Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Candle

I made a quick candle this evening. The coloured area was done with Creative Inspirations Paints. The tutorial for the technique is here on Splitcoaststampers.Because the stamp was so wide, it took me two shots to show the entire thing. I set it in a nest of crinkle ribbon that I dyed. The stamp is from Unity.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blocking AJ's Scarf

I couldn't come up with anything to blog about today. Between chauffeuring the kids all over creation and all the doctor's appointments we have had lately, I haven't had a chance to do any papercrafting. I was talking to my friend, Shelly, about it and she suggested I talk about my favourite drop spindle. That just made me laugh. If you could only see the drop'd see why. Someday I will blog about them, but that will take multiple pictures and some excavation, since I still haven't located them all.

So I got to thinking. I have everything done on AJ's scarf (the neckwarmer pattern from several blog posts ago) except blocking it and weaving in the ends. Why not block it and show the blocking process. I'm sure there are people who have no idea what I mean by that.

So, here it is. What I've done is take some blocking wires and thread them through the edge stitches most of the way down. The wires are then held in place by straight pins. Normally I'd use T-pins, but heck if I know where those are. They're probably in a box I haven't gotten to yet.
This second photo is of the whole scarf laid out and pinned. It really shows off the lace pattern this way.
AJ, if you happen to read this post, I need to make sure I have your correct address so I can get this in the mail to you before the weather gets too cold.

Thanks for still reading and commenting even though I haven't been the best blogger.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving was a pretty big deal for us this year. Very often we don't really do anything at all. I have super picky kids, we've never really had room to cook or to eat together - at least not in recent memory - and it just always ends up with me getting angry and my feelings hurt because I'll have spent so much time and energy only to have half of them turn their noses up.

This year, however, Hannah's boyfriend was coming over. Originally he was to be here all day. He's allergic to cats, and we have three of them, so that meant some fairly deep cleaning. Hannah took charge. We all pitched in and the front rooms have never looked better.

Now, keep in mind that the front two rooms have never been fully unpacked. I've been working on them a little at a time since we moved in. I'm putting up a couple "before" pics just so you can get the full impact of what was done.

The first photo was taken in June, right after I put the shelves up and started going through boxes so I could put the books onto the shelves.
This next picture was taken on the 4th of July, about 10 days after the first photo. I can only work about a day or two without taking a lot of time to rest, thanks to fibromyalgia. It really takes a toll if I overdo it. But, I'd made some serious headway. After that, I didn't take any pictures, since it really didn't look much different when I would finish a box or two, plus I started swapping out boxes from other rooms.Enter my MIL coming...we started doing more. Then Dylan, Hannah's boyfriend. Boxes from the flargle (Taylor started calling the room off the kitchen "the flargle" after nobody could figure out what to call it and it stuck) were moved into the front room to make room for our extra table. We brought down the tv from my bedroom and brought the Wii upstairs so the kids and Dylan could play while he was there. It turns out that it's a great place for the Wii, so it may end up living there.
And the front room?? It now looks like this.
I am so thrilled! Yes, it still needs a lot of work, but we actually have room to put up the Christmas tree.

So Dylan could only stay about 2 hours. Hannah went with him and stayed to help to decorate his house. She came back pretty late in the afternoon and we (mostly me, Cody and Meagan) finished fixing dinner. We were able to sit down to a real Thanksgiving Dinner together. Honestly, it was the best meal. No, not everybody ate, or even tried, everything, but we were talking and laughing and having a really good time as a family, and that is truly the most important thing of all.
Cody made the fruit salad, the noodle casserole, and the deviled eggs.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Having one of those painful days. Back tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Recipe - Quinoa Corn Salad

This is a recipe we made in my Food Science and Nutrition class. Another team did the actual prep on this one, but I managed to get a picture of it around the time it was half gone. It was so good that people were fighting to take home the leftovers. I got away with a very tiny bit in a ziplock baggie. It's really low-fat, but seriously high on flavour.

