and myself. I don't know if I will have enough beads for that so may have to mix them with some other color or colors. I think I'll do a practice one first with "unimportant" beads. Take a look at this video of how this process goes. I think I could do it by Christmas time!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another photo weekend!

Brush Creek at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. I really like this one!
On the Country Club Plaza. These photos are untouched. It looks like I will need to adjust my contrast a bit in this one. This handsome young man will graduate next year. I have not even looked at all I took today. Someday I'll get the whole lighting thing down pat. Maybe....

Again, at the Plaza and I need to adjust the contrast in this one too. I hope I don't have a lot of them that I will have to do that to. That is why I'm called an amateur! I do this for fun and to save people money.
I can't wait to go back & just take some photos of the fountains, plants, and architecture. Amazingly beautiful! I guess after seeing New Orleans it made me have a new eye for the things in my own back yard. This next couple of photos are some engagement photos I took for a friend of mine. They were done at her home.

Don't they make a cute couple?! This was a very rainy day but I think it helps to make the colors "pop". The grass looks really, really green and was!

I really liked this one. I love the "old photo" option. So cool! Who can resist a photo of a kiss?