Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Lenten Challenge

I've found my Lenten challenge, it's something that I actually spoke about recently at a spouses meeting. I was reflecting upon what I had said, really thinking about what I was asking the other spouses to do. It's not as if I hadn't done this kind of thing before but this time around I'm going to step it up a notch. I'm calling it - Practice what you Preach.

Quote of the Day

Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”
- John Lennon

Friday, February 26, 2010

Teaching vs. Instructing

There's a difference between teaching some one how to do something and instructing them how to do something. Teaching a group of people how to stamp without halo's, cut straight lines and what colors to put together is one thing but what I'm going to do with my group is more of a "lets pull the sticky tabs off and stick it together kind of thing".

Part of me feels as if I'm not really teaching anyone anything, then the other part of me says- we have major time constraints to contend with not to mention that 20 people is a large class (I like to limit my class sizes to no more than 10 people) and the fact that only 1 person that I know of has done any kind of paper crafting -so it's potentially a class full of newbies. I hope that they enjoy the projects that I have for them to work on.

Now I had intended on posting pictures of the projects here on my blog but I've changed my mind on that. I want the ladies to be pleasantly surprised when they come to the next function. I will post pictures after the event is over.

Quote of the Day

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
-Albert Eninstein

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quote of the Day

Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.
- Dr. Martin Henry Fischer

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One prototype down...

So there I was, wanting to come up with something fresh, a card that was fun to make and fun to give. So as I was thumbing through some old card idea books there it was...I saw it, something that struck me as unusual...and I'm very pleased with the results! It's easy for me to make up 20+ kits for this class and what's even better - it will be easy for beginner paper crafters to put together too! So now for me to finish up inking all of the edges of the cut paper.

Note to self- need to buy 100 Ziploc baggies for all of the card parts/kits.

Now to come up with an idea for another card...I think that I have some manual labor to do for the next idea.

Quote of the Day

One joy shatters a thousand sorrows.
Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Building Card Kits

Today I'm going to spend time in my scrapbook nook and build card kits for my up coming class AKA Paper crafting Night with our spouses group. I've got to come up with ideas that will be fun and entertaining and not frustrating and overwhelming. I'm going to put everyone on the same level and group them as beginners.

I decided to do 4 cards and a small box- how much would you pay for a class that made that many items? How much would you pay for a kit that all you had to do was to put it together and that the adhesive was included? There's no stamping involved in any of this, it's just a put together kit. I'm on a time crunch and will not be having an assistant to help me- not to mention that I could have as many as 20 people putting together cards. So stamping and punching out of items is not an option due to time constraints.

Now to have some more coffee and to look at what I'm going to have these ladies making in the realm of paper crafting :-) Will post pictures later after I come up with some ideas.

Quote of the Day

There are 350 varieties of shark, not counting loan and pool.
- L. M. Boyd

Monday, February 22, 2010

God's Plan

God's plan isn't just about "us" it's about a community of people coming together, praying together and supporting one another. His plan is different for each and every one of us. It's to remind us that although we might not be here forever- it's the good things that we do while we are here and the love we share with one another that will live on long after we are gone.

I wrote those words to a friend whose husband is terminally ill with cancer. The cancer has now spread to his brain and it's simply breaking my heart.

George Washington Birthday Celebration

Here I am, an American living in England, trying to soak up every little thing around me. Yesterday my husband and I attended a Birthday Celebration for George Washington at the Parish Church of Saint James the Less in Sulgrave. This small chapel was amazing! It's old (really old) and very well looked after. I found that a parish family bore my maiden name and that they also once owned Sulgrave Manor (George Washington's ancestral home), pretty cool stuff I dare say!

After the church service we went to Sulgrave Manor and had a tour of place. If anyone ever has the chance, I highly recommend the tour. I'm going to attempt to take the extended tour (one that includes the gardens) later on in a few months- once it's warmer and the plants have had a chance to grow back and especially when it's less muddy. I'll promote this to the spouses groups and see if any spouses from our base would like to go, we can easily make it a special event for us.

Quote of the Day

They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?
-Princess Diana

I know that I've used this quote before, I just wanted to start the week off with a smile! Happy Monday Everyone!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Speaking of cake

How's this for a Birthday Cake? It's a Triple Layer Chocolate Truffle Cake. Yes I made this cake from scratch and with Ghirardelli chocolate no less! I don't do cake decorating with the fancy writing, scroll work and pretty icing flowers and such but I do know how to make dessert! I've made this cake a few times in the past and it's never failed me!

