Friday, February 25, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

I want to thank Karen at ScrappyKSue for this award. Karen has some great ideas going on over at her blog, please stop by and take a peek at her scrapbook room, scrapbook layouts, cards and more!

In order for me to accept this award, I have to spill the beans on eight things about myself. Here goes...

1- I'm an avid collector of china tea cups and tea pots, I started collecting when I was 8 years old.

2- My favorite fruit is ...the Apple. There are so many things you can do with apples and all of them are YUMMY!

3- I have this constant drive to always be creating things. I really can't explain it other than I've got to keep my hands and brain busy. Be it cooking, sewing, quilting, gardening, scrapbooking or card making.

4- I enjoy making special things for my family and friends- be it sweet treats, gourmet picnic lunches or crafty handmade gifts.

5- I'm writing a cookbook - I really am!

6- I have a true aversion of ground beef.

7- I jokingly call myself a professional volunteer as I put the same kind of dedication to volunteering as I would to a paying job. Then there's the part where it sometimes feels as if my volunteering is a full time job.

8- Before anything else my family comes first!

Here is a list of the 8 creative persons who I think deserve this award as well. Visit their blogs and see what kind of creativity they've got going on and hopefully you'll be regular to their blogs too!

quote of the day

I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
- Robert McCloskey

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wow, what a week!

To say that my life is busy these days is a bit of an understatement!

Wednesday- The shopping trip to the antique shop ended up not happening. Simply put, the heat went out in a friends house and it she was waiting on repair people to come over and fix it. Long story short- I packed up all of my ingredients and cookware and made lunch for us at my friends house. When life gives you unexpected bumps, adjust your plans! Needless to say I was able to turn a very possible bad day for my friend into one where we sat around the table having a delicious lunch and fantastic conversation. When I left her house several hours later my ribs ached from laughing so hard and so much! These are the people and the times I treasure and value so much. I will miss my girlfriends (Alisha, Jackie and Sunny) more than they will ever know!

Thursday- Okay the same ladies from lunch on Wednesday pulled off a MAJOR surprise on me today! I thought that it was just Alisha and I having "Tea" at this wonderful Inn in Aylesbury. Just me and Alisha- we have such a shared history here at RAF Croughton and we arrived here around the same time and we were instantly thrown into the insanity of this place, LOL! Both of us having teens attending Kingham Hill School, both of our husbands being commanders etc. So just Alisha and I hanging out together didn't seem odd to me at all. As we wander through the Inn, I'm looking at the rich furnishings, the art work was exquisite, the fireplaces were enormous (with fires burning in them). The place was historic and romantic and just plain wonderful! Then I turn a corner and SURPRISE! There's Sunny, Jackie and a whole lot more! I was very touched by the show of friends there. They were all in on the surprise, even my husband was...they all get an A+ in being sneaky! The "Tea" was wonderful. You could not have asked for a better place or better food or better company!

Now for the surprises...Lisanne gave me this platter. It's by Peggy Karr Glass and it's handmade in the USA. I have always admired these and have secretly wished to receive one as a gift some day. And now I have one- I am one happy girl! Now for more surprises...

Jackie, Sunny and Hope are sneaky! They know my love of Burleigh Pottery and bought me these canisters-

I almost cried right there on the spot! Talk about some VERY thoughtful friends! I can hardly wait to use these in my new house! Every day these will serve as a reminder of the wonderful and thoughtful friends I have made while living here in England.

Now here is where the tears started ...Alisha, what can I say about that woman. She is kind, thoughtful, generous, compassionate and best yet she lets me vent, LOL! She is the most amazing friend I've had in quite some time! Alisha gave me the most amazing Bracelet by jewelery designer Judith Ripka. I had a hard time choking back the tears. This bracelet represents my husband and myself- both of our birthstones not to mention the Fleur dis lis and my husbands French last name. Friday- That was the Hold Baggage pack out day. It was a 2 man crew and they were in and out in under 30 minutes! Damn! Husband and I got to spend the remainder of our day together- I can get used to that very quickly! Had lunch out, did some shopping and back to the house to work on the next part of our move.
Saturday- My husband's 44th birthday! It was a sad little birthday as his present is back in the states and his mother will be bringing it with her. I bought my husband a kindle. At least he'll have it before our trip back to the states. We spent the majority of the day going through things for the non-temp storage
pack out.
Sunday- went to church and did more sorting for the move
Monday- more sorting
Which brings us to today...
The moving company sent only 1 guy today. All I can say is what were they thinking? The poor soul will be so sick of seeing dishes he'll be eating take away for the rest of his life, LOL!
Now for me to get on with cooking up these cheesecakes! I've been busy this morning and to relieve my stress I had to cook something. So what's better to bake than New York Cheesecakes? Seriously, I've got 14 mini cheesecakes to put into the oven!

quote of the day

Vanity and pride are different things,
though the words are often used synonymously....
Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves,
vanity to what we would have others think of us.
-Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The beginning of the end...