Quinoa Corn Salad

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper, to tast

2 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 ears corn, roasted, kernels cut from cob
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 avocado, ripe, firm, diced
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Whisk together lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oil, and salt
& pepper to make dressing.
Boil water, add quinoa, return to boil. Cover & simmer until all
liquid is absorbed - about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, fluff with fork.
Add corn kernels, red pepper, scallions & cilantro. Add dressing & any
additional salt and pepper, as needed.
Stir in avocado, sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Serves 4 (or several culinary students for tasting)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and yours a most Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deer in the Yard

This morning, we were working on sorting through more boxes when I heard my MIL gasp. I looked outside and saw a deer. And then I saw another deer...and then two more. There was a little family outside, just beyond our back porch. I didn't have time to go grab a camera, particularly because I didn't want to startle any of them, so I took a few pictures with my phone. These are the best three shots I was able to get.They're such beautiful creatures and I love that we are still able to see them "in the wild" instead of having to go to a zoo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More With Judikins

More samples from JudiKins. These cards were done with Marvy LePlume Permanent Markers, which are their answer to Copics. What I really liked was Judi's tip of stamping solid images in a very pale ink and then colouring over them, which gives a more water-coloured effect, since you do not see any outlines. Judi uses Marvy Matchables in pale orange.The other thing is that you can use both types of markers together. Oh, and you can colour over the top of Pearl Mica Gloss with them (once it's dry, of course), which really extends your colour palette for Mica Gloss.

Another of my projects from this weekend, not yet made into anything, is this stained glass window technique piece, which was done with Diamond Glaze and dye-based inks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 2 With Judikins

Hi everyone. This weekend was so much fun. It was exhausting, but all of the pain I feel today is abundantly worth it! I promised you more pictures, though, so here are a few. This first one is a display of some of the sample cards Judikins brought with her. Yes, her name is Judi, but JudiKins is not only the name of her company, it is Judi's childhood nickname.
The wonderful lady in the background is the owner of The Queen's Ink, Ms. Patti Euler.

I mentioned tahat Judi had a little accident with some glitter. She was demonstrating one of her techniques called Glazed Window (the third technique on this pdf), which uses Diamond Glaze and dye-based ink on clear window plastic. This is one of the photos I took of her demonstration, at the point where she spread glitter over the back of the coloured Diamond Glaze.A moment later, when she went to clean up the excess glitter and reclose the jar, the lid slipped and landed in the middle of the wet project. I'm not exactly sure what happened next, as it all happened so quickly, but the next thing we all knew, there was glitter everywhere, including all over Judi! This was the only shot I was able to get while giggling, and most of it was already cleaned up by then.
Apparently I didn't get a photo of my piece done with that technique, but I did take a picture of my first piece from yesterday, which was a painted wreath. We used Diamond Glaze tinted with dye inks on a pallette of shrink plastic to paint our images. It will be a card when it grows up.
The stamp is called Retro Wreath and is, of course, a JudiKins image.

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. If you've had any experience with Diamond Glaze or any other similar techniques, let me know. I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I'd intended a full post this evening with photos from today's class and demo, but I'm falling asleep on the sofa still, even after eating, resting and caffeine, so I'm going to listen to my body and go to bed. Pics in the morning, including, if it came out, one of Judikins covered in glitter.

Good night everyone.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 1 With Judikins

Hey everyone! It was an amazing day today, but boy am I tired!! I had two classes and there was a demo in between that was on mica gloss. I didn't get any pictures during the classes, however I did get a few during the demo...with my phone, so they aren't the greatest. I'll try to get more tomorrow. Maybe Meg will let me take her camera, since it is much lighter than my big SLR.

This first one is of Judikins herself. She is such a sweet lady and so much fun! Most of what she taught I already knew, but I needed to be in public with crafty-type people, and she had a few little details that I hadn't thought of, plus some reminders of just bits and pieces I'd forgotten. She has some fabulous tutorials on her website.
I still have ink all over my hands. I've washed them but they're pretty well stained, because we were using Mica Gloss. Mica Gloss, which Judi is demonstrating in this next photo, is a super cool product. It is a metallic pigment ink in a bottle. It's creamy and totally yummy.
So, more pics tomorrow. I might even remember to take some pictures of the projects being completed around me, if my brain decides it wants to be useful. It could happen. Right??

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun Tomorrow with Judikins

I got the newsletter from my LSS, The Queen's Ink. Between us being completely broke all summer and everything else that has been going on, I haven't been in there in forever and a day. But in it was a note that said there were still a few spots left in the classes for this weekend - classes with Rob & Judi, the owners of Judikins. Oh. Really?? I'd noticed those on their (The Queen's Ink's) website, but thought there was no way.


