Wednesday, March 31, 2010

work desk Wednesday

In case you're wondering...remember last week with all of the meatballs, marinara sauce and cheewsecakes? This week it's breaded chicken niblets, and sub-sandwiches. Yup I'm making all kinds of food for our long road trip tomorrow.

Road Trip

We've gone a few road trips since moving here to GB, the longest one being when we drove to Scotland back in December. This time we're going to drive to Germany. I know- what a hoot right? We've not got to do as much traveling as we would have liked so we (Hannah and myself) are going to Germany for a few days during her break for school while her brother is back in South Dakota visiting friends (again). I'm bringing my notebook so hopefully we'll be able to have an internet connection in our hotel room or at least in the lobby.

Our plans are to do some shopping at the awesome base exchange at Ramstein AB, have lunch with some girlfriends that I know from our assignment at Ellsworth AFB, and of course to visit some historic sights. I'm bringing my camera and plan on taking about a zillion pictures!

Tea Shop? Quilt Shop? Scrapbooking Shop?

My dream would be to combine the 3 things I love- cooking, quilting and scrapbooking. I can see myself having a shop that combines the 3 loves of my life (my first 3 loves are my husband Lucien, my son Andrew and my daughter Hannah). I can picture it in my mind...tea shop in the middle and a quilt shop on one side and a scrapbooking/rubber stamp store on the other side. I could finally display all of my great teacups and teapots, have beautiful quilts hanging on the walls in one shop and scrapbook layouts and handmade greeting cards on display in the other room. I think that I would be able to meet all of my crafting outlets minus one- stitchery. Heck we could always toss in a stitchery kit or two in the quilt shop ;-)

Now for me to day we will be retired from this (cough cough) glamorous jet setting lifestyle and I need something to fall back on. Crafting always comes to mind!

Quote of the Day

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?
-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teacups, Teapots, and Coffee Pots

I have collected teacups since I was 8 years old. My Grammy Lola gave me my first two teacups, oh how I cherished them! I wouldn't let my sister touch them. I still have them and to this day I regard them as prized possessions. Over the years my collection grew to include creamers, sugar bowls, teapots and even coffee pots. Needless to say I am a pottery hound! I simply can not ever have enough dishes to suit my many food and catering moods!

I have had such a dear and sweet love of dishes and pottery ever since I was a little girl- I don't know any of my friends that can say that about themselves. I remember the first time I saw a table set with Spode Christmas Tree dishes and serving pieces- how it made my heart sing. I told myself that very day that I would one day (when I was grown up) that I would have a table set like that for Christmas.

I hosted my first tea party when I was 8 years old. I hosted my first dress up Christmas Tea Party when I was 17 years old. Needles to say, I have enjoyed hosting Tea Parties ever since! And now that I'm living in England...I'm going to have a summer tea party and we'll all wear hats! But that is going to have to wait for a bit.

When my husband announced that he indeed got the assignment here and we would be moving to England my heart leapt for joy! We would be moving to such a beautiful part of the world, a place where I would be surrounded by the best Bone China manufacturers in the entire world! Since moving to England my collections have grown. I am proud to say that my knowledge of china, bone china and iron stone has improved as well. I think that the next time I go on a trip to Stoke on Trent that I can give a quiz on the various pottery manufacturers and their history and be the only one who knows any if not all of the answers.

Old Country Roses- I know that not everyone likes this pattern but for me it's got great sentimental meaning. I adore flowers in general but roses have to be my all time favorite not to mention that they are my birth flower and that the pattern came out the year of my birth. The roses are in clusters of red, yellow and pink and (and I take this from the Royal Doulton website) go from any style table setting- traditional to modern to shabby-chic. How can you not love it? I mean really! I'm working on having a tea service that I hope will eventually evolve into a dinner service.

Burleigh Pottery- While this is not Bone China, it IS very nice pottery indeed! I love the history of this pottery and to think that a family loved it to much that they bought the company and it's still alive and well today is a testament to it's quality. I bought some pieces to give as gifts and yes I bought pieces for myself too ;-) Reading the story, history and the process that the pottery goes through and it will bring a smile to your face. I wish that you all could come here and see the place in person, it would give you a true appreciation of it. Before our tour over here is done I will have a collection of Burleigh pottery ;-)

Portmeirion Pottery- Seriously, what is not to love about this stuff? When I'm in a Portmeirion shop I feel as if I am walking through an English Garden full of flowers all in bloom!