Quote of the Day

There is nothing better than birthday cake. It's like a slice of concentrated love with buttercream frosting.
--Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's that time of year again...

To wish my husband Happy Birthday!

Quote of the Day

I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.
-E. V. Lucas

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm a winner!

I've won something not once but twice this week! First it was oooooh I'm so thrilled with this... Kim's Blog- I won her blog candy on Monday and on Tuesday I won a prize at our spouses group Bling Bling Bunko (I won the bracelet). So please check out Kim's blog- she's got some great card making and scrapbooking ideas happening over there!

More on Lent...

I'm going to do what I've been doing these past few years and take on a challenge versus giving anything up. I laugh when friends think that they are helping me when they say "give up coffee" or give up Toast and Jam with your Tea- get real! These are the handful of things keeping me sane and you want me to give these up? I've give up quite a bit since moving here to England, I don't think that it's fair to ask me to give up more.

Think about it...
I've given up my quilters group, my paper crafting group, my water aerobics group and my group of friends I regularly did things with. I've given up my comfortable home in SD for one that is small, compartmentalized, cold and lets not forget to mention that it has major plumbing and electrical issues. I've not stepped foot into a quilt shop since last June nor have I bought quilting fabric since last year and when I say last year I mean May/June 2009! Same goes for scrapbooking supplies- minus adhesive. I've given up attending Scrapbooking crops, card-making workshops, quilting retreats, quilting workshops and quilting classes, I've given up going out for coffee with friends, I've given up taking chef classes, going to school plays and singing recitals. I've given up participating in the State Fair and the big Black Hills Quilters Guild Quilt show I've given up fast food, beer and Pepsi in Lents past and have managed to stay away from them- okay so I have a Pepsi once in a Blue Moon. Do I miss my life back in the states- that's a BIG YES!
I do have to say that living here in England has opened up other avenues of entertainment. I've found other things to occupy my time and other things to look forward to. Meanwhile I still do miss the things I used to do and the people I used to do them with.

So let me be selfish and say that No, I'm not going to give anything up. I'm not perfect, I'm human. I've taken on more personal challenges for this year. Will I make a scrapbook layout about this? You bet I am!

Quote of the Day

Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.
- Wernher von Braun

This is my excuse for taking so long with writing my cookbook.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent- what are you giving up?

If I've been asked this once I've been asked this a dozen times. Many friends have suggested things for me to give, tea with toast and jam, dining out and even crafting. Personally speaking I think everyone is nuts! Can you see me w/o coffee? Oh it would be ugly!

Quote of the Day

No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.
-Charles Dickens

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When it Rains, it Pours...

And it shouldn't be raining through your ceilings. Aaaahhh much is how part of my day went yesterday. I was hosting a meeting here at my house yesterday and there were 5 of us gathered-round my kitchen table, it had started to rain while my friends were here, nothing unusual about that. We had concluded our business and were laughing telling stories of the silly things our pets have done. And one friend comments "Wow that rain sounds really loud", so I thought- yes it does, I wondered if the front door was open. Got up to check the door and then that's when I saw it- water in the hallway and water was pouring out from underneath the bathroom door. I opened the door fully expecting to see the toilet overflowing but it wasn't, it was coming through the ceiling light fixture raining down like an indoor waterfall. Needless to day I immediately called for my husband and Let me girlfriends know that the water was coming from the ceiling. They immediately pitched in and we got towels put down on the floor. What a mess!

The long and the short of it- the pipe that drains the water away from the bathtub was NOT attached!!! It's a miracle that this has not happened earlier to us!!! So today I'm here while plumbers are trying to assess what actually happened and are looking at the pipes underneath of the bathtub. Meanwhile I'm wondering when are they going to pull up the flooring in the hallway and bathroom and look into the ceiling- black mold is not something I want any part of!