I get to attend all three classes this weekend! How awesome is that?? And I get to hang out with stampy people, get my hands inky and just plain PLAY!! I'll post pictures tomorrow evening and again on Sunday. I can't wait!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

CIDT - It's a Real Card

Guess what! I'm posting an actual card today! I made it last night for my Creative Inspirations Paints DT blog post...using several challenges that I found while checking out Feline Playful. I will list them all after the photo, along with how the card incorporates each of them.
Since my original goal was to write a post for the CIPaints blog, I started off with paint. I knew I wanted to paint my embellishments, so I thought of flowers. I thought I had some plain white paper flowers. I still think I do, but I sure couldn't find them last night! I found some kind of darkish blue-grey flowers in several sizes and shapes. I can work with those. Then I went looking for challenges to see if anything sparked.

First I found the sketch from Skipping Stones Design. That told me exactly what I was doing with my flowers. I checked through my scraps to see if I had a piece of cardstock that was already cut to the proper size for the card. I had 3 to choose from and I went with purple. I like purple.

While I was checking out sketches, I spotted the Shopping Our Stash challenge. Never been inked? Oh yeah. I have a few of those. So I had to play in that challenge. Plus the post was written by my friend Carla (hi Carla!!) Right off I decided to use the background stamp, Paisley Deco, from Unity Stamps. It was one of the very first stamps I got from Unity...and it had never been inked. I eventually went with a sentiment from Forever Friends (because it matched the flowers and because it went with the Pollycraft Monday Challenge of friends and friendship) that had also gone uninked, so I'm just all kinds of shopping my stash.

Divas By Design said to be monochromatic, so I stayed with purple when stamping that sentiment instead of using black, which had been my original plan. I think it looks better than the black would have, even if it did take me several purples to get the right one!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Anybody else been watching this? I am so impressed with Rachel Crow. This kid just amazes me. My friend Jenny says "she looks 8 and sounds 30." Well, yeah. That about sums it up.

This is her performance from November 8, 2011.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Kids

I haven't posted pictures of the kids recently, so, since I've been doing a lot of talking about them, I thought I'd show you guys just how much they're growing. Besides, tomorrow is Wordless Wednesday for a lot of people...and I have a really hard time being wordless, so I'm doing Talkative Tuesday.

I took three of these photos on Friday night, at the request of the spousal unit, so he could show them to his family in TN. Middle daughter was too busy on the phone with her boyfriend to come downstairs and have her photo taken.

First are the boys, Taylor and Cody. They are now 19 and 21. Both have Asperger's Syndrome, which can make life a little interesting at times.
Cody's shirt says "You read my t-shirt. That's enough social interaction for one day." It's really fitting for him.
Next is 17-year-old Meagan. We usually call her Meg. She has the wryest sense of humour and a very quick and agile mind.
She really makes me laugh.
Hannah, at 15, is our social butterfly. This photo is of her trying on her Color Guard uniform in August. She is often too busy with something or another to hang out with the rest of us peons.
And then there is Holly, my youngest. She will be 13 next month. She's looking forward to being a teenager and really hates being called "the baby." I try really hard not to do that anymore. She's an 8th grader and I'm having a difficult time with this being her final year in middle school. How on earth has the time gone so quickly??
Well, that's my family.
They drive me batty sometimes, but I really do love them dearly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fantastic News!!

I got the best news today!! The lawyer for the state called. The representative from the Navy, who was scheduled to be at the hearing tomorrow, has to be in Pennsylvania tomorrow and cannot make the hearing. As such, she requested the hearing be postponed. Late this afternoon, the judge agreed!! My daughter does not have to testify.

I don't know if she will have to at a later date. I believe it depends on what happens when the Navy finishes their investigation. But for now, she has a reprieve and I am wholeheartedly relieved - as is she.

Blessed be.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Knitting Progress

The kids and I spent most of yesterday cleaning and organizing to make things nice for my MIL, but today has been a very laid-back day, so I did a little knitting - except for when I fell asleep on the sofa! I've got nearly 15 inches knit now, though I haven't taken a picture for several inches. I really do like how this is coming out and the pattern is extremely easy to follow. It's charted, which is definitely my preferred method for lace patterns. I hope to finish in the next week or so, which will be speed-knitting for me. We'll see how it goes. I'll have some cards to post in the next couple days, so don't despair. I have not forsaken papercrafting. I've just taken a little break.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support. Each and every one of you has done my heart a world of good. I will, of course, post an update on that subject as soon as I am able.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

He Brought Goodies

Hey everyone. Just wanted to post that the spousal unit and his mom made in a couple hours ago, safe and sound. Of course the kids had to talk her ear off and show her 60 bazillion things around the house. This is the first time they've seen her in 9 years. She can't get over how much they've grown. When she was last with us, it was just before Thanksgiving, and Holly (youngest daughter) was almost 4. Nine years later, it's just before Thanksgiving...and Holly is nearly 13. Holly is now nearly as tall as I am, which makes her several inches taller than my mother-in-law...and I'm only 5'4".

