Friday, February 29, 2008

The ducks are nesting!

Some of you may remember the nesting dolls of a few weeks ago. Well, they were so fun to do I keep making more. Brittany loves ducks and I am doing an Easter basket swap so I thought I would try making a ducky version either for her or for the swap. I really quite like how they turned out!

Here they are when they are nesting.

And here they are when they are not nesting.

I have decided to let them try their luck in the shop. They are there now. I have been rather neglectful of my little shop lately. I am going to have a sale there on Monday to clear out a bunch of stuff that has been hanging around too long so come back and check it out. Especially if you have any little girls wishing for a soft doll in their Easter basket!

Spring really does seem to be coming around here. We are having a park day this afternoon and I am wearing short sleeves! I just bought this cute puffy sleeved shirt that I like so much I am going to swallow my evil pride and show it to you, because isn't part of the fun of a new top getting to show it to someone? And Matthew and Joshua just don't care that much. And let me tell you the cute little self portraits that Emily and Marmee put on their blogs are masterpieces. I just spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to take a decent photo of myself. Although that is some measure of how much I like this top. Look how contorted my poor hand is! It is so warm today I even put Matthew in short sleeves for school today but he won't take off his jacket. "My arms are too skinny Mom!" Well, skinny isn't my problem but white and naked feeling and a bit wiggly is!

I just can't get enough of these flowers and I am much happier with the lighting in this one.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another yummy treat!

Has anyone noticed I post a lot more treats and desserts than I ever do dinner items? Can you see where my priorities are? So here is another one. I made this a long time ago, just after William was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I think it was the first normal recipe I found that just happened to lack poisonous flour. That was when I learned those are usually the best gluten-free recipes. For some reason I hadn't made it in ages and when a craving for a treat hit while our visitors were here I decided to try it again. It is sooooo yummy! Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture until it was mostly consumed but you get the idea. Don't be fooled by the poor photo though, it really is a torte and not at all brownie like. We at it with a dollop of whipped cream on top. So if you are craving rich chocolaty treat and are willing to through caution to the wind regarding calories(and those New Years resolutions!), give this one a try.

Chocolate Torte
Combine the following in a medium saucepan:
2 pkgs semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup butter
1 C sugar
1/2 c light cream
Heat until it is melted and combined.
Beat 6 eggs until frothy. Slowly whisk chocolate mixture into eggs. Line the bottom of a spring form pan with aluminum foil. Pour mixture into pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Cool. Remove from the pan and chill. Yummy!

Oh, and I am making it again tonight.

Here is today's picture, it really is big!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some pretties and a lesson on life

Look how pretty flowers are in California in February! I just had to share the flowers I picked yesterday to bring inside to enjoy because we never experienced anything like this in Utah. I think they are Camellias and Cyclamen. I also had to share them because apart from the two rose bushes out there I don't see too much else that is going to bloom so I have to enjoy these while I can.

I also have received some great treasures from The One Heart One World event. Look at my beautiful collaged print and fun ceramic heart I received from Ursula and Laurel.I just love them! I had so much fun visiting all those great blogs, and of course it is always fun to win a goody!

And finally we got to have that lesson on life all parents dread. Well, one of them at least. One of the fish was bottom up yesterday so now there are only three. Sigh. Back to the pet store. (and I should tell you that sad face on Mr. Matthew is totally staged)

My delight in the return of spell check was short-lived, it is gone again. So please forgive my spelling!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good books
I just finished this book my friend Liz reccommended last night. Of course after I finished it I couldn't go to sleep. It was that kind of a book. I sort of just wandered around my house after I finished being grateful for everyone and everything in it. It is the amazing story of a Rwandan woman who survivied the genocide by hiding in a bathroom the size of a closet with six other women for three months. Now that alone would probably make this worth reading but the faith in God that she used (and I mean used it physically) to not only survive, get rescued, help others survive and then to unbelievably forgive the insane murders who destroyed her family, country and way of life. I know there are lots of books that make me wonder what I would do in the situation presented but this one really blew me away. Of course I wondered if I would be strong enough just to survive what she did(doubtful). Then to see the relationship she developed and strengthed with God made me really wonder if my faith would have the strong roots hers did to make that kind of life-sustaining relationship grow. I think we Mormons tend to sometimes think we sort of have a corner on strong faith. This book reminded me of how many other amazing people have faith that makes mine look like the mustard seed. She develops a personal method of approaching her life and goals. She says "I was living proof of the power of prayer and positive thinking, which really are almost the same thing. God is the source of all positive energy, and prayer is the best way to tap in to His power." What a great thought! So thanks Liz, I love a book that makes me appreciate my life more, resolve to better things in my life and see things a little differently and this one definitely did!
Well after such a serious read I am definitely needing a lighter book. I was so excited when I was at the library yesterday and discovered Jan Karon, author of the Mitford series, has a new book! So I will let you know how that one goes but I am pretty sure it won't be keeping me up at night, unless it is to finish it!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Little Books

