When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

September 30, 2010

Completing a year's journey...

On October 12 of 2009, I lost my best friend. I lost my sweet mother. From October 1 through October 12 this year, I will be sharing excerpts of my personal thoughts from my other blog through her final days and the week or so after as well as a few more little "Mom" things. In doing so, I am celebrating the closeness I felt with her, my family and most of all with God. It was a difficult journey, but one I would not change except if I could have her back whole and healthy. I learned too much, I grew too much, I am a different person...

On October 13, I will resume my regular blog schedule and have some recipes and creative projects to share. I will be retiring Mondays with Mom at that time, but will share memories and sweet reminders about her every now and again. I hope that you will hang with me this next couple of weeks, maybe count your blessings, give someone you love a hug, forgive, realize that love is what matters most above all else.

September 29, 2010

Recipe Binder Tutorial.... (Repost)

This is a very simple project and makes a great gift. We gave them to teachers for Christmas and wouldn't they be nice as a wedding or housewarming gift?

For this project, you will need:

decorative paper
binder with clear pockets on front/back and spine
white cardstock
other cardstock in your choice of color
clear 3 ring sheet protectors
hole punch (not pictured)
computer and printer (not pictured)
paper cutter (not pictured)

1. Print out the words for the front cover and spine.

2. Cut the words to size and mount them on your colored cardstock. (I added some heart rub-ons I had laying around to decorate it up a bit.

3. Next mount your cardstock to the front and spine.
4. Gently slip the paper for the front/back and spine into the binder.

5. Slip your colored cardstock into the sheet protectors and insert them into the binder.
6. Using your hole punch, punch two holes in the front top of the binder (go through your decorative paper and the top layer of plastic.
7. Insert your ribbon into the holes and tie a pretty bow.

There you have it! A pretty recipe binder for a gift. I thought it would be nice to give one of these to each of my girls full of our favorite family recipes.

Happy crafting!

September 21, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits... Dr. Suess

Today's tidbits are inspired by my sweet friend Aamie who sends me quotes now and then and has been sending me Dr. Suess ones lately. Thanks Aa!

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

 “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

"How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”

September 20, 2010

Mondays with Mom - Like a Wind Against My Back...

I wanted to thank my sister Mika for allowing me to share  a little writing that she did a while back, just after the earthquake in Haiti. I too feel my mother "like a wind against my back"...

Like a wind against my back......
by Mika W.

I read an article about a young girl of 14 in Haiti a few weeks ago. When the earthquake hit, she rushed to the downtown area where her mother worked. She actually found her mother's body amidst the rubble. In the days that followed she found herself living with other refugees, and everyone told her to simply not think of her mom. She replied "I can't stop thinking of her, I still feel her... like a wind against my back."

 My mother died in October of last year. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer the year before, and because of complications from surgeries her quality of life was painful and difficult. I quit my job of 13 years to be with her. I spent endless hours at her hospital bedside, and cared for her in our home with the support of loving friends and family. Each day having her with me to watch my children grow, to share the details of my life was a blessing. And in hindsight, I am grateful to be able to say we did all we could to support her in healing.

My mom was an artist. Her painting above came through her after my stepson suffered a massive brain injury and became a total care patient. It hung above his bed, watching over him until he was released from a body that could no longer serve him. Her talents with a canvas and brush were not passed to me. I got her heart and love of life.

 Like a wind against my back she pushes me on, to live the life I dream of. She whispers in my ear, don't look back.... How I pray for my little sister in Haiti, that she find her place in this world. That she continues to feel her mother's presence, and feels the blessings bestowed from somewhere beyond. I hope she is comfortable, safe and resting well.... and that she can feel my love.

I want to thank my sweet sister again for the sacrifices she and her family made for my mother in the last couple years of her life. I don't know what I would have done without her there.

September 19, 2010

Sunday Singing...The Truth

Okay, so it isn't actually a song, but I wanted to share it anyway...

September 18, 2010

I won! Shout outs...

Occasionally, I will enter a giveaway or two on different blogs. One Saturday morning, I hung out just a tad too long, entering a few too many, but I did win! Here is what I've received...

From A Nut In A Nutshell, I won Bingo's Big Adventure!

This was a hard bound book signed by the author and my children already LOVE it!

I won this beautiful bookmark at Reflections In The Window.

You can buy one from All You Need Designs!

And my favorite, this gorgeous hand knit shawl was won at The Craft In Me.

But you can purchase one at the Laughing Chicken!

Speaking of giveaways, I like to enter them, but I don't want all the extra buttons and blog posts to clutter this blog. So, I started another blog specifically for entering the giveaways. If you are interested in seeing some of the ones I post, visit me at I Could Do This All Day.

September 17, 2010

Friday Favorites (9/17/10)

As usual, there was some great stuff in the blogosphere this past week! If you are featured here or have been any other Friday, feel free to grab an "I was featured" button on the left sidebar.

I love this adorable Tutu Stool. You can make one too with Lemon Tree Creations!

Check out how to make a fun painted puzzle with a tutorial from Alisa Burke!

I found this yummy sounding and beautiful looking recipe for harvest salad

Make these inexpensive and gorgeous coffee filter roses with Aunt Peaches!

Find the recipe for this delicious sundried tomato pesto at Closet Cooking!

Make some very cute picture plaques with Scraps and Strings!

Happy cooking and crafting!

September 16, 2010

Acrylic Painted Papers....

Last spring, I bought the book The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole. In it she uses the following technique to make background papers for art projects. This inspired me to spend some time with paint in my kitchen yesterday.