...has begun. How so you wonder? This week is the week of the real kick off to my husbands retirement from the Air Force and our move back to the US of A.

Our reason to be at Lakenheath was for Hannah. You see, Hannah got her braces off yesterday! Oh my gosh that girl of ours was smiling and laughing and just being so her...beautiful and funny! When I told her last night that she's smiled more since getting her braces off than she has since Christmas she denied it. But to myself and her dad, it was clearly obvious that she was happy to finally be done wearing braces.

The Corvette has started it journey back to the USA. We left it with the moving company that will put it on a ship and it will be ready for us to pick up by the 28th of March (or there about). This is my husbands "baby" so to speak. He loves that car! He loves me even more since I gave him the kitchen pass to go to Denver to buy that car on Mother's Day. AAahhhh, the things I do to make my man happy.

Now today...I had plans to go to the antique cellar with my girlfriends and then come back to my house and make lunch for them all. being what it is, it's not without things happening unexpectedly. Some days when things don't go according to's time to come up with a new plan! Knowing that you can change a dear friends outlook on what could have been a bad and rather disappointing day...priceless! So with the boiler being out at my friend J's house and her still waiting on it to be repaired- lunch has moved to her house! I'm all about my friends and I'm not about to worry about where I cook this lunch for them! Lunch today is about letting my girlfriends know that they are special and if moving it to one of their homes is an example of the love that I have for them then so be it!

quote of the day

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home,
and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
-Martin Luther

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

quote of the day

Though I am grateful for the blessings of wealth,
it hasn't changed who I am.
My feet are still on the ground.
I'm just wearing better shoes.
-Oprah Winfrey

Monday, February 14, 2011

Did you know...

I will once again be designing and creating yet another Scrapbook Nook? Kind of unfair isn't it. To go through all of that work only to have to take it apart to be packed up with the very real possibility of not seeing my crafty stuff for months on end. Thinking about it makes me ill. AT least I'll be able to find an Ikea in the part of the USA where I'm moving to.

Once again I will take what I have and transform yet another space into my creative habitat. I hope that others will find my scrapbook nook transformations as being a means of inspiration. I will share pictures from start to finish in order to be helpful in the organizing of other creative spaces.

quote of the day

Love is a gift of one's inner most soul to another so both can be whole.
--Tea Rose

Saturday, February 12, 2011

another busy week passes on by...

I'll say it, I've been sick all week- yes, I have yet another head-cold... again. I seem to be a magnet for head-colds. I wonder what country this latest one started in because obviously I've not had "these" germs in my system before. That's what you get when your child attends a boarding school with loads of children who all travel internationally. But I've refused to let it knock me out of my game so I persevered! With a box of anti viral tissues in hand I trudged through the week!

So to keep you all up to speed (and for scrapbooking purposes in the future)...

Tuesday- this was my last time to attend a Croughton Spouses Club function. I had a lot of fun with the card making class. I had everyone make 3 cards and there were many oohs and aahh's. I pulled all of the items out of my personal stash and was planning to just donate the costs to the club as my fare well gift to them. But then an idea hit me... One of our ladies is doing a fun raiser for a worthy cause (Hospice House) and when I was asked about my "fee" for the class I asked that the CSC donate money to the charity instead. Really, what's a worthy cause without some "seed money" to get the donations rolling in. It was a night that left me feeling good about oh so many things!

Wednesday- I was pretty much a spud all day long until my appointment at Pummel and Pamper for a pedicure. Not just any kind of pedicure, a Minx pedicure. If you haven't tried Minx you must! I look forward to finding a nail salon in MA that does it this treatment! It's like a sticker made from Mylar that's adhered to your nails. It lasts for forever! This time I got green and blue plaid, sure it's a little off the wall, but it's on my feet and I don't ahve to see it all of the time so it's not a huge distraction.