Well, our company has gone and now we are settling back into our normal routine. It sure was fun having our Oma and Opa visit the last 10 days but I guess we can't keep them forever. For one thing they might end up permanently crippled sleeping on our hide-a-bed! Before the left this morning I decided to try and get some little birthday treats ready to send for them to pass out at the next family gathering. We have a large majority of our family birthdays in February, March and April so I decided to just send one for each of my nieces and nephews so no one would be left out. I decided to make these little blank books for them. I saw them on Angry Chicken's blog I think awhile back. These are for the boys.
And these are for the girls. As you can see my tendency to get carried away took over again. I just couldn't stop making them! they are just a piece of scrapbook paper cut the same size as blank white paper. I cut white copy paper in half (5 1/2 x 8") and then cut the scrapbook paper to fit. I zig-zagged down the middle with my sewing machine after folding them in half and there you go! We took some to church and my kids had fun with them. Hope the cousins do too!

And hey! My spell-check is working again! Yeah!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A new quilt and new members of the family!

I finally finished putting together one of the two quilts I need to send home with Oma and Opa. I like the way it turned out. Now I just need to finish the other one.

And here are the kids with our new family members. The school had a program that gave the kids coupons that they used at local businesses if they read the local newspaper. So one of the things they decided to do was get fish. After they earned a tank we went to get the new little guys yesterday. Boy are these guys popular! Joshua can't even tear his eyes away long enough to smile for you!

Well we are off to explore one more time with Oma and Opa today!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Visiting San Francisco!
I didn't want you to think I have disappeared altogether, but we have been so busy having fun with our company there hasn't been too much time for blogging! I thought I would show you our little trip to the City on President's Day. We got a babysitter and rode the BART for the first time and it was great! We will definitely be taking vistors to the city that way again. We visited Chinatown and Coit tower. Here is William starting the climb up to Coit tower with his parents.
There were great views of the Golden Gate Bridge when we got up there. Can you see all the fun sailboats?
And it is always fun to be in the valley of sky scappers. I love this view. We managed to visit Fisherman's Wharf too. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don't take kids with you!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I love presents!
My sweet friend Tiffany sent me a fun package for Valentine's Day! I love everything she creates. This sweet little box that came with President Hinckley's B's is so tiny.

And look, new pretty earrings!
Thanks Tiff! She has lots of goodies in her shop too!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Trip to the Beach!
We took Oma and Opa on a little road trip this weekend and found a great little beach somewhere between Santa Cruz and Half-Moon Bay. It had lots of things to explore Dad found a huge ole piece of seaweed to scare Brittany with.

There were lots of tidepools to check out. We found starfish, anemone and little crabs.

It was a fun adventure with Oma and Opa!
And here is a heart we made for you in the sand!

It is a good thing we went when we did, the sun is gone today. Hope it is shining where you are!

Friday, February 15, 2008

How was your Valentine's Day?
This pretty flower was blooming inour yard and I just had to bring it in!
Of course we needed cupcakes for the kids.
And a big ole german chocolate cake for the Dad. And I must say, for a gluten-fee cake, it turned out quit yummy.