First I gathered cardstock and spread it out on my kitchen table.
Then I coated it with a gesso to prime it for painting...

Next using 3 different colors of paint for each paper, I dropped paint in different areas and scraped it around the page using an old discarded plastic membership card.

After that, I stamped some of the papers to embellish them. Here are some of my finished sheets...


I really enjoyed these and I thought a lot about my mom while I was working. I think she would have had fun doing these with me. I can't wait to use them on projects. The cool thing too is that I can use the pictures of them over and over by manipulating them in photoshop and printing them!

I am linking again to Gitzen Girl's You Create party, I hope you will stop in and visit her.

September 9, 2010

10 minute bunting card...

In an effort to start getting some creative time in today, I decided to start participating in Gitzen Girl's You Create Challenge each Thursday.  I am inspired by her blog and her art, you really should go visit her.

With a meeting at the school, a lunch with a good friend and grocery shopping. I didn't fit the amount of creative time in that I would have liked today, so I decided to see what I could do with just 10 minutes before the bus arrived with my girls. Here is what I came up with - a cute and easy bunting card.

Outside of the card.

I used a premade card, but you can cut your own to size from regular cardstock. I simply cut triangles from leftover scrapbook paper. I drew lines for the string of the bunting and glued the triangles on. Then I just wrote a few sweet words.

On the inside, I finished the sentiment.

There you have it. Imagine if you changed the card color or scrapbook paper. Quick and cute!

September 8, 2010

What's your workout?

I have written about this before on this blog, but thought I would do it again. Now that my girls are in school. I can fit in a workout a few times a week.

I know we all have our own ways we like to exercise (or not ). Some hit the gym and do the treadmill, eliptical, bike and weights with their favorite tunes on their iPod. Others like to run, run, run. I am a fan of neither, but I love good up to date music and I love to dance. Jazzercise combines cardio, strength and stretch in one workout to the best music. I workout to the likes of everyone from Michael Buble, Mary J.Blige, Beyonce, Nelly Furtado and the list goes on and on. I am with a group too, so the option to quit in the middle of a workout isn't there. The energy of the instructor, the music, being with other like minded individuals wanting the best for their bodies keeps me going.

I bet when you hear Jazzercise you see this image in your mind...

Or you picture eighties leg warmers and shiny bright colored leotards. Not so!

Here is a more accurate picture...

The best thing about Jazzercise is that I have fun and don't feel like I am working out, but boy can I feel it the next day! It is a good pain that lets me know I worked all of my muscles. I don't actually work out for my weight, I work out to tone my body and for emotional stability. I just feel better when I get at least 3 workouts a week in.

I highly recommend Jazzercise. It is a fantastic and fun workout. If you are interested, go to http://www.jazzercise.com/ to check it out.

What's your workout? Whatever you choose for your fitness routine today, have a fantastic workout!

I received no compensation for the review above. I purchased my membership. The opinions are my own, honest opinions of a product I truly enjoy!

September 7, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits... Solitude

I am afraid to show you who I really am,
because if I show you who I really am,
you might not like it--and that's all I got.
~Sabrina Ward Harrison

I am only one, but still I am one.
 I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
~Helen Keller

In solitude, where we are least alone.
~Lord Byron

Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future.
 Rather, it is a deepening of the present,
and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.
~Thomas Merton

The whole value of solitude depends upon one's self;
it may be a sanctuary or a prison,
a haven of repose or a place of punishment,
a heaven or a hell, as we ourselves make it.
~John Lubbock

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men
 than when we stay in our chambers.
~Henry David Thoreau

September 6, 2010

Mondays with Mom... Happy Birthday...

This picture is how I choose to remember my Mom.
I was about 6 and she was about 29.

She would have been 63 years old today.

I haven't much to write.
I knew this day was coming.
It has been almost a year since her passing.

I figured it was just a date, but... it's not.
Birthdays are significant.
This was the day God gifted the world
with the presence of this beautiful woman.

I miss her.

Today I will be honest as a gift to Mom and myself.
My heart aches.

No one can replace the void she has left in my heart.
But I know she would fill that void right up to overflowing if she could.
That's just how she was.

Sometimes I am a little angry.
I think it is unfair that she is gone and the whole world continues to turn.
But I have learned that this is a part of life,
the part I wish I could skip.
But I can't and so I hold her memory close
and if I am still and I listen, I can hear her voice telling me,
just like a few days before God took her back... it is all okay.

It is all okay.

Happy birthday my sweet, sweet Mama...

September 5, 2010

Sunday Singing... I Am (Mark Schultz)

I have the acoustic version of this song on my iPod. His voice is just stunning to listen to and I get chills.

September 3, 2010

Friday Favorites (9/3/10)

School must be back in. You ladies have been super busy with great crafts and recipes! If you were featured here, feel free to grab an I was featured button on the right sidebar.

Nicole at Made by Nicole rocks it with this beautiful fall paper towel wreath. Gorgeous!

Throw an adorable ladybug themed birthday party with these fantastic ideas from Design Dazzle!

Create this pretty summery beach welcome mat with the Creative Maven.

(I love it when she shares recipes!)

Make beautiful wire wrapped bead jewelry with Maggie at Generally Creative.

Learn how Wee Folk Art made this colorful coiled rag bowl. FUN!

Go to The Girl Creative to get the recipe for these delectible Burnished Chocolate Cookies! Oh yeah!

I hope you all have a fantastic Labor Day weekend. I know I plan to. I'll be sharing with you next week where I went and what I did!