So there was a Boy... (AAM Challenge #18)

The All About Me Challenge #18 was to write about or confess the most dangerous thing you've ever done. This is my answer. Since I had no photo of the actual machine, I snagged this one from a 3-wheeler history site (how's that for a hobby?) thanks to google. The photo owner is credited on the back of my LO.

Here's the journaling, since scanned journaling is difficult to read:

Isn’t that how every story of danger and intrigue starts? J When I was about 8 years old, we lived at Wesley and one of our neighbors had a son named Brian who was a year older than me. Brian had white-blonde hair and blue eyes and I had a major crush on him. Well, major for an 8 year old. For whatever reason, 3-wheeler ATV’s were the “hot new toy” of the early 80’s and Brian’s dad bought him a huge 3-wheeler (ATV). Now I have to wonder what he was thinking, but at the time I thought it just made him even cooler.

I think Mom and Dad were a little leery of the bike, but they let me ride with him once in a while. So one day we were riding the 3-wheeler across the field in front of our houses--he was driving and I was riding behind him. He took us thru a ditch and started up the incline on the other side and gunned the engine at the exact wrong time. The sudden exertion forced me to flip off the back and land on the ground behind the 3-wheeler, face down. Apparently it scared Brian, so he immediately let off the gas and the 3-wheeler proceeded to roll backwards down the incline and over my head. I remember the smell of exhaust and feeling the heat of the engine right in my face. I was terrified. I screamed and he hit the gas to get the machine off my head. I was so mad and so scared. It happened very quickly and I had no idea it was even possible. In a split second I had gone from happy passenger to having my head lodged under a running 3-wheeler!

The best part? Once I got over the fright and realized I was not hurt, I made him promise to be more careful and I got right back on with him.

And because I knew my mom would never let me ride with him again if I told her what happened…I never said a word to her about it.

So now you know, Mom. :) For what it’s worth, this is the most dangerous thing I ever did—and Wendy was nowhere around.

May your crushes all be adorable and may your head stay mostly where it belongs.

Happy Thursday!


Tina is the Queen of my Scrapbooking heart.

So, if you've been reading around these parts for more than a minute, you know I adore Tina Cockburn's work. If I were handing out awards for coolest-chick-on-this-planet she would be a contender. For sure.

a California girl
a Mother of three
a Master of white space
Queen of the single photo layout and 8.5x11 format
Serious Photographer
Former KMA girl turned Simple Cover artist!
Unpretentious and makes powerful use of small amounts of patterned paper
an eloquent Wordsmith
Not afraid to use her handwriting
Completely I have to time myself on when I read her blog because if she's posted art there I know it's going to make me *have* to scrap myself.
a Blogger
a Pea

So, in case you haven't checked out her blog recently. Here's a link: Click here for ultra-cool layouts by Tina C...the queen of my scrapbooking heart. As stated on The Pub recently--"the woman could design toilet paper and I would be the first to order it!"


Random thoughts from the weekend...

Garage Sale treasures of the week:

  • 2 wooden sconces (a total steal, I would have paid three times the price asked)

  • a 70s glass serving dish with lid (green with flowers)

  • 4 older issues of Handyman Magazine (for a certain boy I know who thinks these are the most awesome reading material)

  • a Pampered Chef Cheese Grinder (wrapped and sealed, new, in the box) for a dollar! A dollar!!

  • a Miles Davis CD and a Duke Ellington CD for a quarter each

And now a very important PSA: If you are going to have a garage sale, please spare your visitors from the sight of a-n-y used (even slightly) mens underthings. Does anyone really expect to sell old tightie-whities? Come on. Be real.

Went to the Zoo on Saturday…along with 75% of the rest of Nashville! The weather was cool and the breeze was divine and apparently everyone had the same idea we did.

Three years ago I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband to a regional meeting for his company that took place in Angola, Indiana at Potawatomi Inn on the Pokagon State Park. One of the highlights of our stay was a day trip over to a large Amish community in Shipshewana for a museum tour, lunch and shopping. Our luncheon took place in the home of an Amish family (imagine feeding 32 people at your dining table!). The surroundings were simple and minimalist and the meal was one of the most wonderful I’ve ever enjoyed. I don’t recall everything the lady of the home served but what I remember most was the fresh corn (cut off the cob in the morning and slow cooked with fresh churned butter and cream,) and the salad.