The way cool thing is that, as they were leaving, some other family members insisted that he take home some goodies - four jars of freshly canned apple butter and one jar of blackberry jam. OMG!!!

Heaven in a jar. Thank you guys for the thoughts, prayers and hugs. From all of us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm Breathing - and a little VSN

I'd like to thank everyone who left comments or who emailed or messaged me privately regarding my post from Wednesday. Today I'm breathing. I'll really just be glad when it's over. Knitting is helping.

VSN (Virtual Stamp Night) has also helped. Today was the Mini for December's Winter Wonderland. There are six challenges. You can find the Master Challenge Thread here, which will give you the details for all six challenges, including mine. You have until 10pm, Monday, November 14, to upload VSN creations to the Splitcoaststampers gallery.

Because of everything going on around here, I didn't get a chance to make and photograph for my white-card challenge a card that I was happy with, so I used as a sample a card I made a while back that has always been one of my very favourites.
The spousal unit is in Tennessee tonight. He'll be back tomorrow with his mom. She'll be coming up here to live with us and all our insanity. I am hoping they have a safe and uneventful trip back.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flared Warmer Progress

I got the little neck warmer started while I was waiting on the boys up at the college on Tuesday. This is a picture of how far I got during the couple hours I sat there. I'm really happy with how it's turning out so far.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Back in May, I posted that we were dealing with a family emergency, but I didn't come out and say what the emergency was. At least, not publicly. A couple months later, I mentioned that NCIS was involved. My daughter has given her permission for me to go into a little more detail now, because she and I were both subpoenaed last week. There is going to be some sort of hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. I don't want to say too much in case by doing so, I really mess things up, but I will say that the Navy has already officially stated that abuse occurred.

What is upsetting me is that both my daughter and I have been called to testify. The Navy already has her full testimony video taped. They don't need to put her through this.

This is going to be the first time I have seen him since before any of this happened. I'm having a hard time concentrating. I'm nervous. But the thing is, I need to be strong for my daughter, who has been so incredibly brave this entire time. We are not going to let him get away with this. Nobody messes with my little girl.

Addendum: Please comment. I'm still feeling a bit lost and scared. Sometimes I feel angry and strong and other times, I'm barely holding on. I need all the encouragement I can get so I can come back and read it when I'm at my lowest.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Scarf Results

**11-9-11: ack! I hit save instead of post when I tried to schedule this the other night. Just realized it never went up yesterday. it is**

Just a quick post today with the results of my informal poll. I'll be starting with the flared warmer, which is the reddish one in the photo. Thanks for the input!

Monday, November 07, 2011

The World is a Sadder Place

Katie Renz, who inspired the amazing Swimming for Katie blog hop just a very few short weeks ago, passed away peacefully this morning. Katie's husband posted this morning here.

I find it hard to think about a world without Katie's beautiful smile. I am so thankful that Kevin has posted so many wonderful photos along with his updates. His strength in the face of this tragedy is an inspiration.

My dear friend, Ashley, has written a lovely post about Katie, along with some information about her sons' upcoming birthdays. I know I'll be sending cards for them. Won't you join us?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Which Scarf to Knit?

Now that I'm done (finally) knitting the Clapotis, I have two scarves to knit. I'm just having a really hard time deciding on a pattern. I would love it if you guys would weigh in with your opinions.

The first pattern is from Fiddlesticks Knitting, called One-Ball Warmers. There are 4 options with this pattern. Clockwise from the upper left, they are Diamond Warmer, Flared Warmer, Collar Warmer and Leaf Warmer. I currently have both the diamond and flared warmers under consideration.
For one of these warmers I knit, I will be using a beautiful laceweight cashmere yarn. I wish I had more of it. It's really lovely, but I've got barely enough to eke out one warmer, and I have at least two of something to knit.

Another that I was thinking about is the Maluka, by Bea Schmidt Designs and available as a free download on Ravelry. I saw this one knit by remcat (aka Remily Knits). She was kind enough to allow me to post a photo of her completed Maluka. Isn't it beautiful?
2692 Maluka
So, what do you guys think? Leave me a comment and let me know which one you'd knit first. I'm going to knit both (all 3?) eventually, but I just can't decide where to start. I'm not saying who they're for, but neither of them are for me.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Yeah...about that title. Blame the 17yo. She said the moon needed to be silver, so my black cat appears before an Antique Silver moon.
Because this was a card made for a Creative Inspirations Paints DT post, I took a close-up of the moon to show the shimmer of the paints.
Other than the Antique Silver Creative Inspirations Paint, nearly everything else is Memory Box. The paper is from the Nightfall 6x6 pad, the stamp is called Cat and Moon and the die is the Wrought Iron Fence, which I cut twice and overlapped so that I would have a finial on each end. Once that was done, I glued it onto the card so that it would appear that the cat was walking along the top. The sentiment is from Unity's Hauntingly Sweet, which is currently on sale for $4!!