And this was one of my better ideas. Instead of having valentines floating around the house for weeks we used contact paper and the kids made them into placemats. Joshua just had to be in the picture too, if you look closely you can see the evidence of how he enjoyed Valentine's Day!
Our Oma and Opa are coming to visit this week so I may not be in blogland quite as much as usual!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! And We Have A Winner!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you have lots of fun expressing how important the people in your life are to you! I love Valentine's Day. Not only do Iget to remind my cute husband how much I love him, but I think it is great for doing the same for my kids, their teachers, family, semi-strangers... So I hope you have loads of fun today because I just love all my bloggy friends too!

I used the random number generator for the first time and my winner for the OHOW give-away is....
Toni from 3amdesigns!!! You really ought to go check out her blog, she does amazing paper quill work.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah for nesting dolls!

I signed up for a swap on swap-bot for Matryoshka dolls and I have really had fun making these. Here is my finished set of dolls before they head off to Washington.

I have also been tagged by Natasha to share some weird or random facts about myself. I have decided that I must be really boring and not all that weird because I had a hard time coming up with 7 this time around. I will give it a try though.

1. I love this machine! It is my cocomotion machine (I love to say its name too). I like to think of it as my Mormon coffee maker. I have been letting myself have a cup on cold mornings with a banana for breakfast. I just love it!

2. I usually paint standing up. This is a result of trying to paint with little kids around. If I sit down they are all over me.

3. I took a pottery class with William when I was 8 months pregnant with Joshua. I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea, pretty hard to straddle the wheel with someone in the way, but it was really fun. I would like to try it again someday.

4. I love to stay up late and do my little crafty things. The house is nice and quiet, there are no interuptions and it is just my time. I usually put on some show William would hate (although I am slowly converting him to the Gilmore Girls), and just do my thing. That is how Miss Nesting Girl and her children were created. I really loved this project and will definitely be making more. It was a great little project to work on in bed watching tv.

5. I was horribly uncoordinated as a kid. My mother was asked to take me out of the dance class she put me in when I was 6 and maybe try something else! This was before we discovered the wonderful Clytie Adams school in our town, she probably wouldn't have given up on me so soon but that was the end of my dance career and the root of my tendency to overcompensate for my kids and try to give them lots of chances to learn control over their bodies so they won't feel inadequate like I did as a kid. If there had been a way to graduate from high school and college without P.E. credit I would have found it! The good news it this deficency has no real effect on my grown up life. And really how often are you reallygoing to need to climb that dumb rope in gym?

Well, it looks like I could only come up with five this time around and they are rather lame at that. Hope you will still like me!

And hey, is anyone else having problems getting the spell-check to work on their posts through blogspot? I now realize how dependant I am on that, please forgive any typos I miss!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spring just might be coming!
Yes, it is true! Spring really might be coming. I have to post these pictures today to give my family in Utah hope that one day all their big piles of snow will melt and they will have pretty flowers like these primroses again.

It has been just gorgeous here this weekend. The kids had a great time at the park after school Friday.

And then they got the swingset going yesterday afternoon. They didn't even want to come in for lunch so we had a picnic outside. That is Mr. Joshua pointing Hello to you!

Hope some sun is shining where you are today!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Teddy Bear Quilts

Welcome to my sweatshop!

I spent the day yesterday putting these quilts together. We had three babies born to close friends and family in November and I haven't sent baby gifts yet. Hubby's mom and dad are coming to visit next week and said they would act as postman for me so I decided to kick it into high gear and see if I could get three quilts done. They were all boys, I don't think we are ever going to get girls again around here, so I could make them the same. This is where I go a bit crazy because I figure it will save me time to set things up like my own little sweatshop and do them assembly line style. Great idea, but it does create a giant project.
So my bright idea was to buy this cute sheet with the teddy bears on it from Ross and then three plain sheets and cut them up. I even had enough for an extra to put away for the next boy baby. So today I will be trying to get them all sewn up before the kids mess up my piles. Joshua has another ear infection but the silver lining there is that he will probably take a giant nap if the past couple of days are an indicator. So that will be my day, with some laundry and floor scrubbing thrown in. What are you up to today?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I am joining the Party!

I have been thinking of having a give-away for Valentine's Day and when I found out about the One World-One Heart event I decided to join. There is a huge list of fabulous blogs with give-aways and I have decided to add my name to the list.