The salad. I’ve been on a quest to recreate the salad ever since that day. Instead of being a layered presentation it was more like a casserole. Sorta. I can’t describe it. The lettuce was shredded in narrow strips and all the other classic salad ingredients were finely chopped. Tomatoes, cheese, carrots, cucumber, onion, ham, pecans, and boiled egg. The buttermilk dressing was stirred in so that it generously covered everything. (I know this isn’t sounding appetizing…but it really was.) It was chilled and easy to eat, since there were no huge chucks of lettuce.

Previously, I had always made salad with torn lettuces (no knife bruising) and had I not been a guest, I might have never tried chopped lettuce. But it was really good. Salad that’s easy to eat…go figure.

Visiting the this home was one of the top ten defining experiences of my life. The calm. The lack of clutter. The love and respect that was obvious from the children (who ranged in age from adult to 6 years old). The simplicity. It was such a beautiful thing to be a guest in that home and to learn about the community directly from Ruby and Daniel and their children. I will treasure that day forever—not just the food but everything about it.

In other news, made a couple of Crafty Achievements this weekend too…finished the boys towel holders (one for each of my guys) and this little decorative hanger for my kitchen. The towel holders are mini-chalboards with a wooden initial attached. (I painted them white.) I discovered this idea in a very old Pottery Barn catalog--only their set was personalized with a paint pen and showed the whole name. I like the initials better.

Both boards (chalkboard, paint, brush, initial, wood glue and hanger) cost me less than a fifth of what Pottery Barn was selling them for. (Patting self on the back.) Gotta love that. Found the little decorative hanger plaque in the clearance bin at Michaels for $2. It was in poor shape…until I added paper! See what a little paper can do! Love paper!! Paper makes life pretty. Hee.

Here’s a picture I took at the zoo of a prickly weed with the prettiest purple flowers. (Click on it to see the full effect.) Ever wonder why weeds are the heartiest plants around?

Finally, I’ve been considering lately the difference in perfection and excellence. Perfection is usually unattainable. Excellence is not. Seeking perfection will often leave you disappointed and empty, especially if you don’t find it. Seeking excellence will give you a deep sense of accomplishment and appreciation, no matter what the outcome.

From Titus 3
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds
of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating
one another.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,

he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of
his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy

whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our

so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become
heirs having the hope of eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying. And
I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be
careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent
and profitable for everyone.

May all your weeds be pretty and your salads be tasty.

Happy Monday.


Superman Stamps! of the Postage Variety!

Postage stamps may very well be the world's most overlooked pieces of every day art. I ran across this sheet of postage stamps commemorating the DC Comics last year quite by accident and knew in an instant they would be perfect embellishments for cards and layouts.

With a little image altering--enlarging and printing on kraft paper-- this is what I came up with.

Directions are at MBI, if you are interested.

Check out the USPS website for more possibilities!

The 2Peas writing prompt for the day is to name 3 things that are on your desk that shouldn't be there. Easy breezy.

1-PVC pipe fittings (confiscated from someone who thought they should be thrown at his brother)
2-half a dozen CDs...because we all knowthat CDs should be put away promptlyinto the CD closet. (snort)
3-a partial glass of Diet Coke. Which wouldn't be bad but it's been here for 2 days. I think I'm going to go take care of that now. LOL!

May all your mail be artful and all your bugs be ladies!

Happy Wednesday!

PS I also have a post on variety (using the same supplies in 7 different ways--7 cards) at MBI here.


Hither and Yawn

I'm bored. Hence the title.

Been on a card streak today using stamps. Posted a few to 2Peas and a few to Memory Book Inspirations. If you are of a mind to, MBI could use some new participants. Things are kinda quiet there. It's a nice place to hang out--a little less intimidating than 2Peas. I am semi-in-charge of the card makers board there. I have new stuff to post there tonight, if you like simple card making.

Couple of random thoughts:

1. Why do stores not take advantage of the ease of blogs? Especially scrapbook stores? I totally don't get this. Marketing 101. Basic information. It's so easy. If you have a scrapbook store (or a stamp store), please get a blog. I promise--you will not regret it. And your customers will think you are the coolest.