Quote of the Day

The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished, and put inside boxes.
- Dave Barry

Monday, February 15, 2010

In Gods Hands

Yesterday I learned that friends of ours from a past assignment have been going through some truly hard times. You see, Mike has cancer it's in it's last stage and it's just a matter of time until he leaves us and goes to be with our Heavenly Father. Here's their blog In His Hand and Holding On Tightly. we never really know what God's plan for us is, maybe it's to spread the word that we aren't alone, that there is love and compassion in strangers. We've lost a few Air Force friends to cancer over the years and it doesn't get any easier as the years go on. All have been in the prime of life and have fought valiantly but in the end the Lord called them home to be with him. Please say a prayer for our military families.

Quote of the Day

Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars.
- Hobart Brown

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

Love is the reason for it all.
--Dorothy Fields

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Enjoy where you are!

Be nice to everyone! Be as generous as you can in giving of your time, your money and your love as you can as you never know how this kindness will be repaid. Our outing yesterday is living proof of that!

I make it a priority to take an interest in where my children attend school, to know things about the community in which I live and to learn as much about England while I'm here as humanly possible! Sure there are nice people and not so nice people here- but the same can go for anywhere- especially America. I ahve to tell you all that I have had the pleasure to meet so many truly nice British peoples, all of whom want to share their love of their country and British culture with myself and my family. Yesterday we had an outing into London for something that I think is rather special. You see, we were invited to a special civic luncheon that was being presented by the Bishopsgate Ward Club at the Guildhall in London.

The history of the place was amazing (we're making a point to go back there and this time we're bringing Hannah). Some ladies wore hats others wore fascinators - it's this fancy headband type thing I'll have to find a picture to show you because my description does not do it justice (I am going to buy myself one of those). Everyone was in their best looks, everyone enjoying themselves. We were the guest of a gentleman and his wife who were/are some of the most interesting and charming people we've met while here. The history that they told us of the place had us listening to every word, absorbing it like a sponge! I know that some Americans go on about how British people talk fast and how it's hard to understand their accent,now I wonder if they ever thought that to the British peoples- we're the ones with the accents and talk in manners that are hard to understand. It was not that way yesterday not at all although I did mention "pants" once and quickly recovered myself and said trousers, LOL! Our new friends got a small chuckle out of it but knew what I was talking about so it was not the embarrassing scene that it could have been.

I've got some pictures of this event to upload (taken with our daughters camera). We shall see how this camera performed (was it worth the small fortune we spent on it).

Quote of the Day

There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time.
- Edith Wharton

Friday, February 12, 2010

Introduction into paper crafting

I'm going to to take a big leap and teach an Introduction into Paper Crafting class with the spouses group on base. I'm going to have several easy to put together projects as I do not want to overwhelm the ladies with coloring, stamping or even cutting out things with scissors. Everything will be pre-cut, pre-stamped, and sticky tabs put on so all they have to so is to peal and stick. I think that it's best not to overwhelm beginners and trust me I know this first hand. People see something and they want it to look exactly like the items on display, so my projects will be easy to make like the item on display. I'll give them a little taste of what kinds of items are out there on the market these days, I'll show them some of the different kinds of tools, papers and embellishments.

Quote of the Day

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
--Marcel Proust

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alzheimer's and my Dad

I was missing my Dad terribly yesterday. You see, he has advanced Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's. He was diagnosed back in 2005. Valentines Day was his favorite holiday to surprise "his girls". It was always a loving fun holiday with little tokens of Love. My husband and I do this sort of thing with our children and each other- surprise them with a small heartfelt gift or some chocolates or it could be flowers. It's always from the heart and always a surprise :-) Maybe this is why I adore heart shaped jewelry items, it stemmed from Valentines Day with my parents. We always received a heart of some sort- I still have many of the items I've received as a child from that holiday, I plan on gathering them together and making a scrapbooking lay about it (it'll be one of those artsy type pages).

What triggered it all was being in an antique shop yesterday. We're still on the hunt for a traditional piece of furniture that will hold our electronics in the living room/lounge. Ikea is fine for my Scrapbook Nook but not for my living room. So there I was looking at odds and ends, bric-a-brac and whatnot's when I stumbled upon this tea cup set the pattern on it was Dogwood Blossoms. Dogwood Blossoms- my dad's favorite flower. Right then and there I knew that I had to buy it! What a treasure for me to find yesterday. I also found a piece of furniture although I did not buy it (need to measure it first and see if it would work in the space). So there I was, my heart felt lonely as it missed my Dad. It's been a year since I saw him last- and on my last visit he did not recognize me.