This is what I am giving away. I love Valentine's Day so all my treats are pink. The winner will receive one of my fuzzy little elephants, a little painted canvas of a cupcake girl and one of the funky little Dotees Brittany and I made. You do not have to have a blog to enter but please leave me your e-mail if you don't so I can contact you should you win. Oh, and I would love for you to leave in your comment what state/country you are from. I think it would be fun to see just how big blogland really is! I will draw a winner from the comments left on this post on Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A whole bunch of Dotees in a row!

I discovered that lots of people in blogland are making these fun little dolls called Dotees and swapping them. Brittany and I decided to try making some to send out as Valentines and we really had fun.
I like Brittany's faces the best I think, hers were more original looking than mine.
I have to say this was one of those times I was really grateful to have a daughter. I was having a very homesick weekend and when William took Matthew on an outing and Joshua took a nap Brittany and I just hung out on the couch and embroidered and talked. It was so nice and really made me feel so much better. It was fun to not be in mom mode so much and hang out like girlfriends.

This was my most unusal Dotee. I like her button hair, even if she does look a little embarrassed. I love that little painting behind her. My friend Tif painted it and gave it to me a few years ago for Valentines Day.

Monday, February 04, 2008

We had family movie night again this weekend!

We watched Hook and really enjoyed it. I had forgotten how much fun this show is. Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams are just a blast to watch. Sheer entertainment, and really can you ever have enough of Peter Pan?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy February and Groundhogs Day Too!
We have got the Valentine's Day decorations up and are having a great time thinking about my favorite Love holiday. More about that later, but I just thought I would show you some of my favorite things for the season. I love this table William modified for me. It it sort of the holiday table. Sits right in the front entry and we have been decorating it for whatever holiday is approaching. It was so fun to get this stuff out this year. We(the kids and I), did a bunch of new paintings last year and I was happy to see them again. These girls are available in the Shop.

I have been tagged for a fun little tag by Ari. It is about swaps you have done. Swapping is a new little hobby that has resulted as a by-product of blogging for me. I love it and so do my kids so I am happy to share this one.

1. What was your first swap?
My very first swap was through swap-bot and it was for a handmade handbag or purse. I got to send one to Austrailia and received a beautiful bag made from reprodution Civil War fabric that I keep my crochet in.
2. What has been your favorite swap and why?
The tiara swap I participated in last year. I mean look at the tiara I received in my little picture over there! How can you not be thrilled with that, and I loved making the one I sent.
3. What has been your least favorite swap and why?
I did a postcard swap and I spent a lot of time on mine and wasn't all that impressed with what I received, but hey, it only cost me a postcard stamp and everything else I have ever received has been great.
4.What have you tried for the first time as a part of a swap?
Making ATCs. I probably wouldn't have tried this just for the heck of it and it was fun. Also I spent the afternoon today with Brittany making new little felt dolls for a swap--more on that later this week.
5. What would your fantasy swap be?
This is a hard one. Can I swap talents with some of my bloggy friends? I would love to be Vanessa, or Jenn, or Tif. Or it would be really fabulous to trade houses with someone in a far off place, maybe for a month. Not my husband or my kids though. I like them lots, even when they make me a bit crazy!

So that was fun, and appropriate since I went a bit crazy this weekend signing up for some new swaps at swap-bot. They are fun, I do tend to go in spurts where I sign up for a bunch and then don't do any for awhile.
So I am supposed to tag some other folks. I was trying to remember who I visit that I have seen do swaps. So I tag Alison and Natasha. I know they swap a lot and if you want to do it to, then tag! you are it!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Painting little girls!
Yesterday was a fun painting day(today is now a cleaning day to pay for it!). I have had these little canvases sketched for awhile now and yesterday I got to finish them.

I have a sister-in-law who loves ladybugs so this may be going to her for her birthday.

I wanted to try something with a cupcake, there are so many fun cupcake things all over blogland.
I worked on my mother and daughter portrait again. I like our hair better and I added some glitter and polka dots.

This is my favorite one. I love her little heart on a string. I am going to give her a try over in the shop. This is one of the things I love about blogging. I think I make myself do more creative things, which generally makes me a nicer person, because I get to show them to you!

Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement about my scrapbook pages. You guys are so great, I feel like doing more of them now!