2. I hate the tv show--The Bachelor. Hate actually may not be a strong enough term. And yet, it's like a bad wreck...I can't not be curious about it. The premise is sub-stupid. Andy is not even worthy (do they really think he's perfect?) and the women are portrayed as anywhere from desperate to insane. I could go on for days about all the ways this show is stupid and conceptually idiotic, but I won't. Suffice it to say I have seen a total of maybe 30 minutes this season and that's too much. But I'm still curious. Why is that?

3. Geoff Moore--the man unknowingly responsible for Joal and I being together--has a new album out called Speak to Me. On it he did a remake of the recent Brad Paisley tune "When I Get Where I'm Going" that is totally stellar. And I usually hate re-makes. Brad Paisley's version is recorded with Dolly Parton. I like Brad Paisley--I think he may actually one of the most talented writers in country music right now and I liked his version ofthis song. Then I heard Geoff's. Geoff Moore recorded it with Watermark wife, Christy Nockels. Good stuff! Worthy of full price...which if you know my husband, is saying something. :) Unfortunately, it appears I may have to go to Canada to see him in concert any time soon.

4. Do you read Angela Daniels' blog? I do and I love it. She and some friends have a series of PDF classes on Color that I found very helpful. Check it out.

5. Another of our Nashville stores is closing. Paper Moon--the only thing on the west side for paper crafters announcedSaturday it will be closed by the end of the month. I went in on Saturday afternoon and felt so sad. I relaly don't like shopping closing sales. It just feels so customers are taking undue advantage of the owner's misfortune. I guess the owners generally want to sell all their stuff but it just feels creepy to me. While the discount would be nice, I can't go back. I hate the gloom. I don't know. I'm somewhat over-sensitive in some things related to entrepreneurship.

6. I enjoy reading Heidi Swapp's blog...I do. I just wish she would use a paragraph break every now and then. Seriously. Of course, some people probably wish I would learn to, I can't have everything I want. I know. :)

7. Lastly, it appears that barring the Army changing his orders at the last minute, my Army brother Andy will be deployed to Afghanistan on/around 5/22. I can't comment because I don't know what to say.

May all your donuts not fall on the ground and
may your children always wipe their feet at the door.

Is that too much to hope for? Happy Tuesday!


Happy Monday!

Before I forget, Lisa Bearnson had a particularly meaningful blog entry on April 6, that I just now had a chance to read. Check it out. (I'm probably the only person onthe planet who hadn't read it...but just in case.) :)

The best $40 I ever spent...I have to think more on that. What about you?


Old Things, Regret and Peppers

Simple and old. Those are the things that appeal to me. The longer I hang around, the deeper it runs or perhaps the more in touch with this need for well-loved, traditional unpretentious things I get.

The 2Peas challenge for yesterday was to write about an emotion you've felt. I'm choosing the very ugly, very annoying emotion of *regret*.

I goofed up at a garage sale last weekend and I've been regretting it all week. One of those subversive, slightly nagging things that kinda pricks my mind when there's nothing else to think about. If there's such a thing as a mental kick-in-the-pants, I've been doing it all week. I passed up a 3-piece set of old Pyrex dishes (similar to these I found on ebay) and an obviously-old wooden rolling pin--all four items for $20. I was a wimp. I have a hard time spending large bills at garage sales, even when it's a really good buy. I don't want to spend my money all in one place. Wimp. Even as we were walking down the driveway, away from the garage sale, I told Deborah "that will be my next garage sale regret for the next week". I should learn to trust myself more than this.

Old kitchen stuff is just so "right" to me. I'd rather have old stuff then new. Vintage, retro, junktique--whatever you want to call it...I like it.

My mother and grandmother have been using these dishes for as long as I can remember. It's a tradition I like. It's funny--I see a certain size and style of dish and I can tell you what signature dish my mother makes and always serves in this dish.

Having someone to go to garage sales with is definately more fun than going alone. Deborah and I left home last Saturday at just after 7 am and we had a wonderful morning. We decided that our favorite stops are church garage sales, preferrably the one in outlying small towns. She found a JAG Season 2 DVD set for $5. I found some abandoned antique photos to rescue and a tatted handkerchief (no idea how to spell that). And a mini-muffin tin. And a small yellow 1.5 cup Pyrex bowl with lid from 1960 for a quarter.