So today I'm dreaming of pottery and what kinds of meals I would serve on the various pieces. Happy dreaming everyone!

Quote of the Day

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.
- Augusten Burroughs

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's a Monday need I say more?

Mondays tend to get a bad rap, being that they are the start of the work/school week et-all. For me, I woke up quite early, got a start on making worm soup (that's kids speak for French Onion Soup). Slicing 5 pounds of onions goes rather quickly when one uses a mandolin slicer :-) And I found the secret to not crying when slicing so many juicy onions- do it on your stove top with the vent fan on high! I didn't cry one single tear drop! I put the slicer on a large sheet pan, put the pan on the stove top and turned on the vent and sliced away! Now the onions have caramelized and now are simmering in beef stock. My house smells delicious!

So here I am with a funny story to tell about the other part of my morning.... Basically it's this- my kids wait for the bus in the rain for an hour and it never shows up. I have an appointment here at the house with maintenance at 9am so I can't possibly take my kids to school and be back here in time to meet my appointment (it's a 2 hour round trip to school and back). So, for my kids it's an early kick off to their Spring Break from school. can you say Ferris Bueller's day off?

Quote of the Day

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
- Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
~ Marilyn Monroe

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Military Retirement Ceremonies

You know- the reason I like attending these kinds of function is because you get to see the stuff that they guy is made of. There's the awards and honors he's received over the years, the places he (and his family) have been stationed at and the kinds of jobs he's done. It's also the time when he publicly pays tribute to his mentors, his coworkers, his friends and especially his wife and children. They make me cry every time! It's at these events listening to the guy stumble through his words with tears in his eyes telling his wife how much he loves her and how he could have never got this far in his career without her... that is when my husband squeezes my hand and tells me that's how he feels about us.

And if you're wondering...yes, I would fly across the world to attend a retirement ceremony of husband a dear friend.

Quote of the Day

Friends are the bacon bits in the salad of life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Still out of the office

Sorry,I've been busy all day. The military life has called me to do stuff again. It's been a VERY busy week for me and today was a retirement ceremony and tomorrow is a fayer at the base. I look forward to attending the fayer we're supposed to have 30 vendors there. I hope to get back to being crafty very soon!

Quote of the Day

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.
-Judy Garland

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Out of the Office

I'll be out of my office for most of the day...Heart Link and then Hearts Apart. Need to get a hold of my mobile!

Quote of the Day

We are all pencils in the hand of God.
--Mother Theresa

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Work Desk Wednesday

So my thing today isn't exactly stamping or scrapbooking it's more of feeding the masses. My work desk is my kitchen and my crafting mediums are ground meat and cream-cheese. I've made meatballs and sauce for roughly 50 people and 4 delicious New York Cheesecakes :-)

Quote of the Day

"Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place. But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around."

-- E. L. Konigsburg

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make Something Crafty!

It's Tuesday and I want to make something crafty! I checked out Moda's blog and WOW!!! Cute stuff abounds over there!!!! Check it out for something fun! LOVE those fabric bowls!!!

Taking a step backwards in technology

I've been having problems with the internet AGAIN. Broadband is a headache! If it's not my telephone it's the broadband-ugh! And for over a week now it's been both- AGAIN! So lets see if I can get BT to come out here and and actually fix the problem. Sorry for my ranting but it's really got me frustrated that this company won't own up to it's guarantee and actually fix the problem instead of pointing the finger at someone else!

Quote of the Day

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
Psalm 31:24

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

To want to be what one can be is purpose in life.
Cynthia Ozick, O Magazine, September 2002

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Art... in the eye of the beholder. Art IS all around us, we just need to know how to interpret it, how to display it and best of all how to enjoy it.

It's funny how most people get so keyed up about "what Art is and what it isn't". Some think that Art is made by someone famous and is either a high priced painting or sculpture on display in a museum. While others look at prints by people such as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams. I'm here to say that THAT is not true, not by any means! As much as those are lovely to look at, they are not the only kinds of things that are to be considered as art. Art is all around us and I'm here to open your eyes to it.

This past week I went to lunch twice (I know- what does this have to do with art....wait be patient). Each time I was in a different place with different friends. It's funny to see how others interpret design and color and how they put things together. I only realized that I was different with how I saw color and design when I noticed that my sister could not for the life of her pick out clothing from different stores and put them together to make a complete outfit. If she saw something in a store display that she liked, she'd buy the entire outfit- geez what a marketing sucker! Then again I did design store displays just for people like my sister...those that couldn't put an outfit together or more than 2 colors together never mind trying more than 1 print/pattern.