I promise to not be so melancholy today. I'll be filling my time making some sweet treats for my family, planning a Valentines day dinner to rock their socks off and making cute little gift containers for neat gifts for my children.

Quote of the Day

"The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of."
--Blaise Pascal

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's on your Work desk Wednesday

It's more like what I need to put away than what I'm working on.

Quote of the Day

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Reinhold Niebuhr,
in a sermon in 1943

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Can you name only one thing that gives you pleasure? For me it's the act of "Sharing". From sharing a meal with friends to sharing my time or talents with those that are in need of comforting, reassurement or just my crafty goodness. So today I am sharing with friends- a meal, my time and some good old crafty goodness!

Today's message...
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. ♥ So love the people who treat you right. ♥ Forget about the one's who don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it!

Quote of the Day

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open
--Elmer G Letterman

Monday, February 08, 2010

Where did the weekend go?

Talk about having the weekend going by in a whirlwind! Still didn't accomplish what I had set out to do. I got a "little" further on my quilting project when I say a little I mean a little, a very little.

Today's goals are-
  • make French Onion soup (yes from scratch)
  • organize paper crafting items for tomorrows project
  • have lunch items together for tomorrow
  • mop all hardwood floor areas
  • sew some on quilting project
  • hang pictures and wall clocks
  • hang valance and sheers in stairway window

That's my short for me to get cracking on it!

Quote of the Day

When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.
-Clifton Fadiman

Sunday, February 07, 2010

stolen moment...

I'm about to hide out in the formal dining room and sew...I hope no one finds me for a while.

Also, Id post some pictures but alas the card reader has flubbed up and we have to take the computer apart to fix it-not fun!

Quote of the Day

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
--Marianne Williamson

Saturday, February 06, 2010

501st Awards Banquet

There's something about these award banquets that makes me so proud of our Air Force Family. The willingness of others who volunteer their time to so many different causes and organizations and the recognition of said persons. To see them supported by their family, friends and co-workers and applauded by their peers.

Yesterday afternoon I got dressed up and proceeded to go out with 5 friends to the event that was being held 1½ hours away. Not a one of us complained about the time spent in the car but rather we employed ourselves more gainfully in cheerful conversation. It was a delightful evening! My husband and I got to talk with some folks we knew while we were stationed at Ellsworth AFB, SD. You see, it is a small world...especially when we can come to England and still run into people we knew at our last assignment :-) It truly was good to see them and to hear about how they are doing out here. Now to get the pictures uploaded from my daughters camera from the night...wish me luck there.

Quote of the Day

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
Ronald Reagan

Friday, February 05, 2010


No one is more happy that it's Friday than I am! It's been a long week! I'm going to an awards banquet with friends and we're dressing up :-) I think that I will take the first step and lead by example and wear more formal attire. we always dressed up for these events at our last assignment so why would we not want to dress up here? Give me a reason to dress up and I'll take it!

Now to work some more on my quilting project for a little while and then to get ready for the evening.

Quote of the Day

Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.
- Blaise Pascal

Thursday, February 04, 2010

vermin, illness and disease

If you haven't guessed it, sickness is back here at our house. My daughter was violently ill last night for many hours and this morning my son is sick- this is not good, not good at all. I'm a sympathetic vomiter, meaning is, if they are puking wretchedly so will I. This really is not good. So once the shops open up I am out of here- off to buy Lysol, bleach and those disinfecting wipes.

This illness is making it's way through our children's school and through our neighborhood. I brought a meal to a neighbor yesterday as she and her entire family of 5 were all ill with this same thing. I didn't touch a door knob or a person, I simply brought a meal over, gave my condolences and left. My heart goes out to our friends as it can be rather rough when the caregivers aka Mom and Dad are sick too.

On a brighter note- I managed to get all of the fabric pieces cut for my quilted table runner project and have plans to sew some on it today.

Quote of the Day

It is not giving children more that spoils them; it is giving them more to avoid confrontation.
John Gray,
"Children Are From Heaven"

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Somthing silly

Want something funny to do? Go to and look up your name. here's what I came up with...and yes my first name is actually Sandra.

