Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pop Up Flower Card & Mini Booklet -- Video Tutorials!

We get a lot of really great ideas at card club each month! On Sunday, we did two projects. I was even able to find video tutorials, so you can make your own!

Project #1
The first thing we made was a pop up flower card. Since I'm not great at photographing cards anyway, there's no way I could get a decent picture of the inside. I was really excited when I checked my email today and found the link to this video:

Isn't that neat? You make seven of those flowers and stick them together, and that's it! For our cards, we stamped the flower centers instead of using a marker, and the outside was a piece of colored cardstock that we embellished with a sticker and a stamped butterfly image.

Project #2
We also made a little 8 page booklet with pockets. We used a 12x12 sheet of double sided paper, and another small piece of matching paper for the cover. This would be great for lots of things -- little gifts, storing gift cards or business cards, a photo holder to carry around in your purse, or maybe even to keep track of receipts while you're traveling. Anyway, here's the video for this one:

I saw several different ideas while I was looking around for the video for this, and you don't necessarily have to put the little cover on the outside. Some people punched holes and used ribbon, and others used one of those bind-it-all machines (something I don't have) to make their booklets. We put a long piece of ribbon on the inside to tie the book closed.

I hope you like these as much as I do--give them a try!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Miracle Grow

No, that's not a typo up there, because I'm not talking about the fertilizer. I'm talking about this really pretty purple flowered plant that is growing near our garage.

It just sprouted up next to the trash bin, right up through the crack in the concrete. As far as I know, I've never planted a flower like this in my yard, so a little bird must have dropped a seed in there.

The funny thing is that Tracy hasn't added any fertilizer to it, and yet it looks prettier than any of our other plants. It definitely dresses up that trash bin!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here I am!

EASY & DELICIOUS: Peanut Butter Pie

It was my turn to take the treat to our Bible Study on Monday, and I had no idea what I wanted to make. I did know that I wasn't excited about turning on the oven. I looked around on Allrecipes.com, and found a recipe for no-bake peanut butter pie. I read the reviews and changed it up a little, and it turned out great! Here's a picture:

Everyone thought I bought it at the store, which I'm pretty sure was a compliment. Then, when they found out I actually made it, they all asked for the recipe! This recipe makes 2 pies, which is fine because you can just store the extra one in the freezer until you need it. Unfortunately, I don't have any left, so I guess I'll have just have to make it again! Here's the recipe, with my tweaks.

Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup peanut butter

1 cup milk
2 prepared 9 inch Oreo pie crusts
2 16 oz containers whipped topping, thawed (I used light)
8 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

Mix cream cheese and confectioner's sugar. Add peanut butter and milk and stir until smooth. Fold in 1 container of whipped topping. Divide the mixture into the two pie crusts, and put the pies in the freezer to set for at least 15 minutes. Then, top the pies with the remaining container of whipped topping and sprinkle with the chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Cover the pies and freeze them until you're ready to serve.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random things...

My new car...
I got over my indecisiveness last Thursday, and I picked the Hyundai Tuscon. I've been really busy, but I will get some pictures of the real thing soon. It looks just like this. I definitely don't regret my decision--I really love it! In fact, the only thing I don't like about it is that I have to make payments, which isn't something I can get around easily. It will be fun to drive on the trip to North Carolina next month.

My giveaway winnings...
I've been getting little presents in the mail ever since Chilihead's Bloggy Giveaways carnival. I'm just waiting on a couple more things, and then I'm going to do an entire post on the things I won and the wonderful people who sent them to me. It will have links and pictures and all of that fun stuff. I think the best part of all this was finding new blogs to visit, although I do really enjoy getting things via snail mail. You might not hear from me for a while after this post because I got a whole box of computer games today. Fun!

Back to school...
By the end of the week, pretty much everyone in the area will be back to school. Katie starts 7th grade on Wednesday! I was reading the paper online the other day and I thought this was a funny little article about the way things are now compared to what they used to be: School Supplies - Then vs. Now.

Bible Study...
This Beth Moore study I'm working on is really intense, but I just know it's going to be worth all the hard work. I seriously think I've learned more about the Bible in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 10 years! It's amazing. Here is a verse from one of this week's lessons that really spoke to me:
"I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety."

-Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
I'm trying to think of a way to put this in my bedroom where I'll see it every night. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night with my mind running full speed, and this verse is so comforting. And with that, I'm off to bed. Good night!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I guess I'm getting a car...

I wasn't planning on doing this until October, but that's life, right? Today Tracy's truck decided it didn't want to go anymore. It's possible that there's some minor issue that could be easily fixed, but we're both tired of having one not-so-reliable vehicle all the time. So, this evening (after we had the truck towed) we went car shopping. I found two that I liked:

Option 1: 2007 Pontiac G6

Option 2: 2006 Hyundai Tucson

The G6 is pretty much loaded--moonroof, power everything...you get the idea. Stuff I've never had in a car before! Our salesman was nice enough to let me take this one home overnight to give it a try.

The Tucson is the type of vehicle I was originally looking for, a smaller SUV. With this, we'd still have a little bit of hauling capacity to make up for not having a truck. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is great to drive! I like sitting up higher--but that probably has something to do with me being so short. Maybe tomorrow night I can bring this one home. Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask!

Problem is, I really like both of them, but I can only choose 1. Help!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Church Picnic

Sunday was another beautiful day! I got back from Michigan just in time to go to our church picnic. The picnic was at Metea Park, where Tracy and I got married. The food was delicious, and everyone had a great time. Here are a few of the pictures I took:

Katie spent almost the whole time down by the pond.

Katie and Chris are holding the frogs they caught.

Future baseball player!

Kids on the playground.