So each set of friends told me basically the same thing- that they are amazed (in a good way) with how I can put things together- colors, textures, patterns not just with clothing but with pottery and things in the home. For me, I look at my house as being my own personal art gallery. Having things on display and from time to time changing around that display. What is a display- depends upon your point of can be something as simple as the valances covering your windows to decorative pillows on the sofa to table runners and linen table clothes. My mother (and I do love her) would keep the same window treatments and pictures up for decades-ugh!!! What a stagnant existence for a room! The word BORING comes to mind. Nothing would ever change in this room, not the placement of furniture, the pictures on the wall nothing. I was the child that drove her crazy with my bi-monthly rearrangement of the furniture in my bedroom. She claimed that I was turning my walls into Swiss Cheese by my constant rearranging the things I had on my walls.

I'm the one who takes longer to put things on display after a move because I'm always working on seeing it in a different light.

I'll be writing more on this topic so stay tuned....

Quote of the Day

If grass can go through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Up early to save the World...

Did my post title make you laugh? My entire family including my cat sleeps in on Saturdays. I'm the only one up before the birds. And to think that I have all of this creamy smooth delicious to is good :-D

Quote of the Day

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
- Bertrand Russell

Friday, March 19, 2010

Everything Jane!

I don't know about you, but I'm all over anything Jane Austen! From her books and going further and reading stores by authors that write in her manner. I just ordered some new books through Amazon and I can hardly wait until they arrive!

Quote of the Day

Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off.
- Ellen DeGeneres

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm Bummed!

Do you remember how you felt after your parents told you that Santa Claus wasn't real? Well that's how I feel right now after finding out that the china pattern I have long waited for these past 20 years is no longer made in England! Old Country Roses by Royal Albert China has been being made in Indonesia since 2002. I'm so angry I could just kick a box!!! I am kicking myself for waiting so damn long!!! I am sooooo seriously disappointed! Why the hell did they go to out sourcing? Was the profit margin of having the #1 selling china pattern around the world of all time not making enough money for them??? I mean it, I'm mad and very dissapointed with Royal Albert, I really am!

So now I am relegated to hunting for pieces at antique stores, second hand stores, thrift shops and the internet for made in England versions of this china pattern-ugh! So much for being the first people to eat off of those plates. Maybe I should just throw my hands up in the air and call it quits. I need more coffee....

Quote of the Day

If you have courage, you will influence people based on your convictions. If you lack courage, you will influence people based on your comfort zones. Courage will take you any- where you believe God is leading you. Without courage, you will go where you are comfortable.
--Wayne Schmidt

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can today be a do over?

It's been a long day with all sorts of unhappy kinds of surprises/discoveries. My downstairs bathroom being the center of it all-ugh!

Quote of the Day

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Spring Lambs at RAF Croughton

Aren't they just precious! I'd love to have a bunch of them hanging out in our yard- natures lawn mowers :-) These are the new 2010 Spring lambs over at RAF Croughton

A momma and baby off in the distance and a new baby hiding out from the wind behind a small mound of grass.

Momma and baby

This little white lamb was bleating like crazy looking for her Mom.

Quote of the Day

One joy shatters a thousand sorrows.
-Chinese Proverb

Monday, March 15, 2010

Laughing my socks off!

Our brave little microwave died over the weekend and it was so young- only 4 months old. It had been having some issues for a couple of weeks now and it finally croaked going out with a few sparks and then it was gone! So today FMO brings out a new one...I've never burst out laughing at the unveiling of any new appliance but I did today! Oh my word this microwave oven is a crack up! It looks like some sort of child's TV set (reminds me greatly of a Hello Kitty TV I saw with the exception this is white and not pink). I'm reading the instructions and it seems simple enough to operate but this is nothing like any microwave that I've ever seen! I've also never seen where these things come in "colors" this baby is available in RED- now that would have been something!

See- it does look like a child's TV set! This is what it looks like on my counter- it's kind of strange looking but I suppose that I'll get used to it.

Quote of the Day

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
--Herm Albright (1876 - 1944)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.
-Erma Bombeck

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just another day...

I've not been up to anything much, I've been here trying to get over yet another bad head-cold. I've been plagued with them all winter long. My kids bring this stuff home from school and it morphs into something that knocks me on my butt! But at least this week I have someone else here at home with me, it's my son Andrew- the one who brought home this latest illness.