A strong name for a strong woman--A Sandra, especially one born under the star (sun) sign of Aries tends to be intelligent, witty, extremely open, honest & passionate and will do whatever it takes to uphold her morals. While these are extremely admirable traits, they also mean that they should never be crossed. Hope you are paying attention, you... See More have been warned!!
On the flip-side, if you do the right thing (and why wouldn't you?) a Sandra will go out of her way to make your life beautiful.
While fiercely independent, a Sandra has both a strong sense of community and family and will do whatever it takes (regardless of personal cost) to defend and protect those that she cares about.
Do yourself a favour – find a Sandra; stocks are limited and they are (rightly so) in high demand.
Need a friend? Look no further than Sandra

Now wouldn't this make a great scrapbook layout? toss in a picture or two of yourself, some great background papers a couple of embellishments and there you have it!

Quote of the Day

The path to success is to take massive determined action.
--Anthony Robbins

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Paying Homage to the Crafters in my Life

For those crafters out there- was there someone who was an early crafting influence in your childhood?

For me I had a couple- My mom who was always making something be it crochet, knitting, stitchery, sewing and even macrame and leather work. My Grammy Lola would crochet the most delicate lace doilies and she sewed. My Grams helped me to make my first patchwork quilt when I was 9 years old. My friend Barbara (whom I met in the 3rd grade) and her amazing oil paintings -I actually own one although it's in storage back in the states (would like to own more- hint hint). Barbara could sew, do needlework and take the most amazing photographs- and she did it all YEARS before I could do such things. My friend Barbara possessed this amazing ability to paint when we were children. I remember sitting in an a painting lesson of hers and being in awe- her mom brought in an instructor after school in their home.

I confess, I can't paint for beans, I've tried, the Lord knows I have tried without much success, LOL! . My watercolors are, well they are nothing to write home about- I do them for my own amusement. Now I can do those 3-d type stencils and add detail to them to make them seem more lifelike, but to draw them out freehand and then paint on the walls? Oh no, I do not begin to pretend to own such talent as to be able to do that. My crocheting- it's okay (insert snickering here). I can make a scarf and even a simple afghan although I prefer to make scarves because they go much quicker :-) Knitting? yeah right! I don't have the patience for knitting. here's a little secret tidbit about myself- I know how to work a weaving loom, and once upon a time I had a small one and I actually made stuff with it :-) Sadly, I sold it after I got married- I really wish that I would have kept it. Embroidery- learned that at an early age, still love to do it to this day. Every once in a while I find the urge to sit down and whip up a project- I've get about a half dozen needlework projects that need me to finish them up and get them mounted and off to the framers.

Artistic influences surround me every day, wrapping me in their endless warmth and love. Shapes, colors, textures and how they flow seem to draw me in like a moth to a flame.

Simply put- I love doors. Doors open up into rooms, so you can create a space have it look a certain way then simply close the door and walk into another room and stylize it a completely different way. My house is like a small art museum, showcasing Art made by myself, my children, my husband and our friends and our extended family. In our living-room you will see oil paintings on the walls that were done by my children's great grandmother- my husbands' Grammy Dorie, floral photographs taken by yours truly. I have some handmade quilts on display on a rack in a corner and in a handmade basket (Longaberger of course) again made by friends or myself. There are many counted cross stitching works that I've had matted and framed that are proudly hung on the walls throughout our home- some made by dear friends and others by yours truly.

Now I suppose you can now understand why I felt so displaced for all those months while in our temporary quarters. Being without ones personal treasures, the things I deem near and dear to my heart had me feeling lost...and now, I'm home again.

Quote of the Day

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
--Peter Drucker

Monday, February 01, 2010

Bicester Wool

I love that little shop! They're closed Sundays and Mondays BUT they have something NEW...I saw in their store window Moda fabrics, jelly rolls and charm packs!!! I am thrilled beyond belief! I can't wait to go back and see what kind of the quilting goodies that have to offer. :-) I am doing the Happy Dance!

Happy February!

A new month and with it comes new adventures! When in doubt, do something crafty! Maybe you find solace in needlework, counted cross stitching, embroidery, crewel work, macrame, knitting or crochet. What ever it is be sure to have fun while doing it!

Quote of the Day

Live each season as it passes; breath the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
-Henry David Thoreau