Have a great day everyone!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

FWF - Unposted Unity

I wasn't really posting earlier this year, but I'm doing my darnedest to post for NaBloPoMo, do here's a page I made in August. It's been a very difficult year for my family and, as I wrote on the Creative Inspirations Paint blog, I tried to put everything I have been feeling into some art. This page is one I've made that I can look at when I'm feeling particularly down and need a little help remembering that it does get better.See if you can figure out which kits and/or single stamps I used.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Simple Says it Best

Today is my new day to share Creative Inspirations Paints projects on the CIP blog. To see my full DT blog post, go here.

I CASE'd a card I found while checking out the galleries for the Hope You Can Cling To challenges. When I saw this card by hskelly, I just knew I had to make my own version using Creative Inspirations Paints for the coloured portion to make it all nice and shimmery.I used stamps from two {ippity} sets. The branches are from So This is Love and the sentiment is from The Simple Things. To make the wintery look, I used 7 different paints. In order, from bottom to top, they are Mocha Latte, Silver Frost (just a tiny hint), Winter Frost, Blue Ice, Tanzanite, Sapphire, and Denium. The sentiment was inked in Faded Denim Distress Ink.

See you guys again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

More Clapotis

Hey everyone. I have more pictures of the Clapotis to share. I did do a couple things differently than the pattern, after reading many other comments from other knitters who had completed the pattern, both in blogs and on Ravelry. Unfortunately, I don't recall where I read the advice to Ptbl (purl through the back loop) on the wrong side rows those stitches which were Ktbl (knit through the back loop) on the right side rows. It really does seem to give a neater edge along the dropped stitches.

Also, I took the advice to purl the stitch in between the Ktbls rather than to use what I would consider umpteen bazillion stitch markers. I don't like to use stitch markers unless I have to. Purling those stitches on the right side (and conversly, knitting them on the wrong side), meant that I needed no stitch markers at all. So a big thank you to all knitters who made that suggestion, as well as the knitter with the Ptbl advice. They were immensely helpful.

This first one shows where I've begun to drop a row of stitches. This is part of what helps it wrap so nicely around the body once it's done.This next photo shows two full columns of dropped stitches, as well as the purled column which will be dropped at the appropriate point in the pattern.
And lastly, I finished the actual knitting a little while ago. I need to finish unraveling the dropped stitches, weave in all ends and then wash and block the full piece. Then I can consider it completed.
I started this pattern with the wrong yarn in October 2007. Lace-weight yarn was a singularly bad idea. I don't recall exactly how long I worked on that first version, but it was likely less than 2 months. I've worked on V2.0 ever since.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Hey everyone. In the interest of reviving not only my blog, but my mojo and my spirit, I've taken on the challenge of NaBloPoMo again this year. That means at least one blog post for each and every day during the month of November. Can I do it? Well, I did it last year. I think I can do it again, but I'm going to need your support.

I know I've been a very sporadic blogger over the past couple months. If you guys want me to blog about the whole sordid mess, just leave it in the comments and I'll tell you all about it. If you want me to talk about something else or if you have any questions or topics you'd like me to discuss, I'm taking suggestions.

Right now, I'm sitting in the student cafe at Anne Arundel Community College, where I spend most Tuesday and Thursday mornings, while my sons are in class. Neither of them drives, so I am their chauffeur. I've got my laptop, a triple venti non-fat caramel macchiato, and my knitting to keep me company.

This picture is from a while back, and I'm actually very close to being finished. The pattern is the Clapotis, a free pattern from Knitty, Fall 2004. If you are a knitter and have not checked out Knitty, you need to do so NOW. This webzine been around and has launched the careers of some pretty amazing designers, including Cookie A.
This is going to be for my mom. I'll post more pictures once it's completed and blocked. In case you wondered, the yarn is some I bought from the Drafting Zone, before my friend Alice passed away. I knit part of this at her bedside while she was in hospice last year. It's mostly been my "away from home" knitting project. We just won't discuss exactly how long that has been. Okay?