Thursday- I had lunch with my dearest friends here at Croughton. I finally got to go to Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant in Oxford. If ever you get the chance to eat at one of his dining establishments- DO IT! Clean fresh tasting food that's not doused in tons of sauce- simply delicious! Great atmosphere, excellent wait staff too! Lets not forget the friends...Alisha, Jackie and Sunny- all three are the best friends that I have made here. All we were missing was our friend Linda and the circle would have been complete! These ladies are all heroes in my book! They go above and beyond what is required of a military spouse and it's women like them and their endless volunteering and giving of themselves that put us (RAF Croughton military volunteers) on the map as a VERY supportive unit! I hope to spend as much time as possible with them before I leave. These are the kinds of friendships I encourage others to make...the ones that will last a lifetime!

Friday- Cooking Club!!!! I chose the Tex-Mex theme. We've all done it before and it was such a huge hit that I wanted to do it again! The food was awesome, the conversation was truly one that made everyone laugh out loud and it is something to be treasured! I've got the best neighbors and I'm going to miss them all oh so dearly! I just may try to start a cooking club after I get a house in New England.

Now for my good news of the thanks goes out to my sister in law "L" who has helped us find an apartment. So now we have a place to live, albeit a temporary one. We're not rushing into buying a house, we want to take our time and see what there is out there on the market to find that "perfect house" just for us. Soon there will be a rash of new listings for spring and well we want to see what's available to us. We'll be living in the same town as my husbands brother and his family. We pretty much know which school our daughter will transfer into after we move stateside which as also another HUGE plus for us. It's all falling into place a little at a time.

So here I am, my family sleeping in like usual (even the cat is having a sleep in today), me with coffee in hand surfing the internet having a look see at what's going on in the world around me. Life is Good!

quote of the day

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

(1564 - 1616)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

quote of the day

The first step to getting the things you want out of life
is this:
Decide what you want.
-Ben Stein

Monday, February 07, 2011

Livin' la Vida Loca

Living the crazy life...that's me! So here I am making up card kits for tomorrows spouses event. Making up card designs and prototypes- easy! Making up 20 card kits for ladies whom I do not know what their crafting skill levels are- not so easy. So far I 2 different card kits. Keep in mind I'm doing this all by myself, so it it a lengthy process. Then of course there's that other funding and of course the ever so popular limited resources for art supplies. I've raided my "stash" and have a couple of really good paper crafting projects with limited stamping. I may decide to do a third card kit- it's something that I'm going to ahve to give a wee it more thought to doing before I commit myself. Look for pictures tomorrow.

quote of the day

I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch.
- Gilda Radner
I know that I've used this quote before but I can't help's so perfect for today!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

2011 Cherry on Top Award!

Thanks to my fellow blogging sister Sharon over at Diary of a Craft Room Transformation -I have been blessed to be the recipient of the Chery on Top Award! First off WOW I have readers? LOL! Seriously though, I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this kind of an award. Through the all I want to do is quilt times, cook times and even through the skinny non creative times when all I've done is to babble on about life here in England, Sharon has been my personal cheer leader. Here is it is simply weeks before yet another major move and I feel my creativity surging back into my veins.

Now on with the instructions/rules for accepting the award:

1. Thank the person who gave it to you.
2. List 3 things you love about yourself.
3. Post a picture you love on your blog.
4. Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers.

Three things that 'I' love about myself...

1- I Have an Eye for Colors, Textures and Design. I can put together outfits, rooms, quilting fabrics or even various dishware patterns and have them working well together. I never thought of this as being a special talent. I never realized that it was something that "not everyone" can do sort of thing do until I got into college. I still shake my head from time to time thinking "Wow, I guess this thing I can do really is a gift".

2-I Can Cook. Not only can I simply "cook" but I can make gourmet meals and treats that my friends talk about for weeks after they've eaten something that I've made. It makes me so happy to be able to spoil my family and friends with food.

3-I'm Creative. I've almost always got some sort of creative endeavour going on be it paper crafting, quilting, sewing, needlework, planning a flower garden or redecorating a room. I find inspiration all around me, all I need to do is to open my eyes and my heart and let it (creativity and inspiration) sing to me.

I took this picture while in Venice in October 2009. IT was an amazing experience to be in a place that I had only dreamed of. I wish that I could post more pictures I love but the requirement said that I could only post one so this is it.

My list of 5 great blogs...

♥Kim at Kim's Scrappy Place. Kim always has something going on! I've known Kim for a few years now and she's really taken off with her scrapbooking and card making endeavours! She's a fellow military spouse who currently lives in Hawaii.