I better get on with folding up the laundry. I've been able to keep up with the washing, it's the folding and putting away that I'm behind on.

Quote of the Day

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
--Anne Bradstreet (1612 - 1672)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.
-Karen Sunde

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I wanted to share some pictures of my dining room set up with my Portmeirion Botanic Garden Dishes. These dishes are my special gift to myself. They are that special something from my stay in here England that every time I use them I will remember the good times and good friends that I have made while living in this beautiful country.
This Blue Iris Pitcher was so lovely that I had to bring it home with me!

I've found cups and saucers everywhere, this violet cup I found in an antique shop here in England.

I first fell in love with this style clock in an antique but had a hard time paying £45 for a plate clock. I had a much easier time paying £16 for it. While at the outlets I saw about a million and a half of these Portmeirion clocks- this particular pattern is called "Variations", I decided on buying this one because it had a wild rose and a big fat bumble bee!

This is the anniversary vase- LOVE the tulips! And it was kind of funny that my friend Linda brought over this bouquet of tulips for me the morning of our pottery trip.

My Buffet set up with dessert plates, luncheon plates and dinner plates.

I put a freshly ironed linen table cloth on and set the table with my newest purchases. I only set out 4 place settings as I didn't want to put the leaf extension in the table.

Is it any wonder why I fell in love with this pottery? I adore flowers and this is perfect for me!

The passing of a friend

Our friend Mike has passed away, here is his obituary.

Quote of the Day

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.
A. Sachs

Monday, March 08, 2010

What a Monday!

Lots going on as usual- every day there's something else to contend with and today was no different. I can't go into any detail but trust me some days I want to poke people with a fork!

Quote of the Day

"The flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come."
-Song of Solomon 2:12

Sunday, March 07, 2010


As you know besides crafting, coffee is always on my mind! I can't help it, I LOVE the stuff! So you wonder where am I going with this coffee topic right? Well...I bought a French Coffee Press or at Portmeirion better known as the Botanic Garden Cafetiere Coffee. I've wanted one of these French Presses for years! So many of my girlfriends swear by them and well I finally got the chance to buy one and at HALF of the retail price! So here I am typing while drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee using my new French Press and I have to say- OH my word is this ever one smooth cup of coffee!!! I am doing the happy dance today folks! Check out Coffee Geek to learn how to use a press pot.

The Pottery Trip

Our motley crew consisted of 8 women and 1 male driver. Our trip took us up to Stoke-on-Trent home of where pretty much the majority of all of British pottery is made. Our guide took us to several of the most popular pottery outlet shops. We went to three different Portmeirion shops, and each was awesome! Besides Portmeirion, we also went to Burleigh, Emma Bridgewater and Wedgwood. There were many more labels than just Wedgwood at the Wedgwood outlet- there was Waterford, Johnson Bros., Rosenthal, Royal Albert, Royal Doulton, Coalport and Minton and that was just for dishes, there were more in the Crystal department.

I can't begin to tell you what it was like to see of all of those beautiful dishes on display. Every store was set up in such an appealing manner and there were great buys to be had at every shop! Okay I'll confess, I didn't buy any crystal- my purchases consisted of 1- Waterford item, (my token purchase for the store) which is a Bone Chine Coffee pot, of course I bought oodles of Portmeirion (my main reason for going on this trip in the first place), a couple of Emma Bridgewater chicken themed items and several Burleigh 3 piece teacup sets that I plan on using as thank you gifts in the future...that is unless I become attached to them ;-)

They give you free tea/coffee and biscuits (cookies) at the Burleigh outlet and in case your shopping has you working up an appetite, there are tea shops in the Emma Bridgewater and Wedgwood stores where you can have lunch with your girlfriends :-)

It might have been in the 30's all day long BUT I dare say that I had a very pleasant day to say the least!

Ps- We all bought so much that we were dropped off at our front doors with our purchases :-)

Quote of the Day

If you make it plain you like people, it's hard for them to resist liking you back.
-Lois McMaster Bujold,
Diplomatic Immunity, 2002

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Shop til you Drop

Alright I'm about to go out the door- my Stoke on Trent pottery Tour leaves in about a half an hour. The pick up and drop off are right around the corner from my house :-) I'm going to see all I can see and buy pottery and other interesting things. I'll have to fill you in later on the Brackley Civic Ball- but in a nutshell- it was FABULOUS!