Tracy and Greg are playing Hillbilly Golf.

The big volleyball game.

Just hanging around, which was my favorite part!

What a great weekend!

This was the view from Sandhill Crane Vineyards on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, and not nearly as hot as a normal August day! It was great to just relax all day. We tasted wine, had spa treatments, ate a wonderful lunch, and totally enjoyed ourselves. My mom and I have done this every year, and we like it better each time. This time I decided to get a massage, and it was wonderful! My mom got a manicure and pedicure. Here's a picture of Mom just hanging out...

One thing I found a bit perplexing was this:

A drumming circle turned into an aerobics class. Who comes up with that stuff?!?! I just couldn't resist sharing this.

Anyway, Saturday night we had dinner at Schuler's and then went back to the hotel and slept very well. Wine and sunshine will do that to you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I heart books!

I've loved to read for as long as I can remember. I can read through a cookbook just as easily as a good novel. When I'm going on vacation, I run to the library and check out piles of books so I can find out more about my destination. (Ask Tracy, it's the truth!) Now I spend almost as much time reading blogs as I do reading books!

One thing that's fairly new to me is Christian fiction. For a little less than a year, I've been going to my church's monthly book club. I used to think I wouldn't like Christian books for some reason, but actually I've really enjoyed them for the most part! We're even lucky enough to have a Christian fiction author as a member of our church. Every time I pick up one of
Denise's books, I read the whole thing cover to cover. Why on earth did I think I wouldn't like Christian novels as much as the other ones?!?! Anyway, yesterday I took a trip to Anchor Room at lunch and got some new books to read on my upcoming weekend trip:

1. The Moon in the Mango Tree

Set in Siam and Europe during the 1920s, the glittering decade of change, The Moon In The Mango Tree is based upon the true story of Barbara Bond, a beautiful young ex-patriot and opera singer from Philadelphia who is forced to choose between her fierce desire for independence-a desire to create something of her own to give purpose and meaning to her life-and a deep abiding love for her faithful missionary husband whose work seems to create a gap between them. But when you choose between two things you love, must one be lost forever?

2. Orchid House

Julia Morrison's inherited plantation in the Philippines requires that she leave her fast-paced American life, if only for a while. With proceeds of the sale, Julia means to create the new life she desperately wants. But as she spends time in the hacienda of her ancestors, she experiences the beauty of the land and the deep love of people who share in the upkeep and heritage of this enchanting house.

3. The Will of Wisteria

When wealthy Edward Wilcott dies, his children have to "earn" their inheritance. Attorney Elizabeth must work pro bono for a year; plastic surgeon Jeffrey must find a less superficial practice; Mary Catherine has to stay in one place and teach; and Will is to build homes for the poor. Will they defy Wilcott's wishes---or end up rich?

I'll write more about these after I read them! Also, the books didn't have discussion questions at the end, but I did find them on Christianbook.com. That's also where I got all of the pictures and book descriptions (no, I didn't make them up myself).

What book(s) are you reading right now? Anyone out there?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Scrapbooking Night

Once again, at scrapbooking night, I did NO scrapbooking! I was more in the mood to make some cards, so that's what I did.

First, I made these two little cards. They're about 3"x3" and I used some shimmery red cardstock, black textured paper and some Stampin Up rub-ons that I've had for a while. I can't believe I've had these rub-ons all this time and I've never used them! I think these cards could be used as gift tags, or just little love notes.

I made this card at card club a week and a half ago, but I scanned it along with everything else I've done recently. We got to use Outline stamps. There were several different stamps to choose from, and it was really interesting to see how each person in the group came up with something totally different. I used my glitter gel pens to color the layers, and then cut them out and attached them to the card.

Then, the card opens up to look like this! I did make a little boo boo--I didn't realize how big the stamp was going to be on the card, so I didn't stamp the word "Hello" in the right place. The stem was a stamp too, and I just colored over it with my glitter pen to make it green. Go to Outlines Rubber Stamps to check out their other products. They have great stuff!

Ok, back to my (non)scrapbooking night. I was inspired by the Outlines card to make this one. I just used Stampin Up punch out flowers and rub-ons, kraft paper, and white ink. I just love the way the white rub-ons show up on kraft paper! I wish you could see the card in person, because this picture doesn't do it justice. The flower is orange and sky blue, and then I used white ink around the edges of the orange layers (thanks Cathy!).

I made this card for Abbie, a 16-year-old girl that has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It's part of Geri's August Good Deed. I'm sending the card and a couple of other goodies to Geri, and Geri will ship a whole package of surprises to Abbie. (Hopefully Abbie doesn't read this blog!) Here's what this card looks like, all opened up.

Next up is a thank you card. I love to make thank you cards, because that's something you can always use. The card didn't actually turn out how I planned, because I didn't fold the blue cardstock the right way. Instead of wasting a perfectly good piece of paper, I just cut off the fold and made two cards like this. The white square in the middle opens up, and that's where I'll write a (short) message. I cut the flower with a Cricut out of the patterned paper.

This is the last card. I went back to the white Stampin Up rub-ons and kraft paper. I also used some green punch-out flowers and the striped paper was from my stash. It's simple, but I think it turned out pretty cute!

P.S. If I send you one of these cards and you already saw it on here, just act surprised, ok?!?!

Never say never...

I guess I can't really say anything about never winning (which I did in a previous post), because now I've won 5 different things from blog giveaways. I've gotten one thing in the mail already, a necklace, and I aboslutely love it! I'm going to do a whole post on what I won and which blog it was from, but I'll do that after everything gets to my house.

I had so much fun entering all the giveaways, I'm thinking about doing my own giveaway sometime soon. Any suggestions?