Later in the week I adopted a frog at the Bellevue junque store--no not a green slimey frog--a steel one used in floral arranging. I'm pretty sure when I saw it there was an audible rapid intake of air. It demanded to come home with me. Jenni Bowlin started this...paper thing in a frog bit. Repurposing impresses me like nothing else. :)

Most floral companies use ugly plastic frogs now...and they don't work all that well. In my life before children I spent a significant amount of time working in a flower shop. I will never forget the day one of our oldest clients brought in her huge heavy very-old steel frog and asked me to use it in the bottom of a vase of flowers for her dining room. When she gave it to me, I had no clue what it was or what I was supposed to do with it. And I had no idea how heavy it was. Boy, was I in for an eye-opening experience! :)

And finally, the science project known as growing peppers has sprouted. Did I mention that no one in our family actually eats peppers? I let the boys pick the seed packet and apparently, the bright colors attracted their attention. They selected peppers. I decided to just go with it. I wonder if my neighbors like peppers?

May you have no regrets about today and may all your frogs be made of steel.


It's what we do.

Over the past few years that we’ve been homeschooling Julian, we have gotten quite a few odd responses from people when they learn that we homeschool, especially if they know about Julian’s physical and emotional challenges. I have a range of responses, but mostly I just try to make it clear that this is what works for us.

On many occasions, including again this weekend, I’ve had people tell me “I could never homeschool my child. I don’t have the patience.” or “We can’t stand to be together that much.”

The smart-a$$ part of me really really wants to say “Really?”. And let it hang there until they think about that statement, because I don’t believe it for a second.


Because of all the mothers I know who have made this statement to me, 99% of them would find a way to do whatever was necessary to care for their child in any arena. That’s the kind of mothers they are.

If a baby was physically sick, they would work tirelessly to get the baby the medical help that was needed, no matter what. Even if Mommy wasn’t a doctor or a nurse, she would learn about every conceivable treatment option and pursue the best care possible. She would study and research and become that child’s biggest, most well-informed advocate for treatment and health. She would become a rock—an immovable force on getting what her baby needed. It wouldn’t be easy…but mothers are known for doing things that aren’t easy…starting with giving birth and lasting all throughout life. We aren’t in this because it’s easy. We are in this because we are mothers and that’s what mothers do.

What I do is no different. I had no choice. After 5 years of public school special education not working, we were left with no other choice. If Julian was going to get an education, I had to be the one to see that he gets what he needs. The school system was unable and unwilling to give him what he needed, by their own admission. I had to step up, otherwise my child was going to be wasting a lot of his life in a school system that refused to meet his needs. They gave up on him and that’s something I absolutely refuse to tolerate or to do.

In the beginning, I didn’t choose this path—it was forced upon me. When I put what Julian needed ahead of everything else—system time constraints, budgetary concerns and his perceived inability to progress, we quickly realized that there really was no alternative. He needed an advocate who didn’t give up on him. He needed someone to specialize in him. He needed someone who was not going to allow his challenges to be anything more than stepping stones. He needed a rock—an immovable force. Who better to be his rock than his parents—especially his mother?

I didn’t go into this knowing much about education, (probably more about what not to do, based on my own experience) but I learned quickly and am continuing to learn more every day. I am an expert in my son, as I believe most every mother is, and that carries more weight than any thing else could.
Homeschooling/Parent-led education is not easy--I’ll give you that--but what about being a parent is easy? Most things worth doing aren’t, in fact, easy—that’s just part of life.

I can accept that many parents would prefer to have other educational choices. I certainly do. I can accept that it’s not easy. Most definitely. There are plenty of life-circumstances that prevent or discourage parents from choosing to home school. 100% understandable.

But when I look closely at the women I know who have said “I couldn’t”…I have to think “you would if you had to”…and nothing would stop you. You would be the rock, if your baby needed it. I used to think I couldn't. Worse. I thought I shouldn't. Afterall, he has special needs and I am not a professional educator. I'm not qualified.

We see where that got me... :)

May you be a rock--an immovable force in whatever part of your life demands it and may you do so with passion and dignity and great strength.

Happy Monday.

The bravest battle that ever was fought!

Shall I tell you where and when?

On the maps of the world you will find it not;'

Twas fought by the mothers of men.

Nay not with the cannon of battle-shot,

With a sword or noble pen;

Nay, not with eloquent words or thought

From mouth of wonderful men!

But deep in a walled-up woman's heart -

Of a woman that would not yield,

But bravely, silently bore her part -

Lo, there is the battlefield!