Quote of the Day

Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.
- William Feather

Friday, March 05, 2010

How I've spent my day...

I've been in My Scrapbook Nook all day long-playing with patterned paper, cardstock, Prima flowers and many different scrapbooking tools. Life is GOOD!!! Tuesday evening is going to be sooooo much fun!

Thursday, March 04, 2010


... was spent in the company of my daughter and husband. They both had medical appointments at RAF Lakenheath and we decided to drive there instead of taking the medical shuttle which was a wise choice since I wanted to be able to do some shopping while there.

The base has so much to offer in the way of amenities- if you're missing American junk food it's there and at Mildenhall. But to be honest, we chose to dine off base at a British Pub- it's one we ate at before and we wanted to go back for a revisit, this last dining experience- the food was just like it was 3½ years ago-YUMMY!

Are you in need a crafting fix? The Craft and Hobby Shop at Lakenheath is the place to go! Granted it's not Hobby Lobby but it'll do for out here! I do needlework, quilting stamping, scrapbooking and all kinds of paper crafts- and let me tell you that you WILL be able to come out of there having spent some money- it's hard not to! Great sale going on Valentines items in the store and I found some supplies for my paper crafting class that's on next Tuesday! I LOVE the 2 sided paper I bought! And what's not to love about the Lakenheath BX? Enough said right there! Cosmetics, perfume, computers, TV's, handbags and more! All at great BX prices. I enjoy living here in England but to be honest, it is expensive so any kind of break we can get on the cost of things is a blessing!

Quote of the Day

"What we do comes out of who we believe we are."
-Rob Bell

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My illusion today is...

Thinking that the repair people who are scheduled to arrive sometime between the hours of 8 am and 1 pm will arrive first thing in the morning...that's already gone out the window! Been waiting nearly an hour and no sign of anyone!

So what is there for me to do but to work on putting together those card kits :-) I was going to have some girlfriends come over and put them together but alas the rest of the week is full full full and so are the first couple of days of the following week. I'll be gone tomorrow as it's an orthodontic appointment for Hannah (that's an all day adventure), Friday is Luncheon day with friends and I have a function to attend that evening. Saturday I'm going on an ITT trip to Stoke on Trent and will be doing some pottery shopping! Sunday is Potluck Sunday at church and it goes on and on. Tuesday is the event date of the class so I better get it done now while I'm waiting.

Quote of the Day

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What's your favorite color?

When was the last time someone asked you "What's your favorite color?" For me that answer could change daily. I love to pair colors, Red and Green, Fuchsia Pink and Lime Green, Ocean Blue and Bottle Green, Sunflower Yellow and Grass Green...have you seen a pattern yet? It's Green, always green and some other color. I love to pair green with everything!

In case you're wondering what I'm up to today...I'm wearing green, purple and denim blue. I feel spring time all around me, and purple crocus flowers are blooming in my muddy flower beds :-)

I'm trying to plan a farewell party for a dear friend and she's not making it easy for me that's for sure! She always wears black, dark brown or some shade of gray. I've never seen her wear bright colors-ever! I know that some people just prefer neutral tones and well to be honest this is making it very hard for me as I have ZERO quilting fabrics in shades of gray and I think I only have 2 pieces that are black and maybe a half dozen black and white pieces. SOooooo I will have to figure out something. Maybe I'll take a stab in the dark and use jewel tones.

Quote of the Day

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.
-Fernanda Miramontes

Monday, March 01, 2010

#3 done!

I just knocked out another card design for my paper crafting card making class that's in a couple of weeks. I'll admit it, it can be difficult trying to figure out what kinds of card making projects to do for a class of 20 people that will keep them interested and not overwhelm them. Did I mention that I'm also supplying this out of my own stash? Yup, I sure am. That's another one of my obstacles- I'm wanting to use up some of the stuff that I brought with me- that is after all why I brought it right?

The other thing- I'm trying to keep the stamping down to a minimum- I want to show these ladies that you can make a great looking card without a lot of stamping involved. Crafting stores are far and few in between here where I live and what we do have available is well lets just say that it's rather expensive. Being that we don't get paid in the British pound but rather the US Dollar, we want to get as much bang as our buck can get us!

Look for the pictures of these card either the day of the class or the day after. I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Quote of the Day

Memories, important yesterdays, were once todays. Treasure and notice today.
-Gloria Gaither