♥Judith at My Life and Creations. Judith is a VERY talented paper crafter living here in England! Go check her out, she's always got interesting things happening

♥Peggy at Stamping Ideas with Peg. Peggy is a stamping up consultant who goes above and beyond! Of all of the things I miss from South Dakota, it's Her enthusiasm for the paper crafting and life in general. Her smile and laughter is infectious! Fresh ideas abound at Peg's blog!

♥Sarah at Stetler Arts. If you're looking for fancy schmancy kind of art, Sarah's got inspiration galore! I love to look at her art work and it IS art work! Be warned...her stuff is addictive! She too is from the heart of the country!

♥Julia at Stampin Ground. This woman's site is the Holy Grail of inspiration! She too lives here in England and her stuff is just plain WONDERFUL! She goes on holiday (vacations) to places most wish we could go to if we had the time. She's super creative and best of all she's super fun and spunky! Check out her blog and you WILL be hooked!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I've been inspired

All it took was a trip to the theater district in London to set the tone for me to be inspired. With all of the other crazy stuff that seems to make up my life these days, I've been trying to relax my brain (so to speak) so I could draw upon my creative skills this weekend. It feels as if it's been forever since I've drawn up sketches for card designs (this was once something that came to me as naturally as breathing). Then I woke up, not from having some crazy dream about the move or retirement but with card ideas in my head- WOW! It's still there! I still have it! I had begun to wonder if it had left me. It was sleeping is all, just taking a nap. It might be stormy and pouring rain outside but inside of me it's all rainbows and blue skies with bluebirds singing and flowers blooming and bees humming...the way it's supposed to be!

Now to have some coffee and to relax on the couch with a sketch pad and draw to my hearts content.

quote of the day

Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
Now from a personal stand point this is also true for art

Friday, February 04, 2011

an epiphany of sorts

I've finally figured it out, all of the mixed emotions about the retirement and the move and the crazy dreams I've been having. This sudden realization of the feelings I've been having washed over me I was reading a passage in a book- what I'm feeling is very similar to a break up, not quite as bad as a divorce (I've held enough hands of girlfriends through those to know it's not that bad). But still it's this slow winding knot in the pit of my stomach, letting me know that things are not right, that something is about to change in a drastic way and there's nothing I can do about it to make it go away, there's nothing that I can say to make the pain go away- it's going to happen whether I'm ready for it or not.

The silver lining (once I'm finished with the pain stage) IS ... unlike in a divorce or a break up, we get to keep all of our friends. This has all been about us- that after over 22 years we're leaving the Air Force and that way of life, it's not as if we're leaving the planet and leaving everyone behind. WOW! All this and I've only had 1 cup of coffee.

My being able to write about this has made my burden not feel so heavy. Granted I still ache inside but the pain somehow is not as sharp as it once was. Will I cry at the retirement ceremony? Of course I will! Heck I cry at all retirement ceremonies why wouldn't I cry at the one that effects the person that I love, the one who means the most to me?

Now lets see how much I can do with this, my last month left here in England!
First stop...London's theater district and Phantom of the Opera! I'm taking my daughter to dinner and to see the play tonight- a mother daughter event!

quote of the day

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy,
in whatever situation I may be;
for I have also learned from experience
that the greater part of our happiness or misery
depends upon our dispositions,
and not upon our circumstances.
Martha Washington (1732 - 1802)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What is love?

It's a question that has been asked for as long as man had knowledge of what it was to feel emotions. It's something that springs up from the very depth of your being, it can overtake your rationalization and turn it upside down. It starts so simply and innocently with a fluttering of ones heart. It's the allover warm feeling you get when you see that special someone or hear his or her voice. Or sometimes it comes on so slowly you don't even realize how deep into it you are until you up to your knees.

For me, love is to give of myself freely,without strings attached nor to expect anything in return. It's knowing that I've been able to share something that I hold dear with another human being (or my cat). It's kindness, warmth and understanding all wrapped up in something as simple as a hug. Love is an ever growing thing that is always present. One only needs friends to make it grow and blossom into something truly beautiful.

By being here in England I've been able to have that love grow and bloom into a myriad of flowers which I call my friends. It will be hard to leave here with so many wonderful friends still here. But with that said,my doors will always be open to those that come my way, not to mention I hope that they all come by for a visit when they come back to the USA.

Remember...the road to a friends house is never long.

quote of the day

Waste no more time talking about great souls and how they should be.
Become one yourself!
-Marcus Aurelius Antoninus