No marshalling troops, no bivouac song,

No banner to gleam and wave;

But oh! those battles, they last so long -

From babyhood to the grave.

Yet, faithful still as a bridge of stars,

She fights in her walled-up town -

Fights on and on in her endless wars,

Then silent, unseen, goes down.

Oh, ye with banners and battle-shot,

And soldiers to shout and paise!

I tell you the kingliest victories fought

Were fought in those silent ways.

O spotless woman in a world of shame,

With splendid and silent scorn,

Go back to God as white as you came -

The Kingliest warrior born!

- Joaquin Miller (1839-1913)



My swap contribution to the Scrapn Memories Birthday card swap. The rimmed-tag (made with QK) is constructed of one of my favorite fonts, "A Little Honey" and a ding font drawn by a pea.

{This is the inside message.}

J loves glitter pens. Actually *loves* may be putting it lightly. :)

My interpretation of Tracie's first sketch.

Our "garden" of peppers. Hopefully.

May all your cards be cut straight and may your peppers grow swiftly.
Happy Thursday.


It's Grey Day! (Blatant Mommy Bragging Ahead)

Today I thought I would post a few pictures of my sweet youngest boy, who informed me today that I can no longer call him "my muffin" because he's a "boy now" (wonder when that happened...the transition from muffin to boy). He's very artful, but in this family you aren't given much of a choice about art. Creative, artful play is part of our everyday (or at least that's our goal). Given our recent lessons on Easter, during which we celebrate (as Christians) as our new life found in the death and resurrection of the Savior, G used a ruler, a pen and a bunch of white paper and scissors to cut out about 10 crosses. He loves to cut. {Even his hair.} Thankfully, he had the wisdom to cut a rather large lock of hair from the back of his head, not the front. (That was a while back.)

When we discussed his work, he told me step-by-step how he created his crosses and what they were and a few sentences about the meaning of Easter. I was quite shocked that he had picked up so much. Shocked but very proud.

These 2 were taken today. Our patio was in desperate need of a swift sweep (or maybe a power washer, but I'm not that bold). I got the big broom out of the shed but before I could get the sweeping done, I got called in the house to do something else. A little while later I looked out the window to see little dude working hard to meneuver the tall heavy broom thru the patio debris. He was truly working hard, and doing a good job.

When we discussed it, he said "I'm brooming, Moma."

Yes, it was 90 degrees today and even tho this was in the early evening when it had cooled a bit, it was still pretty warm. I have no idea why he was wearing snow boots outside. He loves those boots, primarily because they are easy to get on and zip in a hurry. And he is always in a hurry. :)

It was an exciting weekend. Joal was in Atlanta for a regional meeting for work and spent Saturday night and most of Sunday in a hospital with food poisoning. Fun. He's recouperating now, slowly. It was really scarry to have him in the hospital 4 hours away. That's all we'll say about that.

I sent Tracie Claiborne a sketch for her new I LOVE SKETCHES blog featuring plans for 8.5x11 pages (because we 8.5x11 scrappers are seriously overlooked) and she used it! And more than that, another person submitted another interpretation. Tracie's work is seriously inspirational to me...she's one of the few people I know in real life who value the story as much as I do *and* who is sqeeky clean and graphic *and* who scraps in my favorite size of 8.5x11. (Actually, she's the one who kindof gave me permission to go back to 8.5x11 after I temporarily bowed to the pressure of 12x12.) You should keep an eye on her pea gallery and her blog that's linked on the right. Always good stuff.

In other news: I paid $5 recently to learn that Provo's Cuddlebug 2x2 dies do not work in the blue Quickutz handle. I'm still waiting to determine if they work in the newer QK Squeeze. The plate of the die is a bit thicker than QK dies and while it will go into the mouth of the original blue handle, it's too thick to close to make the cut. So now I have a firetruck die (if it hadn't been a firetruck, I wouldn't have even bought it) that I can't use. Does anyone know if it will work in the Squeeze?

Deborah and I are participating in a Breakfast recipe swap and I am participating in the Birthday Card Swap at Scrapn Memories, all in the next few days. I'll post our art as soon as it's complete.

On my table is a sketch done with another Tracie sketch...almost done and the re-do page of my first concert with Joal. Coming soon. Promise.

My new dishes arrived today! I'm so excited--dishes to match my beautifully painted kitchen in an entire set of service for 12! customer service totally rocks!

Hope you had a great day!